D/F OUTFITS

Direction Finding, whilst important to many organisations if only for safety purposes, is one of the key tools in the armoury of a warship.  It helps in finding and destroying the enemy, its primary role, in navigation and safety upon the high seas and in locating those hapless seafarers which the Royal Navy regularly assists.

The principles of direction finding are nearly as old as wireless telegraphy is itself and there are many text books covering the subject. For our purposes, we are interested only in D/F from the Royal Naval point of view and equipment.

No organisation can tell 'our' story better than our own scientists and engineers who worked for ASWE [Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment] and of course many other places of excellence.  Their story is not in the public domain, although one astute man by the name of O.L. RATSEY did bother to get his pen out to leave for posterity a 'wonderful' composition which he called "AS WE WERE", the AS WE representing ASWE. "AS WE WERE" had a title which read "Fifty Years of ASWE History 1896-1946", and it has a Section on Direction Finding fully relevant to our needs which is from 1918. The composition was copied many times and issued in an A4, blue coloured, hard-back cover, with punched pages held in place by a four-ganged spring clip. Regrettably, the copying of this composition was so prolific that many copies, including ours, is often difficult to read, and sometimes needs to be re-processed before being re-produced.  The modern computer technique of OCR [optical character recognition] is also out of the question because of the poor quality offered to the associated scanning device. 

We have undertaken the reprocessing function [of some of the pages] as a mark of respect to these men of ASWE even though we have neither sought or received approval to use the composition. I am sure that they will not be offended by seeing some of the composition here in print, and after all, 1946 is a long time ago.  This will bring their time and work back to life!

Before we begin, O.L. Ratsey published this poem on the front page:-

"I summon up remembrance of things past
And seek their forms now vanished from our sight
But sigh the lack of many a thing I sought
The work of men hid in death's dateless night.

After S.S. xxx "

and dedicated his work "To The Men of the hour and of all the hours".
He was generous in his Acknowledgements, and since we are going to quote verbatim, it is fitted that we too reproduce the list - we owe them a great deal. Click on this thumbnail

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ASWE.
The Naval story of Direction Finding.

CLICK and here
CLICK
also.

D/F Training Units from the 1920's.

CLICK

 

From 1930, D/F General and D/F Errors.

CLICK

D/F Receiver Outfit SA.

CLICK

D/F Outfit SD.

CLICK

Receiver Outfit SF.

CLICK

D/F Outfit SGX.

CLICK

Radio Gonio-meter
S25.

CLICK

Sense
Finder
S41.

CLICK

Sense
Finder
S42.

CLICK

Semi
Circular
Corrector
S61.

CLICK

D/F Outfit FM7.

CLICK on thumbnail and

Click to enlarge

then CLICK HERE

D/F Outfits FM11 and FM12.

CLICK here & again here CLICK

FM11 in boats
 super
-seding FM4. FM12 Trawlers and above super
-seding FM7.

 

24 D/F Outfits late 1920's to the 1950's.

CLICK

D/F Outfits FH4 and AH6.

CLICK

D/F Outfits FV4
and
FV5.

CLICK here & again here CLICK and finally here

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D/F Outfit FV10.

CLICK here & again here 

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D/F Outfit FV11.

CLICK here & again here 

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D/F Outfit FH5.

CLICK here & again here

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D/F Outfit FU1.

CLICK

D/F Outfit FU3.
CLICK

See also this little photo galley of scenes from this equipment.

CLICK

 

 

D/F Outfit UA2.

CLICK here & again  here

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D/F Outfit UA3.

CLICK here & again here

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D/F Outfit UA4.

CLICK

D/F Outfit FM16.

CLICK here & again here CLICK

Employs the Bellini-Tosi fixed Loop [round] aerial with a servo driven rotating  gonio coil.

Auto Alarm System SQA.

CLICK here & again here CLICK

 

D/F Outfit CXB2 with Auto Alarm SQB.

CLICK here & again here CLICK

H/F
 D/F Outfit
RH2

CLICK

See this file for RX B36

UHF {by
WW2
definition}
SHF {by ours} D/F Outfit RU4

CLICK

See this file for receivers P63 and P64.

Aerials and equipment from  1935 CLICK HERE, for outfits FA CLICK HERE, FC CLICK HERE and FH CLICK HERE. Pictures of units common to all above. CLICK HERE. See these files for RX B47.
The 1928 W/T Receiving Handbook, the D/F Section.  A rarely seen book outside the Service which deals with the practical side aboard our warships and not wholly on the theoretical side as the W/T Manual does ! Click HERE SEX !
Well no, not here, after all we are British.
There was an outfit called "SE", and, as you will have already read, the suffix 'X' means first experimental set, with the letters 'Y' and 'Z' denoting 2nd and 3rd experimental sets. Some documents issued the name discreetly as "SEx" {SEy etc} whilst others grabbed a rare opportunity to add a much needed sense of humour.  This interesting file mentions how the word SEX was used well before WW2. SEX.pdf. The highlighting of several of the words inside the file are not of my doing.