RCA HF Command Set Radio- Time Frame

David Stinson arc5 at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat May 8 03:01:28 EDT 1999

Hue Miller wrote:
> --now, i don't know about this, but are you sure there is a
> definite division between the command and liaison groups?
While there were "need of the moment" or special task installations,
the documentation and radio operator training manuals of the time
defined very different, distinct missions and equipment for
what they termed "Command" radios and "Liaison" radios.

The primary mission of Command Set radios was plane-to-plane
voice communication providing a short-range channel for the flight
leader to issue commands and receive tactical information
from his subordinates.  Individual pilots could also
communicate and coordinate their activities via the
command channel.

The primary mission of the more powerful Liaison radio
was to provide real-time reports of tactical and situational
information from single or formations of aircraft to
bases hundreds of miles away, and to receive orders and
information from those bases.  They were also used
for communication cross-service.  Transmissions were
nearly always CW.  The SCR-287, for example, which
can operate CW up to 12 MC, was not designed to be
adequate on AM phone above about 4 MC.

A light aircraft or fighter might carry only "command"
radios plus a "range" LF receiver, since they had no
requirement to make long-range reports back to base or
to communicate cross-service.
A scout such as the Kingfisher would be outfitted
with a radio determined by the distance, or "range,"
from base to which it was expected to fly.
An ATB or GF/RU could reliably communicate with a base
within several tens of miles.  Liaison transmitters-
typically more powerful- would communicate over hundreds
of miles.  This was generally not desirable in a
short-range scout such as the Kingfisher, because
you would run the risk of enemy interception of
your scouting reports.

As I said in the beginning, though--
they used what they had on hand to get the job done,
so you might see just about anything installed
at any given time.  Wars are like that ;-).

73 OM DE Dave Stinson AB5S
arc5 at ix.netcom.com

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