Moree Today Pt4

Close view of OTC logo on tower - opposite side to antenna padMoree Revisited Pt4 (final)

Story and photos by Dan Flett

Preface by Robert Brand: I received this email from an interested party, nothing to do with OTC, but was kind enough to send me some great photos of the Moree site that re recently visited. I will spread the photos out over a few postings, but here is his email. Thanks so much Dan.

Hi Robert, My name is Dan Flett, and I discovered your site, http://exotc.org indirectly via www.honeysucklecreek.net – my new favourite website. The only vaguely tangental personal connection I might have with OTC is that my wife used to work for Telstra and has a few Telstra and ex-Telstra friends – some of whom may have worked for OTC in the past. Continue reading

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Neil Armstrong Dies aged 82

Complications from Heart Surgery Takes the First Moon Walker

[Ed] I have met most of the Apollo moon walkers and command module pilots but I never met Neil Armstrong. Unlike Buzz Aldrin, Neil had become somewhat reclusive. He avoided public appearances and refused to sign autographs. He was still passionate about space and spoke his mind on where NASA should point their rockets. As one on the many exOTC staff that supported the Apollo 11 mission, I am saddened by the world’s loss of an extraordinary astronaut that had ice water flowing in his veins. He was one cool guy that was able to walk away from many failures where others would have perished. We will miss you – Robert Brand

News article from NASA

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the death of former test pilot and NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong. He was 82. Continue reading

Moree Today Pt3

Moree Revisited Pt3

Story and photos by Dan Flett

Preface by Robert Brand: I received this email from an interested party, nothing to do with OTC, but was kind enough to send me some great photos of the Moree site that re recently visited. I will spread the photos out over a few postings, but here is his email. Thanks so much Dan.

Hi Robert, My name is Dan Flett, and I discovered your site, http://exotc.org indirectly via www.honeysucklecreek.net – my new favourite website. :)   The only vaguely tangental personal connection I might have with OTC is that my wife used to work for Telstra and has a few Telstra and ex-Telstra friends – some of whom may have worked for OTC in the past. Continue reading

The Roma Coincidence

Odd Timely Convergence (OTC)

by Robert Brand

Roma is a town in the western Darling Downs area of South West Queensland, Australia, 515 km by rail WNW of Brisbane. It is situated at the junction of the Warrego and Carnarvon highways.

Many years ago, Bruce Boardman was working for LSE. They won a bid to provide the radio rebroadcast equipment for the Eastern Distributor road tunnel in Sydney about 14 years ago. As part of that build, Bruce found a small company in Roma that built FM transmitters and these were supplied as part of that build. Bruce now works for Telstra in the HF radio area and travels about Australia frequently. My company, PlusComms, looks after the radio equipment in the Eastern Distributor. Continue reading

Moree Today Pt2

Moree Revisited Pt2

Story and photos by Dan Flett

Preface by Robert Brand: I received this email from an interested party, nothing to do with OTC, but was kind enough to send me some great photos of the Moree site that re recently visited. I will spread the photos out over a few postings, but here is his email. Thanks so much Dan.

Hi Robert, My name is Dan Flett, and I discovered your site, exotc.org indirectly via www.honeysucklecreek.net – my new favourite website. :)   The only vaguely tangental personal connection I might have with OTC is that my wife used to work for Telstra and has a few Telstra and ex-Telstra friends – some of whom may have worked for OTC in the past. Continue reading

Gnangara HF Closes

Globe Wireless Shuts Gnangara HF Radio Site

by Tony Belts

Pictures by Tony Belts (right)

On the morning of August 17, 2012, the Globe Wireless Seatex service was shut down, this was the last remaining HF service at Gnangara Maritime Coast Station which has been operating in its current form for Globe Wireless since 1997, and many years before that when owned by OTC.

[ Editor: the satellite services are of course still operational ]

This marks the end of an era with some 45 years of continuous HF service at the Maritime Coast Station, a sad day for many people. OTC moved to Gnangara from their old transmitting station at Applecross in 1966, having operated from there for many years prior to that. Continue reading

Phone Phreaking via Australia

2VF, the Weak Link

[ Editors Note: I discovered this story on “Phone Phreaking” first published in 1974. I know that my own exploits with the Australian network occurred before International Trunk Dialing was introduced to Australia in 1976 so I do not know if this was before that time. Note that there were others from OTC, but I can’t name them without their permission. Phreaking = Hacking when it comes to making calls via the backdoor. Either cheaper or free – both qualify. Manipulating the phone network. The author of the story below appears to be British but contains some pretty accurate details on 2VF – Robert Brand ]

I find the Australian telephone system much more interesting than American. There are two independent trunk networks Down Under—the (multi-frequency compelled), and the 2VF (two voice frequency), handling STD and operator-originated traffic respectively. Continue reading

Moree Today Pt1

Moree Revisited

Story and photos by Dan Flett

Preface by Robert Brand: I received this email from an interested party, nothing to do with OTC, but was kind enough to send me some great photos of the Moree site that re recently visited. I will spread the photos out over a few postings, but here is his email. Thanks so much Dan. Continue reading

The Paddington Security Guard

Friend or Foe

by Robert Brand

It was an uneasy relationship between the Paddington Security guard and the staff. Security was outsourced to an external agency and the guards were never really part of the team. It made for an interesting time with lots of problems and also lots of humour and strange happenings.

You never knew whether they were part of management or part of the workers. There are way more stories here, but these few may prompt some memories. Let us know what happened with you and the guards. Continue reading

Lindley Deslandes is retiring

Lindley Deslandes – 42 Years Service

by Former workmate Neil Yakalis

Lindley Deslandes is retiring from Telstra Managed Radio Ningi Qld after 42 years service on Tuesday 14th August 2012. Lindley commenced a 5 year traineeship with DCA in 1969 at Adelaide. He married Andrina in February 1974 at the same time he was appointed as a Radio Technician at DCA’s Llandilo Radio Station in Sydney. In October 1988 we recruited him as a TO2 at Doonside’s refurbished Radio Station. Later when Doonside was in the process of closing in January 1996 he moved his family to Qld. In moving he followed the transfer of transmitters to Ningi & remote receivers onto Bribie Island. Continue reading

Honeysuckle Creek 1971

honeysucklecreek.net

by Robert Brand

For many years now I have been both helping and also indebted to the team from Honeysuckle Creek for their diligence and time researching many of the space programs that they were involved in. More importantly they have spent significant time documenting some of the space history of OTC. Their website has many pictures and interviews with OTC staff and also details the involvement of many OTC stations including Paddington, Moree and Carnarvon. It in fact has many details not available on this site or the OTVA site. Continue reading

OTCCC Kalang Falls circa 1982

OTC Caving and Canyoning Club

by Robert Brand

I was instrumental in forming the OTCCC – we even added canoeing into the letters (OTCCCC at one stage). This trip was around 1982 and was in a little valley between Kanangra Falls and Kanangra Walls. It had about 8 major abseils with the longest one being 60m (about a 20 story building). This trip was a simple one day trip with the best part of a day descending the waterfalls and enjoying the scenery.  The trip out takes only about an hour for the super fit and 2 hours for the less fit climbing out of the valley with a grade of about 45 degrees with no track. There were leaches too. Continue reading

DCA RTS Revisited

Waverton Nov 1971

These photos were taken in my last months at the Dept of Civil Aviation Regional Training School (DCA RTS) at Waverton. For many years I caught the 389 bus from Paddington into town and then caught the train from Platform 3 at Town Hall Station to Waverton. In my final year and a half I bought a car and managed to cut my travel time to 1/3. The school is no more and the buildings are gone, but the memories are strong and these photos are the last of a time long gone. It was the class of 71. Continue reading

View from the Top

Paddington Aug. 1970

by Robert Brand

I have started to scan many old slides and of course found some old ones. Nothing great, but several should be interesting. The first few are the oldest so far and simply the result of the weekly roof inspections. Yes, the ITMC was responsible for checking all was well with the roof. Of interest was the fact that it was Paddington and it was the 70’s. A very liberated time. No photos of that, but I remember that 14 was the highest number of naked or semi naked people that we counted sun baking within easy view of the roof. The building was located at 363 Oxford St Paddington and still stands. Continue reading

Long Distance Call from 18 Billion Kilometres

Voyager Keeps On Keeping On

Introduction by Robert Brand

It seems that nearly 35 years ago was only yesterday. I clearly remember the excitement of the launch of Voyager II and then soon after Voyager I. I was even at Parkes for the Voyager II encounters with Uranus and Neptune. I was on the tail end of the Giotto project when Voyager was  flying past Uranus and then I was visiting again when it encountered Neptune. That was some 23 odd years ago for that last encounter. Continue reading