Communicators Reunion 2018 – REMINDER

To see who is coming to the Reunion please click HERE .

Just a reminder Registration for the Reunion will take place adjacent to the House Bar commencing at 1730.  You will be able to get a drink at the House Bar while we wait for the venue to open at 1815.  Our President will commence his welcome at 1815 and ‘Up’ Spirits will commence at 1830.

As in the past we will be having a photographer at the meet and greet.  The photographer has advised that he can only take cash on the night when you order your photographs, so please don’t put your cash all over the bar and save some for your photographs.

Looking forward to catching up with everyone.

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DNB Open Day

Come and see your Navy at work. The public are invited to your Navy Open Day at Devonport Naval Base on Saturday 24 March 10am to 4pm.

See our ships and the talented and well trained sailors who crew them, the state of the art world-class technology our personnel train on, get close up to one of our SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopters and see where the Navy works, lives and plays.

Enjoy live musical entertainment by The Royal New Zealand Navy Band.

Plenty of things for everyone to see, do and eat. Put the date in your diary now and bring the whole family.

+ Consider public transport – parking is limited.
+ There will be extra City to Devonport and Stanley Bay return ferry sailings available.
+ Access will be via the main Queen’s Parade Gate and the Stanley Point Gate with parking available on Ngataringa Bay Sports Field.

+ For safety, please wear closed toe footwear when embarking on the ships.
+ Please also bring drinking water.
+ Sunscreen.

Please note there may be ladders and steep stairs onboard our ships.

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A Tank in the Sun

Here is an image which clearly shows that the buntings can work in all conditions and not to just sneak out of the BWO to catch 10 mins in the sun to get a tan.  Who is this brave soul.  Thanks Frank L for the image.

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Jack Passings – March 2018

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of March 2018. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

Collins, Anthony Gerald (Jumper) CPOYS

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Just to advise that Jimmie Blackburn has been turned into North Shore Hospital with a gall stone which was not behaving.  He has had an operation to remove the said culprit and is slowly on the mend and feeling quite ‘chipper’.

Update – Jim has now been released from the North Shore sickbay and is now convelescing at the home of his son Allan in Orewa.  It is going to be a slow and upward struggle, but one Jim, I am sure is going to climb.  He can be contacted on 09 427 6286.



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A Blast from the Past

This is a real blast from the past.  Who can tell me what this was called and what it was used for and even the process of how it was used..  Good question for the younger Communicators amongst you.   Thanks Frank L for the image.

The PENELOPE cryptosystem was designed for the encryption of call signs and address groups used on radio circuits, both CW and Voice. System components included keying materials and two associated devices designed for encrypting call signs and address groups in the form of four character groups, which were composed of any combination of letters and digits.

Encryption produced another four character group, consisting in this case of any combination of letters, digits and slant V signs. The call signs and address groups which could be encrypted by the system could be found in separate publications.

The PENELOPE keying material consisted of two parts:

(a) A substitution table for changing plain four character address groups or call signs into intermediate groups, which could be further encrypted.

(b) Key cards for use with one of the cryptodevices in encrypting and decrypting the intermediate groups obtained through the substitution table. INTERMEDIATE GROUPS WERE NEVER TO BE TRANSMITTED WITHOUT FIRST BEING ENCRYPTED. Substitution squares and key cards, being complementary, were together known as PENELOPE Key Lists.

The cryptodevices used in the PENELOPE system were:

(a) CSP 1750 (KA-2) A manually operated mechanical device, used in conjunction with key cards to encrypt and decrypt intermediate groups.

(b) CSP 1756 (KA-3) – A device which used sliding strips, for the same purpose as the CSP 1750 (KA-2), and intended for use whenever the CSP 1750 (KA-2) was inoperable.


Any encrypted call sign, address group or other group could be transmitted phonetically on voice circuits. Furthermore, if desired, encrypted call signs and address groups could be changed to a pair of words for voice transmission by use of a “word square”
This was included with the appropriate PENELOPE keying material.

Procedure for Retarding Voice Call Sign Changes:

A procedure known as MISFIT was devised for retarding voice call sign changes when a force was engaged in action at a time scheduled for a call sign change. Implementation of MISFIT Procedure merely continued the use of voice call signs already in effect past the time scheduled for their supersession; it had no effect on the supersession of RATT/CW call signs. Thus, when MISFIT was declared and the time scheduled for normal call sign change was reached, AMSP 298 key card supersession took place, new call signs (CW/RATT and voice) were derived, and all but the newly derived voice call signs were put in use. As long as MISFIT was in effect, the voice call signs already in use, derived by means of the superseded key card, remained in effect.

EXAMPLE: A force is engaged by the enemy at 233OZ, and has a call sign change scheduled for OOO1Z. The Force OTC feels that conducting the call sign change as scheduled on the Force’s voice radio circuits will be deleterious to his tactical control. AMSP 298 key card “DH” is in use by the units of his Force. The OTC orders the following transmission made to all Force units concerned:

“MISFIT DELTA HOTEL” . As transmitted, this order meant “continue using voice call signs encrypted by means of AMSP 298 daily-changing key card “DH” until further notice.”

CHARTER – When the situation requiring retardation of the voice call signs change had passed, replacement of the superseded voice call sign was effected as soon as possible. The OTC may have accomplished this by ordering transmission to units concerned by the use of the term “CHARTER”, followed by the designation of the effective AMSP 298 key card by which the new voice call signs would be derived, and a time indicating when that key card was to be put in use.

EXAMPLE: The action which caused the OTC to order MISFIT has ended at 0700Z. The OTC wishes to allow time for regrouping before changing call signs, so decides to wait until 0800Z to put the deferred key card (e.g”DZ”) into effect. The OTC orders the
following transmission made to all Force units concerned:


As transmitted, this order meant “Change to call signs encrypted by means of AMSP 298 daily-changing key card “DZ” at O8OOZ”.

The OTC ensured simultaneous promulgation of MISFIT procedure on all voice radio circuits under his control. Ordering MISFIT procedure into effect in the manner described above before engagement in action had occurred could betray to opposing forces that an operation is impending. Therefore, any orders issued prior to engagement in action which indicate that MISFIT procedure is to be implemented will be afforded physical or cryptographic security in their transmission.


csp_1750_a_687_2.jpg The CSP 1750 (KA-2) was a manually operated cipher device which was employed in enciphering and deciphering four character groups for which intermediate groups have been substituted. The cipher device is of metal construction. On its surface are four columns of characters with a movable chain beside each column. Below the four columns of characters are four windows in which appear the counter numbers for each column. A metal stylus is attached in brackets on the side of the device for use in moving the chains.

Before beginning encipherment or decipherment the cipher device must be zeroized, i.e., each of the four counters must read zero. Zeroizing is performed by holding down the lever at the lower left corner of the device and by turning the knob on the lower right side counterclockwise. When the knob locks and zero (00) appears on the counters, the cipher device is correctly zeroized. To register a character, the stylus was inserted in the chain link opposite the desired character and perpendicular to the face of the device. The stylus was pulled downward until it reached the metal bar below the columns of characters; the total will appear on the counter below the column used. An example of the machine in the photo is on display at the MARCOM Museum, Halifax. (Photo courtesy John Alexander, G7GCK Leicester, England)

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Jack Passings – February 2018

The following Sailors ‘Crossed the Bar’ during the month of February 2018. Details of funerals etc can be found by clicking HERE.

FREEBORN Christopher John LTCDR
BARNES Arthur Charles LCK
MILLS, Stanley William (Stan)
Ord Seaman
HOHAIA, Raymond Joseph ME
HARKER John Derek (Buster) Seaman
NUTTALL Murray Alfred
O’KEEFE, John Francis Cook
BACON Brian  CPO Stoker

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