Radio coms for Lightships/Lighthouses (?) - Ships Nostalgia
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Radio coms for Lightships/Lighthouses (?)

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  #1  
Old 6th September 2019, 20:15
Worldspan Worldspan is offline
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Radio coms for Lightships/Lighthouses (?)

I know the Royal Sovereign lightship had RT. Back in the 1950s there was a net every evening at 10pm when they would exchange greetings and chit-chat with other lightships. This was on the marine band ... just below the medium wave on our broadcast rx at home. However, I could hear them well enough because our Pye b/c rx also had what was described as 'trawler band'. I guess the crew members were also able to make link calls via coast stations.

But when did lightships get equipped with RT? How did they communicate before this? Perhaps with lamps to a coastguard? Did they ever use WT? If so, I presume they had an R/O on board.

Further to the above, when did RT come in for merchant ships? Was it in general use before WW2?

I suppose many lighthouses had a standard telephone line. There was certainly one stretching down from the cliff top to Beachy Head lighthouse. But what about distant ones such as the Eddystone? Were they 'on the phone'?

Of course, many of the lightships would have received their post and provisions from local boatmen on a fairly regular basis.

Would be interested to read comments ...

W

Last edited by Worldspan; 7th September 2019 at 14:10..
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  #2  
Old 6th September 2019, 23:40
holland25 holland25 is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1956 - 1970
 
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I joined Harrison's Speaker in Manchester in summer 1956 and she had just been refitted with a Marconi Oceanspan which had 2182 band R/T installed. The old RCA original fit had been discarded, she was a SAM boat. I did a trip down to South Africa and the R/T feature was a great novelty, both with other Harrison boats which had just been fitted, and with the South African coast stations.The Captain took delight in seeing what range he could get,we had a schedule with a UK bound T&J which established a distance of about 2000 miles.In fact the Captain made a link call with UK a long way out of the supposed coverage of GLD,he lied about his position. I mention this because the senior members of the crew had all been at sea prior too and during the war, and as I said the R/T was a source of wonder.
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Old 7th September 2019, 08:14
Worldspan Worldspan is offline
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Thanks for the info. I don't remember Orontes having the MF marine RT band in 1959 ... if we did, it was never used. Would the marine VHF band have been in operation at that time? Sorry but I don't understand 'SAM boat' - (uncle Sam, Liberty ship?)
W
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Old 7th September 2019, 15:39
holland25 holland25 is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Sorry about the SAM boat,yes it was a Liberty Ship.I believe that a number were allocated to the UK and had names beginning with the prefix SAM . The speaker had originally been called the Lilian Moller and became the SAMBALT before it was the Speaker.

With regard to VHF that same year,1956, my first ship was the Parthia and we had a VHF set which we used when we got to New York. I think it may have been used to contact the pilots.
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