Victory Report: Niton Radio Station IOW

Victory Report: Niton Radio Station IOW
Transmission details
12 Dec 1979
Documentary with interviews about Post Office coast radio station at Niton IOW and trial of alarm call system Selcall. Track 1- Music - Niton radio IOW operates from new site established in 1975. Is one of 11 Post Office coast radio stations round shores of Britain dealing with continuous stream of messages to and from ships at sea. Niton alone handles 36000 radio telegrams and 57000 radio telephone calls a year. 1909 - Niton was one of 6 stations bought by Post Office from Marconi to provide medium range distress and radio telegraph service for 286 British ships then equipped with radio. Now over 17000 licenced British vessels. Distress calls most important work. INTERVIEWS: 1. JACK EVANS, radio officer at Niton Functions of Niton: distress watch station - 24 hour watch; commercial work, eg receive ship’s business telegrams, personal messages from sailors. LEVELS OF DISTRESS: 1- SOS Emergency [Mayday]; 2-Urgency [XXX Pan-Pan]; 3- Navigational hazard [TTT Securite] PERIODS OF SILENCE - to allow weak signals through ranges of wireless telegraphy 300 miles, radio telephone 200 miles, VHF 40 miles during day, more at night. SELCALL new system being tested of prefixing navigational warnings and urgency and listners messages with all ships Selcall equipment and sets off alarm on ship, to make sure ships receive signals. Is most important for private yachtsman, etc., where no regular watch being kept. Cost of conversion of radio telephone equipment about 80-90 pounds. Most deep sea ships are fitted with an alarm system would not use Selcall system. 3 month test period for system. Ship’s radio inspection office in Southampton would provide information to yachtsman about equipment. Track 2- INTERVIEW: BERNARD KELLY, Senior Radio Surveyor of Department of Trade in Southampton. Radio equipment has to be authorised for use on British vessels and has to meet international regulations. Ship licence issued by Home Office to vessel and one person authorised by certificate of competence to use radio. Operator must know distress procedures. Full ship licence cost 6.40 pounds pa. VHF only certificate 17 pounds. Southampton Office based in South Western House, Canute Road and will accept enquiries from members of the public. GUY PAYNE repeats in detail how Selcall system works. Maritime Radio Services Division of Post Office after approach by yatchsmen in area of Niton radio decided to precede all distress, urgency and safety messages broadcast by that station on VHF channel 16 with the All Ships selective call alert which activates alarm fitted to ships radio telephone. Began 5 October 1979 for three month trial. Ships asked to say whether find system useful. [Box 6]
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Misc. notes
Gauge:-1/8 inch tape
Production company
Radio Victory
1 tape


Guy Payne
Jack Evans; Bernard Kelly

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