Screw it, I like talking
So as you can see, the RIO pit is subdivided amongst two major screens. The top screen is the Digital Data Display, or DDD. This is a raw representation of what the radar is seeing, and will be mostly comparable to what you see in say, the F-15 (with some major caveats). Neglecting the PD and P Search modes, this screen should display information in a B-Scope. In non doppler modes, expect it to return reflections of clouds, terrain, and everything else.
The console immediately surrounding the DDD are controls for manipulating the radar. The right side is for choosing radar search modes. The RIO has is pick of Pulse and Pulse Doppler Search, Range While Scan, Track While Scan (Manual and Auto), and Pulse and Pulse Doppler STT. Above the DDD are a series of push buttons to select range, options being 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200.
The left side of the console is used manipulate the logic by which the radar filters contacts. The RIO has control of the gain of the radar in (non doppler) pulse modes, and while I’m not 100% sure, it looks like he’s able to manipulate the thresholds for clutter rejection and jamming noise for pulse doppler modes. What is automated (and outright abstracted in FC3) in later radars of the era, your back seater has direct control over in the F-14. Put another way: if you have someone who knows what he’s doing back there, it will be much harder for bandits to hide from you, if you have a rank newbie, your potential for struggle will be much higher.
The lower screen is the Tactical Information Display or TID (colloquially known as the “Fishbowl”). The TID is an aggregated display of what the radar sees in PPI format, with additional information fed in from the Link 4 datalink and other sources. The TID as pictured shows 50 mile scope (each “link” of the dashed line is representative of 20 miles of scope, 2.5 lines = 50 miles). The numbers along the left side show the minimum and maximum altitudes of the current scan zone, as well as the current angle of the radar. The bar of information at the top current (should?) display current aircraft speed and heading. When a radar contact is selected, it will display the contacts aspect, altitude, speed. More or less information, including jamming strobes, dynamic launch zone indication (DLZ), and data link information can be displayed, but this is chosen by the RIO on a panel just below (not shown). Additionally the TID is where feed from the AAX-1 Television Camera Set is shown when that sensor is selected. Contacts can be “bugged” via the TID or the DDD, and they will shown on both displays as selected.
The other notable thing in this shot is the AWG-15 weapons control panel prominently seen on the left side of the cockpit. This is where the RIO manages stores (for jettisoning, etc.), configures fusing for the missile, and launches the AIM-7 or AIM-54. There are also a number of switches pertaining to air to ground weapons (fusing, release quantity, delay, etc.). Until the 90s, this was a vestigial remnant of the original program specification that the Tomcat be AG capable. This functionality was cut in the early 70s due to budgetary constraints, and would not be fully pursued until the end of the cold war. Here’s an F-14A Prototype hauling 14 Mk-82s to make your afternoon.
The more you know…