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What's the worst coast station you ever worked - or didn't work ???

Did a couple of trips down to Monrovia to load iron ore (on the Ribblehead I think). The local coast station I seem to remember was ELC and he must rate right up there amongst the poorest.

Anyone worked Aden Radio ZNR - I seem to remember he wasn't particularly good either - or is old age playing tricks with my memory ?

When I was with Fyffes (who by then were owned by United Fruit) the owners were very insistent we clear traffic via certain stations. I think United Fruit were somehow tied up with Tropical Radio (maybe owned Tropical ?) so we were expected to use them to keep costs down. I think WAX was one of theirs and and having traffic handed in on the last watch of the day for the owners in Boston often meant you were in for a long watch... The story was that Tropical had a few ship stations and they all had the same calling frequencies on HF so that's where WAX listened. If it got boring the op would quickly scan the band then return to the Tropical channel...

Also sailed to Puerto Barrios and Puerto Cortez in Central America - I think the ops at those stations had their straw hats permanently pulled down over their faces and were dozing - or couldn't find the on/off switch - I NEVER heard either of them on air !!!
 

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VKT Nauru.
Don't think they ever listened for traffic.
They did - but, and this is no excuse, the ops there were also very busy with landline links to Oz. It was a case of knowing when to call them and then being patient and wait for the reply.

Steve.
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When in Barron Murray/GWES, I actually made the effort to visit C2N (Nauru Radio).

Old gear....but the thing that stood out was a hand written note stuck under the prespex top of the operating console that said:

Maintain the integrity of Nauru Radio

(LOL)
 

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The US Coast Guard station on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal was a difficult one to raise,probably due to the constant heavy static. The Indonesian coast stations were OK to work it seemed to be the internal comms that let them down. I sent a message through Djakarta for Surabaya,a first trip mistake,I think they are still waiting delivery.
 

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It's all so long ago, but I also recall ASK as particularly ghastly. But some of the worst service was also from a French HF RT station when I was serving on Italian vessels. One of their operators actually told me to shut up once as I persisted in trying to raise his station. Suez was also a problem - I could never ever work out why its service had such a restricted range - you could only ever get hold of it when you were virtually on top of it. Was it SUK?

I grew to love and hate IAR - particularly for RT - by the time you got your turn the sun was into another cycle and comms was no more. But they were busy! Evey man and his dog on the Italian ships wanted to phone home just about every day. The trouble was that IAR was so cheap. The volume of calls fell considerably when this 'marconista' started sending calls through Bern, Portishead and elsewhere! I am still haunted by the musical tones of Italians as they tracked me down no matter where I might be resting: : 'Hey! MArconista! Quando possible telefonare?!" But that's another thread - maybe I should start one for those of us who 'went Italian'!
Happy days.
 

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I know there were exceptions, but the vast majority of radio stations between about 30N and 30S were crap.

It was a waste of time calling when the book said they were listening, because mostly they didn't. The best thing to do was wait for their traffic list and call straight after that, with luck they would be listening for a few minutes.

John T
 

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GNI or Niton on VHF (okay, I'm not a sparks) ever efficient, but often worth a listen as they handled traffic.

Two contrasting operators, one with a laid back Southern accent that made you visualise him in pyjamahs, the other clearly feeling a deep sense of urgency. I once heard him telling a vessel that was queuing for a link call, "Don't be so impatient!"

However the best was another operator dealing with a vessel I shan't name. After a routine call the man rather alienated listeners, eavesdroppers and Niton by saying, "This is personal. Wait 'til I clear the bums and stiffs out of the wheelhouse."

Then he booked an interflora delivery of a dozen red roses with the message, "Ma petite fleur, will you marry me?"

Niton asked for a signature and the vessel replied, "That's all right, she'll know where it came from." To which Niton answered, "Maybe she gets lots like that."

If the perpetrator of that excellent riposte reads this I offer my envious congratulations. I wish I'd said it, but maybe I will.
 

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............. one with a laid back Southern accent that made you visualise him in pyjamahs,..................
Ah - Rodney ..... he was famous amongst some who were returning from deep sea and waiting their turn for a R/T link call. Actually met him ashore in later years and worked with him overseas. A nice chap who's demeanour matched his 2mHz transmitted voice. (LOL)



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Anyone remember that station at the top of the Persian (now Arabian) Gulf that one tried to contact to arrange a Pilot for I think Rastanura - calling, calling with just the sound of static - to the point that you felt the apocalypse had arrived ?

Bob
 

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When I was with Fyffes (who by then were owned by United Fruit) the owners were very insistent we clear traffic via certain stations. I think United Fruit were somehow tied up with Tropical Radio (maybe owned Tropical ?) so we were expected to use them to keep costs down. I think WAX was one of theirs and and having traffic handed in on the last watch of the day for the owners in Boston often meant you were in for a long watch... The story was that Tropical had a few ship stations and they all had the same calling frequencies on HF so that's where WAX listened. If it got boring the op would quickly scan the band then return to the Tropical channel...

Also sailed to Puerto Barrios and Puerto Cortez in Central America - I think the ops at those stations had their straw hats permanently pulled down over their faces and were dozing - or couldn't find the on/off switch - I NEVER heard either of them on air !!!
I think that in those days quite a large part of Central America was "owned" by the United Fruit Company. Back in '62 bound Puerto Matias de Galvez (Puerto Barrios). Checked Sparkie's Bible for a suitable coast station and it only mentioned one. I'm sure it was Puerto Barriosradio and that the call sign was TGF. M/F only. Tried calling occasionally from a couple of days out on 500 but never heard him. Eventually, a Panamanian registered ship called me and said words to the effect that I was wasting my time as TGF had closed 15 years previously and that tfc was handled by Tropical Radio. As you say, one of them was Ojus/WAX and I'm fairly sure that another one was Slidell/WNU, but I don't remember any problems working them, WNU in particular I remember as being pretty slick. Strange the little things we remember....we hope.
 

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Anyone remember that station at the top of the Persian (now Arabian) Gulf that one tried to contact to arrange a Pilot for I think Rastanura - calling, calling with just the sound of static - to the point that you felt the apocalypse had arrived ?

Bob


Top of the Gulf might have been Khorramshahr but it's not near Ras Tanura, that's down near Bahrain. Khorramshahr was certainly down there with the worst.

Is the Persian Gulf called the Arabian Gulf now? Surely that depends on which side of the magic carpet you are. Next thing you know they'll be calling Bombay "Mumbai" or something (but not in this house).

John T (formerly of Yorkshire, Teesside, Cleveland and Yorkshire again).
 

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For me possibly the worst - SVA / Athens. Spend hrs QRZ him possibly because wasn't a Greek c/s ? When eventually up on the working freq with a QRY he'd simply forget you and continue working greek vsls instead. Lagos Radio (5TT ?) runs a close 1st also - never QSX on the calling freqs.
Agree "Nasty Rasty" Aramco radio in the gulf cud be a right pain !
"Aah the memories - all part of the fun"

Rgds / 73's
Lamby
 

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Some stations I never got through to in West Africa even being in the harbour you could not raise them. Stations in Zaire and Takoradi Ghana.
Then there was what I called the line of sight stations which they only answered if you were in sight of the station window. Beiruit ODR Malta 9HD. Tripoli, Algiers
After that there were the fictional stations which according to the A.R.L.S. had a full service 22,16,12,8,6,4 and m/f but actually only worked on 8 mhz for 30 minutes after a traffic list, if you were lucky. Guayaquil comes to mind.
If I could not get on a QRY I would try and find the frequency of the ship working the station and call direct
when his traffic was finished. Sometimes it was the only thing that worked. That's where a 2nd main rx and of course a synthezised transmitter came in handy.
Cranky stations Athens SVA Bombay and Hong Kong VPS. HZY.
Powerful stations that never seem to hear your call WCC WSL and WSC unless you were in U.S. economic zone.
Looking at this list it's a wonder I ever sent a telegram at all.
 

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This happened at GKA years ago
R/O tapping microphone "effing thing isn't working"
GRL - Breaksea Light Vessel "Oh yes it is Portishead"
On RML we monitored about 20 different radio stations every day. Never had much trouble with any of them and I worked SVA from the South Atlantic when we picked up four badly burnt Greek crewmen off a cargo ship. (one died unfortunately). As I said before ASK was the worst but that was on another ship.rgds
Graham Powell
 
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