Out of the Arhives

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).

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2 Responses to Out of the Arhives

  1. It as basically the same at Ngapona The Tx’s at home were called 5G remember they had 500 odd volts on the final valve an 807 I think. My father was shocked that you could lift the lid at any time and expose this (he was an electrician) and made me screw a couple of self tapping screws into the edge to avoid this. TV put paid to these operations. Remember working ZMWP in the Far East from NG on a monday night in the early 60’s Good times

  2. Merv Grewar (PRD) says:

    Ngapona had an 89Q as main Tx and B40 and B28’s. Antenna was an inverted V and we used to read a Bcast CW from Irirangi most nights and at home on a little receiver which for the life of me cannot remember anything about it. We did get a 618 at some time and it was used more extensively than the 89 as the lights used to dim in the main hall when we were transmitting and the dib dabs were not happy with it. Also had a ZC1 at home which was next to useless and spent more time at North Head getting my speed up than doing it at home as it was hopeless and quite often got complaints from neighbours. We ran a cw broadcast from Ngapona for some time for new entries and from memory that was on Thursday evening and I think on 3990. Great days and ultimately was the making of my job in Civil Aviation as initially a communicator (25wpm to get in) and ultimately as a Flight service officer and then an Aerodrome Sperintendent – thanks pussers.

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