The BC-654 first saw combat in Africa during Operation Torch in 1942. The BC-654 was the first radio set to establish communications from the beach to the U.S. Fleet, and was used to coordinate naval gunfire and beach radio networks.
The Radio Set came in three basic configurations - Field Radio Set, Vehicular Radio Set and Command Radio Set. The first two were used during WWII; all three during the Korean War. As a field radio, the unit sat on four legs, the receiver powered by a battery (BA-43) and the transmitter by a hand cranked generator. The set packed up into three 55 pound back-packs that the radioman and two assistants would carry. Once in operation, the radioman operated the set, while the two assistants took turns cranking the generator and standing guard. As a vehicular set, the set sat on a large stand which also held a 6/12 V dynamotor (PE-103), and the radio used a vibrator supply (PE-104). As a command set, the unit usually sat on a table and was powered by a two-cycle 3600 RPM, 1 horsepower gas generator.
More than 50,000 BC-654's were produced and delivered in support of Operation Overlord, the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Over 150,000 units were eventually produced in total. After the war, many BC-654s were sold as surplus for $15 each. Today, many are restored and operated by vintage amateur radio enthusiasts.
- Frequency Range: continuous, 3800 to 5800 KHz
- Modes: AM, CW
- Receiver Type: Single conversion superheterodyne receiver
- IF Frequency: 455 kHz
- Dimensions: 18" x 14" x 9 3/4" (BC-654 only)
- Weight: 44.75 lb (20.3 kg) (BC-654 only)
- Transmitter output
- AM: 17 watts
- CW: 24 watts
- Receiver Sensitivity: TBS
In popular culture
- In the TV show The Munsters, Grandpa Munster was depicted using a BC-654 as part of his amateur radio station.
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- ^ Fucci, Antonio. "Radio Set BC-654-A SCR-284-A Receiver and Transmitter". http://www.radiomilitari.com/bc654.html.
- ^ Madison, James H. (Dec 1992). "Discovering America: A Special Issue". Journal of American History 79 (3): 1102–1106. doi:10.2307/2080804. ISSN: 00218723. http://www.oah.org/. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
- ^ http://www.comcents.com/mhrs/mhrnl/nl4-2.html The Mississippi Historical Radio and Broadcasting Society
- ^ http://www.qsl.net/arcs/KeyKlix/kkmay07.pdf Amateur Radio Club Of Savannah
- TM-11-275 — Technical Manual And Operating Instructions For The SCR-284-A Radio Set (BC-654-A Radio Receiver And Transmitter)