Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rainy Day on the Iowa

Spent today aboard doing Grey Radio stuff, mostly reading the manuals, as yours truly has been "appointed" as the Lead Technician to get the original transmitters fired back up.

So, after helping the 70 and 80 year old guys go down to Broadway in search of some replacement parts for one of the "Red Phones", I spent some reading the manuals on the exciter, power amplifier, and the auto-couplers.

I learned that the exciter only puts out around 100 mW (+20dBm), and the high voltage in the power amp is 2250 Volts.

The amps are capable of running up to 1500 Watts output, but the manual cautions to not go over 1250 Watts, which is a kick because EACH of the power tubes is rated for about 5kW plate dissipation!

Man, talk about OVER designed!

And then I helped the Old Guys (I'm a youngster there!) work on the "Coke Machine", which is this beautifully built rack of equipment (Hughes Aircraft in Irvine, CA built it) that basically a switching matrix to route secure and non-secure communications around the ship.

I ponied up for a big 24VDC power supply so they could get parts of it working, but ALL of the circuit cards were pulled from it while it was in the Mothball Fleet, as it's a system still in use.

None of it's classified, and we're having a hard time finding stuff for it.

Anybody have any "1149570 TIM Manual Patch Cards", or "1149565 LIM Manual Patch Card" spares just sitting around?

Sure would make it easier to set up the manual patches we need to make so we can route audio from the "Red Phones" to and from the Radio Room and Transmitter Room.......


  1. Good luck. I don't suppose there are any modern equivalents of those missing parts, for a work-around?

  2. WELL.....It's little more than a "card extender" with some connectors on the front. Yes, we could scratch-build one, but the connectors on the back-plane have three rows of about 25 pins, and finding a mating connector would be a real hair-puller.

    The jumper cables we have to patch between these cards also have a connector that would take some digging to find, and then I'd have to lay out the board and have them made.

    For now we're just using small individual patch wires that go from socket to socket.

    We're only going to patch MAYBE 10 circuits total, BUT we don't have any real documentation on where the pins go, so we have to buzz them out individually.

    It's painstaking work, and progresses slooooowly!

  3. Thank you for your time and efforts on/in this huge project!
    - An Iowa Farm Boy

    1. You're very welcome.

      I consider it an honor to be allowed to work on this magnificent ship.

  4. Sounds like 'fun' depending on one's definition of fun... And I'd check eBay...

    1. Sadly, nothing on eBay.....

      These cards are just too arcane to be easily found.


Keep it civil, please....