A recent acquisition towards the RAAF heritage flightgear collection of mine was a rare to find Australian issued BE-310 SARBE radio/beacon used for survival location of a downed aircrew member.

SARBE  rather conveniently stands for ‘Search and Rescue Beacon Equipment’.

The SARBE beacon were made in the UK for the RAF and these radios were also exported to Australia. They were distributed by an Australian company in Melbourne who then supplied them to the RAAF / Royal Australian Air Force.

The beacon was composed of 2 parts a transmitter section with a 2 press keys and an antenna section with a collapsible metal antenna used to transmit the signal to rescue forces. The antenna was unfolded out of its coiled up housing and this allowed the signal to reach up into the sky.

The speaker and transmit keys are used to talk to the rescue force. The black plug enabled this radio beacon to be connected to a dry-cell battery pack for longer life. There were two types of this beacon, this type as shown here which had a voice Tx/Rx with the handheld PTT box and the other variant which is just a pure locator beacon.

The SARBE beacon i acquired is marked as “Sarbe Transistor Beacon with Speech – Melbourne” with a s/n unreadable.

In searching for further information i have found 2 films  from late 1960s showing the SARBE radios –

A 3min film showing the radio at work and been made


This film has first 6mins devoted to the  out takes of the above film


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