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Did Iron Kembla have a Challenger? I don't remember that but it's been a while.

I sailed with that KH gear a few times and thought it was pretty good. Think it was a knock off from Elektrisk Bureau gear which I believe was Danish. Could be wrong on that too.

John T
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Hi trotterdotpom, a lot of the historical information I have is cir***stantial or passed on by others and I am always pleased to receive corrections or supporting comments. However, I have it on good authority that 6 challengers were fitted to 6 Australian bulk ore carriers in the early to mid 80s. It is not hard to guess that these were BHP ships. A bit of digging shows that 6 ships, Iron Whyalla, Spencer, Prince, Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla were built in the period 1981 to 1986. These were built about the time that Challenger was being sold and so are the most likely to have Challengers installed. I also believe from another source that the Challenger and accompanying Marconi console in private hands in Melbourne came from Iron Kembla.
As I say, any information anecdotal or otherwise from the dim recesses of R/O's memory banks is welcome!
Best Wishes - Michael.
 

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No worries, Michael, I'm sure you're right - my memory's not the best. I assume the Challenger is just an improved Conqueror anyway.

I also sailed on Iron Pacific and don't remember the transmitter there either. Pacific and Kembla were both pretty good ships, running from NSW with coal to Korea and Japan respectively and back loading iron ore in NW Australia for Port Kembla and Newcastle. I think Iron Pacific was the biggest ship in the world at the time (200,000 dwt).

Was I right about the Elektrisk Bureau gear? I sailed with that on Iron Baron - purchased by BHP from East Germany and nick named "Hitler's Revenge". I recall the equipment was very reminiscent of the Kelvin Hughes stuff.

John T

PS Whereabouts in Wales is your museum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
No worries, Michael, I'm sure you're right - my memory's not the best. I assume the Challenger is just an improved Conqueror anyway.

I also sailed on Iron Pacific and don't remember the transmitter there either. Pacific and Kembla were both pretty good ships, running from NSW with coal to Korea and Japan respectively and back loading iron ore in NW Australia for Port Kembla and Newcastle. I think Iron Pacific was the biggest ship in the world at the time (200,000 dwt).

Was I right about the Elektrisk Bureau gear? I sailed with that on Iron Baron - purchased by BHP from East Germany and nick named "Hitler's Revenge". I recall the equipment was very reminiscent of the Kelvin Hughes stuff.

John T

PS Whereabouts in Wales is your museum?
As far as I can see the Challenger met the same specification as Conqueror. Physically, the Finals are different, the Challenger has four 4CX350 ceramic tetrodes, the conqueror uses glass valves. Many other circuits are very similar, some such as the Band Oscillator are identical. The frequency generation strategy is the same, but Challenger takes advantage of the later technology.
At the time, early 1980s, the end of the "traditional" radio room was in sight, Satellite systems: Inmarsat etc were on the horizon,; GMDSS was scheduled to be implemented between 1990 and 1999. The design of another 1.5KW separate transmitter was superfluous, when a changing communications environment really demanded a "Black Box" transceiver that could be operated by unskilled personnel.
As a result only 12 out of an initial production run of 20 - 24 were sold - half going to BHP!
I don't know about the Elektrisk Bureau connection but will explore it.
The Museum is Internal Fire - Museum of Power at Tan-y-Groes near Cardigan. Main museum web Site: https://www.internalfire.com/
radio website: http://www.gb2mop.org/
The museum is presently closed until Easter when it will open with a weekend crank-up of engines and radio activity.
Best Wishes - Michael.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
trotterdorpopm,
I've done a bit of digging around for a link to Elektrisk Bureau equipment and can't see a link to Kelvin Hughes, but that doesn't mean there isn't one! I did find the attached picture dated 1973 and so this equipment, the EB1500, would be contemporary with our Kelvin Hughes set up. I can see the similarity in general layout, also the synthesizer freqeuncy setting and display are similar although I suspect that the EB1500 used Nixie tubes. I also notice that we have a manual for the EB1500 in the museum archive.
Can't do more than that at present, but you never know what will turn up when one starts looking!
Michael (GW7BBY/GB2MOP)
 

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KH Zealand station was built by Electromekano (spell) AS of Denmark. Sailed with the stations for KH on many vessels. Denholms, Jebsens, UBC. It was a good station generally. Reserve RX was rubbish. The Main RX had an FET front end preceded by a desense
relay which had a habit of going and taking out the FET. I inherited a couple of vessels where this went unnoticed. Bit of a pain to replace the FET as it was buried in the RX. Other major problem was the large band change relays and coils in the back of the TX. If the HT was left on and the relays activated they tended to arc and stick. Also their coils would burn out and so I had to rewind a couple as well. All in all it was a good station to sail with, especially after Atalanta, Electra and Mercury in the RFA. You knew when you dialed up the RX synthesizer if the station was there or not. Repaired a few as an RH tech as well.
 

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#65 . Thanks Michael. Not to worry, I could be completely wrong. I sailed with the KH gear quite a few times and when I struck the EB stuff it seemed familiar.

Interesting that the advert says the equipment is "one fifth the weight" - I did think that it was a bit "tinny" looking but at least it wouldn't affect the ship's draft.

John T
 

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JT, EB was Norwegian, a lot of it badged stuff.
Best station I ever had. It was on a tanker built for the Norskis.
A huge Norcontrol computer on the bridge, which gave you ACAS, which could be hooked to either the 3 or 10cm Selenia Raytheon radars. It was programmed by punched paper tape. It was also hooked to 2 'early' satnavs, as well as Omega and Loran. Navs would put in waypoints etc and it would steer the ship. When it reached a waypoint, an alarm would sound, the Nav would accept it and it would alter course on its own.
I think the vessel was built around '74.

Duncs
 

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were fitted to 6 Australian bulk ore carriers in the early to mid 80s. It is not hard to guess that these were BHP ships. A bit of digging shows that 6 ships, Iron Whyalla, Spencer, Prince, Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla were built in the period 1981 to 1986. These were built about the time that Challenger was being sold and so are the most likely to have Challengers installed. I also believe from another source that the Challenger and accompanying Marconi console in private hands in Melbourne came from Iron Kembla.
As I say, any information anecdotal or otherwise from the dim recesses of R/O's memory banks is welcome!
Best Wishes - Michael.
Hello Michael

The Whyalla, Spencer and Prince had Conquerors
Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla had Challengers
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Hello Michael

The Whyalla, Spencer and Prince had Conquerors
Pacific, Newcastle and Kembla had Challengers
Thankyou troppo2 for that, it all helps to fill in the history. Whyalla, Spencer and Prince must be the earlier builds, as Challenger didn't come on line until 82/83.
Michael.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
I never cease to be amazed at how much stuff was badge engineered: Kelvin Hughes - Elektromekano; Marconi - Eddystone, Dansk and Dynatron amongst others. I daresay, Seimens and Telefunken stayed true to their roots?
Michael
 

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IMRC too - the IMR 5000 main receiver was a rebadged Plessey PR-155. They also rebadged an Eddystone reserve receiver but I can't recall the model number.
 

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Badging. We all did it, whenever we had a delivery gap or a hole in the product range for whatever reason.

A variation. Back in the late 1960s/early 1970s members of RAMAC (the trade's lobbying organisation) made an agreement that each member company would develop a specific product (e.g. reserve transmitter) which would then be bought and badged by all the other members for sale under their own name. The idea was to avoid the high development costs involved in producing a complete range of products.

The only such product identified for adoption under that scheme of which I am aware was a 400w pep (I think) SSB MF/HF radiotelephone tranceiver (skipper-operated) which was designed and produced by the French RAMAC member CRM (Compagnie Radio Maritime). I was involved in getting UK type approval for it, but I'm afraid I can't remember the year or the type number of the product. It was approved in France first, then the UK and was to go on to Germany and other countries. I don't think we ever bought any and the whole idea was not a success - everyone continued to develop and produce their own major equipments.
 

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My attachment #76was the Siemens E310.receiver.
The finest rx I sailed with before my final QTP and rated one of best for its generation.
The only other E310 contemporary I can think of in the same class was the Racal RA17 which must have made RN and wonder why Mimco and others didn't choose it as a fill-in.
 
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