Jim D was doing a little sort out at TOROA in his position as curator. I will leave him to tell the story. Whilst doing research I came across a couple of photos of Radio Operators practising morse code in an office. One of the pics clearly showed two B40s. It obviously wasn’t the W/T Office on an ML so I asked Lt Cdr David Humphrey RNZNVR, Retired, who I knew was initially a telegraphist in the RNZNVR, did Toroa have a W/T Office.
David. Yes, it was just behind the Qms lobby. I was Com’s O for some time and I set a schedule with the other Reserve Divisions, as we all had small CW transmitters at home. We also communicated with Harman (Canberra) and Coonawarra (Darwin) in Aus. and tried to get Portishead in the UK, but that was unsuccessful. Our first set in an ML was an old, 4125, followed by a 618 and also a 691 VHF in the wheelhouse for manoeuvres etc.
Jim. What was Toroa’s callsign?
David. Will let you know Toroa’s c/s as soon as I find it.
Toroa ……..HAVE FORGOTTEN BUT WILL TRY TO FIND. ML’s – our last one was HMNZS Koura, ZMTB – Taiaroa Head was ZLES – TOROA – ZLYD. We had our outstations, ZLYD1, ZLYD2 and so on.
Jim. What type of aerial did you use at Toroa – sloping wire, whip or horizontal dipole?
Were the other RNZNVR callsigns as follows: ZLYA – Ngapona, ZLYW – Olphert, ZLYC – Pegasus.
Finally, what type of aerial did you use at home and what was the small transmitter and receiver? I can find no information on the 4125.
David. Rooftop single wire end fed, running from pole at front of bldg. to pole at end of main bldg..Freq used was 3172 Kc/s and I think length of wire was half wave.
Cant remember c/s of other Divisions. Had same type of end fed aerial at home, from window in house to flag pole at end of section. Cant recall make of xmtter, but I think they were made in the dockyard, no modulator, so only send cw. Had to use a B28 for receiver. The 4125 was also made in the dockyard, and fitted to VR ML’s before the 618 sets, that had to have own power generator in engine room. The original transmitter in Toroa was an old 89M. Had big valves etc. but pumped out plenty of power. I also had an ex army ZC1 at home and sometimes put it in my car. It worked well.
(Jim. Not sure if any of the above was legal, but what the heck).