(Louis Meulstee’s web site)
‘Lamps, Operator’ An overview. Part 1.
About this overview.
Small operator lamps were issued with most British (and Commonwealth) Army vehicle and ground radio stations, normally powered directly from a socket fitted on the front panel of the set. This overview shows the presently known versions and variations.
This overview was stimulated by Chris Bisaillion VE3CBK who asked me to identify a couple of early ‘Lamps Operator’ from his collection. Remembering that these particular lamps were in my modest collection, and in spite of the bitter coldness in the garage where I had these stored, I managed to locate the box and thus able to give a positive reply. Seeing all the variations in the box and knowing that Chris had also a good selection in his collection, we decided to compile a small illustrated list, just for our personal use. This became the main core of this overview.
Eventually others contributed to the list, and at that stage I decided to compile this overview for the benefit of anyone interested in this subject. We are grateful to the contribution of photos, scans and support from Tony Bell, Australia and Mike Willenbroek, Holland.
Lamps Operator No. 1 ZA 4523
Used with Wireless Set No. 9. Requires Bulb 12V F. The lamp assembly plugs in the top of the socket of Connector Twin No. 17.
Remarks/observations: The pins were thinner than those of Lamps Operator No. 2, but otherwise both lamps were similar. Marked at the bottom with a large ‘I’.
Valve test panel Reception Set R107 showing position of lamp socket.
Lamps Operator No. 2 ZA 4524
Used With Wireless Set No. 11, R105, R107, R208, CN348. Required a Bulb 6V J (Bulb 6.5V T in R208) and fitted into a socket on the front panel. It was also issued with WS Nos. 12, 12HP and 33 complete station. Also used with Wireless Set No. 11 (Aust) and No. 11 (Cdn).
Remarks/observations: The pins were thicker than those of Lamps Operator No. 1, but otherwise both lamps were similar. Marked at the bottom with a large ‘2’.
Lamps Operator No. 3 ZA 4600
Used with Wireless Sets Nos. 12, 12HP, 19, 33, 53 vehicle stations and various other applications. Remarks/observations: This was principally a table or ceiling mounted lamp, not receiving its power direct from the set, but from the vehicle or installation battery. It could be fitted on a mounting plate known as Lamps Operator No. 3, Slides, ZA 3291.
Used with fixed and semi-mobile stations. Intended for mains operated 240V bulbs. Remarks/observations: Believed to be an adoption of a commercial lamp having typical art deco elements. Also recorded as having been issued with Reception Set R106 in AA Command Post. Note the engraved broad arrow below the identification plate. (Right)
Lamps Operator No. 5 N.Z. GA 104
Used with New Zealand Wireless Set ZC1 Mk.I and Mk.II. Based on, but otherwise differing in most aspects to the British version.
Lamps Operator No. 6 ZA 11521
Used with all versions of Wireless Set No. 19 and No. 19 (Cdn). The threaded plug at the end of the wire screws in place of the pilot lamp on the power supply unit.
British version, ZA 11521
Canadian version (Also known as RCA-110077-1 and NSN 5820-21-108-6221)
Lamps Operator No. 6A ZA 12645
Used with Wireless Sets Nos. 21, 22, S.R.O.S., S.R.H.Q. and Reception Sets R109, R308. Also used with Wireless Set No. 22 (Aust) and 122 (Aust).
Lamps Operator No. 6A Mk.I/I ZA 29311
Tropicalised version of Lamps Operator No. 6A. Also known as Lamps Operator No. 6AT. Use was similar to No. 6A.
Reception Set R208.
Wireless Set Burndept CN 348.
Reception Set R107.
Lamps Operator No. 5 ZA 10741
Used with Wireless Set No. 21. Later replaced by Lamps Operator No. 6A.
The ‘Lamps, Operator’ overview is also available as PDF on the download page in the documents section.