Kinnaber lies in north east Angus, approximately two miles (3 km) north of Montrose. It lies east of the A92, between the road and sea, and south of the River North Esk.
RAF Montrose radio installations
The area of Kinnaber Links was the site of a number of radio installations related to RAF Montrose which lay to the south. RAF aerial photography dating from 1941 and 1946 shows three installations, with the earlier sites being attributed to remote and reserve radio beacons, both of which lay within fenced compounds, with cable trenches visible between the the buildings and equipment installed there.
The later photographs are attributed to the site of a Y-Station, described as having a central building with four medium frequency masts, all located within a square boundary fence.
Y, Z, RFP and TINA
The letter Y was used to refer to the intercept of wireless transmissions. The reason for its choice is unknown, however it appears to have been used to describe the activity by all the Allied Forces during World War II, particularly in the early years of wireless intercept.
The letter Z was used to refer to the study of enemy HF wireless transmissions by RFP (radio finger printing), a means of identifying wireless transmitters by the characteristics of the signal emitted. TINA was the name given to the equipment used, and was developed by the British Admiralty.
Through the use of TINA, experienced operators could identify enemy wireless operators by the unique characteristic rhythms in their individual Morse transmissions. Under favourable conditions, through a combination of RFP analysis and other sources of intelligence, one could state what type of vessel originated a W/T (wireless telegraghy) signal and often the exact identity of the vessel. In such a case, enemy ships could be effectively tracked. The potential of TINA was limited and its usefulness was chiefly an aid to tracking. It was permissible in most cases to state that since two transmissions were made within a certain time interval by the same operator, that they originated from the same vessel, but two transmissions made by different operators were originated by two different vessels did not necessarily hold.
TINA does not appear to be an acronym, or at least is not defined in any listing. The following definition appeared in a larger listing of (Commander In Chief) COMINCH Admiralty Terminology:
TINA: Op-20-G maintained oscillograph readings of German transmissions known as TINA. Individual radio operators touched the Morse key differently when transmitting. Op-20-G analysts could usually identify an enemy vessel by using TINA to fingerprint and track individual radio operators.
Kinnaber Relay Station
Located on the area of Kinnaber Links. Said to comprise of buildings formerly belonging to RAF Montrose which lay a short distance to the south, a small fenced compound lies in a clearing to the south of the River North Esk, between the A92 road and the sea. This is described as the site of a US Microwave Relay Station, associated with the monitoring station at RAF Edzell, a few miles to the north west. As with similar sites, such as Inverbervie, this would have been operated and maintained by US Navy personnel until the station closed in 1977, after which it would have returned to British control. This relay station is said to have been returned in January 1993.
It is likely that Kinnaber and other relay stations had more to do with the US Navy radio stations at Thurso, Forss, and Londonderry than with the monitoring facility (for the US Navy and others) at RAF Edzell.
Note that being associated with does not imply that the station part in Edzell's core activities, and could simply apply to staff, connectivity, and operation.
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