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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: ZL1BBW on August 14, 2012, 11:49:54 AM



Title: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: ZL1BBW on August 14, 2012, 11:49:54 AM
The biggest laugh I had was copying the French Wx forecasts, from the Islands right down south, used to take them straight onto a typewriter.  Try that when rolling around on a cargo ship crossing the Southern Ocean.  Did it for so long ended up being able to translate the french forecast straight into english and type it out at the same time.

One bad trip, we hit a big sea, the Radio Room chair broke loose, and slide across the radio office, with the typewriter firmly landed in my lap.  I just sat thee and hoped for a more gentle rebound when I slide back into the desk.  After that I used to chain the B***y chair down, rather than rely on a piece of rope.

When I got my typewriter I made sure it would type as the ship rolled, some of them would not go uphill, and on the downhill roll would double space.

Then there was taking the compulsory news broadcast at night, they used to rattle them off, and give a break dah diddle dah dah diddle dah at the end of every page, so you had time to whip out your 2 or 3 carbon copy lay up, and get the next set in and lined up before dah di dah di dah ..


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on August 14, 2012, 01:35:29 PM
All the old sparky's will come out of the woodwork if you start telling sea stories.

But yes, it was interesting to do morse while in storms and such, and it is amazing how you can tune out the distractions.
I had never had the chair break loose (most were chained), but on a maiden voyage of a new vessel, the weather was so bad the clinometers hit the stops on both sides.

Containers and cars broke free on the vehicle deck and started rolling around (not good for the trim).
The tools and magnetron (heavy) in the radio room cupboards broke the hinges and draw fronts and ended up rolling around the floor like some crazy dodgem car track.
The lightning was striking so close that arcs would bridge the big porcelain insulator on top of the transmitter.

That was the moment I decided it was time to stop working the tropical coast station on 425Khz.

In sparky's school we were taught to use a typewriter for receiving morse, but first were taught to touch type.
It is amazing how much easier it is to receive morse (if you have to write it down as on ships) by typing it.
When writing becomes strained (around 25WPM for me), typing is like going into the slow lane.

Interestingly, we were also taught how to print block letters so that you used an efficient method to maximise speed.
It was a bit like constructing Japanese Kanji with a stroke order.
We were not allowed to use cursive script, only block letters for legibility.

The thing I hated most at sea - the autoalarm, necessary but evil - sparky's will know what I mean.

73 - Rob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: ZL1BBW on August 14, 2012, 05:31:35 PM
We were given the "choice" of learning to touch type, we all thought it was a good idea, all the dolly birds were over that side of the road.  BUT the typing teacher, she was something else, a dragon, on a good day.  We had to do 5 lines of the qbf, all equal darkness, no spelling mistakes before we could leave.

Needless to say , all the "dolly birds" thought we were idiots. :-)


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: K7KBN on August 14, 2012, 06:07:44 PM
The ship I was on was one of the larger ones - aircraft carrier - USS Kitty Hawk.  They say we encountered some bad WX, but I honestly didn't notice it that much.  I used to spend a lot of my off-watch time up on the signal bridge (010 level) and I could copy flashing light as well as any of the signalmen.  One evening after we'd gone through some nasty wind, I was ZWCing (operator to operator, just chatting) with one of the destroyers in company with us.  The poor guy said they had taken green water up to his signal bridge a couple of times, and all the watchstanders were double safety lined to the rails!  I told him that I had to go on watch in Radio Central and wanted to go below to the ship's bowling alley and roll a couple of games first.

His reaction: priceless!  "R R ZWC INT U GUYS GOT A BOWLING ALLEY K".  Had to tell him I was just kidding.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: AB9NZ on August 14, 2012, 08:47:46 PM
Quote
His reaction: priceless! 
  This seafaring telegraphy lore is priceless! tnx for sharing guys. 73 de Tom, ab9nz


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: N3PDT on August 14, 2012, 09:24:14 PM
Quote
His reaction: priceless! 
  This seafaring telegraphy lore is priceless! tnx for sharing guys. 73 de Tom, ab9nz

Agreed! Thanks for the glimpse into the "good old days". 

Here's something I've wondered, and you more experienced guys can probably shed some light on it: I regularly work former military, and some merchant marine, ops. 20 and 30 years ago was it fairly common to run across retired Western Union and rail road operators on the amateur bands? Seems like a few would at least take it up after they didn't have to do for a living anymore.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: ZL1BBW on August 14, 2012, 11:33:48 PM
There are a couple of good sketches re GKA on  ...  http://www.gka.btinternet.co.uk/stories.htm
it would be fair to say that probably much like another radio station there was huge cross section of interests.  Hence the cartoon half way down the page.

Yes there quite a few closet radio amateurs, it was not necessarily a thing, that the """professionals""" viewed very highly sometimes.


Bowling Alley, huh, darts was as good as it got, that was a bit of hit n miss after a few ales, and the odd big roll, dont think anybody ever got injured, but it came close to it sometimes.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on August 15, 2012, 01:24:56 AM

Here's something I've wondered, and you more experienced guys can probably shed some light on it: I regularly work former military, and some merchant marine, ops. 20 and 30 years ago was it fairly common to run across retired Western Union and rail road operators on the amateur bands? Seems like a few would at least take it up after they didn't have to do for a living anymore.

A lot of the sparks I knew were not amateurs when working as RO's, but have become hams after leaving the sea.
In my case it was the reverse - I became an amateur operator at 16 and then looked for a way to do radio and travel.

Watches were pretty long at sea, mine were from 10AM to midnight (broken up of course), so after factoring in meals and a bit of recreation, there was not much time for ham radio.
At sea, on cargo ships there was only one RO, although passenger vessels normally had more.

Radio equipment ranged from some I later saw in a technology museum labelled "typical 1930s shipboard radio" to much more modern equipment. This ship still had voice tubes and real oilskins hanging in the cupboard.
The newer equipment was frequency synthesized and could be modified to operate on ham bands, but of course you would never do that.
The mates would bring their prospective girlfriends to the radio room to view the Elektrisk Bureau transmitter auto-tuning itself. The knobs actually would spin and make quite a racket - perfect for giving them a consoling hug.

Later Radio Officers became Electronics Officers as the electronic equipment become more complex and common.
Typically you would look after all the communications, radar, echo sounders, radio-navaids (Loran etc), Shipboard RF distribution system and anything else which had a transistor in it.

Finally, like flight engineers on commercial aircraft, the RO/EO became a part of history as GMDSS and redundant technology became more attractive than people.
Some RO's trained to become deck officers, and others, like myself went into the computer industry.

C'est fini

73 - Rob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: ZL1BBW on August 15, 2012, 01:45:20 AM
Yep for me, my ham ticket got me into Radio College in place of the 3 A levsl.  Luckily could do 20wpm when went to college so had a crusy year to start with, then had to tidy up the accented letters etc.

Did the night watch for 6 months, long haul london to the pacific, all we had was an Oceanspan 3 x 807 and no area scheme, so not much fun, in the end went freelance for a Scandinavian outfit, now  thats a long tale to tell :-)

Auto Alarm, I still jump when a bell rings, gives me the eeby jeebies.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: K7KBN on August 15, 2012, 02:33:47 PM
Bowling Alley, huh, darts was as good as it got, that was a bit of hit n miss after a few ales, and the odd big roll, dont think anybody ever got injured, but it came close to it sometimes.

Ah!  The RNZN, RAN, RCN and a number of other Commonwealth member Navies and the ales.  Best we could hope for was strong coffee.  I went on builder's trials and sea trials for three RAN frigates back in the '80s.  Now THERE were some wardrooms!


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: N4OI on August 16, 2012, 06:41:20 AM
This is an interesting set of Sparks Journals...

http://www.silentkeyhq.com/main.php4?p=sparksjournal.php4

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN  8)


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: KC9TNH on August 17, 2012, 12:25:28 PM
When I got my typewriter I made sure it would type as the ship rolled, some of them would not go uphill, and on the downhill roll would double space.

Then there was taking the compulsory news broadcast at night, they used to rattle them off, and give a break dah diddle dah dah diddle dah at the end of every page, so you had time to whip out your 2 or 3 carbon copy lay up, and get the next set in and lined up before dah di dah di dah ..
The first is priceless; I could see Red Skelton doing a skit of that...

Something a bit different from the usual W1AW, does anyone know if there are still stations that broadcast CW distillations of news?

STAYVERTICAL: I use quick cursive just sitting around the table, finding it faster than the way Ft Gordon beat it into people. But it's of limited value if someone ELSE has to read it and still, when I'm tired and it starts looking like like a bad EKG, I find myself reverting to block. It's a rhythm thing. I should clear a spot and move my laptop over there...

These reminiscences are great, keep 'em coming.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: K7KBN on August 17, 2012, 01:10:07 PM
I doubt there are any CW news stations any more.  We used commercial RTTY stations for getting up-to-the-minute news, sports and such in the '60s.  At 60 WPM!  Be still my heart!

Sometimes a breaking news story derailed the whole fleet.  I was on watch over the news when we got
a loud series of bells on all press freqs.

Dallas Tex.
Shots fired at presidential motorcade.

More to follow.

dingdingdingdingding.....

Worse than any 500 kHz alarm...


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: KU7I on August 19, 2012, 02:17:32 PM
I reported aboard my first ship in 1987, the USS Downes FF-1070 out of San Diego. Signalmen were still around then and I could copy about ten wpm via light (much faster via the radio of course). I was an ET back then and used to freak out the SM on the bridge but eventually they all caught on that I was a ham. The SM rate is now gone and no one uses light anymore.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: K7KBN on August 19, 2012, 09:00:01 PM
KU7I - were you on the DOWNES when she came to Seattle for repairs/overhaul at Todd Shipyard after returning from being homeported in Japan?


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: ZL1BBW on August 20, 2012, 01:53:54 AM
This is a picture of my first ship MV Hinakura GDVS.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38535102@N04/6336554843/lightbox/

Just aft of the funnel, under the water tanks was the Radio Room.  Chief RO's cabin on Starboard side,  Junior on Port Side.

The hospital was just aft of the radio room from memory.

the Main Aerila was a wire from fore to aft mast with a vertical feed.  It worked really well on 500khz.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: 2E0OZI on August 21, 2012, 02:34:35 AM
I was reading a old copy of KeyNote online and this made me chuckle;

The guy telling the story was a 2nd radio officer and was testing the lifeboat hand crank set as they had to do, in company with the Chief RO. He asked why it was painted bright yellow, "so you can see it when its floating in the sea easily" he was told. And then the chief to prove the point, threw the set in the ships pool, whereupon it sank like a stone.....


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: PA0BLAH on August 21, 2012, 09:29:16 AM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38535102@N04/6336554843/lightbox/

When you want to be an officer you needed secondary school higher level, and after that some military academy, where you possibly learn how to destroy the enemy, in fact that being other people on this planet with their hopes, their families and their children, they may even be hams, with the last prefix you need for your honor role DXCC.

The guys that actually failed at secondary school higher level by just passing with the minimum requirements/grades could do two things with their life: to pick up study for lawyer or to go in the military service. When they think lawyer is just not possible with their level, they pick the military possibility. They can earn a lot of color coded resistors on their breast of the - by retirement - take home uniform, to impress their family (of the same or lower intellectual level)  or the neighbourhood, that doesn't even exist in rural New Zealand.

So. Look at the guys that were not able to attend the higher level secondary school, due to IQ<100  and joined the Morse code profession. They became also OFFICERS! Amazing, not? Probably because they are expected to decode the messages of the secret second (and third) wife of the captain, and officers are sweared to keep messages secret.

So it was nice when not bright enough, to become an officer, still to become an officer as "sparks".

I have a rooster and I call him  [a ham call at this website which I do not publish, because I will not be insulting, but simple realistic] . Why?
Because I tried to catch the rooster, and I thought I missed, because I catched only air.

But I actually caught him when I thought I missed, amazing: only air and feathers to show.

Bob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: GW3OQK on August 22, 2012, 03:09:06 AM
I loved CW from the start and took my morse test when 15 at the Marine Office Liverpool and became GW3OQK. I went to college to become a ship's R/O and passed at 25 wpm no trouble at all. (26s, no mistakes said the examiner) That was on a WT 8Amp key. I was always proud to send "perfect" morse with no errors. 50 years later I wish I could still do 25s but 22's my limit for easy sending on a straight key now. I gave up amateur radio when I became professional and only came back to it a few years ago.   I have a WT 8Amp, a Marconi 365A and a Kent but its all the same, I'm not as fast as I was in the good old days.     

In those old days at sea in the 60s I think we generally only used 20 wpm. There were some lousy operators to be heard on 500 KHz, trying to use bug keys and never succeeding in controlling the dots in calm weather never mind a force 8. I dont think the vibroplex worked right trying to send dots uphill.

On North Atlantic I would take the 1100z CANAL on a typewriter then plot the isobars on perspex sheet with a gnomic chart underneath during the 12-14 watch. At night mid Atlantic you could hear morse from Eu and NA coasts only going quiet in the silence periods. Don't know why I'm saying this, all us ex r/os know.

Now I have a T1154 which will put out on 500 & 470 kHz. If only I can get more wire in the air I'll have to give it a try.  However 500 signals faded out inland so it won't be like the old days. And to go back to old days I have a vintage shack, picture on QRZ and would welcome some QSOs.
Andrew GW3OQK


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on August 22, 2012, 03:13:19 AM
I am glad you posted here Bob,

Your life with your rooster seems to be one where you both match each others personality.
And it is important to have a partner where you each have similar interests.

For your rooster it is in scratching the earth looking for insects amongst his own droppings.
And for you it is scratching around eham looking for attention, and places to lay your own droppings.

I feel genuinely sorry for you Bob, you never seem to have a happy thought, and that is a life lived poorly.

I guess you were once a happy young lad, who thought he would see the world, but never managed to get beyond his back fence.
So you lash out at others who did do worthwhile things, and some who died while doing their duty.

I knew a young radio officer who died at sea, while sending the position of a ship which was sinking.
He did not make it off the vessel, and his actions saved many of the crew.
He was 21 years old, and had not even started his life, but gave it for his duty and shipmates.

How much have you ever given for others?
Or is all you can show for your life leaving poison posts on forums.

73 - Rob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: N4IAG on August 22, 2012, 07:35:02 AM
I am glad you posted here Bob,

Your life with your rooster seems to be one where you both match each others personality.
And it is important to have a partner where you each have similar interests.

For your rooster it is in scratching the earth looking for insects amongst his own droppings.
And for you it is scratching around eham looking for attention, and places to lay your own droppings.

I feel genuinely sorry for you Bob, you never seem to have a happy thought, and that is a life lived poorly.

I guess you were once a happy young lad, who thought he would see the world, but never managed to get beyond his back fence.
So you lash out at others who did do worthwhile things, and some who died while doing their duty.

I knew a young radio officer who died at sea, while sending the position of a ship which was sinking.
He did not make it off the vessel, and his actions saved many of the crew.
He was 21 years old, and had not even started his life, but gave it for his duty and shipmates.

How much have you ever given for others?
Or is all you can show for your life leaving poison posts on forums.

73 - Rob

Great post! I think that was a very accurate and well worded response.

And the post of PA0BLAH that you replied to was one of the most mean-spirited posts I've ever had the displeasure to read anywhere.

GW3OQK  -- Thanks for posting, I love this sort of stuff for some reason. :)


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: PA0BLAH on August 22, 2012, 08:11:21 AM
I am glad you posted here Bob,

Your life with your rooster seems to be one where you both match each others personality.
And it is important to have a partner where you each have similar interests.

Thanks for appreciating my post, or at least for simulating that. And I really appreciate your vision on my post, certainly not simulating my appreciation.

I think, that nobody can be asked for a lousy salary to offer his life for his shipmates. I will not write about this peculiar subject in order to prevent hurting people involved. However, the still living roosters, their lousy worthless  life possibly saved by other guys, in the mean time retired, still ride with their stupid proud bunch of air and feathers, nothing else, on the back of those guys.

At least  my  post has the result that they can know, that other people see through their feathers and noticed really nothing is behind them. Most of the watching people, that notice that,  just being silent, and I am obviously not.

Is is great to swap opinions, you learn how other people look at society. Weight it, decide they must be unlucky and you should not want to swap your opinion and way of life with them, and you are all sat.

Bob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: W7ASA on August 23, 2012, 07:56:38 PM
Sparkies,

Thanks for your sharing of sea stories and more - 

Exceptional people have been known to willingly sacrifice their lives to save others , but not for any salary "lousy" or large: where would they SPEND it?
Deeds like these are done from deep moral courage, love of family & friends, occasionally strangers - fellow human beings, for example.


73 de Ray



Ps. Bob, Google for articles containing those words I put into BOLD and underlined for you to study. I am convinced that you have no idea what they mean personally.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: PA0BLAH on August 24, 2012, 08:40:01 AM
W7ASA Ray,

Thanks for your reply.

The thread is derailing (going out of trace) however. My posting was initiated by the link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38535102@N04/6336554843/lightbox/ and paging there to the left and to the right right.

Look there and you understand probably better my goal of posting. 

When you have a couple of animals, you can watch sometimes the same behavior, of offering one brave individual willfully him- er herself and the rest is saved.

So I think it is  essentially part of the instinct of people. Darwinism. The "civilisation" is only 250000 years old, and that is hence an extreme thin layer.

Nowadays man can save their semen (sperm)  and fertilize strange women that are not able to get kids in their marriage in medical laboratory,  so you can ask why not take and save it of brave people, because when they die in combat,  their genetic material is lost.

Or will it be will of nature, just not to do that, and the least brave people survive, (old soldiers never die) create a family,   and posting here after they just faded away from active duty in retirement?

Bob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: GW3OQK on August 24, 2012, 11:19:25 AM
This thread has gone to Marine Radio by the look of it. The only reason R/Os were there was for safety of life at sea. The nearest I came to SOS was sending XXX which was the Urgency signal just short of an actual distress. Here's an article about the ship Rajula http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/sr/page47.html (http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/sr/page47.html)

At the time 1966 the Marconi company banned me from publishing anything about the inadequacies of the radio system but I can say it now. The Indian Met Office were quite innacurate in their weather forecast. I was sending OBS every 20 minutes and it was clear the cyclone was 100 miles from their forecast. OBS was a message in 5 fig code giving position and met info. That was sent on MF to VCM, Madras Radio. We used MCW, but always received with BFO on.

We were in the dangerous sector. The wind and sea were driving us sideways, blown over at about 20 degrees and rolling, but never coming upright because of the pressure of the wind. The radio room was on the lee side. I picked up several SOS from ships blown aground only a few miles from us. The sea had turned brown and we were 3 1/2 miles off the rocky coast being blown sideways when the captain send down the XXX.

The spray coming over the ship and its aerials (main aerial being a T rigged between the masts) prevented the tx tuning up. The PA would not dip. I tried the emergency transmitter and it was the same.  I transmitted anyway. No reply to the XXX. I tried several times. No reply. Then VCM called me on 500 and I received a message from the agents. "Owing to the inclement weather please remain outside the harbour."

Then I sent the XXX  "XXX RAJULA 3 miles off coast manouvring with difficulty in imminent danger of running aground." and got QSL. The faithful three 807s in the PA may have been glowing red and blue but they did the job. As did the radar.

The engines then were put astern and we first held then backed off stern first, the cyclone fortunately passing at this time. The barometer dropped from 1005 to 960.

Thats it. Several times when ships disappeared without an SOS being received I would wonder was it because the antenna could not be tuned, and modern transmitters would not allow themselves to be used like that. I know that the 1.5KW Redifon txs I worked on had a very narrow tuning range.
Andrew

PS. Rajula & sister ship Rohna were troopships in WW2. Rohna was sunk with loss of 1,015 Americans. The attack constitutes the largest loss of U.S. troops at sea in a single incident but was hushed up for a long time.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: PA0BLAH on August 24, 2012, 11:57:56 AM
GW3OQK

Impressive story. Thanks for publishing.

You as ex sparks know - I suppose - that communications at sea could be life saving in distress circumstances. So just as the top guys in the crew could do simple life saving surgical  extirpation's, (acute appendicitis) you as spark had to repair radio sets when necessary. So not only operating but also repair.

How is it then possible, that ex sparks, like pd3tru,  right now recently retired,  easily copy  30 wpm Morse results in competitions without any preparation, as I read on QRZ.com, but have to study for more then a year to upgrade his novice (technician) license to a full (extra) one? When I noticed that fact, I thought safety at sea was less safe then expected by the general public. Especially when I watch the present requirements  and published examination questions for the  full (extra) license.

Bob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: ZL1BBW on August 24, 2012, 01:04:48 PM
Well I did not know that if you paged left and right that other pictures came up.  The picture was from the web, all the other pictures are nothing to do with me, perhaps I should have checked that out.

Upgrading licenses, well I do not know much about that, but I do know that I can still copy CW much easier than remembering some of the technical details.  Like most 2nd languages, for that is what morse had to become, it is not easily forgotten.

The SOLAS requirements were part of the job, we were told at College that if the crap hit the fan, our job was to stay until we got a QSL and confirmed the position etc, then we may consider leaving with the Masters permission.

Luckily, it never happened to me, but took part in a few SAR etc, and handled plenty of Medico cases.

Any way the picture is of the old rust bucket that I called home for quite a while, and I can say there was good deal more good spirit of all kinds on that vessel.  ...- .-



Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: PA0BLAH on August 24, 2012, 02:39:04 PM
Well I did not know that if you paged left and right that other pictures came up.  The picture was from the web, all the other pictures are nothing to do with me, perhaps I should have checked that out.


Funny, at my last posting the link was still alive, and now it says: Connection Refused..

Bob


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: KU7I on August 24, 2012, 02:42:19 PM
K7KBN - I am not sure when FF-1070 was homeported in Japan. There were many versions of the USS Downes, I think maybe three ships carried the name, the latest, a Knox class frigate, FF-1070 is the one I was on from JUN 1987 to FEB 1991. She was homeported in San Diego the whole time I was onboard. It was my first ship. We sank her in the mid 90's for target practice and missile assessment tests. She was small, total length around 430 ft with a beam of about 28 ft. The new DDGs of today are much nicer "small boys".

Lane
Ku7i
JH1JCM


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: K7KBN on August 24, 2012, 08:55:34 PM
Hi Lane -- yes, the Downes you were on is the one that was up here in Seattle right after being homeported in Yokosuka for a few years after being built.  She came to Todd Shipyard for repairs and updates.  Had a few problems with the communications area that had never been properly corrected until then.  That was just before you went aboard, 1986.

Small world!

Sayonara & 73
Pat K7KBN


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: N1EA on August 25, 2012, 09:49:12 AM
Readers of this topic might enjoy listening to some of the historic Morse recordings on the Internet Archive.  Some that I have go back as far as 1938, some perhaps older.

Historic Morse Recordings

http://archive.org/search.php?query=n1ea (http://archive.org/search.php?query=n1ea)

The last two audio files listed are in American Morse received by mechanical sounder (clicking sound).

73

David N1EA
ex- R/O many USA ships also ex- operator at Tuckerton Radio / WSC in West Creek, NJ

-30-


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: ZL1BBW on August 25, 2012, 01:10:29 PM
Just had a quick listen, the tape of 500 takes me back, spent 6 months coasting around the UK/near europe on a small chemical tanker, only used HF on a very occasions in 6 months.

Thanks for posting those, will listen more.


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: KU7I on August 25, 2012, 03:43:43 PM
K7KBN Pat: Okay on the history of FF-1070 and Yokosuka. I have a very vague memory now that you mention it of her being home ported somewhere like Japan for a while. I was an AIMS MKXII IFF technician which was both good and bad. Good b/c I was one of one IFF tech and it was a high profile system, especially at the height of the cold war in the mid to late 80s which is when I went onboard. It was bad if the system went down in the middle of the night...you were the only tech and could not stop working until you found the fault.

I am now an ER Nurse for the Navy, still continuous active duty since SEP 1985 with no plans to retire soon. The wife and I are looking at probably two more tours after this Naval Hospital Yokosuka tour is over (present duty station). We should rotate out of here around summer 2014.

I do cw about 25% of the time and normally do not like working dx, all they want is an RST, and I find this incredibly annoying. I plan on trying some different paddles such as the N8ZN and others, right now the good ole' BY-1s work fine for me.


Lane
KU7I
JH1JCM


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: K8AXW on August 25, 2012, 06:20:52 PM
N1EA:  Many thanks for the link.  It was an eyeopener.  I had mental visions of these professional CW operators having great fists.  I see that most sounded like they were sending with their left foot!  Some of the signals were pretty bad as well.

Al - K8AXW


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: N1EA on August 25, 2012, 08:23:20 PM
Quote from:  link=topic=84737.msg617179#msg617179 date=1345944052
N1EA:  Many thanks for the link.  It was an eyeopener.  I had mental visions of these professional CW operators having great fists.  I see that most sounded like they were sending with their left foot!  Some of the signals were pretty bad as well.

Al - K8AXW

Hello Al,

Thanks for dropping by.

Much of the recordings were on 500 kc/s where because of the current that ship's transmitters drew at the key-line (about 220 volts at about 250 ma) electronic keyers usually got fried - and some of the recordings are in the 1960s and earlier.

Also 500 kc/s (kHz) was some place where to be heard you had to emphasize your sending to overcome QRN and QRM - remember everyone was crystal controlled within a fairly tight tolerance on the same frequency.

You will definitely find some beautiful sending on those recordings and you will find some poor sending as well.

But keep on listening to the recordings, you will start to see what is (was?) going on.  You will hear the CQ slip takes recorded by Joe W0TUT - you will hear the transmitters used - some countries were so poor they barely could get a transmitter on the air it seemed. 

After listening to some of the recordings - I recommend GBTT - the Queen Mary, 500 kc/s in Europe, and The Channel Tea Party to gain a understanding of marine radio in the "good old days".

73

DR


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: K8AXW on August 26, 2012, 11:15:08 AM
DR:  Yes, will continue to listen to them.  This was the first time I've ever heard shipboard radio.  I've listened to the spark simulation of the Titanic CQD/SOS..... but that was as I said a "simulation."  For some reason I had thought that these pro CW operators were really great fists.

I can believe what you said about the poor tone of some of the transmitters.  Some were pretty bad. 

Since I crossed the Atlantic twice on a troop ship (winter time) I have a better appreciation for these radio operators.  If it was me, the ship wouldn't have a radio operator for the first 3 days of the trip!


Title: RE: Morse in the ""Good old Days"".
Post by: N1EA on August 26, 2012, 12:07:03 PM
Many but not all of the best fists also were radio amateurs, the best fists I remember were Ben Russell, N6SL, Bob McGraw, W2LYH, Ed McCarthy, W1YT, Whitey Doherty, K1VV, Jack Lally, W1HDC, Jim Freil, K3SXA, Frank Estrada, former operator at Habana Radio / CLA and TRT Slidell, Louisiana Radio / WNU who never got a ham license, Paul DuMesnil, of Halifax Coast Guard Radio / VCS, and CNAV QUEST / CZDO who never went for a ham ticket, as well as Hank Svard  of Goetenborg Radio / SAG in Sweden who also never got a ham license - as well as dozens from Portishead Radio, like Tony Roskilly, G3ZRJ, and others from there and other stations whose fists take my breath away!

Also take a listen to the EJM recording for CD 3 Track 5 which is the Close Down of 500 kHz in the UK.  Listen to the beautiful sending of the Chief Operator of Land's End Radio / GLD, David Nancarrow, G3RID.  It is beautiful. 


You will find more on that recording here:  http://www.qsl.net/gm3zdh/coast/500close.htm

The file for the UK close down isn't yet on the Internet Archive so the following acknowledgement isn't there but is on the old page of the recordings:  http://mikea.ath.cx/www.n1ea.coastalradio.org.uk/index.html

Here it is just to keep things right and acknowledge those who have helped me with these recordings:

Quote
I thank the USCG 11th District for cooperation in obtaining and permission to publish the NOJ recording of the SOS from ms Prinsendam.  Acknowledgements and thanks are also given to Mr. Terry George for permission to post the audio track of his video "QRT 500" which is available on VHS tape in UK format only at Cowloe Productions.  Cowloe Productions retains their copyright of this material.  Contact <terry@g4amt.com>,  Finally, thanks and acknowledgement are given to R/O Finbar O'Conner for his material, recordings, patience with the production process and his permission to share these recordings with other R/Os.  Finbar O'Conner and David J. Ring, Jr. retain their respective copyrights to the material used here.

73

David N1EA