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Author Topic: Mystery Box  (Read 10792 times)

Sheila Shigley

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Mystery Box
« on: October 26, 2011, 10:32:54 AM »

Apologies if I've misinterpreted the explanation; but why do we think the "mystery box" in AE's cockpit is possibly a Bendix Type MR-1B remote control for Bendix RA-1B receiver, as opposed to a version of the RA-1B receiver itself (or a visually-similar box) ?


Mystery box


MR-1B remote controle


RA-1B receiver

Note the knob in the upper right on the RA-1B receiver, bisected by a white, straight line, which has the option of being set to "local" or "remote."  It may not be possible to tell in the "mystery box" photo, but the knob that most resembles the RA-1B's local/remote knob in AE's photo may be set to vertical.  At any rate, I believe in the case of remote/receiver combination radios, it is the receiver which contains the control for local/remote, rather than the remote.

Here is an example showing II believe) a 1941 RA-1B remote/receiver combo:



Caption reads:  RA-1B receiver is a communication receiver designed for use in aircraft. It may be employed for the reception of continuous wave telegraph or radio telephone signals within frequency ranges of 0.15 to 1.5 mc and 1.8 to 15.0 mc. Free band are used to give full coverage in each frequency range. Aural direction finding and loop antenna  reception may be optained over a frequency range from 0.2 to 1.5 mc by using the receiver in conjunction with the Bendix direction finding equipment (DU-1).

Do I have this right - is the little guy the remote, or is that the azimuth unit?

« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 10:40:47 AM by Sheila Shigley »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 11:25:59 AM »

Apologies if I've misinterpreted the explanation; but why do we think the "mystery box" in AE's cockpit is possibly a Bendix Type MR-1B remote control for Bendix RA-1B receiver, as opposed to a version of the RA-1B receiver itself (or a visually-similar box) ?

I don't think the "mystery box" in AE's cockpit is possibly a Bendix Type MR-1B remote control for Bendix RA-1B receiver.  I think it's probably the remote for the Hooven/Bendix Radio compass that was removed from the airplane prior to the first world flight attempt.
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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 01:22:57 PM »

I think it's probably the remote for the Hooven/Bendix Radio compass that was removed from the airplane prior to the first world flight attempt.

Ah, okay - apologies for lame reading on my end.

One thing I wonder about is the apparent text below the meter - I'm wondering if the length of the top line (the longest line, directly below the meter), as well as what may be two breaks in that text, are more consistent with "aircraft radio receiver" than "remote control," but of course with blurring, the eye can be easily deceived.



I realize the plate fasteners could end up looking like part of the text, giving the whole line the appearance of being longer than it is; I'm actually just as interested in the second line of text, which looks notably shorter (in the mystery box photo) than in either of the other plate photos.

Of course, what we really want is that third line, lol.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 01:32:25 PM by Sheila Shigley »
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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 02:23:16 PM »

Finally found a nomenclature plate with "long - medium - short" for the text lengths of the first three lines.



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Tom Gallagher

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 04:22:24 PM »

I wonder if AE or FN were proficent in CW.?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 05:13:54 PM »

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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 09:43:12 PM »

Question about the following section of Chater Report:

At 7.30 a.m., July 1st, the following weather report was received from Tutilla —

"EARHART LAE

FORECAST THURSDAY LAE TO ONTARIO PARTLY CLOUDED RAIN SQUALLS 250 MILES EAST LAE WIND EAST SOUTH EAST TWELVE TO FIFTEEN PERIOD ONTARIO EO LONG ONE SEVEN FIVE PARTLY CLOUDY CUMULUS CLOUDS ABOUT TEN THOUSAND FEET MOSTLY UNLIMITED WIND EAST NORTH EAST EIGHTEEN THENCE TO HOWLAND PARTLY CLOUDY SCATTERED HEAVY SHOWERS WIND EAST NORTH EAST FIFTEEN PERIOD AVOID TOWERING CUMULUS AND SQUALLS BY DETOURS AS CENTRES FREQUENTLY DANGEROUS

FLEET AIR BASE PEARL HARBOUR".


Was this CW, transmitted from Pearl?  I'm wondering why the British spellings were used (centres, harbour).

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2011, 01:30:59 PM »

Was this CW, transmitted from Pearl?

Yes.

  I'm wondering why the British spellings were used (centres, harbour).

Chater was an Aussie.
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Sheila Shigley

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2011, 01:52:48 PM »

Chater was an Aussie.

The original message, in code, would have used American spelling, though, correct?  Perhaps this was common practice--typing up a report for a specific audience, one switches to the spelling they are most likely to prefer?  It seems this practice could be unwise, in not preserving the integrity of the original message. But he got it from Tutilla, so it may have been changed there, correct?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 01:54:32 PM by Sheila Shigley »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Box
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2011, 01:59:50 PM »

Eric Chater was an airline manager, not a historian.  He was responding to an inquiry from a business associate.  Preserving the original spelling of the message probably never crossed his mind.

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