Used in either 6 or 12 channel mode, this equipment provided secure speech and telegraph channels between Corps, Division and Brigade Headquarters using radio relay bearers. It was capable of providing switched telephony, special handling and common user telegraph circuits up to and including TOP SECRET. It was mostly associated with the BRUIN Battlefield Trunk communication system.
Another contributor adds " ID 200 was used in Ireland in an interesting mode. We had two stations that were used in the insecure mode, ie the 3 key generator modules weren't fitted. These were the three long tall units on left of system. It's purpose was to supply an non-secure interface into our BRUIN system from UK.
Around 1977 to 1978, Channel 6 was modified on the TDM units (big unit on the bottom) to support data comms. This was used for secure speech and FAX from HQNI to Whitehall. Firstly by a BID820 and KG13 system which was later replaced by a BID310/BID880 system. Channel 6 of the BID200 was also used in BAOR by the Project Wavell C3IS system to provide secure data comms to interconnect their DEC PDP11/34s minicomputers at Brigade, Division and BOAR Corps Headquarters.
The biggest problem with BID200 (and the BID150) was ham-fisted operators not ensuring the Holarith cards were seated properly or on the BID 200, not fully opening the door locks. When they closed the doors, the lock cams would crash into the paxolin board with the sense pins and damage the pins. It was a very tedious job to replace the pins".
BID 200 was known to have been used by 3 Squadron 30 Signal Regiment up to and possibly beyond 1990. Another contributor says " I was mainly involved in working in a TEV terminal equipment vehicle which was a box body on the back of a Bedford 3 ton lorry. The TEV had a small "room" at the front, mounting two BID200s and in the rear was a small communications centre. The TEV's were connected into another Bedford mounted box body that was fitted with four BID200s via the Triffid radio relay system.
I remember that if it went wrong a swift kick with the back of the heel would often sure the problem as it would unjam a spring or reseat a board. Most faults seemed curable this way to the experienced operator. The BID200 lacked the capacity of the later Ptarmigan system but it did what we need it to do which was to provide trunk communications to TA Brigade Headquarters in the UK."
|BID 200. Click on thumbnail to enlarge.
(Photo credit withheld by request).
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