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  #1  
Old 21st August 2007, 07:05
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Radar

I recently inputted on another thread that my first ship Melampus/GMBZ 1923-57 carried no radar during her entire life.
Looking at photographs in Clarkson's "Blue Funnel Line" I'm amazed that this appeared to be the norm including BF's post-war liberty purchases.
Up to the arrival of the new "A" Class in 1947 and post-war renovations I cannot make out any of the earlier builds carrying radar.
Are my eyes deceiving me?

Last edited by R651400; 21st August 2007 at 10:26..
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  #2  
Old 21st August 2007, 22:29
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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i remember seeing pics of the blue funnel radar sitings which placed the aerial on the funnel casing looking, not unreasonably, forward.

given the proportions of the average blue funnel ships funnel......
there must have been a hell of a blind spot astern.....and on both port and starboard quarters.

anyone provide first hand recollections????
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  #3  
Old 22nd August 2007, 06:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkie2182 View Post
i remember seeing pics of the blue funnel radar sitings which placed the aerial on the funnel casing looking, not unreasonably, forward.
given the proportions of the average blue funnel ships funnel......
there must have been a hell of a blind spot astern.....and on both port and starboard quarters.
anyone provide first hand recollections????
At the outset, postwar builds, had the radar mounted on a short triangular lattice steel tower between funnel and monkey island.
In later years scanners were mounted on I've been told, reconstituted samson posts, or on the funnel itself which must have made a big improvement in coverage and efficiency.
Another BF quirk in my time, R/O's even with a radar ticket were not given the responsibility of radar maintenance, this was the duty of the ship's Electrician.
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  #4  
Old 22nd August 2007, 10:41
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Don't know about BF, but on the Cardiff tramp I served my apprenticeship on the radar was the sole property of the Old Man, also whenever it was to be used an extra genny had to be put on the board !! One time a ceramic rod thingy that triggered a relay, snapped and I spent a quiet watch whittling a piece of wood down to the right diameter for Sparkie. Did the job and lasted the trip out

Mike
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  #5  
Old 22nd August 2007, 15:34
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Radar Siting

[QUOTE=sparkie2182;147083]i remember seeing pics of the blue funnel radar sitings which placed the aerial on the funnel casing looking, not unreasonably, forward.QUOTE]

Never mind the blind spots, sparkie, for a maintainer funnel-mounted radars were the absolute pits. The heat transferred to the equipment and its cables caused more rapid degradation and increased unreliability. Then when the damned thing failed, the funnel gases would almost choke the poor guy that was trying to carry out repairs. Only a few of such locations had external ladders, access to most included climbing up through the funnel itself. Not recommended in the tropics and not beneficial to electronic bits and pieces that were exposed to the resultant fumes and soot. Thank the Lord that the fashion for funnel-mounting was fairly short-lived.
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  #6  
Old 22nd August 2007, 22:47
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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not recommended for sure..............

an old friend of mine......ex b.f. ch. electrician often told me of his first radar........as mentioned above.........the r/o was not initially involved with radar.
the p.p.i was tiny.....and the transciever room was always sauna like.

on one occasion, however, on the chinese coast.....the ship was required to negotiate a small gap between breakwaters in dense fog. the radar onboard was a bit of an unknown quantity, but the master relied 100% on its accuracy, and she found her seaway without mishap.

for the rest of the voyage back to liverpool, the ch. electrician could do no wrong in the eyes of the master...........

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  #7  
Old 23rd August 2007, 23:39
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I think you're right. I seem to remember the A Class carried Kelvin Hughs 2C radars!
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  #8  
Old 24th August 2007, 05:52
Keith Adams Keith Adams is offline  
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My first ship P.S.N.C. mv "Losada" 1921 -1952 did not have Gyro or Radar and entered many a west coast South American anchor port using a hand lead from the chains. Snowy,
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  #9  
Old 24th August 2007, 07:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Martin View Post
I think you're right. I seem to remember the A Class carried Kelvin Hughs 2C radars!
I'm sure all postwar builds had radar including the reconstructed wartime Glens 'artney 'earn 'gyle 'garry 'orchy 'roy, Denbighshire and Breconshire.
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  #10  
Old 24th August 2007, 12:58
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Originally Posted by sparkie2182 View Post
An old friend of mine......ex b.f. ch. electrician often told me of his first radar........as mentioned above.........the r/o was not initially involved with radar.
the p.p.i was tiny.....and the transciever room was always sauna like.
on one occasion, however, on the chinese coast.....the ship was required to negotiate a small gap between breakwaters in dense fog. the radar onboard was a bit of an unknown quantity, but the master relied 100% on its accuracy, and she found her seaway without mishap.
for the rest of the voyage back to liverpool, the ch. electrician could do no wrong in the eyes of the master...........
Your friend must have been one in a million S2182.
When it came to radar the BF leckies I sailed with didn't know the difference between a klystron and a klytoris!
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  #11  
Old 24th August 2007, 21:15
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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he retired as chief electical engineer at the pioneer research plant of british steel.

as you say he was........ one in a million.
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  #12  
Old 25th August 2007, 10:42
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Originally Posted by sparkie2182 View Post
he retired as chief electical engineer at the pioneer research plant of british steel.
as you say he was........ one in a million.
...and more power to his elbow S2182!
British Steel another UK "Jack and the Beanstalk"...
Perhaps BF, Glen and Shire and other companies not kitting out their ships with radar was very much either parsimony, naivety with a heavy dependency on the excellence of their sea-going personnel?
My first ship, George Gibson of Leith's 1938 built "Ronan," seems to take a different outlook on safety at sea...

Last edited by K urgess; 25th August 2007 at 10:52..
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  #13  
Old 25th August 2007, 11:54
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Originally Posted by R651400 View Post
Your friend must have been one in a million S2182.
When it came to radar the BF leckies I sailed with didn't know the difference between a klystron and a klytoris!
They would have found out quick enough when they connected a few hundred volts to a klytoris! Tuning the resonant cavity, on the other hand, could be quite pleasant.

John T.

Sorry folks, this was all the stuff that was going on while you were in the bar having deep and meaningfuls about piston liners.
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  #14  
Old 25th August 2007, 17:22
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The radar used was indeed the Kelvin Hughes 2C radar. All of the earlier B/F ships had them eg. the 'A' class ships.
B/F had its own radar training school at Odyssey works, Birkenhead situated opposite their berthing sheds at Vittoria dock. Gordon Kidman was the chap who did the training for the ships Senior Electricians like myself and also did training on other radars right up to the Digital type such as Raytheon Parhfinder.
The Kelvin Hughes 2C radar used for the training at Odyssey school ended up at the National Maritime museum at Greenwich. In their later life, these radars would suffer badly from tuning drift and was a great annoyance to the navigators. This problem was caused by the ageing of a stack of selenium rectifiers, used for the 'stabilavolt rectificaton'. Due to the nature of using selenium, these rectifiers would 'age' and cause a gradual voltage drop in their output and thus the result was this annoying tuning drift.
Some Elder Dempster boats had them too.
I remember joining a ship in Brisbane and the ship, the Rhexenor had this problem of tuning drift for about 2 years and a technician was onboard trying to solve this problem.
I suggested checking the output from the stabilavolt rectifier after checking with an Avo, it was half of what it shoud have been. He said you obviously know more than me and left promptly.
A spare was airfreighted to the ship and after fitting, the radar was back to working condition. Unfortunatey, the ship was sent to the breakers yard in Taiwan soon after,.............ah well!
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  #15  
Old 25th August 2007, 21:51
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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i think most sparkies have had experience of shoreside technicians.....

"leaving promptly".
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  #16  
Old 1st September 2007, 11:15
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We sparks had to have our night sleep. that is why leckies look after the radar.
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  #17  
Old 1st September 2007, 13:36
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Shell didn't have leckies so we sparks had to forgo the occasional nights sleep. I just thought of it as an extra contribution to safety of life at sea (SOLAS).

Mike
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  #18  
Old 1st September 2007, 14:02
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Unfortunately I left college with a radar ticket so my first trip as junior was the only one where I wasn't responsible for the radar.
Even then, once the Old Man found out I had a radar ticket it suddenly became my job for a very small consideration.
It was Hungry Hogarth's after all.

Kris
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  #19  
Old 2nd September 2007, 18:56
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Was it a fact that Blue Star ships were about the last of UK vessels to be fitted with Radar. ?
JC
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  #20  
Old 3rd September 2007, 10:03
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Was it a fact that Blue Star ships were about the last of UK vessels to be fitted with Radar. ?
JC
I think that was true of the whole Vestey group. I was on L&H's Debrett in 1959/60 and it had no radar, many a 'happy' hour was spent on fo'c's'le lookout at night!

An (unsubstantiated) explanation is that the radar was taken out of the ships after too many 'radar assisted' collisions, the most notable being the Australia Star, which was fitted with radar during the war and was involved in a collision in the Caribbean. The other ship was without radar. The Court of Enquiry held the radar equipped Australia Star responsible for the collision which resulted in substantial damages payable by the Vestey Group.


They believed that their ships were being navigated in bad visibility by radar by masters and mates who did not properly know how to plot movement observed on a radar set and they were getting into situations that they would not have got into without radar.

Perhaps someone can confirm or debunk this?

Last edited by jaigee; 3rd September 2007 at 11:27..
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  #21  
Old 3rd September 2007, 12:55
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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yes jaigee............

happy memories of the w a o triangle.
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  #22  
Old 3rd September 2007, 15:35
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Who remembers 268 radar. ithink something like 150 switches to be made etc before it was switched on.
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  #23  
Old 9th September 2007, 09:00
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R651400 View Post
I recently inputted on another thread that my first ship Melampus/GMBZ 1923-57 carried no radar during her entire life.
Looking at photographs in Clarkson's "Blue Funnel Line" I'm amazed that this appeared to be the norm including BF's post-war liberty purchases.
Up to the arrival of the new "A" Class in 1947 and post-war renovations I cannot make out any of the earlier builds carrying radar.
Are my eyes deceiving me?
I was in the 'Memnon' in 55 and I do not recall her having Radar although I concede I was Deck Boy and it was not something prioritised in my mind.
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  #24  
Old 9th September 2007, 11:52
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Who remembers 268 radar. ithink something like 150 switches to be made etc before it was switched on.
Wasn't the 286 originally designed to spot submarines on the surface? I understand it was highly unreliable and soon superceded.
My recollections of valve ('tube' for folk in the US) based radars was that they needed to be checked frequently because of the dozens of valves ulilised, all varying in emission life. Could have been a full time job....

Mike
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  #25  
Old 9th September 2007, 21:08
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John Campbell;148915]Was it a fact that Blue Star ships were about the last of UK vessels to be fitted with Radar. ?

In Wellington about Jan 1952, Wellington Star arrived on maiden voyage, dressed overall. A very fine looking ship. Looked and looked again, unbelievable, no radar. Later heard that after a collision, a company director, an ex army type, ordered all radars to be removed.
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