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Table of Contents

Radio Technical Officers





Chapter 1: The Early Years

Chapter 2: The Training School

Chapter 3: Equipment Installation Records

Chapter 4: The 'Techs' in Antarctica

Chapter 5: The 'Techs' Tell Their Stories
Trevor Donald Tells It All; Life in the Bureau from 1947 to 1989
Ray Clarke Looks Back
Some Memories from Ralph Bulloch
Peter Copland Works in Meteorological Electronics
Some Titbits from Dave Grainger
A Very Modest Tale from Alf Svensson
Adrian Porter Pulls No Punches
Jack Tait Recalls
Some Stories by Colourful Freddie Soutter
Some Snippets from Noel Barrett
Stephen CourbÍt Has His Penny Wworth
And a Flyspeck or Two from Lenny Dawson
Some Interesting Reminiscences from Jannes Keuken
Brief Stories from Phil Black
From Gloria West, Wife of the Late Bob West
The Life and Bureau Times of Graham Linnett
Tales Out of School from Bill Hite
Peter Copland on Cyclone Tracy
Peter Broughton Tells the Story of Maralinga

Appendix 1: 'Techs' Roll Call

Appendix 2: Trainee Intakes

Appendix 3: 'Techs' Who Have Served in the Antarctic Region

Appendix 4: Summary of Major Installation Projects

Appendix 5: Summary of Major Equipment Variously Installed at Sites and Maintained by Radio Technical Officers


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Some Interesting Reminiscences from Jannes Keuken (continued)

While at Davis we had to brew our own hydrogen gas (and beer called Fharten Lager) without all the protective clothing used these days. Great fun. Also experimented with the balloons such as dunking them in boiling water to try to achieve greater heights. Heights did improve, but this was not good enough. So I soaked them in diesoline and for awhile we were getting flights to well over 30,000 metres on a regular basis.

I had a great time looking after the dogs in conjunction with radio officer Ray Torckler. One day we were cutting up frozen seal with an axe ready for feeding time when up behind Ray came Claud Braunsteffer (a Frenchman) Observer. Ray accidentally hit Claud on the side of the head on the up swing, knocking him out cold for a few minutes. Luckily there were no lasting ill effects, but Claud stayed clear of Ray during dog feeding times for the rest of his time at Davis.

Cobar was another great station. I was the first person to be posted there. When I arrived it was just an empty building with a balloon filling room full of packing cases. Four weeks later everything was installed and running except the AA3 Mk VII radar which had to be hauled up on the platform at the end of the building. Reg Stout came up from Melbourne for that. The Shire provided two graders; the job was done in no time.

My time at the New South Wales Regional workshop with Trevor Donald was very good indeed; I have many pleasant memories from that time. Jim Core was one of the 'techs' there; I remember well he was a terrific person to work with. Well, that is now behind us; we can only think about it now and then.

People in Bright Sparcs - Stout, Reginald William (Reg)

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Clarke, R. 1999 'Stories of the Bureau's Radio Technical Officers from 1948', Metarch Papers No. 14 February 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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