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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 28th Nov 2019, 11:35 pm   #1
m0cemdave
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Default What's this radio?

Some people may remember the story of the Baker Street Bank Robbery, in which a nearby SWL picked up the perpetrators' radio comms but had trouble convincing the police that they should investigate. Article here:

https://flashbak.com/the-extraordina...n-1971-419724/

The second picture on the page is of Mr Rowlands and his radios.
The AR88 is obvious, but can anyone identify the set in the foreground? I have never seen one before.

(Don't look at the rest of the flashbak site, you will get sucked in and be there for hours...)
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 6:30 am   #2
WB6NVH-GEOFF
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Telefunken E103 aw methinks...
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 10:28 am   #3
G3VKM_Roger
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Yes, that's an E103 all right.

Given that the listener was trying to tune in Radio Luxembourg and accidentally overheard the robbers I wonder what band they were using? RL was on 208 metres as anyone in the UK will recall if they're over 60 So, any idea what radios and/or frequencies the bad guys were using? Surely not Top Band, which starts just above 208m or did RL have some SW frequencies?

Oh, and there looks to be another radio underneath the AR88 but I can't make it out, although the front has a vague shape of a Sailor marine (RT-144?) VHF transceiver.

Cheers

Roger

Last edited by G3VKM_Roger; 29th Nov 2019 at 10:31 am. Reason: Add
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 11:50 am   #4
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Default Re: What's this radio?

A later of picture of Mr.Rowlands
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 1:12 pm   #5
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Radio Luxembourg had an outlet on what they called "49.26 metres" so it could have been in that area.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 1:47 pm   #6
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Default Re: What's this radio?

One thing I didn't understand is that I thought walkie-talkies would have been VHF at that time (1971). Just an assumption.

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Old 29th Nov 2019, 2:44 pm   #7
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Default Re: What's this radio?

WS38 might meet the requirement and was likely available as surplus. Otherwise "dodgy" walkie talkies could have been illicit 27MHz CB sets.

Of course "trying to get radio Luxembourg" may just have been a plausible excuse for tuning round for anything interesting. The article referenced refers to the police getting antsy about the guy listening to unlicensed transmissions.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 3:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: What's this radio?

I seem to remember that handhelds operating in the 27 MHz American CB Band (sic) were used. They were widely advertised in American magazines at the time and some got imported. I can remember listening to children using then.

The listener actually recorded the robber's conversation and excerpts were played on TV and Radio at the time.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 3:07 pm   #9
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Default Re: What's this radio?

He did break the WT Act by recording them then!
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 3:30 pm   #10
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
WS38 might meet the requirement and was likely available as surplus. Otherwise "dodgy" walkie talkies could have been illicit 27MHz CB sets.

Of course "trying to get radio Luxembourg" may just have been a plausible excuse for tuning round for anything interesting. The article referenced refers to the police getting antsy about the guy listening to unlicensed transmissions.
Yes 27MHz sets sounds plausible Chris (and Graham), I was trying to get my head around AR-88s and VHF, the VHF I assumed would be over 100 MHz.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 4:39 pm   #11
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Default Re: What's this radio?

The trailer to the movie "The Bank Job" - which is based on this story - is here:

https://youtu.be/zNpkdIR-zUw

and there are several shots of walkie-talkies being used at around 1:20 - though whether these are in any way authentic or just movie-props they happened to have to hand is anyone's guess.

Another still from the movie is here: http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location.php?loc=1217
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 5:22 pm   #12
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_G4MDC View Post
He did break the WT Act by recording them then!
Growing up in one of the colonies our radio act was probably similar to the UK one. It was not illegal to listen or record signals from the airwaves. You broke the law if you revealed the content to anyone else. In this case could he have been charged with withholding evidence if he didn't inform the police?
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 6:12 pm   #13
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Seems unlikely given that [a] He was informing the Police not the the Press but you never know [There's "common sense" logic and the law-they don't always coincide despite expectations, as was perhaps demonstrated in court yesterday?] [b] The article states he had difficulty in interesting them anyway. Then they visited the scene of the [ongoing] crime and went away again. Given they were taunted by the criminals, it's much more likely that they took out out their own embarrassment/annoyance on the only person who DID know what was happening. If he'd NOT not told them they wouldn't have failed to investigate and escaped any suggestion of incompetence!

My question would be-why is that E103 so big? Is it to do with the anticipated usage eg in a seagoing environment?

Dave W

Last edited by dave walsh; 29th Nov 2019 at 6:20 pm.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 9:33 pm   #14
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Default Re: What's this radio?

There was a similar case in the 1980s when a licenced amateur overheard a robbery in
progress on 27/81 FM CB and this lead to arrests.

Later the DTI tried to prosecute the ham on the basis that the amateur licence did not
permit listening to CB, I believe the case was thrown out.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 11:51 pm   #15
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Thanks for the identification.

I'm sure there were reports at the time that the intercepted transmissions were from 27MHz AM walkie-talkies.
They were commonly available from various mail-order outlets, usually with disclaimers stating "not to be used in the UK" - yeah, right! Oddly it was quite legal to buy and sell them, but not to install or to use. Popular with kids, and a usable range of 100 yards or more depending on terrain.

The "Luxembourg" claim was probably a red herring.

Last edited by m0cemdave; 30th Nov 2019 at 12:05 am.
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Old 30th Nov 2019, 8:30 am   #16
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Restoration73 View Post
There was a similar case in the 1980s when a licenced amateur overheard a robbery in
progress on 27/81 FM CB and this lead to arrests.

Later the DTI tried to prosecute the ham on the basis that the amateur licence did not
permit listening to CB, I believe the case was thrown out.
Veering a bit off-topic but wasn't there a similar legal farce over radio amateurs working ships in distress during the great storm of 1953 when official stations like Humber Radio had been disabled?

Cheers

Roger
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Old 1st Dec 2019, 11:35 am   #17
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Default Re: What's this radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
My question would be-why is that E103 so big? Is it to do with the anticipated usage eg in a seagoing environment?
I think there's a bit of perspective distortion coming in to play in the picture, but they are big radios with a wider panel than the 483mm (19") standard and Telefunkens generally are sturdily constructed and well-screened making them necessarily bulky. The E103 has a chunky 7-band turret and stands out in being a Rimlock-equipped comms receiver, a relatively narrow historical window.
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