Monarch To Lay Atlantic Cable

So, 60 years ago, started a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of March 29th 1961.

The story continued:

CANTAT,designed to be the first section of the Commonwealth round-the-world telephone cable, will provide 60 circuits between Scotland and Newfoundland.

The main submarine crossing is from Oban. Scotland, to New Hampden at the head of White Bay, Newfoundland, a distance of 2,100 nautical miles.

Cable & Wireless Ltd. are responsible for the United Kingdom’s share.

Monarch has been undergoing refit in readiness for the laying. Apart from a world-wide radio communication system,the ship is fitted with a Decca navigational aid, Loran and echo-sounding apparatus.

During cable-laying operations repeaters are inserted every 26 nautical miles.The insertion takes place on shipboard,and a “tail” is left in each end of a repeater (after it has been manufactured and sealed) for connection to the cable.

At each repeater the core of the cable is spliced to the thinner polythene coaxial cable of the repeater by brazing and injection moulding.

The deep-sea lightweight cable is, of course, stored in the ship’s tanks in sections, each of 26 nautical miles. Multiples of this length with repeaters inserted may be made up before the ship actually begins operations, so as to expedite the laying programme.

Continuous testing of the cable and repeaters is udertaken from first loading to last laying.

A pulse generating equipment is among that installed in Monarch which measures the delay of an echo received from a discontinuity or mismatch.

This measurement is made either on a CRT or on a paper recorder and the position of the fault can be determined by calculation.

Other equipment is available to monitor remotely gain,bandwidth and noise level of repeaters when they are in position in the cable.

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