[Fwd: [ARC5] B-24 radio report]

Mike Hanz AAF-Radio-1 at AAFRADIO.ORG
Mon Feb 25 20:18:24 EST 2008

More on the B-24 adventure....

Mike de KC4TOS

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[ARC5] B-24 radio report
Date: 	Mon, 25 Feb 2008 19:03:33 -0600
From: 	Steve Williams <swkb4dmf at alltel.net>
To: 	<ARC5 at mailman.qth.net>, <mrca-request at mailman.qth.net>, 
<Milsurplus at mailman.qth.net>

  Well I thought I'd let everyone know how the B-24 radio project went. It's
been 48 hours now since we were on the air and no one has indicated that
they heard us.

 We were not able to work a single station while in the air. We had two main
issues; the first being that the leads coming to the cockpit from the
magnetos from each of the four engines were no longer shielded. They were in
1941-1945, but the shielding had been removed at some point for whatever
reason. As I understand it, they were used to ground the mags to kill the
engines in the event of having to ditch the plane in an emergency. We
learned this late in the week and way too late to try and do anything about

  That limited our use to 40 meters where the ignition noise was less of a
problem but still very noticeable. Had we of gotten on the air in the late
morning or around Noon like we had planned we may have been more successful
too. As it were though, due to the engine change I mentioned in earlier
emails, we didn't get airborne until about 3:45 PM Eastern Time Saturday and
that's the basis for our second issue. (We were originally scheduled to fly
late morning Friday.) We started calling around 4 PM and that was prime time
for foreign broadcast, at least where I was sitting anyway. We stopped
transmitting at 4:30 PM. (Way too little time):-) I finally just decided to
yell my head off on both 40 and 80 meters in hopes that someone might hear
me and let me know later. It was very apparent that I wasn't going to hear
them. Let's not forget the noise level of the 4 1200 HP radial engines

 If anyone heard me and tried to answer, I couldn't hear you for the noise
and foreign broadcast.  If you were in Florida or the surrounding area, I'd
say you had the same problem I did. If any of you heard me at all, I would
very much appreciate you letting me know. I was using my callsign, KB4DMF,
and also indicating that we were in a B-24 Liberator and her name was

  The one cool thing that did work very well though was the trailing wire
antenna. None of us had ever reeled a wire with a lead weight out of the
belly of a bomber so we weren't real sure just how it was going to behave.
It was actually one of the smoothest, most stable things you ever seen.
We actually watched it through the open bomb bay doors. 

 We flew from New Smyrna Beach Florida to Keystone Heights Florida and the
highest we ever got was around 1500 feet. That's still a long way down when
you're looking through those open doors. :-)

 As for operating the radios on the ground at night like I had hoped to, we
had a few problems there too. The main one being that there was more work to
do in prep for the flight than we had thought so less time for play. On the
night that we did have time, our roller inductor crank and dial seized up on
us. We were there till 1 AM that night getting it fixed. No matter what you
do to old radios, they're still OLD radios!! We did manage to make one
contact with N4VMY back here in Kentucky on 40 meters Thursday night.

 I'd like to thank everyone who replied to my emails telling me you'd be
listening or trying to work us. Like I said in the original announcement,
this was more of a test that a scheduled event. It just turned out to be a
lot more of a test than I had hoped it would. We learned some things from
the test though and I'm happy to say that it ain't over yet. We're already
working on solutions for the problems and will certainly try again. I've
even thought about brushing off the old key and starting code practice
again. CW would have probably been much more readable under all the

Once again- If you heard me, please let me know.


ARC5 mailing list
ARC5 at mailman.qth.net

This list is a public service of the City of Tempe, Arizona

Subscription control - http://www.tempe.gov/lists/control.aspx?list=BOATANCHORS
Archives - http://listserv.tempe.gov/archives/BOATANCHORS.html

More information about the Boatanchors mailing list