The Voice of Peace
'From somewhere in the Mediterranean'
A handful of photographs received from a listener in Israel, and former VoP Transmitter Engineer Stuart Vincent shares photographs and memories from of his time on the MV 'Peace'
1: The MV 'Cito' the Peace Ship off Tel Aviv
Peace campaigner Abraham (Abie) Nathan bought the Dutch cargo ship 'Cito' at Groningen in 1969, when adequately funded via his Peace Ship Foundation was fitted out as a Radio Ship in New York
Sailing from America on 16th March 1973 delayed by repairs on route and storms, she finally moored off Israel in the east Mediterranean sea and conducted test transmissions
Regular programmes commenced on 1539kHz advertised on-air as 1540kHz 195 Metres on 26th May 1973
The 100.00 MHz FM output opened in 1980
Boasting a credible 20 million listeners in the region, high profile personalities such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono were heard promoting the message of Peace
2: Main on-air Studio
3: 2nd Studio
4: The AM Collins Transmitters
Were installed in 1972 with a combined output of a conservative 35Kw centrally fed into the horizontal antenna slung between fore and aft masts keeping a transmitter in reserve
By the mid 1980's Keith York had the combiner operating providing coverage of Crete, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus
5: MV 'Cito' the Peace Ship in Ashdod
Over to Stuart ...
6: The distant MV 'Cito' the Peace Ship
'Comprised an L.P.B studio console was a superb mixer, or Board as the Americans prefer, well built and screened as placed close to the transmitters'
7: The MV 'Cito' the Peace Ship off Tel Aviv
8: Approaching the MV 'Peace' on the Tender
Stuart Rogers Night Beat Saturday 26th March 1983, Dave Asher & Doug Wood final programmes Monday 4th April 1983
'The rotary pots were the main issue, can't recall the make now they were beautifully made but the rotary ‘finger’ would sometimes not make contact with the attenuation lugs'
9: The MV 'Peace' Port Side
10: MV 'Peace' Starboard Side looking aft'
'It was a matter of taking the pots out and stripping them down to clean the finger and lugs, other than that the console was really reliable'
11: Stuart braves rough weather on deck
12: Antenna feed
'There was a stack of three Harris cartridge machines for jingles and commercials'
13: Antenna Mast showing FM Array
14: Israeli Navy Patrol Vessel
'Had two Harris turntables with Micromark tone arms which were wooden but finely balanced and fitted with Stanton cartridges'
15: Transmitter Engineers Bench
16: Stuart at Collins AM Transmitter
Stuart posing next to the on-air TX1 holding the handle that opens up the front lid to the RF Amplifier
Just above his hand is the TX ‘HT on’ button and the voltage increase-decrease switches which controlled a massive variac which controlled the HT supply
The idea was that the RF amplifier is powered-up at low power and slowly brought up to the operating HT to stop arcing and is more favourable to the life of the output valve, the output operating voltage believed to be 7KV
Below to the right are more variacs, for heater volts and Screen HT volts
The screen volts were brought up last out of all three, which was then set for correct output power
'Sometimes the heads were weighed down with a coin in rough weather to stop the styli' skating'
17: Collins AM Transmitter
Note the voltage increase-decrease control switch much easier in the centre
The meters on the top showed grid current, plate current, plate voltage and screen voltage
18: Collins AM Transmitter
Photograph above was probably taken in port, when fronts raised to show it off
'The studio had a couple of reel-to-reel tape machines, which weren't used often but did allow making of pre-recorded shows'
19: Collins AM Transmitter Antenna Loading Coils
Showing TX1, RF output, the large coil is the loading coil, below it are the adjustments for the vacuum capacitors of the tuning network you can just make out the 4CX15000 valves behind
20: Rear of the Combiner Unit between TX1 and TX2
At the bottom centre is the motorised TX changeover switch, which burned out spectacularly one evening
'I installed an ‘Abie Speaker’ which was an extension from the Motorola ship-to-shore radiotelephone housed on the bridge'
21: Front of the Combiner Unit
Four Aerial current meters to show how much power is passing into the aerial
22: Rear of one of the RF cabinets Collins AM Transmitter
Two 4cx15000 tetrodes in the parallel arrangement, the modulation transformer would have been housed underneath
'Abie liked this, so that he could contact someone on the ship day or night, you can imagine not all DJ's appreciated it!'
23: Stuart at Collins AM Transmitter
Checking the RF drive unit to TX1. The driver was a 4-400 Tetrode fed from one of the Main oscillator units, painted grey with 2 meters on the front which you can just make out in the centre (combiner) cabinet, the two of these could feed either or both TXs
24: Programme input and monitor units for both the AM and FM transmitters
Top left is an AM transmitter modulation monitor, below that the two Belar FM deviation/modulation monitors
Below these is the Harris FM audio processing units, very similar to CRL which could have been ‘badged’ like Harris used to do
The lower grey unit with the meter in the middle is the audio input level to the AM transmitters, the big knob was Mod' level
The rack to the right houses an Oscilloscope and Audio oscillator to monitor the AM TXs
'Abie told me that he got the aerial from RNI, not sure that's true?'
25: Harris FM Stereo Transmitter
The Harris FM 25K transmitter with very simple on-off buttons on the top left
The driver section is on the left and the output section to the right
26. Harris FM 25 Stereo Transmitter
27. Harris FM 25 Stereo Transmitter
'I do know the top part fell off during a storm, sounds familiar!'
28: Harris Rear of the FM25
Shielding box open, this is important in order to clean out accumulated dirt in the valve base
The 4CX35000 tetrode can be easily identified
Image 29: Abie Nathan
Abie Nathan VoP 10 Year Anniversary Speech (Edit) 28th May 1983 Duration 35'.22"
30: Antenna Mast
The big pipe is the FM feeder, which ends at the ‘tuning stub’ right below the horseshoe arrays
There were three in the array to increase ERP (Effective Radiated Power)
The Antenna was shunt-feed for AM, which meant that the tower was attached to the ship with no insulators, much the same as Radio Caroline, RNI etc more practical especially for the FM feed arrangement
'Someone prior to my time adapted the aerial with a sausage wire extension slung to the foremast to increase the electrical length and match the A.M Transmitter'
31: Philippine Arnaldo Bio Ships Engineer next to the Deutz Ships Main Engine
32: Starting the Petter Diesel Anchor Winch Motor
John was British, a nice guy he may have been ex-army when back-packing around the Middle East he gained a short term contract on the ship as a deck hand
Above trying to start the Petter Diesel Anchor Winch Motor to say it was reluctant was an understatement!!
'It was donated to him at the beginning of the project, and made up of a lot of Collins parts apparently made by Jesuit Monks?'
Image 33. 34 & 35: Engine Room Telegraph, Mast light and looking up the Antenna
'There were two Transmitters and a combiner, both were capable of 25 Kw combined delivering 50Kw'
Image 36: Approaches to Tele Viv Harbour
Supply Tender base and spot for crew shore-leave
37: MV 'Peace' Dry Docked in Haifa Harbour (1982)
'When I arrived it was in serious need of maintenance, dust and dirt had built up especially around the output valve bases where it was caked on'
38: MV 'Cito' the Peace' Ship in Ashod Harbour
39: MV 'Cito' the Rolls Royce Generator being taken ashore
Arnaldo Bio Ships Engineer hadn't been able to repair the unreliable unit onboard
'I spent considerable time meticulously taking these out and cleaning them up, what a job as there were three on each transmitter'
40: The Generator craned off Port Side rear deck house
Repaired ashore the Generator craned onboard three months later
41: Roll Royce Generator in place
Rolls Royce being tested, the cowling was left open during hot weather normally around 40 degree ambient, so it helped keeping the motor ventilated
'The FM Transmitter was a more modern 70’s Harris FM 25 Kw which was also quite dirty'
42: Stuart by the Rolls Royce Generator
The other Generator in the foreground is an Alice Chalmers 6 cylinder both units were 200KVA
Image 43: Doug Wood, Steven Growcott, Dave Asher, Abie Nathan Stuart at Ashod Harbour
'I cleaned that up best I could, but it was pretty much on the air 24/7'
44: Leaving the MV 'Peace' at anchor 'somewhere in the Mediterranean'
The ship was moored two miles off the Tele Viv coast and easily seen from the shore
' The FM aerial blew out once, because it lost its gas seal' I took out the burnt out three way stub to enable Harris USA to fix it in Ashdod Harbour'
45: The MV 'Peace' with her Tender
The Voice of Peace closed on 1st October 1993 pictured above just before the Peace Ship MV 'Cito' intentionally sunk on 28th November 1993
More Reading: Hans Knot by Chris Edwards DJ Listing
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