1996 - 2016
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...
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Please welcome Elbert Cook to my USAF Radar Technician comrade list! Elbert provided a very detailed account of his duty stations and the equipment worked on. Any of you who had the pleasure of maintaining the TPN-19 ASR/PAR radar system will appreciate his comments. I never worked on it myself, but while at Robins AFB, GA (5CCG) in the MPN-14 radar shop a couple of the newfangled, transistorized TPN-19s arrived from Tinker AFB, OK (3CCG)
See "The Radar Man"
Note: Elbert has completed a scale model of the MPN-13 GCA radar unit, and is looking for dimensions, photos, or any other pertinent data for maintaining accuracy. If you can help, please send me the info and I will get it to him. Thanks.
Elbert sent these pictures that he took while stations at Shemya Air Station, in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska:
Here are a couple 'real time' photos of the MPN-14 and TPN-19 ground control approach (GPA) radars at Robins AFB, GA, while I was stationed there from 1979-1982.
This is the full text of Elbert's letter (with his permission):
Thanks for your reply. You can put this on your web site.
I went back through some old records and this is what I came up with.
Got hooked on the Air Force in 1968 and signed up in April. After Basic Training I went to Keesler AFB for GCA Radar training, you know how that goes. Looking forward to my first assignment I ended up with Sheppard AFB, Texas. April 1969 to June 1973. Started out on AN/MPN-14 B then the new FPN-47 was installed along with the FPN-16. GPX-8, GPA-70, GPA-30 and Brite-II.
While at Sheppard I got a message stating that I will be part of the TPN-19 test Team at the 3rd Combat Com Group at Tinker AFB, OK. I thought I must be in for a good deal. Boy was I wrong. I got to the 3rd Combat Com Group in June of 1973 (left April 1979, was I glad somewhat). While at Tinker I worked on MPN-13, MPN-14, TPN-19 and all the equipment that went along with them. It was two years after I got to the 3rd that we went to the TPN-19 school and factory. While at the 3rd we ended up with 10 TPN-19s. What a mess. There are some war stories about them.
I finely got out of the 3rd April of 1979, but I had orders to Shemya AFB AK. (Shemya from April 1979 to April 1980). Shemya had an MPN-13 without a 301 key system. There was all kinds of room in that power trailer. Our UPX-6 was not restricted to 60 miles. That was nice. We had a T3 Trainer that the controllers used a lot. I have a lot of pictures of Shemya.
I got out of Shemya April 1980 and went to Holloman AFB. (Holloman AFB April 1980 to December 1984) Maintained the FPN-47, FPN-16, Brite-II and all the equipment that went with them. We did have a GPA-131 by then. After two years at the radar side I was moved into Quality Control. Quick story, While I was at my Quality control desk at Holloman I just happen to have one of my old TPN-19 note books with some of my QC notes in it laying on my desk. The front showing a picture of the TPN-19 was up. Rudd came walking through my office and said hi and then he saw the note book and said something like “ OH I see you have a picture of the TPN-19”. Well the normal reaction, the reaction I had any way was “Sure, I was in the 3rd Mob and worked on it for several years.”. Boy was that a mistake. Within 6 weeks I had orders to Langely AFB as the Air Traffic Control Radar Functional Manager and I mostly worked with you guessed it, TPN-19s.
Well, there I was December 1984 to around July 1988 (Retired in 1988) I went TDY all over the US. One of the main problems was the TOs for the TPN-19. It seemed like we were rewriting them all the time. We never did get them right. Another thing was the AC Mod. What a mess. One thing I did while I was at Lnagley was working on the Computer Assisted Force Management System technical manual.
After I got out of the AF, I went to college on the GI Bill. Got two degrees and went to work for a Hospital here in OKC. Worked for them for 14 years and retired again. Now I build model airplanes. I am working on plans to build a model of an MPN-13 GCA unit but I am having problems getting the dimensions. That is how I came across your web site. Oh well I will keep working. As I started through this a lot more came to mind.
You are doing a good job.
Posted August 7, 2013