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Radio equipment at Helwan Observatory

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Radio equipment at Helwan Observatory

Posted by Jeremy at 15:15 on 2012 Jul 21

OK, following the success in identifying Harold Knox-Shaw's motor car via the forum (tks for the lead, Paul), let's try another Helwan photo from the same period.It shows an operator using a Burndept Ultra IV receiver, probably to receive time signals from France (HKS wrote several papers on the subject in 1923-24). Questions:1. Who is the operator? It is not HKS. His papers list 3 co-workers at Helwan on the project: J.L. Forte (the "e" has an acute accent), G. Bisetti and R. Bisetti.2. Can anyone identify the rest of the radio equipment. There are 3 large panels in front of the operator. The 2 on the right comprise the Ultra IV receiver (e.g. as shown here, but without the loud speaker: http://www.superstock.com/stock-photos-images/1895-12125). I am wondering about the third panel, with large coils on the front. I presume this was the transmitter unit (they did transmit Morse from Helwan - and you can see the Morse key on the desk. Can anyone confirm this and identify the unit?One can see the antenna wire coming in from the top. There is a mysterious rectangular box on the desk on the left of the Burndept units. There are some small items behind that, next to the wall. I wonder if these are batteries.Go well!Jeremy