July Meeting – Restoring an Air Ministry T1154 and R1155

This month we had a very interesting talk by Tony, G3YYH, who is working to restore an Air Ministry T1154 transmitter and T1155 Receiver, or, as I tweeted at the time;

The radio was designed in the late 1930s, around 1939 it went into production at various manufacturers, with production continuing throughout the war.

Around 75,000 R1155 were produced, Tony tells us

I can’t tell how old mine are, but I’m fairly sure the R1155 is an early one because it has the early tuning knob that W/Ops hated and was therefore replaced

Tony discussed the various issues with restoring these radios, from difficulty finding suitable screws (apparently BA or British Association aren’t hard to find, but new ones aren’t dirty enough) to lack of spare parts.

Because so many were made, it was common for hams, and other  hobbyists, to butcher the radios for parts, or even just to get a good box. Sadly there were some guilty parties in the room.

As these radios were designed or, and used in, aircraft, they have some interesting and unique features, such as a Morse key specifically designed to be immune to vibrations, and not produce sparks, as the operator would be sat between, and often in, the aircraft’s fuel.

The radio would also be directly connected to the aircraft’s internal headset system, and as Tony doesn’t have a whole Lancaster in his shack, he’s had to produce his own.

Tony’s radios are mostly in fully working condition, although no one replied when he called CQ in voice, or CW

And finally, for those who like to see the inside of things…