Telegraph system


Andy Carter

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Feb 11, 2018
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Hi,

how did the bridge Telegraphs connect to the engine room and where did the connections run?

Thx Andy
 

Lars Lunden

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May 21, 2016
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There was also an illuminating telegraph system for controlling the dynamos. In addition a bell would sound. The illustration shows a need for more speed on main dynamo # 3.
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Dynamo telegraph s.png
 
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A. Gabriel

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Jun 13, 2018
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This query just occurred to me now, after sighting the incorrect telegraph dials in THG's print of the navigating bridge: how could two different engine order telegraph units (the two outermost ones) send orders to the same engine?

Shown here, the proposed (and most likely correct) arrangement of the EOT connections, from the Marconigraph article linked above:

upload_2018-8-8_3-58-24.jpeg


My question is how could the two main EOTs transmit to the same dial in the engine room — were they coupled? Would this mean that every time the engineers sent their answer back, both units in the bridge would show it? Would sending an order on the port main telegraph force the handle on the starboard main telegraph to move to the same position?
 

Lars Lunden

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Yes; they where interconnected. Both handles would move, and both dials would move when engine room responded to the order.
 

313_Iron

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Mar 4, 2019
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Please forgive me if I come off as inexperienced. I have been into Titanic since 2nd grade.

I have seen the 1997 James Cameron Titanic movie, and when I recently re-watched the movie, I got to the scene in the movie when Captain Smith orders Titanic to go “Full ahead.” During that scene the Titanic’s Telegraph was moved backwards all the way and then fully forwards. Is this a necessary thing to do? If so does the Telegraph need to be moved three times when changed from say, reverse engines (say full astern) to another level of reversed engines (say half astern)?

Also is the movie’s way of showing how the ship’s telegrapgh works inaccurate in any way?
 

Doug Criner

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I have no recollection of the movie's portrayal of the engine order telegraph. And I'm unsure if Ahead Full was ever rung down after the accident. But, if the EOT is nudged up just one notch, it will ring once. If it moves up (or down) two notches, then it will ring twice, etc. I seem to recall in my ancient memory, that when calling down a special or emergency order the telegraph might first be exercised back and forth before stopping on the new speed order. That would send a series of bells to positively get the engine room's attention.
 

David Clayton

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Feb 13, 2020
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Hi all, this is a question that has been bugging me for years. In a lot of movies and serials about the Titanic, Lusitania etc, the officers always use an engine telegraph with a bunch of commands on it e.g. Full Astern, Stand By, Dead Slow Ahead etc. So my question is what to all these commands mean in terms a layman like me can understand? Thanks in advance.
 

Georges Guay

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During the Cameron’s movie allision scene, we see Murdoch activate the EOT (Engine Order Telegraph) handle from Full Ahead to Stop to Full Astern. In just that split second maneuver, there are two major goofs. First, the engines were never ordered Full Astern. If so, the firemen would have seen a white light in the boiler rooms meaning to be cautious as the engines were about to be maneuver but still needed steam pressure.

Second, Murdoch activates only the right handle of the standard EOT on the starboard side and soon after, the right handle of the emergency EOT off the navigation bridge center. It is quite evident that the stage director didn’t have a clue of how EOTs were working. Olympic Class had 3 propellers, two of which propelled by reciprocating reversible engines and a center one activated by a non-reversible steam turbine.

All engines were engine room controlled. The steam turbine was activated from Half Ahead upwards and most probably by bridge to engine room phone. As the reciprocating reversible engines were the ones used for maneuvering, they needed an order transmitting system (EOT) mechanically connected to the navigation bridge via very similar to bicycle chains and pulleys.

Apart from two docking & maneuvering order telegraphs, the bridge was outfitted with one standard EOT on the starboard side, one standard EOT on the port side and one emergency EOT off the navigation bridge center in case of standard EOTs malfunctions. Each EOT had two independent order setting handles thence 4 independant chains. The right handle ordered the starboard engine while the left handle the port engine. Therefore, to order both reciprocating engines to stop, the officer had to move «both» handles. Moving only one handle would order only one engine!

An EOT sounds a loud bell as soon as the handle is moved to another engine setting. But the engine room is a very noisy environment. To make sure that an order from the bridge is well heard by the engineers, if the bridge officer wants to go from say Dead Slow Ahead to Half Ahead, he will bell the ETO from Dead Slow Ahead to Stop to Half Ahead. That way, instead of hearing only 2 bells they will all hear 6 wake up bells, but the final result will be the same; an engine going to Half Ahead from Dead Slow Ahead.

Now just imagine the bell concerto followings a harbor pilot calls during maneuvering; Engines Half Ahead Both … Engines Dead Slow Ahead Both … Starboard Engine Stop … Starboard Engine Dead Slow Astern … Starboard Engine Half Astern … Port Engine Half Ahead … Port Engine Stop … Port Engine Half Astern … Starboard Engine Slow Astern … Stop Both Engines … in rapid succession !!!
 

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Bob_Read

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Georges: If it had been able to have been done in time., would full astern on the port engine and leaving the starboard engine at full ahead have helped Titanic to make a turn to port faster.
 
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Georges Guay

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You have to keep in mind to clear the stern and clutching the engines as less as possible as it takes time just to set the reversing gear in position. With more time that they certainly did not have, they could have gone Elm Hard-a-Starboard - Port Engine Dead Slow Ahead then as soon as the vessel started to swing to Port; Elm Hard-a-Port - Port Engine Full Ahead – Starboard Engine Full Astern ... and hope for the best!
 

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During the Cameron’s movie allision scene, we see Murdoch activate the EOT (Engine Order Telegraph) handle from Full Ahead to Stop to Full Astern. In just that split second maneuver, there are two major goofs. First, the engines were never ordered Full Astern. If so, the firemen would have seen a white light in the boiler rooms meaning to be cautious as the engines were about to be maneuver but still needed steam pressure.

Second, Murdoch activates only the right handle of the standard EOT on the starboard side and soon after, the right handle of the emergency EOT off the navigation bridge center. It is quite evident that the stage director didn’t have a clue of how EOTs were working. Olympic Class had 3 propellers, two of which propelled by reciprocating reversible engines and a center one activated by a non-reversible steam turbine.

All engines were engine room controlled. The steam turbine was activated from Half Ahead upwards and most probably by bridge to engine room phone. As the reciprocating reversible engines were the ones used for maneuvering, they needed an order transmitting system (EOT) mechanically connected to the navigation bridge via very similar to bicycle chains and pulleys.

Apart from two docking & maneuvering order telegraphs, the bridge was outfitted with one standard EOT on the starboard side, one standard EOT on the port side and one emergency EOT off the navigation bridge center in case of standard EOTs malfunctions. Each EOT had two independent order setting handles thence 4 independant chains. The right handle ordered the starboard engine while the left handle the port engine. Therefore, to order both reciprocating engines to stop, the officer had to move «both» handles. Moving only one handle would order only one engine!

An EOT sounds a loud bell as soon as the handle is moved to another engine setting. But the engine room is a very noisy environment. To make sure that an order from the bridge is well heard by the engineers, if the bridge officer wants to go from say Dead Slow Ahead to Half Ahead, he will bell the ETO from Dead Slow Ahead to Stop to Half Ahead. That way, instead of hearing only 2 bells they will all hear 6 wake up bells, but the final result will be the same; an engine going to Half Ahead from Dead Slow Ahead.

Now just imagine the bell concerto followings a harbor pilot calls during maneuvering; Engines Half Ahead Both … Engines Dead Slow Ahead Both … Starboard Engine Stop … Starboard Engine Dead Slow Astern … Starboard Engine Half Astern … Port Engine Half Ahead … Port Engine Stop … Port Engine Half Astern … Starboard Engine Slow Astern … Stop Both Engines … in rapid succession !!!
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I had always thought they went full in either direction then to where they wanted because it was more like a reset. To prevent say someone bumping the handle a notch. But that makes more sense why they did/do it.
 
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Georges Guay

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Here is a picture of my own Chadburn EOT. It’s got two handles but they are linked together as it was for a single engine vessel. Depending on the quay side alongside, some would like to use the right handle, others the left one. But the final result would be the same. My EOT rings like hell and still have its two bicycle chains … :)
 

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Here is a picture of my own Chadburn EOT. It’s got two handles but they are linked together as it was for a single engine vessel. Depending on the quay side alongside, some would like to use the right handle, others the left one. But the final result would be the same. My EOT rings like hell and still have its two bicycle chains … :)
Nice. So thats a real one? I was looking up EOT info a while back and I got like 10 hits for repro's for sale that popped up. Either way looks cool.
 
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Georges Guay

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Going from Full Ahead to Full Astern on a large vessel, I would;

- ring the EOT from Full Ahead to Full Astern to Stop,
- then watch the RPM Indicator to go down to say Slow Ahead,
- then ring the EOT from Stop to Full Ahead to Dead Slow Astern,
- then carefully watching and making sure the RPM Indicator is clutched from Ahead to astern revolutions,
- then ring the EOT from Dead Slow Astern to Full Ahead to Full Astern !

You have better chance to succeed than going double rings from Full Ahead to Full Astern to Full Ahead to Full Astern. The maneuver would produce less propeller cavitations, seem to be controlled rather than in extremis thus making everybody down the engine room on the big nerve and eventually, setting back the reversing gear wrongly in an ahead motion. Nowadays they have wrong way alarm but not then. Unfortunately, some shiphandlers have learned the technique the hard way …
 

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