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Duxford Radio Society

Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England 

Equipment Summary


Communications Receiver Type PCR

Communications Receiver Type PCR

Communications Receiver Type PCR (UK)

Portable Communications Receiver Type PCR was the first model in a series of general purpose receivers used by the British Army and other Allied Armed Forces world wide from 1944 until some time during the late 1950s.  Other models are the PCR1, 2, 3, and PCR3TPL.

The frequencies covered by the PCR model are 2100-850 Metres, 570-190 Metres and 5.8-18MHz.  Other models covered slightly different frequencies.  The equipment is externally powered from either a mains PSU or a 12 Volt dc vibrator unit.

The equipment was designed by Pye Ltd in Cambridge in 1943, the drawings finalised in March 1944 and the design subsequently manufactured by Pye, Philips Lamps, Invicta Radio and possibly by other companies.

The PCR is often described as a forces welfare receiver (its post war role), however its true origins and actual use during the period 1944 - 1946 are not clear.  War-time employees of Pye Ltd in Cambridge have described the equipment as a portable communications receiver or "Invasion Receiver,
" for use by the British Army forces in Europe after the Normany landings to receive military progress broadcasts as they moved across Europe.  Recent information confirms that the set was also supplied to Resistance groups in Norway, Holland and France.

Further information on the original war-time application of the PCR is needed, together with details of the variant "Communications Receiver Type PTR", which was fitted with a BFO and suitable for both RT and CW reception.  For more information on the PCR receiver series please use this link or see the military product history section of www.pyetelecomhistory.org
The DRS example PCR receiver type ZA26707, Serial No. 12062  was manufactured by Philips Lamps, and is powered by the matching AC PSU ZA26706.

It is in fairly good condition except for a few paint scratches and the dial scale printing being slightly faded .

The designers of the PCR series were the same team who designed WS18, WS19 and WS22.  Donald H. Hughes signed the drawings.

The circuit detail of the 6 valve receiver is very similar to the "A Set" receiver section of  Wireless Sets No. 19, with the addition of  additional front-end selectivity, a 6V6 or EL32 audio output stage, and a slightly narrower IF bandwidth due to different coupling of the IF transformers.
The radio unit was donated to DRS and is now in working condition.

Minor restoration work was carried on both the receiver and the power supply unit.  In the receiver, various wiring modifications were returned to the original configuration, including using the dc energised internal speaker as a power supply smoothing choke, and a replacement power drop-lead fitted.  The PSU has been re-wired and is now earthed for safety reasons.

Please note that the photographs currently shown on this page are of an unmodified equipment sample provided by the Pye Telecom Historic Collection.  The DRS equipment will be photographed in due course. 
PCR inside top
PCR underside
PCR mains PSU
PCR PSU inside top

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V2.00 Updated 29-8-2006