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(34 pages) Index: RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS; Part's I, II, III, IV, V, VI By: LTC William L. Howard & Vlad Dvorkin MEMBERS WRITE; RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS? From Tom Bryan Russian R-116 on AM? From Breck Smith AM/HF VERSES FM/VHF, & RUSSIAN RADIOS; By LTC William L. Howard & Dennis Starks MEMBERS WRITE; AM & FM, from Jim Hopper, Sean Kelly, & Dennis Starks R-116, from Tom Bryan *********************************************** RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS; PART I, By: LTC William L. Howard e-mail: The Russian Army was the first military force to make use of radio communcation in a military operation. At the Battle of Tannenburg (23-29 August 1914), the Russian military forces used radio communication to transmit orders to their forces. It was also the first time in history that radio intercept was employed in warfare as the Germans were monitoring the air waves and received the Russian orders almost as fast as the Russians did. Since then radio has become a vital part of every military force. I first came in contact with Russian radios in the late 1950╠s while visiting the old Signal Corps Museum at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, near where I grew up. They were there under glass along with Japanese, German, Italian and American Radios. At that time I knew how a one tube set worked and knew what an AN/PRC 10 and an AN/PRC 6 was but beyond that, little else. Trips to ═radio row╬ in New York showed a lot of WW II surplus American equipment but there was no such thing as surplus Russian radios. At that time I was on the gun show circuit but had no idea what a HAMFEST was or where they were. My next contact with Russian radios was in Vietnam, where as a technical intelligence officer, I was involved in the evacuation of captured radios. Mostly of Chinese origin, we did see one Russian radio and we had a classified book on Russian radios and equipment. It didn╠t say very much. Shortly after Vietnam, as a result of Project MEXPO numerous Russian tactical radio were recovered. These became the subject of several Technical Intelligence Bulletins. During the decade of the 1970╠s, samples of these radios were taken on tours of U.S. military installations by D Co. 519th M.I. Bn, which at that time was the technical intelligence unit. In the early 1990╠s the mid east erupted in another war, called Desert Storm. As a result of Desert Storm, large amounts of Russian radios found their way home with capturing units and then out into collectors hands. In addition to Desert Storm, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ending of the cold war resulted in large amounts of Russian equipment of all types showing up in the west. As a result of this, Russian radios are available to collectors and there is some collector interest in them. There is little information on Soviet radio history available in the west so I decided that I would try to discuss these radios in some detail. With the help of Serge Matveyev, UA1OSM in Arkhangelsk, Russia and Vladimir Dvorkin in California, and several other people, I have been piecing together a collection of Russian radios and information. Serge has supplied a great deal of information and equipment and Vladimir has translated several Russian articles for me. There appear to be several distinct periods in the history of Russian radios. I have arbitrarily made these groupings. They are: WW II Radios from 1935 to 1950, Cold War Era radios from 1950 to 1973, and Radios from 1973 onward to the present. The main emphasis of this article will be those radios from 1973 onward. Within each time period, I have created several categories which are: General issue tactical radios, Special Purpose or Mission Radios, Armored vehicle radios and Agent radios. My general criteria for putting a radio in a category was what it was designed for or best suited for. Pre WW II radios are rare items no matter what the country of origin. Russian sets are no exception. The few that survive are in Russian museums. The only set that has been available to collectors was a set known as the 6 PK set. This was a tactical man-pack radio that came in two back packs. The radio operator carried the pack with the batteries and the assistant carried the radio pack. This was so the operator could stand behind the assistant and tune the radio. These sets were used in the early stages of WW II, were captured by the Finnish and taken to Sweden in hopes the Swedes could manufacture a similar type of set for the Finns. In addition to this, there were other sets on the drawing board such as the 10 PK, 12 PK etc. During WW II the Russians made use of large numbers of American lend lease radios and also manufactured several of their own. The lend lease sets were either made in the USA or were Russian copies. The most common lend lease, that can be found in the west was the Canadian Type 19 Wireless set. This set is two radios in one package, was standard in many combat vehicles and trucks. This set has markings in both English and Cyrillic. I have heard many people mistakenly call it a ═Russian radio╬ which it is not. ed, [While it is true that the Mod 19 is the most common TYPE lend lease radio that can be found in the west, it was the totally British designed W.S 19 that actually saw service by the USSR, and to a lessor extent, the Canadian built Mod 19 MK III. The U.S. built Mod 19 MK II was produced primarily by RCA and Zenith as a result of a British contract. This due to that countries inability to produce sufficient quantities for both the Russian war effort and their own. While the U.S variant is representative of those radio sets, it in fact never saw wartime combat service as the war ended before these contracts were completed. This accounts for the radios commonality in the U.S. today, and it's extreme rarity in Europe. It is true that these radios were primarily designed for use in armored, or crew served vehicles, but in reality, they were used in every conceivable application. It would be more accurate to state that these radios had panel markings that were a COMBINATION of English and Cyrillic. The subject of U.S. Lend Lease to Russia is a tricky one. But for the most part U.S. contributions delt mainly with heavy equipment. Very feu if any tactical radios of U.S. origins were supplied directly to Russia as lend lease. Those that were, were of the larger, more powerful types such as the BC-610's and a number of high power transmitting stations. Other communications equipment types were limited to small parts such as tubes(over 390,000 in the first six months of 1944), and large quantities of field wire. Such radios as the V-100 which will be described later, were not lend lease. These were acquired via small, direct, Russian government purchases priar to the Lend Lease Act. So to state that "the Russians made use of large numbers of American lend lease radios" is totally incorrect. The Supply corridors to Russia were extremely long, complicated and dangerous. For this reason, only equipment of the utmost importance to the war effort, that could not realistically be produced domestically were shipped. Ask yourself, if a Russian were given the choice between a boat load of tanks, or one of radios, which would he take? Or if the parts to produce 10,000 radios could be shipped in the same amount of space occupied by 100 completed radios, which would be sent? I believe that this lack of U.S. designed/produced tactical radio equipment resulted in the Russian post-war clones of British and captured German types, or at least that heavy influence that can be readily seen in Russian designs. For example, BC-348's produced in Russia have been encountered. These were the result of copying equipment confiscated from impounded B-24's ditched in Russian held territory during the aftermath of Dolittle's daring raids on the main island of Japan. Thus, if the Russians had had more access to U.S. technology and equipment, this technology would have most certainly been apparent in post-war Russian designs, as it was with the BC-348, and in every other Allied nation. Dennis] Russian radios were supplied to the North Koreans in the late 1940s along with Russian T 34/85 tanks. During the Korean war many of the tank radios were captured and brought back to the signal corps Labs at fort Monmouth for test and evaluation and were put on display in the Museum. Unlike WW II when many samples of captured Japanese and German sets were brought back almost no Russian radios came home. What little information the army had on Russian communications was contained in classified documents. US Army Europe had a small Green picture book of Russian Army Radio Equipment. This was classifed CONFIDENTIAL hence very few copies survived. During Vietnam some Russian communication equipment was captured but the vast bulk of captured radio equipment was Chinese. In 1967 the mid east erupted in the 6 Day war and again in 1973 the October War took place. Large amounts of Soviet military equipment was captured and became the subject of unclassifed Technical Intelligence Bulletins. Displays of captured Warsaw Pact material were transported all over the United States by D Company of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion. Active and Reserve army units were becoming acquanted with Russian radios. In the early 1990╠s the Iraquis invaded Kuwait and the U.S. responded in what is now called Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Despite improved technical intelligence capablities, the flood gates began to open. Many Russian radios came home with National Guard and Reserve Units and quickly entered the economy, and were snapped up by collectors. In addition, the collapse of East Germany and the collapse of the Soviet Union has resulted in large numbers of the more common Russian radios entering the collectors market. There have been numerous articles written on some of these radios, usually in a hit or miss fashion. Usually, ═I have these three sets in my collection╬ type of articles. This is an effort to list all the known Russian radios from pre WW II to the present. It is recognized that there may be other sets not covered and that information on some of the sets is at best sketchy. This article will deal with Soviet Ground Force radios and does not cover any aircraft or naval radios. To aid the reader in understanding these sets, I have used the following category or classifications: GENERAL ISSUE TACTICAL RADIOS This general classification implies a radio set that was mass produced for issue to the entire military force. Patrol radio- A small, light weight radio, easily transportable by one person, low power and with limited range. Comparable to the Japanese Type 94-6, the British Type 38 or possibly the BC 611 and the German ═Dorette╬ Company/Battalion Radio Usually a back pack type of radio, with greater power and range than a Patrol Radio and designed for use by the entire army at company and battalion size units Comparable the the SCR 300 sets of WW II-German Feldfu sets. Base / Fixed Station Radios These sets are larger, not easily man transportable and designed primarily for use in communication vans, vehicles and permanent installations. SPECIAL PURPOSE RADIOS This category implies a radio of limited production designed and developed for one special purpose. ARMORED VEHICLE RADIOS This category is for radios that were designed to be mounted in armord vehicles. They are usually a transceiver, a dynamotor, antenna matching units and associated cabling. AGENT RADIOS This category is used for a radio set designed to be used by an agent operating deep in the enemys homeland as a spy. Usually they are small, concealable, powerful with in limitations and capable of CW transmision only. Comparable to the British B 2 sets, the SSTR 1,5 and the RS 1 and 6 sets. In the preparation of this article, I am indebted to Serge Matveyev, UA1OSM and the 203rd M.I. Bn for the technical information on many the sets. Louis Meulstee of Holland was also very helpful in providng information via personal correspondence and articles in Radio Bygones. In addition, some of the more recent sets were discussed in a series titled ═Desert Storm Trophies╬ published in the Military Collector Group Post in their daily postings. If anyone has more information or is aware of mistakes, they can contact me at my e-mail address or by telephone or letter. RADIO NOMENCLATURE PRIOR TO AND DURING WW II Prior to and during the war, the Russians used descriptive terms for their radio, very similar to out late war AN/PRC, AN/GRC, AN/VRC etc system. A radiotruck 11 AK means: 11th number of development, A- automobile carried (truck car) K- korotkovolnovaja (short wave radio) PK means: P- peredvizhnaja ( movable ) or perenosnaja ( backpacked ) K- short wave radio. Other terms are explained as encountered. The next part of this series will begin with WW II PERIOD RADIOS 1935 TO 1950 GENERAL ISSUE TACTICAL RADIOS THE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail Telephone AC 727- 585-7756 *********************************************** RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS PART II; By LTC William L. Howard WW II PERIOD RADIOS 1935 TO 1950 GENERAL ISSUE TACTICAL RADIOS Patrol Radios ( Similar to the BC 611 set-British Type 38 - Japanese Type 94-6) During WW II the Russians had a series of short range patrol radios, all working on VHF with a simple super-regenerative circuit. These sets, designated PPC (RRS), PbC (RBS) and PPY(RRU) worked between 32 and 40 Mc/s. The Model PPC, manufactured from 1940 onward, worked with two type UB-240 tubes, both common for transmit and receive. It was normally carried in a case, slung over the operators shoulder and powered by dry batteries mounted in the bottom of the case. The frequency range covered 32.4 to 36.8 Mc/s in a single band, the dial being calibrated in 33 ╦channels╠ (66-98). The antenna was approximatly 1.6 meters tall and was equipped with a capacitive top. This type of antenna was in common use and could be found used with other (higher powered) man-pack sets. The range of the PPC was approximatly 500meters. A complete set weighed 3.5 kg and measured only 170 x 250 x 60 mm. Company/Battalion Radios: 6PK set, (British W.S. 18 and US BC-745 sets) This station was built in two wooden chest. Chest No 1 carried the radio and was packed by the assistant radio operator. The principle radio operator packed the No 2 chest which held the batteries. He could then stand behind the assistant and tune the radio and set the controls. This set was to be for general purpose communication at the Battalion level, in the infantry, artillery and cavalry. It operated from 3.750 to 5.250 Mc/s, receiving up to 5.500Mc/s, its dial being calibrated in 61 channels indicating 150-210. The RF power was 0.66 W, increased to 1 watt in the later 6 PK D. The set was powered by several 80 volt dry cells and a 4 volt accumulator. The transceiver was built into a wooden chest covered with canvas. The transmitter used four type UB 110 tubes and the receiver was a TRF circuit and used a type SB 112 tube in the RF stage and the UB 110 tubes in the detector and AF stages. The tubes were made by Swerdlana and the set was made by Ordshonikidse both of which were in Moscow. 10 and 12 Pk sets (Not fielded) RB and RB 40 In the period 1930-1941 a new generation of sets were developed having the same specifications as the 6PKD set. These operated from 1.5 - 6 Mc/s . Transmitter /Receiver A-7, A-7-A, A-7-B with Chest. These stations were one of the very few sets that were Frequency Modulated and operating on the VHF band, working on either side of the lower limit of the band (27-32 Mc/s). They were used by the artillery brigades and rifle regiments down to unit level. This set came in a wooden carrying case which housed the transceiver, batteries and all related accessories. The set was 15 1/2╬ x 13 1/4╠ x 7╬. The set is recognized by a large semi-circular tuning dial on the right side, a panel meter, top center and two large terminals on the left side for connection to telephone wires when being used by artillery forward observers. There are several versions and the A-7 had two meters on the front panel, later versions had only one meter. This set is contained in a metal case and the ones I have seen were painted olive green. It is one of the better constructed sets of the period. RB, RBM, RBM-1 and RBM-5 with accessories: These stations were probably the first of what might be called the next new generation of Russian radios. The RB first appeared in 1938 and covered 1.5 to 6 MHz. It was designed by the NISKA group. The RBM and RBM-5 appeared in 1942 and covered 1.75 to 6 MHz. This set was made in a metal case, thus making it almost watertight, and transported by pack straps. In later versions, a canvas pack was used. An examination of four pictures of the set reveal that it made use of a superhetrodyne receiver, (Six I F transformers were observed) There appeared to be two three gang tuning capacitors. Front panel controls and connections consisted of two main tuning controls and dials mounted below glass windows. There appeared to be a 5 position band selector switch, a transmit/receive switch was located in the center. Sockets for headphones and a key were at the bottom of the set. Two more pointer knobs appeared to be mounted under the tuning capacitors and connected by long shafts to potentiometers mounted at the rear of the set. Two sockets with 5 male pins were on either side of the set which presumably were for the power supply connections. Of the few diagrams in the technical manual, there were diagrams for three ways to connect the batteries. Voltage requirements were for 2.5 volts from a 2HKH-22 wet cell battery for the tube filaments and three bAC 80 batteries with taps at + 60,+ 80, and + 90 volts. The set required 80 volts and 200 volts for plate supply. Once again, the practice of having two cases, one for the radio and one for the batteries meant that the radio operator and his assistant travelled with an electrical umbelical cord between them which made rapid movement almost impossible. RRU, RRS, RBS: These stations were designed by Vladimir Ivanovich Nemtsov, a famous author of science fiction stories. He worked as NKVD designer and all the stations were made at NKVD secret institute, named Plant Nr.4 NKVD. He had written a book named "Parallels Crossing", devoted to his life and his pre-war radio designer's activity. RRU was made in 1936, the frequency range of the RRU was 7.42-9.05 mc, power .1 W, weight 4.1 kG ; Max range 2.5 km. RRS- in 1940, there also were RBS and RBS-2 "Arax". And latest one was the RBS-3 or "Arax-2", which was made in a telephone pipe.(How you call the pipe in USA, don't know). The RRS was claimed for a range of 1.5 km and weight of 4 kG. Some sources say 8 Kg. RBS means Radiostancija Bataljonnoj Seti or Battalion Net Radio. RRS means Radiostancija Rotnoj Seti or Company Net Radio RBS or 4-R type had range of 3,5 km( "Arax"- 4...5 km), and weight of 12 Kg("Arax"- 10 kG) People who tried to use them under combat circumstances all said they were not useful and abandoned in 1941. Soldiers and officers often called them "SeeSeeButNotHear", laughing that one can often see his correspondent but has no communication chances. V 100 Series: The V 100 Series of radios was a Lend Lease set made by the Pilot Radio company. Externally it resembles the SCR 284. It came in four packs, the radio, the generator, the generator seats and the antenna bags. Unlike the American SCR 284 generator which had a seat for one man, the V 100 generator had seats for two people, one on either side of the generator. There were the V 100, the V 100-A which appeared in 1943 and the V 100-B which appeared in 1944. ed[the V-100 was also supplied in large quantities to Nationalist Chinese Forces, and used extensively by both them and U.S. contingents located in this theater. Personal accounts report that the set was a good one, and better than many of the standard issue sets of the same type.Dennis] Base/Fixed Station Radios RSB, RSB-BIS, RSB-F This HF wireless set was used by the Army at Corps and Divison level as a mobile or fixed station. The RSB-F may be installed in a GAZ, ZIS-5 or Ford wireless vehicle. The transmitter comes in a square case 14╬ x 13╬ x 8╬ and weighs 30 lbs. The set operated from either a 13 foot rod antenna or a 33 foot mast antenna. The complete set, as shown in the British I.D. book was set up in a wooden case which had the RSB-F transmitter, the Type US receiver, an antenna matching unit, two dynamotors and all associated cabling. The transmitter has a larg semi circular arc tuning dial covering the top half of the set. It had a swing arm type of tuning arm which appeared to have a quick release type of knob. The receiver, about half the size of the transmitter also has a large semi circular tuning dial. The receiver appeared to be a super hetrodyne set with at least two IF transformers. RSB-F This was an airborn station for bombers, (according to Serge.) Wireless Set TYPE RAF-KV, RAF KV 3 This wireless set is used at Front and Army level and is operated by a crew of 9 men. It is installed in a ZIS wireless vehicle. The set is made up of the type 500-K-3 transmitter and the type US receiver. The set uses a 33 foot high telescopic mast fastened to the ground by guy wires. Receivers: The term surveillance receiver refers to general listening for radio signals and not used exclusively for radio intercept and code breaking. It was a general purpose receiver, which was versatile and reliable enough for all kinds of work and not only for some limited frequency range or certain purpose and distance communication. Wireless Receiver Type KV-M This is a communication receiver which is sometimes used for monitoring and intercept work. It covers 1,500 to 27,00 Kc/s in 5 bands. It is a superhet receiver with 5 stages of Rf and 4 IF stages, AGC and has a crystal calibration oscillator. It is in a metal case, 18╬ x 15╬ x 10 1/2═ and weighs 59 1/4 lbs. It has a swivel dial light fitted at the top center of the panel, two clamp handles on either side and an inlaid tuning dial. The set uses 17 tubes, type 2K2M Radio Direction Finder PKV-45(45 PK-3). This is the identification given in a post war British intelligence publication. According to U1SX, who actually used the set, the correct designation is 45 PK-3 and was the Russian╠s basic surveillance receiver. It was the most advanced design of the time. It is a transportable HF direction finder using ═Adcock╬ type antenna. Voice and CW reception are provided in the frequency range 1.5 to 16.8 Mc/s in four bands. The receiver and the goniometer are housed in a metal case, which measures 17 1/2 ═ x 23 3/4 ═ x 17 1/4╬ and the wooden transit case is 34 1/2╬ x 23 3/4╬ x 20 1/2╬. the set weighs 800 lbs. The antenna is four verticle dipoles 29╠7╬ in length and the active elements are 26╠8╬ long.. . THE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail Telephone AC 727- 585-7756 ed[Many of the equipment discriptions in this part were supplied and presented by the author without editing by Vlad Dvorkin KB9OLM ex. UA3ACR ] *********************************************** RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS PART III; By: LTC William L. Howard e-mail: SPECIAL PURPOSE OR MISSION RADIOS Belka , Sever (North) Sever and Belka are like twins,and are too fragile to be considered special mission radios by todays (1990s) standards. They are considered as Agent Radios by Serge but I list them as special purpose as that was what they were designed for in the 1940s. Belka M 2 Radio RX 35-115 m(8.56-2.6 MHz) in two ranges: 35-65 m and 62-115 m XFO TX 47-110 m 2 tubes SB244, 1 tube 2K2M Power output 3-.3.5 w Weight 2.4 Kg Dimensions 264x 196x115 mm. Estimated range was I think about 400 to 2000 km depending on frequency and time, max. Belka 4 TUD Radio no details available. RPO-4 - 1942 This set came in two wooden boxes and was designed by W.A. Terltski and M.A. Levitin The Sever Radio The set was originally called the OMEGA and mass production of the OMEGA radio was started under the supervision of A.A. Zdanov (1st secretary of Leningrad Communist Party Organization and member of Military Command of Leningrad Front) and I.M. Mironov (Chief of Communications of Leningrad Committee of Partisan Movement). The name of the radio was changed to SEVER,(the Russian Word for North) which reflects that it was initially developed for the North Front. (This is why I consider it to be a special purpose radio) The set was made in two versions, the majority for battery power and a lesser quantity for AC operation. Several variations of the set have been observed, some with English Markings on the controls and some with Russian markings. The particular set that I examined was a battery power set with Russian markings. One was used by the army and one used by the Partisans. Accessories that would have come with the set were the antenna and counterpoise/ground, the headset, the crystals and the power cable. The batteries were all in a battery box or pack. In order to minimize receiver/transmitter size B.A. Michalin developed a so called transceiver circuit where most of the elements and tubes are used for receive and transmit. As a result the radios weight is 2.0 kilograms. Spare parts are 2.0 kilograms as well. The batteries weighed 6.0 kilograms. Everything was packed into two small canvas bags. The circuit was very simple. The receiver has one RF stage with no tuning followed by a regenerative detector stage which has frequency tuning and regeneration control and was used in the CW mode only. Frequency range from 2.5 MHz to 10 MHz. Another source states the range was 3.5 to 6.8 MHz in Range 1 and 6.5 to 12 MHz in Range 2) Audio output was through high impedance headphones. The set used two 2K2M tubes and one C-224( also known as the Type 24 or 2-4M tube) The Soviet designation of the 2K2M tube is the SO 241 and the transmitter tube is the SO 257. These tubes were 2 volt filament tubes. The transmitter has two stages, oscillator and final stage. First stage, the oscillator, was tunable from 2.5 MHz to 6 MHz. (Some sources indicate it was 3.4 MHz to 6.8 MHz) It worked with crystals within the same frequency range. The Receiver and Transmitter scales did not have actual frequency markers. The antenna, was a long Wire, 12 meters in length and had to be a minimum of 1 meter above the ground. The filament battery used was the Type 3C (two batteries were used), which had a 29 ampere/hours capacity. Plate battery power was supplied by Type BAS-60 Batteries. (four batteries used), which had a 0.45 ampere/hours capacity. A power cable with a connector was used to connect batteries to the radio. The power cable terminated in a small bakelite screw connectors that had leads running to the different batteries. According to an article in a Russian magazine communication over a range of 700 km distance was possible with higher grade stationary equipment if a directional antenna was used at the other end.(The base station) ARMORED VEHICLE RADIOS During WW II, Russian armor units did not have a radio in each tank as did the Germans and Americans. Tank platoons had a radio in the platoon leaders tank and orders were then sent to the other tanks by visual signals. Many Russian tanks were lend lease Shermans and in many others the Type 19 Wireless set was the standard radio. For the most part, AM was the standard means of comunication among those tanks that had radio sets.. To some degree the reliance on visual signals has carried on into the present day. Date Model Used in Technical Info. 1931 71-TK BT-type Vehicles 1.36-1.96 MHz, 80 kG 1938 RTU-1 armoured vehicles 1940 71-TK-3 BT-types, KW 1941/42 Type 19 Wireless Set-Canadian/British Lease set 1942 10 RT T-34 & others 1943 10 RK T-34 & others 1944 9-RS T-34; T-70; SAU whip 4 m, 4-5.62 MHz 5-8 W 18 kG.Outer view: Tall box. 19?? 9-R data unknown 19?? 12-RT data unknown 19?? 9-RM(10-RK-26) 26 VDC supplies 1954 R-113 T-54, T 55 tanks 1962 R 123 T 62, T 64, T 72. 9-RS, In 1944 the Russians upgunned the T 34 tank with an 85 mm gun. The T34/85s and the T 44 tanks, as well as the light and medium SP guns were equiped with the 9 -RS radio sets. The 9 RS radio transmitter is easily recognized by the ventilation slits in the case and small hinged cover to protect the transmitter controls and a recessed triangular area to protect the radio receiver╠s controls, The set is mounted on top of what must be a combination antenna matching unit and interphone intercom amplifier. The I.D. book is not clear and two different sets are shown. 10 RT Tank Transceiver, According to Serge, the 10 RT set was first introduced in 1942 and was used in the T-34 & other combat vehicles. To the best of my knowledge, the first time this set was encountered by US forces was during the Korean War. This set looks to be a better set than the 9 RS, at least as far as construction is concerned. The 9 RS looks like it was built during WW II and the 10 RT set that I saw in the Signal corps Museum in the early 1960╠s looked like it was made in the post war period. There may well be an early version and a later version but this is uncertain. The set consists of the transmitter, the receiver, a dual dynamotor unit and associated cabling. Power plug connections have been improved and have in addition to the pins, a screw down connector to keep them from falling out as the tank went over rough terrain. This is similar in concept to the power plug screws found on most 1950 vintage US radios such as the AN/GRR-5, AN/VRC-10s , etc. AGENT RADIOS: Belka, Sever, Sever and Belka are like twins,and are too fragile to be considered special mission radios by todays (1990s) standards. They are considered as Agent Radios by Serge but I list them as special purpose as that was what they were designed for in the 1940s.They were described above.. British No 48 set, Canadian H-15, Nabala, Beta, Prima, Tensor THE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail Telephone AC 727- 585-7756 With major contributions from Vlad Dvorkin KB9OLM ex. UA3ACR *********************************************** RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS PART IV; POST WW II RADIOS,THE COLD WAR ERA 1950 TO 1973 In the 1950s the Russian Army adopted a system of radio nomenclature similar to the U.S. Army classification in the 50's but in some corrupted form. R1XX are complete radios, RX/TX was used to designate radios no matter what power,from 1 w to 2 kw and more. R2XX were Army receivers R3XX were special receivers and radios. R4XX were VHF and UHF radio relay systems; R6XX-Navy systems R8XX-Air Force .systems. Reconnaissance units and experimental units were often marked by nickname, like ═Kalina"; "Krot"(Mole), etc. They were never assigned as RXXX. Some western collectors often refuse to get very rare specimens just due to lack of RXXX name...1973 is an arbitrary date that I chose as a dividing line. In 1973, the Arabs and Israeli engaged in what is now called the October War or War of Atonement. Many of the radios listed below were in service with the Arab nations and were captured by the Israeli forces. This is what much of our knowledge is based upon. An interesting fact in this system is that on occassion the Soviets intentionally gave a new radio the wrong designation in an effort to confuse western intelligence agencies as to the true nature of the radios intended use. GENERAL ISSUE TACTICAL RADIOS Patrol Radios: R 116 The R 116 was one of the first Russian radios in the post war period that resembled the WW II German ═Dorette╬ and I suspect that it╠s design was heavily influenced by captured Dorettes. This radio is a vey small, compact set, powered by batteries. It has the batteries and the R/T unit in the same case. It is believed that this set was replaced by the R 126. R 126 The R 126 which was first manufactured in 1962 is a ruggedly constructed, light weight battery operated radio designed for short range communication. It has a power output of 0.5 watts and a transmission range of 2 to 4 Km (1 -2.5 miles) The R 126 has a frequency range of 48.5 to 51.0 MHz and comes in two versions, crystal controlled and continuous tune. The crystal controlled version has three pre set frequencies. The set is housed in an aluminum alloy case, 17.8 x 7.6 x 15.2 cm, painted khaki colored enamel and is powered by two 1.5 VDC silver zinc batteries. With batteries, the set weighs 2.8 kg (6 lb.) It may be carried by a sling or clipped on the belt, copying very closely the WW II Dorette Radio. The main purpose of the R 126 was to provide communication between squads and platoons. Another use of the radio is to provide an off vehicle radio for command and control to the operators of SAGGER and SNAPPER missile systems. This set operates in the same frequency range as the AN/PRC 25, AN/PRC 77 and the AN/VRC 12 and can be netted with these radios. R 147, R 148, R 159 Company/Battalion Radios: R105, R105D, R105M, R-108M, R-109M, R-114 The most common of all the Russian radios to be found all over the world, is the R-105 family of backpack radios. The radio is rather primitive by anybodies standards, it is not easy to use, nor does it have any saving graces save one, "If you fire one up, it usually works". First introduced in the early 1950's, it was revamped in the 1960's to use more modern materials(D models), & again in the 1970's(M models). It has been referred to by many as a slightly updated copy of captured WW-II German sets and many of it's characteristics, & accessories will show this lineage. All the sets in this series are of tube type design, with the only presence of transistors being in the radio's internal inverter power supply. Their cabinets(M models) are constructed of a heavy bakelight type material, sealed with paraffin to prevent water & dust seepage. A removable cover allows access to the sets controls which are placed up one side. The radio is fully operational with this cover in place & it does provide exceptional protection for the controls, as well as further enhancement of the radios water tight integrity. The opposite side of the radio has an identical cover to house it's rechargeable nicad batteries. The short antenna supplied with the sets is unique in design & also reminiscent of it's WW-II German ancestry. Designated as the ═KULIKOV╬ Antenna, it is constructed of a series of aluminum beads strung on a steel cable, a stiff spring on the end keeps pressure against these beads & a semi rigid but flexible antenna results. Releasing this spring tension collapses the antenna allowing it to be rolled up for easy storage and the radio will receive with the antenna collapsed, thus making it harder for enemy snipers to spot the radio operator. Better than the British system on the PRC-349, US SCR-300, & anything produced in WW-II, but still not as good as the U.S. "Stanley" tape configuration thats been in use since 1949, which was also copied from the German Feldfu of WW II.. Accessories are available to allow the set to perform various tasks. Without exception they exhibit the utmost in simplicity, & crude utilitarian design. Carry equipment consist of a very thin plastic covered cushion or a heavy canvas padded cushion, that is placed on the back of the radio, & simple canvas straps. A long sectional antenna is provided to increase the sets range while in it's backpack configuration, it does not incorporate a spring to minimize damage. This same antenna is combined with a "C" clamp type mount for use as a vehicular antenna. A metal frame used to secure the radio in it's transit case, can also double as a vehicular mount. It's combination headset/mic is very similar to that used with the WW-II U.S. Navy TBY. A handset could also be used that is virtually a copy of a WW-II German type, & looks much like those used on U.S. EE-8 field telephones. Other accessories include a long wire antenna, & a 50 watt mobile amplifier is also known to have been built, both intended to increase the basic radios range. The R-105M is the most common of the series, & was intended for use by infantry units. Operating in one continuous band on 36-46.1mc, with an intended channel spacing of 25 or 50kc. RF power output is rated at 1 watt, FM. Power is derived from two internal nicad batteries. Differences between the R-105 & other radios in this family can be seen below. R-108M, R-109M, R-114 The R-108M, R-109M, & R-114 are identical to the R-105M with the exception of frequency coverage, & the intended branch of service they were to be used by. In similar fashion to U.S. allocations in the 50's-early 60's. The VHF frequency spectrum was sectioned off, the different types of combat units having there own frequency range. To this end we have the R-108M being operated by artillery units, between 28-36.5mc. The R-109M, by anti-aircraft artillery on 21.5-28.5mc. And the R-114 20-26mc for command & liaison at battalion level. Though the R-105M series had been reported to be out of production before 1987, the following provided by one of the members of the Military Radio Collecting Group, would tend to indicate it was produced longer than officially thought. Further, it might reflect the build up of all armaments, due to the hostilities between Iraq & Iran. "One interesting fact: I have an R-105M Russian set that came from the Gulf, the wood transit case has a contract number and date on it. The date is 1986, this is consistant with the other equipment I have seen that seems to have been purchased in the early 1980s. The BCC-349s have a similar production date on them."Documents that were included with my set indicate it entered service in 1982, & had a last inspection date of 1990. Note, these documents are present in both Russian & German." Production of this radio series has taken place in many of the former Warsaw Pact countries. Today, East German examples in nearly new condition, with all their accessories & in the transit case, can be had from a west coast surplus dealer. Only the Russian variants of the R-105D, M, & R-108D, M have been confirmed as in use by Iraqi forces. [ed) The above was originally written by myself and included in a series of articles entitled "Desert Storm Trophies". The complete text is available from our "Backmail" files. The "D" model radios were only mentioned briefly in that series as they were not known to have participated in Desert Storm. While the author did not see fit to elaborate on it here, it should be noted that the only similarities between the "M", and the earlier "D" model radios were their intended mission and frequency coverage. The radios are completely different in size, cabinet construction/materials, and internal design.] Base/Fixed Station Radios: R 102, R 103, R 104 The R 104 is a high/low power Amplitude Modulated (AM) vehicle or Man packed transceiver. It consists of : a transceiver, an antenna matching unit, a battery pack, a vehicular power supply and related accessories. The transceiver is housed in a metal case, 36 x 22 x 50 Cm, weighing 55 lbs. with a removable front cover. the cover protects the various knobs and controls that operate the radio. It has a leather carrying strap on top . The matching unit is also housed in a metal case with a removable top which protects the cable connections and the two 2.4 volt DC batteries. . The set is capable of AM/CW and covers the frequencies from 1.5 to 4.25 MHz. It has continuous tuning and a transmitting range of 50 Km. It can be powered by 12 VDC from two 6 volt batteries or 4.8 volts from rechargable wet cells In low power operation the power output is 1 watt for AM voice mode and 3.5 watts for CW. In the high power mode, 10 watts are provided for AM voice and 20 watts for CW. In the high power mde and with the proper antenna, etc the set has a range of 50 Km (31 Miles) The continuous tune characteristic of this set makes it possible to tune up to 275 fixed frequencies by using the graduations on the frequency dial.The set is designed to use a wide range of antennas to include a 4 eter whip, a log wire, a 50 meter wire, dipole and an 11 meter telescopic mast and an inverted ═L╬. The set can be remotely operated from 300 meters away using a field telephone. This set can also be utilized as a re transmission unit. It is used in a variety of configurations and often with other pieces of equipment, such as the R 125T to form a complete radio station. There is also a R 104 D version and an R 104 M. These sets are found in Division, regiment and battalion radio nets. R 104M The R 104M is an Amplitude Modulated (AM) vehicle or Man packed transceiver. It consists of : a transceiver, an antenna matching unit, a battery pack, a vehicular power supply and related accessories. The transceiver is housed in a metal case, 35 x 42 x 24 Cm, weighing 25 Kg with a removable front cover. the cover protects the various knobs and controls that operate the radio. It can be recognized by a leather carrying strap on top and a large beveled frequency window.. The matching unit is also housed in a metal case with a removable top which protects the cable connections and the two 2.4 volt DC batteries. The top also stores the 4 meter whip antenna. The vehicle power supply is housed in a metal case and has two cable connector jacks and two wire connectors for power. The accessories consist of two power cables, a handset/headset, a CVC helmet. a repair kit and the various antennas. The set is capable of AM/CW and covers the frequencies from 1.5 to 4.25 MHz. It has continuous tuning and a transmitting range of 50 Km. It can be powered by 12 VDC from a vehicle battery or 4.8 volts from rechargable wet cells The matching unit is 17.8 x 6.3 x 6.3 and weighs 2.2 Kg. , The Battery pack is 35 x 15 x 20 Cm and weighs 10.5 Kg. , and the vehicle power supply is 10 x 16.5 x 21 Cm. and weighs 9 Kg. The set can be remotely operasted from 300 meters away using a field telephone. This set can communicate with the R 102, R 103, R 112, R 118 and the R 130 systems. The set is used in Motorized Rifle and Artillery Regiments and also is used by the Reconnaisance, Signal, and chemical elements of a tank battalion. It has been replaced by the R 104 M which has an expanded frequency range of 1.5 to 4.5 MHz. These sets have been replaced by the R 129 for manpack operations and by the R 130 for vehicle operations. R 112 The R 112 Radio set is a high frequency. medium power, amplitude modulated transceiver used primarily in soviet command vehicles and was first introduced in the Soviet Army in the late 1950s. The R 112 has a frequecy range of 2.8 to 4.99 MHz and is manually detent tuned in 10 KHz increments. It has two modes of operation, voice (AM) and continuous wave (CW). A complete R 112 consists of the transceiver, receiver and transmitter dynamotors, antenna tuner/coupler, antenna and the standard Soviet CVC helmet.. there are two types of antenna used with this set. A 4 meter whip antenna which is used when the vehicle is in motion and the 10 eter whip, used when the vehicle is operating as a stationary command post. The unit has a power output of 50 watts in voice and 90 watts in the CW mode. It is a rugged set with recessed controls and can withstand rough treatment it receives when mounted in an armored vehicle. The set can be netted with the AN/GRC 9, AN/VRC 34, AN/GRC 19 and the AN/GRC 106. R 118 R 130 See R 130M listed later. Receivers R-250, R-250M, R-250M2, R-250, R-250M, R-250M2 Were the most prominent and remarkable Russian short wave receivers. The receiver line was produced and modernized from 1948 until 1981(appr.) The designer was Anton Antonovich Saveliev, Yuri Alexandrov (U1SX) and others. Yuri was still alive in 1998. It was designed at the Red Banner Military Academy of Communication named after Marshal Semyon Budenny(VKAS) First thought of in 1940 after reading radio amateur publications and short wave ham magazine. The project was finalized in 1946-1949. First named AS-1 and AS-2( Author's initials) The set took the Stalin Premium in early 50's. While working on the design numerous other developments were taken into account, but no examples were actually obtained, so it is basically an original Russian design. Weight is about 80-90 kG(depends upon mod) The design very rugged.The set comes in a cabinet with two compartments and is made from Aluminum castings which are used on chassis etc The set covers a frequency range of 1.5 to 25.5 MHz(later versions 1.5-33.5 MHz) in 12 bands; 2 MHz width ea. The 1st IF is tunable 1.5-3.5 MHz, the 2nd IF 215 kHz. Tunable bandwidth 1-14 kHz in the later versions. A large drum is used as bandswitch. The set has an Optical projection dial for frequency readout. Accuracy of the first sets was 2 kHz, in later sets it was increase to 1 kHz divisions. The early set used octal metal tubes, later sets used miniature tubes. The set has a separate AC/DC supply 127/220 VAC, and can also be powered from a 12 VDC Source. KMPU(Two R-250M in a case) KMPU-M(Two R-250M2) It is interesting to note that the Soviet Navy also had the same set. The naval nomenclature for these sets was: R-670 (Navy R-250M), R-670M (Navy R-250M2) R-671, R-672 or 2GLK(LW-MW version of R-250) R 311 AM Receiver The R 311 AM Receiver resembles a repackaged WW II German Torn E. b set and I suspect that captured German sets influenced this sets design as well as the R 250 sets. The German set came in two cases, the receiver and the accessory case which housed the wet cell battery and the vibrator power supply, connecting cables and the head set. It was a regenerative receiver used mainly for intercept work. The R 311 is an AM, manpacked or vehicular - mounted set. The receiver is housed in a Gray colored metal case with a removable front cover. The case has a handle on the top and a storage compartment on the left side.. The storage compartment houses the power supply and the headset. To the rear of the storage compartment is a separate compartment for the accumulator. The power supply cable terminates in a bakelite panel with spade lugs that connects to screw binding posts on the receiver. The set can be operated from another power source if necessary. On the front of the receiver are the minimum number of controls. There is a large tuning knob in the front center above which is the frequency display window, To the right is a band selector switch. The set operates from 1 to 15 MHz with a continuous tuning system. It requires an 80 volt plate supply and can make use of a whip antenna, a Long wire antenna or a directional antenna. Obsolete at ths time and has been replaced by several newer radios. R 312 AM Receiver This set is one of a series of radios that include the R 311. This set is the same set but covers 20 to 60 MHz. R 313 AM Receiver This set is one of a series of radios that includes the R 311 and R 312. This set is presumably the same general layout as the first two sets but covered 60 to 300 MHz. R 313 M AM Receiver This set is one of a series of radios that are modifications to the basic series. The front panel is redesigned. In this set the 60 to 300 MHz spectrum is covered in four bands, marked in red, yellow, green and white on both the coil turret indicator on the right sde of the set and in the large coarse frequency scale on the left side.. A more precise indication of the frequency is projected onto a frosted glass panel in the center of this scale. Tubes are used throughout witha separate mains or vibrator power supply unit connected at the rear of the set. THE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail Telephone AC 727- 585-7756 With major contributions from Vlad Dvorkin KB9OLM ex. UA3ACR *********************************************** RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS PART V; By LTC William L. Howard POST WW II RADIOS,THE COLD WAR ERA 1950 TO 1973(cont.) SPECIAL PURPOSE OR MISSION RADIOS: R 350/OOAB This radio was designed to be used by Special Mission(SPETZNAZ) Troops who would be parachuted behind enemy lines and then direct bomber and air strikes in the enemy rear area. This is a very rare set and there are only 3 known to be in the USA. The Signal corps Museum has one, the Technical Intelligence Battalion has one and I have one. The set is completly self contained in a stamped aluminum case with a hinged lid. It is 34.2 x 31.5 x 15.2 Cm and has a weight of 11.35 Kg. The top cover unfolds to reveal the antenna rods, the ten plug in tramsmitter coil units, the key, the headphones, a swing out lamp and a maintenance kit. The set consists of the rechargeable accumulator, providing 4.8 VDC, the power converter, and the transmitter/receiver unit.The accumulator has a heating coil around it for use in sub zero weather conditions. The set is capable of CW transmission and can receive AM/CW/MCW. It operates in the frequency range of 1.8 to 12 MHz. for transmitting and 1.8 to 7 MHz in receive. It has continuous tuning and the RF Power output is 10 watts. In the search mode the RF power is 2.5 watts. It is now obsolete, having been replaced by the R 350M and later versions. R350M/OOAB An updated version of the R 350/OOAB set. R-671 R-673 (PRV, Melnik-after BC-779, Navy version) R-675 Onix(Navy synthesized SW) R-251 after E-52 SW R-252 after E-51 LW-MW R-310 after E-52 SW R-309 (Yachmen) after E-52 SW Amur(LW-MW synthesized, 1950's) Kalina(SW synthesized, 60's) The sets listed below seem to have been based on U.S. Lend Lease sets. Krot (KGB after E-52C) The E 52 was a German late war radio. KV ( After BC-779) KV-M ( After BC-779)1.5-12 MHz. Nickname Dahl KV-YA(Directon Finder) RAT radiotruck basic component Purga (After BC-779) Purga-45 (After BC-779) ARMORED VEHICLE RADIOS In the mid 1950╠s the Russians fielded the T 54 tank and later the T 55 tank. These tanks had the R 113 FM set for vehicle to vehicle communication and some tanks had the R 311 , an AM set for monitoring higher level units transmissions. The next major tank to enter Russian service was the T 62 tank which had the R 123 FM radio transceiver. As T 62s began to fill the Soviet inventory, the T 54 and T 55 tanks were transferred to their allies. The T 72 began to replace the T 62.s and by the time of the 1973 mid-east wars, the T 62 was in Arab hands along with the R 113 radios and the R 311 AM sets. By the time Iraq and Iran went to war with each other, the T 72 tanks were being made in an export version. These tanks had the R 123 transceiver. The examples of these sets that I have were made in Russia , had Russian markings on the case and had English language labels pasted over the Russian lettering. R113 with R 120 Amplifier The R 113, or as the inscription in Russian cyrillic reads ═P 113╬ set was a frequency modulated, detent tuned, transceiver with a frequency range of 20-22.375 MC. The R 113 requires a separate power source and there are two versions, The BP -2 A which operates from a 26 volt DC Source and the BP -2 B which operates from a 13 volt DC source. The operating voltage of the vehicle in which it is installed will determnne the unit which is the power supply. There is a matrix behind the front panel which must be wired to match the voltage of the power supply. A complete station consist of the transceiver, the power suply and the antenna matching unit. The set has a transmitting range of 20 km (12.4 miles) with a power output of 16 watts. It has three modes of operation; listen only, transmit/receive and voice operated transmission . The radio has a modular design and can be repaired easily by replacing the defective module. Because of it╠s limited frequency range, the R 113 can not net with some of the radios in the Soviet Army such as the R 105 and the R 108 back pack radios which were also supplied to the Iraquis.. This was the reason that it was replaced by the R 123. This set was normally used in conjunction with the R 120 vehicle intercom system which consisted of a tube amplifier, associated cabling and crew station junction boxes. The standard Soviet tankers helmet has a four pin connector which connects to a cable with a push to talk switch.. This cable is connected to the junction box. It is a quick disconnect system, similar to that found on most of the worlds tanks. The R 123 and R 123 M Transceivers.and R 124 Amplifier This is one of the newest FM sets to be issued to the Soviet forces. It is a compact transceiver that has a frequency range of 20 to 51.5 MC and can be continusoly tuned over the entire frequency range, and there is also a switch which allows the operator to select any one of four preset frquencies. There are two antennas for use with tis set, a four meter one for when the vehicle is in motion and a ten meter telescopic antenna for when the vehicle is used as a stationary command post. The R 123M has no internal speaker, therefor a headset/mike or CVC helmet must be used. Normally this is also done through an intercom system. The various voltages that are required to operate this set are supplied by a transistorized power supply. The set is capable of transmitting over a range of 16 to 55 Km (10 to 35 miles) depending on the type of antenna used. The set has excellent frequency stability and because of its modular design, repairs are easily accomplished by replacement of the defective module. Te set however has a problem in that the antenna loading indicators will give several different indications during the antenna loading procedure. It is therefore possile for an unskilled operator to load the antennas improperly and the set will transmit far below it╠s maximum power out put. This set can be netted with several US set to include the AN/VRC 12 series of radios, the AN/PRC 77, the AN/PRR 9 and the AN/PRT 4 A. The R 123 has a voice operated mode(VOX) and the R 123M set does not have a VOX capability. This set had become the standard set of the Soviet and Warsaw pact armies before their collapse. It is also included in all armored vehicles that the Soviets exported. The sample in my collection was brought back from Desert Storm and had English language metal tags glued on over the Russian cyrillic writing. The glue did not hold up well in the desert heat and many were falling off. One is also forced to wonder what good are English language tags to an Iraqui tank crewman. This set is normally used with the R 124 intercom system, a fully transistorized replacement for the R 120. This is similar to the R 120 intercom system in that it consists of an amplifier, crew station juncton boxes, connecting cords and CVC helmets. The conncecting cords came in little leather pouches and I have samples of the push to talk switches both in Cyrillic and in English. AGENT RADIOS: NKVD Sets ( NKVD was replaced by the KGB) Nabala, This set, and the Beta sets consisted of a small transmitter, receiver and power supply. The power supply operated from a variety of power sources. The receivers were three tube radios and the transmitters were one tube radios. See the article in ELECTRIC RADIO. (They resemble our RS 6 Radio in size) Beta Set-See above Suitcase Radios (developed in the 1950-1960 time frame.) They were only made in 1957. As Serge explained it.╬ I' d say the suitcase radio is definitely not a serial military radio, due to it's hideous nature. It would have khaki color, strong metal case, etc. Instead, the set is looking like a civic thing. I dare say, it looks like an experimental spy radio. Basing on two units I have here, their quantity did not exceed 100. It was very small order, as you can judge yourself. Several people have been asked for it, and answers were, that a secret agent could use this radio for bombers control on VHF phone. An agent shall sit in a home with AC power line 90 to 240 VAC, and use a small VHF antenna, hung inside the room. I' d suggest it was 1957, a mad nuclear euphoria and horror amidst both our countries population. I think an agent of a sort of kamikaze would be planned to sit in New York or another huge town and call pilots of approaching waves of nuclear bombers. So the station's destination was planned as a single use and only switch-on once... Then we can understand why this station has unmasked open speech channels- just no need to cipher the message 5 minutes prior to nuclear explosions. Same reason why it doesn't have CW- speech is much faster and informative in such a critical situation! And we can also understand it's heaviness- 20 Kg, whereas spy radio shall be easily movable. Just this radio shall peacefully lay in a closet, looking like a suitcase, till a nuclear alarm is announced. Frequencies and mode types confirm that such a radio shall be used for military airborne contacts: 86,9 and 87,4 MHz AM/FM. Usage of this radio as a military thing inside of Russia doesn't exist. Maybe the KGB hoped to enhance the reliability of killing US President in a nuclear attack on Wash. DC, by placing some radio agents close to White House or another certain place. That time as you may remember, there was a challenge to USA by communist USSR just getting nuclear and H-bomb and nearly creating reliable strategic missile R7, developed from the Nazi V-2 . I think the suitcase radios lost their importance and actuality after strategic missiles had proven their accuracy and usefulness in early 60' s. Nabla and Beta Radios, if judging on the components, are of WWII or 1945...1949 age at least. Judging on octal tube sockets they may even be pre-WWII. THE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail Telephone AC 727- 585-7756 *********************************************** RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS PART VI; By LTC William L. Howard SOVIET COLD WAR ERA RADIOS 1973 TO PRESENT: GENERAL ISSUE TACTICAL RADIOS Patrol Radios, Apparently the R 126 set was still in this role until the early 1980s. It has been replaced by the R 392 R 392 This is a man pack radio developed in the 1980's. It has 6 fixed channels: 44.3, 44.6,44.9, 45.2, 45.8 MHz. The channel selector on top of the set is normally covered by a circular cover like that used on the R 126. This set has an RF output of about 2 watts and is powered by a 9.6 volt Ni-Cad battery. In operation the set is carried in a canvas carrier strapped to the operators back It uses a single headphone with a cheek microphone connected to the set by a cord through the control unit. Company/Battalion Radios: R 107, The R 107 transceiver is one of the newest additions to Soviet communications. It is a manpacked frequency modulated transceiver which operates within a frequency range of of 20 - 52 MHz. encompassing 1,231 useable frequencies (Channels). This radio uses two bands, Band One is 20-36 MHz and Band Two is 36-52 MHZ. the set is capable of using the standard Kulikov antenna, a combined rod (2.7 meter) or a traveling wave (40 meter doublet). It has both continuous tune and preset capability with up to four preset frequencies. Power for the set is supplied by two rechargable KNP-20 2.4 volt batteries.. The R 107 is a sturdily constructed radio with a working weight of 16.9 Kg (37.2 lb.) The set has a power output of 1 watt and a range of 6 kilometers (3.75 iles) with a whip antenna 6-8 Km ( 3.75 - 5 miles) with a combined rod antenna and 12 - 25 Km (9.4 to 15.6 miles) with a travelling wave antenna. The set can be used as a radio relay station and can be remoted by using the standard field telephones, the TAI 43 or the newer TA 57. The set is designed for communications up to company level. This set operates in the same frequency range as the AN/PRC 25, AN/PRC 77 and the AN/VRC 12 and can be netted with these radios. This set is replacing the R 105 M series of radios. R 129 Man Pack Transceiver, The R 129 is a ruggedly constructed, man packed transceiver which operates from two 2.4 VDC batteries hooked in series. The set is 18.7 x 40,0 x 33.7 cm and weighs 19 Kg. The front panel contains the dials and switches which operate the tansceiver.The set can easily be recognized by the power switch's location on top of the radio. The R 129 can can transmit and receive in Single Side Band (SSB), Amplitute Modulation (AM) and continuous wave,(CW). It can also transmit but not receive Frequency Shift Keying(FSK) The set operates from 1 to 10.999MHz. It has detent tuning with a 10 KHz channel spacing.. The power output is 3 to 90 watts and has a range of from 10 to 300 Km. The antennas that can be used with this set are a 1.5 meter whip antenna and a Dipole Antenna. The set can be remotely operated from up to km distant with the use of the new TA 57 field telephone. The limitations of this set are that it is difficult to repair as the components are hard soldered to the chassis rather than being modular plug in units. Because of its weight it is difficult to manpack. As it has no speaker, headphones must be used. When in the mobile mode, the set is capable of only 8 hours continuous receive operation before recharging the accumulators becomes necessary. Base/Fixed Station Radios: R102, R 118, R 140 These sets were mounted in a Radio Truck. R 130 Vehicular Radio, The R 130M is an AM transceiver , which was a vehicuar replacement for the R 104 and R 104M sets. It is comprised of three major components, the transceiver, the the matching unit and the power supply. All three are house in gray metal cases. The transceiver is 10" x 17" x 12" and weighs 90 pounds. The matching unit is 11" x 16" x 10" and weighs 8 pounds. The power supply is 9" x 7" x 11" and weighs 12 pounds. The set has a frequency range of 1500KHz to 10990 KHz with 950 preset frequencies spaced at 10 KHz. It has six modes of operation, SSB.AM (AM Voice) Wide Band ON-OFF keying, Narrow Band ON-OFF keying, Continuous Wave ( CW) and transmission in Frequency shift Keying (FSK). The receiver can receive in the stand by mode. The R 130 utilizes three types of antennas for vehicle use. A 4 meter whip, an inclined wire and a doublet antenna. When on the move it uses the 4 meter whip and when at a fixed location, it can use any combination of the three. The set requires a power source of 22.1 to 29,9 VDC. The set can be operated with the R 123 by connecting both sets to the R 130M antenna matching unit. R 143, "BAGULNIK' CW/SSB/RTTY 1.5 to 20 Mhz, size 105mm x 310mm x 350 mm, 7 kg in weight and has headset.mike, whip antenna, and key Bagulnik/ R-143 without doubt was used in Desert Storm affair for it is quite contemporary rig. I've heard of specimens with foreign lettering on them. R-354, Is a smaller radio than the R 143 It is a radio possibly with burst code transmitter inside. It is not a type of FM radio in common use. Possibly it compounds speech and shoots it thereafter, but I am unaware. It's quite obsolete now, having entered service in 1982 or so. Maybe it acts as a scrambler for speech unintelligibility.Guess,it's because of several plug-in units,maybe they should be changed depending upon what task the set is to perform during and prior to an action. R-326, Was created in late 60's. They were starting to introduce this set to communication troops(1969... 1974).The receiver was considered SECRET and even the Russian soldiers were not allowed to see the set.The set consists of the receiver and a power supply capable of operation on either 220 VAC or 110 VAC. Accessories include a long wire antenna, headset and an antenna connection box. The set also makes use of two rechargeable batteries to power the dial light. R-326M, 1 to 30 MHz, digital readout, double conversion, mechanical filters, synthesizer, fully IC solid state. Front panel and AC Power Supply are different than the one used for the R-326. Outer sizes and the cabinet are about the same. Just an excellent receiver to monitor short wave bands. Can be powered from accumulators. R-326M, probably came out in the early 80's, and is now out of production, due to disarmament. It is an excellent set. SPECIAL PURPOSE OR MISSION RADIOS: R 394, Developed as a replacement for the R 350 and R350M series radios R-394K is. It' s contemporary R-350/00AB. 2 times less in volume. R-394K is an Aluminum khaki colored suitcase 350x130x260 mm, weigh is.7 kg. w/posts for joining a parachute canvas. According to Serge, there is no real difference between the sets and he felt that one might have a coder and one with out.. The sets had a Freq range of 1.5 to 13.5 MHz with an output of 15-20 watts, estimated. The set that was examined was Serial No 91 and the meter was dated 1977 but the data plate on the set put it's manufacture at 1982. R374, It is questionable that this set exists. ARMORED VEHICLE RADIOS: R 173 Transceiver / R 124 Intercom The R-123 was replaced in the Russian armed forces about 10 years ago.( 1987-88) The replacement was the R-173. This is a modern, all solid state, synthesized radio that tunes 30-76 MHz in 1kHz steps. The set has keyboard entry for frequencies and an LED readout. It also has some memory channels but I can't recall how many at the moment. I don't think the Iraqis got any R-173s. AGENT RADIOS Small Transistorized Radio, powered by 9 volt battery The agent radio does not have any type of model or identification number; nor would one expect it to. The idea would be that nothing on the set should give any link to a specific intelligence service. The purpose of the set was to receive OWVL (One Way Voice Links), the "numbers stations". The numbers are used with OTPs (One Time Pads) to provide the agent with an unbreakable cipher. Of course the radios were for "receive only" since there was no reason to transmit back. Miscelaneous Facts not covered elsewhere It can be seen the the Russians prefer to power their radios with re-chargeable wet cell type batteries. Their term is accumulator. This has resulted in a special unit in the Russian army referred to as an "Accumulator Loading Station". Basically this is a truck mounted battery charging station. Powered by a gasoline driven generator, it is capable of recharging many batteries. The using unit takes their depleted batteries to the station and exchanges them for fully charged batteries. Among the many items brought back from Desert Storm was a maintenance kit from such a station. Packed in three wooden chests, it held a very flimsy soldering iron, a battery load tester consisting of a meter with a load shunt mounted on a handle, and several spare parts type items. I was able to get chests No 1 and 3 but not No 2. so do not know the full list of contents. THE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail Telephone AC 727- 585-7756 *********************************************** MEMBERS WRITE; RUSSIAN MILITARY RADIOS? From Tom Bryan Hi Dennis, There are two excellent reference books on Russian equipment. I would say they are a must for anyone that is serious about these sets. They are: Nachrichtentechnik der Nationalen Volksarmee Teil 1 and 2 by Guenther Fietsch, DL9WSM. These books are not cheap and they are in German but they are very good. They also cover East German as well as Russian sets. I have a few comments and some questions about this very interesting article. >Patrol Radios: R 116 > The R 116 was one of the first Russian radios in the post war >period that resembled the WW II German ═Dorette╬ and I suspect that it╠s >design was heavily influenced by captured Dorettes. This radio is a vey >small, compact set, powered by batteries. It has the batteries and the >R/T unit in the same case. It is believed that this set was replaced by the Bill does not mention something very important about the R-116. It is an AM set, not FM. There is also a "Company/Battalion Radios" called the R-106 that is also AM. It is clear that these sets were replaced with the R-105 series radios. Does anyone have any idea why they were using AM? I have one of these sets* and a Dorette and they are nothing alike. * I am looking for a headset and antenna for the R-116. >R 126 > The R 126 which was first manufactured in 1962 is a ruggedly >constructed, light weight battery operated radio designed for short range >communication. It has a power output of 0.5 watts and a transmission >range of 2 to 4 Km (1 -2.5 miles) > The R 126 has a frequency range of 48.5 to 51.0 MHz and comes in >two versions, crystal controlled and continuous tune. The crystal controlled >version has three pre set frequencies. >From the manual on the R-126: 48.5-51.5 MHz, 31 channels, 100kHz spacing Range 1.5 km on the Kulikov whip and 4-5 km on a longwire antenna. Power output .36W This little package has 2 transistors and 11 tubes in it. The crystal controlled version has the model number R-352. It covers 44-50 MHz and puts out .8W. According to Fietsch's book the R-352 was used by parachute troops. >Company/Battalion Radios: >R105, R105D, R105M, R-108M, R-109M, R-114 > R-108M, R-109M, R-114 Does the R-114 have a D or M designation? >Receivers >R-250, R-250M, R-250M2, R-250, R-250M, R-250M2 Were the most prominent What is the difference between the R-250M and M2? I have found very little information on the M2 version. Tom Bryan ed) I saw many areas in Bill's article that were lacking some of them were brought to his attention without receiving a response. Rather than completely re-writing his material, I opted to just edit it enough to make it marginally coherent hoping instead that some discussion might result. Thanks Tom for your input, and feel free to comment on any/all future material. --------------------------------------------------------------- Russian R-116 on AM? Reference your posting of T. Bryan reference to the R-116 , 16 Sept 98. The Russians were trying to "standardize" their modes of modulation. Aircraft traditionaly use AM why not make everything AM. Use same amplifiers, audio sections etc. ecBreck K4CHE ed) I'd sooner think that it was simply some leftover WW-II technology. Remember, the USSR do to the extreme distrust by the other Allied nations, was not privy to all available technology. *********************************************** AM/HF VERSES FM/VHF, & RUSSIAN RADIOS; Dennis, My basic comparison of AM versus FM has been that AM had greater range and FM had better quality of voice transmission. The US opted to use the AM sets when greater ranges were needed and FM for short range. The basic tank radios were the SCR 510 and SCR 508 which were FM and the SCR 506 was used by the Recon elements and the intelligence nets as they operated over greater ranges. I think the TMs say the AM-CW range of the SCR 506 is 125 miles while the range of the SCR 510s are about 5-10 miles. Since the Russian doctrine/organizational charts did not call for a radio in each tank, then greater range was required, hence AM was the preferred means of communication. One must also consider the great size of the Soviet Union and the strain on the industrial base so the tendency would be to keep on producing AM sets. I am certain the Soviets were aware of the advatages of FM communication but could not risk the change over to FM sets during the war. We had the luxury of almost 1 1/2 years of war in China and Europe to tinker and develop FM, standardize and issue purchase orders, get production lines started and had multiple contractors available before the war even started for us and then in the very early stages most of our sets were AM sets. The Europeans and the Orientals were deep into the war. Remember that the Japanese and Germans stuck with regenerative receivers until almost the last months of the war, even thought the super hetrodye circuits were know about.. Having "looked at" a number of AM/FM sets(Receivers) it seems to me that they both use basically the same parts, just wired somewhat differently. Now superimpose this on a completly inflexible manufacturing industrial base you have everything coming out as AM. Remember this is a system where when Stalin said to make an exact copy of a downed B 29(?) they made an exact copy to include the bullet holes.!! This does not foster innovative thinking. This is "informed opinion" on my part and I have nothing in the way of documents, etc to back it up. It makes some sense to me. If anyone has a different opinion or facts, I will be glad to change my thinking on the subject. William L. HowardTHE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail Telephone AC 727- 585-7756 ed) as is usual, you make the mistake of combining, and confusing AM/HF with FM/VHF. This has been a major problem with non-technical persons in lofty positions for over 50 years. Even the writers of our WW-II bible, "The Signal Corps" made this mistake numerous times thus clouding the efforts of non-technical researchers to this day. Let me make several things very clear so that they are not again confused! AM and FM are modes of operation, I/E methods of modulation. They are not bands of operation, or a selected frequency range, and should never be confused or used as a synonym. THERE IS NO range advantage between AM, or FM. While both have their advantages, or dis-advantages, range IS NOT one of them. This distinction is very important as there were, and is still today, radios that are modulated by both AM and FM in the VHF spectrum. HF, and VHF are sections of frequency spectrum and as such do have certain range benefits. The common mistake is to refer to HF as AM, and VHF as FM. This is absolutely unacceptable, and usually the practice of ignorant persons that don't know the difference, or lazy persons who won't add a couple more letters, (AM/HF, FM/VHF). No organization past or present, foreign of domestic ever used AM for "greater range", or FM for "short distances". They used HF for greater range, and VHF for short distances! Again this distinction is VERY important. Would you say that the AM modulated BC-222, -322, TBY, etc had greater range than the FM BC-620, -659, -1000 ? If you did, you'd be wrong! All are VHF portables with comparable output powers, yet the former is AM modulated while the later is FM. As such, the SCR-506 did not have a range of 125 miles because it was an AM set, it did because it was an HF radio with 50 watts output. And the SCR-510 did not have a range of 5-10 miles because it was an FM set, it did because it was a VHF radio with about 1.5 watts output. In this light, the bulk of Bill's above statement is total bull shit, and perpetuates the confusion and myth. Bill's above dissertation was prompted by Tom Bryan's informed questions, and observations in regard to his recent article on Russian Radio Equipment as seen below. While Tom's question concerns FM and portable field equipment, Bill's account is centered on armored. And while he may have made some valid points, we don't know it because of his synonymous us of AM, HF, and VHF, FM. "Bill does not mention something very important about the R-116. It is an AM set, not FM. There is also a "Company/Battalion Radios" called the R-106 that is also AM. It is clear that these sets were replaced with the R-105 series radios. Does anyone have any idea why they were using AM?" Though Bill made no mention of the subject radio's frequency range, or modulation mode in his original article, the R-116 was a VHF set using AM modulation. Tom knowing this, asked the question, "why AM?" when the bulk of the world's military had switched to FM for VHF communications equipment of this type. Breck Smith addressing the subject offered the following viable explanation in a subsequent Group Post. It is obviuos that at least Tom, and Breck know the difference between AM/HF, and VHF/FM. My original editor's response follows Breck's input, and this opinion still stands with the addition of some possible reasons for the USSR sticking with AM modulation for this length of time. [Russian R-116 on AM? Reference your posting of T. Bryan reference to the R-116 , 16 Sept 98. The Russians were trying to "standardize" their modes of modulation. Aircraft traditionally use AM why not make everything AM. Use same amplifiers, audio sections etc. Breck K4CHE ed) I'd sooner think that it was simply some leftover WW-II technology. Remember, the USSR do to the extreme distrust by the other Allied nations, was not privy to all our available technology.] Two things could account for the USSR's use of AM modulation for VHF tactical equipment well after WW-II. The first is the fact that Postwar Russian equipment of every type(not just radio's, or electronics) barrowed heavily from captured German technology, and where even manufacture on confiscated German machinery. The German's did not use FM modulation during WW-II even on their VHF tactical short range radio's which were AM. And has been stated, the USSR was not privy to all Allied technology. FM was purely a US invention of very resent discovery, supplied by the U.S. to it's Allies. As it has not been established that FM radios where supplied to Russia during the war, it would follow that they didn't have them to copy. This assumption is enforced by the fact that all other equipment supplied by the Allies to the USSR did see domestic production(cloning) during, and after the war. Again if they didn't have the radios to copy, they couldn't copy them, nor use their technology. The second possible consideration. Shortly before WW-II the U.S. military was split between AM modulation for their new VHF short range tactical radios(for tanks at the time) and FM. Many heated debates took place with the advantages or disadvantages of both types of modulation being considered. And numerous test, and demonstrations were conducted that would illustrate the advantages of FM over AM. These debates went on for several years with FM finally winning out over AM, and then, only by a very narrow margin. WW-II came along in short order to demonstrate that the choice of FM was the correct one. It is possible that in the USSR, FM did not win out by this same close margin in postwar years. Especially not having the experience of using this mode during the war. But instead FM modulation lost to AM in debates similar to those conducted in the Pre-War U.S. until such time as experience in the field proved out the mistake. ed) Dennis Starks; MILITARY RADIO COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN *********************************************** MEMBERS WRITE; AM & FM!? I, as a two way dealer, put up with the fact that the public knows nothing about AM and FM, except they think that the higher frequencies are FM and the lower frequencies are AM. I believe this comes from the traditional AM/FM broadcast bands on their radios that they are exposed to every day. When you get right down to it, how many of us really understand the difference? How many of us understand the difference between Military narrow band, commercial narrow band, and music broad band as it relates to FM? The same argument can be presented about AM signals and their bandwidth. Anyway, you are right, the group should have a firm grasp on the general and specific definitions of the signals that we talk about. Dennis, why didn't the Russians take into consideration the extra engine noise that comes with AM when picking a modulation technique? Maybe they had superior shielding in their engine compartments? This is out of my league and I know nothing that I am talking about. I am sure you must have some comments. -- Jim Hopper/W5EBQ Pres., Megahertz Technology, Inc. Dallas, TX. The tank radios are a completely different application. Respectfully to the older and wiser (and non-nerve-gas exposed) Colonel Howard, I disagree with the part of his letter that suggests that an AM signal from a tank would yield a further range than an FM one would, due to ignition noise which would cause greater interference in an AM reciever. (I'm assuming that these radios would have to be guarded while the tank was running as well as not running). Rather, I place greater belief in what he said about the Soviet Unions severe logistical difficulties, and also I'm sure that they had a shortage of engineering talent availibel to design new gear, due to their nutritional difficulties in the years leading up to the war. I'm saying that I believe that the Russian population did not achieve the level of intelligence that they (as individuals) inherited genetically, because of insufficient nutrition during the formative years (and maybe after that, too). If that is correct, than it makes perfect sense me that the Russian leaders should order the copying of every type of equipement which was an improvement on their own. This in order to allow said leaders to stay in power and for their political/economic system not to be replaced by the Fascist enemy which was temporarily operating at a higher level of output during those years before and during WWII (before they ran out of out-group population to exploit finacially and vocationally). Sean T. Kelly, R-116, Hi Dennis, I guess I should have mentioned that the R-116 is a VHF AM manpack covering 48.65-51.30 MHz. According the information I have the output is 60mW. I don't think you could talk very far with that. The R-106 is the same vintage but a larger manpack covering 41.6-48.65 MHz also AM, .75W output. These were both made in the late 1950s. I don't have exact information but they seem to have been in use from 1956 to 1962. I have not been able to find out what the corresponding vehicle or ground station was that they would be talking to either. It just seems odd that they would use VHF AM so late after the rest of the world had switched to FM. Tom Bryan ed) before the U.S. undertook the transition from AM to FM in the late 30's, EVERY possible advantage, and dis-advantage of both modes were taken into account. The story is told in a very lengthy chapter in "The Signal Corps" and is beyond my ability, and our space limitations to include here. Suffice to say that the basic dispute had to do with the wider bandwidth of FM signals of the time(more than three times that of AM). This would produced far fewer available channels for a given frequency range. And has been pointed out in this forum before several times, the available channels for assignment to all the various contingents in any military force are never enough. When combined with multi national forces in close proximity, composed of thousands of combatant, and support units these problems become totally incomprehensible to us. Believe me, I have been involved in the channel assignment plan of a single Carrier Task Force prior to a standard deployment for just the UHF/AM band 225-399mc. It took weeks to get everyone assigned a non-conflicting frequency. Even then, this plan would need several modifications after deployment before it would satisfy our varied needs. And there is no comparison to this tiny task force and it's troubles to that of a mobile Army or two. It was not until Armstrong and Link demonstrated the Capture Effect of FM radios while being used in close proximity to a high powered transmitter did he show to all that these same FM channels, though wider in bandwidth could be re-used over and over again by contingents in the field without fear of interference. I/E the lesser available FM channels could be used many times. While on the other hand even distant, and week AM signals would cause significant interference to units trying to communicate with each other in relative close proximity to each other. So the issue of lesser available channels per band were laid to rest forever. In regard to Russia's use of AM well after the rest of the world had converted to FM. Observe the fact that the USSR even today uses parts of the frequency spectrum long abandon by the rest of the world for short range tactical communications, 20-30mc for instance. Also note the limited band coverage of any given radio of Russian origin to this day. Could it be, that the advantage of this Capture Effect was not demonstrated to the powers that were to their satisfaction. And that they could have concluded instead, that the greater channel capacity of a radio which had an already limited frequency range was of greater benefit than the ability to re-use these same channels over and over again. Remember again, the advantages of FM were only vary narrowly proven in our own debates of the 30's. *********************************************** (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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