Circular No. 397.
Admiralty, 1st December, 1859.
Their Lordship are pleased to issue the following instructions as to the care and management of Engine Room Telegraphs on board Her Majesty's Ships.
The Telegraph, and all its gear, is to be placed under the care of the Chief Engineer, who is to be held responsible for its efficiency.
1st. When the Steam is not up, or the fires are banked with the Ship at anchor, the Deck Dials are to be kept covered with the covers provided for the purpose ; and the Handles are to be removed, and placed in the Engineer's Store Room.
2nd. When the ship is about to proceed under Steam, one of the Junior Engineers is to be stationed to remove the covers from the Deck Dials, ship the Handles, and make a few moves to insure the Instrument being in good working order, reporting the same to the Captain or Commanding Officer.
3rd. Strict orders are to be given by the Captain of the Ship that none but competent Officers, appointed by himself for that purpose are in any way to meddle with, or work the Telegraph.
4th. Before working the Telegraph the warning or " Stand by" Bell is to be rung, until answered from below on the Deck Gong; and this precaution for ensuring attention in the Engine Room is to be repeated whenever any considerable time has elapsed since the last order by the Telegraph was given.
5th. In these Dials, where all orders for going "A-head," point A-head, and all orders for going "A-stern," point A-stern, in working the Telegraph, which is to be done briskly, care is to be taken that the Pointer an the Deck Dial be moved some distance beyond the centre of the division which contains the order about to be given, and then brought back to the centre of the division, this being necessary in order to ensure the striking of that Bell in the Engine Room on the change of each order.
6th. When slight variations of speed are required, as must often occur when Ships of different power are manoeuvring or keeping station together, the orders "Slow" and "Faster" are intended to be used for this purpose, simply by their being repeated. For example :- Suppose the Pointer to have been moved from either Slow or Half-speed to "Faster," but that it is required still to increase the speed to a small degree, then by moving the Pointer right or left, so as to make sure of striking the Bell in the Engine Room, and bringing it back again to the order "Fester," as before, it will be clearly understood by the Engineer, that a small increase of speed is still wanted, and this repetition may be made as often as the speed can be varied between Slow and Half-speed, and between Halt-speed and Full-speed. It is also evident that the order "Slow " may be used in like manner until the Engines are reduced to their minimum speed.
7th. It is to be borne in mind that the order "Stop" has reference to the engines only, and that in a Screw Ship, the Ship's own head-way is but very gradually affected by the stoppage of her screw : TO avoid collision, therefore, or in any other emergency, the engines must be reversed, and provision has been made that whenever this is requisite it should be distinctly known throughout the Engine Room to be an emergency order. For this purpose a stop is fixed to prevent the Pointer of the Deck Dial from being moved direct from " Full Speed" A-head, to "Full Speed " A-stern, or vice versa, so that the change from the one to the other can only be made by moving the Pointer past every other order on the Dial, ringing the Bell of each one as it passes, and thus forming an alarum in connexion with these two orders whenever they have to be used on an emergency. This stop also enables these orders to be given at once, with the most complete confidence, even at Night, without any necessity for waiting to open the shutter of the night shade.
8th. When under steam, and night is approaching, one of the junior Engineers is to have standing orders to put on the night shades of the Deck Dials, and to see that the illuminating lamps are trimmed and ready for use, and he is to report the same to the Officer of the Watch ; the spare lamp is to be placed in charge of the Quarter-Master of the Watch ready to replace either of the others when they may require to be trimmed.
9th. As the efficiency of the Telegraph will much depend an the care and attention bestowed on it by the Chief Engineer of the Ship, it will be his duty to see that all the bearings and gearings are kept well oiled and in working order, and that none of the expansion couplings are allowed to become corroded or set fast.
By Command of the Lordships,
To all Commanders-in-Chief, Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels.
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