The Portable Communications Receiver Type PCR was the
first model in a series of general purpose receivers used primarily by
the British Army and other Allied Armed Forces from 1944 until the late
1950s. Many such receivers were also to be found in aircraft ground
stations throughout the world with various versions covering long wave,
medium wave and short wave bands. The set was also supplied by the RAF
to Resistance Groups in Norway, Holland and France.
The equipment was designed by Pye Ltd in Cambridge in 1943, the drawings
finalised in March 1944 and the design subsequently manufactured by a
number of companies including Pye, Philips Lamps and Invicta Radio.
The PCR is often described as a forces welfare receiver (its post war
role) and frequently seen in NAAFI premises. War-time employees of Pye
Ltd in Cambridge have described the equipment as a portable
communications receiver or "Invasion Receiver," for use by the British
Army forces in Europe after the Normandy landings to receive military
progress broadcasts as they moved across Europe.
It is believed approximately 16,000 units were manufactured in total.
Typical frequency coverage is 570 - 190Metres, 2.3 - 7.3MHz, and 7.0 -
23MHz although some versions also covered 2100 - 850 Metres, 570 - 190
Metres and 5.8 - 18MHz.
The valve line up varies between models - the sets have one RF (radio
frequency) stage (EF39), a Frequency Changer (X61/ECH35), two IF
(intermediate frequency) stages (EF39's), a Double Diode Triode ( EBC33)
and an output stage which is either an EL32 or 6V6.
These sets form the basis of a very cheap short wave receiver. They do
not have a BFO, but they have plenty of room for an inbuilt power supply
and BFO if required, with a "spare" valve hole already cut in the
Other variations use an external loudspeaker and have slightly different
audio input/output facilities. The PCR series are all externally powered
from a separate mains PSU or a 12 Volt dc vibrator unit.
The equipment front panel is usually finished in black wrinkle paint and
the set mounted in a gloss black painted variant of the WS19 case. Due
to the inclusion of the standard WS19 mounting slots in the case sides,
the set can be carried in the standard WS19 carriers.
Dimensions are 17 x 10 x 8ins/432 x 254 x 203 mm (WHD).