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Duxford Radio Society

Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England 

Conserved Equipment Details


British Army Wireless Sets C12

British Army Wireless Sets C12
C12 installed in AFV
C12 installation in an AFVas part of an export contract.
Note the use of WS19 control units

British Army Wireless Sets C12

Wireless Sets C12 was designed between 1948 and 1950 as a private venture by Pye Ltd to replace the Wireless Sets No. 19 but was not initially adopted by the British Army because of plans to implement the Larkspur series of equipments.

However, in 1955 it was adopted by the British Army as a temporary substitute for Station Radio C13 (the official Larkspur replacement for WS19) in armoured fighting vehicles, when the C13 development program ran late. The equipment then remained in service until the middle 1960s and was manufactured for Pye Ltd by Garrett Engineering, Leiston, Suffolk, UK.

The equipment is constructed along similar lines to WS62 and has the same overall external dimensions as WS19.  It consists of a main transceiver unit, a separate power supply unit and an external aerial tuning unit.  The equipment can be connected to either WS19 or Larkspur control harnesses.

The frequency range covered is 1.6 to 10.0 MHz, and the equipment provides two channel "flick" tuning operation by means of switched main tuning capacitors, each with its own colour coded dial mechanism.  The ATU has twin tuning inductors switched by relays under control of the radio unit. Transmit power out is 3 - 5 Watts AM at 95% modulation and 4 - 8 Watts output on CW. The equipment is intended to work into vertical rod aerials of length between 8 and 32 feet, but will also operate into a 100 foot wire.

Different external power supply units were provided for 12 Volt systems or 24 Volt systems.  Each used a vibrator to provide 250 Volt HT supplies to the receiver, and a rotary transformer to generate the 400 Volt supply for the transmitter.   Transistorised versions of the PSUs were introduced in the early 1960s.

A modified version of Crystal Calibrator No. 10 (from Wireless Set No. 62) was used as a frequency reference.

This individual W.S. C12, Catalogue No. ZA43050, is in near as-new condition and does not appear to have seen active service duty.  The main unit is serial number 2418 dated 1955, and carries the legend NEW 7/63, which is taken to indicate the date of modification or overhaul by the REME Newark Depot.

The matching aerial tuning unit ATU No. 5 for W.S. C12, Catalogue No. ZA43051, is serial number  2363.

The PSU (24V) for W.S. C12, Catalogue No. ZA43064, is serial number 2362, dated 1955.
A long with the Wireless Set 62, this set was donated to DRS by the Royal Engineers Museum, Chattenden Barracks, Kent, when the museum at that establishment closed.

Due to the excellent condition of this equipment when received, conservation work has been limited to general cleaning, plus dismantling and re-greasing the bearings of the rotary transformer.

The equipment is currently in full working condition.
C12 Front
C12 Rear
C12 Underside 1
C12 Underside 2
C12 24V PSU Side 1
C12 24V PSU side 2

C12 ATU front
C12 ATU inside

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