[AMRadio] WW II Army Field Sets

Kim Elmore Kim.Elmore at noaa.gov
Fri Jul 9 16:34:31 EDT 2004

Wow!  What a response!

I don't want to buy any of the equipment. I'm curious mainly because I've 
decided to write a "sappy Christmas story" for QST, seeing as how I haven't 
seen one of those for a while.  I'm not a professional writer, by any 
means.  I author scientific papers that no one reads, of course, but with 
the 60th anniversary of D-Day and all, I go to thinking and decided I'd 
write a story about a WW-II ham in the signal corps.  But, I need a 
portable set that can be carried in the back of jeep and lifted by a couple 
of guys, though not necessarily while storming a hill. Given that the 
BC-610 weighs in at between 400 and 600 lbs, I figured it was not a 
believable candidate by those who know about such stuff.

I might add that getting an education about how *Army infantry* comms, 
especially CW, worked in WW II has been tough.  There's lots of stuff about 
the Navy, in minute detail, but almost nothing about day-to-day Army 
communications. I Looking at what I've found, not much of the gear used 
frequencies above 12-13 MHz.  There's quite a bit of VHF/UHF gear, however. 
The 12-30 MHz region seems to be rather sparse. I'm looking for accuracy to 
honor those who actually did this kind of duty and know how the equipment 
and protocols really worked.  learned a small amount from a Brit who knew 
some guys that were in the British equivalent of the Signal Corps, but much 
else is strangely missing. I've been able to piece together some plausible 
protocols given what little I've been able to find on the 
subject.  Unfortunately, I don't have easy access to the books Don Merz 
mentions.  I should probably have them.

The SCR-188 set might be a better bet for a short story, as it is 
completely self-contained and looks to be manageable by something less than 
a platoon.  Depending on the variant, it used a BC-191 transmitter with a 
plethora of tuning units. But it doesn't appear to cover 20 m and, while 
I'm not certain, I'm guessing that bands were released to the hams starting 
at the shortest and working longer.  The old 2 1/2 meter band was released 
about a week after VJ day, and soon after 10 m. By early 1946 almost 
everything, except 160 m, was available. As the story goes now, I need to 
use the thing by Christmas 1946 and I'm guessing that 20 m has a chance of 
being available by then, but not 40 m.

Kim Elmore, N5OP
                           Kim Elmore, Ph.D.
                        University of Oklahoma
         Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies
"All of weather is divided into three parts: Yes, No, and Maybe. The
greatest of these is Maybe" The original Latin appears to be garbled.

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