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  #1  
Old 09-06-16, 20:30
Bruce Parker (RIP) Bruce Parker (RIP) is offline
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Default Wireless of the Week - week 17

Undoubtedly the most iconic wireless set of WW2, the boxy No.18 set fought alongside Commonwealth troops in every theater beginning in 1940 and well into the post war years. It was the culmination of design work to develop a portable man pack radio beginning in 1936.

The 18 set is a short range infantry AM set designed for use between battalion H.Q. and its sub units, and for use of supporting arms co-operating with the infantry. It could be used from cover, on the march or as a mobile station working from vehicles. Operating between 6 to 9 MHz its range was between 2 and 5 miles voice and 4 to 10 miles CW with a 6’ rod aerial, however a number of different aerials including a ground wire could be used with corresponding changes to the set's range. Original Mk.I sets operated voice only however Mk.II and Mk.III sets could transmit voice and CW. 76,000 sets were built by Pye Radio with help from several subcontractors. The Australian No.108 and 208, Canadian No.58 and American No.48 were all developments of the 18 set. Beginning in 1943 a No.68 set was produced that was virtually identical to the No.18 set except for a lower frequency to enhance its range.

This set is a Mk.III version probably dating from 1942. It is housed in a pressed steel case (note the yellow gas detection paint on the upper panel recesses) 17-1/2” tall, 11” wide, 10-1/2“ deep with a web carrying harness and waist belt on the back. The receiver unit was on the top and sender unit on the bottom, both removable for service by removing knurled nuts on the rear of the set. An adjustable aerial socket was on the left side, provision to store aerial ’B’ sections on the sides and back and the set face was protected by a folding canvas cover. A dry ‘battle battery’ providing 3, 12 and 150 volts was carried in the lower section, however a static battery or crank powered ‘Supply Unit No.5’ could also be used. The mic, earphones, CW key, spare valves in a ‘Cases, 4 Valve No.3’ and spare batteries were carried in several Satchels, Signal. The complete set with accessories weighed 32 lbs.

Set controls included a locking dial to tune the receiver and similar locking dials to tune the receiver and aerial. A meter was proved to check voltages and aerial output. Also included was a low power switch for ‘listening watch’ and a netting switch to allow accurate tuning to an incoming netting call. The signaler could operate the set on the march but could not make any adjustments without removing it from his back.
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Last edited by Bruce Parker (RIP); 09-06-16 at 21:59.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-16, 11:31
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Mike Kelly Mike Kelly is offline
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I did have the receiver from one of these . It appeared to be somewhat flimsy in construction and I was not impressed with it . Were these sets considered to be a success ? IMHO The Allies didn't come up with a successful man pack set until the U.S. SCR 300 appeared. The WS18 looks like so many other wartime British radios , everything was crammed on a single chassis , a maintenance nightmare .
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  #3  
Old 11-06-16, 09:00
Bruce MacMillan Bruce MacMillan is offline
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The WS18 was ubique though, used in all theatres of war. Because the xmtr/rcvr are independant units only the faulty unit had to be replaced. This was done by loosening one screw on the back. The SCR300 was a more complicated set.

The WS18 did have it's issues. The WS58 was intended to replace it but never happened. The WS46 came to be the set du jour.

What we also see is the focus of schools of development. The British spent their resources on low freqency HF AM/CW sets. The US also had these sets with the BC611, GRC9, etc. They were quick to move to low band VHF FM.

The SCR300 was friendly in that anyone could talk on it. The WS18 needed someone trained in CW to use that mode. Mind you FM has it's limits as well. It wasn't very good for weak signal work because of the nature of FM & the squelch circuit. Weak signal CW could often get through.

By the end of the war it was clear that infantry sets were moving to FM.
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Old 11-06-16, 11:19
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Default 300

I found this description of the SCR 300

http://www.ww2gyrene.org/equipment_SCR_300.htm
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  #5  
Old 12-06-16, 16:32
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Jon Skagfeld Jon Skagfeld is offline
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Bruce is currently (like right now!) displaying most of the above radio sets in a modular tentage set up along the flight line at Camp Borden as part of the 100th anniversary of both the RCAF and the Signal Corps.

Attendance was very good, however weather was not favourable for some flight demonstrations. Skyhawks got cancelled on Saturday due to high winds (wow, did the winds ever batter our modulars!). And battered it did get when a CF18 screamed directly overhead...ear splitting.

The Signal Corps display was under the auspices of the Hamilton Signals Association, with Bruce providing a display of WW II "portable" manpack radios.

In addition, a variety of vintage Signals equipment was on display. Two chaps were dressed in WWI khaki as Signal Officers, two WLCs,such as Signal Corps DRs would ride, were parked outside the mods. There were heliographs, a UC 10 switchboad hooked up to a TA43/PT with kids could talk back and forth with.

A long time member of MLU as well as OMVA, and Ferret Club, was Frank von Rosenstiel. He was appointed 2 i/c of the exercise and did a commendable job in getting things together. (Maybe he should have been LOG instead of RCEME...OK, it's a joke.)

He arranged for a CUCV MRT, a CUCV Line truck, and a CUCV cargo truck (used for shuttle services) all in support of the display.

Parenthetically, if any of you have served in Borden in the past and visit now, you will be amazed (perhaps dismayed) at the changes.

There must have been millions upon millions of bucks spent to create the new infrastructure. If you are an "ol' timer", guiding yourself around is a lost cause...the old landmarks that you used to know just ain't there!
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  #6  
Old 14-06-16, 01:36
Bruce Parker (RIP) Bruce Parker (RIP) is offline
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Thanks for the event update Jon. I concur about the wind....the modular tent did more flying than the aircraft on Sunday. Here's the 'man-pack' lineup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Skagfeld View Post
Bruce is currently (like right now!) displaying most of the above radio sets in a modular tentage set up along the flight line at Camp Borden as part of the 100th anniversary of both the RCAF and the Signal Corps.

Attendance was very good, however weather was not favourable for some flight demonstrations. Skyhawks got cancelled on Saturday due to high winds (wow, did the winds ever batter our modulars!). And battered it did get when a CF18 screamed directly overhead...ear splitting.

The Signal Corps display was under the auspices of the Hamilton Signals Association, with Bruce providing a display of WW II "portable" manpack radios.

In addition, a variety of vintage Signals equipment was on display. Two chaps were dressed in WWI khaki as Signal Officers, two WLCs,such as Signal Corps DRs would ride, were parked outside the mods. There were heliographs, a UC 10 switchboad hooked up to a TA43/PT with kids could talk back and forth with.

A long time member of MLU as well as OMVA, and Ferret Club, was Frank von Rosenstiel. He was appointed 2 i/c of the exercise and did a commendable job in getting things together. (Maybe he should have been LOG instead of RCEME...OK, it's a joke.)

He arranged for a CUCV MRT, a CUCV Line truck, and a CUCV cargo truck (used for shuttle services) all in support of the display.

Parenthetically, if any of you have served in Borden in the past and visit now, you will be amazed (perhaps dismayed) at the changes.

There must have been millions upon millions of bucks spent to create the new infrastructure. If you are an "ol' timer", guiding yourself around is a lost cause...the old landmarks that you used to know just ain't there!
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  #7  
Old 14-06-16, 02:47
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Default the Wind

I want to thank both Bruce and Jon for coming out to help show Sigs History , we all served with 709 Comm Regt, the wind was nuts , had to get up at 03:30 to make sure our part of the show did not move from the flight line to the RCEME school, we were not able to use spikes at the location due to electrical, gas , water lines in the ground so the trucks became the way to keep everything on the ground , parked the vehicles on top of the mods flaps on the windward side and everything stayed put and we got back on the cots, the Mat Techs will be busy this week fixing or writing off Mod that was damaged all up and down the flight line , very happily no one was injured, we were also using a prototype mod set up off the back of the MSVS, only 6 have been produced , the weather will help with the report and mods needed on the kit,
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Old 17-06-16, 06:23
Russ Gregg Russ Gregg is offline
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The wind also made it a great day to unwittingly get burnt to a crisp. It was nice to meet you Bruce and to see the extensive display of radio equipment you had on display. Also good to see you again Frank. The low point of the show for me was the young lady in uniform at the gate offering me the cheaper seniors ticket. Despite sticking around after the airshow to watch all the armour depart and let traffic dissipate it still took 45 minutes to drive the 12 km home.
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  #9  
Old 20-06-16, 02:41
lynx42 lynx42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ Gregg View Post
it still took 45 minutes to drive the 12 km home.

I had a car like that once. lol.
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  #10  
Old 20-06-16, 14:56
Russ Gregg Russ Gregg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynx42 View Post
I had a car like that once. lol.
Delay was actually due to someone still watching the skies while leaving instead of traffic in front of them. Outside the base gates, but still DoD property on both sides, there was both military and civilian police and fire fighters present, not sure who was actually in charge.
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  #11  
Old 22-06-16, 06:48
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Jon Skagfeld Jon Skagfeld is offline
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I was looking out of the window in my quarters in P198C.

The stream of traffic moving along Dieppe Rd was constant. Head to toe.

Had to wait until about 2000 hrs until I could head out to Timmies.

Damned if I was gonna pay another $12.00 for a meal in Curtis/Vickers Mess. I've had better IMPs.
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