B.O.T. Radar Maintenance Certificate. - Ships Nostalgia
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B.O.T. Radar Maintenance Certificate.

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  #1  
Old 15th October 2008, 16:10
Gareth Jones Gareth Jones is offline  
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B.O.T. Radar Maintenance Certificate.

Around the time I left the sea I began to hear rumours that a Radar Mtce Cert would be made compulsory on all single R/O ships. Can anyone tell me if this actually happened ?
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  #2  
Old 15th October 2008, 17:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Jones View Post
Around the time I left the sea I began to hear rumours that a Radar Mtce Cert would be made compulsory on all single R/O ships. Can anyone tell me if this actually happened ?
Gareth,

Yes it was made compulsory, MIMCO started doing their own courses. I took mine at East Ham Depot in 1981, about a month from what I remember
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  #3  
Old 15th October 2008, 19:22
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When I was doing my DoT Radar straight after my MRGC in 1980, there were two seagoing R/Os doing it with us. In the three years that I was at Jordanstown (1977 - 80), I saw a lot of R/Os returning from sea to do the radar, I think most of their companies insisted on it, so if it wasn't officially compulsory, then it was unofficially compulsory due to pressure from employers.
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  #4  
Old 15th October 2008, 19:55
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IanSpiden IanSpiden is offline  
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I think the " compulsory" part was more that Radio Companies and those companies who were Direct Employ would not really entertain employing anyone who did not have a Radar Maintenance Cert , I did mine in 1969 at Leith and almost everyone that I can remember went on to do it after getting a 2nd class, it was worth it as you were paid more if you had it.

I did a period as a Ship Inspector from 1991-1996 and there was never an Official requirement that a Radar Maintenance Cert be carried onboard , it was only comparatively recently , 1970's if my memory serves me that 3 cm Radar became compulsory on ships at all
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  #5  
Old 15th October 2008, 20:23
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Took mine at East Ham-we had to do it
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  #6  
Old 15th October 2008, 21:24
Degema Degema is offline  
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Did mine in June 1978 at Cardiff. At the time I was with Ocean Fleets and the Electrician was responsible for radar maintenance but we always worked together if there were any problems.
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  #7  
Old 15th October 2008, 22:17
bert thompson bert thompson is offline  
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Took mine at Leith on Friday 13th. November 1950. Certainly was not compulsory and there was no extra pay involved. This was still the normal or was until I left the sea in 1959. When I returned in 1977 things were so different
Bert.
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  #8  
Old 15th October 2008, 23:17
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Did mine at East Park Terrace Southampton Cert No. 2868 29th June 1965. A small stick-on note says "In this document wherever the expressions 'Minister of Transport' or 'Ministry of Transport' occur they are to be read as if the expressions had been 'Board of Trade" ....why use one word when a few dozen will do eh?
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  #9  
Old 15th October 2008, 23:34
K urgess K urgess is offline
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No.3021 - 3rd December 1965, taken at Hull Tech on 6th December and issued by the MMO on 3 Jan 1966.
The certificate has Board of Trade on it but it looks like the print run was done in April 1965 (4/65)
It really says Board cf Trade in note 3 on the back.
If the ship didn't have a Marconi radar or a Marconi radar contract we didn't get paid for it. After MED everything was covered anyway but I still got the radar allowance on top of the electronics bonus.
I can't remember being forced to take it. It was just part of the PMG course and slotted in between part one and part two as a bit of a break.
First ship had a Decca radar and no contract but I had an "arrangment" with the Old Man. My chief didn't have the radar ticket.
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  #10  
Old 16th October 2008, 08:55
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BOT Radar Maintenance Certificate

Took mine some time in the summer of 1964 at South Shields - lecturer was Jimmy Doig, a great teacher. There was no requirement to have a BOT Radar Maintenance certificate and no extra pay from MIMCo for having gained the qualification.

I did have paid study leave whilst getting the qualification. Had to draw the dole, queueing every week with loads of other students at the Employment Office near the Westoe pub. Think my day to sign on was a Wednesday, but the students were divided up (alphabetically?) into groups, each signing-on on a different day of the week, to ease the load on the Office. Then MIMCo made up the difference between the dole and my full pay.

As I mentioned on another thread, as I was going back to sea before the certificate would be issued, I asked for it to be sent to the nearest Shipping Office to my parent's home, in Manchester. Never got back to collect it before the Manchester Shipping Office closed, so never got to pick up the document and don't know its number or date.

Later that year I went to Hull on a Hermes/Argus course, the first of those courses given by Freddy Dearlove and Bill Sawney - all previous courses had been given by Gordon Lee at Chelmsford. Bit different from the Radiolocator/Quo Vadis course I enjoyed at Cardiff in 1961, but staying in the local Merchant Navy Hotels on expenses both times for a couple of weeks, was very enjoyable.
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  #11  
Old 16th October 2008, 11:38
bert thompson bert thompson is offline  
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Forgot to say that the ticket number was 401
Bert.
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  #12  
Old 16th October 2008, 11:49
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Nr 4161 from Leith in 1970. As Ian mentioned earlier, it was the norm to go straight into the radar class after the 2nd PMG. Taken on a Raymarc and Decca 404 I think.

Also did Kelvin Hughes fascinating course on the Photoplot, the school being on the end of Southend Pier. Not a bad place for a good radar pix, but that photoplot was an electro-mechanical machine that was, to say the least, startling.

Course was a month long, and never saw one again.
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  #13  
Old 16th October 2008, 12:09
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Originally Posted by BobClay View Post
Nr 4161 from Leith in 1970. As Ian mentioned earlier, it was the norm to go straight into the radar class after the 2nd PMG. Taken on a Raymarc and Decca 404 I think.

Also did Kelvin Hughes fascinating course on the Photoplot, the school being on the end of Southend Pier. Not a bad place for a good radar pix, but that photoplot was an electro-mechanical machine that was, to say the least, startling.

Course was a month long, and never saw one again.
Did you sail with the Photoplot Bob? It was certainly high maintainance: emptying the waste tray, making sure film stock, developer and fixer levels were topped up plus cleaning out the fluid tracks if shut down for any time and making sure the transport was clean - Heath Robinson comes to mind. Whilst I was looking for the course certificate from the photoplot course at Southend I came across a certificate for the Marconi Predictor course at Chelmsford from 2nd to 13th June 1975..anyone else here on that course at that time?

Mike
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  #14  
Old 16th October 2008, 13:02
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Did the Radar course about 1974 at Hull Tech - learned more about fault finding than in the PMG 2nd and 1st Classes combined. Sadly I lost my handsomely inscribed linen paper certificate somewhere, but I still have a crumpled photocopy somewhere.

Re the Predictor course, I was reminded of a young lady who went to the doctor and asked for "some of those contradictors". The doctor asked her what they were for and she said: "To stop you having babies." The doctor said: "Are you ignorant?" She replied: "Yes, three months."

John T.
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  #15  
Old 16th October 2008, 15:01
bert thompson bert thompson is offline  
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R651400
Mr Bogie who else. Great lecturer
Bert.
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  #16  
Old 16th October 2008, 18:33
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Radar Certificate

Cert No 2318 dated 29 Jul 1963. Courtesy of Mr Bogie.
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  #17  
Old 16th October 2008, 19:20
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IanSpiden IanSpiden is offline  
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"Chalky" White was the lecturer at Leith when I did mine and as Bob said it was a Decca 404 and a Raymarc.

I also did the Southend Pier Photoplot and sailed with it twice , once on the Ardvar ( 206,000 ton tanker) and on the Arcadia , there was a version with a ball resolver as the computer and a version with an electronic computer either one was a real complicated mechanical nightmare to fix especially in the middle of the night trying to line up gate switches with a torch balanced somewhere !!!!
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  #18  
Old 16th October 2008, 23:54
omega2618 omega2618 is offline  
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Couldn't let this thread pass without a mention of Fleetwood Nautical College and the excellent radar facilities in two locations ashore and one on a fishing vessel (adding some realism to the course!). I gained my certificate, No.5449 ,in February 1976 and included in the class were two females R/O's from Wray Castle.
My final examination on the two radars,one valve and one transistor,had a bizzare twist when it comes to fault finding.
I was the first student,on a Monday morning, called into the examination room hot on the heals of a late lecturer who had blindly put the regulation faults across the two radars.After 30mins and a lot of cursing and blinding I had failed to get even a glimmer out of either radar despite replacing the main isolator fuse.(There's always one - every exam.) Eventually the lecturer intervened ,muttering something about students,and proceeded to fail,miserably,to find the fault.Another 20mins passed,I swear there were beads of sweat on the lecturers forehead,when I realised a possible cause.I remembered that whilst waiting outside a lecture room on the second floor of the college I had idly noted a hatch way to the flat roof with an isolating switch.Sure enough,it was there as a safety precaution for the caretaker during routine maintenance and he had been up there that very weekend but not re-set it.I was pleased as punch to return to the examination room to find the radars operational.The lecturer returned to his desk muttering something about my parentage.Halcyon days.
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  #19  
Old 17th October 2008, 00:39
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I never sailed with the photoplot, but I can always remember thinking on the course that this stuff needs to be done electronically. That isn't to say I wasn't impressed with the sheer ingenuity of that machine, but in 1971 I sailed with the Norcontrol ACAS radar on a brand new Malmo built Hudson Supertanker. It really was a stunning advance in shipborne radar (although the computer was programmed with punched tape, it plotted and vectored direct to the display, which was science fiction to me at the time).

A few years later such radars were common as muck, but in 1971 (at least it seemed to me), this was really Flash Gordon stuff. We also had a video machine on that ship, made by Phillips, which used actual film cassetes (nope, not the 2000, but actual film cassettes that fed direct into a tv camera, sort of like the Photoplot). And the main transmitter/receiver were fully synthesised, (considering my previous trip was a Bank boat with RadioLocator/Oceanspan setup, this was mind boggling stuff).

Remembering my radar ticket exam, I can always remember the night before we'd been to a party, where they had home brewed beer in a bath, which we drank (a very bad idea). So when I dropped the front of the Decca 404 (lovely bits of kit to work on were Deccas), I stared at the circuit board, trying to decide whether or not to find the fault, or puke on it. I must have made the right decision cos I passed, but that was a long long half hour.
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Old 17th October 2008, 02:14
Mimcoman Mimcoman is offline  
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Hi, Mike:

I was on a Predictor course about then, with two other guys who were also on the T&J Harrison sparkie pool. There were about eight people on the course. Seem to remember it was a four-week course? I had the fear of God put into me about the Predictor by a Mimco shore tech who told me that, as I didn't have an MED, I wouldn't be able to follow the digital techniques. Of course, it was not so bad, in fact - (very logical, pardon the pun) - after I had got my head around the constant timebase speed regardless of the selected range and the fact that the scanner rotation speed changed to accommodate changes of course.
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  #21  
Old 17th October 2008, 13:37
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You have a good memory Mimcoman, I also had some preconceived notions which all 'went out the window' during that course. Seem to remember that the Methane Princess was one of the test beds.
For those not in the know, video data was stored on an endless loop cassette. The scanner azimuth was also synchronized by a pre-recorded tone and stored. The cassette contained just enough tape for 6 minutes of data before being overwritten. Due to its continual use, the tape had a limited life and had to be replaced, in early units static electricity caused premature failure the tape jammed/mangled within the cassette.
Worked well enough though.
Mike
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  #22  
Old 17th October 2008, 14:30
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Luckily I never suffered a major failure on any of the True Motion Units I sailed with. Plus I never had to cope with any sort "prediction" TMU or recording system.
My MED notes show that we, thankfully, only considered one mechanical system and one electronic system at South Shields.
I think the mechanical system was Kelvin Hughes but can't find it named in the notes. The "computerised" system appears to be based on the Marconi Raymarc system.
The notes we got about true motion itself and the various advantages/disadvantages are quite interesting but some of the Gestetner pages have faded a bit. I'll see if I can scan the first few pages.
The first below is the mechanics of the "resolver" system with the second being the block diagram. The third is the block diagram of the "electronic" system that still relied on a "sine/cosine potentiometer" for operation.

I did my radar ticket on the Hermes/Argus with a bit of Mark IV thrown in. Probably a lucky move because the Hermes/Argus was probably one of the most complicated units I ever saw. The difference between it and a Raymarc was a bit like the difference between a Humber Super Snipe and a MkI Mini.
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File Type: jpg MED Notes - 002s.jpg (194.9 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg MED Notes - 003s.jpg (157.9 KB, 65 views)
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  #23  
Old 17th October 2008, 17:12
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Kelvin Hughes SDR (Situation Display Radar) seems to ring a bell. Sailed with it on two ships. Not one of my favourite radars for fault finding. Seem to remember mirrors and lenses were used in it...all a long time ago.
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  #24  
Old 17th October 2008, 18:41
Mimcoman Mimcoman is offline  
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I only sailed with a Hermes once - and once was enough, couldn't belive how complex it was. The main memory that stays with me was that you could pull out valves with what seemed to be gay abandon and the radar still seemed to work. And the gearbox oil... But the 96NM range was useful - or so I was told. I only fixed the thing , never drove it.

While I never saw an ARPA radar, I always felt that the Decca "matchsticks" were a simple and practical plotting aid - one of the best ideas around.

Last edited by Mimcoman; 17th October 2008 at 18:42.. Reason: speling...
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  #25  
Old 17th October 2008, 18:54
K urgess K urgess is offline
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I've still got some chinagraph pencils knocking about somewhere from Marconi reflector plotters.
Smoke and mirrors!
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