Nullabor Photography Nailed by OTC Cavers

Abrakurrie Cave

by Robert Brand

Nullabor Plains - Knee high bush

Nullabor Plains – Knee high bush

In 1987, the OTC Caving and Canyoning Club put on a trip to Kangaroo Island and the Nullabor Plains. Initially only John Oxley and myself and a group from Sydney University Speleological Society (SUSS) went on the Kangaroo Island trip and later John and I had arranged to meet Jeff Hinwood at noon on a certain day at the Police Station at Port Pirie in SA. There were no mobile phones back then and we had driven from Adelaide and arrive to the second at the police station to see Jeff pulling up as well. A magnificent start to the trip.

Continue reading

Mobile GPS 1987 Nullabor Plains

Geof Hinwood with the AWA GPS on my Toyota HiLuxJeff Hinwood Working Our “Portable” GPS

by Robert Brand

In 1987, Jeff Hinwood, John Oxley and myself set out on an OTC Caving and Canyoning club caving expedition to the Nullabor Plains. It was not an easy Sunday drive, but had fun visiting our friends at Ceduna for part of the trip. It was week three and we were in a super remote part of the world. There was a small possibility that we were at least 160km from the nearest person  Possibly we were the most isolated group on land in the world, a thought that often crossed our minds on this trip. The Nullabor plains is the largest piece of limestone in the world and is riddled with caves, some close to the surface and filled with unusual salt crystal formations rather than limestone formations and deeper down, caves of immense proportions. Some filled with water and a huge challenge for divers. The clarity of the undisturbed water is at least 100m, maybe 150m if your light can penetrate.

Continue reading

Cable Enterprise Visit mid 70s

Cable Enterprise 1975-ishThe Cable Enterprise was docked in Sydney for a few days for some reason and many of the Paddington staff paid the ship a visit. It did not have any cable in the tanks to lay, although I believe it carried some repair cable and that was about all. The ship had a lot of control and thrusters. The deck was covered in cable feeding rollers and a lot of things that only the experienced crew would know about.

Continue reading

Bondi Beach Cable Entry Room 1972

Bondi Beach Cable RoomBondi was the landing point for Compac and at the end of our Cable Course in 1972, Percy Day took us on a tour of the cable path through Centennial Park and the streets of Bondi. Percy toured the Compac Cable path every Monday to make sure that there was no construction work that would put the security of the cable at risk.

We visited the cable entry room and noted that there was more than just the Compac Cable in the room. In fact there were many old telegraph cables terminated in the room and one of the universities was graphing the voltage / current generated on the cables by the earths changing magnetic field. Percy had to check the paper recorders and mark the dates.

Continue reading

Social Club Thredbo Trip 1970

by Robert Brand

1971 Social and Sports Club Head OfficeI was on Field Training in July 1970 in Head Office in Martin Place and I was approached to join a Ski Trip to Thredbo with the OTC Social and Sports club. I had never been skiing before and I was assured that there were a lot of girls going. Well, I just had to join the trip. I had never tried skiing before and that was my only reason for going – not.

The bus did not have a toilet in those days and stops were always annoying. I remember that we stopped at the park in the centre of town (and toilets) in Goulburn NSW and it was time to stretch our legs. Dinner was at Canberra, so someone organised a race around the park in Goulburn piggy back style to ward off the hunger pains. Continue reading

Andy Nguyen Balloon Record

Balloon TrackAndy Nguyen from Melbourne broke a few records earlier this year. He managed to get one of his foil party balloons around the world nearly 3 times. I’m sure that there are hundreds circling the earth every day, but Andy’s magic is adding a HF transmitter, a VHF transmitter with Frequency change ability by longitude (for different countries) a smart controller, solar charging and batteries and they all weighed only some 11 grams.

Continue reading

Apollo 11 Tour 1969

Collins Armstrong and Aldrin pass by wavingNovember 1st 1969 Sydney Australia

by Robert Brand

I just came across these photos from the Apollo 11 crew that toured Sydney following the moon landing. I think that they were taken on a Kodak Box Brownie that I just happened to have. I remember that I was not planning on taking photos and then just decided it was too historic.

I was 17 and I, along with many others, wired up some of the Apollo 11 comms gear at OTC Paddington in Sydney. The tour had a special significance because of the little bit of work that we all did at Paddo. I had to take my place on a Sydney street along with everyone else to snap a few seconds on the Apollo 11 Astronauts driving by at a rather fast pace. I was on the Corner of King St and Elizabeth Street in the heart of Sydney. Continue reading

Carnarvon by Jim Crockett

Space and Technology Museum at Carnarvon

Space and Technology Museum at Carnarvon 3

10 July 2015

Jim Crockett posted this on our ex-OTC Facebook Page:I just came back from trip on the Norwest coast of Western Australia on my way to the 31st bi-annual conference of the Australian Speleological Federation that was held at Exmouth. On the way we stopped for a visit to the Space and Technology Museum at Carnarvon at the old OTC Satellite station [and NASA Centre].
Continue reading