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  #1  
Old 16-07-17, 18:51
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Default 19-Set Wooden Transit Chest

This interesting item has just popped up on eBay under the following Item Number:

182670371687

Back in the late 1970's or early 1980's I had a look at one of these for sale in North Winnipeg. It had a complete 19-Set Mk III Cdn inside, with a Control Box on the left and a Satchel Signals tucked in at the right hand side full of all the usual bits. The owner was asking $150.00 for it, which at the time I thought was way too high for the market, so I passed on it.

What intrigued me about it at the time was the construction of the chest, which had fittings like a Bren Gun Chest, how the front panel swung down to form a desk and that everything was there ready to go if you hooked a battery or chorehorse up to the set. It didn't strike me at the time as being a standard 19-Set shipping item, but more of a specialized, ready to go, self contained kit. I had no real idea what sort of specialized situations it had been intended for, and had quite forgotten about it until seeing this advert this morning.

Anyone know how they were used? Was it a kit used by all Commonwealth forces? Are there more than just Canadian made units out there?

David
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  #2  
Old 16-07-17, 19:06
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is offline
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They were purely an Italian invention, after the allies re-equipped the Italian army with the Ws19 in 1944. It's a mixture of the AFV and the truck & ground station kit in a wooden box: the set is on Carrier No.1 but fitted with the variometer seating plate No.4 for the truck & round station (usually seen on Carrier No.3) and the aerial rod exits through the hole in the top of the box.

There is a mention of it in Wireless for the Warrior Volume 2, and the kit stayed in service until sometime in the 1960s.

I've only ever seen Canadian Mk.3 sets used in those boxes, some of the later conversions were re-lettered in Italian.

Chris.
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  #3  
Old 16-07-17, 19:53
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Some 20-25 years ago, I helped to unload a (few) container load(s) of WS19 sets in transit chests. I don't know a lot about radio's but they looked like complete sets, ready to use as you describe. They came from Greece and were imported to Holland by a dealer. Back then Gerard Deibel was the specialist working on these sets, I guess he's able to recall what they were exactly.

Back then, I saw so many 19 sets that I lost interest....
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  #4  
Old 16-07-17, 22:20
Bruce MacMillan Bruce MacMillan is offline
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A number of years ago there was a fellow in either Belgium or N.L. that was selling about 6 to 8 containers of radio gear. This included US as well as WS19 stuff. I received the inventory list from him and there were about 120 19 sets. They were in this style of box and I think they were Italian but were demilled with a hammer.

Looking at the ebay ad the meter bezel has been broken and there are no photos of the interior. Caveat Emptor!
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  #5  
Old 16-07-17, 23:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce MacMillan View Post
A number of years ago there was a fellow in either Belgium or N.L. that was selling about 6 to 8 containers of radio gear. This included US as well as WS19 stuff. I received the inventory list from him and there were about 120 19 sets. They were in this style of box and I think they were Italian but were demilled with a hammer.
Bruce,

We're talking about the same shipment of radio gear. It was brought in by the Scorpios company in Beuningen, The Netherlands. It was run by father & son Schneider. They also brought in approx. 80 Jeeps from Greece, plus a few dozen GMCs, Dodges, M8 Armoured and Marmon-Herrington Recce Cars.

I recall a Vickers HMG was uncovered in one of the containers, this was thrown in as a gift from the surplus dealer in Greece. That live HMG without any paperwork was an unpleasant surprise for HM Customs and it gave the recipient a few headaches, but in the end the HMG was demilled and all was sorted officially.

HTH,
Hanno

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  #6  
Old 17-07-17, 01:25
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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On thinking more about these wooden 19-Set Transit Boxes, I think I may have run across a photograph somewhere on the web a time back of a large number of these items stacked up in a warehouse. Some had the fronts open but most were closed. At the time I thought they were probably British and assumed that explained how one had shown up here in Winnipeg.

I think a company called Sabre Industries had been a huge military surplus dealer in town back then and they had been big players in surplus wireless equipment, so figured they were the local source.

I now see why a lot of 19-Set surplus keeps popping up out of Italy.

David
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  #7  
Old 17-07-17, 12:16
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Not sure if this is of interest to anyone but there is a No19set wooden case on Ebay at the moment Item No 182670371687
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  #8  
Old 17-07-17, 12:30
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Jordan Baker Jordan Baker is offline
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Colin, I believe that was what the original post for this thread was about.
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  #9  
Old 17-07-17, 13:28
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Oops . I guess you can tell I never looked at the whole thread
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  #10  
Old 17-07-17, 15:14
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I figured we should have some pics on here for when the ebay ad runs out.
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  #11  
Old 17-07-17, 15:22
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Tim Bell Tim Bell is offline
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If you're thinking about bidding... get pics of the inside of the set and psu - all around.

A lot of these sets I've seen from Italy looked lovely on the outside... but had been "demilled" by someone with a hammer on the inside.

Tim
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  #12  
Old 17-07-17, 15:56
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bell View Post
If you're thinking about bidding... get pics of the inside of the set and psu - all around.

A lot of these sets I've seen from Italy looked lovely on the outside... but had been "demilled" by someone with a hammer on the inside.
Good point: of the ones which went through my hands years ago only relatively few were repairbale; the demilling had been a crude but pretty effective job. As there were so many, sets could be made by combining all the parts into working ones, but still spares needed to be sourced to complete the job. The ones which were smashed beyond repair were scrapped....

Contact Gerard Deibel (see above) for expertise, services and spares. He is the go-to guy when it comes down to radios.

HTH,
Hanno
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  #13  
Old 17-07-17, 16:03
tankbarrell tankbarrell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bell View Post
If you're thinking about bidding... get pics of the inside of the set and psu - all around.

A lot of these sets I've seen from Italy looked lovely on the outside... but had been "demilled" by someone with a hammer on the inside.
It's only the box, the 19 set is not included.
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  #14  
Old 17-07-17, 17:00
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Default Chest hardware

The hardware is close, but not the same, as the WW2 No.15 sniper rifle chest and CNo.7 .22 rifle transit chest. The steel strapping on the hasp is lighter gauge than the previous, and this is more evident where the material loops around the hinge pin and is riveted underneath. The rotating keepers are also strapping bent around the vertical pivot.

On the other examples, the material is thicker and the keepers are small castings. Interesting from a manufacturing technique and production control point of view. The pieces meet the function test by using other materials. Likely cheaper too. I suspect the industrial capacity for the original style of hardware was busy making something else had a higher priority. The boxes still needed fittings, and a less-well-equipped business got the contract, with sufficient easements to the specifications.
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  #15  
Old 17-07-17, 17:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankbarrell View Post
It's only the box, the 19 set is not included.
Explains the lack of internal set and PSU photos here - I did not look at the epay page sufficiently.

The warning about ex-Italian sets is still valid... large numbers of them have been smashed inside.

Tim
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  #16  
Old 24-07-17, 00:24
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bell View Post
Explains the lack of internal set and PSU photos here - I did not look at the epay page sufficiently.

The warning about ex-Italian sets is still valid... large numbers of them have been smashed inside.

Tim
I suspect this is why the current (and ridiculously overpriced) WS19 parts on eBay have been almost completely dismantled - e.g. the 'Plate, Seating, No.4 for putting a variometer on the side of the supply unit has been advertised as three lots: the metalwork, the two paxolin plates (etc.) that make up the aerial mounting, and the packing piece.

I did look at some of the sets that turned up at Beltring one year, the fact that the meters had been driven through the front panel with a hammer was a bad sign, but opening them up was even worse: smashed tuning capacitors, and holes in the chassis that appeared to have been made with a pickaxe.

As for the "set in a box" construction, my guess is that it was an attempt to build the maximum number of usable sets with what was currently 'on hand' and with a minimum of extra parts shipped in. So you got the "Set and Standard Kit" with Carrier No.1 (designed for a vehicle fit) bolted into a crate and a large order for control unit No.3(A or B), the Plate, Seating No.4 to fit the variometer and provide an aerial base, suitable 12-way cable to control unit, and other bits from the Truck & Ground station as required. All put together in field workshops to begin with, from available spares.

Chris.
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