Oct 25 – This update covers the time since Sept 20, the last published status report.
The typewriter (mill) table has been moved to the foreward end of the Ham-4 operating position. When not in use the table has a storage location under the breaker panel to the left of Ham-4 so as to not block access to the panel.
Rich E and Jim have been busy with the recently acquired OE-82 antenna which has now been raised to the trailing edge of the Aft Funnel, mounted, tested for rotation and elevation control from the Transmitter Room then declared ready for modifications for use with Ham satellites.
A note that the ship’s dial phones were not operating sent Steve, Ski and I to the switch room located off Broadway. After weeding out the large number of alarms being indicated by the various circuit cards and the local computer monitor it was determined that one of the units many power supplies had failed, taking out one of the primary 120 volt fuses contained within the switch cabinet. A spare power supply and fuse were installed thus returning the system to full service.
New Tom has been busy with his project of animating the Helm in Central Station. So far all the reports indicate that his ideas of how to make this a new interactive display for our visitors have been proved correct.
Alan, who let his license lapse way back in 1987 has passed his General Class test and is now KD2HID. The rumor is that he has applied for a new call sign. He has also been observed coping CW while Jim was operating at Ham-3. Besides Jim, Rich E, Jerry and Gene have been keeping NJ2BB on the airwaves.
Also found in the NJ2BB shack since my last report was Bill, N2WB. “Wild Bill” is a native of South Jersey who has visited 68 DX entities, operated from 50 countries, all seven continents and has been an operator with 40 DXpeditions.
Speaking of Alan, he has accepted the challenge of designing, building and programming a micro-processor so that it performs the language translation needed to allow our EQF logging program, or any Ham logging program for that matter, to speak with the RF-350 transceiver at the Ham-5 postion. The translator is needed because the RF-350 speaks Navy, while Ham rigs talk a simpler computer language.
John has been making circuit changes needed to provide a cleaner output of the 400 Hz power supply he built for the OE-82 control circuits needed to provide control of the 2-antennas from the NJ2BB shack.
Rich R has modified the 2 remote depth indicators acquired during our recent shipyard raid. These nixie tube displays would normally indicate the depth of the water under our keel, but since the ship is sitting in the river and the depth indicator underwater transducer is not usable, he has faked the displays to show 60 feet of water beneath our keel. Recently found drawings show that CEC had an indicator, so, one of Rich’s modified units will soon find a home in CEC.
Thanks to a donation of equipment by Ron, K2ZKO, Rich R has been busy replacing the 4-black and white video monitors in CEC that were part of the Tomahawk missile launch and security system. The original monitors have been in use since 1982 so, to say the least, they have out lived their useful life.
After the recent safety meeting Steve was handed a list of ship’s phones that are out of service. While troubleshooting the instruments he noticed that an improvement to the system could be made by reprogramming tour route phones so that they are all fed from the “A carrier” of the switch. This way these phones take advantage of the internal backup batteries and would be available during an emergency should there also be a power failure at the ship. Although this battery backup is good for only a few minutes there should be enough time for the word of an incident to reach the Quarter Deck watch standers.
Bill L has been busy moving the Wind Shop to its new location in Aft IC Shop at the aft end of Broadway. This is made necessary since the future Steam to Speed tour route will use Damage Control Central as a new display area. No, the new tour route is not scheduled to open till some time next year; Bill is just being pro-active.
Joe will soon be asking for help with moving the heavy WRT-2 power supply drawer back to the Transmitter Room, followed by more inspection and testing prior to applying power to this HF transmitter.
Martin, our support guy from North Jersey, recently provided us with several 15″ flat panel computer displays that were being replaced at his place of employment. After stripping away the exterior plastic housing and stand we find that these units make a perfect fit inside some of the BB-62 equipment to provide a realistic image of what should be seen on the screen if the equipment was in service. For example, Bill B found that these donated screens are a perfect fit into the NAVMACS terminals in Radio Central and CEC. Since 2001 Bill has been using “dumb terminals” to give life back to these message display terminals, but since his source of dumb terminals is drying up he tried a flat screen. Since the flat screens use VGA inputs instead of the RS-232 we have been using to display APRS comms found on 2-meters, Bill installed one of the mini (Adam) style computers that his employer was also taking out of service. This very, very small full function PC computer fit nicely inside the NAVMACS. With the addition of a RS-232 to USB dongal the display will be back in full service with more reliability and less heat.
While on the subject of these donated monitors, we have also performed a test mounting of a screen into an ’25 radar repeater salvaged from the former USS Forrest Sherman a couple of years ago. Yes, the flat screen fits nicely and will display the simulated radar echo that Rich R has been programming. Why not use the display program that is running on other ’25 around the ship? Because Rich’s version will display the area of the Deleware Valley around the ship instead of what the group from Virginia thought was appropriate at the time (2001).
Ski has been busy working in CIC, next to Main Plot Forward, awaking the TA-970 control stations, aka red telephone, as part of Doug’s work in the compartment. When last heard from he had finished with the phones themselves and had shifted his flag to FACCON 2 for some wire changes to the receiver audio distribution network inside the Coke Machine. Doug is making progress on a number of items in CIC, but the target of most of his energy is rebuilding the large status board in the center of the compartment.
As a side job at the ship I have been hoisting signal flag messages from the Starboard Signal Bridge. While doing this action I came to the decision that the current rigging of the Signal Bridge is not how is was rigged during active duty time. A search of the ever growing Internet proves me to be correct, so now it is time to consult with our Curator and Maintenance Director for permission to make permanent changes in the ropes and lines that hoist the signal flags.
There are some near future dates I ask everyone to consider supporting.
First is Nov 8th when BNJARS will again join with the Brass Team to hoist the Friendship Flags in honor of Veterans Day. These 120 signal flags hang high over the full length of the ship.
Next we have Nov 11th, Veterans Day, which will find some of us operating NJ2BB. Please let me know if you plan to attend.
November 15 will find the crew lowering the above mentioned Friendship Flags and replacing them with over 600 LED light bulbs, again hanging high over the length of the ship. This will be the first time in nearly a decade that the ship has displayed this night lighting. The lowering of the flags combined with the hoisting of the lights promises to be a long work day. Please think about helping.