Comcen Ops/Data Telegraphists

#1
Any old Comcen Ops/Data Telegraphists out there? Do you think that the training given at B3, B2 and B1 courses was adequate for the job, and the equipment used way back in the 1960s, 1970s? What about the new equipment that was being trialled during the late 1960s into the 1970s and early 1980s?

I seem to remember some units started to use 'hardened vdus' for Military Coms systems working into the BT Telex network. Some of these early vdus were mounted in the back of Boxbody 3 tonners as I seem to recall.

According to some of the 'Bumf' that I recieved when I left in 1977, as a B1 Tradesman, I was supposed to be able to 'programme' certain types of equipment. The only equipment that I can remember being programmed/setup was some the on-line cypher equipment being used back then.

I certainly enjoyed being a Data Telegraphist, its sounded a bit more 'technical' than a common 'Comcen Operator'did. Anyway, it did me good stead after I came out of the mob. I went into IT and have worked with computers, large, small and all sorts. From IBM Punch Card machines, through to Main-frame computers through to networked PCs etc.

So all those courses that I went on back in the 1960s and 1970s were not a waste of time. It was all useful for my civvie career in IT. So I can truthfully say that I have worked in IT in one capacity or another since 1964 through to today.
8)

... and of course an Old Codger like me is still using PCs....
 
#3
I live with an ex handbag................. B1 and she still can't type, let alone use IT kit for anything more than MSN!
 
#4
roadster280 said:
I'm a generation younger (mid-80s and 90s), but the technology and procedures hadn't changed much from the 50s (paper tape, T100s). The kit and procedures were relatively simple. It was the whole meaning of it that I struggled with.

I think back, and just didn't get (wasn't taught) the bigger picture. Who we were sending messages on behalf of. Where to? Why? Where did (for example), HQ 20 Armd Bde sit in the overall scheme of things? Well, just a lowly bde in a Brit Div, part of 1 (BR) Corps, in Northag, as it turns out. WTF is Northag? Don't know, need to go to 28 Sigs to find out. Something to do with SHAPE? I dunno.

R,P,O and Z had specific meanings, but under what circumstances would a message warrant an O vs a P? Russian troop movements might be just a R, and Brig Snooks's promotion to GOC an O!!

Notwithstanding the Provisions of JSP101 Ch16 Annex B :)
My old fella was SO Comsec in BAOR and had to step in when the GOC's military aid (a Lt Col) wanted to send a 'flash' message ref the cut in LOA to Whitehall. Dad told the guy 'flash' messages were for 'imminet threat of enemy action or war'. GOC's military aid told him that if LOA was cut there would be imminent action or war and not from the Russian 3rd Shock Army!
 
#5
Just as a matter of interest, do Commcens in the traditional sense, serving Division/Brigade/Stations still exist, or, in this world of ip, networked mail etc, is all the message handling left to the staff officer, who picks away with two fingers at the keyboard, and sends the message without a care in the world as to whether the message is really necessary, using resources etc - which, if I recall, was one of the tasks of the Releasing Officer, who authorised the message for transmission/handling by the Royal Corps?

What about traceability - end of day figures and all that good stuff that used to drive you mad if you told TARE Krefeld you'd only received 150, but they said they'd transmitted 151, and so on - just what you need at 2359z

Who remembers JFT as well - is that still used?? :)
 
#7
My ex wife ( the first one ) was a handbag. She had massive t1ts.
 
#8
JT0475 said:
Just as a matter of interest, do Commcens in the traditional sense, serving Division/Brigade/Stations still exist, or, in this world of ip, networked mail etc, is all the message handling left to the staff officer, who picks away with two fingers at the keyboard, and sends the message without a care in the world as to whether the message is really necessary, using resources etc - which, if I recall, was one of the tasks of the Releasing Officer, who authorised the message for transmission/handling by the Royal Corps?

What about traceability - end of day figures and all that good stuff that used to drive you mad if you told TARE Krefeld you'd only received 150, but they said they'd transmitted 151, and so on - just what you need at 2359z

Who remembers JFT as well - is that still used?? :)
Edited to read - I am not in the comms world anymore and do not want to see it again. Many apologies.

HH
 
#10
It's been at least 12 years since I saw a signals message, but should the last line not read:
ANYWAY QRT FM HH AR?

As I recall, "K" meant "over", "AR" meant "out"
 
#11
roadster280 said:
I'm a generation younger (mid-80s and 90s), but the technology and procedures hadn't changed much from the 50s (paper tape, T100s). The kit and procedures were relatively simple. It was the whole meaning of it that I struggled with.

I think back, and just didn't get (wasn't taught) the bigger picture. Who we were sending messages on behalf of. Where to? Why? Where did (for example), HQ 20 Armd Bde sit in the overall scheme of things? Well, just a lowly bde in a Brit Div, part of 1 (BR) Corps, in Northag, as it turns out. WTF is Northag? Don't know, need to go to 28 Sigs to find out. Something to do with SHAPE? I dunno.

R,P,O and Z had specific meanings, but under what circumstances would a message warrant an O vs a P? Russian troop movements might be just a R, and Brig Snooks's promotion to GOC an O!!

Notwithstanding the Provisions of JSP101 Ch16 Annex B :)
We,ve been here before...lol I think Ch16 Annex B has changed now, something like Ch17 Annex d IIRC
 
#12
mamontgo said:
It's been at least 12 years since I saw a signals message, but should the last line not read:
ANYWAY QRT FM HH AR?

As I recall, "K" meant "over", "AR" meant "out"
Very true if you were an RTG as they did the brevity codes correctly.
But as DTG had secure circuits and either RAF or other DTG at the other end we tended not to be more relaxed about correct drills hence the made up stuff.
Example LOLOLOLOLO 11 BDE DE 1 DIV MAIN AV MSG FOR U PAL K
LOLOLOLO 1 DIV MAIN SEND WHEN RDY K
RGR ERE IT CUMS K

(Message)
11 BDE QSL AS AT 2343Z CUL K

(Pony circuit traffic)
God this is taking me back and I did not think I would ever use this stuff again

hh
 
#13
What used to b*gger me up was when on the 'Routing Desk'.... sorting out all the Routing Indicator Addressees for the message recipients. Then there was the typing up of said messages on the old Siemens T100. Then there was the checking by the duty Lance Corperial as to the accuracy.... boogar... I still can't type properly... .. and I was a Lance Corperial tooo, so many moons ago....

The sending of said message.... the booking in on the Message Log sheets..... Ah Yes Squire.... its all coming back to me now... heeheheh....

BT

l'll probably have nightmares tonight.... especially those long night shifts down at '3JSC' down in the caves near Maastricht so I beleive...
BT

Then all those garbled messages that had to be sorted out by the 'Service Desk'.... sending all those SVC messages back and forth with their 'Q' and 'Z' code abreviations....

Then there was all the DIGs (Delivery inidcator groups) to deal with for the internal HQ distribution of who gets what message..... wow!! Its all clear as mud Dear Boys.....

NNNN............

Channel Check anybody?? 8O 8O 8O

.... It was fun with the WRAC girls down the Hole at 16 Sigs....epsecially after a night shift when some of them had been on 'blobby'.... the smell....wow!!! Well.... I won't there.... :roll:

But then I was gungy cnut at times as well.... especially after a night out imbibing bucket loads of Heiniken or Amstel...... Sad ain't that I can still remember all those years ago.... 1966 or 1967 it must have been.... detatched from 28 Sigs for several months to work down the 'Hole' at Bradbury Barracks... good fun!!
:p
I still speak fluent bollockese even today.... :wink: :wink:
 
#15
Joined in the 60's.....Comcen/DTG. Finished in the 80's and got a job in a bank on the strength of
keyboard speed and accuracy. Got given early retirement from the bank, with a pension, and a nice
lump sum to pay off the mortgage. So thanks Sigs, I don't know about the quality of training in those
days, but it has done the biz for me !
 
#16
wassit said:
Joined in the 60's.....Comcen/DTG. Finished in the 80's and got a job in a bank on the strength of
keyboard speed and accuracy. Got given early retirement from the bank, with a pension, and a nice
lump sum to pay off the mortgage. So thanks Sigs, I don't know about the quality of training in those
days, but it has done the biz for me !
Outstanding mate! 4 years to post!! Struggling with the keyboard? :D
 
#17
Nope..........am retired now JD..........just taking things verrrry slooowwwly :D
 
#18
jack-daniels said:
the_guru said:
My ex wife ( the first one ) was a handbag. She had massive t1ts.
I think I know her!!
If she was Welsh I think I know her to! :lol:
 
#20
WhiteHorse said:
Baldrick66 said:
jack-daniels said:
the_guru said:
My ex wife ( the first one ) was a handbag. She had massive t1ts.
I think I know her!!
If she was Welsh I think I know her to! :lol:
Err that might have been mine... :x
Big tits and Welsh may not have been Guru's wife but I think he might have nailed her (not that there's only ever been one Welsh girl with enormous boobs in the Corps).
 

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