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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 26th Jul 2021, 4:08 pm   #1
Big Al...
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Default Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

Does anyone recognise this transceiver made by Plessey, It appears to have a solid brass chassis with fans blowing air through a central matrix for cooling purposes. It is currently waiting for me to scrap it for parts plus the brass. But can anyone tell me where it was used, surely not on board an aircraft!
Regards Big Al
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 4:27 pm   #2
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

Plessey Avionics & Communications is just the name of the firm, they also made ground equipment and ship based stuff. If you can read the frequency range off the synthesiser knobs it'll tell you what service it was for, the photos don't show enough.

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Old 26th Jul 2021, 4:32 pm   #3
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

A quick bit of Google-fu shows:

http://www.commsmuseum.co.uk/transmi..._04/1203_4.htm


and a PDF at http://www.commsmuseum.co.uk/transmi.../pdfs/1203.pdf

There's mention of a 'low magnetic signature' version - presumably for use in aircraft where they are also using magnetometers to detect the magnetic-anomaly created when a submarine or surface-vessel interacts with the Earth's magnetic-field.

That would explain the brass....
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 5:00 pm   #4
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

Thanks for the quick replies and info, I wondered why they would machine it out of brass rather than Aluminium. I could not make out the frequency range but include a few more photo's for you information.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 5:32 pm   #5
G6fylneil
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

The colour and weight suggest it's naval equipment, and navies like their ships to have a low magnetic signature, especially their submarines and minesweepers. They also need stuff to keep on working when something explodes nearby, hence the substantial mechanical construction.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 5:49 pm   #6
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

That's a blast from the past, I used to work on these in the 1980s, used by the Navy and RAF.

Dave
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 5:53 pm   #7
Andrew Sinclair
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

There is a rack of this equipment in the museum at HMS Collingwood (at least until Monday!).
i think it was used in warships for communications to other ships, and also aircraft. UHF was considered to be more secure than HF, as the groundwave range is smaller and skywave propagation is unusual.
Aircraft had much smaller and lighter radios!
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 6:02 pm   #8
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

I've never seen anything rated at 264v AC before.
Will that be 50Hz, or something else?
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 6:31 pm   #9
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Default Re: plessey avionics boat-anchor

Expect all sorts of power arrangements. I had to redo a modular spectrum analyser so that its power supply ran from 275v DC for large US warships.

They really really want to minimise magnetic signature for anything going on a minesweeper. THe ships themselves being GRP (The tupperware navy), and the Napier Deltic engines must have been the biggest problems. They prefer brass to aluminium for seawater corrosion resistance.

The base used to be not far from here.

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Old 26th Jul 2021, 7:07 pm   #10
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Default Re: Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

Off topic (sorry).
What about HMS Collingwood & Monday please?
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 11:08 am   #11
Andrew Sinclair
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Default Re: Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

The main museum at HMS Collingwood is no longer required by the navy. I think the building it currently resides in is to become a tea room for new recruits. The collection has been catalogued over the last few weeks and is being put into storage by the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Movement of the exhibits starts on Monday. All very sad...
I think we need to be careful that this does not go off topic. I think we need a new thread to discuss the museum.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 12:23 pm   #12
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Default Re: Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

Not too far off, boats have anchors! Sorry, temptation got me.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 3:04 pm   #13
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Default Re: Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

Thanks for info
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 3:16 pm   #14
David Simpson
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Default Re: Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

Big Al, rather than scrap a decent vintage military UHF Tranciever, perhaps(as this is, after all, a Radio Repair & Restoration Forum) you might consider flogging it to someone in the "For Sale" section - someone who sees merit in saving such sets. There is also VMARS - whose membership might reveal a keen Plessey collector. VMARS have a Forum site similar to this one.
I had a similar bit of kit - an ex RAF PTR175 which I donated to the Shackleton (WR963) restoration project at Coventry Airport.
There is also the Moravia Aircraft Museum at RAF Kinloss near Forres(now an Army base), which might welcome your set. Likewise, the RAF Montrose Museum. Then there is my Alma Mata - RAF Cosford - which houses a large Aircraft Museum.
By the way, very sad news about HMS Collingwood - - a pox on the MoD, and more pox on them for closing RAF Henlow & threatening to close the Communications Museum housed there.

Regards, David
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 6:07 pm   #15
Big Al...
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Default Re: Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

Hi Dave

I have in the past donated a search receiver to Duxford, as it was used in ww2 for detecting enemy radar frequencies, was rather rare and was of significance to the museum.
The lump I have is in fact a rather small part of a very heavy rack mounted system. it is too heavy for me to lift into the car, in one piece, and no one has expressed an interest in owning it, but if anyone is interested in taking it off my hands as part of a restoration project, feel free to contact me via PM and it could be yours but be aware it is very heavy. I will give it a reprieve from its appointment with the scrap man of 7 days. So all you weightlifting naval restorers please get in touch
Alan
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 6:54 pm   #16
David Simpson
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Default Re: Plessey Avionics boat-anchor.

Right enough Alan, the sheer size of some ex military stuff puts a lot of V/R folk off. 1154/55, its successor - STR18, AR88's & so on.
Maybe an ex Navy "Tiffy" will read this thread & be hit by nostalgia, and take your equipment off your hands.
For a while I was enamoured with big lumps of ex marine AM R/T's (Sailor, Woodsons, etc.), but my arms & my shelving complained too much, so have downsized now that I'm past 3 score years & ten.

Regards, David
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