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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 24th Apr 2021, 9:52 am   #1
Erasmuson
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Default Possible Vintage Radar Set

Hello!

I wonder if anyone can identify the attached pictures? I think it is a radar set, portable because of the handle on the top. There are no markings anywhere that I can see, but the power supply unit is stamped Air Ministry with the usual crown. I therefore suspect that this could be from an aircraft, possibly 1950's?

Any help very gratefully received.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 10:29 am   #2
Julesomega
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Do you know that the PSU was the original for the display unit? For 20+ years after the war ended there were useful items being sold onto the amateur market, including PSUs. Without any AM markings on the display unit we have to assume it was not war surplus, maybe even home-made

Some photos of the power supply might allow identification of the PSU and its intended use. Internal pictures of the display unit would also be valuable
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 11:44 am   #3
Erasmuson
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Thanks Julian - the PSU is down in the container which has most of the vintage
electrical equipment in it. I'll dig it out and post a picture of it.

John
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 1:20 pm   #4
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

I don't recognise that at all, it does look rather home-made.

Andy
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 1:45 pm   #5
Erasmuson
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Thanks Andy, it does a bit....but why would anyone want to build a radar set... I'll try to find out more about it, but sadly Dad has passed..

J
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 2:26 pm   #6
Hartley118
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

It's difficult to do detective work without being able to see any labelling on the controls. Can you see any clue as to control functions?

If it is an early radar display, then the rectangular graticule suggests a simple 'A-scan' picture with an X-Y plot where the target range runs along the X-axis and received 'blip' signal strength on the Y-axis. This was the type of diplay used in the Chain Home radars in WW2.

A-scan was superseded by the more familiar rotating PPI (plan-position indicator) display with a rotating antenna synchronised to a rotating display with range shown realistically along the scan radius and signal strength controlling spot brightness. A circular graticule would then be normal.

Do you have any evidence that we might be looking at an early radar, or is it more likely a home-built oscilloscope, perhaps converted from a military display? Photos of what's in the grey box would no doubt give us some interesting clues.

Martin
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 3:52 pm   #7
Erasmuson
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Thanks Martin. I'll try to open it up a bit more. I found a piece of paper inside the back sliding cover written by my Father

"Trying the plates earthed gives better spot. The green is disconnected. The Power Pack seems to be overloaded. Try straight inputs etc to plates. "...?" do away with separate inputs through switch at rear"

He dated this 25/1/71

I'm afraid it doesn't mean anything to me.....

There is another perspex screen that seems to fit the display.

"Nautical Miles"

Two vertical scales, the one on the left .5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3

The one on the right 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Ref no 10AB/4756

Is any of this helpful?

John
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 4:14 pm   #8
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Tube number?

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Old 24th Apr 2021, 4:23 pm   #9
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Looks too flimsy to be airborne equipment and too small to be much more than an XY display. There is also a suspicious looking coax socket on the back and if the power lead is original it`s not up to normal military standards.

A look inside might be informative.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 4:48 pm   #10
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

10AB/4756 is the Air Ministry Stores Reference of the perspex screen, which belongs on an Indicator Type 6 which this unit isn't, so it has clearly been repurposed. This points to a home-made unit using surplus parts.

Andy
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 5:16 pm   #11
Erasmuson
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Thanks Andy and everyone so far! It's a bit of an enigma.

My Father was a Control Engineer for the South of Scotland Electricity Board at Dewar Place, Edinburgh. He built our first television set from scratch in 1962 - 63 and I remember watching it with my brothers, sitting on the cold lino....

He lost half-a-crown in the back garden in 1967, so he built a metal detector to find it (which was unsuccessful - I found it in the 80's with a commercial detector). He had many projects. His love of classical music led to the purchase of an ex-Army radio, from which he recorded many programmes on his Grundig TK5. He ran an HF aerial from the shed (early man-cave) to the top of the house - 150ft and listened in to many conversations and Russian jamming stations.

I'll obviously try to do a bit more with the current subject, but there really is an awful lot more to show and try to get some identification on.

J
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 7:06 pm   #12
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

It looks to me like a 'rework' of something: the overall style doesn't suggest military/RADAR, more like civilian professional/industrial gear as the basis with subsequent radio-ham-style re-engineering. The front-panel knobs are definitely non-Military, and the lack of screw-down interconnection plugs/sockets or "Pye-plug" coax-connectors reinforces this.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 7:20 pm   #13
turretslug
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

Maybe a low production run/one-off alignment aid based around a VCR97 for the TV/radio industry?
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 7:24 pm   #14
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

The screen has the VCR97 look. If it has the side-contact base, that would be a clincher.

Many homebuilt TVs in the fifties used that tube.

David
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 8:30 pm   #15
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

We need some pictures inside to make more progress!

Andy
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 8:52 pm   #16
Erasmuson
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

I'm on it, chaps!

Hopefully I'll get into it tomorrow.

John
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 1:57 pm   #18
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

There are components there from long after WWII, so it's something made mostly from surplus bits including the case.

In the early 50s various WWII 'indicator units' got made into black-and-green TVs. But there are bits which post-date that era. Few people made homebrew radar sets, so my money's on an oscilloscope.

Unfortunately, while you did close-ups of several areas, the tube base wasn't one of them.

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Old 25th Apr 2021, 2:04 pm   #19
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

OK, that has got one of the Indicator Type 6 family buried within there! There were variants from Type 6 to 6A to 6H and higher, largely identical but with extra functions for a particular purpose.
I would imagine the rebuilt unit is an oscilloscope.
10AB/5861 will be the identity of the bakelite support for the potentiometers, insulating them from chassis.

Andy
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 2:05 pm   #20
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Possible Vintage Radar Set

The tube will be a VCR97, inherited from the Indicator Type 6x.

Andy
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