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Vintage Comms Gear in the Cold War

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  • OZOB99
    In the first two decades of the Cold War many landline circuits, and a few military radio links were carried by equipment designed and/or built in the 1920 s
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 9, 2010
      In the first two decades of the Cold War many landline circuits, and a few military radio links were carried by equipment designed and/or built in the 1920's and 1930's.This was often a case of "nothing newer available at that time" in certain locations,especially rural areas and smaller towns;in most cases it worked as well as contemporary versions, and as reliable;so circuits were not immediately moved to newer equipment as it became available.The downside was the large size,power consumption,and more maintenance & adjustments on some of the equipment.



      Some of the vintage gear still used by the Bell System and Independent Companies in the 1950-1970 period was:


      -22/44 type telephone repeaters;dating from the early 1920's and in service at least into the 1960's in some locations.The old round WeCo 102 tubes dated 1933 were still working about 1960 in Norfolk;much longer than the 408A tubes in the V3 amps of the 1950's.

      -V1 telephone repeaters from the 1930's in service into the 1960's.

      -C carrier from 1924 in service into the 1960's;J & K carrier from 1937 working into the 1970's.

      -40B/C telegraph carrier from the 1930's working into the 1960's.

      -16B1 telegraph repeaters from 191x working into the 1960's.

      -Teletype model 14 from 1925 working into the 1960's.

      -Teletype model 15 from 1930 working into the late 1960's.

      -Western Electric 60 type selectors from 1916 working on multi-point dial private line telephone circuits into the early 1970's.



      Some WW2 military comms gear was used in the early Cold War years, but the only pre WW2 gear I've found is
      the 200 KW Alexanderson Alternator at NAVRADSTA Haiku HI. This huge(weighing many tons) motor-(RF)alternator transmitter was based on a 1906 design,and built about 1920, and moved to Haiku in 1943 from NJ. This transmitter was used for Pacific Fleet VLF CW sub comms until 1958. Another unit, built in 1922, was used by the Air Force at Marion,MA for VLF TTY comms to Arctic outposts and Greenland from 1949 to 1957.


      Anyone have any more examples of military or telco gear in this category?
    • Frank
      Osan Air Base, Korea, was using BC-639 receivers and BC-640 transmitters for the tower s VHF comms in 1968. I believe those were designed pre-WWII, although
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 9, 2010
        Osan Air Base, Korea, was using BC-639 receivers and BC-640 transmitters for the tower's VHF comms in 1968. I believe those were designed pre-WWII, although an internet search turns up a manual dated 1942.

        We also had a pair of Western Electric T-409 ISB transmitters for circuits to Okinawa and Japan. Also a pre-WWII design, I believe, for AT&T's trans oceanic circuits. They were in widespread use, the tech school at Keesler AFB was still teaching them.

        And the MARS station had a BC-610, IIRC, that they used for RTTY.

        Frank
        USAF 304x4 66-74


        --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "OZOB99" <ozob99@...> wrote:
        >
        > In the first two decades of the Cold War many landline circuits, and a few military radio links were carried by equipment designed and/or built in the 1920's and 1930's. ...

        > Anyone have any more examples of military or telco gear in this category?
      • jhaynesatalumni
        ... That was partly a matter of arguably wrongheaded policy. Because the 225-400 MHz band had been allocated to the military they were for a time not allowed
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 9, 2010
          --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "Frank" <frank_cwv@...> wrote:
          >
          > Osan Air Base, Korea, was using BC-639 receivers and BC-640 transmitters for the tower's VHF comms in 1968. I believe those were designed pre-WWII, although an internet search turns up a manual dated 1942.
          >
          That was partly a matter of arguably wrongheaded policy. Because
          the 225-400 MHz band had been allocated to the military they were
          for a time not allowed to procure any new VHF AM (108-136 MHz)
          aviation comm gear as a way of forcing the transition to all-UHF.

          I was at Edwards AFB in the early 1960s, and we were using ARC-3
          sets with AC power supplies as ground stations to meet a
          continuing requirement for VHF aviation communication. There was
          also an occasional requirement for VHF comms in an airplane. We
          had a large suitcase full of ARC-3 crystals that could be checked
          out from the frequency manager's office when it was necessary to
          fly that mission.

          Jim W6JVE
        • OZOB99
          ... Looks like the above were 1942-3 vintage but the BC610 was an upgraded pre war Hallicrafters HT-4; I recall a modified BC610 MARS unit with a 450TH bottle
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 9, 2010
            --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "Frank" <frank_cwv@...> wrote:
            >
            > Osan Air Base, Korea, was using BC-639 receivers and BC-640 transmitters for the tower's VHF comms in 1968. I believe those were designed pre-WWII, although an internet search turns up a manual dated 1942.
            >
            > We also had a pair of Western Electric T-409 ISB transmitters for circuits to Okinawa and Japan. Also a pre-WWII design, I believe, for AT&T's trans oceanic circuits. They were in widespread use, the tech school at Keesler AFB was still teaching them.
            >
            > And the MARS station had a BC-610, IIRC, that they used for RTTY.
            >
            > Frank
            > USAF 304x4 66-74

            Looks like the above were 1942-3 vintage but the BC610 was an upgraded pre war Hallicrafters HT-4; I recall a modified BC610 MARS unit with a 450TH bottle sticking up above the case.25,000 were made during the war.

            If the WeCO t-409 is aka FRC-30 it's 1951.
          • Heinz-Peter Deutsch
            Hi, here in our ground-air comm bunker 1969 in germany we was using GRC-27 225-400Mc 100W 1800 channels transceivers and R278 Receivers from Collins. Gifts
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 9, 2010
              Hi,
              here in our ground-air comm bunker 1969 in germany we was using GRC-27
              225-400Mc 100W 1800 channels transceivers and R278 Receivers from Collins.
              Gifts from the US.
              The first thing i heard, when i arrived there was,
              this is the old equipment from the Korea war.
              There was more mechanical gear than tubes inside.

              Peter
              --
              GRATIS für alle GMX-Mitglieder: Die maxdome Movie-FLAT!
              Jetzt freischalten unter http://portal.gmx.net/de/go/maxdome01


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Sheldon Daitch
              Not necessarily government use, but The Associated Press was still using Model 15 and Model 20 page printers as late as 1979 in North Carolina.   Sheldon ...
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 10, 2010
                Not necessarily government use, but The Associated Press was
                still using Model 15 and Model 20 page printers as late as 1979 in
                North Carolina.
                 
                Sheldon

                --- On Sat, 1/9/10, OZOB99 <ozob99@...> wrote:


                From: OZOB99 <ozob99@...>
                Subject: [coldwarcomms] Vintage Comms Gear in the Cold War
                To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Saturday, January 9, 2010, 5:54 PM


                 



                In the first two decades of the Cold War many landline circuits, and a few military radio links were carried by equipment designed and/or built in the 1920's and 1930's.This was often a case of "nothing newer available at that time" in certain locations,especiall y rural areas and smaller towns;in most cases it worked as well as contemporary versions, and as reliable;so circuits were not immediately moved to newer equipment as it became available..The downside was the large size,power consumption, and more maintenance & adjustments on some of the equipment.

                Some of the vintage gear still used by the Bell System and Independent Companies in the 1950-1970 period was:

                -22/44 type telephone repeaters;dating from the early 1920's and in service at least into the 1960's in some locations.The old round WeCo 102 tubes dated 1933 were still working about 1960 in Norfolk;much longer than the 408A tubes in the V3 amps of the 1950's.

                -V1 telephone repeaters from the 1930's in service into the 1960's.

                -C carrier from 1924 in service into the 1960's;J & K carrier from 1937 working into the 1970's.

                -40B/C telegraph carrier from the 1930's working into the 1960's.

                -16B1 telegraph repeaters from 191x working into the 1960's.

                -Teletype model 14 from 1925 working into the 1960's.

                -Teletype model 15 from 1930 working into the late 1960's.

                -Western Electric 60 type selectors from 1916 working on multi-point dial private line telephone circuits into the early 1970's.

                Some WW2 military comms gear was used in the early Cold War years, but the only pre WW2 gear I've found is
                the 200 KW Alexanderson Alternator at NAVRADSTA Haiku HI. This huge(weighing many tons) motor-(RF)alternato r transmitter was based on a 1906 design,and built about 1920, and moved to Haiku in 1943 from NJ. This transmitter was used for Pacific Fleet VLF CW sub comms until 1958. Another unit, built in 1922, was used by the Air Force at Marion,MA for VLF TTY comms to Arctic outposts and Greenland from 1949 to 1957.

                Anyone have any more examples of military or telco gear in this category?











                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Frank
                I think it probably is, although we never used the FRC-30 designation that I can recall. At Keesler we just called it a T-409. The units at Osan were
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 10, 2010
                  I think it probably is, although we never used the FRC-30 designation that I can recall. At Keesler we just called it a T-409. The units at Osan were actually GA-11038's I think, T-409's with the crystal oscillator removed, replaced by an external frequency synthesizer.

                  Thanks for the correction on the age of the design, I must have heard a bad rumor back in the day.

                  Jim's note about the ARC-3 triggered a memory - when I arrived at Osan the tower radios were in a hut at the bottom of the tower, and they had one of those ARC-3 kludges as the backup for the two or three BC639/BC640 pairs. Later in my tour a new tower opened and the radios were all relocated to our shop/T-409 building. I think the ARC3 might have gotten replaced by a new transceiver at that time. (Wilcox 807 maybe?)

                  Frank K0FU

                  --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "OZOB99" <ozob99@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > If the WeCO t-409 is aka FRC-30 it's 1951.
                  >
                • OZOB99
                  ... I should have included the mechanical tuning fork in this post:dating from the 18th century,and used from the 1930 s as a stroboscope to calibrate the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 22 7:17 PM
                    --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "OZOB99" <ozob99@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > In the first two decades of the Cold War many landline circuits, and a few military radio links were carried by equipment designed and/or built in the 1920's and 1930's.This was often a case of "nothing newer available at that time" in certain locations,especially rural areas and smaller towns;in most cases it worked as well as contemporary versions, and as reliable;so circuits were not immediately moved to newer equipment as it became available.The downside was the large size,power consumption,and more maintenance & adjustments on some of the equipment.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Some of the vintage gear still used by the Bell System and Independent Companies in the 1950-1970 period was:
                    >
                    >
                    > -22/44 type telephone repeaters;dating from the early 1920's and in service at least into the 1960's in some locations.The old round WeCo 102 tubes dated 1933 were still working about 1960 in Norfolk;much longer than the 408A tubes in the V3 amps of the 1950's.
                    >
                    > -V1 telephone repeaters from the 1930's in service into the 1960's.
                    >
                    > -C carrier from 1924 in service into the 1960's;J & K carrier from 1937 working into the 1970's.
                    >
                    > -40B/C telegraph carrier from the 1930's working into the 1960's.
                    >
                    > -16B1 telegraph repeaters from 191x working into the 1960's.
                    >
                    > -Teletype model 14 from 1925 working into the 1960's.
                    >
                    > -Teletype model 15 from 1930 working into the late 1960's.
                    >
                    > -Western Electric 60 type selectors from 1916 working on multi-point dial private line telephone circuits into the early 1970's.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Some WW2 military comms gear was used in the early Cold War years, but the only pre WW2 gear I've found is
                    > the 200 KW Alexanderson Alternator at NAVRADSTA Haiku HI. This huge(weighing many tons) motor-(RF)alternator transmitter was based on a 1906 design,and built about 1920, and moved to Haiku in 1943 from NJ. This transmitter was used for Pacific Fleet VLF CW sub comms until 1958. Another unit, built in 1922, was used by the Air Force at Marion,MA for VLF TTY comms to Arctic outposts and Greenland from 1949 to 1957.
                    >
                    >
                    > Anyone have any more examples of military or telco gear in this category?
                    >


                    I should have included the mechanical tuning fork in this post:dating from the 18th century,and used from the 1930's as a stroboscope to calibrate the motor speed of Teletype machines;it was used into the 1960's by the military and AT&T; also used in some facsimile machines.

                    Early Central Office 4KH frequency supplies were tuning fork oscillators.

                    Stability could be as high as 1 part to several million in a precision thermostatic oven.
                  • OZOB99
                    This index page has links to various WW2 Army comms;scanning it I believe I ve seen some of the gear ahown in narratives/photo s from the 1950 s & 1960 s;not
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 25 3:49 PM
                      This index page has links to various WW2 Army comms;scanning it I believe I've seen some of the gear ahown in narratives/photo's from the 1950's & 1960's;not including the homing pigeons & semaphore.

                      http://www.qsl.net/pe1ngz/army/army-us/
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