Navy Automated Morse Code (CW) Equipment

Paper Tape High-Speed Morse Systems

At shore transmitting stations, Morse code messages could be punched onto paper tape and then sent via a CW or FSK keyer which controlled the transmitters. Normal manual shore-to-ship transmission was around 20 wpm, but high speed links between shore stations could run up to 400 wpm. See below for transmitting tape perforators and keyers and high-speed code recorders. The manual for Boehme paper tape equipment is TM 11-377

Wheatstone tape: --.- ... - (QST)
tape-01.JPG (58974 bytes)

boehme-tm11-486-02.jpg (364980 bytes) == ==
Wheatstone perforator and Boehme keying head in use at NLK Jim Creek, 1953. Boehme ink recorder is also shown on shelf above perforator.
wheatstone-jimcreek-1953.jpg (1111448 bytes)
"WAVE Hope Humphreys operates a radio  circuit high-speed transmitter at the Naval  Communications Center, Washington, D.C.,  July 1945."
keyer-1945-01.jpg (333120 bytes)
Messages on high speed - or Boehme - tape are checked  by (left to right) RMC Jasper Bert; RM2 Hope Humphreys, and RM1 Edward J, Markaity - Naval  Communications Center, Washington, D.C.,  July 1945 
wheatstone-wash-1945-02.jpg (3216284 bytes)

Radioman First Class Norma Challis of Ernsworth, Pa. and Radioman First Class Harold V. Alberts of Minneapolis, Minn. check messages at the Naval  Communications Center, Washington, D.C.,  July 1945
wheatstone-wash-1945.jpg (13473720 bytes)

Wheatstone tape message with translation - Japanese surrender 
message-wheatstone-japan.jpg (1624896 bytes)
At the receiving end of a high-speed link, Morse was recorded in ink onto a paper tape - the tape ("slip") was then read by Radiomen who typed the messages using a mill (typewriter) as the tape was pulled past the Radioman.

inker-tape-1409.JPG (1360515 bytes)

Video of Rob Flory's BC-1016 inker at work


boehme-tm11-486-01.jpg (1225208 bytes) NAVRADSTA Los Banos, PI , 1930 -
Right to Left - Wheatstone tape punch, keying head, ink recorder, and tape bridge with puller - note waste cans as "buffer storage"
losbanos-07.JPG (427590 bytes)


Code recorders were also widely used for intercept work:
    Info from Arthur Adolphsen, USASA - "In 1956-8 we used the RD-112 recorders. The radio racks, 50 in each room, contained two SP-600 receivers, later changed to R-390's. They were connected to one FSK converter, which aligned the signals, symmetrical and volume, with Operator's help. We could adjust the length of dots/dashes with a speed wheel or reverse the signal with a switch when it went up side down on the RD-112, from the FSK converter then to the RD-112. We scanned and read the tape by eye/hand, cutting the desired message for later translating via Royal or Underwood machines with a tape puller motor to the left of the typewriters.
    We had a large antenna field, and could connect and change direction by a large board with cable plugs, looked like a Telephone switch board, only no switches, just plugs and wires, as one radio lost its signal we could find another antenna (direction or orientation). Seemed as though the inverted V's worked the best for most every frequency. Was easy to chase the signals with the plug system.
    Most of the Automatic operators could read and type the code on the tapes very fast, most around 50 or 60 wpm. We became able to type very fast by the end of our tour. The paper from the tape, after going through the ink pen just piled up on the floor, some of the messages were very short, only a foot or so of paper, and some went on for many hours, maybe a day or so, we had to make sure the tape roll was full, and the ink bottle was full and as good a signal as possible."

Code Recorder (AKA inker or undulator)

RD-110/U Paper Tape Code Recorder - Before Restoration - technical manual
- I am missing some pieces - please send me e-mail with any info or photos of this equipment.

rd110-1909-front.jpg (911324 bytes)
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Tape feeder tray missing from lower right. Ink reservoir upper center.
Solenoid controlled inker below it.
Tape capstan at upper left.
rd110-13.JPG (127852 bytes)
As found  - just a wee bit dirty
rd110-06.JPG (115220 bytes)
Tape capstan at upper left
rd110-12.JPG (107086 bytes)
Ink reservoir
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Solenoid controlled inker
CW Fleet Broadcast Console with Wheatstone Perforator, Boehme Keyer, and three RD-110/U Ink Recorders
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rd110-10.JPG (195262 bytes)
Capstan motor showing variable diameter shaft for speed control
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Capstan motor showing variable diameter shaft for speed control
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center - inker solenoid
right - capstan motor
rd110-09.JPG (97802 bytes)
inker solenoid

Restoration -  - I am missing some pieces that guide the paper tape past the pen - please send me e-mail with any info or photos of this equipment

rd110-104.JPG (175284 bytes)
Good Navy paint beneath the grime
rd110-103.JPG (142531 bytes)
Ah that looks better
rd110-101.JPG (113078 bytes) rd110-cap-01.JPG (100197 bytes)
Capstan and pinch roller
rd110-pen-04a.JPG (178297 bytes)
Green points to pen tip
Magenta - pen motion
Blue - tape path
Yellow - missing adjustment knob and spring loaded tape guide
rd110-1909-guide.jpg (125580 bytes) rd110-pen-03.JPG (185757 bytes)
Better shot of pen tip between adjustable stops.
rd110-pen-04.JPG (186777 bytes)
rd110-spec-01.JPG (181101 bytes) rd110-spec-02.JPG (123137 bytes)

I have got the pen and capstan motor working, but am missing pieces that guide the paper tape past the pen - please send me e-mail with any info or photos of this equipment.

RD-60/U Code Recorder  (McElroy RAPC)

rd60-01.jpg (178457 bytes)

Photos thanks to WA1TEJ

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McElroy (also Warren Mfg Co.)- Signal Corps procurement, used by USN

rd60-1510-10.JPG (2609690 bytes) rd60-1510-11.JPG (2625552 bytes) rd60-1510-12.JPG (2620360 bytes) --
rd60-1702-01.jpg (153382 bytes) rd60-1702-04.jpg (180579 bytes) rd60-1702-05.jpg (125343 bytes) --

RD-70/U Code Signal Recorder  (Mecanitron MA-126E)

Need better photo
rd70-u-01.JPG (80709 bytes)
rd70-spec-01.JPG (264807 bytes) -- Manf by Mecanitron
(Model MA-126E)

Spec Sheet

RD-112/U Code Tape Recorder - manual
RD-112A/U Code Tape Recorder

rd112a-u.jpg (329666 bytes) rd112-spec-01.JPG (348258 bytes) rd112-spec-02.JPG (141115 bytes) Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade

Manf by McElroy - 1954

RD-112/U - NAVSHIPS 91781
RD-112A/U -NAVSHIPS 92138 

Operating Info

RD-17/U Paper Tape Ink Recorder (Boehme 4-G)

Boehme 4-G Ink Recorder
boehme-4g-inker-11.jpg (1686372 bytes)

inker-tape-1409.JPG (1360515 bytes)

boehme-4g-inker-10.jpg (3602915 bytes) The manual for Boehme equipment is TM 11-377.

Photos of Boehme 3-G Ink Recorder

Please let me know if you have a Boehme ink recorder for sale or trade.

I'm also looking for 3/8" wide paper tape.

AM-103/U Ink Recorder Driver

(Boehme 4-C)

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MX-480/U Tape Reel
(Boehme 7-H Series B)
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NT-50059 Ink Recorder Driver

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NT-5009 Spec Sheet Boehme tape reel, ink recorder, and tape puller on shelf above perforator.
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McElroy RRD-900-42 Paper Tape Recorder - Commercial recorder (uses external tape puller)

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ro98-01.jpg (1068982 bytes)

RO-98/U Spec Sheet

Manual NAVSHIPS 93394

Whiteford Laboratory Model WL-3

Please send email if you have more info or have one for sale or trade ==

Tape Pullers

MX-1365/U (Boehme 8-F Series B) Tape Puller with rewinder reel

mx1365-u-spec-02.JPG (53833 bytes) The manual for Boehme equipment is TM 11-377.

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boehme-8f-02.jpg (95941 bytes) boehme-8f-03.jpg (79026 bytes)

Boehme Tape Puller or ??

Please send e-mail if you can identify this equipment

The manual for Boehme equipment is TM 11-377.

boehme-1402-01.JPG (2526532 bytes) boehme-1402-05.JPG (3684019 bytes) boehme-1402-02.JPG (3858324 bytes)
MX-442/U Tape Puller
(Boehme 4-F-E)
mx442u-spec-01.jpg (475511 bytes)
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MX-477/U Tape Winder Control
(Boehme 7-FA, Series E)
Adds remote control of the pressure roller bracket of Tape Puller MX-442.

Attached to MX-442 when the tape puller is used to pull tape through the ink recorder, allowing the operator to remotely start-stop the tape.

mx477-boehme-7FA.jpg (1196408 bytes) mx477-boehme-7FA-int.jpg (690744 bytes)
MX-478/U Rewinder Reel Attachment
(Boehme 4-FA, Series E)
Mechanically rewinds tape as it is pulled by Tape Puller MX-442

Attached to MX-442 when the tape puller is used to pull tape across the MX-481 tape bridge 

The manual for Boehme equipment is TM 11-377.

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TT-2/FG Tape Puller
(DeLisser TP-200)
tt2-puller-01.jpg (220988 bytes) spec sheet --
TT-28/U Tape Puller
(Boehme 11-F)
Used to pull 3/8" paper recording tape
thru tape bridge for transcribing ink slip recording. Used with Tape Bridge Guide MX-481/U
need photo boehme-tm11-486-01.jpg (1225208 bytes)
MX-481/U Tape Bridge Guide
(Boehme 4-K)
3/8" paper; used as guide for moving tape over mill keyboard boehme-4k-bridge-10.jpg (957897 bytes)

The manual for Boehme equipment is TM 11-377.

boehme-tape-bridge.png (50197 bytes)

McElroy TP-890-B Tape Puller
mcelroy-puller-1202-01.jpg (500130 bytes)

McElroy TP-890B spec sheet McElroy ad - 1950
mcelroy-1950-1.JPG (1264241 bytes)

Transmitting Keyers

Paper tapes were created using a Wheatstone perforator (2-level code on 15/32" tape) and then played through a keyer for transmission at up to 400wpm.
Video of perforator and McElroy keyer in operation.
Video of perforator and Boehme keyer in operation 

Wheatstone perforator and Boehme keying head in use at NLK Jim Creek
wheatstone-jimcreek-1953.jpg (1111448 bytes)
"WAVE Hope Humphreys operates a radio circuit high-speed transmitter at the Naval Communications Center, Washington, D.C., July 1945."
keyer-1945-01.jpg (73248 bytes)
Boehme keyer & Wheatstone perforator

wheatstone-boehme-1412-01.jpg (107367 bytes)

MX-491A/U Wheatstone Perforator
mx491u-spec-01.jpg (474397 bytes)

Morse Keyboard Perforators

MX-491/U Wheatstone Perforator (15/32" 2-level tape) 
Teletype Corp. WPE3/1SS

AKA "Kleinschmidt Perforator" 
Kleinschmidt-wheatstone.jpg (116824 bytes)

Download manual & parts list for Teletype WPE3/1SS, WPE3/1JJJ, & WPE16/1SS  (thanks to Tom Tillson)

Please let me know if you have any 15/32" paper tape for sale

1945 USN WPE18 unit
wpe18-01.JPG (49304 bytes)

Wheatstone tape: --.- ... - (QST)
tape-01.JPG (58974 bytes)

Video of perforator and McElroy keyer in operation.

WPE3 commercial unit
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wheatstone-punch-915.jpg (92953 bytes)

wheatstone-punch-911.jpg (112787 bytes)

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wheatstone-punch-917.jpg (82333 bytes)

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wheat-perf-1804-02.JPG (4311975 bytes) wheat-perf-1804-03.JPG (3823154 bytes) wheat-perf-1804-04.JPG (4124428 bytes) wheat-perf-1804-05.JPG (4306462 bytes)
wheat-perf-1804-06.JPG (4256891 bytes) wheat-perf-1804-08.JPG (4012522 bytes) -- --
PP-189/U Power Supply 120vdc, 1.2amp for Wheatstone perforator - Teletype Corp. REC-32
AN/FGQ-3  includes perforator, power supply, table, etc. - Teletype WPE18/1SS perforator

TT-393/UG Morse Keyboard Perforator
(GNT Model 51)

tt393-gnt51-01.jpg (2691901 bytes) NAVSHIPS 94653

(15/32" 2-level tape)


KY-469/UG Keyer (same as GNT-112) 

ky469-ug.JPG (104496 bytes) keyer-GNT2042-01.JPG (18279 bytes)

   KY-469/UG Spec Sheet

   G.N.T. 112 Manual


Boehme 4-D Drive with Boehme 4-E Keying Head- More photos

boehme-keyer-91.jpg (40530 bytes)
boehme-keyer-94.jpg (34547 bytes) boehme-keyer-95.jpg (31746 bytes) boehme-keyer-96.jpg (59821 bytes)
boehme-keyer-92.jpg (55618 bytes) boehme-keyer-93.jpg (50753 bytes) boehme-keyer-97.jpg (67017 bytes) The manual for Boehme equipment is TM 11-377.
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wheatstone-boehme-1412-10.jpg (117674 bytes)

MX-439/U Keying Head Drive
(Boehme 4-D-E) 
mx439u-spec-01.jpg (488546 bytes)

mx439u-spec-02.jpg (346557 bytes)

The manual for Boehme equipment is TM 11-377. ---
MX-439A/U Keying Head Drive
(Boehme 4-D-J) 
mx439u-spec-03.jpg (484052 bytes)

mx439u-spec-04.jpg (221662 bytes)

Manual NAVSHIPS 92220



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KY-14/U Keyer (Boehme 4-E Series B Automatic Keying Head)

keyer-boehme-4e-1405-01.jpg (127924 bytes) keyer-boehme-4e-1405-02.jpg (148950 bytes) keyer-boehme-4e-1405-08.jpg (87139 bytes) keyer-boehme-4e-1405-04.jpg (103999 bytes)
keyer-boehme-4e-1405-05.jpg (150063 bytes) keyer-boehme-4e-1405-06.jpg (163058 bytes) keyer-boehme-4e-1405-03.jpg (164856 bytes) --

McElroy HED-400 Keying Head

keyer-mcelroy-hed400-01.JPG (128678 bytes)

keyer-mcelroy-hed400-03.JPG (129797 bytes) keyer-mcelroy-hed400-04.JPG (148792 bytes) keyer-mcelroy-hed400-02.JPG (142948 bytes)
keyer-mcelroy-hed400-05.JPG (162819 bytes) keyer-mcelroy-hed400-06.JPG (128540 bytes) -- -
McElroy XTR-442 keyer with MAH-142 keying head

From an on-line sale listing:  "The XTR-442 was an early McElroy development model Morse transmitter that was the predecessor of the McElroy XTR-442B Automatic Transmitter

The XTR-442 model listed here consists of a variable speed motor that, through a gear-reduction assembly, drives a McElroy sprocket feed paper tape reader (tape head) that in operation sends Morse coded signals to a polar relay mounted on the unit, the output of which was connected to radiotelephone or telegraphy equipment to send messages at high speed. In use the operator mounts the tape head in one of two positions on the units deck to establish the desired speed range. The two speed ranges allow the unit to send Morse code at 5 to 200 words per minute. The head is located to the right side of the deck for speeds of 5-35 wpm and to the left side for speeds of 30-200 wpm. The motor speed within these ranges is adjusted with the 300 ohm motor speed rheostat, see enclosed schematic. The head utilized a 1/2 inch wide oiled paper tape that was prepared by using a companion paper tape perforator such as McElroy’s or those of other manufacturers.

This unit employs a 117N7GT vacuum tube which supplies rectified DC for the unit and is also a one tube amplifier in the keying circuit which allows some influence on the characteristics of the code coming out of the unit; such as the make and break characteristics of the polar output relay. A control on the unit can change what McElroy calls the “key dot bias” which I assume has to do with an operators subjective preference regarding “how heavy a fist” the unit sounds like it has.

An early QST advertisement (November, 1943) is included to show the XTR-442 in use and also shows McElroy himself. The ad also points out that McElroy’s automatic Morse transmitters were priced at $375.00 at that time, a pretty hefty price in 1943."

keyer-xtr442-1407-01.JPG (129909 bytes) keyer-xtr442-1407-02.JPG (135774 bytes) keyer-xtr442-1407-03.JPG (112356 bytes) keyer-xtr442-1407-08.JPG (152194 bytes)
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McElroy XTR-442B Automatic Transmitter (Keyer) - Video of Wheatstone perforator and McElroy keyer in operation.

keyer-mcelroy-91.jpg (38916 bytes) keyer-mcelroy-95.jpg (29359 bytes) keyer-mcelroy-93.jpg (49321 bytes) keyer-mcelroy-96.jpg (61822 bytes)
keyer-mcelroy-97.jpg (53087 bytes) keyer-mcelroy-94.jpg (52091 bytes) mc-67.JPG (941947 bytes) mc-67a.JPG (939572 bytes)
Slightly different model shown below

mcelroy-keyer-1206.jpg (65576 bytes)

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McElroy XTR-442C, -442G Automatic Transmitter (Keyer) - Manual

mcelroy-keyer-1202-03.jpg (1149838 bytes) mcelroy-keyer-1202-01.jpg (202259 bytes) mcelroy-keyer-1202-02.jpg (118845 bytes) -

Teletype-Morse Converter Systems

Baudot-to-Morse Tape Converter

The 1945 Teletype Corp. Automatic Wheatstone Perforator Set included a Baudot (5 level) tape reader plus an operating mechanism that pressed the key levers of a WPE16 Wheatstone Perforator (see above) to produce a Wheatstone tape. Please let me know if you have any additional information, photos, or one for sale or trade.

TT-94/FG set on right
Port Lyautey COMMSTA 1952morocco-1952-01.jpg (37906 bytes)
tt94-fg-01.jpg (2403418 bytes) tt94-fg-02.jpg (1141067 bytes)

Great Northern Telegraph GNT-2206

Thanks to Dick Dillman and MRHS for the photos of their machine

Description/Specifications, courtesy of Jeff Dykes

GNT-2206-01.jpg (2806223 bytes) GNT-2206-02.jpg (2279900 bytes)
GNT-2206-03.jpg (2209210 bytes) GNT-2206-09.jpg (2802301 bytes) GNT-2206-04.jpg (3992594 bytes) GNT-2206-05.jpg (3615655 bytes)
GNT-2206-06.jpg (2631090 bytes) GNT-2206-07.jpg (1952808 bytes) GNT-2206-08.jpg (926632 bytes) --

In the 1960's-70's there were electronic Baudot-Morse and Morse-Baudot converters

Morse-to-Baudot converter

uga3-ad-6612.jpg (674770 bytes)


AN/UGA-3 spec sheets

Video of AN/UGA-3 - see stills below

uga3-01.JPG (72601 bytes)

Includes external motor drive to connect to receiver BFO control for AFC.

From 1960 press release - "The AN/UGA-3, (commercial nomenclature CMP-18) automatically copies Morse code and converts it into teleprinter code at a rate of from 10 to 120 words/min, then types message on a page-copy teleprinter..."

Manuf: Trak Electronics (Wilton CT)
Model CMP-18
Cost $20,000 to $40,000

Manual NAVSHIPS 94316

Please let me know if you have a UGA-3 or manual for sale or trade

uga3-1705-01.jpg (82805 bytes) uga3-1705-02.jpg (73189 bytes) uga3-1705-06.jpg (65536 bytes) uga3-1705-05.jpg (58086 bytes)
uga3-1705-03.jpg (160809 bytes) uga3-1705-04.jpg (172058 bytes) Story from Trak Electronics Technician Roger Cote - The electronic devices that were manufactured by Trak Electronics were very sophisticated and required an understanding of the logic that was at the very heart of these devices. In 1963, the US Navy was still using Morse code to send messages back and forth among ships. The purpose of these machines was to translate Morse code into hard copy printouts on teletype machines. You can guess how far we've come since those days. To me, that doesn't seem that long ago, but I guess it was. While I had been used to reading electronic schematics, that was no longer the requirement. Reading and interpreting logic diagrams was the new technology and Trak Electronics was heavily involved in that technology.
Imagine someone on a ship sending a Morse code message over a radio connection to another ship. In the old days, someone at the other end would pick up the dots and dashes thru an earphone and hand write the translated code into a readable message. But now (in 1963) a radio receiver would pick up the message, forward it to one of our machines where it would go thru a translator and print out the message on a teletype machine. The Trak translator would need to be able to do this thru all sorts of radio noise and keep up with the changing speed of the sender. Quite a trick in those days and it was accomplished quite well.

The machine had to be tested on board a naval vessel. One of the company engineers and myself were selected to do the job. We flew down to Norfolk, VA, conducted the test successfully on board one of the navy's ships and returned home. The engineer did not want to fly back, so we took the train. We bought seats in the parlor car and with meals and drinks and soft reclining swivel chairs, enjoyed one of the most relaxing and enjoyable trips I ever had. It took longer to get back, but it was a very pleasant trip.

Baudot-to-Morse Converter

Need photo and more info - please send me email

CV-398( )/UG consists of a translator relay assembly, character and function relays, electronic counter and gating CKT's, tone oscillator, and output relay. Also has a self-contained RECT power supply. It requires external tape reading EQUIP. Input data: 1 channel, provides on-off keyed International Morse signals from 5-unit TTY tape. Output data: 1 channel keyed tone, variable between 500 cps and 1500 cps, and/or relay. Operating power: 115 V, 50 to 60 cps, 1-ph, 300 W. Manufactured by: Naval Security Group Detachment (D-50), Washington 25, D . C.; converts punched TTY Tape into standard international Morse signals at keying speeds from 10 to 60 WPM.

Morse-to-Baudot Converter

Need photo and more info - please send me email

This unit rectifies and shapes incoming signals to produce timing pulses used to sync converter to incoming signal. Morse code is stored on a character basis until a space between characters is recognized at which time the translator reads off the equivalent TTY character to a small magnetic loop. The output is at the erratic Morse speed, and final read-off is smooth TTY rate. Provisions are made to give carriage return, line feed, letters, figures, and space functions when required. The CV-432( )/UG performs the inverse function of CV-398/U. Operating power: l10V, 60 cycle, 1-ph. CV-432( )/UG is u/w TTY TT-176/UG. Manufactured by the Naval Security Group Detachment. Wash. 25, D.C.

transmitter keying equipment

Same as Frederick 660A? Converts standard 7-unit start-stop (Baudot) code into international Morse code and keys transmitter

Manual is 0967-LP-876-1010

Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade

Morse-to-Baudot converter

Same as Frederick 670? Converts international Morse code into standard 7-unit start-stop (Baudot) code. Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade

tone detector

same as Frederick 1201? Interface between a conventional communications receiver and the CV-2124A Morse-to-teleprinter code converter. Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade

Baudot-to-Morse Keyer

Frederick Electronics Model 660A
Teleprinter-to-Morse Code converter
Did this become CV-2015/U?

fred-660a-1308.JPG (54459 bytes) Installed aboard USS Arlington AGMR-2
agmr2-cw-01.jpg (628860 bytes)
Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade - I need 2 PC boards and a manual
fred-660a-1602-01.jpg (40302 bytes) fred-660a-1602-02.jpg (37866 bytes) fred-660a-1602-03.jpg (27766 bytes)
backplane - code converter boards plug in at left
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logic board and code converter board
fred-660a-9159.JPG (3367447 bytes)
logic board
fred-660a-9158.JPG (2159324 bytes)
-- control - relays for input, step, output
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power supply
fred-660a-9162.JPG (1658721 bytes)

Morse-to-Baudot converter

fred-670-1308.JPG (47453 bytes) Frederick Electronics Model 670
Morse-to-Baudot converter
Did this become CV-2124/U?

CDCR-670 spec sheets

Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade

tone detector

frederick-1201.JPG (45409 bytes) Frederick Electronics Model 1201
Interface between receiver and Model 670 Morse-Baudot converter
Did this become DT-325/U?

CDCR-1201 spec sheets

Please let me know if you have one for sale or trade

"Mill" - Typewriter for Navy Radiomen copying CW (Morse Code) manually