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Charivaria

Page history last edited by Alan Hartley-Smith 3 months, 3 weeks ago

 

 

Introduction

This page is for those bits and pieces that either don't fit exactly into any other section or spread over several or are just curiosities.

 

RDF or Radar?

To start with there is the background to these two nomenclatures. There are several claimants for the coining of RDF but the one that seems to have the best provenance is to be found in "Britain's Shield RADAR" by David Zimmerman on page 132 - quote:

 

On 23 August (1935) Wing Commander J.O.Andrews, a staff officer at the Air Ministry, reported to Wimperis (Director of Scientific Research at the Air Ministry) that the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff had requested 'a name for this system of detection  which [did] not immediately indicate its method of operation'. Andrews suggested that they use the term 'R.D.F. (a compression of R.D and D/F) to serve as verb, noun or adjective as required.' If Wimperis agreed this term would be used in all further official documents. On 17 September Wimperis concurred with Andrews' recommendation and British radar became known as RDF. This is confirmed by the earliest document which refers to the term. This document is a paper written by Wimperis on 24 September titled 'Notes on proposed methods of plotting information received from R.D.F. stations'.

 

RDF remained the term used in Britain until Radar, standing for 'RAdio Detection And Ranging', the official derivation used by the Americans as their cover for the secret work at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington in 1940 with ranging meaning distance and direction measurement, became the generic nomenclature in 1943.

 

The following derivation was also suggested during RAF RADAR courses in 1954/5 at Yatesbury Training Camp - Radio Azimuth Direction And Ranging.

 

An interesting take on CH

 

   

 

Offcuts & Harmonics


First of all the Marconi Roundel

 

Marconi experimenting with radio location in 1935

 

A compendium of Marconi facts and figures

 

Marconi House in London

 

Marconi Employees Manual  - those were the days

 

Marconi Centenary 1997

This is the only reference I can find to what should have been a considerable event. There were a considerable number of events in 2001 to celebrate the first wireless transmission across the Atlantic.

 

Baddow" - still leading    Story 1   Story 2

 

The Beginning of someone else's History

 

Pre-History!

Ian's selection of acoustic detectors

 

MRSL Mementoes

 

GEC History 1

 

GEC Archives

 

GEC Computers

 

RADAR EQUIPMENT - SITES & SPECIFICATIONS - references to Rotor

 

Diversions  of a radio telescope

 

Marconi Conference Centre

 

The Marconi Society

 

RAF Yatesbury Association,   RAF Yatesbury and  RAF Locking - many MOGS and others have "fond" memories of these two establishments

 

Royal Air Force Museum

 

The Radar War

 

Informal Radar Conference 1946

 

London Airport - a COI film - includes some very early radar footage

 

Live ATC - an eye-opener

 

CH Radar

This is a blog consisting mainly of critiques of books about radar by various authors with

some fascinating comments

 

The other side of the story 1, 2

 

The National Valve Museum

Another private venture recording electronic history

 

The Virtual Valve Museum

 

A fascinating article referencing a variety of electronic warfare systems

 

Alexandra Palace at War

 

A definite oddity - Bruce Neale was involved (followup on /BTNeale2.htm and /BTNeale3.htm)

 

Daventry Anniversary

 

Another version of the story

 

A rather quaint overview of wartime radar published in Flight magazine in June 1945

 

A comprehensive overview of WW2 radar production published in Wireless World in October 1945 (starts page 290)

 

RAF Air Defence Radar Museum - a photographic essay describing a visit to the museum at Neatishead in June 2016 by Nick Pinnock.

 

RAF Neatishead - a documentary film from c.1985 about the first female CO, Gp Capt Joan Hopkins.

 

Online Air Defence Radar Museum

 

A Computer Curiosity

 

Radar Basics - an interesting if somewhat skewed educational site

 

Wikipedia

 

Inforapid Knowledge Portal - a very idiosyncratic compendium

 

List of WWII electronic warfare equipment 

 

A German Compendium - includes some interesting insights and Freya and Wurzburg radars

 

Another German Compendium related to D-Day

 

An interesting insight into early radar problems

 

Early Radar memories

 

An erstwhile competitor's story: The Decca Legacy

 

An interesting item about early offshoots of radar

 

An interesting snippet about the Pourville raid, an equally critical event as the more well-known earlier Bruneval raid

 

This is an equally interesting story about the people who operated radars in WW2 and the conditions under which they worked in all theatres of the war 

 

Two advertisements for Marconi Wireless Telegraph radar equipment and featuring "The Hand of Marconi" (Link 1 and Link 2), found by Steve Bousfield in Grace's Guide.

 

An ambitious restoration.

 

 

Radar on the silver screen

At the end of the Second World War, the Air Ministry was eager to publicise the discovery of a technology that played a crucial role in assisting British forces in defending the nation against German attack: radar. A young private in the army's cinema unit, Peter Ustinov, was attached to the RAF in order to write the script and direct the film, the first of what turned out to be a substantial collection. The film was 'School for Secrets'

 

Pathe have released a catalogue of films including this.

 

A  piece from a documentary.

 

Pictures - general interest

 

 A news story about Bentley Priory

 

Air Traffic Control

A number of tracking websites now give anyone with a computer and an internet connection a view of controlled airspace that many air traffic controllers as late as the 1980s would have dearly wished. Here is a selection of interesting tracking and information sites for the interested traveller:

 

The London Heathrow Terminal Control Area
Casper Flights
Flight Radar 24
Radar Virtuel
Localiza Todo (includes ships!)
Flight Aware

Flight Stats (includes airport, airline etc. statistics)

Airport Codes (translates airport ICAO, IATA codes, eg. EGKK, LGW)

 

People

Figures in the story of radar other than those connected with Marconi in particular those comprising the original 1930s pioneers.

 

ACM Hugh Dowding     Two items related to his WW2 HQ  - Bentley Priory  1.  2.

 

Harry Wimperis

 

A P Rowe

 

Henry Tizard

 

Arnold "Skip" Wilkins

For the definitive exposition of the radar story see "The Birth of British Radar" joint-edited by our own Colin Latham especially the revised second edition

 

Edward "Taffy" Bowen

 

"Bill" Penley - a paper written by him, his obituary circa 2017 and a reminiscence

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (2)

Ian Gillis said

at 12:24 pm on Feb 10, 2016

Page and links checked - dead links to skomer.u-net and rusi.org removed

Ian Gillis said

at 9:31 am on Oct 6, 2017

Colin Hinson reports skomer links still viewable on the Wayback machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20080612022202/http://www.skomer.u-net.com:80/projects/start.htm

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