Free translations of the 19 Set pages
Recollections of Using a Wireless Set No. 19

By Ralph Cameron, VE3BBM

(Ed. Note: Ralph is a regular columnist in RAC's magazine, 'The Canadian Amateur', writing the 'Crosswaves' column. We are very pleased he has agreed to submit his wonderful recollections of a wonderful radio!)

Undocumented use of the WS19:

Every amateur must have had a temptation, at some point, to experiment with the potential of his/her equipment.

The 19 set was no exception. With age of the operator considered sometimes such experimentation was illegal under the Regulations.

At least one of my school chums in North Bay had an unlicensed 19 set which was illegal to possess under the old Radio Act. He wasn't the first to have his set placed in the wooden box and have the Radio Inspector place a padlock on it until he got his licence.

Other types of "harmless" illegal activity occurred, since the 19 set could operate outside the ham bands.

Military air bases across Canada were linked by a CW network. The most well known was CHT in Ottawa, CGQ Halifax and CGR Edmonton, operating on 4400 KHz.

They relayed traffic on a daily if not hourly basis across the country. I can't remember what the traffic was about but I do recall how crystal clear these tremendous signals were.

They originated from Ottawa with a 5KW signal and, as is common when operators have passed their traffic and acknowledged receipt, they would end transmissions with a few extra dits- most often referred to as "dit diddely dit, dit - dit dit", to which the receiving station would reply, "dit dit".

It would sometimes go back and forth a few times. (This sequence was the equivalent of the phrase, "Shave and a haircut- two bits "

On more than one occasion, I simply extended the termination by adding my own, "dit dit or dit diddely dit dit" and awaited the thundering response from these military giants.

It was great fun and caused no interference or corrupt communications in any way and I am sure the receiving operators were oblivious to the origin of the somewhat chirpy signals.

There was another North Bay operator, Phil Hutson, VE3DBH, now a Silent Key, who ordered the companion 813 amplifier for the 19 set and used it.

The only comment from those active amateurs in the North Bay area was that mixing products of the 19 set could be heard all over North Bay and there appeared to be a fair number of what could be termed spurious signals.

The fact that the final 813 was driven by an 807 probably had something to do with it, as well as the fact that there was little selectivity in the coupling circuit between the two.

I can still remember the chug of the dynamotor when I hit the key or the pressel switch and once those chamois covered headphones were placed on the head, I was in a different world. (ED. Note: As were we all, Ralph, as were we all...and, as some of us STILL are!)





    Copyright R. D. (Bob) Cooke, VE3BDB (Orillia, Ontario, CANADA). All Rights Reserved. Nothing on this page may be copied or distributed without written permission. Thanks for honouring this request.

  • Return to Wireless Set No. 19 Home Page