Military Collector Group Post;

                     Backmail #45

:(20 pages) Index: Poor Boy's Collins, The TCS; by Dennis Starks WW-II Vets In "Nam"; TCS & others, by Ed Zeranski MORE TCS; by Lenox Carruth New Comers Questions/Suggestions; Discussion, TCS, PRC-17, PRC-1, BC-222, Jap Stuff, & More. by Hue Miller, & Dennis Starks The Admiral's TCS; by Ed Zeranski TCS Antenna Discussion; Army TCS's; Expanded reason; by Brian Scace TCS TECH TIPS; From Dave Stinson

   Poor Boy's Collins, The TCS; It's Legend Begins. The TCS series of radio equipment is one of those success stories stemming from WW-II that has few rivals, & no equals. It's story begins in 1939 & the first contracts let with Collins by the US Navy, interestingly, the first ART-13(ATZ's), & TBX from GE, were also ordered this same year. The Navy knew something the rest of our countries military didn't! Early examples of the set differ mainly in the coil design used in the IF's, progressing in later years to the more accepted SO-239 type Antenna connections on the last sets built. It's design simplicity, extreme ruggedness, excellent frequency stability, & compact size would all combine to spell it's success for many years to come. It would be used in virtually every military capacity imaginable, & in post war years, continue to serve in both military, civilian, & commercial roles. By the end if it's military career it will have served for more than 20 years, & will have known no equivalent, or rival, either military or commercial. Even though no set's were built after WW-II. War time propaganda by Collins in all the magazines of the time, usually always depicted a PT boat in the background. I suppose they then thought this was the most glamorous role their radio could be serving in, thus best suited to publicize their participation in the war effort. True, the TCS was the preferred radio set for PT boats, & I would suspect that they were all outfitted with them even well after the war. But it's use was not limited to these fine boats. The TCS was used in every war time capacity we can think of, including Armored vehicles, Jeeps, Aircraft, Landing craft, fixed simi fixed shore & field stations, & ships both large & small of every description. Even the Army Signal corps had a stock number for the TCS(still, as of 1953). One of very few Naval radios to be accepted by the Army, though we don't know when, where, or in what capacity they used them. This is very significant, as the technical rivalry, & competition between the Signal Corp, & Navy was VERY intense! For the Army to accept a radio of the Navy's would have been most degrading, & vice versa. It would not be until the Army interred the war in the Pacific, would some cooperation between the services be seen. And then only because of the need for comparability in equipment types. This for two main reasons,#1) the Army had tired up most of the countries manufacturing facilities with their equipment types. #2) & most important, to simplifie the immense supply/logistics problems. Technical Marvel! Years ago, a one time friend of mine, upon seeing my TCS said,"you could always tell when it was one of those things transmitting", "they had the prettiest CW signal on the air"! This one time friend had been an Army Signalman during WW-II in the Pacific. Though many of his war stories turned out later to be bull shit, this one has been collaborated many times. The design of the TCS family is very simple, so simple in fact that for many years I couldn't understand why they had done what they did. For instance, why two 1625's in the RF PA for CW, but only one was used for AM? We all know well, that it's 1625 modulator pair would easily modulate both the output tubes! Why two oscillator circuits? The MO has an oscillator tube & circuit completely separate from the xtal oscillator which has it's own! Conventional equipment of the time simply switched in, or out a couple of parts to change between Xtal or MO service, but using a common circuit. What a waist of parts & space I thought. Boy was I dumb! Several years ago while in a super QSO on 3880, at 04:00 in the morning, my TCS receiver began to waiver. I was frantic, the conditions were perfect, all the best guys were on the air. And they could hear me! I had to get it back up! I jurked open the receiver & started thumping tubes, hit an IF tube & the thing went nuts. What to do now? The needed tube was out in the critter infested, pitch black shed, along with several thousand other ones! It hit me! I pulled the tube from the xtal oscillator swapping it fore the IF tube, what the hell, I wasn't using the xtal osc, rather the MO as usual. It worked & I was back on the air without missing one round. It later dawned on me what had been going on in those brilliant Collins engineers minds! The reason for all those redundant circuits & tube types. Unlike virtually every other piece of electronic equipment built for the military until the advent of the transistor, the TCS did not have a spare parts kit. It was it's own spare parts kit! All it's spare parts were very neatly stored in a place were they could be immediately found, under the most adverse of conditions. Picture yourself in a combat environment, similar to the above story except people are shooting at you, & your boat is bouncing all over the place. The very same thing would take place. If your transmitters PA quit during CW ops, you simply robbed a tube from the modulator. What the hell, it was only needed with phone ops. If it screwed up during AM phone ops, you simply robbed the extra PA tube used only with CW, it could then be swapped to either the PA or modulator. Now we know the reason for two tubes in CW & one in AM! If any other tube in the transmitter failed, it could be replaced by the one in the unused oscillator, now we know why the redundant oscillator circuits! What kind of a warped, but far sighted & brilliant mind came up with this! The only spare parts kit known, is one for the later versions that either had factory, or field installed Noise Limiters. This was because the tube used in this circuit did not already exists elsewhere in the radio set. By the way, this Noise Limiter really works! Continuing Legacy. Use of the TCS continued on for many years. Though some experts have said that it remained in inventory, but was no longer a front line radio after WW-II. This couldn't be more false. As of 1958, the TCS was still being installed in new M38A1 Jeeps for use by Marine Pathfinders(among others),along with a mixture of other Collins aircraft crap. Long before this time, some variants had received joint service designations such as MRC-6 having transmitter & receiver group OA-26A(the TCS). The MRC-18 was a large field transportable system which contain among many other items, the TCS, these systems were ordered in 1949. The MRC-22 combined a TCS, ARC-1, & a ARC-27, these all mounted in a M-115 trailer circa 1951. Also with an order date of 1951 was the MRC-23 which contained a TCS, TDE, URT-7, FRR-27, & a URR-13, all mounted in a K-53 6x6 truck. The MRC-24 had a TCS-12, TDQ, RCK, MAR, & a RCH. Both the transmiter & the receiver were asigned R-* & T-* numbers, but these don't come to mind at present. The story goes on, suffice to say that the TCS also saw extensive service as commercial(via the Sante Fe rail road), marine(until the demise if the HF/AM marine band), & of course Ham's. Worthy of note, the ART-13 was used in much the same ways when more RF power was thought to be needed. We all know the standard for comparison this radio set. But somebody else can write that story. The Story Continues, There were also some incounters in Vietnam with the TCS, but I'll let those tell the story that are better qualified. At least as late as 1980 a friend(though he was a Navy ET) remembers servicing TCS control heads on the bridge of a Naval vessel, though they were no longer connected to TCS's. Rather, by then they were used to remotely control URC-9's, but this is still further evidence of the long life of the TCS. WA4OID(Sweetwater Bob) who's exploits today on 75mtrs with his TCS & Command sets are legend, while in Naval service in the early 1960's remembers using the TCS as the ships ham shack. He states, that because he was a Snipe/Diver, it was the only rig the Radioman would let him use. This most likely because of the radio's simple operation combined with the fact that most Snipes were not known for their vast intelligence. Even so, he wasn't alowed to touch the knobs. One more personal war story. I good friend, WD0ALN once came to visit. In an attempt to brag on my newly up and running TCS, I told him "watch this", "I'll go over there & key that thing up & it'll come up on 3880". It had been running the night, before & I usually never shut it off. I went over & keyed it, but nothing happened! I'd turned the damn thing off, turning it back on, I waited a few seconds & pressed the T-17's PTT. As the heaters lit up, & the antenna current meter began to deflect, the LED's on the freq counter flashed 3880, this to the amazement of us both! How's that for stability from a 50 year old, tube type, MO controlled radio, that's never had anything done to it except one IF tube changed!!! The receiver is every bit as impressive. Eat your heart's out Icom, Yeasu, & Kenwood! Lets see how many of those things are on the air after fifty years! I gave George a junker TCS receiver & transmitter before he left, with the condition that he had to put them on the air, or I wanted them back. Within a couple days he had the receiver up & running. I don't think it's been turned off in 4 years. This even though it is flanked on either side by a Hammerlund SP-600, & Drake Twins. Not much chance of my ever getting that set back! Only one military radio comes to mind that served longer in our nations defense. Though I had known it for some time, it was Danny Cahn that made it click. The CRT-3(Gibson Girl) is the only known radio to be used unchanged in military service longer than the TCS. This until the recent demise of the 500kc marine distress frequency, or it would most likely still be around celebrating it's 55th birthday. Sadly though, this was a WW-II German development, that was simply refined by us. And you all thought all I knew or gave a shit about was PRC's. Fooled ya! Dennis Starks; MILITARY RADIO COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN *****************************************************************
    WW-II Vets In "Nam"; TCS & others Dennis, Just had a conversation with co-worker and unrepentant RMC(retired) Gary Sinn KM6A. Part had to with multi-culturalism, he is using the CMI 26003A key I gave him with an Icom 706MK II. The rest had to do with TCS use in the '60s. Gary, aboard the USS Pollux AKS4, was part of a CW net operating in the Tonkin Gulf during Market Time. The main TX/RX he used was the TCS. The last tour Gary did on the Pollux ended in 66 but the WWII radio equipment was still in operation until decommisioning in approx 68. The other modern technology available on a support ship in the 'Nam era?? Main TX was a TBK backed by RBS and RBC receivers. LF/500KC was a TDE. TED/RED combos took care of UHF, no URC-9s or SRC-20/21 for these folks. A URC-32 came aboard with an R390 in '64 or so but the veteran equipment stayed in use with the R390 taking the TTY broadcast role from the unstable RBS and the URC-32 used mostly as an RX. Just before Gary left the ship got a WRT-2 TX. An added feature of the TBK was shack warming during winter in Yokosuka. I'm not sure when the oter sets were first brought on line but our buddy the TCS is approx '43 so thats 25 years in service right there. Ed Zeranski This is a private opinion or statement. home email: ***************************************************************
    MORE TCS; Lenox Carruth Well, Dennis, I don't know what I can add to the excellent TCS story that you already have written. I did not use them in the military so have no stories to tell there. I have had one operating for about four months. I do not have an antenna for it here at the house and have only used it in the field. I took an old wooden folding table and drilled some holes in it for the TCS cables so they could go straight down. I also made a bracket that holds the remote (for the speaker) at the left end of the table. I put the transmitter on the right side and the receiver on the left since I am right handed and would more naturally operate the receiver with my left hand if I were sending code with my right (my code is lousy!). I never have figured out why they are arranged in the opposite manner in the manuals. I also drilled a hole in the right rear of the table to fit a GRC-9 antenna base and use six antenna sections and a two-foot lead in. Works great outdoors but my wife won't let me drill a hole in the roof so I can use it inside! I would like to hear some good suggestions about what people are using as a simple antenna for the TCS. I don't have a tower. My TCS receiver worked as soon as I turned it on. It hears as well as a BC-348 and has a lot better dial calibration! The transmitter had been modified in the audio section so I found a schematic and restored the original connections. The transmitter then worked fine. Beyond what Dennis said about the redundant design is the commonality between the transmitter and receiver. This seems to be the first use of common parts to such a great extent. The cases, mounts, tuning assemblies and crystal banks are all the same. This reduced, not only the cost but the number of parts necessary in repair depots. The only thing that surprises me about a Collins design is the decreased receiver sensitivity on the higher bands when crystal control is used. Granted, this would not have been a great problem communicating with another PT boat half a mile away, but, I am still surprised Collins did it. It seems anomalous considering their usual attention to detail. The original dual-dynamotor supply was a great idea. The receiver could be used for monitoring without the additional drain of the transmitter filaments or high voltage supply. I suppose that the post-war use of the set did not require much monitoring, hence the later single-dynamotor design. The PP-380/U AC power supply is another anomaly. Why did they design an AC supply with no provisions for the remote control which contained the speaker? What kind of fixed installation would not need a speaker? Does anyone have any definitive answer to this? I have a hard time imagining a fixed station use where a speaker would not be desired. Apparently, the original designers could not imagine a use where a speaker would not be desired either! As you can see, I have more questions about the TCS than answers. I hope that, even if this does not enlighten anyone, it may stimulate some interesting discussions. Since last spring, when I got the radio working, we have used it in public displays. The best was on Memorial Day at a ceremony in conjunction with the Moving Wall. There was a lot of WW-II stuff including vehicles, tents, weapons, German stuff etc. but the TCS got the best reviews. We originally tried to find a local ham who could communicate with us but discovered that the ground wave was too short for anyone that we could find that had AM capability. Fortunately, we were able to borrow a working BC-611. We set the scene as a Marine radio site in the Pacific communicating with forward patrols. We let the public talk on the TCS to the BC-611 and they got a big thrill out of it. Visitors ranged from World War Two veterans, many with a tear in their eye, to college students who did not know when WW-II was (until we go through with them!). One college age girl told us that what we had showed her was so interesting that she was going to get some books about the war and read them. It's this sort of response that makes our work worthwhile. One of the more personally satisfying visitors was a girl with Down's Syndrome. She was there with her parents and was really shy about talking on the radio. Fortunately, my son (about her age) was there and we convinced her to talk to him when he was using the BC-611. She finally did it and left with a huge smile. (her parents were also smiling!) I have all parts for a complete TCS-14 setup in NOS to excellent condition except for a transmitter. We are also looking for an affordable BC-611 to use in future displays since we cannot always borrow the other. In fact, we may not ever be able to use it again as the owner was not a part of our group. The TCS makes a great radio for public displays because it "looks" like real radio equipment should look. Compared to modern communications equipment, the TCS looks like a massive, solid, all-business rig to the public. Now if I can just keep from touching the antenna connector when tuning up! (The other Collins design boo boo??) Lenox Carruth, Jr. Dallas, Texas Collector of WW-II Communications Equipment and Memorabilia **********************************************************
    The Admiral's TCS; Here goes, I was stationed on Coronado in the early/mid '60s. For some sillyassed reason a friend and I went to North Island 'Boats and Docks' ( in the shadow of "Bldg 73" the USS St.Paul) to fix an old RCA radar on an Admirals' Barge or Gig. Well, we were not real pretty and a tad dirty so folks worried we might 'touch' something and mess it up. Ike and I took care of the old RDR then worked on a Raytheon 'Pathfinder', a ten mile RDR, like we had on other boats. While on the Barge, just on the stbd side of the companion way, above the RCA, was a nickel or chrome plated TCS. Everything! They even had shiny metal on the ant loader! We checked it out also, called 2716 Harbor common and a 32?? freq that I can't remember. Never ever saw a shiny TCS again. Upon leaving we were told never come back looking like that, guess we burned out our Military Bearings. Other TCS sets were used commonly in the following 3 years until I went home from VN in late April 1968. At the time it was a normal set and nothing special. My first non military contact with one later ( post Vietnam) was a set in white painted plywood transit cases/w hardening rubber shock mounts. From what I can tell it was from a Navy Arctic weather unit that worked on the ice cap back whenever. I know there were Navy folk in northern China and on the ice in WWII to track weather changes and later doing Arctic Studies prior to the Nautilus etc popping through the 'cap'. first TCS is probably one of those. It had a shot 1st IF can but I got a replacement from a BA member. The other sets-parts were bought from Ray Mote along with AC and dynamotor supplies. More cables/accessories came from Robt. Downs as well as Steve Finnelli. I like the damn things, kinda a token of misspent youth. In fact an extra TCS RX with HB pwr supply is mated to a shit-for-ugly HeathKit QF-1 and $5 garage sale DX-35&VF-1. Ed Zeranski This is a private opinion or statement. home email: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ed) For those not familiar with such things as Admiral's Barges & Captain's Gigs, they look like small PT boats & tend to be decked out in an extremely goddy manor like a Pimps lemo, or one of those Hispanic cruisers including the little sissy pomp-pomp things in the windows, but less the hydrolics that make them jump up & down, (or at least I never saw one jump up & down). The original Collins designation for the TSC is 56Q-3 or 18Q-3(trans), 51Q-3(rec), 190Z-2(ant load coil),409M-7(pwr sup). I have the original blueprints for these. Though the TCS's were built by at least a half dozen sub-contractors including Stewart Warner, Air King Products, Magnavox, Sheridan Electro, Meissner among others, there is absolutely no difference in their qualities or operational excellence. These are my opinions & mine alone, you are advised to agree with them at all cost. Dennis Starks; MILITARY RADIO COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN ********************************************************** TCS Antenna Discussion; >I have been thinking about the short TCS discussion that we had a few >weeks ago and a big question comes up. No one has ever discussed the >antennas that were used with the TCS. Strangely, the manuals only >mention the "20 foot whip" and don't show any details of the antenna, >feed line lengths, etc. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think these must have been detailed in the installation manuals. I've been waiting for one on a Jeep from Sheldon Wheaton for a couple months now, it may tell the story. >Even more interesting is the lack of data for fixed installations. >Did they use some kind of vertical? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The TCS was definitely designed to load a low impedance, not above 35ohms. This would pretty much restrict it to a short antenna, usually vertical. & is also the reason the external load coil was only used on the lower freqs. A long wire? A dipole? How did they feed these? -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    diffenatly none of these, it will not properly load into a dipole without a 4/1 transformer or high value air variable in series with the antenna. Coax was available then, & I think for runs more than a couple feet it was used. >What did they use on the larger ships? -----------------------------------------------------------
    The TCS was almost always mounted on the bridge, or close to a weather deck, for larger ships, that's what the control head was for, put the radio where you want, then the control head were it's needed, exactly as it was done in my day, & is in evidence by the TCS control heads still in use on URC-9's in the early 80's. It's most common shipboard duty(though not restricted to) was intra ship coms, used the same way as the old HF/AM marine short range radios used in 40,50,60's & replaced by VHF in the early 70's. All these types were mounted on the bridge, tuned a short whip pretty much right out of the radio. Even the late model ones that looked like a CB did this. There seems to have been no provision for coax output. Did they just run a wire all the way to the outside of the ship and up the mast? --------------------------------------------------------------------
    see above, I think coax was used, & in some variants of the TCS they might have either been supplied with that capability, or a field change was avail(like the noise limiter). Even at that, many WW-II & later types designed for use with a whip, or external antennas, did not have coax connectors, they had an external terminal box, see BC-1000, 620, 659, 1306, GRC-9, GRR-5, PRC-47, PRC-74 etc. Even though many radios were meant to be used with coax, binding post for antenna connections were retained, this for the same reason that binding post were also present for headphone etc on some equipment. Because combat conditions might not allow for expedient connections in the event connectors/feeds are damaged. Can you envision a TCS on the bridge, taking fire, the antenna wire cut, & if you can find an ET he comes up with his soldering iron to fix it. Believe me, you can't get an ET when your not being fired on! But any dummy can strip back some wires & stick it in some binding post. This was the total design of the TCS from the beginning, you could fix the thing while being shot at. Variants of the TBX have both binding post, & connectors for all external equipment except the power supply, this includes headphone, mike, CW key, antenna etc. In short, lack of a coax connector does not at all mean that a set was not to be operable with coax, or that it wasn't. >Considering the detail that most manuals (at least the Army ones) go >into about antennas, it is strange that the Navy manuals are so quiet >on the subject. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think we are fortunate to have the detail that we do. Navy manuals in large part were written by the contractor, Army manuals(except for the preliminary s) were written by the Signal Corps. Collins is notorious for busting up their manuals into volumes, one for each part of a system. Do you suppose there are people in the group that >actually used the on board ship and know the answers? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All those that have had personal/military experience with the set have already contributed their knowledge, in all those cases, the TCS was mounted, or used as outlined above. >What do use for an antenna on yours? ----------------------------------------------------
    I alternately use a 20ft whip made from a CB 5/8 wave ground plain with the base coil jumped & the ground radials removed, can be fed with a single wire or coax. The ant is bolted to the side of the house, I also use it with my PRC-47, & others meant to directly load a whip. I also use a dipole with a large variable capacitor in series, but a 4/1, or 2/1 transformer would be much better. Rule of thumb, the TCS will directly load up any vertical that approaches 1/4 wave at the highest freq you intend to use. Only bad thing here is, a vertical is a long range antenna as it applies to ham use, it will jump right over the top of stations less than 200 miles away. How do you feed it? -----------------------------------
    any way you want within the guide lines of the above >thing that I have used is an 18 foot whip with a 2 foot wire to feed >it. That is my portable demonstration setup and it works fine with a >ground stake or some radials but that is not practical for the house. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The length of the vertical does not need be 20ft, this figure is only used because it is the longest that can me used on a vehicle, or self supporting aboard ship, & because it becomes resonant at the highest freq the TCS can operate at(12mc=19.5ft). Use any length you want, provided it is not longer than the HIGHEST freq you wish to op at, I/E (10mc=23.4ft), (7.2mc=32.5ft) etc. I know your limited as to what your wife will let you use in the living room. Personally, I'd get rid of er. But an alternate suggestion, just drill an 1/8" hole in the wall behind the radio, run a #12 insulated, solid copper wire threw it, up the wall into the attic & dispense as needed. Lenox Carruth, email: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dennis Starks; MILITARY RADIO COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN **************************************************************
    New Comers Questions/Sugjestions; Discussion, TCS, PRC-17, PRC-1, BC-222, Jap Stuff, & More. by Hue Miller, & Dennis Starks Note, the below is a discussion between me & Hue Miller. He has been asleep for a couple months & didn't know we were here. So just now is coming up to date. Make no mistake, Hue is no dummy(like Ralph & Danny), these questions are posted in attempts to further investigate the history and reasoning behind our treasures, & generate further discussion. Hue in fact is one of the most respected & knowledgeable collectors this country has to offer(don't tell him I said that, I'll deni it!), he might even be as smart as me(I didn't say that either!). One thing is for sure, he's been at it much longer than I have(age before beauty, that can be repeated!). Dennis is someone really saying the PRC-17 survival radio is rare?? not on the west coast. btw i surely would like to find the manual for this. i daydream abt tweaking one of these up to 2 meters or somethin, altho i'll likely postpone this forever. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the time I commented on the PRC-17, that one was the only one that I'd ever heard of, or new to be in anyones hands, sense then a second has appeared. I don't have one myself. Now 3, thats not real common for 20 years of lookin. BTW I don't like hearing that something is common, when I don't have & can't find one for myself!. now re TCS, has anyone encountered the aluminum or stainless steel cabinet? ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Never thought much about stainless or aluminum TCS cabinets, are they still Black crinkle painted? I have had a couple the paint couldn't stick to, could have been either. Also, are we aware that some models, tcs-5 for certain, per manual, were intended for land vehicle use and so had wider bandwidth? also why did FAIR's last TCS-12 xmtr ads say this model "extra desirable for CW" ?? there's no difference that i can detect. now that the broadcast band has expanded to 1700 kc/s i surely wish i had kept at least one of the many TCS i have owned. i saw the last new TCS distributed by Navy MARS at NAS Sandpoint Seattle at the end of 1976, when HF am usage was ended by law. i think there were 5 ( more or less ) new crated units given away. i hope some were kept together but that's probably in vain, i believe the oldfart hams liked the transmitter for tty use and ditched the rest. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     You mean to tell me you don't have one TCS!! I'm ashamed of you! I got too many, maybe someday gotta fix that for you.What advantage would there be to a wider bandwidth for land vehical use? Fair Radio's Propagand "extra good for CW" probably was just some promo hype, like "good marine radio" they put on the BC-223, or the way they also refered to the MAB, as a marine radio("marine" as in, "for boats"). The TCS did have a rep for great CW tone. i've long thot that the Army & USAAF could well have used the tcs for their purposes also, instead of for example the bc-223 + bc-312, and maybe even the bc-375 + bc-312. if a lightweight cabinet had been provided, the set could well have been used as an aircraft liaison set in place of the scr-287. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The TCS was used in aircraft, as is evidenced by the aircraft amp/interphone box built by Magnevox in 44, though it's never been writen what aircraft. The BC-223 being primarily designed for light armor & scout cars, was dead meat by 1943 being completely succumbed by all the VHF FM stuff. Granted,there is no comparison between it & the TCS. The BC-375 was only built after 1942 for one reason, it's a to long a story to paste here. perhaps the Army kept the TCS in its books for the army Corps of Engineers, which ran its own tugboats in rivers and coastal areas. i toured an Army tug at NAS Sand Point in 1961, it had a Northern Radio Co. 100-watt radio. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is very possible, & one I'd never considered. Several times is WW-II Pacific & Vietnam history we find the Navy turning over vessals to the Army for whatever reason. These included Tugs, Riverine Patrol craft, PT boats, Landing craft etc, could it be that these vessals, being already outfitted with Naval commo equip, the Army would then need to open up logistic lines for their support, thus the reason for the TCS being listed in SIG 3,1953? Sounds like as good an explanation as any. The "Signal Corps" mensions that the Navy/Marine corps clammered after their superior BC-191. The only reason that I could think of would be the added power output. This would place the BC-191 between the TCS & TBW.Of course this series of books has a obvoius bias toward Signal Corp equipment. & we all know how "superior" the BC-191 was! It couldn't hold a candle to either the TCS or TBW. Maybe someday I'll write a tit for tat summery of Navy versus Signal Corps stuff. Guess who's gonna win! you know, the silly reason i think made me give up all my tcs is that the dial does not light up. and i dig lighted dials. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thats SICK! have you already mentioned the Hallicrafter TR-35 as a higher-powered HF AM "village radio" ?? ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No I've never intentionally written any articles about the OPS series equipment, except to answer some questions, & refer people to a letter I wrote to Keith Melton a couple years ago which is rather complete(it's located in the Backmail Files). Numerous radios have been showing up of possible OPS origin. If you've not read this letter to Melton you should, Hallicrafters was only one of several companies that built OPS radios, & those others are not documented at all. The entire subject is a very interesting & mysterious one that well needs more research, I'd like to speak with Paul Kats(the horses mouth) but time has not permit me tracking him down, I once had him located within 20 miles circle of Washington DC, Rumor has it, that he's back to work for the State department. Personally I don't like the term "Village Radio" because it narrows the field to much, the OPS(Office of Public Safety) was involved with many countries. & every aspect of the history of any item of equipment deserves recognition. Also "Village Radio" has become one of those terms like "Spy Radio" that the jack ass's like to tack on the end of everthing so as to screw you outa an extra buck. I much prefer "OPS series". the circuit used in Tojo's 94-6 shows up in many USA ham "vhf" publications of the mid-1930s, among the "5 meter transceiver" ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Most definitely true, but the Japs were not the only offenders. The US BC-222 came directly from the 1935 ARRL handbook, it continued in US use for most of WW-II in the China/Burma theater do to extreme supply problems, even by wars end the legacy lived on for this piesa shit, in that their batteries were being dissected to power the BC-1000's that finally made it there. After the war China cloned the things into the late 50's. R you sure that BC-222/322 was ever used in CBI ? what documentation? i would bet a Monopoly dollar this is not correct. btw, look at the back cover of the Time-Life book on the Italian campaign & you will see what appears to be, from the distinctive bag, the scr-194/195 ( bc-222/322 ) in use. strange indeed. i am sure that it wasn't used for very long. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BC-222/322 was most definitely present in the CBI(China Burma India), read "The Signal Corps". It was also present when we got run out of the Philippines. It can also be confirmed in these theaters by other very simple observations(here's a real simple one of many, if it wasn't there, how'd the Chinese clone it?) . Another sleeper is the BC-474(& I aint got a good one), read the backmail article on it. Per the picture in Time Life, I can speculate several reasons for it's being there., #1 the photo really doesn't apply to the Italian campaign, & was one out of their archives, #2 the photo was supplied by the Signal Corps, in which case, it too might not reflect the Italian campaign(most all photos that contained radio equipment during the war were supplied by the Signal Corps),#1,& #2 were very common occurrences. #3,& a more remote possibility is that when U.S. Forces entered the mountains of northern Italy, their equipment was ill suited for transport & operation in this terrain. An urgent battlefield, blanket request went back to signal depos in the U.S. to search out & immediately ship all of the available old cavalry sets. Could it be that some of the BC-222/322's where thrown in with this mess? Where it me, & were #3 is true, I'd pitch the radio & use it's rather neat carry bag! The deficiencies in the available equipment is also evidenced by later manuals,& "supplements", that would include provisions for mule transport, that did not exist in earlier publications(maybe a lesson was learned). i have heard from 2 sources that the Jap 94-6 was found in crashed fighter plane. sounds like truly a bs story, but could it have been carried for troop liaison? ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think one of these came from me about eight years ago when I referred some guy in CA to you that had one & said it came from a plane. It is entirely possible & most probable that they did try to use it for FAC duties. We did the same thing with BC-620/659,BC-1000, RT-70's, PRC-9,10's, & PRC-25's, It was even done with the BC-222. Early experiments to prove the feasibility of FM involved the comparison of the BC-222 in spotter aircraft with the then experimental BC-620, not a real fair comparison. Perhaps Bill H. can shed some light. btw, the Nip "bc-611" style copy, is also only a 1-tube circuit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is not the postwar clone,tis a wartime attempt, I've never seen a wartime one. the one-tube 611-lookalike Nip set is WW2 production. probably they realized how unwieldy their talkies were in comparison to the US BC-611. I have one but poor shape, ant and mic / headset parts gone. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      This might be one that even Bill don't know about!!! Per the BC-611, if it was the second, so what was the first handie-talkie? also, for the questions file, where did the term walkie-talkie come from? ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The first "walkie talkie" was the BC-222/322, the term was applied by the Signal Corps, originally in pre-war propaganda , then in the equipments manuals. The term "Handie talkie" is a Motorola registered trademark, deserving or not. btw i read in a german museum publication on their Kl-Fu-d ( sorry, brainfade, nomenclature not quite right ), their Dorette set, that they reported examining the BC-611 but decided it was too difficult to repair and they were not interested in producing such a "disposable set". but to me their conclusions sound rather like a case of the sour grapes. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The German comments per the BC-611 article are quotes from "The Signal Corps", & their info was abtain via captured documents,& was mostly likely the observations of field commanders. Those in the museum artical may be the result of an in-depth study by learned folks back home. Personaly, I would tend to agree with your materials version. Sour grapes are also possible. i met a fellow in Seattle who owns a BC-611 he found as a lad after the battle of Arnehm. it was tossed in a ditch after the antenna broke off. (he replaced it postwar ). it has a camo pattern of a broad brown paint stripe about 3" wide winding around the set, about 3 turns total. he told me he also found a bazooka, which he enjoyed firing. what a swell toy! ( re finding toys, one of the aviation mags had an account of a brit lad, who salvaged a machine gun from a wrecked german plane, and then used it to fire at german planes when they came over low! he was about 12 years old! true story! ) ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Put me down for one each of the above, got no ME's to shoot at, but lotsa Worthogs buzzin by antennas. "O", I want a the striped BC-611 too. the prc-1 kinda looks like the trc-10 does it?? ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Nope, PRC-1 is one of the classic suitecase radios. First built for the OSS, it was judged to heavy & unsuited, it actualy predates the SSTR-1. Though the TRC-10 might be considered a re-packaged PRC-1, set up for operation much like a BC-474 or 654. In fact the TRC-10 uses some common accessories with the BC-654. See below extract from my book. PRC-1/RT-30;Suite case portable,HF,CW transmitter receiver.Built into a common suitcase,the PRC-1 was originally intended for use by the OSS in WW-II.It was however rejected as too heavy,& was only used by them till the SSTR-1 became available.Later was given it's PRC designation & adopted for use by special agents of Military Intelligence. As such the PRC-1 is known to have seen service in the WW-II China/Burma theater with Galahad forces.Here the operating personnel complained of the enormous strain in cranking it's hand crank generator do to the high output power of the transmitter.To compound this problem,it was also necessary to crank this generator even for receive operation,as no provision had been included for it's use with batteries. Ops 2-12mc in two continuously tunable bands,AM or CW(rec).2-12mc in two bands with Xtal control,CW only(trans). RF power output is 30 watts.Size 18 x 13.25 x 17.25" 32lbs,OD color. Though any description of the PRC-1 remained classified until 1958, evidence exist that place these radios in use at least until the early 60's.Sets will have no identifying marks. Ref.#3,#19C,#23 Hue Miller; ----------------------------------------------------
    Dennis Starks; ************************************************************ Army TCS's; Expanded reason; Though the possible reasoning behind the Army having the TCS in inventory has been touched on. And Hue came up with a plausible assumption with my concurrence. Brian has some data that would further support our recent speculation. Rather surprising too, as Brian is an ex-marine, & their not generally noted for their vast intellect. Dennis -------------------------------------------- >
    This is very possible, & one I'd never considered. Several times is >WW-II Pacific & Vietnam history we find the Navy turning over vessals to >the Army for whatever reason. These included Tugs, Riverine Patrol craft, >PT boats, Landing craft etc, could it be that these vessals, being >already outfitted with Naval commo equip, the Army would then need to >open up logistic lines for their support, thus the reason for the TCS >being listed in SIG 3,1953? Dennis: During WWII, radio rooms on merchant vessels, such as Liberty and Victory ships, were manned by Navy Armed Guardsmen as were the guns placed on these ships. The armament and radio gear were Navy property, not property of the operating Merchant Marine company. Further, many of these ships were in Navy service, mostly in the Pacifac, as A series transports and cargo vessels (AKAs etc.). After the end of the war,as part of the Unification of the Services bit which placed the War and Navy Departments under the new Defence Department, it was decided that the Army would have responsibility for the sea-going transport of its troops. Many of these previously Naval vessels, along with the majority of the Liberty troop ship conversions and such merchant types as the P-2 "General" series, were placed in the new Army Transport Service. The ships were sailed under contract by Merchant Marine crews. During the '50s, the Army would therefore have to maintain operational and maintanance knowledge of the previously Navy commo gear on these vessels. It would be sensible to assume that this gear remained on these ships to maintain compatability with Navy and International Maritime service. Later, it was found that this was not a great idea, and the ships were returned to Navy control, still sailed by contract Merchant crews, as the current Military Sealift Command. Brian Scace **********************************************************
     TCS TECH TIPS; From Dave Stinson First check every tube in the whole rig. This can be tedious when you really want to get a rig running, but this simple task can save a lot of head-scratching later. Next get some good contact cleaner, light machine oil, light gear grease, some "Q-tips", some old rags, an old toothbrush, a jug of distilled water and a good grade of paste silver polish (yep--that's right). On the receiver-- First thing- don't crank on the switches and knobs until you get them inspected and lubed. The bandswitch is very sturdy but I destroyed a section once by cranking on it before I looked at it. Same with the crystal switch. They can be hard to reach but make the effort. Both those switches go intermittent without cleaning. They will need good contact cleaner and the mechanicals will need oiling and greasing. The back-lash spring split-gear on the receiver tuning cap will need cleaning and lubing as well. Spray the bandswitch and rock it gently, watching the wiper contacts to make sure they move smoothly without binding. I bent one over double because I didn't look first. Look for a bathtub cap mounted on one of the frame legs of the receiver chassis. This one is noted for going open and it will kill your audio out. I highly recommend running the filaments on 12VDC as designed. Less noise. Also, it's a good reason to build the 12 volt supply so you don't have to mess with seperate power for the transmitter relays. On the transmitter-- Same treatment for bamdswitch and other contacts as the receiver. You'll need to burnish all the relay contacts with either a real burnishing tool or brown paper-- nothing abrasive. Then operate them a few times to re-establish a clean oxide conductive coating. Put a very small drop of very light oil on the pivot points of the relays. Now comes the hard part. Trust me on this-- it's work, but you won't regret it. Unsolder the connections to the roller coil and remove it from the rig. Lay-out an old blanket on your bench to keep parts from walking-off. First remove any loose dirt and dust from the coil assembly. What you want to do is disassemble the thing as much as you feel comfortable with and polish all the bits and pieces, including the inside of the roller wheel, with the silver polish. Don't get the polish in the bearings. Rinse the polish off using the distilled water, rags and toothbrush. Once it's clean, put it in the sun to dry well. Don't use a stove. Reassemble and lubricate the roller. All this work will pay-off in easier tuning and less aggreivation. This cleaning is practically manditory in ARC-5 transmitters, by the way. Dirty loading coils cause all kinds of trouble there. Operation: Max reliable keying speed is about 25 WPM. There should be no chirp and very little drift after a couple of hours operation. They were designed to be stable. The rig was not designed for a 50-ohm antenna, but you can tune one with the settings of the ANT. COND. control. For 80 meters and above, set it in SERIES. There isn't enough cap in there for doing this on 160. You'll need to set it in the center (no antennna cap) and use an external 0-200 PF variable cap in series with the coax. Neither of these ways will tune it to 100% design spec, but they'll get close. If you want that last couple of watts, you'll have to use one of Mike Hanz's UNUN unbalanced-to unbalanced 4:1 baluns. It will get you from 12 ohms for which the rig is designed up to the 50-ohm coax, but it will also eat a watt or two in losses. Your call. Don't let anyone tell you that you need to slash-n-burn, chainsaw or otherwise "mod" the audio chain. That's all "hooo-eeee." If you want a rig that sounds like a broadcast transmitter, buy a KW-1 ;-). All you need is a telephone-size carbon mic element and the rig will modulate 100% at normal voice. That's the ONLY "mod" I ever do to any of my military rigs and it works just fine from the ARC-5, TCS, BC-375, ART-13, etc. Hope all this helps. Others will have more and better ideas. GL ES 73 DE Dave Stinson AB5S ed) I can add very little to this as you've covered most of the areas of concern. Roller Inductor, One thing that need be done while the roller inductor is out (and it is a bitch to get it in and out) is to check it's internal contact wire. A wire runs the length of the roller inductor, down it's center. It cannot be seen when still in the radio. It's a common fault of this radio for one or the other end of this wire to have a cold solder connection that will reek havoc on you when trying to load up the transmitter. Fix it while it's out!! Due to the large gage of solid wire used in the transmitters output stages, and the vibration these radios might have been subjected to, bad solder connections are very common in this area. Suitable mics, the TCS uses an unusually high voltage across it's carbon mic. Most radios that use carbon mics, and were primarily designed for operation from a DC power source derive their low mic voltage from the tube heater supply. But the TCS, given that it was conceivable that it might be operated from an AC source, derives it's mic voltage from a tap on the modulation transformer. The resultant voltage drop across the mic element serves other functions in the modulator chain. As a result, these radios are unusually impedance sensitive, and many mics will not handle the higher voltage. While I don't really want to delve into how carbon mics work, here and just now. The rule of thumb when it comes to them is that bigger is better. In the case of the TCS however, with their impedance sensitivity and higher exciting voltage, many mic types will not work properly. It is a very common, and acceptable practice on most military radio's of WW-II>late 50's vintage for us to use the carbon element from a modern telephone handset. In most cases this works very well, but not with the TCS as there is an impedance conflict. Keeping with our rule that bigger is better, many might opt to use a T-17, or the standard Navy equivalent RS-38. But these mics, though they look large and impressive actually have a very small carbon element, with the RS-38 being the worst. They will work, but they may not be to the optimum level you might want. With all the above in mind, the hands down winner for best carbon mic for use on the TCS and any other military radio is the TS-13 or equivalent handset of WW-II vintage. They have the largest carbon mic element of any I've ever seen, and they are the correct impedance. Not to mention the fact that they also have the best PTT switch in existence. Power Supplies. If you are not fortunate enough to own one of the many varied(and heavy) TCS powers supplies. Fear not, for this is one of the easiest radios in existence to fabricate one for. In fact, you wont even need to build it, usually just add some connectors/cables. Just about any power supply used on old tube type business band radio equipment will work. Be it a mobile vibrator or solid state inverter supply, or one intended for base 110vac operation. And they can often be had for the hauling off. Keep your eyes out for an all tube type GE Progress Line or Motorola equivalent desk top base, or mobile transceiver(their the same radio, in the same cabinet, with different power supplies). These power supplies will have all the required voltages with some to spare, and all you'll need do in most cases is to wire it up. It may be necessary on some of the base power supplies to add a bridge rectifier to the normally AC heater supply, but that's about it. Look for those radios that used dual output tubes(usually a pair of 6146's) as these will have a heavier duty power supply. Heavy duty mobiles supplies can be distinguished by either their use of dual vibrators, or in the case of later model type, a solid state inverter design. One of the nice thing about using these power supplies is that once you've found the correct/original supply for your radio, you can modify the old expedient for use with just about any other tube type radio you want. Dennis Starks; MILITARY RADIO COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN ***********************************************
    (The preceding was a product of the"Military Collector Group Post", an international email magazine dedicated to the preservation of history and the equipment that made it. Unlimited circulation of this material is authorized so long as the proper credits to the original authors, and publisher or this group are included. For more information conserning this group contact Dennis Starks at,

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