French Wireless Systems
The French Navy used wireless. The reader should note that this article is based largely on British knowledge of French equipment and practice.
Prior to 1909, the French had a haphazard use of wireless, signaling "en clair", or in plain text. Two French ships moving from Brest to Toulon communicated on a 1,000 foot wave and more feebly on a 1,200 foot wave. Their chatter seemed to indicate surprise and satisfaction with the results. Five character code groups called "Chiffre Z" were observed to be used in 1909 from the Eiffel Tower and by French ships. The protocol employed a "very long preamble."
In April, a large number of new French shore stations came online.
As any service must, the French were noted to use abbreviations and words to help control message traffic.
Word or Sign Meaning PFT Atmospherics very good RTB Reception very good BSR Bon soir BJR Bon jour TSF Wireless Telegraphy OFF Official message SVP Please PZ Reception very good RM Reception bad RN Nothing received RJ Reception weak, usually followed by IMI RV TG Telegram DE (or B) From SB Signals jammed (not by atmospherics) Parasite Atmospherics Brouillage Interference Compartment emission Spark Gap Etincelle Spark Etincelle chantante Musical spark Chiffre (or Chif) Code Attacquer Call Appeller Cloture Finished working
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1909. Wireless Appendix, pp. 55-6.