Signals code - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 13th May 2019, 13:24
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Varley Varley is offline   SN Supporter
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Signals code

I remember both the old man and self being puzzled by a response from (I think) Koper harbour authority in 1972. It was MIJMA.

The puzzle has returned to me every now and again without remedy until last week. It is the 1931 International Signal code for "You have pratique". Volume II "For Radio Signalling"

It came to me as a surprise that there was an International code of Signals and that an update was produced in 1969. Whilst the update has ZY group for pratique granted rather than MIJMA I am not querying the delay in Yugoslavia taking up the new code (which Senegal list as still in use) but that there was a code at all. The only code I learned for my ticket was the Q code.

Anyone else in the same boat?
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  #2  
Old 13th May 2019, 14:37
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Maybe it is “age related” David. The code was used by means of lights or flags, not only between ships or ships and shore facilities but even with aircraft. During the “Cuban missile crisis“ ships travelling in the Caribbean and Western North Atlantic were frequently intercepted by US Navy patrol aircraft and lamp signals were used to obtain information about the name, destination, cargo etc. of the ship using Morse code. However international code signals were also employed.

Somewhere else on SN I posted about the time (some years earlier) when approaching Norfolk Va but still well offshore, we were intercepted by a patrol aircraft which kept signalling the letter ‘U’. The code was checked and all that could be found was “You are running into danger”. Since the weather was fine, we were in several thousand fathoms of water and tens of miles from land, the signal was ignored. Some two or three hours later the horizon ahead became jammed with ships as we headed into the US fleet heading on a reciprocal course.
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  #3  
Old 13th May 2019, 23:56
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Thanks Ron. I can now say (having purchased both 'recent versions that I prefer the 1931 uncorrected version "You are standing into danger".

(I will be on the hunt for the 1857's).
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  #4  
Old 14th May 2019, 05:39
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Small world - I received a postcard from Koper about two hours ago!

Wasn't aware of those codes but I do recall reading some aircraft ones somewhere, as in "U". I was always curious if anyone but us ever used the word "Pratique".

John T
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  #5  
Old 14th May 2019, 09:06
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Koper was a pretty little;e place I was there a couple of times or close by. R/O on Tilapa and E/O on Norvegia Team.

I see there is a "Q" code for" I am going to communicate with you using the international code of signals (INTERCO)". I am pleased that one was not on the exam paper.
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  #6  
Old 14th May 2019, 14:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varley View Post
Koper was a pretty little;e place I was there a couple of times or close by. R/O on Tilapa and E/O on Norvegia Team.

I see there is a "Q" code for" I am going to communicate with you using the international code of signals (INTERCO)". I am pleased that one was not on the exam paper.
QTQ if my memory serves me right.
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  #7  
Old 14th May 2019, 18:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Ratt View Post
QTQ if my memory serves me right.
QTQ does not appear in the 1938 Handbook, but in the 1957 edition it reads:

I am going to communicate with your station by means of the International Code of Signals.
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  #8  
Old 14th May 2019, 19:35
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The 1982 Manual for Maritime Mobile lists

YZ - The words that follow are in plain language.

There you go then !!!

David
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  #9  
Old 14th May 2019, 19:52
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YZ is that in the ICoS 1969 too, David. However in 1931's that is "Is bad weather expected"
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  #10  
Old 15th May 2019, 19:15
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Don't know. I salvaged that one from GKZ for some obscure reason. Must look out some equally obscure Q codes !!

David
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  #11  
Old 16th May 2019, 18:56
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How about QSB. Rather a bit like myself these days...………..Your signals are fading !!

David
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  #12  
Old 17th May 2019, 03:55
Zl2axh Zl2axh is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varley View Post
I remember both the old man and self being puzzled by a response from (I think) Koper harbour authority in 1972. It was MIJMA.

The puzzle has returned to me every now and again without remedy until last week. It is the 1931 International Signal code for "You have pratique". Volume II "For Radio Signalling"

It came to me as a surprise that there was an International code of Signals and that an update was produced in 1969. Whilst the update has ZY group for pratique granted rather than MIJMA I am not querying the delay in Yugoslavia taking up the new code (which Senegal list as still in use) but that there was a code at all. The only code I learned for my ticket was the Q code.

Anyone else in the same boat?
There was a book of international signal codes on all the ships I sailed on (1959 to 1965). It contained 5 character codes for just about every maritime phrase possible. I never used it except a couple of times to HMS Belfast to arrange joint cocktail parties in Colombo and Perth.
I gave a copy to my GF so that I could message her in code. Was interesting trying to find nautical terms for endearment!
I recalled it later when, in a movie, a sailor gave his GF a broach made from signal flags and told her it meant 'I love you'. Actually it meant 'request permission to lay alongside'.
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  #13  
Old 18th May 2019, 05:34
Avraham Ariel Avraham Ariel is online now  
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International Code of Signals

I went to sea in 1951 after graduating from Haifa Nautical School, where the Signals Course contained Morse, Semaphore and International Code of Signals. I do not recall ever being in a position where ICoS communication took place.
In 1967, as Operations Manager for Maritime Fruit Carriers, I produced a ship-to-office company private code that contained hundreds of phrases, each one represented by five letters. It covered all aspects of ship operation. The idea was to save on cost of cables and it worked very well.
In 1993 I published (In Israel, in Hebrew) a maritime thriller entitled "Ship of Prey” and based on a true maritime fraud which took place in the 1960s. The clue to the mystery in that thriller was a two-flag hoist of code flags that was erroneously hoisted up side down, giving the message an entirely different meaning. I remember I used Vol. I of the 1931 code book in searching for the suitable code messages for my story. That Code Book came in two red volumes, which unfortunately I donated to the library of a certain institute that does not exist anymore.
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  #14  
Old 18th May 2019, 06:55
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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A lot of Grimsby fishermen were prolific radiotelegram senders, although they called them "wires". Just about every newsagent in town sold little code books that were used to save words in their messages.

John T
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  #15  
Old 18th May 2019, 21:46
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kacny
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  #16  
Old 19th May 2019, 13:22
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Ah! to save a word - KACNY - if my memory serves me correctly - Acknowledge.


Hawkey01

Last edited by hawkey01; 19th May 2019 at 13:29..
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  #17  
Old 19th May 2019, 14:05
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Ah, a BP code. Kindly Acknowledge, Yours ? Why KIZTO instead of simply STOP?

Texaco: PREEN Was mail package numbered as following group in 1971. Had changed by 1976.
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  #18  
Old 20th May 2019, 03:29
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It was always boring being QRY25 at Portishead when previous ships were BP.
Couldn't listen in to the contents of their telegrams. Only KIZTO KACNY.
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  #19  
Old 20th May 2019, 10:48
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On Fyffes Matina the stewards always seemed to know which home port we were bound for, apparently via the Galley Wireless, before the Captain knew. We'd receive a one word message such as ODHEU indicating Southampton. Discussing the Galley Wireless I agreed to give the Captain the true handwritten message and put a false typewritten one in the drawer. The Galley was always right.
73, Andrew
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  #20  
Old 20th May 2019, 11:07
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I have often wondered in these days of GMDSS if Galleysat is as effective as the galley range at long range reception.
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  #21  
Old 20th May 2019, 15:44
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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Might have mentioned this before elsewhere but I sailed with a Master in the 60's who kept red Marconi received message forms in his office drawer so he could type out his own messages for the benefit of the 2nd steward to read and spread the word !
Bless him !
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  #22  
Old 21st May 2019, 03:09
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I couldn't understand why it was all such a secret. Just thought it was some sort of power trip.

When they were on the radio telephone, I'd often here the Old Men saying: "I'm going to so and so port." I always felt like saying "Can we come too." But I didn't.

John T
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