There is a wealth of technical information on the WEB about the SCR-274-N, ATA/ARA and AN/ARC-5, although there is very little historical information about the design and development of this unique radio system, or the developer, Aircraft Radio Corporation. (For a brief overview and reference list of what I have located about history, check my History link.)
The primary documentation and reference is the "Handbook of Instructions Operation and Maintenance for the RADIO SET SCR-274-N", Signal Corps T.O. NO. 08-10-50. The manual is available from:
Another commonly available documentation set is the "Handbook Maintenance Instructions" for the "Radio Set SCR-274-N", T.O. 12R2-3SCR274-2. A .pdf copy of the maintenance handbook is available online at:
Anyone who is interested in communicating with others that have a common interest in any versions of the "Command Sets" should join the "Discussion of the ARC-5" mail list at QTH.NET. You can access the archives without joining the listserv by selecting: ARC5 under the "Select List" pulldown, then press the "Recent Archives" button or the "1998-2001 Archives" button. The archives are a treasure trove of information in and of themselves. One reason that this listserv is so valuable and interesting is that one of the members is Gordon Elliot White, who has authored the majority of the published articles about "Command Sets" and Aircraft Radio Corporation.
An extensive documentation set of "Military Manuals on CD", which includes the ARC-5 Handbook Maintenance Instructions (AN 16-30ARC5-2), is available from Philip Mills, W5BVB; contact him at: email@example.com.
Another source of SCR-274-N and ARC-5 tech manuals on CD ROM is William Pileggi. He has the TO 12R23SCR274-2, AN16-30ARC5-2, NAVWEPS 16-30ARC5-501 (HTML format) and more available "... for only the cost of shipping." Please contact him directly for the latest status and pricing.
Bill's (NJ7P) Ham Radio WWW Server has a wealth of information under MilList Tools and Manuals. (Please note that the Manuals section is locked down at this time, 06/11/2007 per the note on the web site.) Bill also maintains a site that contains a copy of the manual about testing and aligning the AN/ARC-5, Navweps 16-30ARC-5-501 and another very useful page at this site is: A USERS GUIDE TO AIRCRAFT RADIO CORPORATION RECEIVERS by M. W. Tauson.
Fred's Very Eclectic Home Page is truly eclectic. But scan down to the section on MILITARY ELECTRONICS and MANUAL FILES for some great reference lists: Sampler of Military, Naval and DOC Files and Signal Corps BC-(Basic Component) Files and Signal Corps SCR-(Complete Set) Files, etc.
Ray Robinson, a bloke from down under has put up a wealth of information about old radios in general and the SCR-274-N and AN/ARC-5 in particular. Click on Information and Museum->COMMAND receivers. There are pictures of many of the radios in his museum collection.
Military Commo Equipment List has a rather extensive listing of old military radio sets. Scan down and click on AN/ARC-5 for the equipment list for the different Command Sets. The SCR-274N entry refers back to this listing, as does ATA and ARA.
VE3FAB homepage has some interesting documentation about the installation of Command Sets on aircraft, including pictures and manual pages. Click on B24 Aircraft Radio Systems.
There is a DIRECTORY OF SCR ITEMS and a DIRECTORY OF BC ITEMS, which is now broken into 4 pages, at the Ft. Gordon Signal Corps Museum WEB site.
To understand the nomenclature of military radios, see the copy of Ray Mote's 1995 Electric Radio Magazine articles World War Two Nomenclature Systems to understand that ARC, as in AN/ARC-5, is an acronym for Aircraft Radio Communication, and does not denote the developer Aircraft Radio Corporation, which appears as A.R.C. in many references. Another reference is on Fred's Very Eclectic Home Page under Nomenclature of AN- Electronic Systems.
To understand the differences between the SCR-274-N, the ATA/ARA series and the AN/ARC-5 refer to: Command Set Receiver LIMITED Parts Cross-Reference, (Compiled by Ray Mote 15 January 1996).
For an interesting site that covers a range of airborne equipment including the ARC-5, check out a site by Mike Hanz: Index of AAFRadio.
Here is a reasonably concise description of the ARC-5 / SCR-274-N / ATA/ARA relationship: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARC-5
The development of the radio sets is integrally linked to the history of Radio Frequency Labs in Boonton, NJ. (See: History of Boonton and About Boonton Township) Aircraft Radio Corporation was a subsidiary of Radio Frequency Laboratories.
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