My Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was 31M20 - Multi-channel Equipment Operator. OK, so what was that? Well, have you ever seen a movie or film about the military and saw someone pick up a telephone handset, furiously spin a knob, and then scream into the phone? My equipment helped connect all those phones together so the military could get on with the job of killing people.
Anyone remember the designator for those phones? I think it was TA-30 or something like that. They used a couple of D-Cell batteries (BA-30?) so you could use them hooked up to each other without going through our equipment. Spinning the knob produced an 130 volt A. C. ring current that ran through the wires and made the other phone ring.
31M20 people used radios to transport the audio from all of these phones. We used the low band (~36 MHZ) frequency spectrum and used Frequency Division Modulation (FDM) and Time Division Multiplication (TDM) to multiplex up to 24 conversations onto one radio channel. Pretty neat.
The phone ringer wouldn't work through the radio shots so the engineers had designed a way around it. What they did was convert the incoming ringer signal into a 2805 HZ signaling tone. At the other end of the radio shot the 2805 signaling was converted back to the 130 VAC ring current. We would hook our headset into one of the channels, then whistle in increasing pitch until the 2805 decoder fired up. It was a quick way to test the ringers.
Gees, the stuff I remember... And the stuff I remember that I wish I could forget.
Anyhow, back to the equipment...
We had a team consisting of a 2 & 1/2 ton truck (a Deuce-and-a-half) with an equipment shelter on the back and a couple of generators on a trailer in tow. We had a team leader and two grunts, of which I was one. The powers that be would declare an Alert or Field Problem that required us to drive to the top of some mountain, set up our equipment and antennas, and connect to other poor saps doing the same thing. We would then spend a few hours/days/weeks at a site before moving to the next site or back to the Kaserne.
Between Alerts or Field Problems, we would fix and replenish the equipment and ourselves, attend schools, stand around in formations, and generally raise hell while waiting in morbid anticipation for the next Alert or Field Problem.
Does anyone else remember all the various items you were tasked to find on your first few days as a newbie in the Motor Pool? Things like "Frequency Grease", "Order Wire", and occasionally the elusive "Prop Wash". That's all I remember off-hand.
We spent a lot of time in the Motor Pool which was exactly 356 steps from the front of the Kaserne itself. Yes, I counted them.
That's what these photos are all about.