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Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Morse-to-TTY converter, 1956

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  • Sheldon Daitch
    What about the automatic frequency control circuit for the SP-600? Sheldon ... __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam?
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 11, 2006
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      What about the automatic frequency control circuit for
      the SP-600?

      Sheldon

      --- Albert LaFrance <lafrance@...> wrote:

      > Well, it only took me four years, but here's the
      > article I cited:
      > http://coldwar-c4i.net/SIGINT/EE0256/085-086.html
      >
      > and the magazine's front cover with a large color
      > photo of the device:
      > http://coldwar-c4i.net/SIGINT/EE0256/FC.html
      >
      > I can't figure out what's the white panel with the
      > red dots. Are they switches or indicator lights?
      > Is it a matrix plugboard, or maybe just a code chart
      > or other graphic illustration?
      >
      > Albert
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Albert LaFrance" <albertjlafrance@...>
      > To: "Cold War Comms list"
      > <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 1:18 AM
      > Subject: Morse-to-TTY converter, 1956
      >
      >
      > > The Feb. 1956 issue of Radio and Television News
      > magazine includes a brief
      > > article about a special-purpose computer which
      > converts Morse code signals
      > > into plain text. Input is a tone or keyed DC
      > signal, or inked paper tape
      > > via an optional scanner, and output is a
      > teleprinter. The device, called
      > > the "Trak" code converter, was made by CGS
      > Laboratories of Stamford, CT.
      > >
      > > I found the converter interesting not just because
      > of the technology (the
      > > article says it uses both analog and digital
      > techniques), but because of its
      > > obvious potential for intelligence collection.
      > >
      > > Perhaps it's significant that the article does
      > *not* mention specific uses
      > > for the converter, nor does it say whether the
      > device was developed for the
      > > government. However, a photo shows the converter
      > being demonstrated for a
      > > Navy captain from the Office of the Joint Chiefs
      > of Staff. The paper-tape
      > > input option in particular suggests a SIGINT
      > application; the article states
      > > that the scanner "...produces accurate code
      > signals even from tape which
      > > would offer great difficulty of visual
      > interpretation even by a skilled
      > > operator. Use of the scanner permits Morse code
      > messages to be received
      > > from several sources simultaneously, stored
      > conveniently, and subsequently
      > > transcribed through the code converter."
      > >
      > > Albert
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >


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    • Albert LaFrance
      The more I look at it, the more I m inclined to agree that it is a plugboard. The red dots seem too small to be indicator lights or pushbuttons for that
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 11, 2006
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        The more I look at it, the more I'm inclined to agree that it is a plugboard. The red dots seem too
        small to be indicator lights or pushbuttons for that vintage of equipment.

        Any thoughts on the small cabinet at the left? The top unit looks like a shortwave receiver.
        http://coldwar-c4i.net/SIGINT/EE0256/FC.html

        Albert

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "jhaynesatalumni" <jhhaynes@...>
        To: <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 3:01 PM
        Subject: [coldwarcomms] Re: Morse-to-TTY converter, 1956


        I would guess the panel with the red dots is a matrix plugboard of
        some kind, as I have seen similar things - I'm thinking of a Burroughs
        desk-size computer that used plugboard programming.

        Seems like I remember an article in Electronics about a Navy box
        that converted Morse to TTY code, and was somewhat smaller than the
        one in this picture.
      • blitz
        The cabinet at the left is audio oriented, and the small scope confirms it. (audio wave form) The white panel isn t clear, but might be circuits, input
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 12, 2006
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          The cabinet at the left is audio oriented, and the small scope
          confirms it. (audio wave form)
          The white panel isn't clear, but might be circuits, input channels, etc.

          At 00:41 8/12/2006, you wrote:
          >The more I look at it, the more I'm inclined to agree that it is a
          >plugboard. The red dots seem too
          >small to be indicator lights or pushbuttons for that vintage of equipment.
          >
          >Any thoughts on the small cabinet at the left? The top unit looks
          >like a shortwave receiver.
          >http://coldwar-c4i.net/SIGINT/EE0256/FC.html
          >
          >Albert
          >
          >----- Original Message -----
          >From: "jhaynesatalumni" <jhhaynes@...>
          >To: <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com>
          >Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 3:01 PM
          >Subject: [coldwarcomms] Re: Morse-to-TTY converter, 1956
          >
          >
          >I would guess the panel with the red dots is a matrix plugboard of
          >some kind, as I have seen similar things - I'm thinking of a Burroughs
          >desk-size computer that used plugboard programming.
          >
          >Seems like I remember an article in Electronics about a Navy box
          >that converted Morse to TTY code, and was somewhat smaller than the
          >one in this picture.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Frank
          ... The top unit is a Hammarlund SP-600 receiver. It s the main tuning knob that is tied to the lower unit by the belt. That leads me to guess that the lower
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 12, 2006
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            --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "Albert LaFrance" <lafrance@...>
            wrote:
            > ...
            > Any thoughts on the small cabinet at the left? The top
            > unit looks like a shortwave receiver.
            > http://coldwar-c4i.net/SIGINT/EE0256/FC.html

            The top unit is a Hammarlund SP-600 receiver.

            It's the main tuning knob that is tied to the lower unit by the belt.

            That leads me to guess that the lower unit is some kind of automatic
            frequency control to compensate for drift in the receiver and received
            signal, with the scope as a tuning indicator.

            Frank
          • Albert LaFrance
            Yes, I m thinking the scope might be a tuning aid to help the operator get the most machine-readable signal, perhaps by adjusting the BFO. Note how the scope
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 12, 2006
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              Yes, I'm thinking the scope might be a tuning aid to help the operator get the most machine-readable
              signal, perhaps by adjusting the BFO. Note how the scope is belted to one of the knobs on the
              receiver.

              Because the scope has so few front-panel controls and doesn't appear to be a product of Tektronix,
              HP, DuMont, etc., I'd guess that it's a special-purpose instrument designed as part of the system.

              Albert

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "blitz" <blitz@...>
              To: <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2006 4:24 AM
              Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Morse-to-TTY converter, 1956


              > The cabinet at the left is audio oriented, and the small scope
              > confirms it. (audio wave form)
              > The white panel isn't clear, but might be circuits, input channels, etc.
            • jhaynesatalumni
              ... No doubt. Using modern computer stuff I have had perfect copy on machine sent Morse, but never get very good copy on hand-sent Morse.
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 12, 2006
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                --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, blitz <blitz@...> wrote:
                >
                > As the "fist" of the CW operator varies from individuals, I'd suppose
                > this would be most applicable to machine sent CW.
                > (Ive heard some seriously sloppy fists too!)

                No doubt. Using modern computer stuff I have had perfect copy on
                machine sent Morse, but never get very good copy on hand-sent Morse.
              • jhaynesatalumni
                I looked up the one I remembered. Electronics magazine for July 1, 1957, p. 154. The authors are with CGS Laboratories Inc. of Stamford, CT. They call it a
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 17, 2006
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                  I looked up the one I remembered. Electronics magazine for
                  July 1, 1957, p. 154. The authors are with CGS Laboratories
                  Inc. of Stamford, CT. They call it a TRAK CMP-15 converter.
                  The picture shows an installation at the Navy radio station
                  at Cheltenham, MD

                  The receiver appears to be a RCA AR-88. There is a little box
                  looking thing behind the tuning knob, so there might be a motor
                  drive in there. Below the receiver is a rack panel that the
                  caption says is a static rejector. The converter itself is in
                  a rack cabinet perhaps 42 inches high. Next to that is a rack
                  cabinet about 24 inches high, and a Teletype Model 28 table
                  model sits on top of that. It says station WWL is being copied
                  at 100 WPM. That doesn't sound right, since WWL is a broadcast
                  station in New Orleans.

                  The summary says it uses 92 tubes, 62 static magnetic memory
                  units, and a conversion matrix having 448 neon tubes.
                • Sheldon Daitch
                  The reference to WWL might be correct. I have, buried in files in transit, an article describing how VOA experimented with FSK on the carrier of its short
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 18, 2006
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                    The reference to WWL might be correct. I have, buried
                    in files in transit, an article describing how VOA
                    experimented with FSK on the carrier of its short wave
                    transmitters in about that same time frame, and I have
                    seen references in the trades, old-timer reports,
                    about AM broadcasters who also had FSK equipment for
                    their AM transmitters.

                    WWL would most certainly be audible in the night hours
                    in Maryland, so it is conceivable there could have
                    been on-air testings between New Orleans and MD.

                    --- jhaynesatalumni <jhhaynes@...> wrote:

                    > I looked up the one I remembered. Electronics
                    > magazine for
                    > July 1, 1957, p. 154. The authors are with CGS
                    > Laboratories
                    > Inc. of Stamford, CT. They call it a TRAK CMP-15
                    > converter.
                    > The picture shows an installation at the Navy radio
                    > station
                    > at Cheltenham, MD
                    >
                    > The receiver appears to be a RCA AR-88. There is a
                    > little box
                    > looking thing behind the tuning knob, so there might
                    > be a motor
                    > drive in there. Below the receiver is a rack panel
                    > that the
                    > caption says is a static rejector. The converter
                    > itself is in
                    > a rack cabinet perhaps 42 inches high. Next to that
                    > is a rack
                    > cabinet about 24 inches high, and a Teletype Model
                    > 28 table
                    > model sits on top of that. It says station WWL is
                    > being copied
                    > at 100 WPM. That doesn't sound right, since WWL is
                    > a broadcast
                    > station in New Orleans.
                    >
                    > The summary says it uses 92 tubes, 62 static
                    > magnetic memory
                    > units, and a conversion matrix having 448 neon
                    > tubes.


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                  • jhaynesatalumni
                    ... I have some info on that kind of stuff too, but believe they were sending RTTY on the FSK on BC carriers, while this thing is copying Morse.
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 18, 2006
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                      --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, Sheldon Daitch
                      <sheldondaitch@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > The reference to WWL might be correct. I have, buried
                      > in files in transit, an article describing how VOA
                      > experimented with FSK on the carrier of its short wave
                      > transmitters in about that same time frame,
                      I have some info on that kind of stuff too, but believe
                      they were sending RTTY on the FSK on BC carriers, while
                      this thing is copying Morse.
                    • Sheldon Daitch
                      True enough, but if you can send TTY via FSK, you could also send Morse by FSK without undue interference to the main audio, or at least that is the theory.
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 18, 2006
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                        True enough, but if you can send TTY via FSK, you
                        could also send Morse by FSK without undue
                        interference to the main audio, or at least that is
                        the theory.

                        --- jhaynesatalumni <jhhaynes@...> wrote:

                        > --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, Sheldon Daitch
                        > <sheldondaitch@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > The reference to WWL might be correct. I have,
                        > buried
                        > > in files in transit, an article describing how VOA
                        > > experimented with FSK on the carrier of its short
                        > wave
                        > > transmitters in about that same time frame,
                        > I have some info on that kind of stuff too, but
                        > believe
                        > they were sending RTTY on the FSK on BC carriers,
                        > while
                        > this thing is copying Morse.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >


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