Home:  Military Comms: WWII WIRELESS SET NO.19


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This model was made in the USA by the ZENITH Corp. and has Russian and English markings on the face plate. These sets were sent to Russia under the 'lend Lease' Program of WW2. As a result many have turned up in surplus stores since then.

Your comments:

  • In reply to Steve Bell's comments....

    I am not sure what the comment about external power units is all about? All WS19s had external power units - there is no power system inside the set itself. Most of these power units ran from 12 volt lead-acid batteries, and you certainly needed plenty of charging power to keep those batteries operational.

    There were a few power units in use to run off the AC mains, but since most WS19s were designed for vehicles or field use - this was very much a minor use for ground stations in buildings.

    Naturally when amateur radio operators started buying WS19s on the surplus market in the 1950s, they could not readily afford the necessary car battery and charger to run the set. So they typically built themselves a mains power unit to replace the original power unit we see pictured here. Amateur radio operators tend to work from home (where mains power is readily available) - and thus have rather different requirements than the Army!

    The WS19 is still in frequency (daily) use on the amateur bands (particularly 80 metres around 3615kHz). I have personally operated fully original examples of the WS19 at military shows between 1997 and 2007, and contacted stations around the UK and Eire. More specialised operations have managed trans-Atlantic working, using a WS19 with morse.
    .......... Richard Hankins, Ross-on-Wye, 8th of June 2011

  • I had a used Russian marked 19 set, complete with variometer, antenna, dynamotor and head set. It also had the UHF transmitter fitted. I had another, this was brand new, but no UHF transmitter. The dynamotor would eat car batteries, so they were run from external PSU's. I fitted an additional audio amplifier to drive a speaker in the Canadian model, located in the space where the UHF transmitter would have gone. I bought them surplus around 1965/6, as did many of my school friends who had similar interests to me. I still have a spare RCA 807 for the 19 set laying around somewhere. I haven't seen one for a long time, the last was in Hut 1 at Bletchley Park.
    .......... Steve Bell, Aylesbury, UK., 19th of April 2009

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