Pye Pocketfone 70

Until 1971 British troops deploying to Northern Ireland were reliant on the A41 manpack radio for communications. This radio weighed 35lbs and was hardly practical for patrolling streets in Belfast. The solution was to turn to a commercial company, Pye, and purchase one of their popular UHF systems off the shelf. The Pye 70 Pocketfone has been produced for the police, fire brigade and other civil powers but was a tried and tested system that was both light and reliable and so sets were purchased at the rate of 75 radios per infantry battalion. The radios were effective, if unsecure, and can be seen being carried in the pockets of body armour from the early 1970s onwards:

The large silver dial on the front of the radio allows the different pre-set channels to be chosen. The radio itself consists of two parts, the main radio body and a separate microphone/speaker unit that attaches to the radio via a cable:

The radio’s designation is printed in silver on the front of the radio indicating that it’s a PYE Pocketfone 70:

Controls are on the top of the radio, left to right these are the antenna socket, the connector for the microphone/speaker, the volume control and the press to transmit button:

The loudspeaker/microphone has a button on the side that needs to be depressed to turn on the microphone and transmit:

A data panel is attached to the rear of the radio with space for seral numbers etc. to allow inventory to be maintained. This radio is clearly unserviceable as it has been marked ‘scrap’!

The battery is mounted in the front left corner, unscrewing the fixing on the back allows the battery to be removed for replacement is required:

The battery actually has an NSN number indicating that it has been purchased through standard British Army procurement processes:

A service sheet was issued with a diagram of the radio and its components, this version dating from 1971:

A publicity brochure for the Pocketfone 70 gives more details about the radio:

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