JAPANESE TUBE INFO; from Ray Robinson
     PRC-4 "Mystery Radio", & Camo BC-611's,
     6 Meter Freq,
     TTFD(terminated folded dipole),

     I'm really happy with today's post, I didn't hardly need to write a thing this morning and the post was finished in record time (one hour, and thirty minutes.) Please keep sending in your contributions, comments, etc, with my thanks.

     I'm off this morning to the Springfield hamfest, no display this time their too damn cheep to supply the tables so screw um. It's the closest hamfest I have to attend(at 65 miles) so should be back by early Saturday afternoon dependant on the money I'm left with. Get your additions in for the "Paper Trail" by tonight, and for the "Group Wants/Trades" by Saturday night. If you too are attending some special event this weekend, keep an eye on who & what showed up, how much things were priced at, and whether or not things sold(actually you should be dragging home everything possible).




Dennis and the Group:

No military NVIS experiences to share,  only civilian ones. For several years in a row, my department was a participant in the annual "Baker To Vegas" 120 mile run.  This is a lot of law enforcement folks from all over North America who compete in a relay race.  My role as commo dude for my agency was to provide reliable, cheap (ham volunteer) comm between the race follow van,  "Command Post" in a Vegas hotel and back home to our station. The path between CP and van was 1-120 miles.  The path from CP to police station was about 240 miles.
The van over the years has used two ASP ballmounts, tilted at 45 degrees.  An "A/B" coax switch allowed the van op to switch between any two HF whips (2-4 or 4-7 MHz) without having to stop and fumble.  The antennas were Hustler KW- whips or Mobile-Mark custom HF whips for 1.95 or 3.9 MHz.  The police station antenna then was a B&W AC1.8-30, a kind of inverted vee with a termination on the East end and coax balun on the West end- the AC 1.8-30 is touted as a good NVIS antenna in 2-8 or 2-10 MHz and is a cousin of the B&W terminated dipoles sometimes seen in military service.   The CP antenna was 100 feet of thin, gray wire hanging from the 14th floor balcony by way of a twelve foot telescoping mast to keep the antenna away from the building and from being grabbed.  This may not have been an NVIS antenna per-se but I was hoping the vertical drop and proximity to the building would distort it's pattern and give us some high-angle.  The antenna was fed by an Icom AH-2 auto tuner (AKA coupler) and would load an any freq or band.


Between the 2, 4 and 7 MHz Amateur bands we were able to communicate most of the time using 100-watters.  When conditions got hairy, a National Guard ham in the van) and I were able to pass traffic with CW on 2 and 4 MHz.  I'm afraid to say our only military equipment was my ANG friend's leg key.   The race is held on weekends so our net skills were put to the test against rude contesters and inebriates on 4 MHz.  In following years we did better by loading channels into all our radio memories and by calling our frequency changes according to code or channel number, so the jammers would not find us as easily.   These primary HF communications were augmented by packet radio (node hopping) between Vegas and the police station and by a  UHF police repeater on the balcony of our building, covering some of Vegas and the last leg of the race course.

I've used an NVIS antenna from my own van some years ago, a wire 50 to 150 feet long, only eight feet above ground.  I used an auto antenna coupler (Icom
AH-2 & IC735) for my whip antennas so there was no problem yanking the whip and attaching the wire while parked.  From Prescott AZ,   I was able to communicate with Los Angeles on 2, 4, 7 and 10 MHz day or night depending on frequency.

I saw some dummy trying to feed a perfectly good military NVIS antenna (nomen escapes me, but it was the model with the coaxial mast and twin doublets) through a long coax with a "tuner" at the radio end.  This antenna requires the coupler right at the mast base.  Fixated on his coax and "SWRs", the fellow would not listen and was later bitching about his results<g>.

NVIS antennas:

Most hams and HF communicators already have an NVIS antenna, and may not know it.  If the antenna is parallel to earth and spaced 1/4 wavelength above earth
on the highest frequency you will use - it will cover that and lower freqs nicely for NVIS.  The best spacing is around 1/4 wavelength in a single-band antenna.   There's hearsay about hams laying a counterpoise or reflector wire under the antenna and getting a few dB improvement.  The antenna may be a halfwave dipole fed with coax,  a laid-over whip,  a long hunk of wire with manual or auto coupler feeding the wire on an end or in the center using a balanced line (not coax).   Disaster communicators and other types have used traffic cones, cars and other short supports for their NVIS wire antennas.   A good all-around spacing may be about 30 feet.  It would provide NVIS in the 2, 4, 7 and 10 MHz hambands and lower-angle performance in 10-30 MHz.

Jay Coote



JAPANESE TUBE INFO; from Ray Robinson

Hi Dennis,

Here is some info for Nick Broline, unless someone has already answered his question about the origins of Japanese valve technology.

I'll quote 2 paragraphs from an article. I have spoken to the author, and have gained his permission. He has no plans to put these into a book yet, but has been approached by the Antique Wireless Association to use this material. Fin is a lamp and valve collector and has written a couple of books and has 2 more on the way. He also said there is info in Gerald Tyne's book SAGA OF THE VACUUM TUBE.

"The Japanese Valve Industry. It is understood that as early as 1915, envoys from the Japnese Mitsui Company had been visiting radio equipment and valve manufacturing concerns and obtaining samples. These were taken back to Japan and copied. Several valves were made by some companies in Japan before 1920 and include British types as the Q and R types made by Ediswan and the Osram Lamp Works. The Annaka AAB-5 at right in illustration 7 is a copy of the de Forest or Cunningham Audiotron and several of these have turned up in Australia. An AAB-7 with a mesh anode once belonged to a leading valve collector in Redwood City in California and two Annaka Detectron valves were also in American collections. All of these valves were double ended with wire leads. While similar to the Audiotron, the tubular bulb was about one quarter of an inch wider and the valves were usually three inches long. The latter two valves mentioned above have different paper labels on them but both say 'Annaka Wireless Works, Tokyo'. Gerald Tyne made extensive enquiries into the history of the company but was unable to locate anything. The two labeled valves are a departure from the accepted style of these valves as one has a very fine wire anode wound on a glass former and the other valve has a disc for an anode. The grid is zig-zagged and the valve has two V-shaped filaments.

A single-ended valve with wire leads was made by the Tokyo Electric Company around 1920. One of these fitted with a Shaw Marconi-de Forest base is shown at left in illustration 7. Howard Schrader of Princeton, New Jersey, owned a baseless type of this valve. Illustration 8 shows a Cymotron UX201A, UX199 and a 101F (Western Electric equivalent) also made in Japan. The UX199 has a naval anchor stamped on it and this could well indicate that the valve was made at the time of the Second World War, possibly for use in some early equipment. Toshiba also made many valves, starting with equivalents of some of the American battery types, such as the UX199 and UX201-A types. The company was prominent in valve manufacture during World War 2. Toshiba valves could be identified by a type of lightning bolt symbol within a circle, stamped on the bulb, as a logo.

Japanese valves are relatively common and many copies of American and some British types have been made. Some of these are quite collectable."  
2 photographs.

VALVE BOX PART 13: EUROPEAN VALVE MAKERS, by Fin Stewart, Radio Waves, The Quarterly  Publication of the Historical Radio Society of Australia, P24-27

I can make a copy and post this to anyone interested. From my own (unreliable) memory, I recall reading somewhere that the Axis Blockade runners were used to share technology between Germany and Japan. I recall that submarine technology and optics were sent to Japan. This is how Japan gained a camera industry. Germany lost their optics technology and knowledge in the bombing.  
Hope this is not too long or off topic.



ed) I'd sooner think the Germany's Optical Technology was hauled off by the Russians than losing it to bombing. History has shown that strategic bombing had little of the desired effect on the German industrial machine. Yet postwar Russian technology in every field showed very strong German influence, including optics. The Japanese already had a reputation for optics prior to WW-II.

     Official accounts derived from intercepted Japanese diplomatic correspondence showed their pre-occupation with German radar, aircraft, and rocket technologies. Followed closely by their ambassadorial spy's observations of generally more advanced armor, artillery, and electronics. Indeed it was these correspondences between the Japanese diplomatic mission in Germany and the home island that gave the Allies their most valued information on German technological advances, and superiority. This for two reasons, the first was that the Japanese diplomatic code was the first one broken during WW-II. The second because these Japanese correspondences typically compared this German technology in great detail with their own, and that of the Allies. In effect, these Japanese diplomats were among our most valued spies during the war.



PRC-4 "Mystery Radio", & Camo BC-611's,

I printed out the entire 22 pages and re-read the complete "Off the Shelf Prick's." Great job Dennis, I truly appreciate your efforts and a big THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge.  
What about the PRC-4 as a Mystery Radio? Gotten zilch in my quest for info. I read an article (which I now can't locate) written, as I recall, by a man in Holland. He said as a youngster he picked up a camouflaged BC-611 during WWII in a ditch and still has it. Can't find the dammed article.

Ed Guzick

ed)"Mystery Radio's" are those that most people are familiar with but don't understand some aspect of their existance. The PRC-4 NOBODY knows ANYTHING about other than it's a descized version of the BC-611 built for Military Intelligence. We don't even know descized as what! In fact, the above sentance describe the sum total known about the radio, twould be an awfully short artical!

It is possible the article you can't find in regard the camo BC-611 was actually a  tidbit presented here in this column. During Operation Market Garden, some Airborne BC-611's were painted with a wide spiraling stipe to effect camouflage, this is the only place this practice is known and could have been peculiar to only one of the US, British, or Dutch units that participated, all of which were issued the BC-611. This story you relate should also reflect that persons also finding a Bazooka and playing with it. Not much gets by me! Below you'll see the account as related me by Hue Miller some months ago, I don't forget much either!

[i met a fellow in Seattle who owns a BC-611 he found as a lad after the battle of Arnehm. it was tossed in a ditch after the antenna broke off. ( he replaced it postwar ). it has a camo pattern of a broad brown paint stripe about 3" wide winding around the set, about 3 turns total. he told me he also found a bazooka, which he enjoyed firing. what a swell toy! ( re finding toys, one of the aviation mags had an account of a brit lad, who salvaged a machine gun from a wrecked german plane, and then used it to fire at german planes when they came over low! he was about 12 years old! true story! )

hue miller ]


6 Meter Freq,

A while ago, we discussed a freq for list members who are Amateurs. 51.60 was decided on, the last I heard.  I've got an RT-524 operational (may change to an RT-246).  I monitor from in my police radio shop Saturdays, Sundays and some weekdays.  I'm in the Arcadia area, about 15 miles N/E of Los Angeles.


Jay Coote,  W6CJ

ed) Yes it's true we did decide on that freq. Personally I've not heard any 6 meter traffic at all, either local or DX, but a storm blew my antenna over two weeks ago, so there may have been some propagation changes. We still need to come up with some other freqs for the other bands & modes. We need two freqs for each band, one for CW, the other for SSB. These should be of even more importance as the radios we will be operating on these freqs will most likely be xtal control, and who can afford a shoe box full of xtals. When Ike & I where at Oklahoma City last week we had the notion of setting up an SSB station, but as it turned out, we couldn't find a net of vintage operators to talk to on 75 meters. So I just shut the radio off, and we got drunk instead. We really need to hash this last issue out, as I'm no drinker!


TTFD(terminated folded dipole),

The technical name for the design used in the B&W and many other similar broadband dipoles is the TTFD or just TFD. Have not heard it referred to as anything other than a terminated folded dipole, the TTFD is used in reference to the same antenna used in a sloper configuration. Has to be true, is in my Motorola Micom manuals... :-)

Tom Norris

ed) It also goes by a Ham call, W&^% ?

W3HH I think....




 18 Basic Rules for Driving in the Greater Boston Area:

 #18/ A right lane construction closure is just a game to see how many people can cut in line by passing you on the right as you sit in the left  lane waiting for the same jerks to squeeze their way back in before  hitting construction barrels.

 #17/ Turn signals are just clues as to your next move in road battle, so never use them.

 #16/ Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you no matter how fast you're going.  If you do, the space will be filled by somebody else, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

 #15/ The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.

 #14/ Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive body work (remember no fault insurance: he might not have much to lose; you do).

 #13/ Braking is to be done hard and late as possible to insure that your anti-lock braking system kicks in to give you a nice relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates.

 #12/ The electronic traffic warning system signs are not there to provide useful information; just to make Boston look progressive.

 #11/ Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right.  It's a good way to scare people entering the highway.

 #10/ Speed limits are arbitrary figures to make Boston look as if conforms to local, state, and federal policies; these are given only as suggestions and are readily unenforceable.

 #09/ Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that a driver flashing his high beams behind you can go faster in your spot.

 #08/ Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush hour traffic in downtown Boston.

 #07/ Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even a person changing a tire.  If you're lucky you may see the unwitting breakdown victim get mugged.

 #06/ Learn to swerve abruptly.  The Boston area is the home of the high speed slalom driving thanks to the DOT, who put the potholes in key locations to test driver's reflexes and keep them on their toes.

 #05/ It is traditional to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant a light changes.  The city is founded on such traditions.

 #04/ Seeking eye contact with another driver evokes your right of way.

 #03/ Giving the finger may invite armed retaliation.

 #02/ All unmarked exits lead to the projects.

 #01/ Construction signs tell you about road closures immediately after you pass the exit before the traffic begins to back up.


  On the last day of kindergarten, all the children brought presents for  their teacher.  The florist's son handed the teacher a gift.  She shook it, held it up and said, "I bet I now what it is - it's some flowers!"   "That's right!" shouted the little boy.  Then the candy store owner's daughter handed the teacher a gift.  She held  it up, shook it and aid. "I bet I know what it is it's a box of candy!" "That's right!" shouted the little girl.  The next gift was from the liquor store owner's son.  The teacher  held it  up and saw that it was leaking.  She touched a drop with her  finger and tasted it. "Is it wine?" she asked.  "No," the boy answered.  The teacher touched another drop to her tongue.  "Is it champagne?"  she asked.  "No," the boy answered. Finally, the teacher said, "I give up.  What is it?"  The boy replied, "A puppy!"


  It's always difficult to bring sad news, but you should know...   There was a great loss today in the entertainment world.  The  man who wrote the  song "Hokey Pokey" died.   What was really horrible is that they had trouble keeping the body in  the casket.  They'd put his left leg in and ... well, you know the rest.


Mickey and Minnie Mouse were at court for divorce proceedings. The judge told Mickey, "Look here Mickey Mouse, I can't grant you a divorce from Minnie!" Mickey Mouse was stunned and asked, "Why not??!!" The Judge said, "I've reviewed all the information you gave to the court, but I can't find any evidence at all to support the grounds that she is crazy!" Mickey Mouse says, "Your Honor! I didn't say she was CRAZY, I said she was fucking Goofy!"


The pope goes to visit the Seven Dwarfs. As he is finishing his speech on comparative religions, Doc raises his hand to ask a question, "Mr.Pope, are there any dwarf nuns in Rome?" "No Doc," responds the Pontiff, "there are not." "Mr. Pope, are there any dwarf nuns anywhere in Italy?" Doc questions. "No Doc," chuckles the Pope, "there are no dwarf nuns in Italy." "Mr. Pope," Doc asks pleadingly, "are there any dwarf nuns anywhere in the world?" "No Doc," the Pope says sadly, "there are no dwarf nuns anywhere in the world." Softly in the background, the six remaining dwarfs start chanting, "Dopey did a penguin, Dopey did a penguin."


(The preceding was a product of the"Military Collector Group Post", an international email magazine dedicated to the preservation of history and the equipment that made it. Unlimited circulation of this material is authorized so long as the proper credits to the original authors, and publisher or this group are included. For more information conserning this group contact Dennis Starks at,