Pacific Watch & Sector Watch at GKA - Page 2 - Ships Nostalgia
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Pacific Watch & Sector Watch at GKA

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  #26  
Old 24th January 2020, 05:36
spaarks spaarks is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Taylor View Post
Yes, that station was Marconi's finest effort. From memory the Conqueror was rated near 1Kw I/P. Unfortunately with the limitations of the standard lump of wire up top it couldn't always perform at its full potential.
It often used to burn out the Pantenna, until they fitted a protection unit....then it just burned out the protection unit! The Pantenna was so useless that people used to dangle wires out the porthole, though I don't recall anybody's radio being burnt out.

Do I recall correctly that the Conqueror had a little window for viewing the PA valve anodes, whose colour, according to the manual, should be "cherry red"? A variation of the proverbial "tune for maximum smoke!"
Another aid to tuning was a neon bulb clagged on the the aerial conductor.

Sorry if I'm off topic.
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  #27  
Old 25th January 2020, 23:10
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Troppo Troppo is offline
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The ship in my pic - Lake Eyre/VJLL had awful tx antennas, as Ron describes: literally bits of wire between masts. The radiation pattern on HF would have been anybody's guess....
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  #28  
Old 25th January 2020, 23:20
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Troppo Troppo is offline
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Talking of proper tx antennas, the best Australian ship I saw in the era of short antennas aft of the accommodation block was a VLCC called William Dampier (she was an old Greek rust bucket, known as "The Greek Tragedy").

She had a lovely main tx antenna that ran forward from the main mast to a midships mast. About 150m long and up in the clear.

Her sigs on 5 ton were at least twice as strong as any other ship...
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  #29  
Old 26th January 2020, 00:18
Buck Taylor Buck Taylor is offline
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Originally Posted by Troppo View Post
The ship in my pic - Lake Eyre/VJLL had awful tx antennas, as Ron describes: literally bits of wire between masts. The radiation pattern on HF would have been anybody's guess....
I remember on one ship which had fairly standard wires in parallel slung from near the funnel to a couple of masts further aft. After a while I discovered that this antenna had directional properties in a fore and aft line. If I couldn't raise a distant HF station for traffic after a couple of goes I'd ask the mate on the bridge to alter course (we were deep sea) so that the ship was pointing roughly in the direction of the desired station and every time I was answered. Mind you not every mate was so obliging.
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  #30  
Old 26th January 2020, 01:05
duncs duncs is offline  
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I had a similar experience to that, Buck. In the Pacific heading E'wards, loaded, but no destination. I knew a QTC with orders was at GKA. Up at all times trying to get a QSO. No joy. Antenna was foremast to mainmast. I spliced about 10M into it in the hope of getting a few extra Watts.
The OM, an elderly gentleman, seeing my frustration, and also his own, suggested, give me a time and I'll alter her to a GC course to GKA. It worked, we got our orders.
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  #31  
Old 26th January 2020, 04:57
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Originally Posted by Troppo View Post
The ship in my pic - Lake Eyre/VJLL had awful tx antennas, as Ron describes: literally bits of wire between masts. The radiation pattern on HF would have been anybody's guess....
Sorry to read you had a bad time on Lake Eyre, Troppo - I thought it was a great ship. As for the aerials, running between Australia and NZ, I didn't find any need to overthink the propagation requirements. She could roll a bit though, sometimes we had to sit on the floor in the bar!

John T
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  #32  
Old 26th January 2020, 21:57
Paul Braxton Paul Braxton is offline  
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Duncs: would that have been with an Oceanspan TX, I wonder?
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  #33  
Old 26th January 2020, 23:45
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Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
Sorry to read you had a bad time on Lake Eyre, Troppo - I thought it was a great ship. As for the aerials, running between Australia and NZ, I didn't find any need to overthink the propagation requirements. She could roll a bit though, sometimes we had to sit on the floor in the bar!

John T
Eyre was OK, just that Barrine was more happy. Probably my fav ship.

Ahhh...the Kiwi coast....
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  #34  
Old 27th January 2020, 01:39
duncs duncs is offline  
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Paul B, yes, an O'span VI and R50M rx. I said in my post I'd added 10M to the main antenna, it should have been 10ft. I still think of Arthur, the OM, for suggesting the GC course to GKA. I wouldn't have thought of it.

Rgds Duncs
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  #35  
Old 27th January 2020, 13:56
IMRCSparks IMRCSparks is offline  
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One big advantage of being fitted with Radio Telex when in the Pacific was that any messages sitting at GKA could be obtained through a local(ish) station. When i got bored with getting out of bed at 2am to try and get a message direct from GKA I would simply put a SITOR call through to GKA's landline via VIP/VIS/ZLB/9VG etc. and get the traffic that way. It obviously cost a little bit more but nothing in comparison to steaming in the wrong direction for an hour or so. Not a luxury you had on a CW only vessel, but then I used to find that my brain was better at resolving multi-path signals than the SITOR equipment.
Kevin.
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  #36  
Old 28th January 2020, 03:14
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Originally Posted by IMRCSparks View Post
One big advantage of being fitted with Radio Telex when in the Pacific was that any messages sitting at GKA could be obtained through a local(ish) station. When i got bored with getting out of bed at 2am to try and get a message direct from GKA I would simply put a SITOR call through to GKA's landline via VIP/VIS/ZLB/9VG etc. and get the traffic that way. It obviously cost a little bit more but nothing in comparison to steaming in the wrong direction for an hour or so. Not a luxury you had on a CW only vessel, but then I used to find that my brain was better at resolving multi-path signals than the SITOR equipment.
Kevin.
That was certainly lateral thinking!
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  #37  
Old 28th January 2020, 11:18
IMRCSparks IMRCSparks is offline  
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I got the impression that it was quite a common method of working as none of the stations that i connected through or GKA were fazed by the request.
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  #38  
Old 28th January 2020, 13:09
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Larry Bennett Larry Bennett is offline  
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I got the impression that it was quite a common method of working as none of the stations that i connected through or GKA were fazed by the request.
It was indeed - we had a dedicated telex machine at GKA (46125 BTGKA G) which was specifically for use by other coast stations for QSP purposes and other correspondence. We simply took the 5-unit tape from the store in the RTT section and fed it through the tape reader on the machine. Job done.
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  #39  
Old 28th January 2020, 23:37
IMRCSparks IMRCSparks is offline  
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Blimey that 46125 BTGKA G brings back some memories. Thank you Larry and your colleagues for the excellent service over the years.
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