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Thread: UHF Communications

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    Default UHF Communications

    I have a reference to an SOE Squadron using an S Phone, I think this is radio equipment that agents used to communicate with SOE aircraft at set times. Has anybody come across this previously or know more about this. My enquiries have not taken me very far thus far.

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    Have you seen the wikipedia entry? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-Phone

    As always, I recommend that wikipedia be approached with a healthy sceptical attitude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colinpateman View Post
    I have a reference to an SOE Squadron using an S Phone, I think this is radio equipment that agents used to communicate with SOE aircraft at set times. Has anybody come across this previously or know more about this. My enquiries have not taken me very far thus far.
    The Radio Communictions Division at ( SOE ) Station IX had taken up the idea dating from 1940
    of developing a short wave radio telephone-the S-phone.
    This enabled the aircraft not only to home in on the ground station ( carried on a pack by the operator ),
    but also to pass verbal messages between them. Despite early technical problems, the S-phone
    proved to be of immense value in raising the efficiency of air-dropping operations.

    The S-phone was a developement of an ultra-high-frequency portable R/T which both civilians
    and the military had been working on before the war. It came in two parts: the bulky section
    in the aircraft or ship and the other part being self contained and carried by the operator
    on webbing braces on his body. Shoulder straps held the set with its directional aerial in
    fronton the chest while a waist belt held seven canvas pouches: five containing miniature
    batteries, the others being storage for earphones, microphone, aerial and vibrator power pack.
    The set transmitted on 337 megacycles and received on 380 megacycles, but no switching
    was required between reception and voice transmission.
    Range about 40 miles if an aircraft was at 10,000 feet and about six miles when the aircraft
    was at 500 feet.

    FROM:
    SOE The Scientific Secrets
    by
    Frederic Boyce and Douglas Everett

    Douglas Everett joined SOE scientific research in 1942
    and left in 1945.

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    Robert.
    Thank you for this, as it was operated by SOE this looks very much like it is the equipment mentioned. It was apparently a difficult system for the German detectots to locate I am assuming that relates to its frequencies. Your quote was excellent thanks again.

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    From the wiki info, I think the difficulty of detection was largely due to the directional antenna, plus low signal strength. The published frequencies would not have been difficult for anyone to detect at that time.

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    Add to that a very narrow radio beam-width, and - when used in mountainous/hilly areas - the (Gestapo) D/F guys would have had big problems!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hello Colin

    Further to Robert's posting, the book issued by the Air Ministry (AHB) in 1956 as a Confidential publication 1939 to 1945 series titled "Royal Air Force SIGNALS Volume III, Aircraft Radio" has about 3 & 1/2 pages starting at p.307 under a sub section "Development for Special Operations" within Chapter 12 titled Rebecca/Eureka with refs to the SOE, 419 Flight (Lysander) August 1940, becoming 138 Sqn and in Feb 1942 161 Sqn Tempsford, Beds.

    The TRE were involved, along with Mr J.W.S. Pringle and Robert Hanbury Brown and there are refs to Rebecca and Eureka throughout the sub-section pages 307 to 311.

    There are original A.M. file references, some of which, with a bit of tenacious patience, you may probably find now in the TNA at Kew, along with the usual catalogue searches under Rebecca and Eureka and a search of the TRE files in one of the AVIA series. A beacon type set-up, to locate a spot on the ground, from the air.

    The "Eureka could easliy be disguised as a telephone transmitter/receiver." The high frequencies only gave a ground-to-ground range of 4 miles and it had an interrogater and a manual I.D. system, so it was relatively secure from detection.

    The AM were not keen in early 1942 on Rebecca being used over occupied territory for special operations as its capture might compromise ASV. Sounds like it was a similar principle to the Air to Surface Vessel.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 27th February 2013 at 21:32.

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