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Civilian Buyer of RAF Neatishead Wants To Get Type 84 Radar Working

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Civilian Buyer of RAF Neatishead Wants To Get Type 84 Radar Working

Old 8th Jul 2022, 02:04
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Civilian Buyer of RAF Neatishead Wants To Get Type 84 Radar Working

Might be a job opportunity for any retired ground radar techs living in the area - possibly former fighter contoller / ABM as well !

This story made it onto TV in the USA.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ar-system.html

https://www.vice.com/en/article/k7ba...r-to-find-ufos
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 15:26
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I understand he wants to hunt for Spaceships, UFOs and the like.

Best wishes,

FB
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 15:37
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The way things are going, perhaps detecting incoming nukes again might be a better idea.
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 15:58
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Originally Posted by RAFEngO74to09 View Post
Might be a job opportunity for any retired ground radar techs living in the area - possibly former fighter contoller / ABM as well !

This story made it onto TV in the USA.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ar-system.html

https://www.vice.com/en/article/k7ba...r-to-find-ufos
First operational Radar I ever got inside of while doing the Pre Employment visit to operational sites during Trade Training in early 1985. When I was in the rotating cabin under the scanner, watching the North Norfolk landscape going around at 4 RPM out of the entrance, I noted that all of the tree tops (single trees and woods) seemed to be the same height. Having looked over a wood out of the bedroom window for the last 18 years, I thought that was a bit odd. 20 odd years later, I'm based at Tidytoliet and doing a bit of volunteer work at the Museum there. I get talking to one of the visitors and he mentions that he was a Tree Surgeon and he had noted that something in the area had been stunting the growth of the trees for some reason for between the mid 1960s and had then for some reason had stopped in the early 1990's. I told him it was most likely the Type 85 Radar based at Neatishead, cooking the tops of them. They had to put special filters in this thing when it was first built as it jammed the local ITV television stations when it was first operated. The Turning Gear bearings for it was still under formal RAF maintenance when I left the place in 2007. All of the timing, modulators, transmitters, receivers, signal processing and displays for it were ripped out in the early to mid 1990's when IUKADGE became operational.
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:03
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I seam to remember being told that Neatishead's R12 had a crack down it after someone thought it would be a good idea to try and put the antenna into sector scan (well that was the rumour I was told when based at Staxton)
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:15
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Ahh - the T85 60 degree sector scan….

T84 turntable bearings….



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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:53
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Would turning on the T84 interfere with the operations of RRH Trimingham?

What would Auntie Joan think ...
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 19:14
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft View Post
Would turning on the T84 interfere with the operations of RRH Trimingham?

What would Auntie Joan think ...
According to the local rag (Eastern Daily Press) the “golf ball” at Trimingham is being relocated to Neatishead by the end of 2023 due to threats of coastal erosion.

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/local-c...-moved-9120878

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Old 9th Jul 2022, 09:51
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I thought the main radars for Neatishead were near Cromer and the T84 was just put there as a museum piece.
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 14:37
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No, both the T84 and T85 were based on the Ops site and fed directly into the R30 Ops block. Remote radar sites only started coming back in with the e introduction of the T90 and T91 radars in the 1980s - necessitating the use of a DPAVC* to convert their digital output to analogue in order to interface with the current consoles until UKADGE came on-line.

Which is another story of vanishing blips and data buffer overloads…

*Digital Plot to Analogue Video Converter.
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 15:47
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
No, both the T84 and T85 were based on the Ops site and fed directly into the R30 Ops block. Remote radar sites only started coming back in with the e introduction of the T90 and T91 radars in the 1980s - necessitating the use of a DPAVC* to convert their digital output to analogue in order to interface with the current consoles until UKADGE came on-line.

Which is another story of vanishing blips and data buffer overloads…

*Digital Plot to Analogue Video Converter.
Yet another story of UK Air Defence System computers not being good enough to do the job. I saw DPAVC getting installed at Bishops Court in mid 1990. Never saw it work as they closed the base before it was commissioned (Plus the Type 93 there was always U/S). I would love to know how they intend to get a TPS-177 into the remaining site at Neatishead.

Still remember Duncan Campbell's program about British Air Defence Computer screw ups.

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Old 9th Jul 2022, 15:48
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Ah, the happy days at Eastern Rader, having the T84/T85 fed to us from Neat by microwave links. Oh, God, that 4 rpm was nerve-wracking when doing hectic ATC stuff over E. Anglia. Our 8 rpm Orange Yeoman T82 was much nicer to work with!

Under normal Ops, a few consoles had 'double-headed displays', with the T82 in the lower position and the Neat radar of the day on a separate display above it (eg. Console 6A, right end of front row]. If the T82 went Pete Tong, everyone could select the T84/T85 feed ... and sweat in between sweeps of the antenna!


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Old 9th Jul 2022, 17:09
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
Ah, the happy days at Eastern Rader, having the T84/T85 fed to us from Neat by microwave links. Oh, God, that 4 rpm was nerve-wracking when doing hectic ATC stuff over E. Anglia. Our 8 rpm Orange Yeoman T82 was much nicer to work with!

Under normal Ops, a few consoles had 'double-headed displays', with the T82 in the lower position and the Neat radar of the day on a separate display above it (eg. Console 6A, right end of front row]. If the T82 went Pete Tong, everyone could select the T84/T85 feed ... and sweat in between sweeps of the antenna!


The radar video links into the Type 82 sites were originally part of the Bloodhound Mk 1 Tactical Control Set Up. Watton had the option of getting radar feeds from Trimingham, Neatishead and Bawdsey. The microwave links between Bawdsey and Watton were done via a Relay site near Eye in Suffolk, The Trimingham link was via Neatishead. The video chain then extended out of Watton to North Luffenham via relays at Downham Market and Crowland in Lincolnshire. Lindholme got a remote picture from Pattrington via a Relay in North Lincolnshire (most likely at Kirton in Lindsey). North Coates got it direct. from Pattrington. The whole lot wasn't operational for very long as the links were switched off in August 1962 as they were found to be "Technically Insecure". In fact the Type 82 was the only bit of Bloodhound Mk 1 that gave value for money as they were all operational until 1970 or later (The North Coates one being used for Bloodhound Mk 2 Trials support by 25 Squadron, along with some modified Type 83's).
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 17:57
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And No. 293 Sqn’s Bloodhound site gave me and few mates some dry-footed rough shooting in the 70s!

When did Eastern Radar finally expire, and move to LATCC and then Swanwick? I could have been ERD’/Watton’s last CO, but AOC MATO black-balled me as “I had a serving wife who could not fulfil the duties of an independent Unit’s CO’s spouse.” Ah, the Flower Arranging and Wives’s Club. Those were the days! Never forgotten or forgiven!!
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 19:12
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
And No. 293 Sqn’s Bloodhound site gave me and few mates some dry-footed rough shooting in the 70s!

When did Eastern Radar finally expire, and move to LATCC and then Swanwick? I could have been ERD’/Watton’s last CO, but AOC MATO black-balled me as “I had a serving wife who could not fulfil the duties of an independent Unit’s CO’s spouse.” Ah, the Flower Arranging and Wives’s Club. Those were the days! Never forgotten or forgiven!!
The Type 82 was still there in 1981 and Luffenham's one was still going in 1983. Watton was still going in 1992/93 as some of our guys at Ty-Croes were detached there for some reason to cover our airspace when the Type 94 was down for extended servicing.
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 20:30
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Originally Posted by MAINJAFAD View Post
The Type 82 was still there in 1981 and Luffenham's one was still going in 1983. Watton was still going in 1992/93 as some of our guys at Ty-Croes were detached there for some reason to cover our airspace when the Type 94 was down for extended servicing.
I wasn't aware that any AR-3Ds were operational in the UK?
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 21:55
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I visited the Royal Air Force Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead last month and found it very interesting indeed. There were presentations made during the visit by operators who had served there and explained the workings as well as a few anecdotes. One of these concerned a Soviet intelligence-gathering trawler off NW Scotland which was selected for a "roasting" for some reason. The power was turned right up and "aimed" at this ship and, supposedly, burnt out all electronic equipment. This rather puzzled me because AFAIK radar is line-of-sight and there are certainly a good few hills between low-lying Neatishead and the coast of NW Scotland and also wouldn't all this immense electronic power be destroying a swathe of electronic equipment across Britain. I asked the presenters about this and got no coherent answer.

Can anyone here tell me if this was true and/or possible, or simply a canteen story spun to anybody not in the know to amuse/impress them ?
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 22:28
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Originally Posted by Sideshow Bob View Post
I wasn't aware that any AR-3Ds were operational in the UK?
The RAF had 5 convoys in total. Unicorn rig at Gatow doing Air Traffic and other stuff. Two in the Falklands at Byron Heights (Penguin 2) and Cape Orford / Mount Alice (Penguin 1) and two in the UK. A Technical training system at RAF Locking and the Panicle Convoy of 144SU at RAF Wattisham. The Wattisham convoy was Transportable (all of the cabins were on trailers) and it was suppose to be a Standby SOC for Sector South with an extra display and comms cabins.It did had data link capability to take plot data from SLEWC or pass its plot data into somewhere like Neatishead. The extra display cabin only had synthetic displays (which the Scopes didn't like) and there was no way of controlling the plots going in and out of the data link (i never saw it used or know of anybody who did see it in operation). Wattisham also did pre employment scopie training for the Type 94's on the Falklands, as well as 3rd line engineering support. It was deployed for a few exercises and did a long term deployment to Portreath in 1990/91 to cover for Portreath's T91 which was at Boulmer, while their T91 was recovered from major damage to the Spine caused by a Lightning strike. The Radar was to have gone to Cyprus to replace the T84 at 280SU, but when Bishops Court was shut in 1990, the radar was deployed to the old Army Ty-Croes missile firing range near Valley in July 91. The Radar was suppose to stay there until a IUKADGE reporting post, communication sites and Type 93 radar could be installed there (one of the T93 Convoys did get a 144SU Designate number plate). One of the Consoles (No 2) was removed from the Processing and Display Cabin and a Remote Input Terminal feeding track data into SLEWC at Neatishead was installed in its place. The extra cabins went to Locking to be broken down for spares. Ty-Croes was a full CRP, it had control facilities and controllers on the LUE who spent most of the time doing Air to Air Training for Mirror Image at 4FTS. The unit was shut down in December 1995, when remote Air to Air IUKADGE radios were installed at Valley and the NATS primary radar data could be fed into the IUKADGE. The Radar went to Locking and like the Unicorn rig ripped out of Gatow in the early 1990's was broken up for spares or used for technical training. The T94's were withdrawn from service in 1998/99. Byron's one was removed in 1998, Locking and Alice were switched off in April / May 1999.

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Old 9th Jul 2022, 23:19
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Can anyone here tell me if this was true and/or possible, or simply a canteen story spun to anybody not in the know to amuse/impress them ?
A load, as they say, of borrocks..

However, as an addendum.

MOD admit zapping cars

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Old 10th Jul 2022, 00:42
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
A load, as they say, of borrocks..

However, as an addendum.

MOD admit zapping cars
Yep, the Trimingham Car Killer. The radar had a bunch of duff phase shifters on the Antenna. These were used to set the initial angle that the radio energy left the antenna (the radar used a frequency modulated pulse that changed the angle of the beam from low down to high up during the duration of the pulse, which was tens of microseconds long. Basically this was the same as light refracting through a change in medium, change the wavelength (colour) leads to a change in angle). When the radar had the high power option fitted to it (removed sometime between 2001 and 2004) There had been a six monthly check of the Antenna with a thermal imaging camera. If any of the phase shifters were unserviceable, they got very hot and this could be seen on the photo. They would then have to be replaced. The Engineering Authority though in low power mode, the phase shifters would never fail, so the camera check was removed from the scheduled maintenance. Because a lot of the phase shifters were not working correctly, a lot of energy was going into the ground instead of into the air.
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