The Cairns Repeaters

 

The Great Repeater Hunt

The story so far: Peter Burgess told Robert Brand that when he recently visited the site of OTC’s Cairns Cable Station he noted that it was up for sale/lease. Peter Burgess & Bruce Boler told Robert Brand that they recalled land based cable repeaters being buried behind the station. They considered that if this is true it might be a good idea to approach Telstra to retrieve these items which may be of historical significance so that they can be displayed in the Powerhouse or Telstra Museums Continue reading

The Secret Submarine Cable

THE SECRET SUBMARINE CABLE THAT NEVER EVENTUATED

by Cyril Vahtrick

[Ed: This fabulous story of what might have been is from Cyril Vahtrick and permission to reprint from the OTVA. Thanks to both]

The 1956 Olympic Games had finished in Melbourne and OTC was still trying to come back to normal, with new equipment such as T.E.D. (Teleprinter Error Detection)  and T.O.C. (Teleprinter on Cable) to be brought into service. Christmas was approaching when Chief Engineer Bob Long summoned me into his office with some excitement. He had on the table a pink covered document marked “Secret”.  I hadn’t seen an official secret document since my Radar days with the Air Force during WW2 and was intrigued at what this might be about. Continue reading

Rent a Cable Station

Cairns Cable Station for Lease

It seems that if you live in Cairns, you can lease the old OTC cable station.

This discussion on the ex-OTC group on Facebook:

Peter Burgess says: I must say, I was quite disappointed to drive past the old Cairns Cable Station today, and see it was all covered in Graffiti and also up for Lease !!! Continue reading

Compac – The Early Days

Compac NZ

by Ray Henshaw (NZ)

Ed: Ray lives in New Zealand and he noticed the exOTC stories and has been so kind to post me some images and stories about the early days of Compac.

I have located these pictures of me posing for a photographers. The first was taken in 1962 and I am checking the workings of a Brazing machine in one image and the other taken in 1971 is of me checking an xray.  They might not be of interest. Continue reading

Compac Jointers Course

1962 Compac Cable Jointing Course – New Zealand

Ed: I received these pictures from interested reader Ray Henshaw from New Zealand. Ray writes:

Hi Robert,pleased to hear from you, have sent two pics, one of all the jointers at the school in Newmarket, included are your [Australian] jointers.

The two in white are the instructors from the British Post Office.  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

Doonside in Pictures Pt3

OTC Doonside Part 3

Story by Neil Yakalis. Photos by Wayne Clauson and Neil Yakalis.

[Ed: Neil has sent me these great photos and story of Doonside and you can click on them to open and then click a gain to see them in HiRes. Use your “Back” button to return. Thanks Neil]

This post is a series of pictures with their description below: Continue reading

OTVA and Compac Celebrations 2013

OTVA LogoOTVA look at Nov 2013 and Compac

by Robert Brand

Today I attended the OTVA board meeting at the invitation of the committee. I was invited to discuss my proposal to spearhead the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Compac Cable in Nov 2012.

First of all I continue to be impressed by the OTVA and the current state of play. It is a very open group that is not like the old days. I have seriously enjoyed the lunches and get togethers over the years. Just plain fun. Continue reading

Fanning Island

Letter from Desmond Kinnersley (25/2/04):

I am attaching some photos of some of the equipment in use on the old telegraph cables. They were taken at Fanning Island in 1962 about a year before the station closed due to COMPAC coming into service.

The equipment pictured was the the tri channel equipment used at Fanning Island on the fast cables between Suva, Fanning and Bamfield (Vancouver) to provide time division mutliplex operation ( even though it was done with cams and contacts). Additional slow speed cables were also operational between these stations. Continue reading

Compac Celebrations in 2013

Compac 50th Coming Soon.

In November 1963 the Compac cable was opened with a massive fanfare of hope and expectation. Heads of state joined in the event with a conference call never heard of in this and other countries. For the first time, there was clear and easily connected calls that would not fade or suffer from noise interference as did the radio waves. They would also not suffer from lack of privacy as did the HF radio calls of the past. The world changed and Australia became connected to the growing world of modern day telephony. Reliable “high density” data was suddenly possible and the growth in telex and other low speed services was immense. Continue reading

Trevor Housley and Seacom Opening

Director General Posts and Telegraphs Congratulates OTC

In what must have been a rather smug message of congratulations, Trevor Housley, sends a congratulations message to OTC in his new role as Director General Posts and Telegraphs. It seems that Trevor of course had had a lot to do with the formation of the Compac and Seacom cables and of course satellite comms Continue reading

$59M Communications Highway

Seacom Opening – The AGE

I am just adding more material from the AGE newspaper published at the time of the Seacom opening in 1967. There are many more pages and I will add them later. It is interesting at the number of pages that the AGE dedicated to Seacom. Many are advertisements paid for by suppliers or parts or services, but there are many pages of stories. Continue reading

Seacom Opening 1967

Age Article by Harold White

I found this article in “The Age” archives from back in 1967. It was part of a large article celebrating the opening on the Seacom cable on this day. Initially only the first supergroup was commissioned on the cable that could eventually hold 2 x 80 channel supergroups.

The supergroups were 3.1kHz bandwidth compared to the 60 channel satellite supergroups that consisted of 3.4kHz bandwidth channels. There were about 6 pages of a broadsheet newspaper dedicated to the opening. Continue reading

Fanning Island

Fanning Island (From our Archives)
Letter from Desmond Kinnersley (25/2/04):

I am attaching some digital photos of some of the equipment in use on the old telegraph cables. They were taken at Fanning Island in 1962 about a year before the station closed due to COMPAC coming into service.

The equipment pictured was the the tri channel equipment used at Fanning Island on the fast cables between Suva, Fanning and Bamfield(Vancouver) to provide time division mutliplex operation ( even though it was done with cams and contacts). Additional slow speed cables were also operational between these stations. Continue reading