RCA HF Command Set Radio- Time Frame

Hue Miller kargokult at PROAXIS.COM
Sun May 16 05:44:50 EDT 1999

At 09:47 AM 5/12/99 -0500, David Stinson wrote:

>There actually was a distinct difference both in equipment
>and mission in the majority of multi-seat aircraft.
>"The Radio Operator's Information File," issued to the
>radio op in every USAAF multi-seat aircraft, contains
>distinct chapters defining distinct equipment and
>distinct missions for Liaison and Command equipment.

--i believe the USAAF was the main support of this terminology.
do Navy texts use this terminology, or push this distinction?
i don't remember seeing that. i'm not saying the Navy craft
didn't have the same distinct missions for equipment, obviously
*some* Navy craft did.

>There were exceptions of course- especially
>after the aircraft had been "in theater" for a while.
>Anti-Submarine dirigibles used TCS sets in both roles,
>but they didn't venture far from shore so didn't need high power.

--hm, any documentation for this? only photo of inside of gondola
i've seen showed ATB, ATC.  i don't recall the craft type ( K, etc.),
this is in deep archive.

>I submit that 100 miles falls within my "tens of miles" range,
>although 100 reliable miles is pushing it for a GF/RU, which
>was not designed to use CW as a primary mode.

--100 miles *is* pushing it for the RUGF, but probably not for
the ATB ARB on HF CW with trail antenna. the RUGF indeed was
designed to be fully CW usable. Bob Powers of Seattle, who flew
in an SB2C doing spotting for ship guns, told me the reporting
was by CW, and i don't think this was the exception. possibly
the working distance in this example was pushing the RUGF's
limited range with the low power voice output.

>>.... both pilot and radio operator could operate the radio,
>>altho only the radio operator actually had a key,
>>and access to the tuning controls.
>This is a very notable exception specific to the Navy
>light patrol and torpedo bombers like the TBM.
>The later TBMs typically used the ART-13/ARB in both
>the command and liaison roles.

--i believe you are wrong here, no matter what the ATC manual
does or does not say. besides the illustrated HF setup in the
manual, the late TBM carried vhf - ARC-1 if i recall.
Donald Blaney, who flew as radio gunner, from the Gambier
Bay sinking to the end: "to tell the truth, we hardly ever
used the HF. For contact reports, you would need it. then sometimes
we had CW practice, flying in flights. but mostly just the vhf.
and there was radio silence, until the shooting began."

--i will go further and contend the SCR-274 & ARC-5 were the ONLY
radios designed expressly to be HF "command sets", ever.
the SCR-183 and RUGF seem, to me, to be just continuations,
updates of an early 1930s Western Electric ( or Westinghouse?)
design, a lite plane design. they were developed before the
liaison / command roles were cenceptualized. the little RU receiver
besides being used in the command role, in some aircraft, a minority
of aircraft of all the Navy types, was used often as the only radio
in some crewed aircraft ( SB2C ), and even as what you would call
"liaison receiver" in the PBY, where it was used with the big GO
longrange transmitter. ( in an early but common PBY configuration,
frequently illustrated ).
these are the terms i prefer to use,when 2 radio systems were installed:
pilot's voice radio
longrange radio
i believe some books on WW2 aircraft use similar
an interesting exception to the voice / long distance cw radio
dichotomy might be the setup in the Canadian PBY ( "Canso" )
aircraft. The HF longrange radio, the AT-12  (NOT TA-12 ), actually
had a plate modulator for AM. The final was one 814, maybe 2 814,
can't recall now. interesting that the plane would have that hi power
a voice rig.
hue miller ka7lxy

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