Radio: For Whales Only

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For Norwegian whalers, Norsk Telefunken Radioaktieselskap last week turned up a neat new wrinkle: a battery-powered radio transmitter sealed in a steel drum attached to a lance which is hooked to the floating carcass after a whale has been killed by harpooners in small boats. It will broadcast on the 600-to-800-metre band an automatically recurring signal so that a mother ship with a direction-finding receiver can track down and recover the catch. Since few household radio receivers tune much higher than 560 metres, the chances of an ordinary radio listener tuning in a dead whale will be slight.

This week, weather permitting, the U. S. Bureau of Lighthouses planned to test a set of similar radio buoys in Boston Harbor as channel markers for harbor pilots steering through fog.