Great pics guys!
For anyone who is interested in vintage aircraft and want to totally emerge themselves into the early days of flight this means of communication and navigation is "fresh off the press" as they say. It ain't never been done before in FS.
The YE-ZB homing system used on aircraft in WWII is the most incredible adaptation for FS navigation since the introduction of the sextant. It’s no surprise, to me at least, that this newest system of navigation has been brought to us by the same brilliant talent who brought us the sextant....Dave B whom most are familiar with here.
Here is my dauntless attempt to summarize the YE-ZB homing navigational system as it's related to radio frequency logic.
It's my opinion the “golden age of aviation,” could not have been accomplished without, what might be called “the golden age of communications and navigation.” Early wireless signals were very crude at best. The low frequency bands were VLF and MLF radio signals 15Hz to 1500KHz were considered to be state-of-the-art and were utilized by civilian and land based military aircraft. Also used by what we know as RR (radio range) systems in the 30’s and 40’s up until the VOR was introduced in the late 40’s...which incidently was also introduced to us by Dave!
In the early 1940s the Navy began using the Aircraft Radio Transmitter/Receiver Model ARB which operated over a frequency range of 195 kcs (kilocycles, changed to KHz in 1960) to 9050 kcs (9.05mcs) in four bands. You can see the pilot’s radio and the ZB (2 position) homer unit that would have been on a aircraft at the time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z_4Mva-YsQ at about 2:00 minutes into the video. He also shows a 2 position YE transmitter unit (5:50-60) in the video that would have been associated with the radio located on the aircraft carrier.
Morse Code, often referred to as CW (Continuous Wave) communications by radio operators, is still the best, most accurate, and longest range method of sending and receiving intelligent communicating directly from one wireless station to another wireless station. This fact has certainly been established by Ham radio operators who have “worked” all the countries in the world from a fixed station with no more than 1 watt of power. That’s great considering an inexpensive set of walkie-talkies used for outdoor recreationists and business employees, for example, use from 1 to 5 watts of power. On the proper frequency (29MHz or 10 meter band as example) two operators could easily convert these to be used with a CW key and communicate with another radio operator on the opposite side of the world using Morse Code.... depending on many variable conditions.
The YE-ZB transmitters and receivers would certainly have been considered top secret at the time as they used MCW (modulated continuous wave) technology. The tower mounted YE and (portable YG) Morse Code transmitters modulated on two separate frequencies (134MHz considered UHF at that time) riding on AM frequencies of between 540 and 830 kHz and the ZB receivers demodulated (converted them back) to an intelligent MCW signal. It totally baffled the enemy as to how the US planes were making it back to the carriers in the dark after air to air combat sessions that lasted right up until night fall. They may have been capable of intercepting the voice communications being sent a received at 195 KHz to 9.05 MHz but they had no idea of the MCW code signals, at 134MHz, riding along the waves, since they had no receivers with these capabilities at that time.
Some interesting facts:
The length of a radio wave is usually expressed in meters. The formula for converting the frequency wave length to meters is 1MHz = 300 meters in length. The 300 is the approximate speed of light in meters/sec.
29Mhz = 300/29 or 10 meters as example
800 kHz is .8 MHz or 375 meters
234 Mhz is 1.28 meters
Radio waves bounce off the ionosphere…..as a rule, the longer the wave, the lower the altitude, and the shorter the distance that they can be heard. Think of the ionosphere as a ceiling that keeps raising and falling. The ions in the atmosphere are more active in the day time, when the sun’s rays are stirring them up, so the ceiling is lower. If you’ve ever listened to AM broadcast radio (160 meter band), you’ll notice that at night you can hear AM stations much farther away than in the daytime. Another term of this is propagation.
VHF frequencies are smaller waves, and at some point do not bounce off the ionosphere, but penetrate it. That’s where we get line-of-sight communications.
For the most part Ham operators use the HF and VHF bands of 2, 10, 20, 40, 80 and 160 meters. Depending on the time of day, and other conditions, the distances they can communicate vary. During the day, the 10 meter band is mostly line of sight as it penetrates the ionosphere, unless there is quite a bit of sunspot activity, which is another story all together.
You can be sure that, at 200nm or less, the 1.8 meter Morse Code signals, used by the YE-ZB system, was line-of-sight.
I have a prior commitment on Saturday, but will definately try to join Salt's training session on Sunday.
I can't express in words the enjoyment I've had using the FS tools that Dave Bitzer has given us through the years.
And to Austin, who made it possible, by walking me through the processes required, to fly in multiplayer.
Last edited by NikeHerk67; 06-06-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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