Pye Telecom History - Virtual Pye Museum
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The Product History of Pye
 Two-Way Radio
1939 to 2002
70+ years of radio communications
Product History
Updated 21-06-2021
Military Wireless, Radar & Navigation

Military Wireless, Radar  & Navigation Equipment 1939 - 1966

Major equipments where Pye was involved in all or part of the original design
Air Interception (AI) Radar
RF Amplifier No. 2
Wireless Set No. 62
Chain Home Low Radar
Wireless Set No. 22
Wireless Set No. 10
Air-Surface Vessel (ASV) Radar
Wireless Set No. X32D
Instrument Landing System (ILS)
Anti-Aircraft Radio Proximity Fuze
Wireless Set No. 68
Wireless Set C12
Wireless Set No. 18
Radio Link Sound Ranging MKII
HF TX Type 619 & RX Type CAT
Wireless Sets No. 19
Communications Receiver Type PCR

VHF Infantry Handset-Radiotelephone Communications Receiver Type PTR

In addition to the above, Pye Ltd manufactured many other equipment designs for the Government during WW2.
Also, original designs of Pye Ltd such as WS18, WS19, WS22, PCR, RF Amplifier No.2  were manufactured by other companies in the UK and overseas to increase production quantities.  WS62 was also manufactured in Australia and India by Pye associated companies.

Please note: The chronological order is approximate

Radar Systems (1939 - 1946)

Air Interception Radar (AI) (part involvement in 200MHz versions)
Chain Home Low Radar (part involvement)
Air-Surface Vessel Radar (ASV) (part involvement in 200 MHz versions)

Pye 45MHz radar IF
                                                Strip From 1939 onwards, Pye Ltd made an important contribution to the early airborne radar receivers by supplying amplifying units based on an existing 45 MHz TRF television chassis which used the revolutionary new Philips/Mullard EF50 valve designed by NV Philips in Eindhoven.

Work by the Government on airborne radar had started well before Britain joined the second world war and followed the design of the ground based Chain Home system.  Pye had designed a high gain TRF television receiver to receive the prewar London TV station which broadcast on 45MHz.  This was based on the Philips EF50 valve supplied by Mullard, the Philips UK subsidiary.  The Pye 45MHz TV receiver circuit was found to be an excellent basis for the Intermediate Frequency (IF) amplifier and detector stages of Airborne Interception radar receivers, due to the gain, bandwidth and selectivity characteristics.  Pye and Ekco supplied the early radar receivers before Ekco and AC Cossor became the main suppliers and Pye concentrated on land warfare equipment such as WS18, WS19, WS22 etc.

According to the memoirs of E.G. Bowen, Pye supplied over 12,000 of the 200 MHz  radar receiver units and indicator units for the 200 MHz radar systems AI MKI, AI MKII, AI MKIII, AI MKIV and ASV MKI, ASV MKII and ASV MKIII.

Time scales: 1939 - 1945
Standard frequency range: Radar receivers Type R3039, R3041 etc. 176 - 200 MHz, Receiving Unit Type 153 45MHz 2MHz
Transmitter RF output: N/A
Primary model variants: Various AI and ASV receivers (see http:/ Receiving Unit Type 153A (10DB/8465) or the circuit configuration was built into other equipment platforms
Extract from technical manual: manual not produced by Pye

Pye Co-axial Connector (1939)

Pye co-axial
                                              connectorAn important innovation from this time was the "Pye plug" coaxial connector, conceived for the early AI and ASV radar equipments by Donald (Bo) Jackson and designed by mechanical designer George Baguley.  The objective was to provide quickly detachable coaxial cables between the modules of the early airborne radar equipment and avoid the problem of poor high-frequency impedance matching (poor return loss and reflected signals) in cables which would otherwise have been terminated in a simple 'pig-tail' soldered connection.

The initial Pye connector was a right-angle elbow type with a range of different size co-ax cable entry clamps, but was expanded to include straight , T-piece and back-to-back connectors.  The design was subsequently used in the majority of British RF equipment during the war.  Illustrated above left are the Pye plug and socket and T-piece.

The connector design was also used by Pye Telecom commercially on all of the radio-telephone equipment from 1946 until the end of the Ranger series of mobiles and base stations in 1964.

Pye Connector in use from 1939 to 1969 in Military service
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Anti-Aircraft Radio Proximity Fuze (1939 - 1942) (conceptual and prototype design work)

Radio proximity
                                                fuzes Between September 1939 and 1942, at the request of Sir John Cockroft of the Ministry of Supply, the radar team at Pye Ltd carried our pioneering experimental work on radio proximity fuzes for anti-aircraft artillery shells.  This work included the design, in-house manufacture and testing of suitable miniature thermionic valves. 

The proximity fuze was a miniature radio transmitter and receiver/detector fitted in the nose of an anti-aircraft shell, which detonated when close to the aircraft.  This required components which could withstand the shock of the shell being fired from the gun.

Later, in September 1940, details of the early work on proximity fuzes were handed over to the USA by the Tizard Mission, along with the secrets of the Magnetron Radar valve and the Jet engine.  Development and production the proximity fuze concept was finally achieved by the Americans near the end of the war.  See image of USA MK45 radio proximity fuze below right.  This operated at approx 225 MHz.

USA MK45 radio
                                              proximity fuze

Time Scales:
 1939 - 1942
Standard frequency range: TBA
Transmitter RF output: TBA

Primary model variants: TBA

Extract from technical manual: Technical details not in PTL Historic Collection

Wireless Set No. 18 (1940)

WS18 close upWireless Set No. 18 was the first volume production man-pack radio station for the British Infantry.  It was based on a design by the Government Signals Experimental Establishment (SEE).

In 1939 Pye Ltd was asked to quote for the production of the SEE design, but declined, claiming it was not suitable for the purpose intended on the grounds of weight and construction.  Within 6 weeks Pye produced samples of two alternative equipment configurations which were then sent to France for field-trial.  Pye requested that the sets should be made from aluminium but this was not permitted due to material shortages and the Company was directed to use sheet steel as with the SEE prototypes.  To reduce weight Pye then turned to thin tin-plate for the case, which was strengthened by deeply pressed ribbing.  This light-weight case design with characteristic deep ribbing became the standard for many of the WW2 Pye designed equipments (WS19, WS22, WS62, PCR, WS R10, WS Sound Ranging MK2 etc).

The WS18 equipment consists of separate tuneable transmitter and receiver modules mounted in a back-pack style carrying case, complete with integral battery mounted in the base of the case.  A sectional vertical rod aerial was used mounted on a base at the side of the case.  Alternatively a long wire ground aerial could be used to make the operator and station less conspicuous.  A pair of metal flaps and folding canvas hood provided water protection to the front of the unit.  The equipment was designed to be carried by one man and operated by a second.

The valves used were relatively fragile 2 Volt filament types.  These sometimes limited the operational use of the equipment when (according to Pye Ltd employees who conducted post-events analysis on equipments returned from the field) the internal valve filament support springs fractured during parachute drops, as in Operation Market Garden near Arnhem.  See internal view of transmitter and internal view of receiver.   The particular WS18 equipment illustrated above was manufactured by Invicta Radio, another company operated by the Stanley family, owners of the Pye Group at the time.

Production life: 1939 - 1945
Standard frequency range: 6 - 9 MHz
Transmitter RF output:  0.25 Watt
Primary model variants: Wireless Sets No 68R, WS68T, WS68P covering lower frequency ranges

Extract from technical manual: Yes, to follow

Wireless Sets No.19 (1941)

Wireless Sets No.19
The world famous Wireless Sets No. 19 was a system of local and extended control vehicular mobile radio units which were originally designed to provide medium range HF communications and local intercom facilities (WS19 specification), plus short range VHF communications (WS24 specification), for the crew of British Army armoured fighting vehicles (AFV).

Although the specifications for WS19/24 were created in the late 1930s, WS19 appears to have been developed by Pye Ltd in a great hurry late in 1940 after the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) experienced combat against the German forces and their fast-moving and coordinated mobile warfare in France.  The methodology of the German Army involved integrated armoured and infantry divisions with their movements co-ordinated by radio communications.
  This military concept was subsequently given the title of lightning warfare or Blitzkreig by the British.

Following its introduction in British AFV in 1941, and despite its weight, the WS19 equipment was found to be so significantly useful and versatile as to be used in a very wide variety of vehicles, ground and airborne applications.  In order to increase the volume of production the design was soon manufactured by a number of other companies in the UK, Canada and USA.  The Canadian MKIII model was the most technically refined version.  Some USA produced MKII equipment were made with dual English/Russian legend.  Royal Signals figures show that a total of 115,000 units were made during WWII. The equipment (with various modifications) was also adopted by the Canadian, Australian and Italian Armies as their standard HF vehicle mobile radio unit. 

The installation of each WS19 was customised to the particular vehicle type or application by a specific installation kit, however every complete WS19 station consisted of a number of standard parts including the transceiver unit, a power supply unit, an aerial variometer unit, two antenna bases and rod assemblies, a number of crew control units, each with headsets (and microphones for some crew members) an equipment carrier and extensive cable harnesses.
WS19 was an original design created by Pye Ltd in Cambridge, England in three months of concentrated work in 1940 and over the period of the war years evolved through three different primary model versions and a number of secondary variants, re manufactured and modified models.  It remained in service with the British Army until the late 1960s.

From 1955 onwards the equipment was partly replaced in armoured fighting vehicles applications by the Pye Wireless Set C12, due to delays in the introduction of the planned replacement equipment  Wireless Set C13.  The total active service life of the WS19 equipment series with the British Army was from 1941 to the late 1960s.

For an extremely detailed and authoritative account of WS19 see Louis Meulstee, Wireless For the Warrior Volume 2, 1998, originally published by G. C. Arnold & Partners, ISBN 1898805 10 5, now published by Wimborne Publishing.  The web site for Louis Meulstee is:

Other images will follow when there is time to assemble a complete station for photography.

Production life: 1941 - 1946 (Pye Ltd)  Many sets manufactured and re-manufactured by other companies and Government departments
Service Life: 1941 - 1963
Standard frequency range: A set MKI 2.5-6.25 MHz, MKII and MKIII 2 - 8 MHz,  B set 229 - 241 MHz
Transmitter RF output: CW 3 - 5 Watts or greater, AM 1.5 - 2.5 Watts or greater (Note there are wide variations in the RF output between sets)
Primary model variants: British versions - MKI, MKII,MKII*,  MKII, MKIII/T, MKIII Reconditioned Post-War, Canadian Versions - MKII, MKIII
USA Versions - MKII, Australian Versions - MKII

Extract from technical manual: Yes, to follow
Detailed product history:
See WS19 history file for more details

Infantry Handset Radiotelephone (1942)

                                                radiotelephone 1942 This small VHF hand held radio using miniature wire-ended valves was designed by Pye Ltd in 1942 to allow Infantry Soldiers to communicate with Tank Crews who already used the 230 MHz "B" set of Wireless Sets No.19 for tank to tank communication.  It was intended to have a similar range to that of the tank WS19 "B" set and to fulfill the reciprocal requirement of the specification for Wireless Set No. 24, in other words for the Infantry to be able to talk back to the tank "B" set.  Its use was formally proposed in a secret  report by Pye Ltd to the Ministry of Supply in 1942.

However, the Ministry preferred to make use of an extra Wireless Set No. 38 mounted in the AFV to talk directly to the other WS38 equipments already in use by the Infantry Soldiers.  Eventually a special version of WS38 (WS38AFV) was configured to integrate with the WS19 control harness system mounted in vehicles.

It is believed that early in the war, samples of the Pye VHF hand-held set were supplied to the USA and Canada.   After the War, the equipment was featured in a short film demonstrating the future use of personal radio communications by the general public.  See image at right below.  One of the designers is pictured here posing with the equipment in 1996. Handset
                                                radiotelephone, public

Time Scales: 1942 - 1946                                                                                                                                                  
Standard frequency range: 230 - 250 MHz
Transmitter RF output: 30mW
Receiver: super-regenerative
Primary model variants: One version only

Extract from technical manual: No manual produced, Pye Ltd report by Denis Fuller dated 9 November 1942

RF Amplifier No. 2 (1942)

RF Amplifier No. 2RF Amplifier No. 2 was an external HF RF amplifier, used to increase the modulated transmitter output power from the"A" Set of  Wireless Sets No.19.  Depending on the frequency in use, the equipment model and the input drive power, output powers between 15 and 35 Watts could be obtained.

MKI and MKII models used four 807 valves in parallel but the later MKIII version used only two 807s and a different bias arrangement in order to improve efficiency.  A large internal rotary generator was used to provide the 600 Volt HT supply, and from the MKII version onwards a fan on the generator also circulated cooling air into and out of the case via a filter mounted on the case back panel.  The complete amplifier consumed an additional 16 Amps at 12 Volts.

The RF Amplifier was usually mounted on top of the WS19, and for antenna matching used either its own special tuning unit, or the Aerial Tuning Unit Type J from Wireless Set No. 22.

Post-war, a 24 Volt version of the RF Amplifier was manufactured by Burndept Ltd.  See image at right.RF Amplifier No.2
                                                MK3 24 volt version

Production life: 12 Volt versions 1942 - 1946
Standard frequency range: 2.1 - 7.5 MHz
Transmitter RF output: 15 - 35 Watts
Primary model variants: 12 Volt versions MK1, MKII, MKIII, 24 Volt version of MKIII only

Extract from technical manual: yes, to follow

Wireless Sets No. 22 (1942)

WS22 man-pack
                                                stationWireless Sets No. 22 was a general purpose low powered HF transmitter receiver intended for use by the British Army in non-armoured vehicles.  It could also be configured as a 3-man-pack load or for animal-pack use, and was also used on a transportable hand cart. It had a similar frequency range to WS19 and was intended to provide a similar performance, although the transmit power was lower.

The internal layout was similar to WS19 (although the circuits were quite different) except that WS22 has an internal roller-coaster aerial tuner mounted where the WS19 had the VHF "B" set and intercom amplifier.  See internal top side view and underside view.  The front panel layout of WS22 was very similar to the original prototype WS19 MKI.

WS 22 uses an external vibrator power supply to generate about 300 Volts dc from a 12 Volt battery source.  See internal view of PSU.

Royal signals records show that a total of 55,000 units were manufactured by Pye Ltd and  the Mitcham Works factory of Philips Lamps.

For certain applications requiring either moisture proofing or airborne operation, WS22 was replaced by Wireless Set No. 62, (which was originally designated WS22 MK2) although the British army continued to use WS22 for general purpose low power mobile applications until the end of the 1950s.

More to follow.

Production life:
Standard frequency range:
Transmitter RF output:
Primary model variants:

Extract from technical manual: Yes, to follow
Detailed product history: to follow

Wireless Set No. X32D (1944)

Wireless Set X32DWS X32 was a series of experimental radios used by the British Army to evaluate frequency modulation (FM) in the HF bands against the existing amplitude modulation (AM) method used during World War II.

The USA pioneered FM in the late 1930s and much of the US forces short range land warfare communications used this mode from the beginning of their involvement in World War 2.

Trial WS X32 equipments were designed and manufactured by both Pye and Murphy.

The Pye equipments WS X32D were very similar in external appearance to WS22, as can be seen from the above photograph kindly supplied by Ben Nock.

More to follow.

Production life:
Standard frequency range:
Transmitter RF output:
Primary model variants:

Extract from technical manual: Manual not in PTL Historic Collection

Wireless Set No 68

Wireless Set No.
                                                68TA lower frequency version of Wireless Set No.18, covering 1.75 - 2.9 MHz or 3 - 5.2 MHz.

The equipment was  introduced in 1943 in order to permit longer range communications by using lower frequencies than used by the standard WS18.

More to follow.

Production life:
Standard frequency range: WS68R and WS68T: 3 - 5.2 MHz, WS68P: 1.75 - 2.9 MHz
Transmitter RF output: 0.25W
Primary model variants: WS68P, WS68R, WS68T

Extract from technical manual:Yes to follow

Radio Link Sound Ranging MKII (1943)

The Out-Station

Sound Ranging Out-station MKII Radio Link Sound Ranging MKII was part of a system for capturing the sounds of the firing of enemy guns, and returning the audio to a central station by wireless means, so that the range and location of the guns could be determined.  Sound ranging was one of the three techniques employed by the British Army to locate enemy guns, along with Surveying and Flash Spotting.
The radio system consisted of two types of HF transmitter/receiver stations; Wireless Sets Sound Ranging Headquarters  Station (WS SR HQ) and Wireless Sets Sound Ranging Out-Station (WS SR OS), each of them man-pack transportable.

A Sound Ranging troop typically consisted of 8 stations, 7 WS SR OS and one WS SR HQ.  Up to 5 of the Out-Stations would be deployed in a row several thousand yards apart, and would signal the sound of enemy guns being fired back to the Headquarters Station on a narrow band of frequencies around 10 MHz.  Two additional spotting stations were also equipped with the Out-Station wireless set for voice reporting.

The Headquarters Station

WS SR HQ station The Headquarters Station was unusual in that it received the signal from the 5 Out-Stations simultaneously and processed the signals through 5 separate IF amplifiers.    See inside top view and underside view of HQ station and inside top view and underside view of Out-Station.   A system of pen recording on film rolls was used to create a visual trace resulting from the audio on the received signals.  The recorders were produced by the Cambridge Instrument Company.

The circuit design technology used in both equipments was derived from the Wireless Set No. 18, and
the equipment was mounted in the case from WS22.  Separate rotary transformer Power Supply Units No. 16 were used for each station, running from a 6 volt battery.  The rotary transformer in the PSU provided 150 Volt HT and 40 Volt bias supplies.  See inside view of the PSU showing the rotary transformer and also the remote control unit mounted inside each PSU.  Note also the small wooden box carrying fuses and generator brushes, the concept of which was subsequently used in the mains power supply for the PCR receiver.

Production life: 1943 - 1945
Standard frequency range: 9 - 10.5 MHz in one range
Transmitter RF output: 0.25 W
Primary model variants: HQ Station, Out-Station, PSU No 16, Unit Loud speaking, Film Recorder SR.

Extract from technical manual:  Yes, to follow

Portable Communications Receiver Type PCR, PCR1, PCR2, PCR3 (1944)

Communications Receiver Tpe PCRPortable Communications Receiver Type PCR was the first model in a series of general purpose lightweight communications receivers used by the British Army world-wide from mid 1944 until some time during the late 1960s. Other models are the PCR1, 2, 3, and PCR3TPL.

The PCR receiver was a 6 valve superhet, and electrically was a variation of the receiver section of the Pye Wireless Sets No. 19, but with the addition of some RF input selectivity, slightly narrower IF selectivity and a higher power audio output stage, using a 6V6 or EL32 valve according to model.  Bill Pannell is thought to have been the engineer responsible for the equipment design, and Donald H. Hughes, one of the senior designers of WS18 and WS19, has has been identified as the engineering design authority for the PCR receiver, and his signature appeared on the original drawings.

The frequencies covered by the initial PCR model were 2100-850 Metres, 570-190 Metres and 5.8-18MHz and the equipment had an internal electro-magnetic loudspeaker.   Later models covered slightly different frequencies, used an external loudspeaker and had slightly different audio input/output facilities.  The PCR series were all externally powered from a separate mains PSU or a 12 Volt DC vibrator unit.  See inside top view and underside view. 

The equipment front panel was usually finished in black wrinkle paint and the set mounted in a gloss black painted variant of the WS19 case.  Due to the inclusion of the standard WS19 mounting slots in the case sides, the set could be carried in the WS19 carriers (Carrier Sets No. 21,  23, 25).  Versions of the equipment have also been found finished with a grey panel and olive green case and some coated with tropicallised varnish.

The equipment was designed by Pye Ltd in Cambridge and the drawings finalised in March 1944.  The design was subsequently manufactured by Pye, Philips Lamps and Invicta Radio (another company run by the Stanley family who owned Pye Ltd).  Pye Ltd was initially contracted to produce a quantity of 5000 PCR1 and 12000 PCR2/3 units at a rate of about 800 per month.  The total Philips production figures are not known, but from serial numbers seen on equipments, were likely to have been been around 15,000 - 17,000 units.  The Pye equipments were manufactured on an out-work basis by teams of assemblers in the "Pye Village Industries" scheme in village halls and other buildings around East Anglia.  Once a week the sets would be collected by a  man in a van called Fred and taken to Cambridge for testing and despatch.  The last
PCR equipments manufactured by Pye Ltd in Cambridge were completed in December 1945, and at the end of production a few extra sets were found to have been made.  These were sold to employees for 10 each.  PCR equipment manufactured by Philips Lamps were produced at their Mitcham Works factory, South London, and internally have the inspection stamp marks "MW".

The PCR is often described as a forces welfare receiver or NAAFI receiver, however this is thought to be a popular myth, and most certainly relates to a later post-war application for some of the large quantities of sets remaining after the war.

ar-time employees of Pye Ltd are quite certain that the equipment was intended as an "Invasion Receiver", that is, a general purpose, portable communications receiver (hence the type designation PCR) , for use in Europe by the British 2nd Army after the D-Day Normandy landings, to receive military progress and information broadcasts as part of Operation Overlord, as the  various divisions moved across Europe.  The term "Broadcast" has a different meaning in the Military, compared to domestic radio communications, and this may have given rise to the popular myth that the design was originally intended for the reception of domestic broadcast signals.  Recent information from British Armed Service personnel indicates that the set was also supplied by the RAF to Resistance Groups in Norway, Holland and France.  This is confirmed by the Dutch Royal Corps of Signals Verbindingsdienst web site.  It was also later used by the British Army during the Korean war, as was Wireless Sets No. 62.

Production life:   PYE Ltd - April 1944 - December 1945.
                           REME - Some equipments re-built by the REME Newark Depot 1958-1960 and carry the legend
                                         NEW 3 \ 58 etc. to signify the location, month and year of re-manufacture.
Re-manufacture - Some equipment re-manufactured by other contractors eg. WRNW 1958  
Standard frequency range:
 PCR & PCR1 - 2100-850 Metres, 570-190 Metres and 5.8-18MHz
 PCR2 - 2100-850 Metres, 570-190 Metres and 6.0-22MHz
 PCR3 & PCR3TPL - 570-190 Metres, 2.3-7.3MHz, and 7.0-23MHz.
Transmitter RF output: N/a, receiver only
Primary model variants: PCR, PCR1, PCR2, PCR3, PCR3TPL, also see Receiver Type PTR below.

Extract from technical manual: Only the circuit diagram and some sections of the EMER are held in the collection

Communications Receiver Type PTR (1944)

Detail from PTR
                                                circuit diagram A communications receiver similar to the original PCR receiver, which was fitted with a BFO valve stage and other circuit features making it suitable for both speech and CW (Morse code) reception.

The quantity of PTR receivers manufactured is not known.


Production life:  Drawings issued in April 1944, no information on production dates or quantities.
Standard frequency range: Assumed to be the same as the original PCR and PCR1  
Transmitter RF output: N/a, receiver only
Primary model variants: Not known

Extract from technical manual: Circuit diagram only held in the collection

Wireless Sets No. 62 (1945)

Wireless Set No.
                                                  62 MKII circa 1953Wireless Sets No. 62 was a low power, short range, vehicle station HF transmitter & receiver.  The frequency range was 1.6 to 10.0 MHz in two bands.  It was intended as an interim, but  lighter and water proof replacement, for Wireless Set No. 22 MKI, which had been in service with the British Army since 1942, and which was due to be replaced by Wireless Set No. 42.  However the WS42 project was abandoned and WS62 became a permanent equipment.  It was used by the British and Australian Armies, and possibly by the Canadians.

Designed and produced only by Pye Ltd in Cambridge, WS62 had a long service life, being first trialled early in 1944, with War-time production running from late 1944 to 1946, and later production running from 1952 until 1966 in the UK.  It was also manufactured in Australia and India.

The equipment, which was designed by a team including William Pannell and Dr. Ladislav Lax, was of mainly aluminium construction, was water resistant, semi-tropicallised and would float.  It weighed approximately 30lbs, and was used as a vehicle mounted mobile station, a man-pack set and as an animal-pack set in both European and Far East campaigns and later in the Korean War.

The transmitter power output was approximately 1 Watt into a vertical rod or long wire antenna.  The equipment was powered by a miniature rotary transformer mounted inside the case and supplied from external 12 Volt batteries.  In 1963 a transistor dc-dc converter was designed to replace the rotary generator.  The example pictured, which dates from 1953 is fitted with the transistorised PSU.  See inside top view and underside view.

A separate unit, Crystal Calibrator No. 10, was later used as a frequency setting aid with WS62 (and with the C12).  From the Publication Department master handbook copies,  Bill Pannell is known to have been the technical design authority for Calibrator No. 10.

Production life: 1945 - 1966
Standard frequency range: 1.6-4 MHz and 4-10 MHz
Transmitter RF output: 0.8 - 1.5W
Primary model variants: WS62, WS62MKI, WS62MK2, also MK3, MK4, MK5, and MK6 modified versions

Extract from technical manual: Yes, to follow
Detailed product history: See WS62 history file for more details

Wireless Set No. 10 (1944) (part involvement)

                                                mobile stationWireless Set No. 10 was the worlds first transportable multi-channel Time Division Multiplex (TDM) microwave radio relay system.  It was introduced to service in 1944 in time for use after the D Day landings in Europe.WS10 Receiver

Each WS10 station was a complete 4GHz transportable transmit & receive station mounted in a mobile wheeled trailer with two 4 foot parabolic dishes mounted on the roof.  The system could carry 8 telephone channels using pulse-width modulation, and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery later confirmed in writing the significance of having a secure line of communications back to the UK during the Allied invasion and subsequent liberation of Europe.

The Pye contribution to the WS10 system was the 4GHz receiver type R10 and matching R10 PSU.  GEC designed the transmitter and TMC designed the 8 channel time division multiplex equipment.Wireless Set No 10
                                                Receiver PSU

WS R10 Receiver Unit (right upper) and R10 Power Supply Unit (right lower).  These equipments were placed into military storage in 1956.


Equipment Trailer photo courtesy of  Louis Meulstee
Production life:
Standard frequency range:
Transmitter RF output:
Extract from technical manual: Manual not in Pye Telecom Collection

Instrument Landing System (ILS) (1946 - RAF, 1955 - ICAO)

Pye ILS system cabinetsThe Pye Instrument Landing System (ILS) was developed after experience supporting the RAF BABS system and was adopted by the Royal Air Force in 1946.  It was subsequently developed to enable fully automatic approach and landing.

Further development of the design followed and in 1955 it was adopted by the ICAO for use at civil airfields in the UK and overseas.  The first civil installation was at Geneva, followed by Prague, Stansted, London Heathrow, Moscow etc.

The equipment was primarily intended for use as an aid to the landing of aircraft under conditions of poor visibility, but it quickly became useful as a standard approach aid in all circumstances.

The complete system comprised a "Localiser" transmitter, providing guidance in azimuth along the extended centre line of the runway; a "Glidepath" transmitter provided guidance in elevation along a sloping path which intersected with  the ground at the optimum point of contact, and three "Marker Beacon" transmitters spaced along the approach path which provided indication of distance from touch-down.  The complete system was remotely monitored from a separate "Remote Control Console" which was located in the main airfield control buildings.   

More to follow

Production life: 1946 - 1964
Standard frequency range:
Transmitter RF output:
Extract from technical manual:  Yes, to follow

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Wireless Set C12 (1955)

WS C12 stationWireless Set C12 was originally designed as the PTC202 between about 1948 and 1950 as a private venture by Pye Ltd to replace the 'A' set and intercom functions of Wireless Sets No. 19.  Initially the PTC202 was not considered for use by the British Army due to the War Office preference for a new concept of hermetically sealed, water-proof equipments (which later came to be known as Larkspur).

The equipment selected to replace WS19 was Station Radio C13 from supplier BCC Ltd, however, during the early 1950s when the C13 development program ran late, the Pye PTC202 was evaluated and adopted by the British Army as Wireless Set C12 and used as the temporary substitute for Station Radio C13 in armoured fighting vehicles. C12 trial in a

Due to the slowness of the C13 program and subsequent defence cut-backs affecting the purchase of new equipments, the C12 remained in service until the late 1970s.  Although most C12 equipment bear the date 1955 it was first demonstrated by the Army in July 1953 at a 3 day exhibition held at  the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough by the Radio Communications and Electronic Engineering Association and sponsored by the Ministry of Supply.  It is pictured at right fitted into a Saracen armoured vehicle during its military trials.

The equipment was constructed along similar lines to WS19, WS22 and WS62, and had the same overall external dimensions.  It consisted of a waterproof main transceiver unit, a separate power supply unit and an external aerial tuning unit.  The equipment could be connected to control wiring harnesses of the WS19 type or Larkspur type.  It is pictured above with the WS19 type drop lead adapter connected.  See inside top view and underside view.

The frequency range covered was 1.6 to 10.0 MHz, and the equipment had a two-channel electro-mechanical  'flick' tuning system.  The main set used switched main tuning capacitors, each with its own colour coded dial mechanism.  The ATU had twin tuning inductors switched by relays under control of the radio unit. Transmit RF power output was 5 - 7.5 Watts AM at 95% modulation and 4 - 8 Watts output on CW. The equipment was intended to work into vertical rod aerials of length between 8 and 32 feet, but would also operate into a 100 foot wire.  It was claimed that due to the high level of modulation achieved, the station was equivalent to a WS19 and HP Amplifier No. 2 combination (which gave about 25 Watts RF output, although with low level modulation).

Different external power supply units were provided for 12 Volt systems or 24 Volt systems.  Each used an electro-mechanical vibrator to provide 250 Volt HT supplies to the receiver, and a rotary transformer to generate the 400 Volt 140mA supply for the transmitter.  Early 24 volt PSUs ran sufficiently hot that a manually controlled cooling fan had to be added.   Transistorised versions of both PSU were made available in the early 1960s. The Crystal Calibrator No. 10 from Wireless Set No. 62 was used as an external frequency reference for the C12, but modified slightly to compensate for the different HT supply voltage.

The C12 was manufactured by Pye Ltd at a facility in the Richard Garrett Engineering Works, Leiston, Ipswich UK, and later at Pye Scottish Telecommunications, Airdrie. 

Production life: 1955 - 1965
Standard frequency range: 1.6 - 4 MHz and 4 - 10 MHz
Transmitter RF output: 5 -7. 5 Watts at 95% modulation
Primary model variants: With or without crystal control option, 12 Volt or 24 Volt power supplies,  vibrator/rotary generator or transistorised inverter PSUs
Extract from technical manual: Yes, to follow, and technical brochure showing prototype equipment 
Detailed product history: To follow

Admiralty Type 619 MF/HF TX & HF RX Type CAT (1953)

Receiver Outfit
                                                CATThis complete station consisting of an HF receiver, MF and HF transmitters and an AC mains PSU, was the post war replacement for the Collins TCS series in British Admiralty small and medium sized boats.

It was originally designed by Pye Telecom at Ditton Works in 1950, as part of the Managing Director John Stanley's enthusiasm to break into the marine market.  The product was manufactured at Pye Marine, Lowestoft (formerly Reese Mace Marine) and was sold via three different sales distribution channels to different
markets in parallel, hence examples can be found badged as Pye Telecom Ltd,  Pye Marine Ltd, or Rees Mace Marine Ltd.

A competing equipment, Type 618, was designed and produced by Murphy Radio for the same application.


Transmitter Type
                                                619 Production life: 1953 - 1965
Standard frequency range: MF TX 330 - 550 KHz, HF TX 1.5 - 16 MHz, RX 60 KHz - 30 MHz
Transmitter RF output: MF TX 15 Watts AM, HF TX 40 Watts AMAC mains PSU for 619
                                                  TX and RX
Primary model variants: Complete station or separate receiver only, with RX PSU
Extract from technical manual: B.R. 2169 Yes, to follow


'Python' Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (1956 & 1960)

A proposed wire-guided anti-tank missile with a 30lb warhead, with a maximum range of 4000 yards.  Working models were built and tested using a 2-stage rocket motor supplied by the Bristol Aircraft Company, Rocket Division.  The design was not adopted by the Ministry of Supply and did not start quantity production.  Photo to follow.

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V2.0 - Date 11-12-2005 updated 21-06-2021

Copyright reserved 2002 - 2021 by the authors of the Pye Telecom Historic Collection, Cambridge, England