1931 W7BRS | Home

Radioman Wandling

How much of this is actually true depends on the accuracy of the source. Of course some of it can be corroborated by documents, other parts, especially the part about frequency shift keying are not clearly proven history. I would like to know more from other hams who have some relevant historical documentation in the matter. Take it with a grain of salt, more or less.

I was doing some research about the operating activities of my grandfather Hershel Wandling Jr. and came across some information of interest to the amateur radio community.

His career was in the Navy. He was assigned to Unit 1 of the Section 1 NCR 13th Naval District in Seattle, Washington.

He enlisted at US Naval Reserve on Sep 29, 1937 as Radioman First Class. He was qualified as a Chief Radioman but couldn't afford the uniform so accepted Radioman First Class.

After taking new orders, he worked on USS NEVADA and specialized in radio direction finding equipment, construction and calibration.

While in the Navy, and stationed in Hawaii, he used Hallicrafter SX28 receivers. He also helped obtain from Lloyd Hammarlund model HQ120 receivers. The Hallicrafter model SX37 was experimental but he was able to make an order for SX37s and SX28s from the factory for the unit he was working.

From what I learned after he retired from the Navy he continued to work with Hallicrafter radios in his business of dealing electronics.

But before that he continued his career in the Navy, finally becoming an officer.

First, on Jan-6-1943 he was promoted to Chief Radioman, Acting Appointment, and on Dec-27, 1943 he received permanent appointment.

He built radio direction finding antennas using Sterba Curtain antennas and rigged them so that the azimuth could be changed by guy lines.

On Feb-29, 1944 he was promoted to Ensign. On Jul-1-1954 he was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.

Frequency Shift Keying / Di-plexing

Just after Mar-22, 1944 there is this section of his memoirs that is very interesting to me because I don't know if frequency shift keying was ever used prior to 1944:

One of my duties at Bainbridge Radio was to install a radio teletype radio link with Adak, Alaska Supplementary Radio Station. A Navy officer and his work party with all necessary and electric generating equipment, teletype terminal and electric generating equipment were air freighted to Adak.

The Bainbridge Supplementary Radio Receiving station was provided a Diversity Radio receiver in a rack and panel installation about 12 feet long and 7 feet high, a complete teletype terminal and an RCA "fish-bone" directional antenna array.

The teletype traffic messages were received at a speed of 60 words per minute. Soon the traffic load was so heavy that the intelligence messages were falling behind several hours.

I devices a method of increasing the speed of the teletype machines to 100 words per minute and sent a radio dispatch to Adak Station to make the adjustments on their equipment.

Soon we were handling messages at the increased speed and catching up with no delay time. A few weeks later traffic of the intelligence messages continued to increase and again delays occurred. Since Adak only had one transmitter and not enough electrical power generation for more equipment to be placed in service, the Adak Station was desperate.

I started to study the technical service manuals on the teletype terminal equipment and an idea came to me to make a special adjustment on the Adak transmitting teletype machines and the Bainbridge machines, and by adding a second teletype sending machine and a second receiving machine and by adjusting the range levers in the sequential timing adjustment on each machine, that the two sending units could key the one channel transmitter by frequency shift keying so that 100 plus 100 words totalling 200 words per minute could be accomplished.

The dual circuit receiving teletypes machines, page printers and the retyping tape transmitter heads of the terminal were scheduled for a test run at 20:00 hours one evening. Adak was alerted and my Material Chief was instructed to take the watch and activate the circuit,.

I told my Chief that I would be at my home, now on South Beach Bainbridge Island, just three houses from the rear gate of the Radio Station, and I gave him my telephone number to call me when the test started and became active.

At about 20:20 hours my Chief phoned me and said that circuit with minor adjustments of four receiving equipment that the 200 wpm messages were coming in clear. The chief said "Mr. Wandling, the circuit is working OK but I still don't know how".

The next day a very urgent teletype dispatch arrived at Bainbridge Radio from Headquarters Washington D.C. saying the terminal there was swamped with teletype traffic coming in so fast that the teletype tapes were piling up on the floor and some had to be gathered in large garbage cans. I coined a new name for the high speed method developed calling it Di-plexing.

Washington Headquarters immediately sent two Officers on temporary duty to oversee the method I had developed to get increased speed with our circuits. I gave them indoctrination on the system. On their return to Headquarters the improvement changes were made and extra teletype page printers and operating personnel were added. By the grapevine the Army Division of the Signal Corp. heard of the Navy new high speed 200 wpm teletype radio relay system. I was requested to go to the Army Signal Headquarters in Seattle and I spent a full day demonstrating and instructing the method I developed. They said it would not work, but it did after I programmed their demonstration machines.