PYE Museum Homepage The Story of Pye
1896 to
The history of the Pye Group of Companies in scientific & analytical instruments, radio & line communications, broadcasting, domestic radio & TV and industrial electronics from 1896 to the present day
The virtual museum of the Pye History Trust - Celebrating Britain’s Scientific & Industrial Heritage
Pye Telecommunications Introduction

Over more than a 75 year period the radio communications activities of the Pye Group were known as Pye Ltd, Pye Telecommunications, Philips Radio Communications Systems (PRCS), Philips Telecom-PMR, Simoco International Ltd, Sepura PLC and Team Simoco Group.

This section of the Pye History Project web site is based on the information held in the Pye Telecom Historic Collection. This was the Company’s own museum collection of radio communications equipment which until 2002 was exhibited at the Pye/Philips/Simoco headquarters buildings at St. Andrews Road, Cambridge, England.

The story of Pye in radio communications began in 1939 with the involvement of Pye Ltd in several quite separate top-secret radar projects. In early 1939 Pye Ltd began liaising with scientists from Bawdsey Manor and became involved in the design and manufacture of airborne interception radar (AI) and air-to-surface-vessel radar (ASV) radar for the RAF. Later this work was taken over by EKCO and Cossor and Pye concentrated on army radio equipment.

Quite separately the development of coastal defence radar (CD) and artillery gun-laying radar (GL) was being conducted by a British Army group using the research information passed down from Bawdsey Manor. In August 1939 the Navy requested 4 CD type radar stations be made by Pye Ltd. The Air Ministry then ordered 24 and later 52 radar stations to be installed at the existing Chain Home radar sites which became known as Chain Home Low (CHL).

In 1939 Pye also began work on wireless communication equipment for the Army and in 1940 did pioneering work on the artillery proximity fuze. During World War 2 Pye designed a series of famous radio communications transmitter-receivers for the British Army which were subsequently manufactured in USA, Canada and Australia in order to increase the volume of production.

Post World War 2 Pye utilised the technology developed for military equipment to progress smoothly into pioneering the development of the commercial Private Mobile Radio (PMR) industry (known as Land Mobile Radio (LMR) in the United States) using analogue transmission and 50 years later into the digital communications of today which use the Tetra system and TCP/IP protocols etc.

Grateful acknowledgments are due to the Management and Staff of Simoco Radio Ltd of Derby (formerly Mobicom Ltd and today Team Simoco) for allowing much of the material from the Pye Telecom Historic Collection to be saved in 2002. Donations of other equipment and documents from various donors are also gratefully acknowledged and listed in a separate web page in this section.

The company names and logos for Pye Radio Ltd, Pye Ltd, Pye Telecommunications Ltd, Philips, Philips RCS and Philips Telecom-PMR, referred to on this web site, are or have been, the registered trademarks of Philips Electronics UK Ltd. From 1996 to 2002 the Simoco name and logo was the registered trademark of Simoco International Ltd.

Sepura is a registered trademark of Sepura PLC. Team Simoco Group is the registered trademark of Team Telecom Group.

  The original WG Pye factory (circa 1913)
'Radio Tower Corner', St. Andrews Road was the
original home of Pye Telecom from 1944 to 1948.