No 16 Hand Microphone

A very long time ago I covered the No3 hand microphone on the blog here. Today we are looking at another hand held microphone, but this time a No16:

This microphone is completeley unissued and arrived in a small cardboard stores box, with its designation indicated by a small label sellotaped to the exterior:

The microphone is wrapped in waxed paper to protect it from moisture:

In order to fit the microphone and its cable in the box, the wire is tightly wound around the handle:

As far as I can tell, what distinguishes this microphone from the No3 is the plug on the end of it, which is made of black bakelite and has four female connection sockets:

To use the microphone, a switch on the side of the handle needs to be depressed when speaking, and this is indicated on the button in white lettering:

The microphone’s stores code, with the usual ZA prefix for wireless items, is marked on the rear in white paint:

I have been trying to identify the radio this was used with and it has been suggested that it will work with the 18 set, 62 set and the remote units of the 22 set. I am not sure how common these microphones are, however I won mine for 99p on eBay and a few days later the seller had listed another example so it is possible a small number of unissued examples have recently surfaced.


  1. I bought one of these at an amateur radio rally a couple of years ago. I replaced the cord, and fitted an electret microphone insert in place of the original microphone gubbins. Now I use it on my amateur radio transmitter and get good quality audio reports. The easy to operate “press to talk” lever is very easy to operate.

    • The No.16 is a tropicalised (i.e. waterproofed) version of the No.4A used with Wireless Set No.18. (The original was the No.4 but it was found that the ‘tinselflex’ had too much resistance for the transmit/receive switching if the set (accomplished by turning the 3-volt valve filament supply on and off in the transmitter and receiver sections), so the 4A was produced with thicker conductors in the cable. Other changes were to replace the ‘rubber trumpet’ mouthpiece with a flat front cover that had more and larger holes to reduce the need to shout into the microphone. The No.16 was the tropicalised version of that, with plastic or rubber insulated cable, the connector was wax-filled to keep moisture out, and the microphone insert was changed to a sealed, waterproof type (from the old GPO transmitter insert). The No.16 was issued with the WS18 Mk.III and WS68 sets, and also used with the remote control units (L No.1 & No.2) for the WS62. It will not work properly with the WS22 remote control units (F No.1 & No.2) since they use different switch wiring.

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