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Old June 17th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #1

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MGY CQD SOS TITANIC CQD SOS...Titanic's wireless odyssey


As you will see from the link, President Taft had heard the wireless reports (supposedly sent by Titanic) that the Titanic was headed for Halifax after the iceberg incident. I understand that the bow was indeed pointed in the general direction of Halifax when found by Ballard in 1985, but that isnt saying much, as the pieces "flew" as they sank.
Still though, there were reports that the passengers had been taken safeley off the ship, which was already on the bottom. And the most intriquing of all was the two incidents of interest with regards to the Marconi company and the suppressing of information that followed the sinking.
In NY City, there was a big Marconi station on the top of Wannamakers dept store. There were also thousands of civilian wireless operators who listened in along the East Coast. Many amature operators heard the information comming from the Carpathia (or so the rumor went) but the Marconi company, and the White Star Line suppressed the release of the names of the living, and the presumed dead. And thus, though the Marconi company had taken some blame for the witholding of this information. Do you believe that the rumors were true?
Who sent the false reports that Titanic was steaming for Halifax? WHo sent the reports that Titanic had been taken in tow, passengers removed?
What do you make of all this?

But remember, back then, it was commonly believed that many of the wireless sets had thier own "voice", and so experienced operators could tell from the sound of another set which one it was. Titanic had a peculiar sound, was considered a "sweet" wireless set, so we must wonder what made these experienced operators to become fooled in not knowing who, or from where, these false reports were comming from. Titanic had a syncronous spark-gap transmitter, with a special sound all her own. Pay particular attention to the link and the typical transmitters of the pre-1914 era to the last example, with was the Titani'cs style transmitter.
Now, back to the first link, we see the very brainiest guys in the US war dept present at the White House with President Taft. Look at the names and ranks of the military men who were there. Surely, these guys should have been able to tell the Titanics radio signal from some amature signalling from a barn somewhere with an old non-synchronised transmitter. So why did they make out like they were fooled by all of the false signals. Just as computer geeks of today have unusual knowledge in thier fields, so did the radio geeks of 1912.
Was there a conspiracy to withold/ or publish false or misleading information? Did the govt mislead the common people into going along with some regulatory overburden, or was the US govt experts as stupid as they seem? Check out the link below to see who was with Taft in complaining about all of the faked and misleadng signals, and see from the last link on the bottom of this post to see what I mean with regards as to how impossible it would have been for some amature to fake the Titanic's wireless signal and make it actually sound like her.

http://earlyradiohistory.us/1912mob.htm

Here is another link so that everyone can understand the vagaries of pre-1914 wireless technology, and why Titanic's signal would stand out from the others of the time. So, where did the false reports supposedly from Titanic come from? If Carpathia had an older wireless suite, check out the explanation of the Titanics wireless suite, and see how it would seem to be easy to tell if the signals were comming from that set, or from one of older design. Thus, though Titanic had never been across the pond before, wireless men would know of the new technology that was comming, and would be able to distinguish the signals from such a set as opposed to the ones of older technology that they were used to. And thus, the operators should have been able to tell if the false Titanic signals were comming from a set like she had, or from some old tramp steamer, or a land station. Check it out...

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVgQcj7jihk"]YouTube - W2ICE and Spark Transmitters[/ame]


Or, perhaps the false signals were able to fool experienced operators because another ship with the absolutely latest in wireless had a set the same or better (military) that Titanic's own?

Last edited by Richard Stanbery; June 17th, 2009 at 05:25 PM.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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Re: MGY CQD SOS TITANIC CQD SOS...Titanic's wireless odyssey


There is always false misleading information,differently in 1912!
One of the papers ran the story of the titanic being towed and everyone was safe! This was hrs or days after the Titanic sinking.

I don't think there was any false signals to fool experience operators in peace time in 1912 cause of the risk of the passenagers.
During war time,there was false singnals set out but not in Titanic's life time.

the radio morse code machines back than can ony work from a distance,if a ship was close,the singnal was very strong,if the ship was far way,it is very soft and weak.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #3

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Re: MGY CQD SOS TITANIC CQD SOS...Titanic's wireless odyssey


Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi XX View Post
There is always false misleading information,differently in 1912!
One of the papers ran the story of the titanic being towed and everyone was safe! This was hrs or days after the Titanic sinking.

I don't think there was any false signals to fool experience operators in peace time in 1912 cause of the risk of the passenagers.
During war time,there was false singnals set out but not in Titanic's life time.

the radio morse code machines back than can ony work from a distance,if a ship was close,the singnal was very strong,if the ship was far way,it is very soft and weak.
Yes, exactly so. If a ship was far away, the signal was very faint. Sometimes messages were relayed from one ship to another as they passed in mid ocean. In this way, messages were sometimes relayed across the oceans to stations far over the horizon. Kind of like an electronic "alley oops" for wireless messages.

I remember the story of the Marconi operator named David Sarnof, one of the leading founders of RCA and NBC, and a big proponent of FCC regulation in his later years. He was the lone operator sitting on top of Wanamakers Dept Store taking the details of the Titanic disaster. He stayed at his post for 72 hours working the wireless set.

There was some speculation in later years as to whether he could actually hear the Titanics messages, or was listening to messages relayed from the White Star Line ship Olympic , or from messages being relayed by a US warship from the Carpathia to the set at Wanamakers. Sarnof, an immigrant who had worked his way up in the Marconi company, was the only land based wireless man reported to have been allowed to send messages after the govt cleared everyone else off the air.

As to the false signals...well, President Taft said that there were false signals sent, and as a result, he spearheaded the Radio Act of 1912. Olympic had a different type (5kw) transmitter than the newer Titanic set. The wireless set o Titanic was reportedly installed on 2 April, and had reached stations from Ireland to as far away as Port Said, Egypt...3000 miles. Titanic could normally send messages around 250-400 miles in the day and 1000 to 2000 miles or so at night.

So, since she sank at night...why couldnt the Royal Naval station at Halifax pick up her signal? I understand that Halifax was then the largest naval base the RN had in the Atlantic outside Britain itself, so I imagine that they had a pretty good wireless set there. Why couldnt every wireless set on the East Coast hear the Titanic? I mean, if nobody could hear Titanic as she lay sinking, then how would anyone know to send a false signal to start with? Why was there any confusion as to whom had sent the false signals?

Apparently, Halifax naval base didnt hear the Titanic's distress calls. Nobody at Halifax knew of the disaster until after the ship had gone down. And then there was a false report allegedly sent from Cape Race that Titanic had been damaged, but was sailing for Halifax with passengers all safe. Only later did ships leave Halifax to recover the dead. Check this one out...
http://www3.sympatico.ca/goweezer/canada/titanic.htm


The Titanic's wireless was operated by the Marconi company, as was common for ships of the time, as well as the big set on Wanamakers. CQD was the conventional distress call, but SOS was commonly used by Marconi men. The wireless eqpt on the ships was leased to (but never sold) to the shipping lines, by the Marconi company, as were the operators.

Since most of the professional wireless operators were Marconi employees here, both on land and at sea, why were they fooled by garbled reports from a wireless set which was obviously not the special and distinguishable set on Titanic? These imposter sets sounded differently than Titanics. Hers was one of a kind. She was probably the best (or only) syncronous motor spark-gap transmitter of her time on the sea in 1912. The rotary gap transmitters came out for WWI, (1914) and surpassed Titanics technology, which put Titanics set in a class of one, as best as I can tell.

As to the radio call sign MGY, that was given to Titanic just before she sailed. This was before the Berlin radio conference, when every nation had its own call sign for the first letter (F for France, etc). Her original call sign had been MUC (previously assigned to a US ship) but was changed to MGY before she sailed.
So, if the land based civilian operators that supposedly sent the false signals couldnt hear the Titanics distress calls (or any other signals from the real Titanic), then how did they know the call sign was MGY if they didnt have access to the Marconi wireless books and manuals? They would need that in order to send a believable fake signal. How else could they have sent the false signals with a set that sounded like Titanics, with the proper call signs?

What do you guys think about all of this? Were there false signals sent, as the President alledged at the time? Who would send them, and how could they be faked so convincingly...enough to fool the professional wireless men of the Marconi company?

Last edited by Richard Stanbery; June 17th, 2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #4

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Re: MGY CQD SOS TITANIC CQD SOS...Titanic's wireless odyssey


I haven't heard of false signals but of course any disaster spawns many crazy rumors. I have not heard of telegraphs having a 'voice' but I have heard old timers say they could recognize the 'touch' of a telegrapher. Seems individuals have their own unique rhythm. Something way beyond my ear.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 04:00 AM   #5

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Re: MGY CQD SOS TITANIC CQD SOS...Titanic's wireless odyssey


You might find this of interest...
http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunica...PHY%201912.htm

So you see from the above link, the state of radio communications of 1912 was not as simplistic and crude as the common person was led to believe by the govt and the Marconi company at the time. Of course, both of these entities wanted the Radio Act of 1912 to go through. Give special note down near the bottom of the linked page to the information on the new Quenced spark transmitters, such as on HMS Vernon. It made so much interfearance as to render nearby recievers inopperable unless they were fitted with a special reciever. Titanic had a technology that was a kind of "crossover" wireless technology between this and the earlier, and more common, spark gap transmitters. In other words, Titanic was not likely to be confused with another ship. Interesting stuff.

I can remember my grandpa explaining to me one day about why he always used resistor plugs in his car. He showed me what it sounds like whenever a non-resistor plug is used. He turned the radio over to AM, and every firing of the sparkplugs made a radio interfearance on the car radio, which was in reality the 8 sepperate spark plugs sending a radio signal of its own. He went on to explain that any electromagnetic spark is a type of radio signal, such as even the minute signals in our brains, the flicking on of a light switch in a house, lightning, etc etc. Ever been listening to the Am when you passed under an electrical power line and heard the electromagnetic noise from that?

The spark-gap transmitters of 1912 were crude in some ways by todays standards, but not so crude as to be the field of simpletons that would have been easily misled into believing that a series of static and garbled signals from two sets distant from each other would blend into one utterly believable message from the ship with the best radio set on the ocean.

Imagine that your own car was sitting beside another car, both of them had non-resistor plugs. Would you believe that the electronic noise from your own cars non-resistor plugs was part of the electromagnetic noise of the other car?

And this is one about some of the false reports. Even the Marconi men aboard the Olympic were fooled...

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...629C946396D6CF


So, one can make up thier own mind. Would a false report simply derive from the ether from a mixture of two other innocuous messages bumping into each other ( on two different types of transmitters and presumably different sounds, from two different distances) in order to sound as if it had come from a single source. And, would such an anomality sound like the distinctive transmitter of Titanic...and, would such an annomolous message give the correct (MGY) callsign?

Or maybe, the false reports were made intentionally, by a group which did indeed have access to the best radio sets of the day, and the ability to send a false report that would have been believed by all of the highly trained and experienced Marconi men who heard it?

Remember, these were the best Marconi operators that the Marconi company could train. Would they be so foolish as to believe that two sepperate radio transmissions which garbled and blended themselves through static and atmospheric anomolies could somehow and morphed into one message was indeed the actual voice of RMS Titanic?

Here is a rotary gap transmitter sending. Titanic would have had a similar sound. Check it out...
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snkwsU98QlQ"]YouTube - RMS Titanic "SOS"[/ame]

And here is more of an earlier spark gap transmitter. Click on the link page and then the blue link word "listen". I think you will hear the difference. Enjoy!
http://www.ve3sy.com/spark.htm



Who believes that?

Last edited by Richard Stanbery; June 18th, 2009 at 05:29 PM.
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