R/O to ETO - Page 4 - Ships Nostalgia
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R/O to ETO

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  #76  
Old 27th July 2020, 09:36
Piecesofeight Piecesofeight is offline
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I never really had a problem with the Engineers I sailed with.
No you're right, I'm allowing my memory to be jaundiced by later years when I ran into C/Es who preferrred ETOs wtih a shipyard background and thought ex R/Os weren't too keen on the e/r work which has more than a grain of truth in it. Certainly the early years with Wallemship were ok when myself and the engineers had very little to do with each other apart from meeting at the dinner table and in the bar.

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The tape recorder/auto alarm thing was puzzling...mind you, it came from the same brains trust (MCA) who decided that the 500 watch could be dispensed with ashore prior to the full implementation of the GMDSS on 1 Feb 99...and then closed all the properly engineered coast stations and replaced them with a 250w Skanti operating into a whip antenna....but I digress..
I've tried hard to remember what happened with the auto alarm on the Alcan ships and my conclusion is that it must have been left on all the time and tested morning and evening. I don't remember it ever going off so perhaps I was just lucky because we weren't set up to deal with the consequences as in no watch keeping and so on, I don't think I ever looked for or found a morse key on the NV although there must have been one somewhere in a cupboard.
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  #77  
Old 27th July 2020, 10:06
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Originally Posted by Piecesofeight View Post
No you're right, I'm allowing my memory to be jaundiced by later years when I ran into C/Es who preferrred ETOs wtih a shipyard background and thought ex R/Os weren't too keen on the e/r work which has more than a grain of truth in it.

The Engine Room?! Ahhh, no thanks old chap, I would get my boiler suit dirty...

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  #78  
Old 27th July 2020, 11:12
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Varley Varley is offline   SN Supporter
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Originally Posted by John Gowers View Post
What rankles still is that when Eurofreighter went to be re-engine, on the recommendations of the Chief and Old Man I applied for and got an E/O's position. Zero seniority. Nick Dunbar (one of the few others successfully then to "cross the plates") was approached by Denholm to do the same. The bugger was offered a year's seniority.


Hi Varley,
Just came across this thread The mention of Nick Dunbar brought back memories of the Euroliner around 1974/75 where I sailed with Nick Dunbar on a couple of trips. I remember him moaning because he had first trip junior RO in the radio room and he had to go and finish off sending off some long message as the junior got cramp in his hand sending them.
John
It is good to hear of those times, John. I am not sure Nick would think that well of me now. Harry Gilbert had the idea of us both taking turns as Super and as ECO Samudra Suraksha. I put the kibosh on it - having "Got the foreman's job at last" I was not going to relinquish it so easily. There was also the matter of leave. Or rather the matter of there seeming to be no opportunity in Harry's scheme for either of us to get any! (I doubt the Junior concerned was Phyllis. She, he married).

Nick did get the plum seagoing job (I hope he thought so) on Alliance and then left to join the Antarctic Survey and I am sure is now retired.

But the imbalance of that year's seniority still rankles!

Last edited by Varley; 27th July 2020 at 11:29.. Reason: plumbing on the brain. This is just plum
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  #79  
Old 27th July 2020, 11:28
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Originally Posted by P.Arnold View Post
And grease in the rotating joint as a result of over enthusiastic R/Os
Pumping in the grease, following the planned maintenance manual, but waiting for the squiggly grease worm to come out of the grease nipple, just like you did on the ball joints of a Morris 1000. (Other vehicles as well, no doubt)
Goodness I have left myself open for abuse, particularly the squiggly from the nipple.
Ah well such is life
Peter
I am sure that an incident on one of the Seaspread Class was caused by Planned Maintenance too. Brass terminal on HV transformer in alternator excitation fixed with nut and bell washer. Call was for 'check tightness'. Precise torquing up of nut with bell washer not plain sailing (with spring washer it is more intuitive). Stud sheared in service. Conductor flapped about, short circuit. Differential protection impressively effective at minimising damage although the positioning ability was still lost.
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  #80  
Old 27th July 2020, 12:10
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Originally Posted by Piecesofeight View Post
Lucky you, I was at Greenhithe and while the radar training was good it left us a bit short when the magnetron, klystron and TR cell went up the wall but I got round that by swapouts which usually improved things. Not my preferred way of fault finding but it was effective.



I used to make a point of making friends with at least two people on board, first the cook, then the 2nd engineer. Because we all need to eat and as R/O I often needed metalwork fixed for which I didn't have the tools. The 2/E would talk to the fitter who would then make me a threaded pipe, or weld a bracket or whatever and in return I would fix cassette recorders or whatever came my way. It worked very well.



I can fight my corner. It's a good job we didn't meet in 1992 I would have had a few choice things to say to him and vice versa.
Let me assure you that had I known that someone so aggressively unambitious was slated to hold my baby I would have gone out of my way to ensure you were not offered such psychologically inappropriate employment. (Even if this meant shooting myself in the foot as you seem to have been effective).

I must also defend the three chiefs you claim to have bullied you. I knew of only one, and he long gone by then, who met that description (and those he did bully seemed oblivious to it). That defence, with as little evidence against as for, must necessarily be blind. As for your one exception, were he and I still with the Diamond D I would recommend that he went somewhere and got the sainthood beaten out of him.

Last edited by Varley; 27th July 2020 at 13:27..
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  #81  
Old 27th July 2020, 13:40
Piecesofeight Piecesofeight is offline
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Firstly I must ask which charm school you went to because I must ensure my own offspring avoid it for fear of blighting the rest of their lives.

Moving on as one must ...

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Let me assure you that had I known that someone so aggressively unambitious was slated to hold my baby I would have gone out of my way to ensure you were not offered such psychologically inappropriate employment.
Thank you for the compliment.

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(Even if this meant shooting myself in the foot as you seem to have been effective).
Thank you for the compliment, here's the proof that I was effective.

[Link removed for privacy by op]

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I must also defend the three chiefs you claim to have bullied you.
This is a complete and utter misrepresentation of what I said and does not accord with my history at sea. I did not work on more than one Alcan ship and therefore cannot have worked for three c/e known to you. I worked for one and he was the good one. I'm not going to quote names or even initials on here outside PM because I don't want to get personal or enter a slanging match.

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I knew of only one, and he long gone by then, who met that description (and those he did bully seemed oblivious to it). That defence, with as little evidence against as for, must necessarily be blind. As for your one exception, were he and I still with the Diamond D I would recommend that he went somewhere and got the sainthood beaten out of him.
The one I'm thinking of was fairly shot away by the time we parted company so I'm certainly not going to cast aspersions in that direction. I think he'd spent too much time with the CPP (controllable pitch propeller - which was causing problems) but was a jovial soul.

May I say what a pleasure it has been sparring with you and as somebody is reputed to have said to Churchill, if you were my husband I'd poison your coffee.

Last edited by Piecesofeight; 27th July 2020 at 18:05..
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  #82  
Old 27th July 2020, 13:46
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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If he were my wife I would poison my own.

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  #83  
Old 27th July 2020, 13:54
Piecesofeight Piecesofeight is offline
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LOL!

It's all bluster, if we ever met in a pub he'd be fine after a pint, or three. I'm not sure how many it would take.

Last edited by Piecesofeight; 27th July 2020 at 13:57..
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  #84  
Old 27th July 2020, 16:34
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Ah, the 'not in a team' code! (Stop! There was no such code! Not that I know of anyway).

If you say so but the gist still seems to me to impugn the Chiefs and your unhappinesses as only Denholm's I am pleased to hear that they were not and that you managed to be miserable working for someone else as well. Perhaps it wasn't all our fault after all.

For once you are right, a few pints would probably allow me the loquacity to persuade you of your life course error (and I do not think I am not being 'fine' here either. As you have pointed out you are 'returning service' ).

However the only time I have found that alcohol had an effect of anything but a lessening of ability was when I received a very public call from the new Chairman (A-E) after an Email of mine to a colleague in Hong Kong (one who had seen the light earlier and resigned although I didn't know it at the time) and which could have been called bullying. That night the gin did make me feel better, very frightening even for one well within the envelope of alcoholic. It certainly drove me dry for a day or two. The Text?:

Along the lines of "What about an organigram ............ we mushrooms no longer even see the crack of light round the door when the open it to throw in the manure".The Chairman for heaven's sake, surely with better things to do.

(Regrettably the Churchill quote is apocryphal)

Edit:
Line two is not what I meant as written. To wish anyone unhappiness would be vile. To be glad that all the unhappiness was not caused by Denholm is not so unbalanced and is what I meant to say.

And that is where I leave this almost one to one conversation.

Last edited by Varley; 28th July 2020 at 11:17.. Reason: As detail
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  #85  
Old 28th July 2020, 08:19
P.Arnold P.Arnold is offline
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first trip junior RO in the radio room

75- 77 signed on Denholms GTV’s as ECO, With junior R/Os who either had less than 6 months sea time or needed that little bit more experience. I personally cannot recall too many issues with any of the 8 I sailed with.

Silence Periods, wasn’t it about this time (75-77) that H8 watchkeeping changed from 2 on 2 off; to 4 on and the balance of 4 being used as and when necessary, effectively making “manual” monitoring of SP’s in effective.

Incidentally, I have enjoyed my life throughout, irrespective of career position, changes.

However my wife does say I let most things go by, except a blonde with big boobs.
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  #86  
Old 28th July 2020, 11:51
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At least we don't seem to have done you any harm Peter although I think the GTVs offered a radically different opportunity to doing the same in "The Outside Fleet" as we used to rather snobbishly refer to them. I was just joining my first when you were leaving (John Benn, Asialiner then regular on Eurofreighter until re-engining). Only BFO for me. My regret at the time was that they ended my regret now is that I made no effort to encourage/allow my juniors any part in MY new empire. Had they not ended when they did I would not have gone on to equally interesting and longer lasting 'things' elsewhere - all enjoyable. Would that it were possible for everyone to be as happy in their employment as I was, a rare and very lucky thing. I can see a FT4C maintenance manual, along with others, as I type (not that I sailed with the C engine) - they would have been chucked if I hadn't got them. Quite ridiculous I know but it is Nostalgia.

(I don't remember that change in general watchkeeping regime - perhaps a detail in the Navtex exemption? But then I only did one bit of morse work throughout - John Gatherer demanded that I take the Christmas morning weather forecast. No, not to give the boy an hour off, but so that no one else would know it wasn't bad enough to keep us alongside Bremerhaven until after lunch - his prognosis.

Last edited by Varley; 28th July 2020 at 11:56..
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  #87  
Old 28th July 2020, 12:53
P.Arnold P.Arnold is offline
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David

I found being an ECO was so different and satisfying. I had all the help I could wish for from every engineer, some may have thought me green, but in the absence of criticism I was comfortable in the tasks we did together. I was on the Eurofreighter in Falmouth when we went to BFO, and the ginormous CPP.

I always, nearly, spent the last watchkeeping stint of the day in the radio room, chatting, as you do. Only one R/O showed any interest in the career change.

When Comsat General came onboard to discuss Satcom (76 ish) I thought times they are a changing. In subsequent years I must have met hundreds of R/O, most of whom had no inclination.

In 1986, I ended up selling the ruddy things, Satcoms, that is.
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  #88  
Old 28th July 2020, 20:01
Piecesofeight Piecesofeight is offline
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JRC built the best Inmarsat A above decks equipment. One flywheel and one motor to drive it.

STC built one too but it had four flywheels, four motors to drive them with eight bearings, all of which I had to change on the NV. When I joined the NV the noise on the monkey island was like a waterfall and it was all coming from those bearings.

P.

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  #89  
Old 28th July 2020, 22:56
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Agreed again. I had a JUE 5a (Marisat Not 35 or 45) terminal still working in this century. It could no longer work telex (something to do with LES addressing) but managed Email quite well over a voice circuit.

(We would have liked JRC kit on the NKK Newbuildings just as the yard would have liked Alcan to pay the extra for it but they were not on the makers list. With quality comes price and the money had really been stretched in building in Japan in the first place).
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  #90  
Old 29th July 2020, 00:09
Bill.B Bill.B is offline  
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JRC JUE-45 best ever satcom made.
Marconi Oceanray worst satcom ever made. It was beaten by the dual system Oceanray, closely followed by the Mobile Telesystems 9100 at least the dome fell off and there was nothing to fix unlike the Oceanray.
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  #91  
Old 29th July 2020, 01:24
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Surely the ESZ-5(?)000 was the worst ever. Although my colleagues in Hong Kong were persuaded to put a non approved terminal aboard which was never commissioned. I don't remember the Oceanray as all that troublesome although no one approached JRC for reliability - not with steerable aerials anyway.
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  #92  
Old 29th July 2020, 03:38
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The JRC W/T equipment, particularly the last generation, was really good.

Their GMDSS gear was awful...
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  #93  
Old 29th July 2020, 12:06
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One client and we had a bad year with two new sisters with first generation Furuno GMDSS outfits. That generation went on to reveal further built in issues (like memory support batteries). The third vessel came out with JRC kit despite the owners having been offered compensation for the first two. I have no memories either way on that kit but it would be then have been second generation (or at least first generation "plus")

Warranty periods may cover infantile failures but they do not cover their drain on management resources. Duplication usually guaranteed and exemption would be granted (one surveyor, by then not a specialist, suggested it was not necessary because that was what duplication was designed for - not altogether wrong but no defence against port state control)
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  #94  
Old 29th July 2020, 13:35
Bill.B Bill.B is offline  
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#92 Troppo I fully agree. JRC console on Dart Atlantica was a lovely station to use. As you said GMDSS was another matter. Most ships who had it when I inspected them could not operate the telex and struggled with the Sat C units. Nothing was intuitive. My Dutch colleague was the JRC man and approached each job with trepidation. He spent days trying to fix the JSS SSB units. Retrofitting a different GMDSS station was a nightmare due to the SSB combined PA/PSU/Battery charger. Their big ship radars were pretty good though.
Sorry Varley never came across an ESZ5000 satcom. Marconi like JRC never seemed to get it right when GMDSS came along. Furuno nailed it in all avenues.
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  #95  
Old 29th July 2020, 14:34
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A 2006 post by Ron reminds me that it was the Navidyne ESZ 8000, hopeless and did not remain long on Sperry's books after they took over.

The never commissioned terminal my Hong Kong colleagues acquired was made by RDI (Radar Devices Inc.).

For the first GMDSS kit support in the Northeast UK support under warranty was fine. My later experience in a worldwide trading fleet with many Furuno radars was not so good especially spares. They had an awful lot of models and variants on the go which cannot have made it easy but we did once get down to having no working radar and that is a position no administration is going to agree to a an exemption. A new set was available and expediency dictated that we purchased it instead of repairing so sailed with one. Not unusual to have an exemption on those terms.

(We did have a lightning strike which took out both radars, Decca I think in an exceedingly difficult port. I never asked how she got to the port where support had been arranged!)

JRC were second off the mark with the S band solid state transceiver but we did not meet the criteria for a set on trial discount. HAd to be regular in and out of Japan so they could visit their baby. I did manage to get a SharpEye fitted but had to beg on hands and knees.
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  #96  
Old 29th July 2020, 15:01
Baulkham Hills Baulkham Hills is offline  
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You are so right Navidyne Satcom A was the most useless piece of equipment I think I ever sailed with, 4 gyros in the dome constantly failing and in the BDE 4 PCB's which were matched so all had to be replaced to have a hope of working.
The Sperry replacement I think had 8 gyros but was rubbish as well. Eventually JRC Satcom A was fitted which was absolutely great.
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  #97  
Old 1st August 2020, 08:46
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The best GMDSS gear?

Thrane and Thrane Inm C
Skanti DSC9001 DSC controller
Skanti TRP 8000 series or 9000 series HF


Streets ahead.
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  #98  
Old 1st August 2020, 08:52
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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Seconded.
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  #99  
Old 1st August 2020, 12:00
Bill.B Bill.B is offline  
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Agree T&T 3020 Saat C was the best Sat C ever. However they mucked it up when the ID went to the antenna and it was a case of registering one if you changed the antenna. Furuno never fell into that trap and the Falcon 15 onwards beat the T&T hands down.
Sailor 2000 telex and DSC were my favourite but the SSB had huge PA failure issues. Later Sailor systems were pretty poor. Whoever came up with the SSB/Telex system with no screen should have been kicked in the Kroners. You had to read the printer to know what was going on. It should never have been type approved. Skanti SSB was a good unit but the keypads didn’t last same for vhf and DSC modems. Most American made marine equipment was way below the rest of the world manufacturers. Magnavox Satnav being the exception.
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  #100  
Old 2nd August 2020, 19:23
Dave McGouldrick Dave McGouldrick is offline
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#94
MV Crown Monarch (Cruise ship): First survey after R/Os had been given the heave, it turned out that none of the deck officers had a GMDSS ticket. The surveyor decreed that ship was going nowhere. The owner paid ( don't know how much) for a lecturer from NY to come down, sail (using his ticket for the regulation) and do the course for the mates and old man during the 7 day cruise.
Nice little number for him.....
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