Radio equipment and accessories.

Jul 272013
RU-19 Aircraft Radio Receiving Set

I just received this RU-19 aircraft radio receiving set from an eBay purchase. I plan to mate it up with my Westinghouse GP-7 transmitter. According to this chart of WW2 Navy radio gear, this particular combination would have been used in one of the Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bomber configurations. I’ll also need to obtain an LM-7 frequency meter, DU-1 direction finder and various accessories to complete the set.

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Jun 162013
Code Practice Oscillator

I found this code practice oscillator on eBay, and purchased it out of curiosity. I haven’t seen one like it before. The only markings are “SER NO 1382” engraved on the hinged cover, and a paper instruction label pasted inside the cover. The type of audio connectors used indicate that it was most likely made in the 1950s. It operates on 4 D-cells, with the oscillator potted in a green resin. The potted module appears to contain a piece of perfboard, and looks like it was cast in an ice cube tray. It is marked “CTI P/N AD183”. I haven’t managed to dig out audio accessories and batteries to test it yet… so many projects! :)

Have you seen an oscillator like this one before? Do you know when and where it might have been made? Do you have something interesting that you would like to trade for it?

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May 122013
800 Hz Power for Navy Radios, Part 1

I recently bought a Westinghouse GP-7 transmitter in the swap meet at this year’s annual West Coast Military Radio Collectors Group meeting, held in San Luis Obispo, CA at the beginning of May. This transmitter was made for use in Navy aircraft, and it requires 120 VAC 800 Hz power like other Navy radios of its era. Aircraft commonly use AC power at higher frequencies than our common 60 Hz “wall power” so that their transformers and motors can be lighter. The higher power frequencies allow transformers and motors to use less massive iron cores without magnetic saturation. 400 Hz power is now commonly used in large aircraft that require AC power supplies, but this transmitter was made before 400 Hz power became the standard. Unfortunately, it can’t simply be plugged into 60 Hz power. That would saturate the transformer cores, and then they would release their magic smoke and stop working.

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May 082013
2013 MRCG Event After-Action Report

Last weekend, the 18th annual meeting of the Military Radio Collectors Group was held in San Luis Obispo, California, at Camp San Luis Obispo’s NCO club. The event included equipment displays, presentations, field operations and a swap meet. I had a great time, and nearly every other comment I heard about this year’s meet was positive. I’m already looking forward to next year’s annual meeting, as well as the occasional field events we’ll probably have throughout the year.

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Oct 052010
SRI-M550 Amplified Speaker

I bought this amplified communications speaker at a military surplus swap meet. It’s a nice little powered speaker which is intended for use with manpack radio sets (particularly ones with digital data capabilities). It is powered by a 9V battery which fits in a sealed compartment at the bottom of the unit. It is housed in a rugged aluminum chassis, and has a pair of clips on the back which can be used to hang the speaker from one of the “roll bar” handles which are common on these manpack sets.


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Nov 082007
TBY-4 Transceiver

I bought this TBY-4 transceiver in November, 2007 for the princely sum of $26. I plan to retore it to operation, and I’ll add more information about it here… someday. In the mean time, here are some pictures.

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May 292007
AN/TRC-179 "Regency Net" HF/SSB Transmitter/Receiver

The AN/TRC-179 Force Terminal is part of the “Regency Net” system, which was a radio system fielded in the 1980s. Regency Net was designed to survive the electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) from a nuclear airburst. Thus, its members are a lot more complicated than other radio systems with similar capabilities, with lots of filtering on all electrical inputs and outputs. The set covers 2.0000 to 29.9999 MHz with LSB, USB and data modes. The Regency Net members include a frequency-hopping Electronic Counter-Countermeasures (ECCM) mode. The sets can function in single-channel mode with the ECCM card removed, and they were often deployed this way to non-military users such as FEMA.

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May 242007

Instructions for Installation of Radio Sets AN/GRC-9 or SCR-694-C in Combination with Radio Sets AN/GRC-3 to 8, AN/VRQ-1 to 3, AN/VRC-8 to 10, AN/VRC-16 to 18, AN/PRC-8 to 10, or SCR-619 in Truck, 1/4 Ton, 4×4, Utility, M38 & M38A1 (Warning: 35 meg PDF file!)


Thanks go to Ken Perkins for the scans, and Wes Knettle for passing them along to me.

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May 032006
Chinese Type 102E HF Radio Set

I bought this Chinese HF transmitter/receiver set from seller redstarradio on eBay back around March, 2005. It came as a complete new set including the manuals, spares, tools, test equipment, etc. that would normally be issued with the set, all in original packaging. It was a lot of fun to unpack a brand new complete radio set in pristine condition! The historian in me felt bad about destroying the original packaging, but I just had to play with the radio! I compromised by carefully photographing everything as I unpacked it, paying special attention to packaging methods and markings.

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Nov 232005
S-448 Communications Shelter

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.

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Nov 072005
2005 MRCG Field Exercise

Here are some pictures that I took at my team’s site during the 2005 Military Radio Collector’s Group Field Exercise, on November 5, 2005 near Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California. Bill Feldman N6PY and I set up in a parking lot at Friendship Park, with a nice view overlooking the ocean. We fielded a BC-1306 HF backpack transceiver, a BC-659 10m FM transceiver, and my Chinese Type 102E HF transceiver.

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Mar 242005
SCR-515 (Army) or ABA (Navy) IFF Transceiver

PE-101-C Dynamotor

I bought this PE-101-C dynamotor through eBay in March of 2005, with plans to add it to my junk pile for potential use as a power supply for some future homebrew project. It appears to be unused WW-II surplus. It turned out to be interesting enough that I’d rather use it as part of a proper restoration of the radio system that it belonged to.

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May 082000
2000 MRCG Meeting Highlights

Once again, the annual meeting of the Military Radio Collector’s Group was held at the Camp San Luis Obispo NCO’s club. The meeting was held on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6, 2000. Friday was mostly dedicated to informal activities and display setup, along with some radio operating events and several really fun hidden transmitter hunts using 6m FM military radio gear. Cam Ogan, WA6VVC provided a fancy little hidden transmitter for us to find, and I bet it was funny to watch all of us guys running around with big, green radios and “rug-beater” direction-finding loop antennas! The swap meet, formal presentations, and David Ragsdale’s great barbecue were on Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to cut my visit short due to some engine trouble with my HMMWV, so I missed most of the fun on Saturday this year.

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Sep 071999
TM 11-2300-353-15-2: Instructions for Installing Radio Set     AN/VRC-12 Installation Unit in Truck, 2 1/2-Ton, 6x6, M34, M35,     M135 and M211

This page contains links to scanned images of a 1966 installation manual which describes the “correct” way to install radio set AN/VRC-12 in 2.5-ton 6×6 trucks. Each page was scanned at 150 DPI and saved as a GIF image. This is the complete manual; the original was unbound, and consisted of two double-sided sheets followed by five foldouts, 3-hole punched and stapled together without any cover. The scans were performed by Buzz KD7BZ, and then I touched them up and spliced together the foldouts. Buzz’s scans looked better before I converted them to 2-color images to make the files smaller… :-)

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