QE2 Story Forum

The QE2's Story (in-service) => The QE2 herself => Features of the QE2 => Topic started by: Bob C. on Apr 24, 2009, 06:01 PM

Title: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Bob C. on Apr 24, 2009, 06:01 PM
I was looking at an old 1977 exterior view photo I have of QE2's wheelhouse and noticed an oblong pit on top, on centerline and forward of the mast and wondering what it is or was used for.  From the photo, it looks like it is accessed by a hatch in the navigation/chart room aft of the helm station which leads me to believe it might be for celestial navigation? (but then why not walk out on a bridge wing?)  I also noticed it in recent photos including some pictures from her last departure from New York last year.  I looked all over the net to see if it was mentioned with no luck.

Anyone have any clues as to what this is?

Will post the picture as soon as I get it scanned.
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Andrew Collier on Apr 24, 2009, 06:12 PM
Hey Bob

It is the compass well.

Nice photo on page 53 of Peter Moxoms 'From the Bridge - QE2 Cunards Flagship' shows the 'Lilley & Gille Magnetic Compass Binnacle'

Believe this is fitted up there as far as possible out of the way of magnetic disturbances from within the ship, and is some sort of 'master compass' for the ship. I am no expert on this, but believe this arrangement to be normal on ships of the time and before, there was probally some sort of secondary instalation in the bridge itself? Maybe someone with more experince with compass's will help?

Cheers  8)

Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Malcolm on Apr 24, 2009, 06:18 PM
On my plans there is something there but what it is I don't know. It looks as if there is a door on the port side at the rear but the door doesn't appear to go anywhere. I am pleased to see that anocoaster78 has posted to say what it is :)
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Bob C. on Apr 24, 2009, 07:29 PM
Andy,
   I have a bit of experience with magnetic compasses from my time as navigator on the aircraft carrier USS NIMITZ.  Historical photos show a binnacle type compass back in the 70's when NIMITZ was first commissioned.  However, during my time onboard (2005-2007) we had an "electronic" magnetc compass that needed to be as far from any magnetic disturbance, as high up and as close to centerline of the ship as possible.  That's pretty tough for an aircraft carrier since airplanes land on the centerline.  Ours was installed in a remote spot on top the island (superstucture above the flight deck) as close to centerline as we could but we had to calibrate it all the time.  I would think that with the majority of QE2's superstructure being made of aluminum that they had pretty accurate magnetic compass readings.

Thanks! 
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Andrew Collier on Aug 01, 2009, 10:20 AM
Hey Bob, Sorry for the delay commenting, somehow missed your reply!

Thanks for adding that, that is fantastic insight, must have been quite a life navigating the Nimitz!!!! Wow.

Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Aug 01, 2009, 10:52 AM
Quote
Nice photo on page 53 of Peter Moxoms 'From the Bridge - QE2 Cunards Flagship' shows the 'Lilley & Gille Magnetic Compass Binnacle'

Lilley and Gillie Magnetic Compass

This type of compass is basically unchanged since the 18th century and is still important as it is independent of electrical power.
Pieces of soft iron and permanent magnets are sited in and around the wooden casing to minimise the effect of the ships  induced and permanent magnetism.

Btw the other compass onboard is the Sperry MK.37 Gyro Compass.

Louis
Title: Who knows what this is?
Post by: Beardy Rich on Mar 12, 2010, 10:19 AM
There's something on the QE2 that is shown in most photo's of her and I can't fathom out what it is  ???
If you look at a view of the ships bridge, above the centre window there is a white oblong shaped item. About the size of a bridge window.

Anyone know what this is?
Title: Re: Who knows what this is?
Post by: Bob C. on Mar 12, 2010, 02:02 PM
Its the compass well.  See this thread for additional info - https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,444.0.html (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,444.0.html)

Moderator's comment : Thank you for the merge suggestion -- done!
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Rob Lightbody on May 16, 2011, 08:51 PM
Here is a photo of the compass viewing periscope in the bridge taken during my recent visit to QE2 in Dubai, and another one of me standing beside the pit, next to the IMO number

John Lilley and Gillie Limited
North Shields England

Gillie Unit Reflector

Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: ehoo123 on Jun 03, 2011, 11:59 AM
 I have a bit of experience with magnetic compasses from my time. Thanks for adding that.
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: cunardqueen on Jun 03, 2011, 02:34 PM
(http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/9383/img341s.jpg)
August 1991 entering NY. Its bigger than you think
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Andrew Collier on Jun 19, 2011, 09:33 PM
Mmmm, so we know what the pit in the wheelhouse roof is for, but having just re-read this thread following Cunardqueen's excellent picture post, I realise we have clarified what the rectangle box sticking up is for....assume its connected with the compass pit somehow? Anyone know for certain? be nice to have all the questiosn asked so far answered  8)
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Rod on Feb 06, 2012, 10:39 PM
Pit  above the wheel house I believe is called the monkey island.
The oblong box is new since my day but would suggest some kind of antenna for either cell phones or Sat links.
Title: Re: Oblong pit atop the wheelhouse
Post by: Willum on Nov 21, 2017, 03:15 PM
The oblong pit, mag compass access, has a door that goes down a narrow staircase to the bridge. That door was never locked so at all times it was possible to gain access to the bridge from the Monkey Is, something I regularly did when servicing the aerials. A security loophole for sure. You can see the handrail for it in the photo. The red coloured box is the float-off data recorder - part of the Voyage Data Recorder the 'Black Box'. Behind Rob the white box is a radio receiving antenna or 'notch' not used since about 1970 but still hanging on.
Title: Re: Who knows what this is?
Post by: Willum on Nov 21, 2017, 03:21 PM
There's something on the QE2 that is shown in most photo's of her and I can't fathom out what it is  ???
If you look at a view of the ships bridge, above the centre window there is a white oblong shaped item. About the size of a bridge window.

Anyone know what this is?

Its a 'notch' receiving aerial connected to the Radio Rm. It was abandoned in 1970 as no longer serviceable but has stood firm ever since.