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Author Topic: Radio Re-enactment  (Read 1184 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Radio Re-enactment
« on: September 18, 2020, 08:25:19 AM »

As reported today by WSV television in Harrisonburg, Virginia:
Dynamic Aviation joins project to find Amelia Earhart’s plane

BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - Almost 100 years after American aviator Amelia Earhart took her first flight, her resting place has yet to be found but a local aviation group is helping to find an answer.
It’s one of aviation’s greatest mystery, what happened to Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan after they disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during her final flight in 1937.
Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater has loaned its Beechcraft Model-18 aircraft to be used in new testing performed by Nauticos, a deep ocean exploring organization and Collins Radio Engineers off of Cape Charles, Va.
At the end of the month, the group will recreate Earhart’s communication link between aircraft and by boat.
“What we’re going to do is simulate the actual flight into what would be Itasca and simulate that flight that lasts part of her flight in 1937,” Tom Vinson, with Collins Radio Engineers, said.
The Beech-18 will be equipped with radio equipment and antennas to measure the signal strength of Earhart’s last transmission.
“It makes a perfect platform then for us to add on high-frequency antennas on it and direction-finding loop like she had on hers,” Vinson said.
The test is now possible with current technology, but the same radio equipment Earhart was using in the 1930′s will be used on the tests.
A female voice similar to Earhart’s will also be played during the test.
“Through the tests we can narrow down the band of how far was she for her last several transmissions,” Vinson said.
The group of volunteers hopes to use the data they collect from the tests off the coast of Virginia, to where they believe Earhart’s craft is at, and bring it back home.
“We would like to have it taken back to Hawaii and then Hawaii to California to finish her flight to finish the Earhart flight,” Vinson said.
[/i]

Dynamic Aviation Group, Inc is owned by long-time TIGHAR member Karl Stolzfus.

There are so many reasons this test will not "narrow down the band of how far was she for her last several transmissions" it's hard to know where to begin.
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Simon Ellwood

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2020, 12:19:36 PM »

Wouldn't you have to replicate factors such as the weather, solar activity etc. to get an accurate reproduction of the radio quality that Earhart was likely to have had?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 12:42:16 PM »

Wouldn't you have to replicate factors such as the weather, solar activity etc. to get an accurate reproduction of the radio quality that Earhart was likely to have had?

That and much more.  For one thing, a Twin Beech is not a Lockheed 10.  Even if you duplicate the dorsal vee transmitting antenna, the length of the lead-in and the area of airplane itself influence propagation.  And how do you duplicate Itasca's receivers and antenna array? 
This is a meaningless pseudo-science, feel-good exercise.
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Randy Jacobson

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2020, 05:30:56 AM »

Ahhh!  They'll obviously conclude that she wasn't in visual range of the Island.  QED.
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Don White

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2020, 07:45:40 AM »

This is reminiscent of Glenn Curtiss "proving" the Langley Aerodrome could fly so that he and Alexander Graham Bell could contest the Wright patent and retroactively deny their claim to first successful, controlled flight. The Aerodrome was modified by Curtiss in ways that reflected what had been learned about flying machines since it was built, so the tests proved nothing about its capabilities when new. Curtiss did get it to fly, but only by making those changes. And the Smithsonian, which had funded Langley (he was then head of it, which raises issues about why the Institution had adopted and was funding his personal project) refused to acknowledge the Wrights until 1929, which is why the Wright Flyer wasn't on display in the Smithsonian until 1948. Sound familiar?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2020, 07:58:48 AM »

This is being done by Nauticos (Dave Jourdan), who has conducted multiple multi-million dollar searches of the deep ocean around Howland without finding anything.  Each search has been funded by a different billionaire. Nauticos is a for-profit company.
Crashed-and-Sank is based upon the presumption that the Electra ran out of fuel moments after the last in-fight radio transmission received by Itasca.  Figure out where  Earhart was when she made that call and you'll know where the plane went down.  This exercise will give Jourdan that location. It will either be somewhere he has already searched (therefore they somehow missed it and they need to go back) or, more likely, somewhere they haven't searched yet.  In any case, the true crash location will not be revealed except to the wealthy prospect(s) for funding yet another Nauticos search.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 08:01:32 AM by Ric Gillespie »
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Jim Zanella

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2020, 09:12:14 PM »

I have multiple antennas and power from 1 watt to 1500 watts HF. I hear FlorIda most every evening from  :-[my QTH here in Seattle, Wa. Typically I am on 80 meters (3.820 MHz) SSB. The big difference is the ionosphere conditions. Currently we are in at lousy propagation period due to the ionosphere conditions. However looking at AEs time period it was at a peak for propagation.
I always look at 3 items for successful long distant (DX) communication:
* Antenna performance
* Power (fire in the wire)
* Operator skill
It is possible that Betty heard the xmissions. I would question the length of time the contact lasted and type of Receiver she had.
Jim
ka7gzr


« Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 09:25:27 PM by Jim Zanella »
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James Champion

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 09:35:05 AM »

If someone wanted to perform some minor re-creation investigation, then I think this would be useful:

Take a Western Electric WE-13C transmitter, capable of crystal operation at both 3105 kHz (the nighttime frequency) and 6210 kHz (the daytime frequency), put it on the bench, and perform a load-pull transmitter measurement while monitoring the output on a spectrum analyzer. Use both no modulation (carrier only), normal AM modulation, and AM slightly over-modulated.

Measure fundamental and harmonic levels, and under what load conditions. We know approximately what antenna setups she had, but we don't know exact changes made in Miami with the transmitter tuning, and what the antenna and loading may have been on the Garner island reef with several inches of salt water under the plane.

The idea is to check the WE-13C for any tendency to put significant power output on the harmonics, and under what load conditions. Check this with different modulations as pre-loss Amelia's voice transmission was sometimes distorted and post-loss both crude morse-code and voice was reported. Over modulation of a tube amplifier also tends to produce harmonics.

Load-pull testing is a modern measurement method primarily used for the many wireless devices of today to test the design. You might call it the transmitter equivalent similar to measuring the flight envelope of an aircraft.
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Clarence Carlson

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2020, 12:29:54 PM »

Wouldn't you have to replicate factors such as the weather, solar activity etc. to get an accurate reproduction of the radio quality that Earhart was likely to have had?

Sunspot Cycle 17 peaked in April 1937 with a "smoothed spot number" of 198. This was a very active cycle and would definitely favorably affect the ability to hear the Electra radio's transmissions at a distance. We are currently at the intersection of Cycle 24/25, or to put it another way, the bottom of the cycle. Sunspot numbers have been running at "0" for a while now. Our current situation literally could not be more different from 1937. That alone explains the futility of any such exercise.
Clarence Carlson
TIGHAR Member #3976D
 
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Christian Stock

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Re: Radio Re-enactment
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2020, 08:51:29 AM »

This is being done by Nauticos (Dave Jourdan), who has conducted multiple multi-million dollar searches of the deep ocean around Howland without finding anything.  Each search has been funded by a different billionaire. Nauticos is a for-profit company.
Crashed-and-Sank is based upon the presumption that the Electra ran out of fuel moments after the last in-fight radio transmission received by Itasca.  Figure out where  Earhart was when she made that call and you'll know where the plane went down.  This exercise will give Jourdan that location. It will either be somewhere he has already searched (therefore they somehow missed it and they need to go back) or, more likely, somewhere they haven't searched yet.  In any case, the true crash location will not be revealed except to the wealthy prospect(s) for funding yet another Nauticos search.

That's like a crazy word problem in math.

"Your grandpa lived in Connecticut in the 1930's. on October 3rd, it took him 103 minutes to drive to his office in Manhattan. What was his home address?"
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