500kc/s Recordings - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 3rd January 2012, 11:51
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500kc/s Recordings

I think we have to be eternally grateful for any recording of 500 kc/s that comes along.
What a difference between the speed and slickness of the fifties!!!
The poor quality of the morse and quietness I actually thought this was a wind-up

http://www.archive.org/details/Willi...ordingsOfMarch

Last edited by R651400; 3rd January 2012 at 12:08..
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  #2  
Old 3rd January 2012, 12:21
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Good to hear some of those old call signs WCC, WSL, etc. For a minute I thought I heard an old one of mine but it turned out to be 5LHB instead of 5 LHL - pity, but I wouldn't have wanted to put my name on some of that poor quality morse!

John T
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  #3  
Old 3rd January 2012, 13:07
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I haven't listened to all of that yet but in the first one (top line) I can hardly believe that was WCC. The morse was terrible. WCC like all American coast stations was fast and slick. I must listen to the whole tape because I was a Cunard cargo ship in March 1966 and might just be on there somewhere.
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  #4  
Old 3rd January 2012, 13:54
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Might have been better without the AGC on the receiver.
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  #5  
Old 3rd January 2012, 14:38
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had to give up, that morse was yuk. good job those guys were not working UK coast in the 50,s
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  #6  
Old 3rd January 2012, 14:53
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For a bit of genuine nostalgia visit:-

http://www.seefunker.de/

click though until you get to:-

http://www.seefunker.de/homepage/seefunk.htm and click on international.

If you want a little weep click on the map of UK and you can get genuine recordings of all the UK and European stations calling on 500.

I'm sure most of you know this site, but if not enjoy!
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Last edited by R719220; 3rd January 2012 at 15:01..
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  #7  
Old 3rd January 2012, 16:15
Gareth Jones Gareth Jones is offline  
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I think those tapes are fakes - never heard such rubbish morse
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  #8  
Old 3rd January 2012, 16:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Jones View Post
I think those tapes are fakes - never heard such rubbish morse
Do pse give us the benefits of your expertise on professional morse?
The proximity of the recorder to the American coast stations and the embedded ships call signs within to me make the recordings genuine.
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  #9  
Old 3rd January 2012, 17:26
Gareth Jones Gareth Jones is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R651400 View Post
Do pse give us the benefits of your expertise on professional morse?
The proximity of the recorder to the American coast stations and the embedded ships call signs within to me make the recordings genuine.
Before using the sarcasm you should have taken a look at my profile ? like you I was also a professional - qualified at 28 wpm by the then GPO - spent 4 years at GNF listening to 500 - I spent a year sailing repeatedly from Newyork - Aruba on a tanker and had plenty to do with the American coast stations and as previous posters already state they were inevitably slick and sent good fast morse.

I never heard 500 sound like those recordings - all that background hissing and morse of a quality to shame any self respecting operator.
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  #10  
Old 3rd January 2012, 17:40
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So you've proved your point on professionalism.
One small parameter that you may have missed.
Who the hell wants to spend their time falsifying a recording that is completely meaningless to anyone other than a mere handful of interested parties.
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  #11  
Old 3rd January 2012, 19:36
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Ah Nostalgia Ain't Wot It Used To Be ! But those tapes are genuine I'd swear. Admitedly I was far east, not western ocean in those days but there were some highly variable 'fists' in all areas. A lot of QLF ( Are you sending with your left foot?) could be heard any time anywhere. But thanks for the memories I was between a laugh and a tear!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 21:47
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Have to agree with R65..., it would be totally pointless making up a false tape like that, although there are amongst us "Walter Mitties" who do that sort of thing for their own peculiar reasons. I don't think it was that unusual to hear rubbishy morse all over the place and one thing that does lend the tape an authenticity is the number of selfish ars*holes tuning up and drowning out other operators' transmissions.

John T.
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  #13  
Old 3rd January 2012, 22:38
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I don't think there can be much doubt that the tape is genuine and there is the occasional burst of decent morse to be heard. Who on earth would want to falsify a tape like that. I think Ron is correct and it would sound better with no AGC on the receiver.
I spent a fair bit of time crossing the Atlantic on the Cunard cargo ships, unfortunately, so have considerable experience of the stations operating in this area. I still find it almost beyond belief that WCC and WSL amongst others are using such appalling morse. I don't think I can ever recall a U.S. operator sending anything other than perfect morse and usually very quickly. The US Coastguard stations could be a bit more variable and there was always iffy morse from some ships but it is the coast stations that mystify me. I think it is on SN but there is a recording of KPH and KFS somewhere and that is exactly what you expect from a top US coast station, those blokes weren't hanging around.
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  #14  
Old 3rd January 2012, 23:25
Gareth Jones Gareth Jones is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R651400 View Post
So you've proved your point on professionalism.
One small parameter that you may have missed.
Who the hell wants to spend their time falsifying a recording that is completely meaningless to anyone other than a mere handful of interested parties.
This is a fair question with no easy answer - the only thing I can guess at is some amateur trying to show, his cleverness in fooling everyone, or, that he could have been a professional operator ?
Perhaps an oscillator/s being keyed into the AF stages of a receiver might account for the horrible tones ?
Vague I admit.
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  #15  
Old 4th January 2012, 00:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
... the number of selfish ars*holes tuning up and drowning out other operators' transmissions.

John T.
John, when changing frequency how did you tune your transmitter without causing interference to others nearby? If there was a way, I never found it. In a high-traffic area, having waited for a gap in nearby signals, it was a pound to a penny that as you pressed the key to tune the final stage and antenna, someone else launched into a call.
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  #16  
Old 4th January 2012, 00:16
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Well, I did listen first before tuning up and I tried to keep the transmitter tuned to 500 kcs so it didn't need re-tuning. Nobody's perfect, but you can try.

Are you collecting ammo for your award, Ron?

John T
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  #17  
Old 4th January 2012, 05:36
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To avoid excessive QRM all the MF transmitters I sailed with had the ability to reduce power for tuning and close-by work.
I recall the Marconi Oceanspan from full to quarter and there were of course the tuning preset click stops which you could set to avoid unnecessary tuning. Did anyone ever use them?
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  #18  
Old 4th January 2012, 05:50
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For info this is the gentleman who made the recordings.

WILLIAM B GOULD III, Radio Pioneer - amateur radio call signs 1NP, W1NP, K2NP

Born on March 14, 1902. Radio Engineer, Radio Officer, USA Flag, US Army until retirement. He made a series of tape recordings of 500 kc/s in 1966 during March. He was very much a pioneer not only for his being the first Negro which is now called black, radio engineer of a radio station and radio officer at sea, but for his visionary work with communications and electronics with United States Army. He retired in 1969 after twenty-nine years in the service of the USA Army as a section chief in the Electronic Warfare Laboratory where he directed a research and development section.
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  #19  
Old 4th January 2012, 08:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
Well, I did listen first before tuning up and I tried to keep the transmitter tuned to 500 kcs so it didn't need re-tuning. Nobody's perfect, but you can try.

Are you collecting ammo for your award, Ron?

John T
Always John, and in support of that I would point out that the guys were not tuning the transmitter (the frequency did not change) but matching and loading the output circuits to the antenna.

I never found the click-stop settings of much help and the end results tended to be more accurate when also done on full power rather than solely on medium or low power settings. With the Oceanspan you had so little power to start with, every little helped as they say.

Other than on all-aft ships (which I never sailed on but worked on often after I left the MN), the long-wire antennas never seemed to stay the same two days running, affected by the movement of the ship and the amount of rain/spray. The presets were about as helpful as the frequency markings on the dial of the CR300 receiver (thank heavens for the receiver logging scale).

So, each time I changed frequency on the transmitter I first adjusted it on a lower power setting and then on full power to finish off. If the new frequency happened to be 500 kHz, so be it and I may have caused brief interference to another station. But I was smug enough not to care; they were trained and able to deal with it as was I when they were changing frequency.

I never sailed as an operator when the new self-tuning transmitters came along and can't remember how much QRM they caused when starting up on a new frequency. I think it was but milliseconds although I can't recall the figure. Information that I don't need of course, so it has been dismissed from my smug mind.
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  #20  
Old 4th January 2012, 10:04
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Ron: "I would point out that the guys were not tuning the transmitter (the frequency did not change) but matching and loading the output circuits to the antenna."

OK Ron, but I don't think that rates highly in the "smugness" stakes, that's more like "nit-picking".

"So, each time I changed frequency on the transmitter I first adjusted it on a lower power setting and then on full power to finish off. If the new frequency happened to be 500 kHz, so be it and I may have caused brief interference to another station. But I was smug enough not to care; they were trained and able to deal with it as was I when they were changing frequency."

OK - 10 Smugness points, but knock off 1 point for not using your Emergency Transmitter which should have been tuned to 500 kcs already.

John T
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  #21  
Old 4th January 2012, 12:08
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John,

Whichever transmitter you used, it had to be tuned "on-air" in those days. So-called silent tuning was the province of various military/squirrel equipments and did not spread to the MN in my time. So whenever you prepared any ship's transmitter for transmission on 500 kHz, you radiated a signal that was not a call and could interfere with normal calls.

The battery-powered Emergency transmitter (operating from the radio installation's emergency source of energy) was provided for use in emergencies - the clue is in the name. Apart from statutory test transmissions, the battery-powered transmitter was only used for such purposes on ships where I was the R/O in charge.

To nit pick further, I never sailed with an Emergency Transmitter but my ships all carried a Reserve Transmitter instead. That is, in addition to being equipped to transmit in an emergency on 500 kHz (the requirement for an Emergency Transmitter), it could also transmit on other frequencies in the maritime MF W/T band (405-525 kHz). Examples of Reserve Transmitters produced by Marconi were the Reliance, several iterations of the Salvor, a version of the Oceanspan VII and the Oceanlink EMX. To the best of my knowledge (extensive don't y'know?) Marconi did not design any Emergency transmitter post-WW2.

Superior knowledge is a wonderful thing and facilitates a wonderful smugness.
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  #22  
Old 4th January 2012, 13:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stringer View Post

The presets were about as helpful as the frequency markings on the dial of the CR300 receiver (thank heavens for the receiver logging scale).
Thanks for refreshing my memory Ron, I now recall the essential booklet that I used to write the logging scale against a stations frequency. I'd forgotten all about that!
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  #23  
Old 4th January 2012, 14:09
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Originally Posted by Ron Stringer View Post
John,

Whichever transmitter you used, it had to be tuned "on-air" in those days. So-called silent tuning was the province of various military/squirrel equipments and did not spread to the MN in my time. So whenever you prepared any ship's transmitter for transmission on 500 kHz, you radiated a signal that was not a call and could interfere with normal calls.

The battery-powered Emergency transmitter (operating from the radio installation's emergency source of energy) was provided for use in emergencies - the clue is in the name. Apart from statutory test transmissions, the battery-powered transmitter was only used for
such purposes on ships where I was the R/O in charge.

To nit pick further, I never sailed with an Emergency Transmitter but my ships all carried a Reserve Transmitter instead. That is, in
addition to being equipped to transmit in an emergency on 500 kHz (the requirement for an Emergency Transmitter), it could also transmit on other frequencies in the maritime MF W/T band (405-525 kHz). Examples of Reserve Transmitters produced by Marconi were the Reliance, several iterations of the Salvor, a version of the Oceanspan VII and the Oceanlink EMX. To the best of my knowledge (extensive don't y'know?) Marconi did not design any Emergency transmitter post-WW2.

Superior knowledge is a wonderful thing and facilitates a wonderful smugness.
Ron,
I don't recall any statutory requirements for testing "emergency" equipment apart from auto-alarms and AKDs at regular intervals. However, it is a long time ago and I only did 25 years. I often used the "Reserve Tx" for calling if range was not a problem on the premise that if you didn't use it, it would conk out when you needed it - like those Old Men who would only use radar when they got to the fog!

Please consider your Smugness point re-instated and good luck with the award.

John T
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  #24  
Old 4th January 2012, 14:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
Ron,
I don't recall any statutory requirements for testing "emergency" equipment apart from auto-alarms and AKDs
Memory is a funny thing. Mine, of course, is immaculate (but only for the things that are favourable to me or my arguments).

We were also supposed to test the emergency transmitter (or reserve transmitter if that was carried as the alternative) and the lifeboat transmitter weekly and to record the test in the radio log. I usually did all the stuff except the lifeboat transmitter on a Sunday. The L/B transmitter I did at the weekly BOT sports.

Thank you for the point - nothing less than I deserve, of course.
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  #25  
Old 4th January 2012, 17:46
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The presets were about as helpful as the frequency markings on the dial of the CR300 receiver (thank heavens for the receiver logging scale).
The frequency markings on the CR300 were only a rough indication but just exactly how did you use the logging scale? Tune in with luck and write down the settings?
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