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Author Topic: Radio log questions.  (Read 3768 times)

Heath Smith

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Radio log questions.
« on: January 10, 2012, 03:34:15 PM »

I am comparing the raw radio logs and the following web page and have a couple comments and questions.

http://tighar.org/wiki/Transmissions_heard_from_NR16020

1) at 04:53 Itasca time, "Working NPM NW/ EARHART BROKE IN ON FONE 3105", radio logs show this to be 04:55 Itasca time.

2) at 06:42 Itasca time, "Earhart on Air, S4, "GIVE ME A BEARING". EARHART DID NOT TEST FOR BEARING. HER TRANSMISSION TOO SHORT FOR BEARING. ", radio logs at Itasca and Howland say this happened at 06:47 Itasca time.

3) 08:43 Itasca for "We are on the line" message. MSG8.PDF has multiple statements of 08:55 as the last received message from AE. Was there some faint signal at 08:55 Itasca that was not recorded on the Transmissions_heard_from_NR16020 page?

4) Howland records at 8:57 (Itasca 7:57) "Amelia on again at 0800 SEZ HRS US ON 7.5 MEG CA/... Even if this was just a log entry for an earlier event at 0800 Howland time  (0800 SEZ), this would have been 0700 Itasca time. I see nothing in the Itasca log around that time. Perhaps this was referring to the 0642 Itasca entry? It seems a bit odd.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 03:43:40 PM by Heath Smith »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 05:09:10 PM »

3) 08:43 Itasca for "We are on the line" message. MSG8.PDF has multiple statements of 08:55 as the last received message from AE. Was there some faint signal at 08:55 Itasca that was not recorded on the Transmissions_heard_from_NR16020 page?

See "Last Words."
LTM,

           Marty
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Heath Smith

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 01:46:03 PM »

I found an interesting page about Leo G. Bellarts and his thoughts about what happened that day.

It might be interesting to add some foot notes to the transmission page to capture is later statements.

Example:

“Earhart stated: ‘Want bearing on 3105 KCS on hour, will whistle in mike’. That came in at 0614 hrs. She said on the hour and here it was 14 minutes after the hour. One minute later she comes on an said we’re about 200 miles out approximately and she was not whistling. I put down whistle, because she said she was whistling, actually it was audible sound (yells). That’s what she was doing. As to the log I didn’t put the word approximately in the correct spot. She said she was approximately 200 miles out and I just typed about 200 miles out approximately. I reversed the English on her”.

http://www.wingsoverkansas.com/earhart/article.asp?id=955

Interesting quotes from the page:

Sometime during the search, items were being taken out of the radio shack. The Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Baker ordered Chief Bellarts to lock up the Earhart log plus any other information he deemed pertinent. But, sometime prior to this the original 3 pages of the Earhart Log were retyped and were added to the other official logs/messages that were turned over to the Coast Guard upon completion of the cruise. These were later submitted to the National Archives in Washington D.C.. The major problem is that this retype made two typing errors: (1) at 0818. GA WID 3105 was omitted, and (2) at 0843, AS was typed instead of S5 (Radio Strength level 5) as on the original log.

Chief Bellarts kept the first three pages of the Earhart Flight Log plus other messages and pertinent information under lock and key. Upon arriving at his homeport (San Diego, California) Chief Bellarts removed these documents thinking that there would be some type of investigation by higher authority and he would be called to testify. But this never happened. Thus, these papers, including the three pages of the original Earhart Flight Log, remained in his possession until his death in 1974. His two sons, Leo Jr. and David Bellarts donated these papers and other items concerning Amelia Earhart in 1975 to the National Archives in Washington D.C.

...

When Cipriani finally returned to the ITASCA on 18 July, he brought the D/F back on board. During the trip back to Hawaii Chief Bellarts took the unit apart and discovered that the wires were all tangled and broken off at the terminals. The D/F was operated by rotating a loop in an oscillating (side to side) manner to try to determine the direction of a radio signal. The oscillating movement was necessary because there were wires attached to the underside of the loop, which would break if the loop was rotated continuously in either direction. Later models had slip rings added to prevent wires from breaking. After repairing the D/F, Chief Bellarts said nothing about it. He knew Cipriani hadn’t received any training on how to run the device and it would have served no purpose to get him in trouble. The D/F was an experimental model and came from the Navy and was loaned to the ITASCA by District Radio Electrician H.M. Anthony, in Honolulu. It was a small unit, less than one watt in power and used dry batteries, just small enough that it could be carried under one arm and didn’t weight as much as a small TV set.

...

Gun Batteries for the D/F on Howland: “I was not aware the batteries ran down during the night. In fact that is incorrect. Don’t recall exactly which gun battery we used, but they were all OK until after she apparently “went in”. Some one is guessing and they haven’t guessed the correct answer, which will remain with me”.

....

Earhart’s Voice: “The last time we heard her voice it was so loud and clear that you could hear her outside the radio shack. We heard her quite a few times, but that last time, it sounded as if she would have broken out in a scream if she hadn’t stopped talking. She was just about ready to break into tears and go into hysterics, that’s exactly the way I’d describe her voice, I’ll never forget it”.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:44:30 PM by Heath Smith »
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Heath Smith

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 02:08:47 PM »


What would:

0818. GA WID 3105

Mean?

Thanks.
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James G. Stoveken

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 04:01:44 PM »

There is a glossary here that should help, Heath.
Jim Stoveken
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Heath Smith

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 04:44:32 PM »


Thanks for the link.

So I guess the missing message that Bellarts was referring to was just a message from Itasca to AE to "go ahead with 3105 Khz".
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 10:04:59 AM »

One aspect about the radio traffic that has been bugging me is the disconnect between frequencies transmitted, and frequencies received.  When I read about the process used to change received frequencies in the Lockheed, it would seem to take a relatively long time and a lot of attention.  That would be time and attention taken away from looking out the window for Howland Island.
To modern readers of the radio logs, there may be a tendency to assume that the radios worked like modern radios.  That is, to change frequencies, just turn the knob so it clicks into the desired position, which we might assume also changes both transmitted and received frequencies at the same time.  That's not the way it worked back then.  She could pick one of 3 preset transmit frequencies (6210, 3195, 500 kcs) by turning a switch knob, but could not adjust their fine tuning at all.  That part was simple and quick to use.  However, the receiver was completely different - it had a multi-position switch to choose different "ranges", each covering a range of frequencies, and a second adjustable knob to dial-in the desired frequency.  In addition, there was yet another switch to choose which antenna was connected to the receiver; the overhead loop, or the belly wire.  So, for AE to change from one frequency to another required her to look at the dials (were they lit?) while turning switches and knobs while listening on headphones for the best reception.  We know she reported hearing the 7500 kcs transmission from Itasca on the loop antenna, for example.
It gives me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach to imagine her being close enough to spot Howland, yet missing it because her head was down trying to work the radio.  After all, she said she was changing frequencies in the same transmission that Itasca thought indicated she was really close to the island.  That may have been the most critical time to be looking out the window.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2012, 08:02:04 PM »

For the navigation, radio and fuel consumption gurus out there.  Can we pin down an area where AE and FN may have been when AE transmitted “we must be on you but we can not see you”?

My suggestion is to work backward from the TIGHAR hypothesis that they ended up on Niku.

How?

1.   Draw a series of S5 signal strength circles around Howland Is. i.e. this gives us a probable point of entry into the intended landing destination.
2.   Draw a series of parallel 337-157 lines that are “visual distant apart at 1000 feet altitude”.  These lines will be drawn to the East and West of Niku (remember we are assuming that TIGHAR’s hypothesis is that they landed on Niku).
3.   Draw a line perpendicular to the 337-157 line that is “4 hr. max fuel consumption” North of Niku (see TIGHAR’s note in 2 above)
4.   Draw a series of lines perpendicular to the 337-157 lines suggested in 2 above i.e. at “1000 foot visual range” South and North of Howland.  Remember they did not see Howland.
5.   Draw a series of lines perpendicular to the 337-157 lines North and South of Baker Is.  Obviously they didn’t see Baker either or they would have known how to navigate between the two islands i.e. Baker and Howland.

Within these series of circles and parallel lines can we shade in an area of high probability of the flight path entry into the Howland Is. area?  If so does this lessen or strengthen either the “crash and sank” or the TIGHAR hypothesis?
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2012, 11:08:53 AM »

At 1910 gmt, the Itasca log indicates they had been transmitting on 3105 and 7500 up to that time.  The next entry doesn't mention 7500, but does mention transmitting "almost continuously" on 3105 and 500.  They appear to have stopped transmitting on 7500.  The next Itasca entry includes [she]"...cannot hear us at all; we hear her and are transmitting to her on 3105 and 500 kHz same time constantly." No mention of 7500!
At 1928 she is recorded as saying she "..cannot hear you, go ahead on 7500 with a long count...".  This indicates to me that she noticed that they stopped transmitting on 7500, and is asking them to start transmitting on 7500 again.  A long count would enable her to fine-tune her receiver to their frequency, and to try using her DF.  A natural tendency would be to try tweaking the receiver to try to pick up the frequency again (suspecting that the frequency might be "drifting").  (It is almost impossible to return to the exact setting that previously worked ok, unless you've got something to listen to)
At 1930 she is recorded as saying "...we recd ur sigs but unable to get a minimum pse take bearing on us and ans 3105 wid voice...".  This clearly indicates she heard Itasca on 7500 again.  This also indicates to me that she had been monitoring 7500 for a while, trying to get a DF bearing.  Keep in mind that she could only receive one frequency at a time.  She would have been ignorant of what Itasca was doing on 3105 or 500 during that time period. 
She goes on to ask Itasca to take a bearing on her on 3105, and to call her back on 3105 in voice with their DF bearing.  Obviously she would have to change the frequency she was receiving, a process that would take some time and attention.
Itasca then transmits in code on 7500 that they can hear her on 3105, and to go ahead on 3105.  Of course she could not read code, even if she had continued listening on 7500.
It is important to keep in mind that much of what is recorded in the Itasca log was sent in code.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2012, 04:49:31 PM »


Cam someone give me a link to the radio traffic log.  I went to Ameliapedia and the Jacobson Radio traffic of PDF files but cannot pull up any of them   ???
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
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Heath Smith

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2012, 04:52:34 PM »


Harry,

Do you mean the Transmissions heard from NR16020 page?
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2012, 05:48:45 PM »


Heath
Thanks so much for that link.
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2012, 06:49:13 PM »


Itasca then transmits in code on 7500 that they can hear her on 3105, and to go ahead on 3105.  Of course she could not read code, even if she had continued listening on 7500.
It is important to keep in mind that much of what is recorded in the Itasca log was sent in code.
But the only thing being sent on 7500 was a series of "A's" which Earhart would recognize.
gl
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 07:13:31 PM »

At 1910 gmt, the Itasca log indicates they had been transmitting on 3105 and 7500 up to that time.  The next entry doesn't mention 7500, but does mention transmitting "almost continuously" on 3105 and 500.  They appear to have stopped transmitting on 7500.  The next Itasca entry includes [she]"...cannot hear us at all; we hear her and are transmitting to her on 3105 and 500 kHz same time constantly." No mention of 7500!
At 1928 she is recorded as saying she "..cannot hear you, go ahead on 7500 with a long count...".  This indicates to me that she noticed that they stopped transmitting on 7500, and is asking them to start transmitting on 7500 again.  A long count would enable her to fine-tune her receiver to their frequency, and to try using her DF.  A natural tendency would be to try tweaking the receiver to try to pick up the frequency again (suspecting that the frequency might be "drifting").  (It is almost impossible to return to the exact setting that previously worked ok, unless you've got something to listen to)

Here's a transmission from AE and, how it was recorded and later altered...

A close look at the Itasca radio log shows that another word was originally typed in that position but was erased. “Circling” was later inserted with, again, a slight misalignment of the typewriter’s platen. By computer manipulation it is not difficult to remove the strike-over and reconstruct the erased word. The operator originally thought Amelia said, “We are drifting but cannot hear you....” For whatever reason, perhaps because “drifting” doesn’t make any sense, he went back and changed the word to “circling.” We strongly suspect that what Amelia really said was, “We are listening but cannot hear you.”

Why was it altered?

Drifting? Now, the Itasca crew all being Navy/sailors would naturally
associate the word 'drifting' with a ship or boat so, that can't be right, aeroplanes don't drift they errr.... circle, that sounds right doesn't it?
No, because AE wasn't talking about the plane in that transmission she was talking about the radio reception when stating 'drifting'
So that's how the transmission of 'we are drifting but cannot hear you' could have become 'we are circling but cannot hear you'

Just a possibility, IMHO, and not written in stone
This must be the place
 
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Radio log questions.
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 09:09:32 PM »

PDF's of the logs can be seen at http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/37_ItascaLogs/PDF.html
They include details of the messages being sent on 7500 kcs.  In addition to A-s, there were call signs, weather forcasts, and repeated requests for her to go ahead on 3105, that Itasca heard her on 3105, to keep using 3105,  all sent in code that she couldn't understand.
They might as well have just been sending A-s, for all the good they did.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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