Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station (BNJARS)

Status History 2006


Status Archives

Dec 30 - The installation of the third and fourth security cameras for Broadway was completed. Some additional time was spent ensuring that the camera numbers displayed on the monitor reflected the area being viewed. For example, frame 1 is Fire Room and Engine Rooms #1 sections of Broadway.

Since the beginning in 2001, BNJARS has maintained a list of all equipment donated or loaned to NJ2BB. Gene H. performed his annual verification of the list this past weekend.

Ski and Jerry started work on an equipment rack that will house all of the security video related electronics such as switchers, DVR, monitors, patch panels and similar items. For those that have been around for a while, this job has shades of an early Ebe project.

We had received reports of snowy pictures on a couple of TV sets in the forward section of the Main Deck. Early troubleshooting found one bad cable tap, which has been replaced. More bad taps are suspected and will be found in the next week or so.

Dec 27 - This update will cover Saturday the 23rd and Tuesday the 26th.

On Tuesday (Dec 26) Margaret and I traveled to the ship to perform AO duties for a visiting Ham from Georgia. His third QSO was especially special because the other ham, located south of Salt Lake City Utah mentioned that his brother currently works at the ship. Paul Hanson happened to be standing the Quarterdeck Watch at the time so with speed of travel he arrived at the NJ2BB shack for a 15-minute talk with his brother. In fact his speed was so great that we had to yank his "leash" as he sped past the shack. A later QSO was from a friend of Gary, NJ8BB. After ending this QSO, he called Gary at work, than returned to the airwaves for a second NJ2BB contact, with season's greetings from Gary. John, AG4GG, made 16 rag chew style contacts during his time at the mic. His day onboard included lunch with the gang.

Ski stopped by to take advantage of a quiet shack to do some minor work. Thanks to him the second overhead fan in the shack is repaired. Next, he helped figure out the process of adding titles to the security camera matrix that appears on TV channel 2.

For a change my Saturday report will start low in the ship and work its way upward.

The Broadway leaking coax antenna system was brought on line thanks to Ed and "TV" Dave and their skills at installing hard-line connectors. A quick check, aka "can you hear me now", was performed with good results. Even cell phones appear to work from Broadway now.

The number of security cameras located on Broadway has been increased to four. Using a four input switcher, all Broadway views now occur in window 8 on the S.I.T.E. channel 2. The added cameras were requested in preparation for the increased traffic expected when the engineering spaces are opened to tours in the future.

A security camera has been installed in the area of the Geedunk. The soda machines now appear on S.I.T.E channel 2, window 3. Ed M. and Ski did a good job with this new installation.

The HAM-2 transceiver was experiencing power output troubles. Ed and Gene narrowed the problem down to the manual antenna tuner. An internal cleaning and tightening seems to have chased the gremlins away.

John S, Ed M and "TV" Dave moved the last of the restored R-1051 receivers into FACCON-1 and installed them in the racks. We now have 11 of the original 16 positions back on line. A visit to the O2 level restoration shop found John S working on the final RBC receiver.

The camera located in Combat Engagement Center (CEC) has been replaced with a more sensitive one resulting in a better image from this rather dark compartment. The removed micro camera was transferred to the Geedunk area mentioned above

A visit to Brian's area on the O2 level revealed that Rich talks to himself while working on that umbilical cable that failed last week. He found that years of twisting had dislodged one of the power wires, resulting in the destruction of the connector pin. We have spares and the needed tools onboard.

Dec 16 - I feel safe when I blame the current and approaching holiday season for the small turn out on Saturday. For a while Margaret and I thought that we were the only two that would show but Jerry and Rich proved us wrong.

Rich headed up to the shop to investigate the missile launch camera that failed upon installation a short while ago. He found that the motor for the automatic iris had died and needed replacement. After lunch Jerry, who had been commandeered to the vacuum tube team, joined Rich at the forward missile deck for the installation of the repaired camera. But alas, no video in the Combat Engagement Center (CEC) monitor. Being pressed for time to catch his train ride home, Rich had to postpone any further troubleshooting activities.

But the story does not end here. Not wanting to waste a beautiful day by staying inside, Jerry and I hauled a video monitor and power cord to the defunct camera, planning on checking the video output at an adjacent terminal box. Finding no video at the box, we pondered the situation for a moment, than decided to check the umbilical cord that connects the camera with the terminal box. Using a cord from the neighboring camera we were able to prove that the original cord is bad. Hey Rich, you have an umbilical cord to repair.

On another matter, the Broadway antenna feed line that was pulled last week has found it's way onto the weather deck. The final "stuffing tube gland nut" needed some minor machine work performed on it though. The last 16 inches of copper shielding was removed and tapped over to form a pseudo vertical antenna that is now attached to the outside of the ship in the area of the Starboard Motor Launch. A visit to Avionics confirmed that we have the proper "N series" hard line connectors to tie this feed line into the cable already installed on Broadway. (These connectors are just a very small part of the bounty from one of our raids to the former Philly Navel Shipyard)

Dec 11 - After the general membership meeting on Saturday a small force of BNJARS members assembled on 2nd deck, near the Machine Shop, to pull cable for the leaky coax antenna system. By lunch time the cable ran from the Transmitter Room, up to 2nd deck, across 2nd deck than up to Main Deck.

Thanks to some hard work during the preparation stage all went well. Thanks to Ski and Terry for finding the route; as well to Gene, Bob, Dave C and Ski for opening the stuffing tubes and checking for proper cable clearances. The Saturday pull crew consisted of Gene, Bill B, Harry, Brian, John S, Wayne W, Al A, Doug G, Jerry, Ed C, Lou, Dave S and myself.

Up in the NJ2BB shack the only 115 volt receptacle capable of supplying power to the HF Linear was replaced with a polarized unit. This arrangement will permit the amp to be powered from this receptacle only,while allowing general use when the need arises.

Two new color security cameras have been installed in the shack for use with the ATV station. Ron, K3ZKO reports that he has been successful in connecting his home ATV station into the Internet. So what, you ask?? It is now possible, though a little tricky, to hold a HF QSO from the ship, which the other HAM can view live via the Internet.

Last but not least, thanks to Al L & Margaret for cataloging more tubes!!! Will it ever end!!

Dec 3 - There have been a few changes to the NJ2BB shack. First, the Heathkit linear amp that sat above the Ham-2 Station has been relocated to HAM-3. This was necessary in order for the power cord to reach the only 20 amp outlet in the shack without using an extension cord. The linear is still out of service until the associated plug and receptacle style are changed to insure that the amp can only be plugged into the proper outlet.

Second, thanks to a Ham neighbor of Ed, W2KP, we have an almost new computer for the HAM-2 Station. The only difference seen by operators is that the new machine has an auto turn-off feature that was missing from the former computer. Behind the scene, the new machine is really very fast. So fast in fact that call sign look-ups are almost instantaneous.

Third, the newest version of Digipan (2.0) is loaded on the new computer, as is the older 1.6. Gene is still in the process of loading macros and such so the new version is not quite ready to go on air. Version 1.6 is still as it has been used , without changes, on the "desktop". Gene will let us know when the new version is ready and will probaly hold a training session on it when ready.

Rich R. spent his morning working that stubborn video camera to be installed above the aft missile deck. Joe, N2XYZ and Al, KC2NOX finished the relocation of security camera cables near the Helo Control Booth. A coat of touch up paint hides the fact that anyone was there.

Ski, Gene and Dave C. Opened the last stuffing tube for the cable run from Broadway to the Starboard Weather Deck. (This job is where the paint for the Helo Booth came from)

John S. Reports that former crew member, and current Volunteer, Ken Kirsch, machined some replacement "speed knobs" for the WWII RBC receivers. I believe that he performed his magic in the ships machine shop using brass stock found on-board. Thanks Ken.

The Keystone Cops, consisting of Ski, Joe and Dave B, managed to install a radio room style speaker in the overhead just outside the NJ2BB escape scuttle. When wired through the FACCON 1 switchboard, this speaker will provide the sounds of both sides of contacts being made by NJ2BB. Thanks for the idea Ed.

Yes, more tubes were cataloged and stored.

Next Saturday, after the BNJARS meeting, I hope that enough members will stay around to help with the cable pull from Broadway, through the machine shop area on 2nd deck, to the Starboard Weather Deck. This hard line will become the feedline for the "leaky coax" antenna system that so many of you worked on to install. When final connections are made in the weeks to come, this passive repeater system should improve the ships communications within the 45,000 tons of ground plane we call the Big-J.

Nov 27 - After too many non-work party weekends it was felt great to catch-up on the happenings of fellow volunteers. After the gab-fest ended and work began, things started to feel normal again. The two past Saturdays have seen the following work, in no particulate order:

Both FACCON 1 and NJ2BB shack have a second coat of floor, I mean deck, wax. Both decks finally look like proper Navy decks.

A third missile camera was installed and connected to the monitors in CEC. Because of the layout of the CEC monitors in relation to the cameras, the view is a little eerie, almost like you are standing on the Aft Stack looking down at the aft missile deck.

The fourth camera was installed but developed problems when powered up. It has been returned to the shop for investigation.

Work on extending the Broadway leaky coax to the weather deck continues. So far the gang has opened and clearance checked three of the five bulkhead/deck penetrations (aka stuffing tubes). I will pass the word when we have a date for the cable pull.

The volume unit (VU) meter for the SITE control room has been installed and tested. As mentioned in an earlier update, this meter will allow for better control of the audio that is passed from the SITE system to the 1MC system during events.

Two more of the RBB receivers from the USS Des Moines have been restored and moved to the original Radio 1 on 2nd deck forward. An RBA, also from the USS Des Moines has been relocated to FACCON 1 for further work. The reports are that the last two of the Des Moines R-series will soon be restored and need transport to Radio 1. The O2 Level Shop has been busy!

When we first started working on the ship we discovered the MARS station location and its antenna feed line, minus antenna. It wasn't long before a simple inverted-V dipole was hanging from the Aft Stack. This past Saturday saw this antenna replaced by a homebrew 20/40 meter trap dipole installed as an inverted-V. Quick checks proved that it works but further testing will be forth coming. A discussion with the O2 Level Shop Supervisor confirmed that this antenna and the shop could be used as our 7th operating position as the need arises. Happy Birthday HAM-7!!!!

Vacuum tube cataloging and storage continues. Will it ever end, hi?

On the starboard side weather deck, just forward of the Helo Control Booth, work on relocating some security camera coax and power cables commenced. Staff members have mentioned the appearance of the installation which is within inches of the tour route. After obtaining permission from maintenance to create a new stuffing tube, some of the cables have been rerouted. the remaining cables will received the same treatment on the next fair weather workday.

Oct 16 - Sorry for the long delay between updates. We have been keeping busy but most of the work has been repetitive. Several of the workers have kept busy installing some new phones along the tour routes as well as fixing cameras, working on radios, etc…..

The last two Saturdays have been housekeeping days for BNJARS. On October 7, Comcast volunteers moved through some of our spaces with brooms, mops and dust rags. This past weekend was floor scrubbing and waxing time for us, thanks to the donation of a home-style electric buffer from John and Lorraine Saracen. The decks of FACCON 1 and 2 have never been so clean or shiny.

A Ship's Service Telephone (SST) has been installed in the Guard Hut at the white gate for those times when either the commercial handhelds fail, are saturated with chatter or the conversation contains information that should not be placed on the open air waves.

On those occasions when audio from the SITE system is played through the 1MC system we always find ourselves running out to the weather deck to check on sound quality and level. To correct this situation, Terry has installed a speaker, connected to the weather deck circuit, in the SITE Control Room. The included volume control will quiet the speaker when quality checks are not needed. The second phase of his project is the mounting of a VU (volume unit) meter on the SITE soundboard. When calibrated, this meter will reflect the level of the weather deck audio.

The sorting, cataloging and storing of vacuum tubes is progressing nicely, with the side effect of the TTY Office regaining deck space.

The ongoing cleanup of Avionics is moving forward even though we suffer an occasional setback caused by, for example FACCON 1 being hit by a "white tornado".

Although there will not be an official work party for the next couple of weekends, anyone with an ongoing job is encouraged to continue on in true Big-J spirit. Of course the shack is always available.

Sept 4 - For those who haven't heard, it rained Saturday, thanks to Tropical Storm Ernesto. Nobody dared tease the weather and attempt a trip to the ship. However, Sunday saw Margaret and me there for a few hours just cause we needed our weekly fix of BB-62. I spent most of the day on small things not worth mentioning, but after lunch I was able to help Margaret catalog & store more vacuum tubes in Avionics.

Hopefully after Saturday's general meeting enough members can hang around for a half hour or so to help haul some small items down to Radio 1 and the Transmitter Room. Nothing big but just the size were a group, each member carrying one item, can finish the job quickly.

Aug 28 - Gene Holban has collected all the manuals for the equipment used as part of the NJ2BB operating positions, copied them and created a three ring binder for the manuals. This binder, sorted by operating positions, is located on the shelf between the HAM-2 and HAM-3 stations. Thanks Gene.

Other work this past week includes the replacement of the motor for one of our Model 15 teleprinters. Several months ago the original motor did its impression of a smoke generator. The recent visit to the USS Des Moines provided several replacement motors for both Models 14 and 15 series equipment.

An exterior phone has been installed on the O2 Weather Deck at the request of Tour Operations. As I remember, the enclosure came from the former USS Inchon. A second enclosure still needs to be installed on the O5 level.

At the request of the ship’s maintenance department, the sheet metal covers, installed while the Big-J was living in Bremerton, were removed from the supply fan for the O2 level restoration shop. Next, maintenance will determine the possibly of restarting the system. Time will tell.

One job that involved all of us on Saturday began when an un-named member noticed that a spider had taken up lodging on the lens of one of the security cameras. While the rest of us kept our eyes glued to the monitor, Dave Webb traveled to the deck just outside Helo Control to perform the task of debugging the system. Apparently Dave was too eager in his task because he also removed the layers of dirt that had been painstakingly placed on the glass cover. The camera now displays a clear image of the aft brow.

The restoration shop on the O2 level continues to comb through the receivers obtained from the USS Des Moines. Most of the gear is coming back to life although a couple will be placed on the back burner due to the unavailability of parts.

Finally, at the request of the Quarter Deck, a trip to the Radar Platform took place. The story is that the Ensign was catching on something along the edge of the platform and could it be something of ours, such as an antenna or cable. The trip revealed a separation of a minor metal joint that requires the attention of the Maintenance Dept

For those that have not heard, the USS Des Moines departed Philly last week and is headed to Texas for scrapping.

Aug 1 - Life at NJ2BB has returned to normal following scheduled disturbances such as Field-Day and the visit to the USS DesMoines.

The security/safety camera that members installed on the RAS (replenishment at sea) boom has been placed into service. This camera provides a view of the Helo and any activity around it. The video switcher was also re-arranged to provide the ability to expand the view of this camera. The power feed to the camera is temporary and will need future work.

The Harris HF receiver that became non-operational, it broke, earlier this year has been repaired and returned to it's position next to the Coke Machine. A number of problems were corrected, some the result of the original failure and a couple were troubles waiting to raise it's head.

Two phones for the ship's system have been installed in the visitors center. One is in the I.T. room for use by the telephone crew while the other is in the docent's ready room.

Three of the six missile security cameras are back online providing video to CEC. The power transformers needed to complete the modification of the final cameras have been obtained. The end result will be four usable cameras, converted to solid state devices, while cameras 5 and 6 will remain as window dressing only.

Most of the items acquired from the Des Moines have found their way down to the old Radio 1 compartment. After an informal crew meeting, it was agreed that placement of the gear in a radio room like fashion would give everyone a better idea of how close we are to being able to restore this space to RADIO 1. Currently there are three operating positions, receivers, a central "desk" with switchboards, antenna patch panel, RTTY machines, loop panels and telephones. For the most part, we are looking at what a typical radio room would look like, given the equipment we have on hand. Heck, I remember wondering just a few years ago how we would ever find things for the Transmitter Room, but look at it today. How about next year?

July 13 - The availability period for the former USS Des Moines CA-134 has now closed. The latest news is that on August 14 she will be towed to a Texas ship buster. BNJARS members were able to remove equipment that I doubt we would ever have seen during any of our normal visits to ship depot. I do not have a list of things gathered for not radio use, but I have heard of Stokes stretchers, complete first aid boxes, more phones, fixtures of all descriptions, stools, curtain rods, dental equipment and more.

Timing prevented all who had volunteered to go to ship depot from doing so, but none of our allotted slots went empty. To those that made the trip, thank you. From what little reports I have heard, there was no trouble between the ships involved in the raid and even some very unusual help rendered. A special thanks to the guys from the LST without whom we may not have gotten the TCK-4 off the CA-134.

All items are in storage aboard the BB-62. This Saturday will see the sheet metal items being moved down to the old Radio 1 near Sick Bay. We could use your help with this. Over the next few weekends all the bounty will find its way to Radio 1 as a beginning of the restoration of this compartment.

Remember, we're building a battleship one piece at a time!!!!

July 3 - Thanks to the number of members who gave up their holiday Saturday, all of the items acquired during Friday's visit to the shipyard have been moved to their proper compartments. Even the heavy TCK transmitter and power supply from Wednesday's visit has been rigged, lowered two decks and are now resting in the Transmitter Room. Best of all, nobody was injured.

The only restoration work on Saturday was the locating of the source of primary power (120 volt panel) for the red phone at the O8 level steering station. It took some time and technical prowess to discover the fuse panel on the O10 level. Yes, up two decks, in one of the Electronic Counter Measures (EMC) compartments that form the "ears" at the top of the superstructure.

The next couple of Saturdays will see smaller work parties relocating the remaining bounty from the shipyard visits. All of this stuff is currently stored within the ship but needs to be moved to its final destinations. Nothing large enough to call for an all hands effort though.

As for what the gang gathered on Friday from the USS Des Moines;

1 model 14 typing perforating teletype 4 modules of a transmitter control switchboard (WWII style) 1 RBB HF receiver 1 transmitter control station (WWII version of Ski's red phone) 1 weather deck dial telephone with enclosure 2 leather tool boxes with some teletype repair tools inside 1 transmitter antenna patch panel 2 directional power meters (SWR)

June 5 - Museum Ships weekend was a big success. Check out the activity page for an update and some pictures.

May 26 - Well another year of Dayton Hamvention is behind us. Same as last year, we had a great time manning the BNJARS booth (#319). though we were not asked to put on a forum discussion this year, we still managed to get the word out about our restoration efforts on the Big "J", showing what a great museum She is, and our sponsorship of the Museum Ships Weekend Event.

May 17 - This past Saturday after the meeting, we did manage to get some work accomplished. With the assistance of ship staff we were able to gain entry to the former supply division area to work on phones. This area is designated to be used by curatorial for storage of items.

The teletype section of the transmitter control switchboard was completed and continuity tested by Brian in an attempt to have teletype "all navy - all battleship" on the air for Musuem Ships weekend.

Woody and Randy after an excusable absence, worked on cable connectors and harnesses for pressurized security cameras. Not to be confused with the missle cameras. These new cameras will be part of the ship's security system (ie.. helicopter display).

Specialized capacitors needed by John S to repair the Harris receiver arrived and in the process of being installed.

I know there was more but I'm 500 miles away from my notes - so you'll have to excuse me. Harry, Margaret and I are all ready to set up the booth for BNJARS at the Dayton Hamvention.

May 08 - PSK from the HAM-2 operating position is back online. As mentioned in last week's notice, problems with the HAM-2 computer forced us to replace it. It was during the replacement effort that it was discovered we were missing one serial cable, proof that not all computers are created equal. As of Saturday afternoon, all software, files and macros have been installed and tested. The only external change is that the HAM-2 computer does NOT support auto shutdown. (Yes, we checked the bios.) The power switch is a solid click, not a soft start, item. When shutting down the system you must turn off the computer by pressing the power switch.

In my continuing effort to prove that management (namely me) should stay in their office, approximately 1 hour was spent troubleshooting the remote control actions of the AN/URT-23 #5 transmitter. The cause of the control failure was determined to be a cable that was not connected to the transmitter. Guess who said that the cable was installed and ready for use?

After recovering from this episode, BNJARS enjoyed successful operation of the transmitter from the transmitter room desk, FACCON 1 and the Navigation Bridge. All operational test were conducted using a dummy load. This testing was in preparation for Museum Ships Weekend and an "all Navy, all battleship" operations.

The Combat Engagement Center (CEC) has a new video image. One of the failed vidicon cameras that monitored the missile launchers has been replaced by a smaller CCD camera hidden inside the larger housing of a gutted vidicon unit. From the exterior all looks the same, but operation should be more reliable with this modification. Three more of the vidicons are scheduled to receive the same treatment.

After lunch we received a request for help from the Brass Team which was in need of a replacement light bulb for the amidships compass. A replacement 4 watt bulb was located in our supplies, transported to the compass and ceremonially installed by the brass team. Can you say team work?

At the moment I can not remember the model number of a donated Navy receiver, so I will not mention the donation of the rig although three of us remember moving a heavy steel box to FACCON 1.

April 24 - Over the Easter weekend we managed to disassemble, cart down to broadway and then reassemble several donated shelf racks. These were then loaded with manuals and small pieces of equipment.

This past Saturday saw the "fur flying" in Avionics as Terry performed his impression of a "White Tornado", cleaning and shelving items in his path. The compartment looks much improved. Other spaces such as FACCON 1, GCS and even the TTY Office saw some degree of cleaning. Also some work done in SSES. Hey, it is spring cleaning time.

Hoping for a quiet day on the ship, Margaret and I slipped onboard Sunday, visited with the Sunday morning bunch than planned to disappear into our spaces for some more cleaning and organizing.

Right!!!!! First was the report of a broken dial phone on one of the routes. Results, not broken just operator error. Dial, Not push button. Next came the call from the flight simulator with a request for help with a broken video projector connector. Without parts on hand (remember the plan to sneak aboard?) a jury rig was completed till next Saturday.

April 4 - The lack of weekly updates is not an indication of the quantity of work during the past couple of Saturdays. The missing reports only signify my laziness when it comes to writing them.

Did I report that:

March 12 - The NJ2BB Ham shack was filled with Scouts on Saturday morning. Twenty six Cub Scouts and their leaders had arranged for a tour and operations from the station at the conclusion of their overnight encampment. Hot on their heals were 15 Boy Scouts working on their Radio Merit badges. After a morning of class room (CPO Lounge) sessions and testing, the Scouts used the NJ2BB facilities to obtain the needed QSO.

As the workparty shifted from education to restoration, word arrived from the O2 level shop that the Icom 440 MHz all-mode rig was alive and well. Bill B. had located and repaired a brokend circuit board trace in the audio level control circuit. Good job Bill.

Bad news was the loss of the power transformer in the video weather station. A replacement will be secured this week for installation next weekend.

The fantastic weather sent Brian and Paul to the aft OE-82 antenna platform to perform troubleshooting on the Transmitter Block Limit Switch. Since the switch does not perform a Ham function, yet, it was removed for the time being. With this cause of blown fuses removed, the antenna was operated through its full range of operation. More good work by Brian and Paul with the assistance of groundcrew Gale.

The day had begun with the knowledge that the mechanical wind speed integrator had a damaged gear set. Dave W. located a non compatable unit in Avionics that had been produced by a manufacture different from ours. However, as it turns out the gears and shafts are the same as the damaged ones. All but one, which is on its way to Ray for some machining, are in place.

With the shack void of groups of visitors, Harry installed new memory batteries in the Azden PCS-3000 rigs used for the Packet and APRS systems. These new batteries will eliminate the problems caused by the ship occcasionly loosing power.

We did have two Ham visitors in the afternoon. One chatted for awhile than asked for a membership application, which he filled out and handed back to us. The other came to the ship hoping to operate. Operate he did, with the assistance of his young Granddaughter. Both seemed to have a great time.

Feb - 20 - The work force Saturday was small, most likely due to the sub freezing temperatures, but productive. The telco inventory and repair continued. Sticky dials and frayed cords were the order of the day, with an occasional loose wire thrown in.

A donated Heathkit SB-610 station monitor (scope) was tested and installed at Ham-3. Besides showing the transmitted waveform, this equipment works as an eye catcher for visitors to the shack, especially the younger ones. Speaking of kids, a Cub Pack that spent the night at the Adventure Aquarium visited the shack during their tour of the ship. Gene H. gave the group an intro to Ham Radio at Ham-3, then turned them over to Ed who was operating CW at Ham-4. Good job guys.

The addition to the Quarter Deck security monitors was placed into full operation. A sheet of operating instructions was provided, as well as some live training, to the watch standers. Temporary repairs were made to a timer relay in the blinking light circuits of the Coke Machine.

A request to investigate the signal quality to the TV in the First Class Mess was resolved rather quickly - just connect the coax to the "ANT" Input connector. Hum.. While at the set the channel programming was changed to reflect the channels available at the ship.

Another minor job was the relocation of the security camera in CEC from the forward bulkhead to the aft bulkhead. This new location maintains the same level of security but adds the ability for the Quarter Deck Watch to observe the proper operations of the CEC automated displays.

Feb 19 - SPECIAL REPORT: 1st Radio Merit Badge Class a success!

     The initial Scout Radio Merit Badge (MB) class given on Sunday, Feb. 19, 06; had to be considered a success by any imaginative stretch. We were blessed that only 17 scouts attended (rather than the 40 expected) as it made things smoother and faster. We were able to use the 2nd Deck Classroom (seats about 20 max.) and is much more convenient to the Radio Shack compared to the CPO mess. 16 of the 17 scouts were given partial credit for Requirements 7a, 1 through 6, and Nr. 8, and all Blue MB cards were signed by Doug Gehring, WA2NPD. There was no question that most of the scouts in attendance were prepared ahead of time (thanks to their Scoutmaster and Tom Jaskel) which made the teaching parts go much smoother. One scout, due to lack of attention and interest, did not pass. Ron Cohan, Dave Stepanowski, and Wayne Wilson all did a splendid job handling the Radio Shack, on the air requirements, and explaining things in the Shack. The Scoutmaster and some parents who accompanied the group all expressed to me their appreciation for our efforts. A great measure of thanks and appreciation must go to Tom Jaskel, who was in attendance the entire Sunday morning. Tom, who had EMailed us the day before (I had neglected to read his EMail until Sunday afternoon), had all necessary equipment on-hand and ready to go for our normal MB power point presentation, etc., the blackboard in place, etc. Tom is anticipating another (albeit smaller) group next weekend, so we will be all set then to provide our planned course (i.e. Requirements 1 through 4, and 7a and 8). Tom's input, presence, and cooperation has been a comforting backup, to say the very least. We are looking forward to teaching future classes and to fine- tuning our presentations.
                                                                                                         73 de Doug, WA2NPD

Feb 13 - After the quarterly membership meeting on Saturday, most of the members joined Brian on the O2 level to pull cable. The group worked as a team to run one new coax and one new control cable from the FM booth in the SITE (TV) control room to the Fwd Deckhouse. These cables are part of the security camera enhancement asked for by the Quarterdeck Watch standers. By the end of the workday the coax was in service providing another source of video to the Deckhouse. The lack of a connector prevented the final installation of the pushbutton keypad that is used to select which camera is displayed on the new monitor. This new system does not replace the existing system but is an enhancement to it. It provides the ability to view a selected camera as a full screen as well as a backup should the TV head end go belly-up. A good job by all.

Work on the ship's dial phone system continues. The bi-annual inspection of the instruments and their function is progressing, but locked spaces do provide a challenge. One phone on the reactivation list was the Key Phone (6 button) unit in the Captain's Stateroom. At one time the Telco volunteers had this phone working as a single line unit, but bulkhead work elsewhere in the ship destroyed the wiring. Ed did a fine job in overcoming the sheetrock, and the cramped space behind it, to return this phone to service.

Feb 6 - In the O2 level shop John has completed the construction of a homebrew power supply for the two RBM receivers. One of the HF rigs was powered up but shows signs of needing some TLC, as expected. Joining John was new member Rich who spent the day de-milling an R-1051 chassis carried back from Ship Depot some time ago.

Ed, Paul and Gail roamed the ship working on the dial phones, checking their operations, conditions and locations. Poor Gene H. spent the day sequestered in the switch room answering the phone as the other 3 members called. The phone Gene was at has caller ID that he used to compare there location with. I understand that by the end of the day Gene had contacted his inner self. Yes, he had a boring location, all day long.

Brian, Dave W and Dave B had more fun up in the FM Booth. They tested and installed some donated equipment to be used as an enhancement to the existing video sequencers used by the security monitor system. By the end of the workday they had completed the installation and are now planning the installation of a remote control keypad and a second monitor at the Fwd Q'deck.

In the NJ2BB shack Bob E. and Mike made ovder 100 QSO's. Next door in FACCON 1, Bill L. worked on restoring the RTTY portion of the Transmitter Control Switchboard.

Jan 30 - One of the many pieces of ship's equipment missing upon our (BNJARS) arrival in 2001 were the Navy Communication Satellite antennas commonly referred to as the "trash can" antennas. Readers of these reports are aware that during one of our many trips to "Ship Depot" a pair of these antennas were recovered and stored on the ship. A few months ago one of the trash cans was hoisted to its position on the trailing edge of the aft stack. Well...... a week ago that antenna responded to movement commands generated in the Transmitter Room, rotating clock-wise, counter clock-wise, up and down. That is until the last command of the day when the control power fuse committed suicide.

This past Saturday Brian isolated the trouble to a grounded wire somewhere towards the antenna pedestal. He developed a trouble shooting plan, and with the help of Bill L. modified one of the spare controllers to provide antenna motion without using the suspect 28 volt DC line. The plan worked. After the antenna was rotated about 30 degrees, the two techs revisited the grounded wire and found the condition had cleared. This action narrows the problem to the Sector Switch located in the upper part of the pedestal. Although not needed yet for our application, the switch will be replaced when the weather permits. At the end of the workday the aft antenna was staring at the Visitors Center.

Speaking of antennas, other members worked on replacing the ships TV antenna with a new/used one donated by our own Doug M.

The restoration of the BB-62 SITE System by Ebe used TV channel 5 and 8 as the output of the production equipment. Wishing to find a use for one of these channels during times of no video editing, an idea was presented to the ship's staff who replied with a "go ahead". For a few hours this past Saturday the "BB-62 Volunteers Bulletin Board" was viewable throughout the ship. Meant to provide another path of information for the volunteers, the final product will include useful up-to-date notes and schedules for the crew. Within the next couple of weeks the channel should be up and running. Keep an eye on BB-62 Channel 8.

Word from the O2 level indicates that John will have the original BB-62 RBM HF receivers on line this coming weekend. These two rigs are known to have been on the ship during WWII and are believed to be visible in some of the photos of Admiral Halsey's time on board the Big-J.

Jan 09 - Just to prove that persistence does pay off, Margaret, KB2BRR, hounded the airwaves until she made a contact with the International Space Station. The ISS Commander even mentioned hearing NJ2BB the week before on New Years Eve.

The TS-440S is back in operation at HAM-3 after having new finals installed. I send a special thanks to Dave, K2UDA, for the loan of his TS-430 during the time that the 440 was ill. A number of our members provided aid to the Sarnoff group during their weekend radio class. I do not have a count of the number of QSO held between NJ2BB and the students.

A plan for going forward with the "leaky coax" antenna on Broadway has been developed, with actual work commencing when Harry is next at the ship. Restoration of the TA-970 red phones in AFT Plot continues in anticipation of the engineering tours.

A donation of security style video equipment was brought onboard and stored in the TV Workshop. Some of our members started the internal inspection and cleaning of the gear. We are still looking for a better storage method for the 200 or so RG-59 jumpers, with BNC connectors installed.

As mentioned years ago, we installed homebrew wiring harnesses in the receiver audio switchboard, SB-2727. During one of our last visits to Ship Depot, a few of the OEM harnesses were obtained. This past Saturday, Ed, N2PV, began the installation of the "real thing". The trouble with the Aft NAVMACS terminal in the Message Handling Area has been isolated to a bad capacitor. The hunt is on for a replacement.

So far the weather for next Saturday appears to be acceptable for working on the aft OE-82 installation. It may be possible that the antenna could turn sometime in the afternoon. Maybe. Could be. Hum. Also on the agenda, but dependent on the weather is the replacement of the ship's TV antenna.

Paul and Gail did a great job of documenting the audio cabling of the TV control room (SITE system). They hand traced each audio cable, installed wire markers on the ends and updated a rough drawing of the system. The final CAD will be available to all who have an interest in the system. A CAD of the CCTV cabinet is already stored in the control room. The more complex video system is next to be documented.


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