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Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I got a call from a friend of mine who was doing some renovations in an older home for a fellow. The fellow has just inherited the home and there is a lot to clean up and clean out. My friend noticed this radio set in the attic and asked what the owner wanted done with it. He said to toss it! My friend said he knew someone who would really like it so he gave it to me. I wanted to post this last night but I was so excited that I couldn't sit still long enough to type anything. Yes, the body is old but the kid in me lives on. I'm still excited!!!!

This is a wireless radio set No,. 19 Mk II, these were used in the tanks, universal (bren gun ) carriers and other vehicles in WW II. I won't go on and on about the history as you can check it out on the internet if you are interested. It has decades of grunge on it and I will be kept blissfully busy for many hours just cleaning it. It is amost complete even including the spare parts box, with the parts. I am missing a spare valve box and I hope to find one again. I say "again" as I once owned one but for the life of me I don't remember what I did with it. I hate getting old! I am missing one areal and I need to replace one cable. One of the three head sets is missing a micrtophone. Check out the photos, even the cables are there. I am so excited I can hardly wait to get at the clean up. We have a dinner party to attend this evening so it will have to wait until Sunday. I intend to build a stand to display the cleaned radio and put some mounts on the stand to hold the areal etc. I would like to build the stand to resemble the area where this radio would have been found in the universal carrier (bren gun carrier). I'll post the finished product when it is completed.

The photos are not the best because they were taken in my workshop. When I redesigned the basement I put in two workshops, one for stained glass work and one for working on odds and ends like this. The radio is VERY heavy and that was the reason for the description stating "An old boat anchor finds a new home". I hope you like the photos.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Here is a photo of the box where you would plug in the headsets. Notice the writing is in English and Russian. I think this set may have been made in the U.S.A. as I read that the ones from the States had both languages due to the lend lease policy during the war. I have not taken time to look to see if there are any manufacturer's logos on the radio which may tell me where the main part was made.

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This is one of the three head set assemblies this one complete with the microphone. I think I have a photo of a soldier using this device somewhere in my collection. Once this wireless set is cleaned and properly mounted I will run a couple of photos of the radio in use (if I can locate the photo I'm thinking of).

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This is the spare box showing the spare parts and the morse code key that was inside the box. There is a hole on the front of the radio where the code key can be plugged. The protective rubber has gone a bit gooey but everything seems to be in place.

Edited by Brian Wolfe

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In this shot is a round device called an Aerial Variometer Mk II. It has something to do with getting better reception. There is a gauge at the front of the device that can be turned to tune in a better signal. The aerial that came with the radio is laying on the vairometer.

I hope you liked the photos of my new toy and as soon as I get it up and displayed I'll update this thread.

Thanks for looking.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Hi Rick,

So...perhaps I should have posted this under "Soviet:CCCP:Other Militaria"? :lol:

One of the things I have always found humorous was the term "Lend Lease". Did they not know what war materials were going to be used for and the beating they would take? I know the reason for the term (political) but I still find it funny.

No, no I don't want it back comrade, just throw it away when your done.

As to your comment about the spy ring. There will be a rather robust gentleman coming over to your house this evening to discuss this matter.... :lol:

By the way, did you ever read back in the 1960s that the Soviets were claiming that the Premier of the USSR was not allowed to visit Disney Land because it was in reality a secret missile base? Man I miss the Cold War era, there was some funny claims in the news at times, (some not so funny as well).

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Moose and skvirrel! I am thinking radio came over North Pole, "lent" BACK! :rolleyes:

A little tweaking, you could make the supermarket tabloids with this:

"Undiscovered Soviet Sleeper Cell Found In X, Mounties Failed To Get Third Man." :catjava::cheers:

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We were still using these sets as late as 1961 in Centurions, Land Rovers, Scout cars etc. The Variometer is used to electronically lengthen or shorten the aerial, the external aerial is attached to it. If you take it apart you will see a long coil of wire with a contact that moves along it as you rotate the dial. The WS 19 was an HF AM transceiver and was replaced with the VHF C42. The WS19 sets that we had were not only marked in English and Russian but also in Chinese.

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HI Dave,

That is interesting thanks for the additional information. I have just started reading about these and I hope to clean it up, add a few missing items and display it with my collection. The English and Russian writing I can understand because of the Lend Lease policy but why Chinese? :unsure:

Now that Rick has uncovered our secret spy ring up here in the frozen North I may have to relocate to avoid capture by moose and shvirrel! :lol:

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Brian, there are a couple of reasons that I came up with at that time to explain the Chinese markings. During WW2 lots of equipment was shipped to Chang Kai Shek's troops and in Malaya (and Malaysia) in my time we had locally raised Chinese units. For example in our Gurkha Brigade there was a Mule Pack Company RASC, the 81st, I believe that were all Chinese except for the officers and SNCOs. They carried WS 19 sets on wooden panniers on the mule with the set on one side and a couple of batteries on the other. Much of the terrain in which we had to operate was inaccessible to any type of vehicle so the mules became the vehicles. This was the only way we could keep contact with Regtl and Brigade HQ as the walkie-talkies we had only had a range of about 1 mile.

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Hello Dave,

Oh course. I should have thought of that but I guess I was thinking only about the European theater. :banger: Thanks for the additional history.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Very Nice: :cheers:

SSG Luna, Lorenzo **==

Thanks Lorenzo.

I have a line on some of the missing parts so I hope to have it cleaned and displayed soon.

It would be great to get it working again and from what I've read it is quite possible.

Cheers

Brian

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The range on my set is currently as far as you can shout! :lol:

These were designed for tank to tank communcations though they were fitted into the Universal Carrier (Bren Gun Carrier), armored vehicles and communications trucks etc. The range was, 10 miles (HF), 15 (CW) and 1000 yards (VHF).

I understand from my research the "CW" refers to the morse code transmission. My radio has a morse key in the spare parts box.

Some clubs here in Canada have actually managed trans Atlantic communications with these sets. :speechless1:

In their day they were state of the art.

By the way what was the range of the radios in the tanks you served in?

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Normal range in tanks would be about 10 miles using a 4ft external aerial. These were in sections and additional pieces were added up to 12ft for added range, about 30 - 40mls.

Using horizontal "skywave" antennas we were able to communicate between the highlands of Kota Belud, Borneo with HQ Singapore and the Hong Kong-Kowloon Garrison. These communicates were spotty at best but they did work. Range is greater at nightime and over water. The skywaves were lengths of wire worked out mathematically as to range requirements. Being an HF set the WS 19 constantly carried static referred to as "mush", sounded like bacon frying multiplied 100 times. After several hours of radio watch you couldn't get the sound out of your head. CW stands for Carrier Wave and was used for morse code, a requirement phased out in tanks in 1959 as the new VHF sets were then being introduced. Being in the Far East we were the last to be supplied with VHF in 1962.

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the information.

I would like to get the set up and running but I may not be able to do that as a fellow in the office told me that I would probably require a license to operate an SW unit.

The hardest piece to find will probably be an authentic pocket watch which mounts on the front of the radio. For those who don't know it is that round black disc-shaped object in the front of the larger unit in the earlier pohoto I've posted. The watch fit in the bracket with the stem passing through the top of the bracket. I saw one on the internet (not for sale) with Canadian WD markings on the back. What I wouldn't give for one of those.

Thanks again for the info.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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The watches we had if I remember correctly were made by Jaeger LeCoultre, Switzerland. The QM would only issue them with an officer's signature 'cos if they were "lost" they had to be paid for out of your wages. At that time we still had Natl Servicemen in the Army who were making the equivalent of $2.00 per week and couldn't have paid for them in the 2 yrs they were in!

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The watches we had if I remember correctly were made by Jaeger LeCoultre, Switzerland. The QM would only issue them with an officer's signature 'cos if they were "lost" they had to be paid for out of your wages. At that time we still had Natl Servicemen in the Army who were making the equivalent of $2.00 per week and couldn't have paid for them in the 2 yrs they were in!

Hi Dave,

How would you fit the watch in place? I tried to take the front of the watch holder off thinking that it may be threaded but had no luck. It may just be so dirty that it needs a lot of cleaning. I see that the watch stem protruded through this mount.

Brian

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Brian. try spraying it with WD 40 then try to unscrew it. Some were screw and others just popped of. Most of the ones I dealt with were rubber fitted post war and you just slipped the stem in first then eased the rest in. The rubber acted as a kind of shock absober too. The sets all came with a grille or cage that slipped over the front that protected the face, dials and switches from damage. We used to remove these and use them on top of our Benghazis to cook with!

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