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Military Radios

I have started to use some ex military radios. The main reason is portability. These radios were designed to be back pack portable although not as compact as modern amateur equipment they should last a lot longer. They also have less frills and are designed for easy operation. They are also fairly waterproof unlike amateur kit so can be used outside in the rain without me having to panic every time the sky opens up which is pretty frequent in the UK!




For HF, I have a PRC320, manufactured by Plessey Communications. It was one of the Clansman series of radios. It is a 30w HF radio, with a frequency coverage from 2Mhz to 30Mhz in 100Hz steps. Mine has been modified to include LSB so that I can join in with the standard conversations on the lower amateur bands as well as the military nets. My particular radio was manufactured in 1980 and is still going strong!







I bought this as it was cheap... very cheap. It is a VHF radio covering 30Mhz to 78Mhz. It operates on FM only and as standard is a 4w set. I added the 352 amplifier which I bought from ebay at a very reasonable price and this makes it a 20w radio. All the ancillaries are the same as the PRC320 so I can interchange batteries, headsets and even the carrying rucksack. The only specific items are the antennas. One modification that has to be done to the radio is the removal of the 150hz sub-tone on transmit. This is only there so that the British radios would talk to those issued to US forces. All it does is add a level of hum and distortion to the otherwise perfect audio. It is a simple matter, just turn a variable resistor until the output of the sub-tone oscillator is zero.

Again, this is another well built radio, designed to take the odd knock or two and fully able to be used outside in the rain.






DCCU and Battery




There are a lot of ancillaries available for the clansman radios but the most useful ones are the DCCU and the external speaker. The radios work from a 24v supply so some method of charging them needs to be employed to keep the batteries in good condition. The DCCU or DC Charging Unit comes in two flavours, the 24v one and a 14v model. I have both, the 24v unit at home on my home-brew 24v psu and the 14v unit in the car, fitted with the Anderson powerpole connector to match the feed in my car as well as the two wheelchair batteries that I sometimes use portable.








This is the standard desk speaker that can be found in comms tents or mobile comms units. The speaker can interface with any of the clansman radios I have and can also be fitted into a standard vehicle harness.

It has its own volume control and also connectors for attaching headsets and even remote cable so that the radio itself can be up to 2Km away.. yes, over a mile away! It is very heavy duty and it has a perfect audio response for communications use. Again, I bought this very cheaply, some E-bay sellers seem to be trying to rob people with the prices they charge for them.

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George Christofi

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