Nov 232005
 

I bought this S-448 communications shelter on 11/22/2005 from another military radio and vehicle collector. I plan to use it as my primary radio room at home. It originally housed a Collins AN/TSC-60(V)1 “Communication Central” set. The interior was completely stripped of equipment when the previous owner bought it, and he installed some equipment racks, desks, drawers, etc. He also re-wired it to run from single-phase power instead of three-phase power. The shelter would have originally had a panel on the right side of the door with a whole bunch of connectors and binding posts, but that has been replaced by a blank metal panel. If I need to add any external electrical connections, that would be the obvious place to do it. Some of the ventilation panels leak, but they look like they’ll be fairly easy to repair. Overall, the shelter is in good shape, and it’ll make a really nice radio shack.

The S-448 is sized to be carried in the bed of the M35A2 2.5-ton 6×6 trucks, and other similarly-sized trucks. I haven’t found any manuals for this particular shelter, but I think that it’s very similar to the S-280 communications shelter. When installed in the bed of a truck, it’s generally secured by four steel cables which attach to a pair of tiedown blocks mounted in the centers of the sides of the truck’s bed.

This shelter came with an XM829 Shelter Dolly Set, which converts the shelter into a 4-wheeled trailer. I could not find any documentation for that kind of dolly set, but a search by its NSN at LOGSA returned this technical manual which suggests that it may be very similar to the M689 and M832 Shelter Dolly Sets:

 

TM 9-2330-275-14&P
When they’re not connected to a communications shelter, the two halves of the dolly set can be connected together for transport. There are various models of shelter dolly sets with differing shelter mounting hardware. It’s not always easy to find a shelter that’s equipped with shelter dolly mounting points, and then to find the right kind of shelter dolly. Buying both as a matched set was sure nice. Also, the seller delivered the whole thing to me as part of the deal. He towed it behind his M813 5-ton truck.

Because the front wheels of the shelter dolly are steerable, backing up the dolly is just like backing up a semitrailer with a converter dolly. In other words, its very hard to do because the front and rear ends try to go in different directions, resulting in the drawbar getting jackknifed between the shelter and the truck. The seller managed to back the shelter into my driveway, but it wasn’t easy!

Although I may choose to mount this shelter on one of my trucks someday, I currently expect to use it as a stationary radio shack. I might dismount it from the shelter dolly, or I might leave it on its wheels. I haven’t decided how I’ll set up the interior yet. I’ll probably change most of the wiring, because I’m very particular about that sort of thing. The racks will probably stay. The desks may stay or be replaced by something else, depending on how well they accommodate the equipment that I’ll eventually install.

Here’s a bunch of pictures:

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Here are some later pictures showing the shelter lowered to the ground by the shelter dolly’s hydraulics:

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