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  #51  
Old 1st January 2020, 17:54
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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Hi Paul, thanks for the festive greetings and apologies for not responding sooner. We have been away over Christmas and have just returned home. Over the winter shutdown I shall be modifying the Challenger for the higher amateur bands that fall in the cracks between the available marine bands, and will also add LSB capability.
The next big job will be the Kelvin Hughes Zealand M1250 transmitter (see picture). The receive side is working well, I've not yet tried the transmitter. I've provided a 3 phase supply, and the loom appears to be present to connect it to the console. We have all the manuals, the 4CX1500B is present but of unknown provenance, we also have a spare exciter also with its 4CX1500B present. I know a small PSU repair is needed. Hopefully it will soon be on the air, it is a 1.5KW transmitter, synthesized ( I don't think any mods will be needed for amateur bands, but will have to add LSB at some point) It provides for more modes than the Challenger: AM, ISB, DSB, USB, CW. However, before someone jumps on me, I'll be starting a new thread for this one shortly.
All best wishes to everyone for the New Year, we might even get to chat on the air!

Michael. (GW7BBY/GB2MOP)
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File Type: jpg KHBay3Partial.jpg (188.9 KB, 26 views)
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  #52  
Old 1st January 2020, 22:22
Paul Braxton Paul Braxton is offline  
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Welcome back, Michael sahib. Nice picture of the new setup. Wondering what all that silver 'jewellery' is on the front of the TX. Looks quite alien, all those loops and bangles. I dunno, all this new-fangled stuff...

That looks suspiciously like a Nixie tube readout on the unit at the top centre, the one directly below the GURK callsign plaque. Incidentally, what was the ship which that one comes from?

Being a bit of a freak for all things valve, I counted my blessings, receiving a Nixie tube clock kit from a U.K. electronics firm for Christmas. Just got it done, up and running and it far exceeds my expectations. So nice to see the rounded, gently glowing numerals again, first seen back in the late '70's, on the Marconi Apollo RX.

Good luck with the work upcoming. Paul.
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  #53  
Old 2nd January 2020, 01:40
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Troppo2 Troppo2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Oceanspan View Post
Hi Paul, thanks for the festive greetings and apologies for not responding sooner. We have been away over Christmas and have just returned home. Over the winter shutdown I shall be modifying the Challenger for the higher amateur bands that fall in the cracks between the available marine bands, and will also add LSB capability.
The next big job will be the Kelvin Hughes Zealand M1250 transmitter (see picture). The receive side is working well, I've not yet tried the transmitter. I've provided a 3 phase supply, and the loom appears to be present to connect it to the console. We have all the manuals, the 4CX1500B is present but of unknown provenance, we also have a spare exciter also with its 4CX1500B present. I know a small PSU repair is needed. Hopefully it will soon be on the air, it is a 1.5KW transmitter, synthesized ( I don't think any mods will be needed for amateur bands, but will have to add LSB at some point) It provides for more modes than the Challenger: AM, ISB, DSB, USB, CW. However, before someone jumps on me, I'll be starting a new thread for this one shortly.
All best wishes to everyone for the New Year, we might even get to chat on the air!

Michael. (GW7BBY/GB2MOP)
I sailed with a Zeeland. It worked nicely on the 20m ham band..
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  #54  
Old 2nd January 2020, 02:21
duncs duncs is online now  
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Looks like the exciter/receiver used on NERA gear.
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  #55  
Old 3rd January 2020, 22:29
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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Re Kelvin Hughes

Just a quick reply, before staring a new thread. Paul, the "jewellery" on the kelvin Hughes equipment is KH's take on control handles - its different and feels good to handle! (Pic Attached)
No, there are no Nixie tubes, just good old numbers printed on a disk to give a "digital" readout - see pic of M1250 Synthesizer and Receiver.
GURK was "RFA Orangeleaf" - another pic.
Troppo - nice to hear someone who sailed with KH Kit.
And Duncs, I've heard of NERA, in fact I think we have a cannibalised Nera ATU from I don't know what in our store. I'm not familiar with it.
OK Really going to start that new thread for KH.
Best wishes to all - Michael.
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File Type: jpg ATU_Section_Thumb.JPG (177.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Main Receiver Thumb.JPG (217.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Orangeleaf 1.jpg (98.3 KB, 4 views)
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  #56  
Old 4th January 2020, 00:16
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Thanks for the pics. I sailed with the Zeeland on the Iron Kestrel/GUBX.

I never sailed with the rx - it has lots of features, but the lack of a VFO knob would have been a real pain for CW working...you can see the military heritage.
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  #57  
Old 4th January 2020, 10:55
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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Sounds like one of the BHP ore carriers: Iron Kembla, Newcastle, Chieftain, Whyalla etc. 6 of these launched between 1981 - 86 had Challengers. (Not Chieftain, there was a much older Chieftain and a newer one launched in 1993)

Michael (GW7BBY/GB2MOP)

Last edited by Michael Oceanspan; 4th January 2020 at 10:55.. Reason: Spelling
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  #58  
Old 4th January 2020, 10:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Oceanspan View Post
Sounds like one of the BHP ore carriers: Iron Kembla, Newcastle, Chieftain, Whyalla etc. 6 of these launched between 1981 - 86 had Challengers. (Not Chieftain, there was a much older Chieftain and a newer one launched in 1993)

Michael (GW7BBY/GB2MOP)

Yes, the newer ones (Kembla, Newcastle - after about 85) had Challenger stations.

The older ones (Whyalla, Spencer) had Conqueror/Apollo stations.

The Kestrel was a smaller, geared bulkie.
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  #59  
Old 4th January 2020, 16:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Oceanspan View Post
GURK was "RFA Orangeleaf"
I can remember the Orangeleaf when the RFA first took her over she did a complete refit in Falmouth docks, I installed two radars on her a Decca Arpa and 16" True Motion.
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  #60  
Old 4th January 2020, 17:01
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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Hi Cajef, thanks for the comment, R/O's experiences and anecdotes help to build up the history behind the exhibits at the museum.

I've now started a thread for the Kelvin Hughes Zealand if anyone wants to take a look.

Michael.
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  #61  
Old 5th January 2020, 03:05
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Did Iron Kembla have a Challenger? I don't remember that but it's been a while.

I sailed with that KH gear a few times and thought it was pretty good. Think it was a knock off from Elektrisk Bureau gear which I believe was Danish. Could be wrong on that too.

John T
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  #62  
Old 5th January 2020, 10:36
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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Hi trotterdotpom, a lot of the historical information I have is circumstantial or passed on by others and I am always pleased to receive corrections or supporting comments. However, I have it on good authority that 6 challengers were fitted to 6 Australian bulk ore carriers in the early to mid 80s. It is not hard to guess that these were BHP ships. A bit of digging shows that 6 ships, Iron Whyalla, Spencer, Prince, Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla were built in the period 1981 to 1986. These were built about the time that Challenger was being sold and so are the most likely to have Challengers installed. I also believe from another source that the Challenger and accompanying Marconi console in private hands in Melbourne came from Iron Kembla.
As I say, any information anecdotal or otherwise from the dim recesses of R/O's memory banks is welcome!
Best Wishes - Michael.
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  #63  
Old 5th January 2020, 11:46
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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No worries, Michael, I'm sure you're right - my memory's not the best. I assume the Challenger is just an improved Conqueror anyway.

I also sailed on Iron Pacific and don't remember the transmitter there either. Pacific and Kembla were both pretty good ships, running from NSW with coal to Korea and Japan respectively and back loading iron ore in NW Australia for Port Kembla and Newcastle. I think Iron Pacific was the biggest ship in the world at the time (200,000 dwt).

Was I right about the Elektrisk Bureau gear? I sailed with that on Iron Baron - purchased by BHP from East Germany and nick named "Hitler's Revenge". I recall the equipment was very reminiscent of the Kelvin Hughes stuff.

John T

PS Whereabouts in Wales is your museum?

Last edited by trotterdotpom; 5th January 2020 at 11:47.. Reason: Add PS
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  #64  
Old 5th January 2020, 15:38
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
No worries, Michael, I'm sure you're right - my memory's not the best. I assume the Challenger is just an improved Conqueror anyway.

I also sailed on Iron Pacific and don't remember the transmitter there either. Pacific and Kembla were both pretty good ships, running from NSW with coal to Korea and Japan respectively and back loading iron ore in NW Australia for Port Kembla and Newcastle. I think Iron Pacific was the biggest ship in the world at the time (200,000 dwt).

Was I right about the Elektrisk Bureau gear? I sailed with that on Iron Baron - purchased by BHP from East Germany and nick named "Hitler's Revenge". I recall the equipment was very reminiscent of the Kelvin Hughes stuff.

John T

PS Whereabouts in Wales is your museum?
As far as I can see the Challenger met the same specification as Conqueror. Physically, the Finals are different, the Challenger has four 4CX350 ceramic tetrodes, the conqueror uses glass valves. Many other circuits are very similar, some such as the Band Oscillator are identical. The frequency generation strategy is the same, but Challenger takes advantage of the later technology.
At the time, early 1980s, the end of the "traditional" radio room was in sight, Satellite systems: Inmarsat etc were on the horizon,; GMDSS was scheduled to be implemented between 1990 and 1999. The design of another 1.5KW separate transmitter was superfluous, when a changing communications environment really demanded a "Black Box" transceiver that could be operated by unskilled personnel.
As a result only 12 out of an initial production run of 20 - 24 were sold - half going to BHP!
I don't know about the Elektrisk Bureau connection but will explore it.
The Museum is Internal Fire - Museum of Power at Tan-y-Groes near Cardigan. Main museum web Site: https://www.internalfire.com/
radio website: http://www.gb2mop.org/
The museum is presently closed until Easter when it will open with a weekend crank-up of engines and radio activity.
Best Wishes - Michael.
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  #65  
Old 5th January 2020, 19:38
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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trotterdorpopm,
I've done a bit of digging around for a link to Elektrisk Bureau equipment and can't see a link to Kelvin Hughes, but that doesn't mean there isn't one! I did find the attached picture dated 1973 and so this equipment, the EB1500, would be contemporary with our Kelvin Hughes set up. I can see the similarity in general layout, also the synthesizer freqeuncy setting and display are similar although I suspect that the EB1500 used Nixie tubes. I also notice that we have a manual for the EB1500 in the museum archive.
Can't do more than that at present, but you never know what will turn up when one starts looking!
Michael (GW7BBY/GB2MOP)
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File Type: jpg EB1500.jpg (266.7 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg eb1500_2.jpg (24.9 KB, 10 views)
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  #66  
Old 5th January 2020, 23:16
Bill.B Bill.B is offline  
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KH Zealand station was built by Electromekano (spell) AS of Denmark. Sailed with the stations for KH on many vessels. Denholms, Jebsens, UBC. It was a good station generally. Reserve RX was rubbish. The Main RX had an FET front end preceded by a desense
relay which had a habit of going and taking out the FET. I inherited a couple of vessels where this went unnoticed. Bit of a pain to replace the FET as it was buried in the RX. Other major problem was the large band change relays and coils in the back of the TX. If the HT was left on and the relays activated they tended to arc and stick. Also their coils would burn out and so I had to rewind a couple as well. All in all it was a good station to sail with, especially after Atalanta, Electra and Mercury in the RFA. You knew when you dialed up the RX synthesizer if the station was there or not. Repaired a few as an RH tech as well.
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  #67  
Old 6th January 2020, 01:07
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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#65 . Thanks Michael. Not to worry, I could be completely wrong. I sailed with the KH gear quite a few times and when I struck the EB stuff it seemed familiar.

Interesting that the advert says the equipment is "one fifth the weight" - I did think that it was a bit "tinny" looking but at least it wouldn't affect the ship's draft.

John T
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  #68  
Old 6th January 2020, 02:58
duncs duncs is online now  
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JT, EB was Norwegian, a lot of it badged stuff.
Best station I ever had. It was on a tanker built for the Norskis.
A huge Norcontrol computer on the bridge, which gave you ACAS, which could be hooked to either the 3 or 10cm Selenia Raytheon radars. It was programmed by punched paper tape. It was also hooked to 2 'early' satnavs, as well as Omega and Loran. Navs would put in waypoints etc and it would steer the ship. When it reached a waypoint, an alarm would sound, the Nav would accept it and it would alter course on its own.
I think the vessel was built around '74.

Duncs
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  #69  
Old 7th January 2020, 01:22
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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#68 . Thanks Dunks.

John T
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  #70  
Old 7th January 2020, 02:46
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Troppo2 Troppo2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Oceanspan View Post
were fitted to 6 Australian bulk ore carriers in the early to mid 80s. It is not hard to guess that these were BHP ships. A bit of digging shows that 6 ships, Iron Whyalla, Spencer, Prince, Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla were built in the period 1981 to 1986. These were built about the time that Challenger was being sold and so are the most likely to have Challengers installed. I also believe from another source that the Challenger and accompanying Marconi console in private hands in Melbourne came from Iron Kembla.
As I say, any information anecdotal or otherwise from the dim recesses of R/O's memory banks is welcome!
Best Wishes - Michael.
Hello Michael

The Whyalla, Spencer and Prince had Conquerors
Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla had Challengers
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  #71  
Old 7th January 2020, 10:22
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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Originally Posted by Troppo2 View Post
Hello Michael

The Whyalla, Spencer and Prince had Conquerors
Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla had Challengers
Thankyou troppo2 for that, it all helps to fill in the history. Whyalla, Spencer and Prince must be the earlier builds, as Challenger didn't come on line until 82/83.
Michael.
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  #72  
Old 7th January 2020, 10:22
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Troppo2 Troppo2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Oceanspan View Post
Thankyou troppo2 for that, it all helps to fill in the history. Whyalla, Spencer and Prince must be the earlier builds, as Challenger didn't come on line until 82/83.
Michael.

Yes, they were...
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  #73  
Old 8th January 2020, 18:29
G4UMW G4UMW is offline  
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The main receiver in the first EB1500 picture looks like an ITT 3020.
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  #74  
Old 14th January 2020, 12:11
Michael Oceanspan Michael Oceanspan is offline
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I never cease to be amazed at how much stuff was badge engineered: Kelvin Hughes - Elektromekano; Marconi - Eddystone, Dansk and Dynatron amongst others. I daresay, Seimens and Telefunken stayed true to their roots?
Michael
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  #75  
Old 14th January 2020, 16:28
G4UMW G4UMW is offline  
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IMRC too - the IMR 5000 main receiver was a rebadged Plessey PR-155. They also rebadged an Eddystone reserve receiver but I can't recall the model number.
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