The LF and MF ARC-5 Transmitters

David Stinson arc5 at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Sep 9 09:19:03 EDT 1999

Hue Miller wrote:
> >They were used to "spoof" enemy direction finders by rebroadcasting
> >BCB stations, to broadcast propaganda messages to limited areas,
> ---C'mon Dave, doesn't that sound a bit fanciful?
I can only go by apocryphal documentation and verbal accounts
I've collected over the years.  The Navy saw to it that
direct written evidence no longer exists.

>Propaganda messages at 5 watts or so, radiated ???
About 10 watts radiated from a trailing antenna at 10-12,000
feet will cover many square miles with a useable signal-
perfectly fine to broadcast to a city or an island.

> Or to similute broadcast station beacons with
> a radiated power miniscule compared to the field strength
> of broadcast stations?
BCB stations temporarily leaving the air was a common
and common-sense part of black-out procedure.
Moreover, a 10-watt signal a mile ahead at night
is going to be stronger then a 10,000 watt signal
50 miles to the left, which was the idea.
Remember that at this time, the only effective radar for this
situation was on the ground and belonged to the allies, who
could direct the "spoofer" aircraft to stay ahead of the
enemy formation.

Here's an important note:  While I have two verbal accounts
from operators about why the units were acquired
and other apocryphal evidence, I have -no- evidence
that this system ever worked as intended or when/where
it might have been used.  My account is simply
"the best evidence" available at this time.  Any new and/or
contradictory evidence will be welcome
and incorporated as I find it.

> Fact is, in a war theatre far from populated areas,
> ANY frequency could be used...
I have found no evidence for military use of 550-1500 KC
for any type of communications other then broadcast-related
transmissions.  I find no evidence of either allied or enemy
aircraft or vehicle equipped to use 550-1500 KC for
point-to-point communications, nor are there any such listings
in still-extant radio operator's log books that I've read
(have two new ones coming so we'll see).
I can just imagine what General Sarnoff of RCA would have
had to say to congress if such a thing were contemplated.
These facts would have made the T-16 (800-1300 KC) useless
and unlikely to have entered full production, which it did.

The T-15 (500-800KC) could communicate with ships at sea
and coast stations on 500 KC, but would have been useless
for airborne LF communication on the "radio range" system
since that covered 200-400 KC.  Also, this type communications
was a direct function of the Liaison radio sets.  If the T-15
were intended for this function or to "back-up" the
Liaison set, why design it for the wrong frequency range?

Given these facts the T-15, T-16 and T-17 were clearly designed
with broadcast-type fuctions in mind, and this jibes with
the verbal accounts I have.  I would welcome any new evidence,
as I'd like to settle this issue as much as anyone.

arc5 at

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