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VE3ZUP
04-11-2012, 12:51 AM
A very interesting version of the wireless narrative of the sinking of the Titanic is offered by the BBC World Service. BBC producers used computer generated voices of actual telegraphic exchanges to simulate the frantic network traffic.


I expect this is of deep meaning to all amateur radio operators. The very foundations of our service are clearly laid in this narrative. You'll hear urgency, courage and disbelief from the wireless operators. You'll hear our on-air jargon even as it is used today. You'll recognise network message frustrations. You will be amazed when you hear echoes of our amateur radio service as it is today--especially in times of disaster and recovery. Please have a listen.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00q89fy


The valent efforts of the wireless officer John George "Jack" Phillips as his ship sank are beyond description.


The sinking of the Titanic is of profound Canadian historical significance. Please listen for Canadian special events station:
CG1T (VE1CDD) 2012-04-01 to 2012-04-30; 100th Anniversary of the Titanic sinking.

K6MFW
04-11-2012, 06:16 PM
90751
At least we have better commo for ships these days. From a presentation,
http://hamradio.arc.nasa.gov/meetings/HFradioatsea.html

KJ6VCN
04-11-2012, 07:51 PM
Ah, yes. I heard this a few days ago, it's quite interesting. Personally, it would have been more realistic if they had said "CQD de MGY" instead of "CQD, this is Titanic." Overall it's a great, historical look back at what happened that hectic night. I recommend giving it a listen. The program is about an hour long, so put aside some time to listen to it through.

KB4QAA
04-11-2012, 07:55 PM
Thank goodness they didn't have to pay any actors! ;)

N4VDL
04-11-2012, 08:11 PM
Nicely done...thanks for sharing.

KC2IFR
04-11-2012, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the link........great stuff...

Bill

W0DV
04-11-2012, 09:44 PM
If it were not for the the Marconi operators on the Titanic, John Phillips, Harold Bride, and the Marconi operator on the Carpathia, Harold Cottam, hundreds more would have died. This months QST has a very nice story on their efforts.

K2OO
04-11-2012, 09:51 PM
What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing the link,

K0MAN
04-11-2012, 10:20 PM
WOW.....Just WOW!

VE7IAF
04-11-2012, 11:39 PM
"I expect this is of deep meaning to all amateur radio operators" It's deep alright, a full wavelength at 75 khz.

WD0EBZ
04-12-2012, 12:51 AM
Great story and nicely done. Thanks for the histoircal link.
WD0EBZ

WA1HUD
04-12-2012, 01:04 AM
Commercial Coastal station WNE is planning to send a commemorative CW transmission on 472 KHz in memory of the sinking of the Titanic at 0300 GMT April 15, 2012. Transmission is not long and will be sent at 15 WPM. There appears to be some confusion at what time the ship hit the burg so it was decided to send it out at 0300 GMT.

73, Steve
WA1HUD
Chief Eng WNE Coast Radio

WB0RUR
04-12-2012, 02:08 AM
Really nice. Compelling when you hear the transmissions played in this manner.
Gary, WB0RUR

KD2BDV
04-12-2012, 02:10 AM
Titanic was the first ship to send "SOS".

It had only recently been adopted as the new standard distress call.

N0NB
04-12-2012, 02:42 AM
Nicely done!

What was left unsaid, and likely not germane to the story of the sinking of Titanic, is that the actions of too many of the amateurs and competing wireless companies' operators that night and in the aftermath led directly to radio licensing. In the USA the Radio Law of 1912 established the federal government's authority over all things wireless and banished the amateurs to a wavelength of 200 Meters. It also required that prospective radio amateurs pass an examination and receive an operator's and station license from the Department of Commerce. The law had the consequence of cutting the number of amateur stations drastically but also eliminated the free-for-all days of wireless. It also had a few other unintended effects as well--official recognition of amateur radio and rather than killing off amateur radio as originally intended, it resulted in the eventual discovery of our presently known shortwave spectrum along with the drive toward CW replacing spark as the latter was more difficult to use on the higher frequencies.

So while I salute those earliest radio amateurs, our service as we know it was truly born as a result of the tragic loss of the Titanic.

W2JRL
04-12-2012, 03:31 AM
An interesting article from the AP about the meteorologic aspects of the disaster:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=150437215

KW0U
04-12-2012, 03:43 AM
Terrific show. But there were some earlier uses of SOS, not that it matters much in the context of this story.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOS

Saw an excellent British show on TV about the engineers of the Titanic. They did everything they could to keep radio and light power on as long as possible. None of the officers, and few of the men, in this group got out alive. All the electricians stayed at their posts to the end too.

W2MFT
04-12-2012, 11:34 AM
The computer generated voices depersonalized the story...I really would have thought the BBC would have done a much better job, like they used to do before all the budget cutting. It wasn't computers and disembodied voices that saved the survivors, but rather it was the hands and minds of two young CW operators. This is a much better dramatization.of the events...Look for the Last Signals video

http://www.youtube.com/jkilts

Cheers
Doc

VE3EDY
04-12-2012, 12:02 PM
A most compelling rendition of the events that happened 100 hundred years ago. Earlier in the day my family and I visited the National Science Museum in Ottawa , Canada where a replica of the Titanic was on display along with a working Spark Gap Transmitter . Listening to this device broadcast its CQD and SOS message brought this story back to life for me . I hope other Amateurs will get a chance to see this display and then listen to this historic rendition of the events as they unfolded so many years ago.

Larry,VE3EDY

W1YW
04-12-2012, 12:30 PM
The sinking of the Titantic, utterly tragic even a century later, has had indirect but profound impact on the world since.

Wireless was, in 1912, still a struggling field , controlled by Marconi, that had its emphasis on wireless messaging. And it was somewhere between miserable and horrible: the reliability of the few links that Marconi had up was fair to poor, because of propagation and equipment we would consider, to be charitable, insensitive. Cable messaging was, in contrast, far more reliable and still preferred at that time.

Marconi perceived the value of having wireless on the Titantic and lobbied for it—essentially installing it for the PR value. Think about it—millionaires on a maiden cruise of the largest ship in the world, messaging back their ‘important’ business matters while in the lap of luxury. Yeh! The ship was assigned the call MGY. That’s ‘M’ as in ‘Marconi’.

You know the story at that point—the ‘two Harolds’ as heros; junior Marconi employee David Sarnoff claiming picking up the distress signal (legend but not true; he was one of several ops working the key in NYC). No pun intended, wireless equipped shipping became a legally required ‘killer app’ for Marconi.

What ensued was a company that rocketed in 1912-1913, much like, say, Facebook today. There was even a MAJOR scandal in the UK over insider info and trading of Marconi stock, that is very famous in the UK, but unknown here.

Titanic is where Marconi the amateur and scientist became Marconi the FORCE. Marconi the tycoon. The rest of the story is even more important—broadcast; transformation to RCA; the Armstrong patents and war; and so on, but that’s a later post someday.

73,
Chip W1YW

K8AG
04-12-2012, 04:09 PM
The sinking of the Titanic is of profound Canadian historical significance. Please listen for Canadian special events station:
CG1T (VE1CDD) 2012-04-01 to 2012-04-30; 100th Anniversary of the Titanic sinking.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/the-titanics-role-in-radio-reform

Radio has improved some since then too.

73, JP, K8AG

K5MIL
04-13-2012, 04:38 AM
If the Marconi operators had listened to the radio op aboard the Californian, just a few miles away, when he attempted to warn them about ice bergs instead of telling him to stop interfering with their transmission to Cape Race, Newfoundland on behalf of the Titanic passengers, a lot more passengers would have been saved. After being chastised by the Titanic radio ops, the op aboard the Californian turned off his wireless and went to bed, thus never hearing the Titanic distress call. The Californian could have been on site in short order.

N0NB
04-13-2012, 12:34 PM
Did the Californian also employ a Marconi Wireless operator? I ask because a lot of commentary notes that if another ship did not employ an op of the same company, they were routinely ignored or, worse, jammed. Competing ops considered the traffic from the other companies to be interference at best. The op on the Californian may have had safety of life at sea as his intent, but the primary mission of the Marconi ops on the Titanic was to pass messages for the passengers (most likely a tidy revenue stream for Marconi Wireless) which turned to safety of life at sea after being ordered to do so by the captain. I don't think judgment should be passed on Messrs Phillips and Bride unless the messages sent by the Californian were not written down or, if they were, were not passed to the bridge. I have read conflicting accounts of the fate of the ice messages.

KB0NNU
04-13-2012, 12:59 PM
I have known a couple of old time technitions. This story has come up in conversation more than once. According to these gentlemen the "spark" was real cw. What us young whipper snappers use is MCW modulated cw. Cannot imagine sitting listening to that raspy arc hour upon hour. After a long session of that they would probably find me sitting the corner playing with dolls.

N2EY
04-13-2012, 01:15 PM
If the Marconi operators had listened to the radio op aboard the Californian, just a few miles away, when he attempted to warn them about ice bergs instead of telling him to stop interfering with their transmission to Cape Race, Newfoundland on behalf of the Titanic passengers, a lot more passengers would have been saved.

Probably not. Here's why:

The wireless operators didn't run the ship.

Prior to telling the Californian to shut up, Titanic's operators had received and delivered to the captain and bridge no less than 6 warnings of icebergs ahead. The Captain's response was to order the lookouts to be extra vigilant - but he did not order reduced speed.

Would a 7th ice warning have made any difference? We don't know.


After being chastised by the Titanic radio ops, the op aboard the Californian turned off his wireless and went to bed, thus never hearing the Titanic distress call. The Californian could have been on site in short order.

Californian's operator wanted to go to bed - that's why he tried to break into Titanic's QSO with the shore station at Cape Race. They had a big backlog of messages to send ("a full hook", as we traffic men used to say) and it was their job to get them sent. Marconi Company was a for-profit business, and those messages on the hook were from paying customers.

Let's suppose Titanic's operators reacted differently. Suppose they'd asked Cape Race to stand by, and copied Californian's ice warning message. As soon as the message was acknowledged, Californian's op would have gone to bed anyway.

Would a 7th ice warning have made any difference? Would it even have been delivered to the bridge in time? We'll never know.

The crew of Californian saw the flares (rockets) that Titanic sent off, but they didn't bother to wake up the operator, fire up the wireless and ask what they meant.

73 de Jim, N2EY

W1YW
04-13-2012, 03:49 PM
Might be because the Titantic ops had told him to shut up;-)

MW6CRS
04-13-2012, 10:44 PM
You know the story at that point—the ‘two Harolds’ as heros;

Thank you for the reference.
I would be highly priveliged and hounoured if you would take a look at or indeed listen out for and contact either my self or my local club as we operate a station in respect for one of the HERO HAROLD'S Here in His Home Town using the sign

GB0HLT

CW & voice on 20, 40 & 80 (conditions allowing) as well as possibly all day PSK on 20m

All info available and will be updated every 30 mins here on QRZ.COM page GB0HLT on the 15/4/12

Regards Chris

N2EY
04-15-2012, 10:49 PM
Titanic was the first ship to send "SOS".

No, it wasn't. Old urban legend. Look up the wreck of the SS Slavonia (a Cunard ship) in June 1909, almost three years before Titanic.


It had only recently been adopted as the new standard distress call.

Not really. SOS had been around, and used, for several years. It was introduced in 1905. Titanic was not the first to use it, nor the first use of wireless for a distress call.

What was new was that the Marconi company had recently made it their standard. But there were other wireless companies (such as Telefunken) in operation at the time. Plus operating methods were still being standardized in 1912.


73 de Jim, N2EY

AC8EO
04-15-2012, 10:53 PM
Couldn't hear anything.

N2EY
04-16-2012, 10:42 AM
Couldn't hear anything.

You forgot to wind up the detector.

73 de Jim, N2EY

W8KIR
04-16-2012, 01:20 PM
I had the privilege of operating the Special Event Station from the Titanic Museum in Branson, Mo. this past weekend. Our call was W0S. We also had a sister station in Pidgon Forge, Tn. Their call was W4S. Had a great time. We logged about 800 contacts half of which were CW. We had fun introducing people to morse code. So many thought it was a lost art. I wish QRZ had published our info we sent them about the Special Event that we sent them. I guess we were not special enough.

KC2GEP
04-16-2012, 07:44 PM
KC2GEP Ham Member- Would like to see these wireless exchanges in more detail as a part of new dramatizations on TV. It might be more realistic if we actually heard the operators reading the words as they are decoding and trying to tune in other ships through the static (QRM). The attempt to synthesize the voices was a failure, but the foreign accents might be used if it depicted the voices of the receiving operators as they decoded. The emphais of such a show might be on the rescue and the role of the wireless, aside from the disaster itself. 73

AG6JU
04-16-2012, 10:44 PM
I am glad I did not live in the time, when technology were primitive. I think even $1000 HF radio work better than those radio in Titanic. of cause, I think most of the ship probably have satellite communication, which are much more reliable than HF.

NW9M
04-24-2012, 05:22 PM
I am glad I did not live in the time, when technology were primitive. I think even $1000 HF radio work better than those radio in Titanic. of cause, I think most of the ship probably have satellite communication, which are much more reliable than HF.

$1000 radios? I suspect even a $10 QRP kit would work better, and I KNOW that a $10 QRP kit combined with a $15 QRP amplifier would definitely work better.

Having said that, I suspect that a modern radio would have nowhere near the "personality" of a finicky turn-of-the-century spark gap transmitter and receiver.

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