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Old 25th Mar 2020, 1:01 pm   #1
merlinmaxwell
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Default Wurzburg Radar

Quite a lot of reading to be done here at merlin towers, re-read "Most Secret War" and had a quick "google"...

https://www.cdvandt.org/wurzburg_rep.htm

Fascinating read, lots and lots of technology stuff.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 2:19 pm   #2
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

Fascinating is the word for it.

It was a technically-interesting period for the allies as well. It got progressively harder to make much RF energy as you went up through VHF and into UHF, then we had silly amounts of power available at appreciably higher frequencies where the cavity magnetron came into play. The Axis people didn't know of the magnetron but did know of the increasing difficulty with frequency and assumed there was nothing beyond UHF.

So even though we had huge powers available at SHF, we had the same trouble making high power at VHF/UHF that the Germans did.

This hole in capabilities took a long time to fill-in.

The Nullodes are fascinating.

Does the forum need to include nullode ahead of 'diode' in the how many posts indicator?

David
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 3:14 pm   #3
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

Quote:
Does the forum need to include nullode ahead of 'diode' in the how many posts indicator?
A one electrode device 'unitrode' would be useful so we can have things like uni-nul-diode, 102.

Back on topic (ish) our 3GHz (and 10) magnetrons where not that frequency stable, well they where once started, so we locked a klystron to the TX pulse to get the RX local oscillator somewhere near where it should be. Or something like that.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 4:05 pm   #4
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

What a wonderful project!

Thanks for posting.

Peter
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 6:32 pm   #5
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

A wonderful (and slightly hair-raising!) project indeed. Very absorbing article, and a fascinating insight.

My understanding was that the cavity magnetron had been patented in Germany around 1935 but, with its noise, instability and tendency to mode-hop, was regarded as an interesting but untamed and rough-edged curiosity rather than the ground-breaker it proved to be.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 6:57 pm   #6
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

The best thing is that it isn't a "preserved in aspic" museum piece but a working museum piece. Some parts are not original, it works, brilliant!

A bit more... https://www.cdvandt.org/Rehbock.pdf
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 7:56 pm   #7
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

A Wurzburg dish is preserved at Duxford IWM. It's outside, but being German it's in quite good condition.

(I have dealt with a few nullodes at work today...)

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Old 25th Mar 2020, 11:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

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Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
Fascinating is the word for it.

It was a technically-interesting period for the allies as well. It got progressively harder to make much RF energy as you went up through VHF and into UHF, then we had silly amounts of power available at appreciably higher frequencies where the cavity magnetron came into play. The Axis people didn't know of the magnetron but did know of the increasing difficulty with frequency and assumed there was nothing beyond UHF.
Though the Naxos microwave receiver was quickly developed for German night-fighters once H2S wreckage had been sussed and a heavy toll was taken of British bombers- post-war, the Germans said that the way H2S was deployed was one of the biggest mistakes made by the British as bombers became "lighthouses in the sky". Apparently, the powerful blast from H2S magnetrons could be detected when bombers were still over Britain! A few voices had warned that more care was needed over radio emissions but complacency seems to have been common. Famously, forty years later near Port Stanley airfield, H2S was used rather more carefully....
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 5:29 pm   #9
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

You might look up 'Blue Eric', the ECM fitted to 4 of the Harrier GR3s in the Falklands War. It was built and fitted pretty much 'on the fly' in the run up to the aircraft leaving the UK. More were used in RAF Germany once the Harriers returned. Not sure how long they continued in service.

Colin
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 6:39 pm   #10
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

Just looking at the circuitry and novel components on those panels, most of which goes right over my head, it's remarkable how the captured, damaged and incomplete wurzburg sets were made to work at Farnborough during the war with no reference to any drawings or spares. I'm referring to RV Jones' mention of it in Most Secret War.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 6:43 pm   #11
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

Quote:
it's remarkable how the captured, damaged and incomplete wurzburg sets were made to work
One great advantage of them being built with "proper" technology, what you see is almost what you get. A bit like a proper radio. The Germans were doing the same with our stuff too.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 9:09 pm   #12
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

During the war...

An H2S set was salvaged by the wehrmacht from the wreck of a Stirling, disappointingly early on in it's operational life.. Telefunken were ready to dismantle and reverse engineer it however their works was bombed out almost immediately. A couple of weeks later another set was captured from a second aircraft.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 9:48 pm   #13
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

Yes, the thought of poring over something unfamiliar, likely unconventional or highly unconventional and mysterious, probably heavily impact- and/or fire-damaged and all the while being aware and thinking, lots of lives could be at stake if I don't get this right and quickly, would surely bear heavily on investigators. Definitely a case of avoiding being swayed by confirmation bias.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 10:44 pm   #14
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
Quote:
it's remarkable how the captured, damaged and incomplete wurzburg sets were made to work
One great advantage of them being built with "proper" technology, what you see is almost what you get. A bit like a proper radio. The Germans were doing the same with our stuff too.
Some years back, I spoke to Dr. Bill Penley who told me that he had the job of investigating the captured wurzburg kit. He said that his first impression was of how beautifully made everything was. I have a magnetic detector from a German sea mine (which still works perfectly) and is built like a Swiss watch.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 11:18 pm   #15
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

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Originally Posted by turretslug View Post
Yes, the thought of poring over something unfamiliar, likely unconventional or highly unconventional and mysterious, probably heavily impact- and/or fire-damaged and all the while being aware and thinking, lots of lives could be at stake if I don't get this right and quickly, would surely bear heavily on investigators.
And all along wondering if the 'strange, unidentified grey cylindrical component with seven connecting-leads' you are poking at by torchlight is some sort of bipolar relay or is actually an anti-handling explosive-device which is about to detonate and kill you....

There were tales told in the late-40s/early-50s of garden sheds being demolished when destructive implants in sold-to-radio-hams WWII surplus radio/RADAR gear got tired of waiting and decided to self-detonate.
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 8:35 am   #16
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

As far as I'm aware the detonators installed in equipment were very visibly what they were. They were in no way meant as 'booby traps'.
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Old 27th Mar 2020, 1:21 pm   #17
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

They would have been as likely to be booby-traps for the unintended otherwise- there would have been a need to allow for the many accidents on home soil and the innocent coming across debris to set against any fortuitous harming of the "other side"- one of my friends told me how his father, then living in the Suffolk countryside, had seen 3 B-24s colliding when forming formation and the local farm-workers were bringing parts in from remote fields for many weeks afterwards.
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Old 28th Mar 2020, 1:51 am   #18
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

The other book to read is "Instruments of Darkness" by Alfred Price
20 on Amazon,

"The rapid evolution of radio and radar systems for military use during the Second World War, and devices to counter them, led to a technological battle that neither the Axis nor the Allied powers could afford to lose. The result was a continual series of thrusts, parries and counter-thrusts, as first one side then the other sought to wrest the initiative in the struggle to control the ether. This was a battle fought with strange-sounding weapons: 'Freya', 'Mandrel', 'Boozer' and 'Window'; and was characterised by the bravery, self-sacrifice and skill of those who took part in it. However, for many years the use of electronic-warfare systems during the conflict remained a closely guarded military secret. When that veil of secrecy was finally lifted, the technicalities of the subject meant that it remained beyond the reach of lay researchers and readers. Alfred Price, an aircrew officer with the RAF where he flew with V-Force and specialised in electronic warfare and air fighting tactics, was in the unique position to lift the lid on this largely unexplored aspect of the Second World War. When it was first published in 1967, Instruments of Darkness came to be regarded as a standard reference work on this intriguing subject. This completely revised edition concludes with the Japanese surrender in August 1945 and brings the analysis fully up to date in the light of what we now know. 'This book is expertly done. An excellent treatise.' The Times Literary Supplement"
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Old 28th Mar 2020, 11:06 am   #19
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

My favourite book on the topic of WW2 radar is 'Echoes of War' by Bernard Lovell. He led the team which developed H2S, and then subsequently went on to create the Jodrell Bank radio telescope. His books on the building of Jodrell Bank are equally fascinating. He had the advantage of not only being at the heart of these important developments, but was also a very good author, so his books are very readable whilst being full of technical detail.

Andy
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Old 28th Mar 2020, 11:12 am   #20
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Default Re: Wurzburg Radar

Strange enough I was reading some of his stuff yesterday:

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d...rsnr.2004.0058

Lawrence.
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