Orbital Focus - International Spaceflight Facts and Figures
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The Kettering Group

Tyneside, UK
2023 Dec 6
Wednesday, Day 340

Curated by:

Kettering Group Equipment in Detail:

Elsewhere on the Web:

Contemporary 1966 film of the tracking equipment

Timing Equipment

Precise timing of events such as transmitter switch-on and closest approach was important to analyses that were being undertaken.

Clocks were used to keep track to the nearest minute then the stopwatch provided the seconds readout. One method was to start a stopwatch on the occurrence of an event such as transmitter command-on and then stop it against the one minute marker in a radio time signal from the MSF or DIZ transmitters. The log entry would read something like "Commanded on xx seconds before xx:xx UTC....".

The modified PYE marine transmitter/receiver that can be found in the Receiver list was dedicated to time signal reception.

Item Purpose Note Currently Residing
Stopwatch Accurate Timing Used in conjunction with radio time signal (usually MSF)

Several of these were probably used in the course of time, some were School property
One or more may be held as part of the Geoff Perry Collection, passed to Science Museum, London in 2018
Analogue Laboratory Clock Approximate timing and an indication of when the time signal from MSF was available Alternate five minute segments marked with yellow tape to indicate when MSF was 'on' Held by Bob Christy
Digital Clock - Electric Simple display to nearest minute Mechanical 'flip-over' numbers, changing every minute - at the time the tracking station was dismantled Geoff Perry reported that it was worn out with the 'minutes' in particular having suffered as a result of over fifteen years of constant motion

Presented by Kettering Rotary Club in April 1968 in return for a luncheon talk by Geoff Perry at the KICS Central Hall, other attendees at the event were Bob Christy and Vic Rowe

Accompanied by commemorative plaque
Geoff Perry Collection, passed to Science Museum, London in 2018.
Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
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