The Radar Room


ARC-5 receivers and transmitters were used on board several US aircraft,  including the Boeing B17 Super Fortress and B29 Superfortress. Both receivers and transmitters were designed to be used in a rack configuration with remote tuning back to the radio operator’s table. Each receiver and transmitter worked on just the one band, so three or four separate units were often used in the the same installation. The 1942 ‘photo to the right shows the rack quite well, with the remote control tuning cables leading off to the right of the units. Three receivers are on the bottom rack with the two transmitters on top.

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Interior shot of a B17 aircraft

Interior shot of Boeing B17E showing radio rack to the right

ARC-5 transmitter
ARC-5 receiver ARC-5 receiver

The two receivers you see here operate from 6 to 9 MHz and 6 to 9.1 MHz respectively. Both incorporate a number of post-war modifications, the most important being the fitting of a tuning knob to the front of each unit, something the original application did not require. Note that each unit would have been fittted with a dynamotor at the back, to provide the high voltage needed for the HT circuitry.

This is an example of the taller ARC-5 transmitter, originally covering the band between 3 and 4 MHz. The radar room has modified their example in a number of ways to enable it to be used for ultra-low power broadcasts on the ‘Ofcom’ permitted frequencies for low power devices.

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