What if modern technology had existed in 1912?


Mar 22, 2003
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>>Assumption is that the head of wireless operator on the Titanic was within one meter from the antenna base (bottom end of antenna).<<

Assumptions can be dangerous, especially when they are wrong. I have to agree with David's observation. The exposure of the operators, or anything else for that matter, to non-ionizing electromagnetic field radiation does not appear to have been relevant to the events of that night.
 

Alex F

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Assumptions can be dangerous, especially when they are wrong. I have to agree with David's observation. The exposure of the operators, or anything else for that matter, to non-ionizing electromagnetic field radiation does not appear to have been relevant to the events of that night.

Sam,


Did you make any assumption why the Titanic was found far away from her SOS position?

How do you know? An assumption?

No influence?

No influence on the magnetic compass?

How do you know?

If the antenna natural resonance does not match the transmitting wave, what happened? What was natural resonant wave of the Titanic antenna?

If the the ship has 60-90 meters wire between the standard compass and the bridge as means of communication, can this wire be an antenna?

How far should be an antenna from the magnetic compass? Why?



BR

Alex
 

Jim Currie

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Sam,


Did you make any assumption why the Titanic was found far away from her SOS position?
I'll stand well back during the reply to that one.:rolleyes:

No influence on the magnetic compass?

Of course and external magnetic field would effect a magnetic compass. For your information, the effect on a magnetic compass of an electromagnetic field was well known and compensated for during construction.
However, In all the years I served as a navigator on vessels using much the same as, but more powerful than the equipment installed on Titanic, I never experienced or heard of any problems with compasses or wireless operators. We used to joke about the mental health of 'Sparks' but most of the ones I knew were very sharp cookies indeed. As for long term effects? I still keep in touch with a couple of Sparks I knew way back in 1960. They are both in their 80s and I wouldn't bet on beating them at chess.

If the antenna was producing a multi-variable electromagnetic field, it would only have the effect of making the needle oscillate almost imperceptibly, but would have no effect on the efficiency of the compass.

Jim C.
 

Alex F

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In all the years I served as a navigator on vessels using much the same as, but more powerful than the equipment installed on Titanic,

Jim, the power of ship's transmitters was limited since Berlin International Wireless Telegraph Convention of 1906:

"The power transmitted to the wireless telegraph apparatus shall not, under normal conditions, exceed one kilowatt."

The Titanic had 5 kW.

In your years it might be 2 kW, and on HF (not MF, 500 kHz, where the antenna is short and a lot of the power is radiating in the radio room.)

"Maestro Maxwell was right—we just have these mysterious electromagnetic waves that we cannot see with the naked eye. But they are there.":D

Heinrich Hertz

BR
Alex
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I'll try to keep this simple. Alex, you asked:

>>No influence on the magnetic compass? How do you know?<<

Somewhere between 7:30 and 10:00pm, 4/O Boxhall took a number of celestial observations to check on compass deviation. He determined that the vessel was heading on true course of 266°. The intended course after the corner turn was 265° true. Course error had nothing to do with the vessel being 13 miles from the SOS position. Olympic traveled that same route many times without navigational incident.
 

Alex F

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I'll try to keep this simple. Alex, you asked:

>>No influence on the magnetic compass? How do you know?<<

Somewhere between 7:30 and 10:00pm, 4/O Boxhall took a number of celestial observations to check on compass deviation. He determined that the vessel was heading on true course of 266°. The intended course after the corner turn was 265° true. Course error had nothing to do with the vessel being 13 miles from the SOS position. Olympic traveled that same route many times without navigational incident.

At 07:30 Phillips was on dinner and then they had chat with Bride. The transmitter was silent.

BR

Alex
 

Jim Currie

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Jim, the power of ship's transmitters was limited since Berlin International Wireless Telegraph Convention of 1906:

"The power transmitted to the wireless telegraph apparatus shall not, under normal conditions, exceed one kilowatt."

The Titanic had 5 kW.
If you can tell me the pattern and strength of the magnetic field generated round the antenna during transmitting, I'll dredge my memory banks and see if I can tell you how it would effect the compass. However,even if such an effect was experienced, it would only be a very transient disturbance which would not induce any form of permanent error and would probably go unnoticed by anyone on the platform. The Standard compass was checked at very regular intervals during every Watch. The method of checking while out o sight of land involved taking the bearing of a heavenly body and comparing the calculated true bearing with the actual bearing taken. The error derived was the combined error which included the magnetic variation for the place where the bearing was taken. This was always known since it was marked on the chart by the cartographers. Applying the known magnetic variation from the calculated error obtained by azimuth bearing would give the deviation of the compass used; in this case the standard compass. In the case of Titanic with a newly corrected compass, the error would be very small.. in the region of about 2 degrees. Since deviation is caused by magnetic influence due to surrounding ferrous metal and electromagnetic generated fields and the former would have been compensated for: any uncommon value for deviation would result in an inquiry as to why. In addition, during comps adjusting, a Deviation Card would be produced. This showed the actual deviation error of the compass at every one of the 32 point of the compass. Any abnormal error would also be picked up by consulting the Deviation Card.

Jim C.
 

Alex F

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If you can tell me the pattern and strength of the magnetic field generated round the antenna during transmitting, I'll dredge my memory banks and see if I can tell you how it would effect the compass.

It depends not on the pattern of the antenna but mainly on north-south orientation of the ship. (You can check here. :D)

The Titanic had about 120 meters of antenna alongside (horizontal wire), from one mast to another. And about 40 meters of vertical wire.

BR
Alex
 

Jim Currie

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It depends not on the pattern of the antenna but mainly on north-south orientation of the ship.

The Titanic had about 120 meters of antenna alongside (horizontal wire), from one mast to another. And about 40 meters of vertical wire.
Err not really Alex. I don't need to consult your recommended site, I am very much aware of induced magnetism in a ship. In fact, the amount and polarity of induced magnetism in a ship is not confined to one heading, it varies with the heading and how long the ship remains on that heading. It is the result of the ship passing through the magnetic lines of force eminating from the poles of the earth.. the earth's magnetic field. In the case of Titanic, she was about 70 degrees to the earth's magnetic pole on her final course. Therefore magnetism was being induced to her port and starboard sides. If you apply Fleming's right hand rule to a wire carrying current then you will see the direction of the magnetic lines of force. However it is not only the direction of these lines we should be concerned about but the number and strength of these line passing through a place at a given time.

fleming-right-hand-rule.jpg

Jim C.

fleming-right-hand-rule.jpg
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Actually Alex, it was about 7:30-7:40 when Lightoller and Pitman first took sights. Boxhall didn't come on watch until 8:00, and first spent time working out the ship's 7:30 fix. Much later he took bearings from the standard compass to check on the compass deviation error as Jim explained. I believe Boxall said that he completed all that work about 10 or thereabouts to show to Lightoller who was on duty until 10 that night. Your grasping at straws my friend.
 

Scott Mills

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Well if current history is any indicator, and modern people were also aboard the following would have happened:

1. No alarm would be sounded, or order given to abandon ship either at all, or until immediately prior to the fatal plunge.
2. All of the ships sailing crew would have left the ship, including the captain and officers, on a life boat leaving everyone to fend for themselves.
 

Scott Mills

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Hi all,

A bit of a hypothetical for this month....

What if modern technology had existed on board the Titanic? Radar, for instance, or the ability to contact other ships by phone. Would it have prevented the sinking altogether or made a significant difference at all? How might it have affected the passengers? Remember, we're considering a bizarre world here where passengers on board the Titanic could call or text one another on mobile phones, or tweet/update their status on Facebook regarding their predicament......how do you envision such a scenario?

Cheers,
Adam.

Assuming how much? For example, if we assume that Titanic from the moment of her sailing had the benefit of modern technology in terms of radar and the international ice patrol, it is a more than reasonable assumption she never would have struck the iceberg.

Or if you assume that she did strike the iceberg deus ex machina, but was still built to modern technological standards then she would have had a welded double hull and may not have been seriously damaged at all.

And this is an entirely different thought experiment than, she was built as she was, but had modern damage control technology (or even the benefit of post WWI damage control practices). In which case, collision plates (depending on a number of variables) could have been rigged and the water pumped more efficiently and she, most likely, would not have foundered.

Then of course, you might also ask what if everyone had modern technology, including helicopters, two-way radios, etc, which is again another question--which would further increase the likelihood she would not founder.

In other words, to really dive deep into your hypothetical we need surer bounding conditions; however, all roads likely lead to "this forum would not exist." :)
 

Anne field

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Thanks for your responses so far. I don't necessarily agree - just because better technology and protocols are in place now, doesn't mean that there aren't still plenty of examples of shipping disasters in the modern era. Granted, the Titanic story would no doubt have played out much differently, but how can we be so sure that some other accident may not have befallen her? Given everything we know, I think it's a fairly limited point of view.

Doug: So there is no relevance to hypotheticals on a discussion forum?

Cheers,
Adam.
I agree that the chance of accident would decrease but you could also ask a silmilar question to that of technology in aircraft now & then. For example with autopilot, It hasnt stopped mid air collisions or accidents involving planes & debri on the runway etc. There are so many variables in the hypothetical, though i believe humans are infallible no matter how pure the technology.
 
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Aither_2017

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Simply, it wouldn't have sunk. The pumps would be improved and could pump out more water, there would have been thrusters on the ship so it could turn easily and there would be radar to detect ice bergs when they are not easily visibe (like the night when titanic sank)
 

countess

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Hi all,

A bit of a hypothetical for this month....

What if modern technology had existed on board the Titanic? Radar, for instance, or the ability to contact other ships by phone. Would it have prevented the sinking altogether or made a significant difference at all? How might it have affected the passengers? Remember, we're considering a bizarre world here where passengers on board the Titanic could call or text one another on mobile phones, or tweet/update their status on Facebook regarding their predicament......how do you envision such a scenario?

Cheers,
Adam.
Be like CC ship mishap. We saw things through people's mobile phones, camcorders.

Shame titanic didn't have 10 to 15 years advanced on technonghy
 

Jim Currie

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It is not certain that modern technology, such as radar would have detected the iceberg in question. However, Titanic would have been fitted with an EPRIB. an electronic emergency beacon. Each of her lifeboats would have smaller versions of the same equipment. All would transmit information for rescuers to home in on.
However, personal telephones would cause huge headaches for the on board organisers. Just imagine 3000 people -all on phones at the same time in a very small area. Modern people seem to be incapable of understanding the need for close, joined-up cooperation with officialdom during such an emergency. The Costa Concordia is a classic example. Just think of the smarty-pant "I know better" individual sitting beside you on a plane with eyes glued to an I-phone when the Pilot calls for all electronic devices to be switched off.
 

TimTurner

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Much of "modern technology" was designed specifically with the Titanic in mind. One of the outcomes of the sinking was a host of new regulations, procedures, and technologies.

What happened on the Titanic was not just one mistake, but a series of mistakes, accidents, and coincidences. Most of these have been addressed by multiple redundant layers of safety.

A modern Titanic should not hit an iceberg, because we have an ice warning and spotting system which watches for ice in shipping lanes, but if some ice slipped through...
A modern Titanic would have radar to spot objects in its path, but if the radar didn't catch it...
A modern Titanic wouldn't be going so fast at night in an ice field, but if it did...
A modern Titanic would be connected via satellite and radio to Coast Guard, Navy, and civilian shipping 24 hours a day, but if it didn't...
A modern Titanic would have lifeboats for everyone, and regular lifeboat drills, but if it didn't...
then we wouldn't have a "Titanic with modern technology"

Short of that, ships still fill with water, ice water still causes hypothermia, and people still die from drowning and exposure.
 

Jim Currie

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Much of "modern technology" was designed specifically with the Titanic in mind. One of the outcomes of the sinking was a host of new regulations, procedures, and technologies.

What happened on the Titanic was not just one mistake, but a series of mistakes, accidents, and coincidences. Most of these have been addressed by multiple redundant layers of safety.

A modern Titanic should not hit an iceberg, because we have an ice warning and spotting system which watches for ice in shipping lanes, but if some ice slipped through...
A modern Titanic would have radar to spot objects in its path, but if the radar didn't catch it...
A modern Titanic wouldn't be going so fast at night in an ice field, but if it did...
A modern Titanic would be connected via satellite and radio to Coast Guard, Navy, and civilian shipping 24 hours a day, but if it didn't...
A modern Titanic would have lifeboats for everyone, and regular lifeboat drills, but if it didn't...

then we wouldn't have a "Titanic with modern technology"

Short of that, ships still fill with water, ice water still causes hypothermia, and people still die from drowning and exposure.

Hello Tim. I take your points one by one.

It is very possibly that the radar would have missed the iceberg.
Titanic was not travelling at full speed through an ice field. In fact, the modern technology of the day...wireless...passed to the bridge before 7 pm that evening, told them that any ice was way to the north of them and expectations were that it was moving farther away by the minute.

Your most important point you reserved for the end...

"ships still fill with water, ice water still causes hypothermia, and people still die from drowning and exposure."

By the way, as late as 1960. the popular belief was that things such as Radar, RDF and Decca were simply aids to navigation and reliance by Navigators on such 'new-fangled things' was actively discouraged by Masters, teaching establishments and the Board of Trade. I sailed with one Master who locked the radar and kept the key and I had to call him in the middle of the night if I wanted to use the radar. All this despite the fact that I was a fully qualified Radar Observer.
 
A

Aaron_2016

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Would it still have been a very difficult task to actually locate the Titanic had the rescue ships (Carpathia and Mount Temple) had modern equipment? I thought it would have been very easy, but currently in my area there is a large search and rescue operation under way for a boat that is overdue. Eight lifeboats and two rescue helicopters searched the area overnight and are still searching today. Is the principal of search and rescue still the same regardless of the equipment they have? e.g. They search the area of her last known position and also her projected position based on her estimated speed and course at the time she went missing, and also where the currents may have taken her? Would it take just as long to find the Titanic or her lifeboats if they did not have her distress position?

If the incorrect position of the Titanic made her appear closer to the Mount Temple, what if the Carpathia had mistaken the lights of the Mount Temple for the Titanic and steamed in the wrong direction? The Titanic was firing rockets, but so was the Carpathia, what if the Mount Temple mistook her for the Titanic and steamed in the wrong direction as well? Currently thinking about the present search and rescue operation under way. What if the rescue teams see a boat on the horizon that is not responding, using a foreign radio system, or not equipped with radar at all. Would the rescue teams mistake that vessel as the one that is in distress and head in the wrong direction, or would they carefully assess the situation and determine that the vessel they were looking at was not in distress? This could also be applied to the Californian incident.


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Georges Guay

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If vessels of that dark era had had modern equipment, I don’t think we would be talking about Search & Recue …

figure10.jpg
 

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