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USMC TBY Radios


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#1 ordnance

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:29 PM

I had a couple of my USMC radios out for cleaning and thought you might like to see some photos. As there really isn't a forum here that's intended for communications equipment, it seems the MISC slot will do.

The one on the left with the forest green carry pack is a TBY-8 and the one on the right is a TBY-2. These radios were developed by the Navy prior to WWII as they correctly felt the Army's BC-222 and BC-322 backpacks weren't up to snuff as combat radios. The TBYs were clearly superior backpack radios and better than anything the Army had until the SCR-300/BC-1000 could be fielded.

The TBYs were used by Marines throughout the war though they weren't always popular because of a lack of waterproof packaging and were partially replaced or supplemented by the BC-1000 in later landings. Their most reconizable use was with the Navajo Code Talkers and there are lots of photos around with them using the early TBY-2 style sets. They were also used as Navy interphone radios for communications between ships in convoys. I assume that was because of the operating frequencies and low power that would allow communications with little danger of the signals being intercepted any distance away from the ships.

Like most WWII radios, the basic sets are reasonably easy to find but the mics, headsets, morse code keys, antenna sections, canvas packs, and other accessories are much harder to get.

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The most noticable difference between the two radios is the improved antenna of the TBY-8 with its spring loaded base section. The earlier sets like the TBY-2 had a fixed lower section that was often broken hitting branches or by rough handling in general. The later sets also had rubber booted switches and impregnated backpacks to improve water resistance but it was never adequate for radiomen wading through the surf. The Army's BC-1000 sets had better waterproofing to start with and were normally packed in truly waterproof rubber backpacks for beach assaults.

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#2 cutiger83

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:59 AM

Very cool! Thanks for taking the time to post these pics....Kat

#3 nkomo

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 06:07 AM

I have to agree with Kat.....thanks for taking the time to photograph these. VERY nice pieces!!!!!
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#4 drunkpunk19thGRU

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:00 AM

anyone have photos of TBY radios in action? thanks in advance.

#5 drunkpunk19thGRU

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:49 PM

does anyone have photos of TBY radios in action?



#6 etienne

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 09:29 AM

Very nice radios ... I always dreamt of finding one, but I should make it travel from the US, and those radio are so heavy  :blink:



#7 'Flage Guy

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 03:38 PM

Man, that's some heavy stuff!! Thanks for posting these!

#8 agate hunter

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:38 PM

There's one of these for sale at a shop in town, but its marked as a TBY-7 one. Contract # is NXss-31648. A buddy has the bag for one, but the radio is missing the battery and antenna. Its in fairly good shape though. He's asking $225, is that a fair price or not?



#9 capa

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 04:01 PM

Thanks very much for posting these great photos. As a former Marine radio operator, I still have a lot to learn about WWII comm equipment. What were the batteries for these?



#10 stealthytyler

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 11:28 PM

I am in need of those red headphones pictured with the TBY for a TBX display. If anyone has a lead on some, let me know. Thanks! 



#11 pararaftanr2

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 06:17 AM

The red rubber ear phone cups are the Navy type TC-66. Garcia Aviation has recently started selling reproductions of them on ebay at $85 per pair. Their ebay ID is "jgaviation". Vintage originals, if you can find them, can go for $300 and up. The rubber used in the originals is rather unstable and they can "melt", without warning, at any time. I've seen it happen and it's not pretty.

Regards, Paul




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