A view of the Mackay communications equipment. Lack of space in the radio room makes it difficult to photograph the entire unit. Most of what you see in this picture is the HF transmitter and receiver.

The Mackay Radio Company, which manufactured the main radio communications equipment for the Victory ships, also made the direction finder. Not exactly a modern GPS, the direction finder nevertheless allowed the operator to zero in on beacon signals for determining the ship's location.

The echo-depth finder (aka, fathometer).


Mackay also made the emergency radio equipment for the lifeboats. This item was probably introduced post-WWII (i.e, not part of the original equipment).

This AM receiver was not actually from a Victory ship, but it is of the general vintage and was used aboard a naval vessel. A warning on the front warns that it should not be used if there's a possibility of an enemy detecting its RF emissions. The radio was donated to the Red Oak by ROVARC member Ron Smith, KE6RS, and restored to full working condition by ROVARC member Alan Craddock, WB6DXZ.

Ceramic insulators leading the antenna lines into the Mackay transmitter and receiver. The small neon bulb acted as a very analog watt meter to give a rough estimate of power output. Amazing how nice a ceramic insulator can look in the right light!

Another view of the Mackay communications equipment. Most of what you see in this picture comprises the 500 KHz emergency radio.