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Vintage Amateur and Military Radio Amateur/military receivers and transmitters, morse, and any other related vintage comms equipment.

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Old 14th Jun 2017, 7:29 pm   #21
ms660
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/...Page-0017.pdf#

And a little reminder by WW:

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/...Page-0035.pdf#

Lawrence.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 9:05 pm   #22
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

The October 1945 Wireless World has an article " Radar Production - Wartime Triumph of the Industry" that includes an illustration of a Magnetron, but gives no details of it in the text, or even mentions it by name.

The same issue has a notice saying that the Post Office is starting to accept applications for radiating licences from "... amateurs who held Artificial Aerial Licences at the outbreak of the war...", subject to certain conditions being met.

Scans of extracts attached.

I have a recollection of reading that Amateurs were allowed to keep their radio equipment, but had to surrender their transmitting valves for the duration.
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File Type: pdf Amateur TX licence.pdf (1.34 MB, 53 views)
File Type: pdf Magnetron.pdf (1.49 MB, 40 views)

Last edited by emeritus; 14th Jun 2017 at 9:17 pm. Reason: Replacement of incorrectly-posted file
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 9:59 am   #23
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Hi, A few page samples as requested.
Pete
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 12:12 pm   #24
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Thanks Pete.

Interesting to see the TX circuit has suppressor grid mod. I wonder what valve it uses.

I've kept a few big 4 volt valves in the hope of building an early style transmitter one of these days although perhaps not quite as early in style as that in the 'den' depicted in your pics.

Jim
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 1:11 pm   #25
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

The Oct 1945 WW also has an article on the prospects for post-war Amateur Radio, which includes a photo of the impressive pre-war amateur transmitting station of the then-recently elected president of the RSGB, E. L. Gardiner.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 5:51 pm   #26
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

I have something called the Radio Amateur's Vade Mecum.
I am going on memory since away from home.

I seem to recall it was a stop-gap published because WW2 stopped update of RSGB handbook.

Date uncertain until I see it again.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 8:03 pm   #27
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Amateur transmitters were completely banned in WW2 and, as has been mentioned, those licensees who were not called up (ie too young, medically unfit, or in reserved occupations) were recruited into the RSS.

Towards the end of the war there was a secret operation in which a selected few amateurs were issued with new callsigns, see here:
www.g0mwt.org.uk/newsletter/2006/2006-09-nl.pdf
This seems to have been set up to provide a communications channel for possible overtures from Germans seeking an end to the war, although no such contact was actually received.

A group of amateurs who worked at the Hanslope intercept station used to have mock CW QSO's by tuning into each other's HRO local oscillators and keying the aerial connections (the HRO is infamous for LO radiation) and a set of QSL cards for these games is around somewhere...
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 11:04 am   #28
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

I've been following this thread with interest and would like to add a couple of comments.

In the US, all ham activity ceased upon the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prior to PH, there were restrictions on US amateur communications with certain countries, probably the belligerent nations would be at the top of the list.

Large numbers of US amateurs joined the Services and the ARRL talked the government into setting up the Wartime Emergency Radio System, WERS, operated by civilians. This was operational by 1942 and had duties similar to Civil Defence, I believe they used frequencies around their 220Mc band. There is still a modern interest in WERS history, there is a Yahoo group for the topic.
IIRC, there was another WERS-type service that operated by using the power lines as a medium for LF signalling.

I believe amateur radio in Germany persisted for the entire war but the stations were under direct control of the German authorities and may have had a propaganda role. Goering lamented that the Nazis had virtually destroyed the radio clubs in Germany and stifled the amateur spirit as we benefited from in GB and the Empire. Organisations like "The Early Birds" and The Civilian Wireless Reserve are cases in point where GB amateurs "rallied to the flag" at the outbreak of war.

The RSGB Bulletin, as mentioned, was published throughout WW2, although the Shortwave Magazine closed down in Sept 39 and the staff were called up. SWM restarted in 1946. The Bull ran a column called "Khaki & Blue" which kept enlisted amateurs in touch with each other and arranged hospitality and meetings for those far from home.

After WW2 there was a lot of discussion about the future role of amateur radio and the often illegal operations that took place on our bands by amateur still posted abroad with the military who had access to kit they could only have dreamed about in 1939!

I have a file from the National Archive that minutes a discussion by senior Royal Signals personnel of possible "improvements" to the amateur licence to encourage ex-military people to take part in the hobby. One section of the file compares the GB ham very poorly with his US counterpoint, citing the GPO as the main reason that GB hams didn't have much experience with traffic handling or emergency comms, etc. It also called the RSGB Manual "pathetic" C/W the ARRL Handbook!

Hope above adds a little to the discussion.

Roger/G3VKM
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 1:28 pm   #29
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

When Britain declared war on Sept. 1, 1939, Canada was soon to follow. Even though the official declaration for Canada wasn't until Sept. 10th, the gov't moved quickly on amateur radio operators. The Minister responsible issued a letter to all hams on Sept. 5th ordering a cessation of all activities.

Shortly after they were getting invites like this. Notice that one is dated Sept. 7th, 3 days before declaration.
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 11:04 pm   #30
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Here in the U.S. they did shut down all ham activity. I am not sure of the dates though. I can't access my old issues of QST to find it out.

Many ham transmitters, receivers, and parts were "donated" to the war effort. the government put out a call to the hams for equipment and parts., especially panel meters.
I remember reading about one U.S. ham who, in the service, was "reunited" with his own ham transmitter where he was stationed. He was overjoyed when he found his own call on it.

The hams were not totally out of business though. They started using "Carrier Current"- (That's sending messages through the power grid wiring). I am given to understand that was the "in" thing to keep your skills up.

Carrier Current is still used here by the power companies. Very similar to the railroads communicating through the rails. (That's why every section of rail here has a jumper bonded by welding or brazing from it to the next section).
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Old 24th Jun 2017, 10:36 am   #31
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Carrier Current, that is the system I was trying to think of in my earlier post. I have the QST back-numbers on CD for the whole of the WW2 period, a very useful archive.

73

Roger
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Old 4th Jul 2017, 8:44 am   #32
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Ive just re-read an article in an ols MM which states that some amateurs (maybe a handful) of G7 and G9 2 letter calls. The Germans also had a few amateurs allowed to operate and so did the Americans. It didnt take long before the Americans banned there their amateurs from making contact contact with any of the contries involved with the war though.
The German stations were there to work as propaganda stations (i.e. if the nice German amateurs can still chat then they can't be all bad). Mind you, that was pretty much our rationale too.

D
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Old 4th Jul 2017, 3:13 pm   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankB View Post

Carrier Current is still used here by the power companies. ... (That's why every section of rail here has a jumper bonded by welding or brazing from it to the next section).

Hi there, I've noticed we have the same system here on UK tracks. I assumed it was a simple return path for current on tracks with overhead catenary wires or an electrified parallel rail ( I don't know any railways jargon whatever); both of which are used here alongside diesel locomotives. Can you explain the particular meaning of 'Carrier current' please?
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Old 4th Jul 2017, 3:34 pm   #34
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Related, the British success in overcoming the German's 'Knickebein' beam
intersection guidance system for night bombers, depended on deploying VHF sets originally designed for radio amateur use...

These were no less than the Hallifcrafters S27 communications receivers!

The Secret War (Johnson, Brian) tells the story:
'"[Anson Aircraft] ...had been fitted with American Hallicrafters S27 VHF receivers which had originally been designed for radio amateurs but were the only sets available which covered the predicted frequencies [of the Knickebein system - around 30 MHz=10metre band- at that time]. It had been said that an RAF signals officer bought the entire stock from Webbs Radio in Soho - on credit.

The installation of the sets had not been altogether straightforward as they had never been designed to operate in an aircraft and had to be modified to run from 28volts DC...The aircraft had to have VHF aerials fitted and mountings made for the sets. All this work was undertaken practically single-handedly by Flight Lt Alway, an ex-BBC engineer who was to lose his life later in the war."
Square brackets contents are my notes. Pp 27-28, ibid.

This shows that comms receivers were openly on sale in civvy street, suggesting that their use was not restricted, at least up to this point.
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Old 4th Jul 2017, 3:40 pm   #35
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

A Wikipedia article on carrier current https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_current must mean a carrier i.e. low frequency RF over current carrying wires.
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Old 4th Jul 2017, 8:00 pm   #36
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Default Re: WW2 Amateur activity

Hi Gents, carrier current protection was and still is used on overhead HV power lines.
The carrier is typically about 1MHz or less and various signals, both analogue and digital are modulated on to it. Pioneered by Reyrolle and later adopted by most other switchgear manufacturers.
It was the cause of an aircrash (near Geneva I think) 30 or so years ago, when the local HV line used a frequency very close the airport NDB beacon.
The aircraft locked on to the wrong signal and flew into a mountain.

Ed
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Old 5th Jul 2017, 7:38 am   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G4YVM David View Post
Ive just re-read an article in an ols MM which states that some amateurs (maybe a handful) of G7 and G9 2 letter calls. The Germans also had a few amateurs allowed to operate and so did the Americans. It didnt take long before the Americans banned there their amateurs from making contact contact with any of the contries involved with the war though.
The German stations were there to work as propaganda stations (i.e. if the nice German amateurs can still chat then they can't be all bad). Mind you, that was pretty much our rationale too.
I've often wondered where G9BF spent the war, he was such a renegade that SOE would have welcomed him!

73, and remember - short CQ never raised real DX!

Roger/G3VKM

Last edited by G3VKM_Roger; 5th Jul 2017 at 7:39 am. Reason: sp
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Old 5th Jul 2017, 8:19 am   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astral highway View Post
This shows that comms receivers were openly on sale in civvy street, suggesting that their use was not restricted, at least up to this point.
Well that might have been the case were it not for them all having been bought up.

In the early days of WW2 the Y stations were being supplied with HROs purchased by business executives visiting the USA, who were told to do this because the US wasn't wanting to get involved in the war at that time.

The Hallicrafters S-27 was given the designation of R1198 by the Air Ministry, and 9 other models that I know of have AM numbers. Other ham sets were also used by the UK military it seems.
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Old 5th Jul 2017, 8:56 am   #39
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Quote:
Well that might have been the case were it not for them all having been bought up.
I've seen adverts in the RSGB Bulletin from the early war period offering American equipment to the amateur market but IIRC the ads all had a caveat that military needs came first over private customers. In practice, I doubt much equipment went to private buyers, especially after the "Phoney War" ended in May, 1940.

The mention of the Hallicrafters S27 reminds me that the HT-9 HF transmitter was one that saw war service, can't recall the military designation. They were popular sets with amateurs and Hallicrafters planned to produce them here in the UK in 1946 but the price was too high when import duties on parts were added.

73

Roger
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Old 5th Jul 2017, 8:36 pm   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Dinning View Post
Hi Gents, carrier current protection was and still is used on overhead HV power lines.
The carrier is typically about 1MHz or less and various signals, both analogue and digital are modulated on to it.
That is incredibly interesting, thanks, Ed! I might try to intercept one, now that I know. We have lots of overhead power-lines locally. Interesting to lock-on and demodulate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Dinning View Post
It was the cause of an aircrash (near Geneva I think) 30 or so years ago, when the local HV line used a frequency very close the airport NDB beacon.
Woah, that's sad. Was liability ascribed to the power company?
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