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Author Topic: Oral history as trustworthy information  (Read 24265 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Oral history as trustworthy information
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2014, 08:36:56 AM »

I believe the CW/PHONE switch function is answered in this link:
http://tighar.org/wiki/Morse_code_key_questions

Yes, but I see nothing there to explain the "Mike/Off" toggle.
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JNev

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Re: Oral history as trustworthy information
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2014, 11:50:04 AM »

We may be left guessing for some time - my guess is what you said upstring: Earhart may have wanted a way to energize the mic for speaking without having to hold the button down manually.

This whole approach of a 'switch panel' appears to be a task-saving device to improve cockpit handling needs.  She was solo, for practical purposes, in a fair-sized transport with duties that might get busy easily enough.  It might also be seen as a way to reduce the chance of error in radio handling - which wouldn't have hurt her (and may not have been a strong enough measure...).

Anyway, "MIKE" ("MIC") / "OFF" gives two basic functions - the implied "on" probably relating to one of two things:

1 - Arming the mic (not 'keying' the mic) - which seems redundant to the "C.W. / PHONE" switch, not to mention hardly necessary, and
2 - Keying the mic.

My thought is guess number 2, that she whacked the mic "on" when ready to talk, and talked away until done, then flipped it "off" to let the battery recover, etc.  That might well have also saved the chance of problems with a semi-reliable mic button / switch on the mic itself in the day - and avoid the ambiguity of whether the mic stayed keyed as intended or not, etc.

It also happens to jibe somewhat with the long transmission cycles Betty reported - as in, "Fred, now you sit down - we're gonna kill the batteries if I don't get back to the mic, make sense, and get off for a while...".
- Jeff Neville

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Mark Appel

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Re: Oral history as trustworthy information
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2014, 04:29:45 PM »

We may be left guessing for some time - my guess is what you said upstring: Earhart may have wanted a way to energize the mic for speaking without having to hold the button down manually.

I'll see that Jeff, and raise you... Gut feeling is the set-up smacks of a misguided attempt  to simplify the process but in fact may have only added further uncertainties and opportunities to commit errors--especially for a timid user under pressure. It's especially interesting to see events and patterns in the pre- and post-loss transmissions that might reflect the combination of this interface being operated by a less than confident user in pressing circumstances.

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JNev

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Re: Oral history as trustworthy information
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2014, 05:40:15 PM »

Well, she did manage most of her normal transmissions well - "Finding Amelia" (Ric's very nice book) gives an excellent account of that record.  She hit her times for transmissions and listening pretty well.

What happened next was pretty miserable though, agreed.  Whether because ham fisted or not don't know, but she surely could not hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle when it camdpe to RDF nav.
- Jeff Neville

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