Finnish field radios

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Tuco
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Finnish field radios

Post by Tuco » 16 Apr 2005 20:34

I bought this recently - last week- while I was in Finland. JTV sent me to a couple of sites - in Finnish - about these but I wondered if anyone here could add some information. I am doing a large military display in August for a Finnish American group and this will be a section of it. I have collected Finnish field items for about 10 years now and this is only the second such radio I have ever seen for sale.
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 16 Apr 2005 22:21

This is a Finnish made P-12-15 (or VRGK) back portable single channel field radio (sender - receiver) produced by ASA Oy [Ltd] since 1941. It was classed as "D radio" which meant it was mainly used by forward observers of field artillery and in some cases infantry companies.

Technical data:
Radio could be used in telegraph (A1) and speak (A3) modes. Could be used with a separate telephone.
Sending power ("antennae power"): 0,4 Watts.
Range: telegraph about 20 km, speak about 12 km
Frequencies: 4.600 - 6.600 kj/s (65,2 - 45,5 m) ("kj/s" is a measuring unit in Finnish meaning "kilo sequence / second")
The scale of the frequency adjusting knob or wheel is in "kj/s" without the last digit which is zero (0).
Total weight about 30 kg, in two plywood boxes (radio and battery boxes).
Antennae: 10 m long rubber coated "throwable" antennae
Number produced: 650 pcs

P-12-15a (VRGKA) was its more powerful version produced since 1942. Otherwise similar to P-12-15.
Sending power ("antennae power"): telegraphy 1 Watt, speak 0,7 Watts.
Number produced: 50 pcs

P-12-15d (VRGKB) was an improved and structurally strengthened model produced since late 1943.
Frequencies: 3.000 - 6.000 kj/s
Sending power ("antennae power"): 1,5 - 2 Watts.
Telegraphy key (?, the device you use when you send telegraphies) was made separate and more firm.
Number produced: 200 pcs
Original price in 1943: 15.100 FIM (about 2.700 € !!!)

All information from Antero Tanninen's site on Finnish radios (mainly in Finnish only):
http://personal.inet.fi/koti/antero.tan ... tm#P-12-15

Explanation of the Finnish four or five digit device code:
V = communications (/ signals) device
R = radio (wireless)
G = D station / radio for artillery fire control and infantry company
K = producer (and/or country of origin): ASA
[none], A, B, C... = version
Last edited by Harri on 17 Apr 2005 18:08, edited 2 times in total.

Tuco
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Post by Tuco » 16 Apr 2005 22:33

Thanks. As it was too heavy to bring back, I had it shipped home. Once I get it here I will try and post better - detailed photos. Thanks for the info.
I also bought one of the Estonian made but Finnish issue field phones while I was there.
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 16 Apr 2005 22:50

Actually when I was in the army we still had these Estonian P-1-8 (VPATA) field phones made by Tartu Telefonivabrik from the 1920's and also Ericsson field phones (VPAP) made in Finland since 1942. They had been "modernized" in the 1970's I think. These had new modern (black plastic?) telephone receivers instead of the original one seen in your photos.
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Post by Tuco » 17 Apr 2005 05:15

I wonder how the ""throwable" antennae " looked as I would like to make a reproduction for the display. I guess a long thin piece of wire covered with rubber would do the trick.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 17 Apr 2005 17:49

Probably there is a better English term for it... :roll:

Actually its a long wire suspended from the branch with suspending threads. Antennae length depends on the frequency used. With P-12-15 radio throwable or throwing antennae was 10 metres long rubber coated wire suspended with two suspending threads.

Some of these antennaes (like the Soviet one which is used in Finnish LV-217 radios) are directed towards the needed direction because their "operating sector" is very narrow. In another type suspending threads or the antennae itself is just thrown as high as possible around the suitable branch. There should be small weights to help in the job. Antennae itself must be insulated from the ground.

Perhaps someone can provide photos on different kind of possibilities?

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Post by Tuco » 18 Apr 2005 17:58

Thanks again Harri. If anyone here is going to the FinnFest event in Michigan - August 2005 - the radio will be a part of the large military display we are putting on.

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Post by Gespenst » 19 Apr 2005 13:48

kj/s translates as easily as kilo-cycles per second, or kilohertz.

For information about the antenna, search for 'long wire antenna'.
(Had so much fun installing those in thickets).

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Post by Tuco » 19 Apr 2005 16:54

Gespenst wrote:(Had so much fun installing those in thickets).



:lol:
Good one and thanks.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 19 Apr 2005 16:58

Gespenst wrote:kj/s translates as easily as kilo-cycles per second, or kilohertz.


Damn misleading measuring unit this "kj/s"! I had never hear of it. Anyway I noticed it was not "kilo Joules / second" (kJ/s)... :lol: Kilohertz (kHz) sounds much more familiar.

Gespenst wrote:For information about the antenna, search for 'long wire antenna'.
(Had so much fun installing those in thickets).


Ahaa. "Long wire antennae" sounds much better than my try. Thanks a lot for making things clear!

I have also "installed" these antennaes a few times. Next to Luonetjärvi (Tikkakoski) airfield our radio captured lots of Soviet sendings but still we could not contact our "home base" a few kms away!! :lol: So, we replaced it with march antennae and everything worked fine.

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Post by Gespenst » 19 Apr 2005 18:02

Yes, the neighbours were very friendly.
In an exercise near Utti, after testing KSL backup radios with an encrypted burst of no more that 4 characters and the antenna pointing eastwards, we would get (russian) music on that frequency soon afterwards.

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Post by Tuco » 19 Apr 2005 21:34

Thanks again to everyone as this is very interesting. I have a rather large collection of Finnish arms, tunics, helmets, and field gear but this is the first field radio that I added to my collection. I have wanted one for many years but as I stated these seem rather hard to locate. I was lucky to find this one as a friend had it up for sale and I was in the right place at the right time. Since a fair amount of my issue items deal with artillery – this radio is a nice addition.

On this front – Were these used by artillery unit members or used by signals troops attached to the artillery? The reason that I ask is I wonder if in the future displays should I use a mannequin in a signals tunic or a field artillery tunic. Or would both really be correct? I guess to most viewing the display they would not even know the difference but these little details matter to me. :roll: Thanks in advance. Great input.

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Post by Juha Tompuri » 19 Apr 2005 22:22

Tuco wrote:On this front – Were these used by artillery unit members or used by signals troops attached to the artillery? The reason that I ask is I wonder if in the future displays should I use a mannequin in a signals tunic or a field artillery tunic. Or would both really be correct? I guess to most viewing the display they would not even know the difference but these little details matter to me. :roll: Thanks in advance. Great input.
Hi,
as not knowing anything about uniforms here are few pics about "your radio at war" (the 2nd pic seems to be of an improved late-war model)
The pics are from "Jatkosodan Historia 6" (the History of Continuation War)

Regards, Juha
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 20 Apr 2005 00:07

I think the radio in the lower photo is not P-12-15 or do its other models look different? Anyway it's a C or D radio.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 20 Apr 2005 00:35

Tuco wrote:Since a fair amount of my issue items deal with artillery – this radio is a nice addition.


Really nice indeed. Finnish radios were not produced in large quantities (in this case 900 pcs total) and they are usually rare items.

Tuco wrote:On this front – Were these used by artillery unit members or used by signals troops attached to the artillery? The reason that I ask is I wonder if in the future displays should I use a mannequin in a signals tunic or a field artillery tunic. Or would both really be correct?


I'd say both artillery and signals personnel used these radios. Finnish field artillery trained their own signals personnel for signals duties. There was a small signals "organ" or squad in every units but because these radios were mainly assigned to fire observers they used the radio self. Signals personnel just took care of the radios and connections.

----

Actually even today there are signals personnel (NCOs and men) in every units. For example in mobile Weather Detecting Platoon or Section signals NCO is the deputy platoon leader and he has two or three signals men in his disposal for constructing field telephone connections if needed or maintaining radio connection to digital link system. Signals personnel is supposed to be trained to do weather detecting job as well with the three weather detecting squads. All men have although rather good basic training and knowledge on the field radios and how they are used.

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