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Maritime Radio Day

10 Apr

Don’t forget to help out with MRD activity day today. I am listening beginning at 12 Zulu through 12 Zulu tomorrow. Suggested frequencies are on the Rules page at here . So far I am not hearing a lot but it is very early…just now 1240 Zulu. Also coming up in a few weeks at the end of April is Marconi Day. I know KSM in San Fransisco will be active for that one. There are a list of active shore stations and ships on the link above and I hope to catch a few this weekend.

I would like to make a public “Thanks” to Julian and wife Olga for translating my Russian Clock recently repaired. The translation can be seen in the comments to the post with the picture of my shopworn friend…..

In my reading about Maritime Clocks I have encountered two types of clocks meant for radio rooms. Those with red wedges that one normally encounters for “Quiet Periods” and then a second type of clock with both the red wedges and a second set of wedges placed just after the hour and just after the half hour which are colored blue or green, not the usual red. I did not know what the second set were for until just recently; they are a “Quiet Period” for the 2182 Khz voice channel. Of course the Red Wedges are meant for the “Quiet Period” on 500 Khz CW Channels and appear at 15 through 18 minutes after the hour and again at 45 through 48 minutes after the hour. I will include a picture so this makes a little sense.

Both Quiet Periods Shown

Both Quiet Periods Shown

I do not have a clock like this one. I wish I could find one but other priorities just now so Ill wait a bit. Also evident on all of these clock faces are a series of Red Dashes around the face. I am told these were used to transmit 4 second “On” followed by 1 second “Off” transmissions and sent just prior to a SOS or perhaps even a CQD transmission. I am assuming this was a “lets get your attention” sort of transmission prior to the actual “meat” being sent. I have no idea how the clock face was interfaced with a transmitter. As I mentioned before here, I had service on USN ships and never encountered any clock such as these on board my ships on which I served from 1963 through 1972. By that time guarding 500 Khz must have passed into the night, at least as an activity on USN Ships. I find myself sitting here trying to recall radios set to 500 Khz and playing in the Radio Central background noise, but all I recall hearing or being conscience of was Hi Comm and tactical voice circuits associated with our operating group of ships. In fact, even though I spent most of my waking hours in Radio Central while at sea, I can only ever recall a single distress activity. That was later in the sixties or perhaps very early seventies in the Pacific on our way back from the South China Sea to home port and we were directed to assist a foundering passenger vessel in a Typhoon near the Philippine Is. My memory is terrible as I recall neither the ships name of the precise year. I want to say Holland America but that would be a guess on my part. I will have to do some research on distressed vessels in the time period in question.

If anyone has clarifying comments or finds that what I have reported here is wrong please let me know as some details are sketchy or dimly remembered so help is greatly appreciated. In any event….

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG

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Posted by on April 10, 2010 in Maritime, Radio, Stuff

 

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