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 Post subject: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 7:44 pm 
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Location: Marquette MI
Hi Gang

A year or so back, I acquired a WWII military surplus "Wireless Set 19, Mk II" at a swap, and am finally getting around to working on it. It appears to be complete and unmodified, in fair condition, and seems to have a small "cult following".

Research indicates that it was built by the Pye Company (in Canada I think) and designed to be used for CW, MCW, or AM communications between armored vehicles. It consists of an HF transceiver (2 to 8 mHz), a VHF transceiver (about 400 mHz) and an intercom unit. I do not have the power supply or control box. You might note that the controls are in English and Crylic (not sure that is spelled right) so as to be used by the Russians as part of the "Lend-Lease" program.

I powered up the HF transceiver and found that the receiver works but lacks sensitivity, and the transmitter works fine on CW. I have not tried the MCW or "Radio-telephone" (AM) modes. I will do some troubleshooting on the receiver soon.

I was hoping that some of you might be familiar with this set and have a source or "workaround" for the odd-ball power and output plugs. They are simply listed as "Pye plugs" or something similar in the parts list. I really hate to modify old equipment, even when it has little value. So far I have used alligator clips to make the connections, but would like to find a better solution. The pins in the connectors are an odd size and female pins from miniature tube sockets are too small and pins from an octal socket are too large.

I would also like to find a connector for the antenna jack, so as to make an adapter to use a PL 249.

Also, I am not sure what type of microphone to use if I wish to use the AM modulator. It seems that most of the WWII rigs used carbon mikes, but the manual does not address this. Any one know?

Anyway, thanks for reading and please stay safe.

73, Dave


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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Wed 18, 2020 8:24 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 4:10 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Monterey California USA
As it sits you need a control box to plug the microphone into. The mike is normally a dynamic type. The connectors are unique to the set and were an example of "how can we make this as cheaply as possible?" The are cotter pins pushed through holes in a phenolic disc. Much of this set was designed by Pye to be as cheap as possible. They were made in North America by RCA and Philco and others...I think Zenith too?

I got my connectors on eBay before the re-enactors and military vehicle people started driving WS 19 Set parts prices through the roof. There are several good websites on the WS # 19, and several forums and E-mail reflectors about them. Unfortunately the Groups IO and the mailing lists lately seem to have very little actually about the 19 Set and instead have endless message streams about things like the true history of the BNC connector or whether Spam tasted better during the war on crackers or toast.

A major aggravation for me with these sets is that even the ones made in the USA and Canada have hardware in British BA thread. This means that lost screws will not be replaced with SAE or Metric items from the hardware store, The next aggravation is that they weigh so much. After that, probably that the key is inserted to put the rig on transmit in CW mode and pulled out to revert to receive. Ugh. And unless you have the original insulated key, you can get a nice wallop from B+ level voltage on the key.

If you don't have the cylindrical antenna variometer, your meter won't work regarding power out and spurious emissions may be worse.

Other than that, it is a neat radio and one of the first true "transceivers" to be designed. Despite being seen all over the world, the end users of these generally hated them. Particularly the Russians.

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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 6:59 am 
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Which interesting, front panel looks to wren in Russian also.

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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 3:26 pm 
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I had one once but never did anything with it. It was right out of the crate. Had the power inverter, and the radio connected together and on shock mounts. I don't remember what I payed but it was not very much. IT sat in a storage shed until it was donated to a mil collector. You could go in that shed with no lights on and all that radium? on the front panel markings was bright and shiny.

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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 4:58 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
I had a dynamotor from one. That just popped into my.mind, andI have no idea how I got it or why I took it, since I had no use for it.

They were not scarce, every catalog had them. Someone in high school had one, though no license until much later.


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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 5:18 pm 
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Location: Marquette MI
Thanks for the input guys.

I agree that the radio is not worth much but should be fun to play with, and time is the one thing I seem to have lots of right now. I looked at some of the sites mentioned and found them to be interesting and informative. There seems to be quite a few of these still around.

I guess I will have to stick with the alligator clips for power input and maybe build some adapters to get the audio out, the mike audio in, and the antenna system connected. I don't think that this radio will become a "mainstay" in my shack, but as I said, it should be fun to play with.

I think my shack "antenna tuner" will provide a decent match and keep the harmonics at bay, however a little snooping with the spectrum analyzer will be in order to keep the FCC off my back.

Thanks again for the help and please stay well. This craziness cannot last forever.

73 Dave

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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 5:42 pm 
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The radio sells for $200 to $300.

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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Thu 19, 2020 8:41 pm 
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Location: LONG ISLAND NY
just pull out remove the vhf set and in its space put in your own power supply should be an easy thing too do greg


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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Fri 20, 2020 1:56 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3618
Location: Monterey California USA
Yes, take a look at what they sell for on eBay. If you ever want to sell it, I suggest leaving it intact and not taking out the B set (VHF) because that will ruin the value. I had a junk incomplete set that I did strip the remains of the B set from and put an AC power supply in its place. But I knew it already had no value to military vehicle people or re-enactors anyway.

Most of these in the USA were new in the crate at the end of the war and had never been shipped as lend lease to Russia. Over the years all the stuff that was in the crate usually got lost and what you are left with today is the radio and maybe the power supply and variometer.

The RF connectors are called PYE connectors and are more or less unknown in this country. There was a right angle adapter to UHF female (SO-239) but I haven't seen one in 30+ years and they are uncommon.

During the golden age of surplus (1947-60) these were some of the first radios to hit the market but they never were popular in the USA. At least not compared to Command Sets or the BC-348. Not sure why.

If I could not find connectors I would use Molex female pins covered with heat shrink and use those, a little less likely to fall off than alligator clips.

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 Post subject: Re: A long shot, I admit
PostPosted: Nov Tue 24, 2020 4:09 am 
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Joined: Jul Fri 21, 2017 9:58 pm
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Location: Erie, Pa.
wa8dof wrote:
Hi Gang

A year or so back, I acquired a WWII military surplus "Wireless Set 19, Mk II" at a swap, and am finally getting around to working on it. It appears to be complete and unmodified, in fair condition, and seems to have a small "cult following".

Research indicates that it was built by the Pye Company (in Canada I think) and designed to be used for CW, MCW, or AM communications between armored vehicles. It consists of an HF transceiver (2 to 8 mHz), a VHF transceiver (about 400 mHz) and an intercom unit. I do not have the power supply or control box. You might note that the controls are in English and Crylic (not sure that is spelled right) so as to be used by the Russians as part of the "Lend-Lease" program.

I powered up the HF transceiver and found that the receiver works but lacks sensitivity, and the transmitter works fine on CW. I have not tried the MCW or "Radio-telephone" (AM) modes. I will do some troubleshooting on the receiver soon.

I was hoping that some of you might be familiar with this set and have a source or "workaround" for the odd-ball power and output plugs. They are simply listed as "Pye plugs" or something similar in the parts list. I really hate to modify old equipment, even when it has little value. So far I have used alligator clips to make the connections, but would like to find a better solution. The pins in the connectors are an odd size and female pins from miniature tube sockets are too small and pins from an octal socket are too large.

I would also like to find a connector for the antenna jack, so as to make an adapter to use a PL 249.

Also, I am not sure what type of microphone to use if I wish to use the AM modulator. It seems that most of the WWII rigs used carbon mikes, but the manual does not address this. Any one know?

Anyway, thanks for reading and please stay safe.

73, Dave


Jaw dropping sweet radio!

Congrats on your find!

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