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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 9th Nov 2023, 11:55 am   #21
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

Don't throw that plug away!

It's a Bulgin mains lead connector as used on an awful lot of British hifi, guitar amps etc etc. They seem to be in shorter supply than the things needing them, with the inevitable effect on prices.

If your PCR was modified in the UK with an internal power supply, this is very likely to have been the AC mains input. If you unscrew the cap on that connector and look at the bakelite near each of the connection posts, you'll see the letters "L" "N" and "E" meaning live, neutral and earth.

They aren't allowed on new equipment. The live terminals can be exposed without the need for a tool. The live bits at the end are recessed, but not far enough, and the earth isn't made longer to make first and break last if plugged/unplugged hot.

It's easy to slag off the 1960's amateur radio gang for modding PCRs but they were desperate for any receiver they could get on the shortwave bands, and if they hadn't bought them they they'd have all been dumped in landfill or melted down for scrap.

PCRs were low on the desirability tree and therefore cheap. It depended on how good your pocket money was when I was a kid what sort of set you could afford. 19 sets were fairly cheap and thir VFF 'B" sets got chucked to clear space for an audio amp. R1155s cost a bit more and the D/F section got dumped fr the same reason. BC348 were seen as quite good. HROs and AR88 were the royalty of the bunch. The navy had moved in the 1950s onto the Murphy B40, and the RA17 was about to appear. To government eyes, the old single conversion sets were fast becoming obsolete.

David
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 11:58 am   #22
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

I'd better point out that Chris Jones has no family connection (irresistible pun) to the Jones connector, and so his advice here is impartial.

David
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 1:59 pm   #23
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

The original power connector between the PCR and its power supply was similar if not identical to the one used to connect headphones to a 19 set control box. This was a bulky rubber covered connector originally designed, I believe, to allow rapid disconnection. IE when your tank “bought it” and you needed to get out - fast! The connectors were on a short stub lead, again the same as on a 19 set control box. A male and female should be fairly easy to obtain since the 19 set was so common over here but whether you would want to sacrifice kit just to obtain the connectors….

One of the first items I bought from Superadio in Liverpool was the 12V power supply for a PCR. It was over 15 years before I found a PCR to go with it!

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Old 9th Nov 2023, 3:02 pm   #24
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

A 19 set control box with the leads I mentioned above….
Peter
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 4:11 pm   #25
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

The "PCR Receiver" thread by Bill Knox [10/5/17] shows an original PSU. I'm pretty sure that I have a set plus that PSU in the North. I think I bought it at an Oldham Rally Bring and Buy, a couple of decades ago at least. It caught my eye immediately as I'd never seen a Power Supply Unit before and it was attached to the PCR radio on the left to form one item. Articles about converting these sets [in PW etc] always included an "on board" Power Supply addition so I think I'd assumed the power came from some other piece of equipment in service!
The sellers name and address was on the label so I wrote asking about it's origin. He said it was in the workshop he took over so he had no info about it's origin. I think I paid £20

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Old 9th Nov 2023, 5:29 pm   #26
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
In the event they weren't widely deployed and many thousands were sold off in unused condition.
Several decades and two or three generations on, it's somewhat more apparent that WW2 wasn't always as slick and efficient an operation as the earlier films and war comics liked to presume, and there was a lot of wasted production effort on misconceived ideas. I gather that, like the PCR, many thousands of the US-built Scott "morale" receivers were flogged off unused in the post-war years. The Scott RCH here is as big and heavy as an AR88, probably has double the number of fasteners and brackets (RCA clearly had greater savvy in thrifting and general production engineering elegance), yet is a mere 1 RF, 2 IF set like the PCR. Someone had not only robbed it of 115V-only mains transformer, 500-ohm output audio output transformer and both 12H and 32H smoothing chokes, they had also cut through the lovely neat linen-wrapped wiring loom at its thickest point, severing some 16 single wires and 5 screened cores (that seemed a particularly petty piece of dog-in-a-manger vandalism, I can't imagine that a '30's technology LF/HF radio had any secrets that Mr. Dzhugashvili was itching to get his hands on post-war). I expect that both the PCR and the Scott receivers seemed like a nice idea to a government committee at some point, but those in the field probably had enough other heavy boxes and general clobber to lug around within sight of the enemy to fret about having a nice radio to listen to.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 8:26 pm   #27
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

The 'historic' rubber-cables-with-snatch-plugs as used on the original PCR power-supply and the likes of the WS19 are all now suffering rubber perishment after 70+ years, so it would be folly to try and re-fit a PCR with such.

The plug on your PCR is a Bulgin, as noted. I would imagine that this once mated with an external power suppy producing 6.3 or 12,6V at a couple of amps and 250-300V at around 60mA.

If you want to get your PCR working again, reliably, you need to source such voltages externally - and then go through the radio evicting the 70-year-old wax capacitors! Just because it's in a metal can with ruber bungs in the ends doesn't mean it's not a waxed-paper capacitor inside.

Stuff built in WWII was done with much corner-cutting and expediency, when you're in a war the idea of longevity is kinda irrelevant... so many of the components were specified on the basis that they would only last a few years.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 9:34 pm   #28
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Default Re: Need a little help with a PCR radio

Here is the mains PSU for the PCR showing the 5 pin power connector, unfortunately not very well. Incidentally the 12V PSU comes in the same sized case.

Peter
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