The No. 19 Set

This army issue transmitter/receiver was widely used by the 8th Army as a mobile station. It covered the usua1 HF frequencies for long distance work (I once worked Cairo/Pretoria on one.) and also had at 300 Meg unit for local ‘secure” conversation. Indeed the carcass of one was visible at Bexhill Road until the recent purge.

It was not very reliable and part at least of this reputation as due to its use of undoubtedly sabotaged components produced in certain factories. Give a dog a bad name….A story was widely believed in certain quarters that if you had a No.19 Set mounted in a tank and that vehicle received a sharp buffet such as a shell hit, that the set promptly packed up. I had, in the unit a Signals Corporal who had ministered to such sets in tanks. In the course of his ministrations he had been in six shot-up tanks and survived. He could have beep described as “shell-shocked” in an earlier war and was sent to us to recover. He said it was a lie, and he should have known.

However one day I was instructed to investigate the story, by my Lord and Masters. I expressed my willingness to hit a No.19 Set with a hemmer and save a lot of money. I was firmly told to do it properly using a German 88 mm gun and a disused Sherman tank on the Ranges.

And so it befell. A No.19 Set was put in a tank with suitable tone sources. A gallant band of heroes lurked in another tank 200 yards away and a captured 88 mm gun pointed in our general direction some 2,000 yards away. The 88 mm gun was a most unfriendly device with an unbelievably high muzzle velocity and a shell about a yard long. If it hit a tank it usually went right through it. The order to fire had been given, the various people involved applied themselves to monitoring the signal. Nothing happened. It appears that they had two sorts of ammunition mechanically or electrically fired and the sort they had did not suit the firing pistol. A three hour delay ensued to fetch the right sort during which time I cleared off and left a most eager young Captain, fresh out from England, in charge – -white knees and all.

In due course he returned to base laughing his head off.. The artillery people had 13 shells to spare. The first two were bad misses, the third nearly hit the- observation tank and the Shell-shocked Corporal went into a sort of fit (not to be wondered at). After due protests the gunsight was realigned and the next 10 shots all did mayhem to the target. On the very last shot the monitored tones died. Triumph! Alas, a piece of steel rushing around inside the tank had cut the 12 volt battery leads. Well – we tried. I did it more scientifically in the lab, later on with other samples, but that is another story.

I hear that early 1981 SI was different but within 2 days was back and is much the same as before.

Eric Vast – January 1980.

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G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

Become a member of HERC

Join the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

Why not join one of the largest and most established Radio clubs in the South East of England? Very low joining cost, and free for a year to new licencees.

Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

View HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list..

Every four weeks, HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list is updated on the site. Bookmark the gear for sale page to re-visit easily and take advantage of the used equipment on sale through the club.

Club Photographs

HERC Image Galleries.

Here is the official HERC photograph archive which contains multiple image galleries spanning several decades since the club was formed many years ago. Enjoy the images!

Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa