THE KC AND KF CONTROL SYSTEMS



  The following 'systems' are not finite. What is included is to demonstrate how various equipments were controlled.

  This Series (now in addition to CCS and CWS) was fitted in the late war years to enable British and American transmitters and receivers to be used remotely. However, it did not handle VHF transmitters and tended to differ widely in facilities offered between ships. Like all war fits, it was a necessary expedient and people accepted it, "warts and all". It continued using what the CWS had started, namely the CCX (Control Circuit Exchange), a plug and socket matrix, supported by an assortment of various control boxes at each and every remote user position. To avoid boring you, instead of mentioning each and every 'little box of tricks' we will show you, in the KH Series section which is on the next page, some photographs of these typical control boxes.

  The basic facilities enabled each remote position to:-

A.

Switch on and off the transmitter.

B.

To key the transmitter in W/T.

C.

The Base Unit for the Control Unit.

D.

To transmit R/T.

E.

To receive.


or (a) (b) and (d), or (a) (c) and (d), or (cd) and (d) only.

There were two entirely separate systems for W/T and R/T.

  Outfit KDA was a system which was much envied by other Navies. It used existing technology namely that of the GPO Telephone Dialler to send signals down the line, control remote transmitters, or to speak, when necessary, to the operator manning the Transmitter Room (TR) who was called the "TRW", 'W' standing for Watchkeeper. This 'clever' piece of kit can been seen above in picture No3. Picture 17 also shows this unit which is called the W/T CONTROL UNIT. Picture No3 is marked with numerals 1 to 29 (with lapses) and here we explore the device with an explanation.

A.

For W/T, a circuit exchange (CCX) system which enabled a remote position to:

i.

Key the transmitter.

ii.

Switch the transmitter on and off.

iii.

To receive.

B.

For R/T, each transmitter is wired to a socket unit to which a receiver can be connected. Each socket unit has 3 output sockets for connecting to remote circuits.

This Group covered KCH to KCP

OUTFIT CLASS OF SHIP TRANSMITTERS REMARKS
KCH Capital ships and cruisers not fitted with CWS. 60EQR, 60FR, 89M/P/Q, 601/2E/3/4, 57DMR/DR, 59D, TAJ, TBK, TBM, TCS Completes (hitherto piecemeal) ships remote control system for all transmitters and receivers.
KCJ Cruisers and above. 604, TAJ, TBK or TBL Completes (hitherto piecemeal) ships remote control system for all transmitters and receivers.
KCK, KCL, KCM Light craft with a main and 2nd office e.g., Squadron Leader. Light craft with a main W/T office only and where a W/T control circuit exchange is not required e.g., Fleet Destroyer Light craft where no W/T control is required e.g., Sloops. 49MR, 50MR, 60EQR, 60FR, 89M/P/Q, 601/2E/3/5, TAJ, TBK, TBL, TCS. As for KCH.
KCN, KCO Cruisers and above with CWS. Cruisers and above NOT fitted with CWS. 60EQR, 60FR, 601/2E/3/5, 89M/P, TBM. As for KCJ.
KCP Cruisers and above. 60EQR, 602E or TCS fitted in BWO.. Remote control for a single transmitter-receiver outfit @ ADR (AIR DIRECTION ROOM) and Compass Platform.
KCW Light Fleet Carriers (1942 programme). As for KCH. As for KCH.
KCY Control Target Boats. 86M, TCS. Completes (hitherto piecemeal) boats control outfit.

and to cope with the "new fangled V/UHF kit" - the TBS - the Series was continued to KCQ - KCU as follows:-


OUTFIT CLASS OF SHIP TRANSMITTERS REMARKS
KCQ, KCR Aircraft Carriers, Capital ships, Cruisers, AA ships and Monitors. TBS Remote control for two types TBS.
KCS Depot ships, fas Minelayers, Squadron Leaders and below. TBS. Remote control for a single TBS.
KCT HMS Vanguard's one-off fit. TBS. Remote control for three types TBS.
KCU Squadron Leaders and Fleet Destroyers. TBS. Remote control for two types TBS.


  This series KCQ - KCU, provided facilities for switching on the motor generator providing transmitter HT with lamp indication that the generator was running correctly, and thereafter, control of the transmitter for R/T and the receiver.
  During WW2, aircraft came to the fore and were a major contributor in winning it for the Allies. Communications with fighter aircraft [in particular] in direct support of the Fleet was a pre-requisite, and radio communications between ships and the aircraft were paramount to the success of the air asset.
  This brought into being the KF Series {easy to remember K = Control (they couldn't use 'C' because it was already assigned for other communication purposes) and F = Flying and the series consisted on KFC-KFG as follows:-


KFC This was widely fitted ashore in Royal Naval Air Stations [RNAS] and was still going strong almost up to and including 1980.
KFD, KFE These were the very first R/T control systems fitted in ships for fighter direction. KFD allowed 6 channels with 3 controlling positions and was fitted into A.A. ships and above, except carriers and fighter direction ships. KFE, a much bigger affair, supplied 12 channels with 6 control positions and was the main fit in carriers and fighter direction ships. It was possible to increase this number of channels by a further 10 positions in the OPS ROOM.
KFF, KFG Were later updates for the KFD and KFE respectively above, and modernised the Fleet Air Arm working spaces by fitting them with their own CCX's.
KFJ Was fitted into carriers and was used as CCA. It enabled 4 controllers, each on a separate channel to converse with the pilot of an aircraft during his approach. This is what the block diagram of a KFJ system looked like: Click to enlarge.


  Towards the end of WW2, the Admiralty designed a brand new system which would give to any user in the ship notwithstanding, the ability to use any piece of W/T equipment at their place of duty. However, since the FAA were well served with KFF (non carriers) and KFG (carriers) a change to a new system had to take account of their well proven and established system. The Admiralty introduced the KH System, parts of which contained the now 'old' KFF and KFG systems.