Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Post by Steven Swi » Sun, 08 Oct 2006 07:26:50

I was cruising around the HF bands last night look to see if I could
snag the BBC in my area. I stumbled across a SSB HF broadcast of
Alaskan seas conditions. This caused me to do a search on Google for HF
marine stations. After drilling into various sites, I hit:

http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html

I was surprised to see the front panel of an old BC-221 (SCR-211)
staring back at me.  It is good to see that venerable old frequency
meter still considered "cool" enough to be part of a commercial web
site.

Steve.
--

NOVATECH INSTRUMENTS, INC.      P.O. Box 55997
206.301.8986, fax 206.363.4367  Seattle, Washington 98155 USA

 
 
 

Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Post by Richard Knoppo » Sun, 08 Oct 2006 07:53:37



>I was cruising around the HF bands last night look to see
>if I could
> snag the BBC in my area. I stumbled across a SSB HF
> broadcast of
> Alaskan seas conditions. This caused me to do a search on
> Google for HF
> marine stations. After drilling into various sites, I hit:

> http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html

> I was surprised to see the front panel of an old BC-221
> (SCR-211)
> staring back at me.  It is good to see that venerable old
> frequency
> meter still considered "cool" enough to be part of a
> commercial web
> site.

> Steve.
> --

> http://www.novatech-instr.com
> NOVATECH INSTRUMENTS, INC.      P.O. Box 55997
> 206.301.8986, fax 206.363.4367  Seattle, Washington 98155
> USA

   AKA LM. I was lucky enough to find a nearly mint one
complete with power supply and original calibration books,
they are still very useful.
   The site you reference has two familiar calls, once
coastal telegraph stations: KLB and WLO. Years ago I learned
code partly from copying ship traffic. Both RCA and MacKay
main stations (KPH and KFS in the West and WCC and WSL in
the East) sent about two hours of press every day, machine
sent at about 25 WPM. That went away sometime in the early
1980's when it was switched to teleprinter.

--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA

 
 
 

Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Post by Steven Swi » Sun, 08 Oct 2006 09:11:01


>   AKA LM. I was lucky enough to find a nearly mint one
>complete with power supply and original calibration books,
>they are still very useful.
>   The site you reference has two familiar calls, once
>coastal telegraph stations: KLB and WLO. Years ago I learned
>code partly from copying ship traffic. Both RCA and MacKay
>main stations (KPH and KFS in the West and WCC and WSL in
>the East) sent about two hours of press every day, machine
>sent at about 25 WPM. That went away sometime in the early
>1980's when it was switched to teleprinter.
>--
>---
>Richard Knoppow
>Los Angeles, CA, USA


I was surprised that this HF stuff was still going. I have a "new in
crate" BC-221-AK that I plan to put into sort of a museum of frequency
standards in the front entrance way of Novatech Instruments along with
the prototypes of our stuff and other company's stuff.

Steve.
--

NOVATECH INSTRUMENTS, INC.      P.O. Box 55997
206.301.8986, fax 206.363.4367  Seattle, Washington 98155 USA

 
 
 

Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Post by L Ron Humorles » Sun, 08 Oct 2006 12:53:40

I used to think the little 221 was a real useless piece of test gear.

Wow! Was I ever wrong.

Those things are so easy to use. And damned accurate!

I have one next to my recently restored TBW xmtr.

Great tool to have around.

But I did have to replace a bunch of paper caps in mine.

I suspect it will outlast me by a long shot.

 
 
 

Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Post by Al Dyk » Sun, 08 Oct 2006 21:53:11





>>I was cruising around the HF bands last night look to see
>>if I could
>> snag the BBC in my area. I stumbled across a SSB HF
>> broadcast of
>> Alaskan seas conditions. This caused me to do a search on
>> Google for HF
>> marine stations. After drilling into various sites, I hit:

>> http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html

>> I was surprised to see the front panel of an old BC-221
>> (SCR-211)
>> staring back at me.  It is good to see that venerable old
>> frequency
>> meter still considered "cool" enough to be part of a
>> commercial web
>> site.

>> Steve.
>> --

>> http://www.novatech-instr.com
>> NOVATECH INSTRUMENTS, INC.      P.O. Box 55997
>> 206.301.8986, fax 206.363.4367  Seattle, Washington 98155
>> USA

>   AKA LM. I was lucky enough to find a nearly mint one
>complete with power supply and original calibration books,
>they are still very useful.
>   The site you reference has two familiar calls, once
>coastal telegraph stations: KLB and WLO. Years ago I learned
>code partly from copying ship traffic. Both RCA and MacKay
>main stations (KPH and KFS in the West and WCC and WSL in
>the East) sent about two hours of press every day, machine
>sent at about 25 WPM. That went away sometime in the early
>1980's when it was switched to teleprinter.

In 1966 the family did a car trip to Cape Cod.  As a young ham, I was
attracted to some huge rhombic antennas that we were driving past. At
some point we found an RCA facility, knocked on the door and asked for
a tour.

It was their ship-shore facility. There were rows of cubicles with
a vibroplex key and a mechanical typewriter in each one.  ISTR the
receivers had an RCA logo and appeared to be late-WWII vintage.  The
transmitters were somewhere else. The whole room appeared to be
essentially unchanged since the 30s, except for the receivers.

--

Harrison for Congress in NY 13CD   www.harrison06.com  
Don't blame me. I voted for Gore. A Proud signature since 2001

 
 
 

Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Post by Hank » Sun, 08 Oct 2006 23:21:01


> I was cruising around the HF bands last night look to see if I could
> snag the BBC in my area. I stumbled across a SSB HF broadcast of
> Alaskan seas conditions. This caused me to do a search on Google for HF
> marine stations. After drilling into various sites, I hit:

> http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html

> I was surprised to see the front panel of an old BC-221 (SCR-211)
> staring back at me.  It is good to see that venerable old frequency
> meter still considered "cool" enough to be part of a commercial web
> site.


Nice picture.  Sort of reminds me of the WWII surplus receiver sitting on my
workbench waiting for me.  Needs a new electrolytic and burnt out resistor.

On a different note, I noticed in the picture next to the 221, the 4 dipoles
90 degrees apart.  I am  experimenting with 800 mhz antennas and can only
erect one in my attic.  Don't want to mess with rotors.  I wonder if you (or
anyone) can advise how the 4 antennas are joined, I assume to one downlead
(phasing ?, etc.).

HankG

 
 
 

Ship/marine traffic HF radio (BC-221).

Post by Richard Knoppo » Mon, 09 Oct 2006 07:07:06


> In article




>>>I was cruising around the HF bands last night look to see
>>>if I could
>>> snag the BBC in my area. I stumbled across a SSB HF
>>> broadcast of
>>> Alaskan seas conditions. This caused me to do a search
>>> on
>>> Google for HF
>>> marine stations. After drilling into various sites, I
>>> hit:

>>> http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html

>>> I was surprised to see the front panel of an old BC-221
>>> (SCR-211)
>>> staring back at me.  It is good to see that venerable
>>> old
>>> frequency
>>> meter still considered "cool" enough to be part of a
>>> commercial web
>>> site.

>>> Steve.
>>> --

>>> http://www.novatech-instr.com
>>> NOVATECH INSTRUMENTS, INC.      P.O. Box 55997
>>> 206.301.8986, fax 206.363.4367  Seattle, Washington
>>> 98155
>>> USA

>>   AKA LM. I was lucky enough to find a nearly mint one
>>complete with power supply and original calibration books,
>>they are still very useful.
>>   The site you reference has two familiar calls, once
>>coastal telegraph stations: KLB and WLO. Years ago I
>>learned
>>code partly from copying ship traffic. Both RCA and MacKay
>>main stations (KPH and KFS in the West and WCC and WSL in
>>the East) sent about two hours of press every day, machine
>>sent at about 25 WPM. That went away sometime in the early
>>1980's when it was switched to teleprinter.

> In 1966 the family did a car trip to Cape Cod.  As a young
> ham, I was
> attracted to some huge rhombic antennas that we were
> driving past. At
> some point we found an RCA facility, knocked on the door
> and asked for
> a tour.

> It was their ship-shore facility. There were rows of
> cubicles with
> a vibroplex key and a mechanical typewriter in each one.
> ISTR the
> receivers had an RCA logo and appeared to be late-WWII
> vintage.  The
> transmitters were somewhere else. The whole room appeared
> to be
> essentially unchanged since the 30s, except for the
> receivers.

> --

> Harrison for Congress in NY 13CD   www.harrison06.com
> Don't blame me. I voted for Gore. A Proud signature since
> 2001

   I can't dredge up the details from my memory but think
the transmitter location was at Marion Mass. The receivers
were probably either RCA AR-77 or the later AR-88 types.
These are actually pretty good receivers. In the old days
there were several different calls used but after WW-2 only
one was used, WCC (Cape Cod). This was RCA's main east coast
station. Its equivalent on the west coast was KPH. KPH had
various locations but after WW-2 was co-located with the RCA
Communications station on the Point Reyes peninsula above
San Francisco. RCA Communications had its transmitters at
Bolinas Point and receiver station at Inverness further up
the peninsula. There is a web site dedicated to KPH. The
call is a very old one, originally PH, for Palace Hotel, its
original location, issued to the Marconi Company c.1907.
There are evidently other transmitting sites on the east
coast which have been preserved to some degree. FWIW, the
main RCA Communications station in the east was on Long
Island with transmitters at Rocky Point and receivers at
Riverhead. I don't know if there is anything at either
location to indicate what was there. RCA Radiomarine also
had a big installation at Tuckerton N.J. (WSC) the home of
the famous 200,000 Watt Alexanderson alternator. This
machine operated on a frequency near 100 khz and was kept in
running order for many decades for "national security"
purposes. I have no idea what became of any of this. Perhaps
someone else in the group knows more. I suppose all this is
at least partly O.T. here.

--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA