Austron 2042 LORAN-C Simulator
© Brooke Clarke 2005
So far I've not found any documentation
on this unit of any kind, if you have any please let
Until the advent of an operational GPS system LORAN-C was the most
accurate radio navigation system available, but since it was designed
for coastal waters there were many places in the World without any
LORAN-C signal. Because of it's growth LORAN-C chains were put
into place in areas far from coastal waters so that aircraft could use
LORAN-C for navigation.
LORAN-C using a pulse transmission at 100 kHz also replaced the WWVB
amplitude modulated signal at 60 kHz as a very stable time transfer
A LORAN-C station has antenna towers that are maybe hundreds of feet
high and runs a huge amount of power. Note that a 1/4 wave
antenna for a frequency of 100 kHz needs to be about 750 meters or
2,460 feet high, way higher than any antenna tower. So a number
of towers are used with top loading horizontal wires. When a whip
that's 3 feet long ((like the 2042 built-in whip) the antenna is only
0.0003 wavelengths long and so is extremely inefficient. What
this paragraph is saying is the the range of this simulator is probably
measured in feet or inches.
Email from Ken:
My brain is a bit foggy on the 2042. I worked with these a long time ago. But they were intended to either radiate through the attached antenna or inject a signal directly through a twinax connection as I recall. Their range of radiated operation depends on the receiver but certainly no more than a few feet. Frequently you will have substantial in band interference when trying to use the radiated output indoors from anything that radiates in the 90-110KHZ range that will block the receiver. Also if you have a very sophisticated loran c receiver they are hard to use due to the signal amplitude being constant on all "stations". These were manufactured somewhere between 1982-88 I think.
Sep. 25 1979 date stamps appear on the
PCBs and the OCXO label has 9/79 as Date Mfg.
The front panel controls are left to
- On-Off switch in a cylinder to prevent accidential actuation.
- 4 Digit thumb wheel switch to set GRI (my local chain is 9940,
but for testing some other GRI would be needed)
- 5 Digit thumb wheel switch to set Slave A coding delay
- 5 Digit thumb wheel switch to set Slave B coding delay
- 3 toggle switches to set the interval sequence (A-B-A or B-A-B)
for the Master, Slave A and Slave B
- 3 toggle switches to set the Master, Slave A and Slave B to
either OFF, ON or Blink
- 3 BNC jacks with Decode outputs for Master, Slave A and Slave B
- a 3 position toggle switch associated with 3 BNC jacks, where the
switch positions are Master, Slave A or Slave B
and the 3 Jacks are labeled Trigger above the first 2 and Sync above
and Stop, Start and Input under them.
- 2 Digit thumb wheel switch for dB of Attenuation 00 to 59 dB
range with lines indicating that it feeds two connectors
- A BNC jack and a Twinax connector (two center pins and a
On the Rear Panel left to right:
- toggle switch "Antenna Control On - Off
- toggle switch Internal or External standard
- BNC jack for Buffered 1 MHz out
- BNC jack for External 1 MHz input
- toggle switch in cylindrical sleeve to prevent accidential
operation for Oscillator On or Off
- 1/4 Amp AC fuse
- 1 Amp DC fuse
- IEC line powercord socket
On the rear panel there is a power supply PCB and another PCB that
drives the 3 foot whip. The whip storage cavity has a warning
sticker "Do Not Short Antenna to Chassis" and the whip driver PCB has
marking CAUTION Foil Plane is + 3 VDC, NOT Ground. The same
caution is on the RF generation PCB. The large PCB ( 5 x 6
inches) has a lot of CMOS logic. The adjacent PCB (2 x 8 inches) may be
an RF board.
There's an OCXO with a Tune screwdriver adjust and no EFC, just DC
power in and RF out. It's output goes to the rear panel whip PCB.
A Gelcell battery, maybe 7 AH long dead.
A small PCB on the front panel behind the 6 central toggle switches is
just a wiring saver, no ICs, labeled "Function Switches Interface Card".
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