Can you trace a lifeboat transceiver to the ship it was on? - Ships Nostalgia
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Can you trace a lifeboat transceiver to the ship it was on?

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  #1  
Old 5th March 2018, 12:17
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Can you trace a lifeboat transceiver to the ship it was on?

Two ROA members have recently contacted me to see if a Salvita III lifeboat transceiver can be matched to the ship it came from. The cousin of a member in SE Ireland has recently acquired the Salvita pictured below and the question was raised is there any way of finding the ship it was allocated to. I personally do not know and if such a system ever existed I would guess the Marconi records ended up in the skip with the demise of Chelmsford. It is, just, possible the records exist amongst the Marconi archives at The Bodleian but there is no point in me contacting them if the matching never took place and a Salvita was just taken from the stores. Does anyone know?
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File Type: jpg Marconi Salvita III Lifeboat Set.jpg (327.6 KB, 82 views)
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  #2  
Old 5th March 2018, 13:04
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That is a good call Malcolm, I certainly had not thought about that. Will send off to the recipient in Ireland. Long shot but well worth a punt. Thanks
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  #3  
Old 5th March 2018, 16:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R651400 View Post
Memory long-shot Tony...You could be in with a chance if the ship's call sign had been notched out on the keying cam of the Salvita auto-key.
Good advice. Generally the cutting of AKD cams was left to the installation engineer rather than being done prior to despatch from the stores. That avoided any need to send for a replacement AKD cam disc if it became necessary to swap units prior being installed on the vessel.
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  #4  
Old 5th March 2018, 20:49
GBXZ GBXZ is offline  
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Distant memory.
Was the ships callsign and morse characters engraved on a plate attached to control panel ?
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  #5  
Old 5th March 2018, 20:59
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It was a long time ago, but did it have a call sign cam? I had one that that stopped transmitting and the technician just brought a spare and did a swap. I certainly do not remember him taking it to bits to change the cam over.
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Last edited by Dave Woods; 5th March 2018 at 21:02..
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  #6  
Old 5th March 2018, 21:33
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Found a manual on line. ...........Signals. Automatic. m.w. transmitter Twelve four-second dashes separated by one-second spaces followed by distress signal three times and one long dash.
s.w. transmitter
Distress signal three times followed by a long dash of approximately 30 seconds. By telegraph key on the front panel.
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  #7  
Old 5th March 2018, 22:38
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Gentlemen, thanks for your responses. I understand the Salvita in question is being brought to a meeting of former R/Os in Limerick on Thursday and they they are going to have a look. I have been sent this photo of the top of a Salvita and you can see the plate there, I am not sure if this is actually from the Salvita in question. I personally cannot remember Salvita's having a cut out cam with call sign on it like an AKD but it was a long time ago.
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File Type: jpg 5144 2 Marconi Salvita III Lifeboat Set.jpg (260.2 KB, 60 views)
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  #8  
Old 6th March 2018, 08:53
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It is a good punt but I don't believe ship's callsigns were installed in the auto-key on these sets. Good luck!

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  #9  
Old 6th March 2018, 09:31
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Weren't these things intended to float, I remember from the weight of the Salvita I never thought it would, but was never brave enough to put it to the test.
Bill
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  #10  
Old 6th March 2018, 13:07
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I think they were watertight rather than able to float, the one at Grimsby College was given a float test in the dock and didn't.
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  #11  
Old 6th March 2018, 13:58
Bill Greig Bill Greig is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Woods View Post
I think they were watertight rather than able to float, the one at Grimsby College was given a float test in the dock and didn't.
Yes Dave, watertight definitely, but I think the floating thing was an urban myth!
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  #12  
Old 6th March 2018, 14:06
jimg0nxx jimg0nxx is offline  
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I vaguely remember hearing of one being given a float test in a ship's swimming pool. Not a very good result as the bottom of pool was cracked by the encounter and made unusable. Guess the R/O was not very popular after that.
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  #13  
Old 6th March 2018, 15:39
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Just found the following............ see no. 4
By referring to the Merchant Shipping (Radio) Rules, the full specification for portable lifeboat equipment can be seen. However, for convenience, some of the requirements are listed below. The Rules state that the equipment shall be so designed and constructed that:
(1) It is contained in a single unit (with the exception of the aerial and aerial mast).
(2) An unskilled person can erect the aerial system and, without difficulty, by simple operation and automatic means, transmit the alarm and distress signals.
(3) It is readily portable by one person.
(4) It is watertight and capable of floating in water.
(5) It can radiate type A2 waves continuously (but not simultaneously) on the frequencies of 500 kc/s and 8,364 kc/s.
(6) The carrier wave shall be modulated to a depth of 100 per cent by a wave of rectangular character, so that the carrier wave is switched on for not more than 50 per cent and not less than 30 per cent of a modulation cycle.
(7) The receiver shall be a fixed-tuned receiver which shall be capable of receiving type A2 waves in the band 490-510 kc/s when used with headphone
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  #14  
Old 6th March 2018, 17:52
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I am not sure about a floating requirement. I clearly remember seeing an absurd instruction leaflet showing webbing holding keeping operator and set loosely attached to one another and floating. Or perhaps the kite aerial was also supposed to provide support.

One key of course is that what is done for type approval testing does not form part of a routine on-board test regimen.
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  #15  
Old 6th March 2018, 19:15
freddythefrog freddythefrog is offline  
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Lifeboat radios

Regarding lifeboat radio I did hear a story that happened in Newcastle
that a new ship just been fitted out had the owner on board the ship
and read on the lifeboat radio THIS WILL FLOAT
They actually tried this and threw the lifeboat radio over the side to test it and this lifeboat radio was never seen again!!
A new one had to be re-ordered.
I would have wished I was there to witness it to see the look on the faces of the owner and ships/shoreside installation engineers.
cheers 73's de ftf
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  #16  
Old 6th March 2018, 21:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddythefrog View Post
Regarding lifeboat radio I did hear a story that happened in Newcastle
that a new ship just been fitted out had the owner on board the ship
and read on the lifeboat radio THIS WILL FLOAT
They actually tried this and threw the lifeboat radio over the side to test it and this lifeboat radio was never seen again!!
A new one had to be re-ordered.
This happened in Sunderland and involved a successor to the Salvita, one of the Clifford and Snell range of PLEs, three generations of which Marconi marketed under the name Survivor. Unfortunately the ship's superintendent, who instigated the impromptu test, overlooked the fact that the removable lid of the equipment formed part of the water-tightness of the device and failed to ensure that it was properly attached and sealed. As a consequence when it hit the water, the cover was displaced and the equipment rapidly filled with water and sank. I think that the MIMCo technician doing the handover was the late Bill Meeks, but I can't be sure of that since my memory isn't good for names. As the ship was about to go on sea trials, a replacement had to be rushed down from Newcastle depot.

I can confirm that all the types of PLE supplied by MIMCo, from Salvita onwards did float, in both salt water and fresh water, because I have observed them being tested. I also recall being at the testing of the Survivor III PLE by the Norwegian authorities. The equipment was dropped three times from a bridge more than 20 metres high into the fjord. It was a very stressful experience - not only for the equipment but also for me. Whilst I had no doubts that the equipment float and would survive the fall into the water, it was early Spring and the fjord was dotted with ice floes, drifting in the current. From time to time they would float under the bridge below the testing site. Whilst I was keen to supervise the preparation of the equipment before each drop test, I was even keener to stop them dropping it onto a solid lump of ice.

Between us, the tests were completed without incident and the equipment was approved for supply to Norwegian flag vessels.
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  #17  
Old 7th March 2018, 00:05
freddythefrog freddythefrog is offline  
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lifeboat radios

Hyer Ron
Thanks for the info ref testing of lifeboat radios.
You probably know that when stories are told then retold a few times
the facts do tend to change somewhat.
The way I told the story was the way I heard it from others
but its nice to know that I did get the east coast correctly.!
Good to hear you were at the testing of lifeboat radio over in Norway
and that they do actually float I bet you were a bit stressed at them being dropped from bridge wings and still seing them floating.
I always wondered if they would actually float but never had the nerve to try it myself.
Cheers 73's de ftf
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  #18  
Old 7th March 2018, 12:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Woods View Post
Just found the following............ see no. 4
By referring to the Merchant Shipping (Radio) Rules, the full specification for portable lifeboat equipment can be seen. However, for convenience, some of the requirements are listed below. The Rules state that the equipment shall be so designed and constructed that:
(1) It is contained in a single unit (with the exception of the aerial and aerial mast).
(2) An unskilled person can erect the aerial system and, without difficulty, by simple operation and automatic means, transmit the alarm and distress signals.
(3) It is readily portable by one person.
(4) It is watertight and capable of floating in water.
(5) It can radiate type A2 waves continuously (but not simultaneously) on the frequencies of 500 kc/s and 8,364 kc/s.
(6) The carrier wave shall be modulated to a depth of 100 per cent by a wave of rectangular character, so that the carrier wave is switched on for not more than 50 per cent and not less than 30 per cent of a modulation cycle.
(7) The receiver shall be a fixed-tuned receiver which shall be capable of receiving type A2 waves in the band 490-510 kc/s when used with headphone
Hi
Don't know about (3)? When we went to lifeboat drill, they always sent two seamen to the radio room to fetch the L/Boat tx, it was a fairly heavy lump.
Like ftf, I have heard many stories of the kit being thrown in the dock and never seen again. Its not a fair test because the Salvita was so heavy, it would probably take a long time for the only slight positive buoyancy to take effect so it would probably bomb into the mud and get stuck. Glad to hear in the later posts that there is sound origins for these stories.

Best Wishes
Alan
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  #19  
Old 7th March 2018, 13:06
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Was the Salvita the big round dustbin looking one? They were often under the radio room desk and Marconi sent out a memo telling ROs not to put their feet up om them as it weakened the lid.

John T
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  #20  
Old 7th March 2018, 14:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
Was the Salvita the big round dustbin looking one? They were often under the radio room desk and Marconi sent out a memo telling ROs not to put their feet up om them as it weakened the lid.

John T
John, yep, that's the one. When I sailed with it, it was in the corner of the radio room on a made to measure wooden base, held in place by a leather strap and buckle. Took two guys to carry it out for lifeboat drill.
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  #21  
Old 16th March 2018, 01:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
Was the Salvita the big round dustbin looking one? They were often under the radio room desk and Marconi sent out a memo telling ROs not to put their feet up om them as it weakened the lid.

John T
I donít recollect any lifeboat radio being kept in the radio room. On Mobil Oil tankers the radios, (one aft, one midships) were kept in wooden boxes adjacent to a lifeboat.
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  #22  
Old 16th March 2018, 12:52
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Originally Posted by Wismajorvik View Post
I don’t recollect any lifeboat radio being kept in the radio room. On Mobil Oil tankers the radios, (one aft, one midships) were kept in wooden boxes adjacent to a lifeboat.
The Salvita was indeed the 'dustbin' portable lifeboat equipment. I carried one to all lifeboat drills on every ship that I sailed on except for the last one, which had a Marconi/Clifford & Snell Survivor. (I also carried a few when involved as a shore technician).

The PLE was stored in the Radio Room on every ship that I sailed on, usually in the knee-hole beneath the operating desk. Hence the request/warning not to rest your feet on it.
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