Radio Operators!!?

2nd April 2008, 19:53
Who is responsible for the description of the Radio Room thread? "A forum for all Radio Operators etc.etc"
I thought I used to be an Officer?

Ron Stringer
2nd April 2008, 20:02

I think that the intention was to make the thread inclusive - not all the people on this site that operated radio equipment were on ships. There were other sorts of ships that were not Merchant ships, and they didn't carry Radio Officers. They were painted a sort of grey colour - you must know them, we used to see them tied up at the quayside in the better ports.[=P]

K urgess
2nd April 2008, 20:08
Ron's got it right, Trev.
We have foreign sparkies about, who were not all officers, and Grey Funnel line who were mostly ratings and petty officers.
So, being a site for everyone, and amateurs operators not being officers, we try to cater for everyone. (Thumb)

2nd April 2008, 23:02
Don't forget us Radio "Officers" who joined the Offshore Industry on Rigs where our position was identified as Radio Operator

Ron Stringer
2nd April 2008, 23:12
Don't forget us Radio "Officers" who joined the Offshore Industry on Rigs where our position was identified as Radio Operator

Hi Denis,

Those 'lucky' people on rigs were included in the bit about not all being on ships. Couldn't forget them - my visits to Mr Cap - from Stockton, Sea Gem, Staflo and Sedco 135F - from Aberdeen and Sumburgh (can't remember the others) - were all monitored and signalled by radio operators aboard the rigs. Back in the days when the choppers had such a short range that before you got to the rig, you had enough fuel to reach the rig but not enough to get back to the land. 'Point of No Return' was guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. You relied on the guys aboard to monitor your progress and to take action should any emergency arise.

2nd April 2008, 23:40
We can't be too fussy here. If we made it a condition to be both an officer and a gentleman it would rule out most of the R/Os on the site. :)


3rd April 2008, 00:00

you will be hearing from my solicitor soonest.


trotterdotpoms too

3rd April 2008, 07:49
If you'd heard the morse I sent on an up and downer you would have ruled out "radio operator" as well..

11th April 2008, 12:18
An officer and a gentleman.....may the two never meet !. LOLLLLoolLLL

26th April 2008, 15:24
I Thought the Term ''Wireless Man or Wireless Operator'' had more Origionality, Ive been Mastro, Meistro, Messakorita, Marconi, Marconi Sabh, Blitz, Funker, Sparks, Sparkie, Radio Man, and a ''Host of Unmentionables''. Then When in the Deck Dept I was called Kaptain, as on Greek Ships all Deck Officers are called Kaptain, Kaptain Giannie for example, (He might be third mate or even an Apprentice)

''**** '' I just noticed the above is in the WRONG TOPIC Topic area., Should be under '' Radio Operators ? ' Any one know how to put it there ?
Thanks., or do I have to Retype it all again, Lazy me.

K urgess
26th April 2008, 16:27
Moved it for you, Athinai.
Something that can only be done by a mod. [=P]

26th April 2008, 17:40
Many Thanks Kris


26th April 2008, 17:59
Something that can only be done by a mod. [=P]

Only if you have a 'Mod Record sticker' [=P]
remember those, A B C D on top line 1 2 3 etc. below (A)

K urgess
26th April 2008, 18:51
That's a bit of a blast from the past, Mike.
As soon as I read it I knew exactly what you meant.
I shall have to have a look and see if there's one on my Atalanta.[=P]


26th April 2008, 19:59
I always feel mildly annoyed when referred to as a "radio operator." When this section of the forum was made, they could just as easily have put "For Radio Officers & Radio Operators!" I often wished I was a Radio Operator even if it meant getting less money. Being a Radio Officer in latter years often meant being an "electronic dogsbody," at the beck & call of everyone (usually in supposedly off duty hours) who took a pride in being "all thumbs."

After years of pouring over ships plans, I also note that ship designers seemed to look upon it as a "point of honour" to designate the radio officer's cabin as "radio operator."

No point in trying to wind me up about it though, because in the end, I came off "on top" as I am sure the vast majority of radio officers did when forced on shore by changing times, so I don't really care any more. (But I do like to "scratch an itch" from time to time!


Bill Davies
26th April 2008, 20:44
Tell us more. I love success stories!

27th April 2008, 07:35
Hi Bill,
Not much more to tell, in late 1992, completely fed up with modern electronics & ugly ships, I left to take up ship model building & writing. For ship model building activities, click on:
Miniature Merchant Ships (Below).

By 2000, I had to stop taking private commission because I couldn't keep up with the demand (24 on order at that time). Since then have only built what I feel like building. Sold at Christie's auctoneers in London for the past sixteen years. Last sailing ship model (7 inches long) tipped the 1,000 mark!

Have had monthly column SHIPS OF THE PAST in Telegraph (Numast) since 1999. Written in every issue of MODEL SHIPWRIGHT for several years (very good pay).

Have produced two E-books on CD disk (One on miniature shipbuilding, the other on design & construction of miniature valve radios). Also a "real" book on my last 16 years at sea, now virtually sold out a year after publication. That was rejected by most of the mainstream nautical publishers who generally said "No-one is interested in personal recollections about boats these days!" (I suppose boats were something that radio operators sailed on) Finally accepted by small publisher in Scotland.

Here is one of my miniature radios, just completed design & prototype of 4 Valve superhet, just got to built it "neat" now.

Not exactly "earth moving" achievements, but doing something I really enjoy & getting paid well for it.

Thanks goodness I was never cursed with "ambition," or I might never have become an R/O and that is where I learned everything that has been useful to me since!

29th April 2008, 06:32
The valve in the one illustrated is an EF95 pentode with a 6 volt heater. I found that the EF95 works very well with only 54 Volts HT made from six small 9V batteries in series. The LT battery is a 6 V sealed lead acid. I recently decided to make more use of the slightly more modern miniature battery valves, DK91, DAF96 etc types that were used in the small "suticase" portables of the 1950s & 60s. They have 1.4 V filaments & require an HT of between 54V & 90V. In the past, I did like using the bigger mains valves such as EF39, ECH35, EBC33 & 6V6, but as the British authorities are getting paranoic about anyone electrocuting themselves on high voltages, I thought I might "get across the bows" of authority if I wrote about anything so apallingingly dangerous as a mains-powered valve radio set! Amusing isn't it, in the late 40s, 50s, & 60s, schoolchidren were building "live chassis" mains sets & the ocasional shocks gave them a respect for such things. Pity they don't incorporate a steel fist in the latest violent computer games to give the player a smash in the face if they made a mistake! Probably wouldn't be as popular then though!

The neatness of the build comes by combining ship model-building skills with radio construction.


29th April 2008, 07:07
Here is the circuit of a miniature double-triode reaction receiver that I designed some time ago. The circuit is not copied from anything, I made it myself on the computer. The tuning coils were tiny RF chokes that are readily obtainable in the UK. I wonder if anyone else ever builds radios these days?

PS. Can't stand transistors!