What's new
British Ordnance Collectors Network

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Military radio sets

Robert B.

Hope this is the correct spot to post this!!

I am a licenced amateur (M6GLD) and wondered if any board members had military radio sets in their collections. My two contributions are both post-war VHF FM sets. First the british Wireless Set 88 (The last of the 'WS' classifications) from 1947 and made by ECKO in Southend-on-sea. 1/4 watt output good for 3-4 miles in open terrain.

Second is the american AN/PRC 6 of korea and early vietnam vintage. All dated components are stamped 1953, making this one of the first batches that went straight into theatre. maximum output is in the order of 350mW (~1/3 W) but this soon drops of to 200mW as the batteries get used. Range on the battle tape antenna is in the order of a mile and a half. This set however is modified for Morse Only and has had contacts out to 9 miles (albeit under highly favourable line-of-site conditions).

Unfortunately I sold the R107 reciever some time ago, but this 96Ibs (57 Kg) brute was worth its weight in gold. A general-purpose communications set for fixed or mobile use, the R107 covered 1.2-17.6 mhz MF and HF in AM and CW modes, and could be operated under SSB if you had patience and a very steady hand. I made my first licenced contacts with it and a single-valve morse transmitter. If ever you find one, get hold of it!


  • DSC_0149.JPG
    74.9 KB · Views: 31
  • DSC_0148.JPG
    79.3 KB · Views: 31
  • ANPRC6.jpg
    88.6 KB · Views: 35
  • LWMWHF SWL receiving station pre M6GLD.jpg
    LWMWHF SWL receiving station pre M6GLD.jpg
    96.6 KB · Views: 29
  • dscf0122.jpg
    92.1 KB · Views: 33


I've some radios in my collection, all working. Two are ground radios 'A53' and one is a groud to air radio 'SO72'. They are all South African radios used in the Border War against Angola.

They were some of the first if not the first to have frequency hopping capability and manufactured in SA.


  • IMG_1508.jpg
    85.9 KB · Views: 19
What is the legal position regarding the use of ex service radios? I understand that a licence is required,, but what about the use of frequencies?

Great lot of stuff Robert. OVER. The radios are definately cool and ordnance related, for sure OVER Thanks for showing OVER and out...Dano


Not sure what the law says regarding radios. I only have them for use in the re_enactment group.

Might be a different ball game if you use them for other reasons...

What is the legal position regarding the use of ex service radios? I understand that a licence is required,, but what about the use of frequencies?
To operate radio transmitters here in the UK requires a Amateur radio certificate passed after taking technical exams , once you have passed and you have a full licence you are allowed to operate on designated Amateur bands only, luckly a lot of the aircraft transmitters did manage to operate on several of the amateur bands the TR1154 used on the Lancaster aircraft for one could tune on our 80 mtr band (3.5-3.8 Mcs ) and the 40 mtr band (7 Mcs)
Hope this helps
Fuzeman G6UXN (licenced 2/3/83 )
Last edited by a moderator:
Apologies for leaving this late, and many thanks for the replies so far,

As far as I am aware, in the UK atleast, it is not illegal to own a transmitting set and you are perfectly fine to recieve with it - although getting some of these old sets going is another matter entirely. Many of them cover ranges were nothing happens now anyway and static is not all that exciting. The WS 88 for example covered 38-42 mhz in crystal controlled channels. My version has had to recieve minor modifications to lower the values of the tuned circuits to cover the 10 meter amateur band (it now works around 29.6 Mhz). The power supply is 1.5vdc for the valve filaments and 90vdc for the HT.

The PRC 6 is an easier set as its tunning range - 47~55 Mhz - already covers the 6 meter band (50-52) and can be used withou any modification, provided you have a suitable frequency crystal.

IIRC it used to be the case that an offence was only commited if a transmitter was connected to an aerial? I don't know what the law is regarding other countries and some I highly suspect that being found with military communications gear of any sort is not a wise thing to do, given the current state of world tensions.

Do be aware of paying 'silly money' though for some of this kit - WW2 stuff especially. The R1155 - T1154 set of aircraft radio's being a case in point. I've seen complete wrecks sell for 400. Ebay is not always your friend!!

I have very fond memories of being 'strapped in' (wearing headphones) to the R107 at some ungodly hour in the morning and tunning just above the amateur topband, where upon I came across 'Seelonce Distress, Seelonce Distress, This Aberdeen Coastgaurd, Aberdeen Coastgaurd calling...'

As well as the coastgaurd the RAF on HF used to be regular catches. IIRC Rescue 151 was the relaying nimrod acting as a talk-back between RAF Kinloss (scotland) and a seaking in the deep atlantic. Also Rescue 169/170 , the 'local' seakings of 22sqn Chivenor used to come up fairly often. Or if the military bands were silent you tune to Shannon Volmet to check short skip propagation, or listen around 7.040 to the various russian naval beacons (located at such places as Odessa, Murmansk and Archangel).

I seem to have waffled enough. My thanks for your indulgence!

I have a PRC-&& and a PRC-70. The PRC-70 has a range with ideal weather conditions, of about 4-6,000 miles so I have been told. Just my $.02 worth