Boatanchors In Spaaaaaace....

Joe Buch joseph.buch at DOL.NET
Mon May 3 17:04:49 EDT 1999

At 10:25 5/3/99 -0500, David Stinson wrote:

>The only piece of the several comm.
>systems I could see was a small section of (I think) the backup
>UHF communications system, which ran .5 watt.  It looked very much
>like period Aircraft Radio Corp. ARC-type-12 equipment, with what
>appeared to be a UHF connector and gray, wrinkle paint finish.

As I remember they used frequencies between 225 and 400 MHz for
communications to the Mercury series spacecraft.  I know they had their own
tracking network.  The rest of the space program was using 149 Mhz command
links and 137 Mhz telemetry and tracking links in those days but the manned
missions probably required wider bandwidths than available in the old band.
 Consequently they built their own tracking network.

I would presume the technology would be similar to what was being used in
advanced fighters of the era.  I remember the F-106 used a digital solid
state computer for fire control in 1960.  I worked on them at Palmdale.  Of
course that is not to imply that 5 watt transistors would have been
available at UHF.

I know they had tubes in that era that could withstand the launch G forces.
 The air-to-air missiles used on the F-101 had subminiature tubes wired
into the circuit boards.  I worked with them too.

I later worked in the unmanned spacecraft industry.  I was doing spacecraft
prelaunch testing.  We only used block diagrams.  If a box didn't work, it
went back to the guys that built it to be fixed.  There may not have been
any requirement to deliver box schematics to the government.

Good luck.


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