Wireless room spares - Ships Nostalgia
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Wireless room spares

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  #1  
Old 18th October 2019, 20:59
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Wireless room spares

Any of you fine chaps recall the spares we carried by regulation? Was it two spare valves for each one of that type in use? And three for every two in use? Something of the sort methinks.
I'm thinking of the stocktake we would need to do before the start of voyage. Was the spares cupboard ever inspected and checked by some shore-side authority?
I'm attempting to write a bit of memoir about commissioning Brocklebank's Mawana's wireless gear for her maiden voyage in 1958. Don Butterworth was my boss. Tom Eggleston was Master.
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  #2  
Old 18th October 2019, 21:22
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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The Radio Surveyor in Swansea just looked at my incredibly organised spares cupboard and said OK.
My experience was that when something went wrong it was usually something that wasn't on the spares list. Thankfully the radar spares usually held loads of components !
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  #3  
Old 18th October 2019, 21:35
mikeharrison mikeharrison is offline  
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Wink

I sailed with a R/O on a Ferry who was a bit (ahem!) obsessive about accumulating a shack full of spares and tools and who knew each page in the RS catalogue.

I will always remember meeting the Electrical/Electronics Superintendent coming out of the shack and shaking his head in wonderment and saying "He (the R/O) has got THREE OSCILLOSCOPES!" .

This at a time when no other Ferry in the Fleet even had one Oscilloscope.
:-)
Regards, Mike
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  #4  
Old 19th October 2019, 08:39
P.Arnold P.Arnold is offline
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I recall, for valves. “ one valve for every three of a type, or part thereof”
3 valves of one type carry 1 spare
5 valves, carry 2 spare.

Many valves I found in the spares drawer, “Used but good”
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  #5  
Old 19th October 2019, 09:57
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“Used but good”

Sounds like my stock of light globes and lawn mower spark plugs.

(until you need to use them that is ...............)
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  #6  
Old 19th October 2019, 10:19
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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U B G - now there is a subject that caused problems !!
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  #7  
Old 19th October 2019, 11:01
DickGraham DickGraham is offline  
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I don't remember much about the spares except "Used but Good"!

And, of course, the "dipping fahrenheit thermometer".
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  #8  
Old 19th October 2019, 15:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.Arnold View Post
I recall, for valves. “ one valve for every three of a type, or part thereof”
3 valves of one type carry 1 spare
5 valves, carry 2 spare.

Many valves I found in the spares drawer, “Used but good”
Thank you; that's illuminating. Perhaps Brocklebanks carried more spares - i recall an incident with the HF tx Siemens SB186x. En route up the Hooghli, the main power valve failed (wish I could remember the name of that large valve with an anode top cap).
We had TWO spares for that single valve.
Removed the failure and asked the junior to pass me a spare. He fumbled and dropped it onto the deck - bust. I got the last spare myself and fitted it.
As I attached the connection to the top cap, it broke away from the glass leaving a tiny trace of metal on the pip.
I wrapped a towel around the valve, and another around my face (goggles fitted). With the big valve between my knees, I filed away enough of the glass pip to expose more metal. Then gingerly applied a drop of solder to the tiny bit of wire Then soldered the anode connection in place - whereupon we were back on air.
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Old 19th October 2019, 20:33
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807, 813?
Spare valves, lamps, fuses and brushes. Nothing for the VHF.
AVO minor, couple of bent screwdrivers and a 100 watt soldering iron seemed to be the norm.
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  #10  
Old 19th October 2019, 20:47
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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Luxury - TWO bent screwdrivers. I had to MAKE one on the British Scientist (?) when converting cabins into luxury Apprentice accommodation.
The previous R/O had forgotten to re-order replacements.
Happy Daze.

Last edited by sparks69; 19th October 2019 at 20:50..
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  #11  
Old 20th October 2019, 01:57
duncs duncs is online now  
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You were lucky to have spares!
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  #12  
Old 20th October 2019, 09:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks69 View Post
Luxury - TWO bent screwdrivers. I had to MAKE one on the British Scientist (?) when converting cabins into luxury Apprentice accommodation.
The previous R/O had forgotten to re-order replacements.
Happy Daze.
Did you make it with the bend, or add the bend later
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Old 21st October 2019, 04:13
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1981 I was on board a Hong Kong registered ship calling at a few ports on the Aussie coast. In Sydney the local radio inspector came on board, quite obviously looking for defects due to a cabotage dispute raging in Oz at that time. Unions and inspectors swarming everywhere making life difficult. This bloke could find nothing wrong. The logs and batteries and equipment were all in good order. Finally he put us down for a deficiency; no non-magnetic screwdriver for radar maintenance . Ship agent was scrambled and scoured the shops for said screwdriver, which he found after some hours. Ship was released to sail to next port but we had missed the pilot slot so were one day delayed. True story.
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  #14  
Old 21st October 2019, 12:06
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My visit to a ship at Shellhaven to review some trials equipment coincided with a Post Office survey of the (MIMCo) radio station by the infamous Harry Gilder. A local MIMCo technician was in attendance.

Harry could find nothing wrong with any of the equipment or documentation but eventually said he would not give clearance because the spares were not in compliance with the UK's Radio Rules' requirement that there should be an amount (I believe 1oz.) of petroleum jelly - better known by its trade name, Vaseline. There was indeed a tin of Vaseline (marked with the proper quantity) present in the Radio Room but someone had taken a finger swipe across the surface, removing a small amount of the content. Harry claimed that therefore there was less than the required amount present in the tin and he could not approve the installation as being compliant.

As the ship was due to sail with the tide, the MIMCo technician had to drive posthaste to East Ham depot to collect another tin of Vaseline.

It happened to be a Shell tanker and I'm sure that the engine room had enough suitable grease to submerge the surveyor never mind coat any battery terminals or other metal surfaces needing protection against corrosion, but "rules are rules", "it's more than my job's worth ...."
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Old 21st October 2019, 12:55
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As the seagoing towrag on attachment to East Ham's tech staff one leave it often fell to me to be left holding the Radio Surveyor's hand (not a requirement except when Harry was on the job). A thorough man indeed.

There is the story (possibly Ron's) of his grasping the mains leads to the DF Set only to find that the insulation remained only between the poles and not on the outside where Harry was then completing the circuit across the mains. I am told he swore the technician in attendance to say nothing of the jig that he danced until disconnected and I certainly did not hear that story until he must have been long gone.

I did take the opportunity to have him sign off on my six months sea time and his signature it is on my MRGC (M/57).
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  #16  
Old 21st October 2019, 16:56
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#8 .. Siemens SB186 shortwave transmitter PA valve (RF pentode) 4069A.
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  #17  
Old 21st October 2019, 17:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R651400 View Post
#8 .. Siemens SB186 shortwave transmitter PA valve (RF pentode) 4069A.
That's excellent, good sir. They look to be what I recall. I had it in mind the valve was a beam tetrode - but, as you say, an RF pentode.
You did well to locate that image.
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  #18  
Old 21st October 2019, 20:10
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I had a valve tester on my last ship. Had never seen one before, but it turned out to be part of the Chief Eng's gear and the installers didn't know where it was meant to go. I saw off a couple of the 'Used but Good' valves before I got the measure of it !

Fond memories of the SB186. Not brilliant, but I don't remember any problems - it just worked ok.

David
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  #19  
Old 21st October 2019, 20:52
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#17 ... SB186 info from an old text book and 4069A pic from Fleabay amazingly still available today..
Wouldn't like to comment on why RF pentode and not beam tetrode except what valve manufacturer Siemens preferred.
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  #20  
Old 23rd October 2019, 03:44
duncs duncs is online now  
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I've always thought that MIMCO had somehow acquired a huge amount of 807 beam tetrodes, and designed all their tx,s around it. Never had a problem with it.
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  #21  
Old 23rd October 2019, 07:17
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Philips (Eindhoven) apparently had the patent on RF transmitting pentodes and to get round this British scientists developed the beam tetrod that became the ubiquitous 807 for RF power and KT66 for AF.
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Old 24th October 2019, 10:13
expats expats is offline  
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I took over a ship at very, very short notice in Leith (sailing within hours)..The R/O had already gone so no 'handover'...We'd sailed when I got to looking over the spares cupboard...It looked neat and tidy with an up-to-date list...

Sadly, when I checked the valves, loads looked 'used'..The carboard boxes were opened but the opened end was at the bottom so they all looked new.

Just the one trip up the Baltic and I was off..but my spares demand, on leaving, raised eyebrows at the depot,
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  #23  
Old 24th October 2019, 18:12
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R651400 View Post
Philips (Eindhoven) apparently had the patent on RF transmitting pentodes and to get round this British scientists developed the beam tetrod that became the ubiquitous 807 for RF power and KT66 for AF.
That explains it, but not why they all seemed to be made in the USSR ?
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  #24  
Old 25th October 2019, 00:29
Buck Taylor Buck Taylor is offline
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I know this is a bit off the theme, but I recall when I was R/O on a UASC K class heading for Aqaba in Jordan I think around 1986. I received an msg from the owners saying a complete crew change would take place on arrival Aqaba. It was an all Pakistani contingent that awaited us when we docked. The silver service was swept away and replaced by a large bowl of rice and a bowl of chicken curry...sign of things to come....I got the impression from the RO I was handing over to that they were manning the ship due to our incompetence!
During the handover he insisted I flash up the main transmitter (not permitted in port) as he main occupation would be making R/T calls. I done a quick QSO with GKA to placate him. When I showed him the spares locker, he declared it wasn't his business dealing with such things and that the Lecky would handle that sort of thing.
Fast forward a year and I'm in Liverpool docks on another UASC ship chatting with the Marconi technician who came on board. He told me that the ship in question had arrived in Liverpool without radars and most of the communication/navigation faulty. The entire Marconi tech team spent a week putting the faulty gear back in order before they could sail. So much for cutting costs....
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  #25  
Old 25th October 2019, 01:24
Chris Wordsworth Chris Wordsworth is offline  
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In 1970 I joined a German Hanas Line ship in the middle of the night outside the three mile zone off Cape Town. The ship would not stop so there was no official takeover of the radio room. Early next morning the captain introduced himself and wanted me to send a telegram. He said non of the equipment was working. The first box I opened when looking for spares was full of condoms. A very red faced German captain quickly left with the box saying that it belongs in the medicine chest.
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