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U.S. Army Equipment - Designations (until 1943/53)

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Forum » Commercial sets (incl. valve testers) » Military equipment 1930 and later » U.S. Army Equipment - Designations (until 1943/53)
           
Martin Bösch
Martin Bösch
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28.May.10 09:48

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From the beginning of the use of wireless communications for military purposes, the U.S. Army introduced a system of designations for all equipment to facilitate reorders, spares management and so on.

Usually, these designations can be found on the identification tag / plate, together with the serial number. It is not unusual, that the Army designation is completely different to the model number used by the manufacturer, sometimes this can still be found on parts / subchassis, schematics and technical informations.

The U.S. Army did distinguish between single components / sets and complete systems; that's the reason why quiten often two designations can be found on one set, confounding people in discussions while one is talking about the BC-xxx and has the same receiver in his mind as someone else who asks for informations about the SCR-xxx. Sometimes, the identification plate says for example "BC-xxx part of SCR-xxx", but this helpful information is lacking quite often.

The early designation scheme has been used from at least the days of WWI, it has been replaced by a "Joint Army - Navy Nomenclature System", the later "Joint Electronics Typ Designation System" or so called "AN"-System after 1943.

Sets / Communication Systems

"Sets", complete communications systems, got a type designator followed by a dash and a sequential number, sometimes additional letters were used to indicate variants.

  • SCM - XXX: Set, Complete, Meteorological
  • SCR - XXX: Set, Complete, Radio (later often interpreted as "Signal Corps Radio")
  • SCS - XXX: Set, Complete, System (groups of several SCR sets)

Components and Equipment

Single components got a two letter designator followed by a dash and a sequential number.

  • A - Phantom Antenna
  • AL - Aerial Communication
  • AN - Antenna / Aerial
  • AP - Panel Set
  • AR - Lightning Arrestor
  • BA - Primary Battery
  • BC - Basic Component (receiver, transmitter, control box, etc.)
  • BD - Switchboard, Power Board, etc.
  • BE - Cabinet, Starting Box, etc.
  • BG - Bag, Case, Fabric, Cover, etc.
  • BK - Circuit Breaker, Relay
  • BX - Box
  • BZ - Buzzer
  • C - Induction Coil, etc.
  • CA - Capacitor
  • CC - Electrical Connecting Cord
  • CD - Electrical Cord with Plug
  • CE - Animal Pack Equipment
  • CF - Telephone (carrier)
  • CH - Chest
  • CO - Electrical Extension Cord
  • CP - Cable (counterpoise)
  • CS - Carry Case
  • DC - Crystal or Crystal Unit
  • DM - Dynamotor
  • DR - Wire Reel
  • EE - Telephone, Telegraph or Signal Lamp Set
  • F - Fairlead
  • FL - Filter
  • FM - Supporting Frame
  • FT - Fitting, Mounting, Clamp, etc.
  • GA - Spark Gap
  • GC - Hand Crank
  • GE - Gasoline Engine
  • GN - Generator
  • GP - Ground Rod
  • GR - Sound and Flash Ranging Set
  • GY - Guy or Stake
  • HO - Shelter
  • HS - Headset
  • I - Ammeter, Voltmeter, Clock, etc.
  • IE - Instrument Equipment
  • IN - Insulator
  • IS - Electrical Instrument
  • J - Transmitting Key
  • JB - Jack Box
  • JK - Jack, Receptacle
  • K - Cart, Truck, Trailer, etc.
  • KE - SCS Equipment (Vehicular)
  • LC - Telephone Line Construction Tool or Apparatus
  • LG - Leg
  • LM - Illuminating Lamp or Bulb
  • LP - Loop
  • LS - Loudspeaker
  • M - Miscellaneous
  • MA - Radio Mast, less Antenna
  • MC - Miscellaneous Component
  • ME - Maintenance Equipment
  • MG - Motor Generator
  • ML - Meteorological Apparatus
  • MO - Motor
  • MP - Mast Base, Bracket, Clamp
  • MS - Mast Section
  • P - Headset
  • PA - Public Address Equipment
  • PE - Power Unit
  • PH - Photographic Article
  • PL - Plug
  • PN - Mounting Panel
  • R - Telephone Receiver
  • RA - Rectifier
  • RL - Reel Mechanism
  • RM - Remote Control Unit
  • RS - Resistor
  • RU - Water Cooler
  • SE - Signal Set
  • SG - Shafts or Gear
  • SO - Socket, etc. (Connector)
  • ST - Carrying Strap, etc.
  • SW - Switch
  • T - Telephone Transmitter or Microphone
  • TC - Central Office Set (wire)
  • TD - Chest Set
  • TE - Tool Equipment
  • TF - Power Transformer
  • TG - Telegraph Instrument
  • TL - Tool
  • TM - Terminal, Connector, etc.
  • TP - Telephone (desk set, etc.)
  • TR - Tower
  • TS - Handset (wire)
  • TU - Transmitter Tuning Unit
  • VB - Vibrator
  • VO - Oscillator
  • VT - Vacuum Tube
  • W - Wire
  • WC - Cable

So try to identify properly all Your U.S. Army equipment before making a new model proposal. To keep our database entries uniform and to simplify search for a certain set, please use the SCR-xxx set or system designation in the model name field and the component designation in the Model type field. Please use the remarks to give informations of other necessary components to be used with Your equipment (power supply, headphones, antenna tuner, and so on).

In the internet, You can find excellent sites giving You all necessary informations, which components were part of the different sets. Some "sets" consist of only one component and a pair a headphones, a mikrophone, an antenna and a mounting set with a few screws, other systems consist of long lists of complex receiving and transmitting gear.

Many thanks to Andreas Parsch who runs an excellent website on U.S. military designations which was very helpful for me to understand the U.S. Army designations at least partly (I have not been the inventor, though ;-)

Martin Boesch

  
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