Marconi Radio Equipment

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Ships in 1912 often had a Marconi Multiple Tuner and it is possible that Titanic did too. However, I have reason to believe that a beast known as a Short Multiple Tuner may have been used! Does anyone out there know?

Lou Kerr

Hi Martin,

I believe that Maiden Voyage by Geoffrey Marcus deals extensively with the radio equipment used on the Titanic and you may find your answer there. The book was published about 30 years ago and is probably out of print but should be available through your library or you may get lucky and find a used copy.

Best regards,

You're quite corect. There's a "Maiden Voyage" about once a month on eBay and you can usually win with a bid of 10-20 dollars.

Paul Rogers

Hello all.

I have a copy of "The Maiden Voyage" and Titanic's wireless equipment is indeed explained in some detail in this book.

Martin, I will try to answer your question using the book as my reference:

Titanic had a Marconi multiple tuner covering all wave lengths between 300 and 2500 metres. This multiple tuner embodied three circuits - the Stand By, Intermediate and Detector. In the Stand By position, the aerial circuit was directly connected with the magnetic detector. The other circuits were designed to be switched in once a signal had been picked up, in order to increase selectivity. They were not used however, as experience had shown that there was a serious loss of signal strength without any adequate gain in selectivity.

The transmitter was a rotary disc discharger, powered by a 5Kw motor generator, fed from the 110 volt DC ship's lighting system.

Not too sure if any of this specifically answered your question. But I hope it helped.


Lou, Mike and Paul thank's guys for your comments. It all adds to final aim, getting a true picture of what happened. Morse, using a spark transmitter, sounds as though it is being sent through a paper and comb. The distinctive buzzing noise meant that it had a very wide bandwidth and the signals would have swamped the band - had a certain party been listening.

To answer your original question, there was no Short Multiple Tuner in Titanic's installation. In addition, Titanic used the rotary spark gap, which provided a high-pitched musical note, rather than the paper-and-comb sound of the plain spark dischargers.

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