The interior communications or gyro room, located below the mess decks, was a critical space for ship control. This centerline compartment contained the master gyro compass, the sound powered phone distribution panel, the public address system (1MC) amplifier and all the controlling circuitry for systems such as the speed indicator (Pitometer Log), salinity indicator, cease fire alarms, engine trouble alarms and numerous other indicator systems.
The master gyro compass is a large, electrically driven gyroscope that lines up with the North and South Poles based on the precession of the earth and thus is an indicator of true north. This electric signal from the master gyro is transmitted to gyro compass repeaters in various locations around the ship. These are used to determine direction relative to the surface of the earth. Storage batteries are located in this space as emergency power for the master gyro in case of loss of ship’s power.
Gun fire control circuit boards are also located in this space.
Read this account from one of SLATER's crew members concerning the true identity of the ship: "Yard Birds Save Buns!"
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