Author Archives: %s

OTVA Newsletter – March 2020

10 Mar 20
Greg Martyn
No Comments

ExOTC Southside Catch-up

19 Feb 20
Greg Martyn
No Comments

Southern Sydney Vets Gathering

Southern Sydney Veterans and former OTC staff have been meeting regularly for over 2 years.

The origin of these Southside Catch-ups can be traced back to the Fuel Crises of the 1970’s when many of the staff at OTC’s Paddington terminal living south of Sydney used to car pool as their rosters permitted. The old cry just after 11 pm was “South Carpool about to leave” as the late leavers would rush to get home.

Venue and time

The Catch-Ups are held on the third Thursday of each month at The Carss Park Cafe in Carss Bush Park near Carwar Ave Carss Park. Carss Park is an idyllic location for a coffee and cake on any Thursday morning.

The get togethers are at 9:30 am with coffee or tea and many Vets having brunch of a muffin or Bacon and Egg Roll. Brunch usually lasts about 90 minutes.

Former OTC staff from the area and visitors are welcome to attend.
More info from Greg Martyn.

L – R; Peter, Gary, Robin, Robert, Lindsay, Vince, Greg, Denis, Greg, Ed, Bill, Ray, Brian [Photo Greg Martyn]

OTVA(WA) AGM and Luncheon

19 Feb 20
Greg Martyn
No Comments

OTVA Western Australia 45th AGM and Luncheon

By Kevan Bourke.

On Tuesday the 19th of November, 2019 President Rod Pernich opened the 45th meeting of the Western Australian OTC Veteran’s and welcomed the Vet’s. There has been a large increase in attendance numbers over the past few years due to relaxing of the eligibility requirements, recruiting efforts and retirements.
A special thank you to Don Charles for his efforts on the recruiting front. The new attendees over recent years are mostly ex OTC staff from the Carnarvon earth station and Aussat/Optus. It’s been a bit sad to see the CRS side of attendees decline as they once made up the majority of members. Due to the large number of people present this year the formal part of the meeting was held in the PITC conference room before moving to the lunchroom for some light refreshments and catch up.

Guest Speaker

Guest Speaker Peter Lalor gave a short presentation on the Exmouth Communication Station where he worked for some time which was very interesting and well received.

Carnarvon SES update

Matt Saunders shared some photos from the early days at OTC’s Carnarvon SES. Many involving trail bike riding.
Denham Dunstall gave a plug for the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum. They have just obtained two ex-NASA Tracking Station antenna’s which will be installed at the museum. Any other items people know about or have that are suitable for display at the museum would be greatly appreciated, especially anything OTC related.

Some photos from the occasion [Photos by Kevan Bourke]

Members at the 45th OTVA(WA) AGM

Lunch is on

Keith, Mark, Ted, Dave & Tony

Andrew and Joe

Peter, Brendan, Chris

Mark and Andrew

Kevin, Paul and Jim

Ian and Tom

The Next OTVA(WA) AGM is on 17th of November 2020.

Tweed Valley venue update

19 Feb 20
Greg Martyn
No Comments

Visitors welcome

Northern Rivers sub branch of the OTVA veterans invite any travellers are welcome to join them for lunch and a beer on Wednesday afternoon.

The venue is the Pavilions Hotel. 14 Henry Lawson Drive Terranora 2486 Wednesdays 12.30pm to 3pm.

Like more details?

Contact John Bennett for details.

Steve Gary Bob Bill Gary (visiting) John and Dave enjoying refreshments on 5th Feb 2020

Northern Rivers sub-branch may be known as the Tweed Valley sub-branch.


OTVA Sydney Reunion, November 2019

18 Feb 20
Greg Martyn
No Comments

2019 Annual Reunion – Sydney

OTVA members met up the Christmas Reunion in Sydney at Club York on 28th November 2019. After congregating in the bar area on the 3rd floor they took their seats at one of 5 tables of ten.

Members who had passed away during the last 12 months were remembered with a minute’s silence at the beginning of formal proceedings.

Food and Drinks

A sumptuous lunch buffet had been prepared by the club staff and everyone had a hearty meal washed down by an ale or three. As usual, the king prawns were a hit and for many members formed an entree to the main course, where a there was plenty to choose from. Members visited the adjacent bar which provided a plentiful supply of drinks.

The OTVA subsidised the cost of the meal with more members attending than in the last few years. Members came from far and wide with some folk flying in for the festivities.

Story telling, Catching up

Many a story and memory was shared between the members. A good time was enjoyed by everyone who came along. After the lunch some members continued on downstairs till late afternoon.

Here are a few photos from Sydney OTVA Reunion at Club York. [Photos: Greg Martyn]

Steve, David and Vince posing for the photo

Ross, Keith, Bob and Trevor

Roman, Neil and David

Peter Bull

Kevin, George, Robin, Geoff, Jim, Ben, Phil

Bob, Robert and John

David (walking), David, Bill and Brian

We hope to see you at the Reunion in November 2020!

Bob Rayner (AWA) remembering Apollo 11 AWA Tech’s Challenges

13 Aug 19
Greg Martyn
No Comments

Telecommunications Engineering needs recording.

AWA Field Engineers’ role in the NASA Apollo Missions

With all the excitement and reminiscing around the Apollo 11 mission and Man Walking on the Moon for the first time, Bob Rayner recalls details for this story.

Note: Parkes Telescope is Receive Only!

Have been reading and watching TV with interest regarding the Apollo 11 moonwalk mission particularly the almost exclusive coverage to the role played by the Parkes Telescope. This facility had a couple of drawbacks. It is receive only. It will not depress down to the horizon. Not good for orbits due to the horizon problem and the speed of movement. It is quite a massive structure, I have been up into it a few times.

How? Video Parkes and Honeysuckle Creek to OTC Sydney?

Getting to the point. No one has mentioned the problem of getting the video (analog those days) pics from Parkes Telescope and Honeysuckle Creek into the PMG (as this organisation was known) system to be passed to OTC and then Houston. Honeysuckle obviously had their voice and data circuits as it was being used for traffic both ways but apparently no video capability. Honeysuckle was a command station and transmits as well as receives. Had a 20 KW water cooled Klystron sitting under the dish.

Enter AWA Sydney and their Field Engineering section

Enter AWA Sydney and our little Field Engineering section. AWA at the time had several (don’t know how many) 7GHz Television microwave systems for hire. These were quite portable and housed in travel cum usage metal cases. Transmitter and receiver heads mounted directly behind the dish with a purpose made bracket which was bolted onto the dish and connected directly to horn feed. This then connected with a cable to the rest of the works in the travel cases. Dish and heads were normally then mounted on tripods and various means used to mount the whole thing to a tower or other site.

Maybe AWA’s involvement started with Apollo 8

Read More…