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Author Topic: School of the boat 22 Jan 08 (Radio)  (Read 4721 times)
Darrin
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« on: January 22, 2009, 10:05:47 PM »

While we only touched on the Hydraulic systems and how they operate, it appears that we need to do a school of the boat on the RADIO ROOM seeing how there are 3 boats that have projects working right now and it would be great for those whom are working to chime in here and take charge... hint, hint, wink, wink Wink  hopefully we will get back to the Hydraulic section of the school of the boat it again appears that we need to move forward once more to cater to those whom are working unique systems trying to get them to run once more or at least get them to look like they work...

So with that being said.... The Torsk, Drum AND the Marlin are working on getting their systems restored or at least looking like they work once more.  With that this week or so will be dedicated to those whom have taken on the daunting task of bringing their radio rooms back to life once more with hopes that more will do so.

What this weeks school of the boat will entail is the main people involved in the restorations hopefully getting a chance to post what they have seen and learned so that others may have the opportunity NOT to make the same mistakes that have already been made or about to be made.

Chief Mike, Bill Lee and Tom Bowser you all have been tagged with this one to help the museum community learn from what you are all doing. Remember folks there are 3 very distinctive crews and time frames being achieved here along with operational status so this hopefully will be more interesting then   dat, dat, dat, dee, dee, dee, dat  Wink

Torsk is going for a mid '60s config, Drum is a late WWII early '50s and the Marlin is the later generation roughly '70-'80s.. We hopefully will get to see how far Radio has come through the years and eventually those whom follow this part of the bbs will realize that while the technology has changed the basics have not.

There are NO wrong answers here nor are there any RIGHT answers here, this is a lessons learned or learning so I leave it in some very capable hands and hope that this part of the school of the boat will continue to grow as time goes on and more things are learned to be shared to all whom lurk and roam this bbs.

Chief Mike, if you would please start this block off seeing how Torsk is further along then the other two boats in the restoration of their Radio Room.
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etkfixr
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 10:21:21 PM »

I might be able to help a bit also.  We have our WW 2 era radios on the battleship ( we have TAJ transmitter serial numbers 1 and 3, probably had #2 but it was pulled during the war)..  A group of hams has been slowly getting them running and I am their assistant.  We have out TBM and TDQ transmitters up.  They work on 20 and 40 meters.  We are working on the TBK to get 80 meters.   We have a few RBB and RBC receivers up as well.  One of the former crew members from the USS Alabama took about 8 and did an incredible job on them.  The Massachusetts has even more stuff working, including converting a TBS to, I think, 6 meters.  I can probably make introductions if anyone needs their info.  Chris Nardi on the Massachusetts is a great guy and has been a big help with us getting phones, radios and various electronics working.  Terry

PS  Hope we can all be on the air during the museum ships radio event.
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Darrin
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 10:57:18 PM »

Terry,
BRING 'EM ON Wink

There is no such thing as too many experts when it comes to this block of instruction, I had forgotten that you all have a lot of gear up and there are also a number of surface ships with their radio rooms up.. HOWEVER a good bit of gear that the skimmers had the submarine's never had and it may be a good idea to see how much can translate over to getting the boats that are working on their systems running once more.

Please invite those whom work on the Radio's to come aboard and help out here because I am sure that ALL of us here and in the future could use some help.

Next request is that IF you and your crew have restored a radio and radio room please POST the pics so those of us that haven't made it that far have something to look forward to when we are done, that and it is also a good guideline to go off of when restoring the equipment smitten
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Darrin
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 04:13:28 PM »

All,
While this is a school of the boat, the learning step that I am requesting is that those whom are currently working on their Radio Rooms or have worked on their Radio Rooms give lessons learned from what they have done and how they were able to get their gear working or at least looking like it works. Every submarine is different as to how their Radio Room was filled with gear so it would be impossible to discuss just 1 boats worth of gear and that would be unfair to the submarine community whom watch these schools of that boat as they come out.

So PLEASE if you have worked on your Radio Rooms tell us how you restored or are currently restoring your Radio Rooms and if you have pictures please post those also for the rest of us to learn from.
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etkfixr
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 08:10:45 PM »

Um, one lesson I heard concerning old tube radios is to hook the power up through an auto-transformer.  Bring the power up slowly while checking it out.  One of my volunteers restores some really old stuff and he says if you put 120 volts to them all at once you can pop the oil filled capacitors.  If you increase it slowly they will build up a tolerance and be fine afterward.  Check the tubes with a tester and swap them in one at a time if possible after it is up.  We bought 15 860 transmitter tubes and a bunch of them were "gassy" and no good under load.  Finally, be patient.  It took us over a year on the TDQ.  One of the "aw crap" moments came after heating up a reostat handle to unsieze it, we gave it a few whacks with a hammer.  That broke a ceramic bushing in the back and it took weeks to hand carve a replacement, while we sat and twiddled our thumbs.  Terry
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Tom Bowser
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 07:58:49 AM »

Sadly to say our radio (TBL) is extremely corroded from being in a damp inviroment for fifty years, aft battery, and we don't have the funds to even think about geting them working. We are cleaning it up and repainting and surprising all the knobs and gears turn freely after a bit of work. We found the blue print for the mounting plate and how it is mounted in radio so we will make a new plate and mount it as it shouls be. It will really make radio room full. We have finished intial painting and reassembly and will try to move it into radio next week and then finish painting. Here are some photos/Tom


* New 203.jpg (569.33 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 355 times.)

* New 209.jpg (531.96 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 364 times.)
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Darrin
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 12:02:51 PM »

Thanks for the pictures and the update, keep them coming as work progresses because I am sure that all of us would like to see what you and Leslie are doing in your restoration of the Drum.
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emeacho
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 01:47:15 PM »

Last summer several of the Torsk volunteers began the tedious task of overhauling / restoring the Radio Room aboard Torsk.  When we began, we had the following equipment: TCS-10 HF transmitter/receiver, RBS HF receiver, R-390/URR HF receiver, AN/URR-13 UHF receiver, AN/SRR-11 HF receiver, TED-9 UHF transmitter and its power amplifier.  Through donation sand purchases, we soon had a URC-32 HF transceiver, AN/SRR-13A HF receiver, AN/WRR-3 LF receiver, CV-591A SSB converter, and AN/ARC-27 UHf transceiver.

Over the years, radio had fallen into some serious disrepair.  The coax connectors had been pulled from the ends of many antenna cables, several of the audio cables had been cut or removed, some transmitter control cables were missing and all the teletype equipment had been removed.

We began the restoration by tracing cables and throughly documenting the cables and interconnections.  This is a huge, but absolutely necessary process.  In the process, we installed new connectors on the RF cables and cleaned up the audio swtichboard, which had many broken wires and a rats nest of cabling.  We swapped out the AN/SRR-11, which was not on the original ship's equipment list for the mid 1960s, for the AN/SRR-13A, which was on the equipment list .  (We were lucky enough to have the COSAL for the Torsk dated 1964.  We also went up on the sail and repaired one AT-497 whip antenna and installed a second one that had been removed some time in Tork's past.  (We acquired the replacement AT-497 from the Trout.) 

The SRR-13A was our first piece of equipment brought on line.  After we finished the repair of the RF cables, and the repair/restoration of the audio switchboard, we checked/replaced tubes in the AM-215 audio amp, and tested the the SRR-13A circuit.  What a joy to hear something in Radio work. 

Next we repaired the TCS.  We removed, cleaned, and painted the transmitter-receiver case which was rusted in spots.  We also had to rewire the TCS power supply into the ship's radio communications 120 VAC power distribution system.  We checked tubes and replaced the bad ones.  Then we fired it up and found it didn't work.  We tested the voltages in each stage and discovered many bad readings.  Looking for commonality, we discovered that the power interlock relay was the most likely cause of the problem, so after inspection, we found the relay had a bent contact, whcih when repaired, allowed the transmitter/receiver to begin working. 

We have also installed and restored a recorder in radio, the audio amp in the Conning Tower, the transmitter remote control box in the Conning Tower, and the TCS control adapter in Radio.  We are currently troubleshooting a problem with the R-390.  So far the problem has been isolated to the RF gain control circuit in the RF and IF stages.

So, my biggest pieces of advice are:

1.) Research... after you have determined the era you want to restore to, find out using photographs, documentation, tech manuals, COSAL, personal recollections, what equipment was located in Radio, what antennas the ship had, and how the equipment was configured.  In other words, what was connected to what.

2.) Obtain tech manuals for all the equipment you have or plan to have in your Radio Rooms.  Can't do much troubleshooting without them.  Manuals can be found on the internet.  Some are free, some are for sale.  Ebay has been a big source for us. We were also lucky enough to have many of the original manuals on board when the boat was decommissioned.

3.) If you don't already have detailed wiring diagrams aboard, MAKE THEM!  Document all the RF cabling, control cabling, and audio signal cabling.  Document the power sources for the equipment and the lighting and power receptacles in Radio.  KNOW WHERE THE POWER COMES FROM so you can de-energize things when necessary (and replace blown fuses when it happens... and it will happen!)  Try to determine from tech manual and other documentation what cabling, if any, is missing.  By the way, you may have to do some work on the electrical dstribution system before you can really get started.  We had to restore the FB-122 120 VAC Communications power distribution.

4.) Be patient!  This is a huge undertaking.  Your radio room will not be operational overnight.  We've been working on Torsk's for about 6 months and we still have a long way to go.

5.) The obvious: clean, prep, and paint so that the room looks as good as you hope it will work.  This is also a huge job, but the room will look better and it will be bertter preserved when you are done.

6.) Contact ham radio clubs and search E-bay for missing equipment, tech manuals, patch cables, headsets, microphones, etc.  This is where the huge costs come in.  If you can contact sub vets and get then to donate some equipment.  We lucked out and got the URC-32, the AN/WRR-3, the AN/SRR-11 and the AN/ARC-27 donated.  However, we had to purchase the CV-591A, the AN/SRR-13A, two teletype patch panels (one black and one red) and of course hundreds of vacuum tubes.  Thanks to our close proximity to Philadelphia and The James River Reserve Fleet, much of our cabling, patch panels, power, signal, and RF connectors and equipment shock mounts have been free (other that the cost of travel). 

Good luck, and let me know if I can answer any specific questions.  There are radio exercises held amongst the museum boats several times a year.  We have participated in many, unfortunately using non-historic equipment.  Next time, we hope to be using nothing but the historic equipment that we are working so hard to restore.
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Darrin
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 06:43:46 PM »

Thanks Chief,

While I am familiar with what Torsk has done in the restoration of the Radio Room, I have only put a small amount of work into the restoration of the Radio Room other then helping move things around when I am there and I have been able to acquire many tubes (for the most part we have pulled all the ones in JRRF that were used for a 60's configured boat) along with shock mounts and other cabling for this and other projects.

Everyone has a job when you are restoring a museum, regardless of how small or how hard it is (especially during a strip ship) the benifits of everyone working together is 10 fold. Because of the strip ships we are able to due countless small and large projects on Torsk that would have cost us or someone else a LOT of money and because of contacts that have been made during the restoration of this and other boats people have come forward to help when we have truly needed.

What Chief Mike hasn't told you is that we have spent a good bit of our own money (not TVA's but personal money) in getting some hard to find vacuum tubes and once bought we have been able to get spares through strip ships and donations, then there are more countless hours checking them out to make sure that they are good and then matching them with our COSAL to make sure that we carried them during our time frame and for the pieces of gear that we have onboard.  We have a truly dedicated COB that has spent god only knows how many hours researching and finding and testing the tubes that we have onboard along with restoring equipment at his own home. At the tender young age of 76 Chief Bill has performed miracles in the last few years in getting our electronics and IC stack working once more and in the process he is teaching a very select group that are interested in finishing the work that he and others have started.

Ok other boats that have worked on their Radio Rooms, your up..... COD?Huh? what does Martha have to say about your restoration???
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Viejo
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2009, 04:23:10 AM »

I am attaching a file I found that lists many of the older pieces of radio equipment and tells what type of ship it was used for.  From what I can figure in looking at pictures, the Marlin has a Vacuum Tube Transmitter. A TED-7 According to the list, it would be a 300 Watt Transmitter in the 300-500 KC range. In the pictures I put up, the cables are named, so that gives some clue of what should be there. Next time I am up, I'll trace out the ones that go to the missing equipment so I will know what to look for. The fronts of the units there need painting, but all knobs and dials work.  I wish I still had my scope, but can bring a meter and get some readings once we get power to the sets. I'll keep all updated. In the meantime, any who are interrested can look at the picture that shows the labels for the equipment on one of the Marlin pages.
Viejo Smiley

* Radio Tramsmitters andReceivers.doc (373.5 KB - downloaded 351 times.)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 04:25:04 AM by Viejo » Logged

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emeacho
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 12:41:13 PM »

Another way to gleen clues as to the equipment your Radio Room one had is labeling.  The audio switchboard was labeled as to what provided signals and to where the signals were sent.  The coax cables connected into our receiver antenna patch panel also had labels which clued us into the equipment once installed. 
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 12:54:36 PM »

Yes,  that is why I had put up the picture of where the cables alll tied in. It shows RCVR-1 and 2 and an AN/WRC-1 and then a TCS. Up above is a 390A, a SRR-11, a Loran, and a Spare for the antennas. On the transmitter that is there, the nameplate shows it to be a TED-7
Viejo


* MarlinGuages 027 (1936 x 1296).jpg (426.62 KB, 1936x1296 - viewed 361 times.)

* MarlinRadio.jpg (184.1 KB, 1067x819 - viewed 334 times.)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 12:58:33 PM by Viejo » Logged

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