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Thread: D/F Tower

  1. #81

    Default Re: D/F Tower

    Hello there, My name is Malcolm Howard and I supplied the picture to the RAF Radar Museum at Neatishead. It was during 1992 that an Officer at Neatishead informed me that this D/F tower was still in existance. I went there and found that it was the Homer from a nearby RAF Station which is now the BT Development and Research centre and after it was no longer in use this chap bought it and move it from the Airfield to his garden and turned it into a childrens play house.
    At this time in 1992 his children had grown up and no longer used it and it stood there empty in his garden. I took the photographs and got in touch with Duxford IWM and they employed a contractor to dismantle it and transfer it to Duxford and when it arrived it was just a load of broken timber and it was all thrown away.
    Last edited by Malcolmnorwich; 19-08-2012 at 16:46.

  2. #82

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    Hello there, I built this model of the Cockthorpe Fixer D/F Tower and it is based on Cockthorpe Tower No: 1 and it became operational on 4th December 1940 and was pulled down in the 1955/6 period.
    Cockthorpe Tower No: 2 was built just after WW2 and therefore did not need the bomb blast wall around the base of the tower.
    I was the NCO i/c of the two Fixer Towers at Cockthorpe from 1951 to 1953

  3. #83
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: D/F Tower

    Hi Paul. That's my photograph of the VHF/DF homer at Lakenheath 1949. Pity about the quality!


  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Drew View Post
    So can I ask 'What did they do'? Or should I say 'How did they do what they did'?
    They took bearings from the D/F Tower to the aircraft transmitting on its radio for either a message or "Mayday" emergency distress call. The bearing was taken and passed to a Triangulation table with bearings from at least two other D/F Towers. The plotters would pull out strings on these bearings from these places on a map and where the strings crossed, it indicated/Fixed of the aircraft and the Duty Controller would deal with the situation.
    Working with a series of D/F Towers at the same time and are triangulated, these are known as "FIXERS"
    With one D/F Tower situated on an airfield, these would take a bearing from an aircraft returning to that airfield and the bearing would be 180 Degrees oposite to the bearing taken and is the compass direction for the aircraft to return to its base airfield and these D/F Towers are known as "HOMERS"

  5. #85
    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Hua Hin, Thailand (resident) ex RAF Armourer 1956 - 1970

    Default Re: D/F Tower

    Thanks for the information Malcolm, most interesting.

  6. #86

    Default Re: D/F Tower

    Hello Sparky67, This is a photograph that I took in 1952 when I was the NCO i/c at Cockthorpe Fixer Tower No: 1.
    Yes you are correct that there was only one operator there working on his own, apart from when I was also there supervising a new operator.
    By the way it would be interesting to know where you got this picture from.

  7. #87

    Default Re: D/F Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky67 View Post
    Found this photo of the inside of an RAF VHF DF station during WW2. No details on the location, but the equipment in the photo comprises two R1392 (62H) receivers, with their PU234A power supply units above.

    The log-book on the desk and the sheets attached to the rotating unit would make interesting reading.

    The R1392 was crystal-controlled on one frequency (single plug-in crystal) and covered 100 to 150MHz.

    I have been trying to identify the equipment in the earlier USAAF photos without success. The only item I recognise is what looks like an EE-8-A or -B field telephone balanced on the top of the equipment in front of the one operator - the leather case top-left of the middle photo.
    I took this photograph during 1951 at the Cockthorpe Fixer No: 1 when I was working with RAF Neatishead and I am back there again as a Trustee for the RAF Radar Museum which is just outside Wroxham in Norfolk. It is well worth a visit.
    Last edited by Malcolmnorwich; 01-06-2012 at 09:00. Reason: malcolmnorwich

  8. #88

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    Peter, With regards to the brick wall surrounding the D/F Towers, perhaps I should relate a little of the history of these RT/DF structures. At the beginning of the War when these Directional Finding Towers were built. It was thought that they could be attacked by enemy fighter and bomber aircraft and so they built a brick bomb blast wall around the lower level to protect the Operators working at ground level. The hexagonal Towers were about 30 feet high and made of sectional wood panels which were bolted together. There were three levels: Ground, where the eqipment and operators worked. Second level was storage and the roof section contained the rotating HF aerials out of visual sight for security reasons.
    During the war they converted to VHF and after the war they removed the top floor sections exposing the aerials and received a slightly better reception. The also duplicated the Fixers in each Sector and these did not have any bomb blast walls surrounding them as they were not necessay and were felt covered unlike the earlier versions which were wooden slatted. They were all dismantled during 1955-56 and if anyone would like more information, please let me know. "Listening out"

  9. #89
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

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    Any ideas about this at Scotstown Moor near Aberdeen.

    It looked initially like the base of a standard tower but had a solid roof and window (protected by blast wall).

    There are some other unusual structures on the site and also there was an experimental DF station there.

    This one survives at Windyheads Hill
    Last edited by mbriscoe; 21-08-2012 at 09:52.

  10. #90
    Senior Member Sparky67's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Great Barr

    Default Re: D/F Tower

    Bit more info on the tower and its associated buildings on Garway Hill is HERE

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