Dedicated to the Historical Significance of Vintage Military Communications


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"Often Imitated But Never Duplicated"

On-Line Since 1997


"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers" -- Shakespeare King Henry V    



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~~~~ The Group welcomes photos, articles or other submissions regarding all and any vintage military communications gear, from flags to radios to signal lamps, and associated nomenclature.  See "Submit Your Formal Article or Pic" in the Table of Contents along the left side of this page. ~~~~ Check out the NEW listings on Informal Submissions. Latest concerns operation of the 'B' Set on the WS#19. Access from the Table of Contents on this page below, left. ~~~~ LIST YOUR 19 SET INVENTORY! THE 19 SET WORLD INVENTORY is BACK! List your equipment and see what others have been collecting since 2000. Look under the Table of Contents, at left, and click on The 19 Set World Inventory. ~~~~ We are now on FACEBOOK. Find us at ~~~~ Check out the Informal Submissions area for some first-hand humourous and interesting accounts of using the 19 Set and other military communications. ~~~~ WANTED: articles, photos and written accounts of personal experience with the 19 Set or any other vintage military communications gear. Please submit by email to ve3bdb @ ~~~~ If you find any "dead" or inappropriate links from this website to others, or to pages within this website, PLEASE LET US KNOW by emailing ve3bdb @ Thank you! ~~~~

NEW!  "Lamps, Operator", an overview by Group Co-Founder Chris Bisaillion VE3CBK


Wireless for the Warrior Website Owner Louis Meulstee PA0PCR.

To view this file, Click HERE 

(Note:  If a strange screen comes up, trying to get you to buy something or to play a game or such, just close that particular page with an "X" top right.  The "Lamps, Operator" page will appear under it.  Sorry for any inconvenience. I can't seem to get rid of that unwanted advertisement.)


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"VA3WSN -- Wireless Set Net"

(Group's Amateur Radio Callsign)

Updated January 15, 2014

Cartoon © by Canadian Cartoonist Merle “Ting” Tingley, used courtesy VE3CBK, who uses it with the expressed permission of Ting!©Ting

Copyright © Merle “Ting” Tingley  (Used with permission.)

The Wireless Set No. 19 Group Website

Table of Contents



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QM STORES (Buy, Sell, Trade) 
































(Read Informal Submissions Directly Below)







Please use Discussion Forum below















Canadian Call sign Database

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Search the W.S. No. 19 Site!


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Set WS#19 Group Website as Your Homepage

  Archived Pages of The Wireless Set No. 19 Group Website from 1999 Onward

General 19 Set News

Guest Book

Check out the General News area HERE to see what you're missing!  Please leave your own entry, to pass along information or just

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A reminder: the General 19 Set News Guest Book is not intended for listing equipment inventory, wants or for sale items.  We have areas for those purposes.

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Radio Amateurs of/du Canada.  Canada's ONLY National Amateur Radio Society.  Please support it. Click HERE for more information.

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"Tous ensemble pour la radioamateur!"

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visits since June 1, 2007, when the counter was reset. 

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WS#19 Group Co-Founders and Vintage Equipment Advisors: 
Dave Lawrence VA3ORP
Chris Bisaillion VE3CBK

Co-Founder and Internet Services:
Bob Cooke VE3BDB

 Contact Website Owner

Original Inventory Page Design/Support:
 by the late Vera L. Cranor

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This website is COPYRIGHT © in its entirety, 1997-2013 inclusive, by website owner Robert D. (Bob) Cooke, VE3BDB, of  Orillia, Ontario, Canada.

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Unless otherwise noted, all materials contained on this web site are copyright protected. Materials may be downloaded and/or reprinted for personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any non-personal or commercial use is expressly prohibited unless prior written consent is obtained from the copyright holder(s).  For full information, click on box below.

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 The Wireless Set No. 19 Homepage








     Logo created by David Lawrence, VA3ORP


"A Real Radio not only glows in the dark; it hums, sputters and has a faint scent of cosmoline!"

    This site is dedicated to furthering the abilities and interests of those who collect, restore and/or operate vintage military radio equipment.  If you are such a person, licenced Amateur Radio Operator or not, you are invited to join The Original Wireless Set No. 19 Group.  It is further dedicated to the historical significance of vintage military communications.  All that is required for membership is a genuine interest in vintage military communications.  This Group, the "original", has been in existence since 1991 and on the internet since 1997.  See the Group's Coat of Arms/Insignia

     The Wireless Set No. 19, which originated in the U.K., was used extensively during WW II by Canada, where thousands of improved versions were built, and by other Allied Forces. It became the workhorse of the Canadian Army right into the early '60s. This web site, since 1997, exists for collectors, restorers, users or just plain lovers of the Wireless Set No. 19, or other vintage communications of a military ilk.  Thanks to our knowledgeable and dedicated members, including those who have their own excellent websites on military wireless, it has come to be looked upon as the definitive site for the Wireless Set No. 19 in particular. 

     More important, it is a tribute to those who used the beast under wartime conditions, as well as a salute to all those who have served and are serving in our armed forces. The site has its base in an international group of Amateur Radio operators -- 'The 19 Set Group' -- founded in 1991 by David Lawrence, VA3ORP and Chris Bisaillion, VE3CBK. This site is maintained and financed by Bob Cooke, VE3BDB, who teamed up with Dave and Chris in 1991.  Content contributions are by Group members, particularly VA3ORP and VE3CBK.  In fact, this website is a joint effort among those three.  There are no fees, no monthly meetings, no passwords, just an interesting facet of Amateur Radio. The Group's Amateur Radio call sign VA3WSN is often heard on the air and everyone sharing our interest is invited to join us!


Wireless Sets and the Vehicle Collector  Dave Lawrence, seen here with the only vehicle he could find in which to install a WS#19.  CLICK TO ENLARGE.

   Some would say that a finely restored military vehicle is nothing more than a convenient way of transporting a finely restored military radio.  I would heartily agree!!   

    Well, what would you expect from someone who has lots of wireless sets but can only dream about owning a Dingo?  Nonetheless, there may be something to be learned from someone who is an "outsider" to the fraternity of vehicle collectors.  This article outlines some issues that should be considered by a vehicle collector when dealing with military wireless sets.

   There are three main areas to consider: the potential for damage to the radio, the potential for damage to the vehicle and the potential for interference with other users.  While many of the comments relate specifically to the Wireless Set No.19 or the C42 Set, the points are generally applicable to all wireless sets.

    Author and Wireless Set No. 19 Group co-founder Dave Lawrence, VA3ORP, offers an insightful article on the possible pitfalls to be encountered by vintage military vehicle collectors who go for a "real" look by including vintage radio. But there are lessons for all of us in this piece.  See the full article here.  It also appears in the "Support" section.

The Evolution of the WS#19

Click for larger image of Sydney Sillitoe and Chris Bisaillion.

  The late Mr. Sydney Sillitoe (left, accompanied by WS#19 Group co-founder Chris Bisaillion, VE3CBK) was a key member of the Northern Electric team in Montreal that produced and improved the Wireless Set No 19 during the Second World War.  (Click photo for larger image.)

    Mr. Sillitoe's story is fascinating and includes a dangerous flight to and from war-time England to confer with his U.K. counterparts.  It's "required reading" for anyone who considers himself a friend of vintage military communications gear.  The story, written by VE3CBK and titled History of the WS#19, can be seen by clicking that title here or in the Table of Contents along the left side of this page.

Earn Your Vintage Operator Award!

     The Wireless Set No. 19 Group offers a certificate or plaque (our choice) to any Amateur Radio Operator who satisfies certain requirements in making contact using vintage military communications equipment.  The purpose is to encourage and recognize those personnel who collect, restore and operate vintage military communications equipment.  

     It is not necessary for both ends of the exchange to be made with vintage equipment and separate endorsements may be given for the receiver and transmitter of a particular set.  In fact, one may use a vintage military receiver to qualify so an Amateur Radio licence isn't required  

     For full information see The Wireless Set No. 19 Vintage Operator's Award page.  Click "Support" in the Table of Contents on the left side of this page.

Memories of WWII Amateur Radio and Military Communications

    Bill Loucks, VE3AR, has written a personal history of his communications experiences, including not just Amateur Radio but also how his life touched upon vintage military communications equipment, including the Wireless Set No. 19 and gear used by the RCAF and RCN. 

He kindly provided that account for an exclusive internet showing here on this website. The article has subsequently appeared in The Canadian Amateur magazineRead his intensely interesting personal Memories here.

Note: It is with sadness that we report Bill's death on March 20, 2010, at the age of 88.

Preserving Military History Single-Handedly

   Rick Crawley, a new member of the Group, had what he describes as an "epiphany" that led to him making his collection of WW II militaria, including vintage communications equipment, available for all to not only see but to touch.  Read his continuing story by clicking here.

Canadian Signals Production Branch History

This Maple Leaf/Canada decal, printed in English, Russian and Chinese, was affixed to Canadian-produced military items during WW2.  Such items included vehicles, weapons and, of course, the Wireless Set No. 19.

This history of the development of the Signals Production Branch (formerly Communications and Fire Control Production Branch) has been prepared for the Minister of Munitions and Supply, at his request. The prime purpose of the history is to present a concise picture of the endeavors (sic) and accomplishments of the Branch from the time of its inception, in May, 1942, to the end of August, 1943.  At the same time, the vast expansion of production of Radar and Communications equipment in Canada is illustrated.

    " The method of presentation is that of knitting together a number of chronological stories so as to progress from the events leading up to the formation of the Branch, through development of the organization and the relation of this organization with the radar and communications programs, to a statistical recapitulation.  This method has been chosen that easy reference may be made to the complete details of any one subject." -- Signals Production Branch, Department of Munitions and Supply, Ottawa, Ontario.  October 15, 1943.

    So begins an intriguing history which includes wartime development of the Wireless Set No. 19 and other equipment, kindly provided by Chris Bisaillion, VE3CBK, from research he conducted at the Military Communications and Electronics Museum, at Kingston, Canada.  The history is continued HERE.


Ham Humour: An Insider's View of Our Hobby

  Dick Sylvan, W9CLICK here for more information about W9CBT and a larger photo.CBT, is an accomplished cartoonist and writer.  He is also a member of The Wireless Set No. 19 Group and, among other things, has written a personal account of his experiences with the 19, entitled "Built Like a Tank".  He has a new work, "HI HI - A Collection of Ham Radio Cartoons", sure to tickle the funny bone.  More info.

Group Members Enjoy Other Benefits

   Members are reminded to check the Yahoo 19Set area for photos, files, event calendar and other features accessible only by Wireless Set No. 19 Group members.  Simply log into the Yahoo area.  And, while you're there, PLEASE update your Profile.

 The 19 set has appeared in many movies and several TV shows.  In this feature, Chris Bisaillion presents those he has found.   The 19 Set Goes to the Movies      

    The Wireless Set No. 19 has appeared in several movies and at least one television series. Often only a very brief glimpse is shown of the set and you have to have eagle eyes to spot the set. It is then even more of a challenge to identify what type of No. 19, i.e. British, Canadian, U.S. and if it is a Mark 2 or Mark 3.   Chris Bisaillion, VE3CBK, has researched many of those glimpses in this article.  

Wireless for the Warrior Resource Series

  Group member Louis Meulstee, PA0PCR, has  authored a number of  excellent books of interest to us all, his latest effort being the  NEW Compendium series.  Click on the individual book cover below to be taken to his Wireless for the Warrior  website to obtain further information about that particular book and how to obtain a copy. 


Volume1.jpg   Volume2.jpg   Volume3.jpg   Volume4.jpg  


  Compendium Series





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