How-To: Send a travelreport (TR)

A TR (Travel Report) is a short travel report from a ship, usually to a coast radio station, but also to any other radio station. It contains at least the ship’s name and call sign, the ship’s position and the port of departure and arrival.

In the following example the ship KATJANA/DGAI (Reederei Peter Döhle Schiffahrts KG, 1976) sends a TR to Norddeich Radio / DAN. The Katjana is leaving the port of Hamburg and has just passed Schulau. The next port of destination is Bremen. The communication between DGAI and DAN is as follows:

In the first step, the coast station (DAN) is called by the ship (DGAI) on the emergency and calling frequency of 500 kHz. The type of communication required is specified in the call (TR). The abbreviations gm stand for “good morning” and hw for “how”. The “how” request is always sent when you want to leave the further procedure to the called station. Finally, there is always a k for “come”, which is used to transfer to the communication partner.

Norddeich Radion / DAN now answers by sending the callsign of Katjana (DGAI) twice and its own callsign DAN up to twice. We already know gm and k. Since no frequencies from Norddeich Radio are specified here, this is linked to the request to send the relatively short TR message directly on 500 kHz.

Here Katjana sends the TR message. Translated, this message means the following:
Katjana / DGAI from Hamburg bound Bremen Schulau at 13:15 gmt happened = NIL thank you k

from – from
bound – intended for
gmt – Greenwich Mean Time
NIL – nothing more for you

Here Norddeich confirms the complete receipt of the TR message (QSL), also announces that there are no further documents for transmission and says goodbye with tusu, which means “thank you see you”.

This completely describes the communication for the transmission of a TR message. Of course, there are many variants of this in practice. If there is a lot of traffic on 500 kHz, you will usually be asked to change frequency, for example. For Norddeich Radio this means change to the reception frequency 444 kHz (DAN) and the transmission frequency 425 kHz (ship).

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How-To: Use the control-panel

Controlpanel

The control panel includes a relatively large number of functions, including those that are unlikely to be found in a radio station, such as the position (Lat / Lon) input fields, a compass, and the heading and speed display.
But one after anonther:

1 – Radio room clock
       with green and red sectors for the silence periode

2 – Band selector switch

Bandwahl-Schalter

       Switch for selection of the frequency band. Wider bands can
       be switched by multiple clicking, e.g. 4 ranges in 8 MHz
       Band. Frequency selection in the main receiver depends on the
      
selected Band.

3 – Server control display

Server-Control

       Display for send / receive channel (WebSocket connection) and
       Connection to the database for regular broadcasts of Coast-
       stations. In the top line must always be “Server connected”, in the
       bottom line “Ready”, otherwise there is an error. In the case of an
       Error sometimes it helps to “reload” the page.

4 – Emergency receiver (500 kHz)
       The auxiliary or emergency receiver only has a frequency of 500 kHz
       and a volume control. With it, the 500 kHz can be observed in parallel if           the main receiver has just been set to a different frequency. The receiver         has its own display for the representation of the received characters.       
       This becomes visible when you click the chat button a second time. 
       Every further click changes the display between receiver #1 and #2.

Hilfsempfänger -aus  Emergency receiver off.

Hilfsempfänger -ein  Emergency receiver on.

5 – Activity and station display

Activity Display

       This display gives you an overview of the activity in the various bands.   
       Normal stations will be displayed yellow, stations with a running loop     
       green. In the small window at the bottom left of the display, the
       callsign of the sending station is displayed.
       If the main receiver is switched on, the activity display can be used to set
       the frequency by means of a mouse click on the frequency or by use of 
       the mouse wheel. The selected frequency is marked by the red needle.

6 – Display switch (chat, chart etc.)

Display-Schalter

        With the chat button you can get to the text window for entering and
        output in Morsechat. The digital nautical chart is displayed via the Chart
        button and the telegram form is called up via TTx. The transmitter     
        sidetone is switched on and off with the MUTE button. With the OFF     
        button you can leave the radio station and return to the calling page.
        With Docu there will be another register opened in the web browser     
        and the page ‘Who is online?’ is displayed. The NAV button indicates
        that the autopilot is on (Default setting at startup). When the NAV
        button is turned off, any position can be entered via the input fields for
        the position. The previously selected route is then exited. If the NAV
        button is then switched on again, the ship moves directly to the next
        position of the selected route. Directly means, directly over land too!
        The other switches are not yet assigned.

7 – Oscilloscope 

Scope-Display

         Provided that the transmitter is switched on and mode is set
         to ‘Key’, an oscilloscope is available via the scope button so that the     
         shape of the signals InSig and OutSig can be watched. To the right of
         the scope button there is a field for the Selection of the signals InSig
         and OutSig. The threshold value can be set with the slider on the far
         right.
         There is a separate page in this for operation Documentation (Link …).

8 – Input fields for the position (Lat / Lon)
         By entering new data for the position, the ship position can be changed           directly in the radio station. The values must be entered with decimal               places. The course can be adjusted with the steering compass. The
         ships speed cannot be changed here.

9 – Steering compass
         Steering compass for displaying and changing the course. (change with           the mouse wheel when the mouse pointer is on the compass or
         directly in the input field)

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How-To: Set and tune the transmitter (Coaststation)

Sender-500

ON / OFF switch
The transmitter is switched on and off with the ON / OFF switch. This also activates a connected Morse code key. The Go! button for the transmission mode in Morsechat is inactive when the transmitter is not switched on.

Frequency setting
After selecting a coast station in the “Radio station” menu, the transmitter is permanently set to the selected frequency / coast station combination. Here, for example, a coastal radio station with an operating frequency of 500 kHz was selected (picture). In contrast to the main receiver, the frequencies cannot be set here via the display.

Chat / Key switch
This is used to switch between the operating modes Morse chat and Morse key. In the ‘Key’ operating mode, the oscilloscope can also be switched on at the top of the control panel to check the InSig and OutSig signals. InSig is the input signal as HOERWACHE receives it from the web browser. OutSig is the shaped square wave signal which HOERWACHE subsequently decodes and forwards to all connected stations via the Internet.

MIC rotary knob
This is used to set the microphone level if a Morse code key is connected and ‘Key’ has been selected via the chat / key selection.
The set level (signal) must be greater than the threshold value set in the oscilloscope.

POWER rotary knob (no function!)
This can be used to increase or decrease the output a little. This may give you a slightly larger range. The program has a distance and power-dependent volume control, i.e. more distant and weaker stations are poorly received.

 

How-To: Set and tune the transmitter (Ship)

Sender-500

ON / OFF switch
The transmitter is switched on and off with the ON / OFF switch. This also activates a connected Morse code key. The Go! button for the transmission mode in Morsechat is inactive when the transmitter is not switched on.

Frequency setting
The ship’s transmitter has the approved frequencies, which can only be set using the switches for 500, 410, 425, 454, 468, 480 and 512 kHz – of course only after the ON switch has been pressed. The active switches are shown in bright green, the inactive ones in gray. In contrast to the main receiver, the frequencies cannot be set here via the display.

Chat / Key switch
This is used to switch between the operating modes Morse chat and Morse key. In the ‘Key’ operating mode, the oscilloscope can also be switched on at the top of the control panel to check the InSig and OutSig signals. InSig is the input signal as HOERWACHE receives it from the web browser. OutSig is the shaped square wave signal which HOERWACHE subsequently decodes and forwards to all connected stations via the Internet.

MIC rotary knob
This is used to set the microphone level if a Morse code key is connected and ‘Key’ has been selected via the chat / key selection.
The set level (signal) must be greater than the threshold value set in the oscilloscope.

POWER rotary knob (no function!)
This can be used to increase or decrease the output a little. This may give you a slightly larger range. The program has a distance and power-dependent volume control, i.e. more distant and weaker stations are poorly received.

How-To: Send a telegram (ship to shore)

The traffic in the direction of ship-to-shore takes place in several steps:

  1. Call the coast station on the emergency and calling frequency of 500 kHz
  2. Change to the working frequency and wait until the coast station requests transmission
  3. Transmit the telegram
  4. Acknowledgment of receipt (receipt). Without confirmation of receipt, the telegram is considered not to have been transmitted
  5. End radio communication.

Here the ship calls DGAI Norddeich Radio and informs through the Q group QTC that it has a telegram to transmit. With “up 425” the desired working frequency (your own transmission frequency) is communicated to the coast radio station.
Norddeich Radio confirms the frequency with “up 425/444” and at the same time communicates its own transmission frequency. The abbreviation “AS (.-…)” means “please wait”. Sometimes it is also given with a time in minutes, e.g. “AS 10” = wait approx. 10 minutes.
The radio operator on DGAI sets his transmitter to 425 kHz and his receiver to 444 kHz, with Norddeich Radio accordingly to 444 kHz on the transmitter and 425 kHz on the receiver.
After the frequency change, the radio operator of the maritime radio station waits until he is asked to transmit by Norddeich Radio. Before the transmission, both stations may ask for some vvv symbols to be sent, e.g. as follows:

The vvv characters are given until the remote station answers and requests the transmission of the telegram. Only then is the telegram transmitted to the coast radio station.

At the beginning of the telegram or any other document such as a TR or an OBS, the group KA is always given and coherently as if it were a character, i.e. _._._.
The telegram is then completely transmitted. In doing so, attention must be paid to interruptions and queries from the other station, which may request repetition of individual characters or words.
When the telegram has been completely transmitted, the confirmation of receipt is waited for. If the coast station agrees with the word count, it only sends the acknowledgment (QSL) with the transmitted telegram number, otherwise it will give the correct word count. The following applies: The coast radio station is always right!

After the receipt, Norddeich Radio informs the remote station that there are no further telegrams and says goodbye with “TUSU” ie “thank you see you” and at the very end, SK. The marine radio station also does this and ends the transmission with SK.