Original U.S. WWII Handie Talkie SCR-536 Radio Transceiver Model BC-611-F - dated 1945
Original Items: Only One Available. This genuine WW2 issue BC-611-F hand-held radio is offered in very good condition. It has not been tested for functionality but appears complete and undamaged. The BC-611 was a hand-held radio transceiver used by the US Army Signal Corps in World War II. Under the Army Nomenclature System, the BC-611 transceiver was the core component of the SCR-536 Signal Corps Radio set. The Signal Corps technical manual number was TM 11-235.
These are popularly referred to as a walkie talkies, although they were originally designated as "handie talkies”. This fine example still has the original data plate on the side:
SIGNAL CORPS U.S. ARMY
RADIO RECEIVER AND
TRANSMITTER BC - 611 - F
6784 ORDER NO. 8259 - PHILA - 45 - 01
ELECTRICAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES INC.
The battery door opens, and the contacts appear to be in good condition. It also still has its complete extendable antenna with removable cover, though the securing chain is detached. The plastic base fitting of the antenna is cracked off as well, but could easily be glued back in place. The sling is complete, and in good condition, with a bit of fraying. There is overall wear to the paint, and it does appear to have been repainted once. It also has a frequency tag by the send switch, indicating Fr. 3940. Overall this is a great Handie Talkie radio, ready to add to your collection, or to use in reenactments.
More on the SCR-536 and BC-611
The SCR-536 radio set is often considered the first of modern hand held, self-contained, "handie talkie" two-way radios. It was developed in 1940 by a team led by Don Mitchell, chief engineer for Galvin Manufacturing (now Motorola) and was the first true hand-held unit to see widespread use. By July 1941, it was in mass production. In November 1942, the SCR-536 received coverage in the amateur radio magazine QST. It appeared on the cover as well as in Signal Corps advertising, and was featured as part of an article on the Signal Corps. “Smallest field unit of the Signal Corps” in which a photo caption read; “it is not much larger or heavier than a conventional handset”. It was carried among the first waves to hit Omaha Beach at Normandy in June 1944. Every rifle company of the U.S. 29th Infantry division had six; one for each of the three rifle platoons, two for the weapons platoon, and one for the company CO. The Germans were deeply impressed by the SCR-536 and the SCR-300 after capturing several units in Sicily. By war’s end, 130,000 of the units had been manufactured by Motorola. They were also produced by other firms.
Today, the SCR-536 is often restored and operated by vintage amateur radio enthusiasts and military radio collectors. The SCR-536, which incorporated five vacuum tubes in a waterproof case, had no separate power switch. Instead the radio turned on when the antenna was pulled out, and off when it was retracted. The SCR-536 weighed 5 pounds with batteries and 3.85 lb without (2.3 and 1.75 kg). The unit operated in AM voice mode between 3.5 and 6.0 MHz frequency range. The SCR-536 had an RF output power of 360 milliwatts. The range of the unit varied with terrain; from a few hundred feet, to approximately one mile over land, and 3 miles over water. The short range is accounted for by the short antenna: on transmit it shows a low radiation resistance, so it couples to free space with low efficiency. The same is true on receive, with an alternative explanation: the shorter the receiving antenna, the less energy it can intercept ("collect"), and therefore deliver to the receiver.
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