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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 10:21 am   #1
ian rose
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Default WW2 communications

Hello all
something I have often thought about;
The apparently accepted spectrum for SW comms was up to 30Mhz.
during WW2 which still seems to be the case. [all comms RX's that I have encountered end their coverage at this point in the spectrum.]
Did either side during that conflict use frequencies a little above 30Mhz
say, 32 - 45 in order to be more certain that they were not monitored by 'the other side'?
I understand, of course, that to go much higher would have presented propagation problems and also that VHF came to be used for aircraft and short distance comms.

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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 12:09 pm   #2
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Default Re: WW2 communications

If I remeber correctly, Dr. R.V.Jones deals with this topic in his excellent book "Most Secret War", where our boffins had to start back-pedalling when it became clear that frequencies around (if I recall correctly 40 MHz) were used by the Germans for their beam target system. Defying what the propagation experts of the day had predicted.
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 5:02 pm   #3
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Hi Ian,

The WS17 used I believe by coastal defences and searchlight batteries
certainly tuned higher, 44 - 64MHz.

Kind regards
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 5:41 pm   #4
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Up to 330MHz for the s-phone and of course 3 and 10GHz for H2S radar. VHF aircraft comms too, I reckon all frequencies were used if possible.
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 5:51 pm   #5
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Default Re: WW2 communications

HI
There was also the No.10 set, 8 channel point to point link using pulse modulation at about 10ghz.
see the Blandford museum.
https://www.royalsignalsmuseum.co.uk...ommunications/
Regards
Ian
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Old 22nd Jul 2020, 5:59 pm   #6
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Default Re: WW2 communications

I don't think long range sky-wave communications was attempted in the low VHF. As said above there was use of low VHF for bombing by the Germans - but this was still effectively line of sight (it just bent a bit more than expected).

But everyone used frequencies right up into the UHF and beyond for various purposes, always for line-of-sight communications which from aircraft could be going a long way. So all frequencies were being scanned!
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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 4:20 pm   #7
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Default Re: WW2 communications

I remember reading something about the Germans using frequencies in the 20-40MHz range for 'tactical' communications between tank-formations etc in the Western Desert. There was no encryption involved - and with the right propagation conditions a German-speaking monitoring-team in the US were able to listen, transcribe and send-back-to-England situation-reports faster than the Germans fed-back info to Berlin.

There was a US 'jeep radio' that used frequencies around 26-30MHz, with a rather nifty pseudo-synthesizer to give lots of crystal-controlled channels. That frequency-range is good for vehicle applications since an 8-foot whip antenna is a nice 1/4-wavelength so loads-up and radiates efficiently. Think of it as a precursor to CB!

There was also the BC-1000 [WS31] working around 40MHz, which really showed the way ahead when compared to things like the WS18 and WS38.
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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 5:24 pm   #8
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Default Re: WW2 communications

It's been mentioned here before that if you'd switched your television set on at the right times in 1941, you might have seen the AP response to the German Y-Gerät bomber navigation system on 45 Mc/s.

This would probably have looked like fine-pitched travelling horizontal bars on the screen, accompanied by silence. Did anybody do this and wonder what secret business the 'government' was up to?

Steve
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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 8:30 pm   #9
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Default Re: WW2 communications

I seem to recall some WS19 sets were fitted with UHF system to communicate Tank to Tank.
I also seem to recall it was not effective and was removed from most of the examples that were sold on the surplus market in the 60`s and 70`s.
Ken G6HZG
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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 9:55 pm   #10
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Default Re: WW2 communications

WS 19 VHF was the 'B' set 229–241 MHz. Apparently it worked up to shouting range, handy with the engine running I suppose.
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Old 23rd Jul 2020, 10:05 pm   #11
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Default Re: WW2 communications

The B set add on has 'B'een covered before. A regenerative circuit [one valve and a coil] fascinatingly simple. Apparently hopeless in action but experimented with separately outside the set by some people post-war. Frankly, if you were one of those brave individuals in a Tank, the B Set was the least of your problems!

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Old 24th Jul 2020, 12:11 am   #12
John KC0G
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Re. post #5, the WS No. 10 set operated on wavelengths of 6.3 and 6.6 cm, ie about 4.55 and 4.76 GHz.

See "The Development of the Wireless Set No. 10: an Early Application of Pulse-Length Modulation" by James, Dix, Cope, Ellis and Anderson, Journal of the IEE, vol 94, part IIIA (Radiocommunication), issue No. 13, 1947, pp 517-528, particularly section 3.2 on p. 522.

See also Wireless World, June 1946, pp 187-192 and September 1946, pp 282-285

73 John
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Old 27th Jul 2020, 1:57 pm   #13
ian rose
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Thank you all.

some very interesting historical info in your responses to my question.
regards to all.
Ian Rose
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Old 28th Jul 2020, 6:26 am   #14
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
I remember reading something about the Germans using frequencies in the 20-40MHz range for 'tactical' communications between tank-formations etc in the Western Desert. There was no encryption involved - and with the right propagation conditions a German-speaking monitoring-team in the US were able to listen, transcribe and send-back-to-England situation-reports faster than the Germans fed-back info to Berlin.

There was a US 'jeep radio' that used frequencies around 26-30MHz, with a rather nifty pseudo-synthesizer to give lots of crystal-controlled channels. That frequency-range is good for vehicle applications since an 8-foot whip antenna is a nice 1/4-wavelength so loads-up and radiates efficiently. Think of it as a precursor to CB!
In the U.S. German tanks were monitored, IIRC at 27 mhz on the East coast.
I still have one of the "Jeep Radios". They were FM Awaiting restoration. Used 1.5 V tubes too for the most part. The Jeep Radio has 2 boxes. 1 battery and 1 for the radio. They latch together. (Took me 20 years to find the battery box to make it "portable"). HTH
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Old 28th Jul 2020, 10:21 pm   #15
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankB View Post

In the U.S. German tanks were monitored, IIRC at 27 mhz on the East coast.
Something I have pondered in the past, is how the outcomes of the war would differ if it took place during a minimum of the solar cycle.
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Old 28th Jul 2020, 11:11 pm   #16
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
There was also the BC-1000 [WS31] working around 40MHz, which really showed the way ahead when compared to things like the WS18 and WS38.
I always thought that the one valve "B" set and the BC-1000 sort of epitomised the difference between British and US approaches to battlefield comms. "Heck, we've just about no resources and hardly any time to do it, let's do something...." vs. "Well, let's see, a tsunami of war bonds and telling the top team to do what's needed to get it right is the way to go!"

My uncle, with BC-1000, serving with UN forces in Korea before being badly burned in a US "friendly fire" napalm strike.
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Old 29th Jul 2020, 1:44 pm   #17
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Default Re: WW2 communications

If you can locate a copy of CQ Magazine for 12th December 1995, there is an interesting article called "CQ Panzer" which talks about long-distance reception of low VHF German tactical radio traffic in North Africa during WW2.

Regards

Roger
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 8:02 pm   #18
its ur aerial
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Default Re: WW2 communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankB View Post

In the U.S. German tanks were monitored, IIRC at 27 mhz on the East coast.
Something I have pondered in the past, is how the outcomes of the war would differ if it took place during a minimum of the solar cycle.
That I think is a very interesting question, and qualifies for some serious investigation and debate .
Ken, G6HZG .
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 10:39 pm   #19
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Default Re: WW2 communications

The Americans started using "Acorn" valves at VHF for some applications. I think they had some "walkie talkies" using some special Acorns with 1.2V heaters for battery use. I think the Acorns date back to about 1933.

B
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