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may also be used to obtain the positions of vessels at sea in radio compass range, about 150 miles, when for any reason positions can not be obtained by other means.
The maximum distance for which bearings from these stations are accurate is 150 miles. But accurate positions can not be plotted when more than 50 miles from the shore on Mercator charts, for the Mercator projection introduces a distortion of the true bearing.
For plotting radio compass bearings the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey publishes three plotting charts, which may be obtained by application to the Director, Coast and Geodetic Survey, Washington, D. C., or the sales agents, price 20 cents each. Full directions for using them are printed on the reverse side of each chart.
Radio Compass Stations are divided into two classes:
(a) Single stations, operating independently and furnishing a single bearing. These stations are located with the view of giving se vice to ships at a distance of not over 150 miles from the station. (6) Harbor entrance groups.
All stations in harbor entrance groups are connected to and controlled by the master station; all stations of the group take bearings simultaneously and these bearings are transmitted to the ship requesting them by the control station. The purpose of these stations is to lead mariners to the light vessels off harbor entrances.
Where only one radio compass station is available, the mariner may fix his position by two or more bearings from the station with the distance run between, or may use the bearings as a line of position, or as a danger bearing. Or the bearing may be crossed with a line of position obtained from an observation of an astronomical body to establish a fix.
Wave lengths.--All independent and group radio compass stations keep watch on 800 meters. Only this wave should be used to call and work with these stations.
Calling a radio compass station.---To obtain a bearing from independent radio compass stations, call the station from which the bearing is desired in the usual manner and request bearings by means of the conventional signal given hereafter. Simultaneous bearings from two or more compass stations can be obtained by making the call include the other compass stations desired.
To obtain bearings from the harbor entrance compass stations carry out the procedure previously given. The compass control station only will answer.
Conventional signals. The following abbreviated signals will be used:
The following radio compass stations are of use for vessels navigating within the limits covered by this volume:
Name of station.
Lat. 40° 38' 07" N., long. 73° 12' 32" W.
PROCEDURE IN DETAIL.
(a) A ship calling the radio compass station or compass control station should make the abbreviation " QTE!" ("What is my bearing? ”). This request will be answered by the radio compass station or control station, and when ready to observe the radio bearing it will send the signal “K,” indicating to the ship to commence “testing”; i. e., repeating its distinguishing signal for a period of 50 seconds. The signal should be made slowly with the dashes considerably prolonged.
(6) The testing should be made on 800 meters, upon the completion of which the ship should await reply from the radio compass station.
(c) The radio compass station or control station will then reply, repeating the abbreviation “QTE” (“Your bearing from
degrees”), followed by the bearing in degrees given by a group of three figures 000 to 360, indicating the true bearing in degrees of the ship station from the radio compass station, and then the time group giving the time of observations in local standard time. In the case of more than one radio compass connected by land line only, the station originally called will answer. This station will combine all the bearings taken by itself and associated stations into one message, which gives each bearing observed immediately after the name of the station making the observation.
All compass stations transmit on 800 meters.
Danger from reciprocal bearings.-Attention is invited to the fact that when a single bearing is furnished there is a possibility of an error of approximately 180°, as the operator at the compass station can not always determine on which side of the station the vessel lies. Certain radio compass stations, particularly those on islands or extended capes, are equipped to furnish two corrected true bearings for any observation. Such bearings when furnished vessels may differ by approximately 180°, and whichever bearing is suitable should be used.
Caution.—Mariners receiving bearings which are evidently the approximate reciprocal of the correct bearing should never attempt to correct these bearings by applying a correction of 180°, as such correction would not include the correction necessary on account of deviation at the compass station.
An error of as large as 30° may be introduced by mariners applying an arbitrary correction of 180° to such bearings. Vessels receiving bearings manifestly requiring an approximate 180° correction should request the other bearing from the radio compass station if not previously furnished.
Bearings, except in the case of approximate reciprocal bearings, should be accurate within 2° of are provided the transmitting equipment on board vessels is tuned sharply to 800 meters. Operators should use sufficiently wide coupling to obtain low decrement. If radio transmitters are not tuned sharply, it is difficult to obtain bearings that are sufficiently accurate for navigational purposes.
When bearings from three or more compass stations are not over 2° of arc in error, but do not meet at a fixed point, the geometric center of the triangle formed by the bearings can generally be taken as the approximate position of the vessel.
Mariners until thoroughly familiar with the system are advised to use radio compass stations frequently, especially in clear weather, when positions of vessels can be accurately fixed in order to accustom operators to the procedure and to acquaint themselves with the degree of accuracy and dependability of bearings furnished by the radio compass stations.
Reports.—In order that the operation of shore radio compass stations may be checked, mariners obtaining bearings are requested to forward a brief report to the Director Naval Communications, Navy. Department, Washington, D. C., containing the following particulars:
1. Name of ship. 2. Name of radio compass station. 3. Date and local standard time at which radio bearing was taken. 4. Bearings given by radio station.
5. Estimated position of ship at above time and dates by methods other than radio.
6. The probable degree of accuracy of the estimated position..
There is no charge for bearings furnished by the U.S. Naval Radio Compass Station.
Radio fog signals.—The following radio fog signals are operated on the Atlantic coast by the United States Lighthouse Service: Fire Island Light Vessel, N. Y.: Group of two dashes for..
25 seconds. Silent
25 seconds. Ambrose Channel Light Vessel, N. J.: Single dashes for.
20 seconds. Silent-
20 seconds. Seagirt Light Station, N. J.: Groups of three dashes for..
60 seconds. Silent
6 minutes. Diamond Shoal Light Vessel, N. C. Group of two dashes.
20 seconds. Silent
30 seconds. These radio log signals are intended for the use of vessels equipped with radio compass. By reason of this radio compass (also termed radio direction finder) the bearing of the radio fog signal station may be determined with an accuracy of approximately 2o and at
distances considerably in excess of the range of visibility of the most powerful coast lights. The apparatus is simple and may be operated by the navigator without the assistance of a radio operator or without knowledge of the telegraph code. The radio directionfinding apparatus consists of a radio receiving set, similar in operation to those used for radio telegraph or telephone reception, and a rotatable coil of wire in place of the usual antenna. By rotating the coil the intensity of the signal received from the transmitting station is caused to vary, and by noting the position of the coil when the signal is heard at its minimum intensity the bearing of the transmitting station is readily obtained.
The signals from the light vessels have definite characteristics for identifying the stations, as have the flashing lights and sound fog signals, and bearings may be obtained with even greater facility than sight bearings on visible objects. The radio fog signals are transmitted on a wave length of 1,000 meters, which is exclusively reserved for this purpose to avoid interference. The stations transmit continuously during thick weather and also for one-half hour twice each day, beginning at 9 a. m. and 3 p. m., regardless of weather conditions.
A general description of this method of navigation and the instruments required may be obtained from the Commissioner of Lighthouses, Washington, D. C., upon request. The Bureau of Standards Scientific Paper No. 428, the Radio Direction Finder and Its Application to Navigation, may be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C., for 15 cents.
Time signals.-In connection with the service over the land telegraph lines, time signals by radio are sent daily, Sundays and holidays excepted, from certain United States naval coastwise radio stations at noon of the seventy-fifth meridian time on the Atlantic coast and at noon of the one hundred and twentieth meridian time on the Pacific coast. The signals begin at 11.55 and continue for 5 minutes. During this interval every tick of the clock is transmitted except the twenty-ninth second of each minute, the last 5 seconds of each of the first 4 minutes, and finally the last 10 seconds of the last minute. The noon signal is a longer contact after this long break. Similar time signals are also sent at 10 p. m. from some of the stations.
The supervision of radio communication in the United States is controlled by the Bureau of Navigation, Department of Commerce. A list of the radio stations of the United States, including shore stations, merchant vessels, and Government vessels; Radio Communication Laws and Regulations of the United States; and Amateur Radio Stations of the United States are published by that bureau. Any of these publications can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.; price, 15 cents each. Changes or additions to the stations and to the laws and regulations are published in bulletins issued monthly; price, 5 cents per copy or 25 cents per year.
The International List of Radio Stations of the World (edition in English) can be procured from the International Bureau of the Telegraphić Union (Radiotelegraphic Service), Berne, Switzerland. In addition to the information contained in the list of the United States stations published by the Bureau of Navigation, the international
list shows geographical locations, normal ranges in nautical miles, radio systems, and rates. Supplements to the international list will be issued monthly and will contain new stations and tables of alterations. Inquiries as to the subscription prices of these lists should be made direct to the Berne bureau at the address given above. Remittances to Berne should be made by international postal money orders.
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD STATIONS.
Coast Guard stations and houses of refuge are maintained at the places named in the following table. The stations are manned and are supplied with boats, wreck guns, beach apparatus, and all other appliances for affording assistance in case of shipwreck. Instructions to enable mariners to avail themselves fully of the assistance thus afforded will be sent free of charge upon application to the Coast Guard Service, Washington, D. C.
The life-saving stations are provided with the International Code of Signals. Where telephone or telegraph facilities are available, requests for a tug or revenue cutter will be received and promptly forwarded.
The houses of refuge on the coast of Florida are in charge of a keeper, and are supplied with boats, provisions, and restoratives.
Signals.—The following signals have been adopted by the Coast Guard Service:
Upon the discovery of a wreck by night, the station crew will burn a red pyrotechnic light or a red rocket to signify,“ You are seen; assistance will be given as soon as possible.”
A red flag waved on shore by day, or a red light, red rocket, or red Roman candle displayed by night, will signify, “Haul away:
A white flag waved on shore by day, or a white light slowly swung back and forth, or a white rocket, or white Roman candle fired by night will signify,“ Slack away.”
Two flags, a white and a red, waved at the same time on shore by day, or two lights, a white and a red, slowly swung at the same time, or a blue pyrotechnic light burned by night, will signify, “Do not attempt to land in your own boats. It is impossible.”
A man on shore beckoning by day, or two torches burning near together by night, will signify, “This is the best place to land.”
Any of these signals may be answered from the vessels as follows: In the daytime, by waving a flag, a handkerchief, a hat, or even the hand; at night, by firing a rocket, a blue light, or a gun, or by showing a light over the ship's gunwale for a short time,
and then concealCautions.—Masters are particularly cautioned, if they should be driven ashore anywhere in the neighborhood of the stations, to remain on board until assistance arrives, and under no circumstances should they attempt to land through the surf in their own boats until the last hope of assistance from the shore has vanished. Often when comparatively smooth at sea a dangerous surf is running which is not perceptible 400 yards offshore, and the surf when viewed from a ves. gel never appears as dangerous as it is. Many lives have been lost unnecessarily by the crews of stranded vessels being thus deceived and attempting to land in the ship's boats.