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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Greenies

Philip Neidlinger (KA4KOE) on March 30, 2005
View comments about this article!


At the urging of my friend Cal Neff, K4JSR, I am writing an article on green military radios. If you don't like this article, I would encourage you to complain to him! First, lets preface this discussion with a little personal history.

I have been an amateur radio operator since I was 16 years old. Like many of my fellow hams, I grew interested in radios at a tender age. When I was 11, my Dad had bought me one of those Rat Shack CB walkie talkie base stations that had a VFO receiver, but was rocked up on Channel 14. The radio would pick up the standard AM broadcast band. The unit had an integral Morse key that would send modulated CW, or A2, if memory serves. Anyway, the base station worked good for a couple of blocks. Frustrated by this lack of performance, antenna building commenced in an instinctive urge to increase range so I could communicate with the neighborhood boys at night. One aerial consisted of aluminum tent poles inserted end-to-end for a 25' long aerial leaned up against the house. A wire was snaked up this aerial, and it DID improve reception, but alas, not transmitted range.

Funny thing, I hadn't heard of resonant frequency at this age, but this didn't stop me. The piece-de-resistance consisted of one of those cane fishing poles you can still buy today at any quality tackle shop. My older brother Eric and I wrapped wire helical fashion around that cane fishing pole. My Dad, being a Southern Bell pay station repairman, always had these big spools of wire in the back of his repair truck. Anyway, we put that big cane pole up at the top of a 70' sweet gum tree in our backyard and brought the wire down. We then clipped the wire to the telescoping antenna of the 100 milliwatt Rat Shack base station. It actually worked!!! The sucker was heard by another Cb'er at a range of about 5 miles. WOW!!!! Anyway, the cane pole antenna and the sweet gum tree soon fell victim to one of those famous southeast Georgia summer thunderstorms. Nothing was left of the aerial after a tremendous lightning stroke as it was totally vaporized. The innards of the tree were fried as well. It took that sweet gum only 6 months to lose it leaves and die. All I remember was being in the kitchen and seeing a blinding flash out the window and hearing the instantaneous “BANG!”

I progressed to bona fide Citizens Band with a real radio at age 13, and by 15 ½ I was bored out of my skull. At age 16, I passed my Novice exam and was assigned the callsign KA4KOE, which is my call to this very day. Like many of my radio brethren, I have sampled from many of the sub-interests in the hobby, with the notable exceptions being moonbounce and amateur satellites. I wed and became the father to two wonderful children. My six year old son Jordan loves all things camouflage and army. The devious inner workings of my mind began to churn….“What could be more exciting than running around in the woods with my son with a real green army radio”, I thought to myself? We could have some real fun together. The idea germinated, and I decided I had to have a green radio for myself. Further justification, at least to me, came in the guise of several strong hurricanes smashing into Florida last fall. I told the bride, KG4KTW, that if we had to bug out and evacuate this season, we needed a portable HF radio that would survive the storm surge and be self-contained. I have never enjoyed being out of touch with the outside world. If we had to evacuate, I wanted to remain connected. The last major hurricane to hit Savannah, Georgia was David in 1979, which was barely a Category 1 when it rumbled ashore at Tybee Island. True, I could have purchased a portable radio from the Big Three, but the coolness factor was simply not there. Cool is very important in this household. Every radio in the house has a pet name given to it by my two younguns.

0x01 graphic

Jordan in his BDU's

Now, getting a green military radio (or greenie) requires a certain mindset, as I kindly reminded Cal in an earlier post. To reiterate what I stated, you can't go half way and get a Yaesu FT-897, or an Icom IC-703, or whatever. You gotta get a real radio. A heavy radio. A milspec waterproof radio. A radio that will survive the storm surge when you won't. A radio that can kill as you swing it pendulum style in self-defense. A radio that triple underlines your entry into the elite geekdom of ham radio packsters. A radio that reminds you what its like to be mortal as your body aches as you trudge down the forlorn path with it strapped to your middle-aged carcass, breathing heavily into the handset as you struggle to bark out a CQ, wondering if the ole' cardiac pump is up to the task.

Isn't it great? Or am I, like most of my ham brethren, consigned to a certain corner of the insane asylum, right next to the QRP section? Finding that radio is going to be tough if you have to start from scratch. Here are some pointers and rigs to look out for. The list is by no means complete, as I am sure there are some radios that are personal favorites. I will only cover those rigs capable of HF, and those I am familiar with. I'll include some links at the end so you can explore on your own, if you're so inclined after reading this verbose diatribe.

PRC-47

This is a Vietnam era radio manufactured by Collins. These are still available from Fair Radio Sales for under a grand. Be advised, however, that the radio only does USB and CW unmodified. It's a little heavy to be characterized as a manpack. Be careful tuning it up into an antenna, as its vacuum tube finals are not protected by any special circuitry. If you fry the finals, be advised they are almost impossible to replace. The rig is rated at 100 watts maximum output. A '47 will occasionally come available on eBay or in the classifieds on this site or QRZ.com. I decided against a PRC-47....too much of an antique, in my opinion.

0x01 graphic

PRC-70

This radio will work HF into the low VHF band (yes, it will do 6 meters). If you're in good shape, you might be able to heft one of these on your back. The radio was designed to bridge the gap between the frequency ranges covered by the classic PRC-25/77 and the PRC-47; in other words, two radios in one box. Again, I have seen a couple of these on Ebay in recent months for under two grand. The PRC-70 was too big, so I decided against one of these.

0x01 graphic

PRC-104

Manufactured by Hughes and various other contractors, the PRC-104 may still be in limited use by the U.S. military. This is a simple, no frills radio. Its like a Timex....takes a licking and keeps on ticking. A friend of mine, K6ERO, collects these and swears by them. I may get one eventually. Average power output is between 20-30 watts. Good examples can be had from about $1500 to $2500 dollars. The radio runs on 24 VDC.

0x01 graphic

PRC-1099 and 1099a

The PRC-1099a is still being manufactured by Datron/Transworld. Brand new, these radios go for around 6K from the manufacturer….too expensive. As a very good incentive, Datron still services these radios. Many accessories designed for the PRC-25/77 will work with these radios, as they utilize standard US connectors. Used examples can go from between $1500 and $2500, depending on condition and the user, if you can find one. I looked high and low for one for several months but gave up when another radio came available.

0x01 graphic

PRC-2000

A late 80's rig manufactured by the now non-existent Philips-MEL. Examples of these rigs were used by British forces during the Falklands war. The radio is relatively simple to use, and is approximately 25 pounds with the battery box full of D cell NiMH batteries (13 total). The PRC-2000 will output 20 watts high / 4 watts low, USB, LSB, CW, or digital modes. The transmit audio is very distinctive and has the classic military sound to it. Some may find the transmit audio objectionable. Combat Radio in the UK has these from time to time, but they are getting increasingly hard to find. From all reports, it appears to be a reliable radio. Prices range from $1800 to $2250.

0x01 graphic

If you decide to acquire a greenie, be advised that they are becoming increasingly hard to find due to the world terror situation. Military surplus radios are becoming VERY rare, as they are usually categorized as munitions, per what I have been told. Sadly, many PRC-104s are going to the crusher instead of the dealers when they are demilled. I love my PRC-2000. It's a neat way to turn a normally sedentary hobby into good exercise with one of these babies strapped to your back.

See the following excellent links if you'd like to get yourself a greenie....

Army Radio Sales, http://www.armyradio.com

Surplus Radios for Amateur Use, http://www.co.missoula.mt.us/acs/radios/Radios.htm

Army Radios Yahoo Group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/armyradios

Green Machine Surplus, http://www.greenmachinesurplus.com/

Thank you for giving me another opportunity to visit with you for awhile.

73

Philip Neidlinger, PE

KA4KOE

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Greenies  
by NS6Y_ on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Very cool article! Thanks for the inph0z! I'm teetering between getting a wannabee SGC-2020 or a K2 which isn't even trying to be an army radio, unless you include the late-night soldering army. In either case, the rig will do its best work operating portable since I'm in a miserable pup tent of an apartment.

I already have the spy radio end of things nailed down with the awesome KX-1 here :-P
 
Greenies  
by G3RZP on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The PRC104 used some Plessey ICs in it which are now pretty well unobtainable. This sort of problem may well apply with other 'green radios', so keeping one going may become a bit a of a problem.
 
Greenies  
by K3HVG on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Nice listing of some more current equipment. As one noted, these radios require logistics support that is virtually unavailable to the average collector or ham. If one is interested in collecting and using "green" radios, there are a few that are available and can be supported. These include the not-quite-so-portable GRC-9, GRC-19, GRC-106, and the PRC-47. Note that only PRC-47 and GRC-106 are SSB radios. If you really need to "ruck-up", however, then you'll also need to spend the big bucks.....! P.S. I have a Yaesu FT-897 tucked in a PRC-77 pack..... looks/works great!! hi!!
 
Greenies  
by LNXAUTHOR on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
- tks for a great round-up... i'm sure there are other radios prized by collectors and ops...

- i guess the closest we (hams) can get in the amateur market is the SGC SG-2020?

- others, such as the Vertex 1210, appear to be only for the export market and aren't for sale here in the U.S.?
 
RE: Greenies  
by KA4KOE on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The Vertex-Standard VX-1210 is available from a dealer in Canada. Bonnie, KQ6XA, with the HFpack group, could probably tell you who they are. The radio with accessories goes for around 1800. From what I understand its a jam up radio, only its not green.
 
RE: Greenies  
by KF4VGX on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I enjoyed the read.
Shuck's man I was spray painting em black in the 70's.

Good pictures, and info.

I thought the kid was cute ;-> .
 
RE: Greenies  
by K3ESE on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Please let us know the pet names of the radios! And...CW is here to stay! Yeah!!!
 
RE: Greenies  
by K3UOD on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Phil, you're a DUDE!

I used to have an old TCS xmtr/rcvr. Not portable, by a long shot. A neat rig just the same.

 
Kids Radio Names  
by KA4KOE on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Here they are:

Collins R388 - Fred
PRC-2000 - Green Bean
Icom IC-756PRO - Icky
Kenwood TM-731A - Kenny

Feeleep
 
Greenies  
by W5ESE on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the nice article.

Think I'll just paint an Altoids tin green, put
a $27 RockMite in it and call it my "green rig"!

Real men pound brass!

73!
Scott
W5ESE
 
RE: Kids Radio Names  
by WB2WIK on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Great article.

I've come across my fair share of PRCs, some radios and others not.

 
Greenies  
by W4XKE on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Well, your article is really an eye-opener for me. We used all kinds of green equipment, but I was never impressed much by it. When I was in the 138th Signal Bn, we cussed at having to stay up all night running the stuff. We tossed it around in the same fashion of disrespect that was handed to us by our platoon leaders.
I remember sitting in the back of an M-37 3/4 looking at the radios out of boredom and reading the nomenclature plates. Like you said, 24 volts and a lot of the stuff ran 400 cycles and I thought, "Who but the Army would want this kind of crap?"
Even the trucks used Chrysler engines that had "military tolerances" so nothing fit like a civilian engine. They use oil. Lots of oil, because they blow it by the rings of the loosely fitted engines. Even the old Bird Dog planes were fitted that way.
Anyway, it is a real shocker to me to see the value of these radios that we thought were so much garbage. While the price that the military paid for these things isn't too much of a surprise, I would never have thought they would be worth more that a couple of hundred bux on the surplus market. I do kind of like the "no frills" and rugged looks of them now. That's one of the reasons I bought a Ten Tec JUPITER. It has a "strictly business" appearance instead of the looks of a VCR or CD player. The operation is basic and simple at the front-panel level.
However, when I fire up the computer and click on the "Pegasus Mode" icon, the computer takes control of the radio and all kinds of digital options immediately become available. (The best of both worlds - plus, it can be factory serviced!)
Thanks for giving us a glimpse of the military equipment. It was sure an informative piece for me. Respectfully, Johnny, W4XKE
 
RE: Kids Radio Names  
by W6TH on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!


Nice article and good assortment of Military.

I think I have used most of the Signal Corps radios in WW2 and what a joy for a ham radio operator.

We used the AN/GRC-9 A, X and Y back in WW2, but guess it was not known until 1956 or so. Did the military keep this a secret? These with a team of two cryptographic message coders and decoders, three cw operators and one commissioned officer used behind enemy lines.

This greenie is ham radio for sure. All kinds of power supplies: DY-88, DY-105, PP-327. Generator GN-58 and even the Vibrator Supply PE-237.

The Receiver-Transmitter was the RT-77.

Look for this one as you won't be sorry.
.:
 
RE: Kids Radio Names  
by WB2WIK on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I like the dials labeled, "kilocycles."

But when we had a local biker fest and more than 2,000 Harleys came down the Boulevard here a few weeks ago, I was able to proudly proclaim, "Wow, there must be 20 or 30 Hertz going by."

Last surplus gear I had was WW2 vintage, as a kid (ugh). My SCR-522 144 MHz AM transmitter was originally an airborne rig, but must have weighed 150 lbs. Hard to believe the RAF ever got off the ground. Won't talk about the BC-610...

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Kids Radio Names  
by KE1MB on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Great read!

Military radios are not consumer products and this is reflected in the design and feel of the radio.

There is something about having a toy that was built to withstand war like conditions. For me, I will die with my R-390A. With a good external SSB adapter, the 390A is simply something you have to experence for yourself, and it makes CW copy sound like a practise tape. It is not some shelf item that is only turned on once in a while for show. It is my main receiver and runs 6 hours or more every night.
 
Greenies' Weenies  
by K4JSR on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Philip, it is bad enough that you title this epistle
as "Greenies". Everybody will think that you have started writing about Dead Electrical Tree Huggers!
Then you have to go and blame me for you writing the article! How can you do this to me? From the outset of your little caper I told you that Heathkit boat
anchors where also green and heavy. BUT NO! You had
to get something in a canvas bag and force poor little
Jordan out into the jungles of Chatham County, Georgia
to face perils like lions, tigers, bears, alligators,
deer ticks and possibly Squirt the Wonder Clam out by
the marshes! The poor kid will probably not recover
and will be forced to become an engineer! Poor Jordan!
Continually calculating MTBFs and MTTRs for all eternity! All that and having to deal with a pointy-
haired boss! The next thing you know you'll have Jordan out in the marshes digging up Oerteds to put into your next DED article!
Have you no shame? OH! The
humanity of it! SIGH!!!

73, Cal K4JSR
 
RE: Kids Radio Names  
by K4JSR on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Mr. Katz sed, "But when we had a local biker fest and more than 2,000 Harleys came down the Boulevard here a few weeks ago, I was able to proudly proclaim, "Wow, there must be 20 or 30 Hertz going by."

Steve, had you said that too loudly you would have seen about two killerHertz!!!

You should have also reminded Philip of the BC-669 as
a good "portable" transceiver. I would love to see
Feee lep hauling that through the marshes of Savannah!
 
Greenies  
by WB0DKY on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Guys and Gals,
I certainly remember some of the old
greenies. I went to Radio Maintenance School at Fort
Sill, Oklahoma in 1958. I had the pleasure of working
on the RT-70, " Angry 9 ", AM-65, PP-109, PRC 25, and
the PRC-6. There are some mighty small tubes in that
PRC-6. The darndest thing about it was after i went back to my outfit, a general contractor was taking care
of the radios. I wound up being a radar operator. Go figure. 73 de WB0DKY Harold
 
RE: Greenies  
by W4CNG on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Yes that brings back many fond memories as a "Teenager" playing with the PRC-6 (batteries were heavy when holding it up to my head to talk), RT-68 and RT-70's, (a pair of them could be made into a Repeater) out at the Ft. Benning Ga. Infantry Radio Maintenance Course class of 1961, just before getting my Novice License. I was the only Civilian Graduate of the course. My late father was an instructor and I took the course that summer, along with a regular group of GI's complete with a graduation certificate signed by the Infantry School General.
 
RE: Greenies  
by KC8VWM on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have always had a fascination with wilderness radio equipment. This is because I have spent a great deal of time hiking, backpacking and canoing in the northern climate. I was sometimes a hundred miles away from the nearest car on the road. I had to bring a portable SW radio (Sony SW55) for entertainment because I simply could not receive any AM/FM radio stations on a regular AM/FM portable radio during the daytime hours!

I have literally collected 100's of pieces of various military outdoor equipment for this purpose in the past ranging from hiking boots, first aid equipment, web belts, flares, strobes and everything in between and it was all mil spec. gear.

While some commercial sporting gear I have tried is very good, I usually find anything Mil Spec. to be much superior in durability and longevity.

For communications, I have an EPIRB and a few rugged MURS VHF portables for my backwoods communication needs. I have yet to acquire a man pack like that lucky dog KA4KOE! Did you put him up to that idea K4JSR? This radio in my opinion would be the ultimate communications radio gear for the outdoors.

While many commercial radio vendors are now making smaller HF rigs these days for the great outdoors, they still seem to be "plastic" and somewhat delicate in nature.

So, here's what I wanna do... I am eventually going to look for a good Mil Spec. man pack radio. I have every intention of dropping it in the water, spilling my coffee on it and I am definetly going to drop it on the ground! ... at least once or twice and just for the fun of it!

Now go ahead and try that with your YeaComWood will ya!?

After all, who needs to buy that YaeComWood extended warranty package when you got yourself a bullet proof mil spec. "Greenie"?

Again... another great article Philip!

73 Charles - KC8VWM
 
Greenies  
by NS6Y_ on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Haha good point on the name "greenies", I've got some greenies, how about two HP 4192A "Impedence analyzers" AKA big green CW transmitters? Just gotta hook up a key, big green 'n' mean and will tell you all that 4-wire measurement stuff too.

Most HP (Agilent) test gear is green, actually.
 
RE: Greenies  
by KA4KOE on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
IF you don't mind a "blackie", Charles, the Yaesu Vertex VX-1210 may be the ticket for you under 2K.
Its supposed to be a jam up rig.
 
Greenies  
by N7MJW on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article.

As someone noted, the PRC-104 (RT-1209) uses large scale integrated circuits. It was a pioneer of that technology, and built through the 1980's. The radio is unservicable because the LSI cirucits are unobtainable; however, one must remember Hughes was building satalite equipment which is also un-repairable once deployed, and was pretty good at making electronics that doesnt fail. I've owned several 104's and found that if you had one that worked, it generally would work indefinatly.

Someone noted their experience in the militay concerning mil radio gear they considered inferior to civilian gear. This is most likely in the VHF radio sets such as the PRC-25,77 or RT-524, VRC-1, etc. The GRC-106 cold also fit in this catagory. These sets are only now at the end of their military careers, well past their planned obsolence. This is notworthy because they were designed in the 1960's and fielded during the Vietnam war. While today, a Motorola or Bendix King walkie talkie makes them look very ancient, in their day they were beyond cutting edge. Its remarkable these radios lasted 30 years.

In the late 1980's, Harris was selling the military their RF-5000 series of HF radios. These radios had digital IF, selectable IF bandwidhts, 2400 baud PKS modems, frequency hopping and digital voice built in (as well as a few other things). The performance, technology and features of these 1980's radios is on par with our modern amateur transceivers. Much of this equipment is solid, well documented, and built to last not only physically, but with features and technology that keep them relevant for the long run.

Most of it runs on 24 Volts DC. US military vehicles are 24VDC. Most of the commercial telecommunications industry (microwave, etc) has been 24 volts and 48 volts. High power semiconductors are becoming more difficult to find in 12 volts as fewer are manufactured (for instance the Motorola Quantar repeater is no longer available in 12V). It seems the military was ahead of the times here. The 400 Hz mentioned earlier was standard on aircraft from the old days, although I agree from a modern persepective it does seem weird.

The surplus market price is rather high. My best advice for someone getting into "green radios" is to shop around for some time before taking a bite. The equipment is extremely popular with collectors, and because of the governments policy of de-militarizing (read destroying) this equipment, the more exotic pieces are also difficult for those collectors to find (particulary modern HF sets). However, for someone handy with a soldering iron, who possesses the depot manual, broken radios represent a value as they can be often be turned into working radios. Many people (myself included) got their start in collecting green radios this way, making the money to purchase the more vaulable pieces by repairing more common PRC-77s or RF-3090s (PRC-117) for example.

Dave
K7UXO
 
RE: Greenies  
by KC8VWM on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"the Yaesu Vertex VX-1210 may be the ticket for you under 2K. Its supposed to be a jam up rig. "

I saw that one one eBay a few times. Some guy in Canada is selling them I think. Someone else mentioned how dificult it seems to be to aqcuire a manpack radio these days. Hmmm. mabey that was you Philip huh? (Will you take an offer?) Nevertheless, I now seem to be on a relentless mission at this time and I hope I spot a good deal at Dayton.

...BTW are you going this year?

I plan on going this year, but because of my participation level on this website, I don't want anyone to recognise me, :) so I wont be wearing my callsign hat or anything like that. ...lol :)

73 Charles - KC8VWM

(I guess the cat is out of the bag now huh?)
 
RE: Greenies  
by K4JSR on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Charles, you will be easy to spot at Dayton. You will
be the *ONLY* ham not wearing a call sign hat or badge! OOOPS! I gave away your secret. Been nice
knowing you, Charles! ;-)
Hey! The upside is that you now have a new product in your line: FATE SEALER!!! :-0
Watch out for redheads! Especially the ones whose eye
you catch! (Let everybody wonder just where that one
came from!)
 
RE: Greenies  
by K4JSR on March 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
By the way, Mikey - WA2JJH - thinks that "Greenies"
are those horrid $5.00 hamfest hotdogs!
I don't think you would want to wander about the hinter lands with one of those! :-@****
 
RE: Greenies  
by KA4KOE on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
We haven't heard from Mike. He has some commercial-milspec HF rigs in his possession.

Other radios to consider-

Loral PRC-132, Look on K6ERO's website for info.

Harris PRC-138, fairly recent---very expensive.

 
RE: Greenies  
by K3UOD on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"The 400 Hz mentioned earlier was standard on aircraft from the old days, although I agree from a modern persepective it does seem weird. "

Also standard for shipboard data transmission devices like synchros and resolvers.

Electromagnetic devices can be made smaller and lighter if they run on 400Hz. The cores do not have to be as big & heavy. You can run 60Hz devices on 400 Hz, but if you try to run a 400 Hz device on 60 Hz, it may burn up due to core saturation.
 
Greenies  
by KG4KTW on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What is a beautiful child. The only thing that is missing is his "little soilder" hat covers his red hair. Nice radio too.
 
That's My Boy!!!  
by KA4KOE on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Yep, he's pretty smart too, I might add. Need to get a tube from work here we can start building the radio he's been asking about....gotta wind a coil first.
 
RE: That's My Boy!!!  
by K4JSR on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I seem to recall that KG4KTW is married to KA4KOE.
Is there a bit of biased commenting going on here?
Hmmmmm!!? You two would not be prejudiced in favor
of Jordan, would you?
 
RE: That's My Boy!!!  
by W4PA on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>>By the way, Mikey - WA2JJH - thinks that "Greenies"
are those horrid $5.00 hamfest hotdogs!<<

I saw "Greenies" as the title and immediately Jim Bouton came to mind...
 
RE: Greenies  
by N0TONE on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The only mil gear I ever used was the old ARC-5 as a conversion rig. I spose having to crawl around in the mud in Europe using them in their intended environment, they lost any potential appeal as a home radio. Give me lightweight, cloakable, Japanese plastic any day!

BTW, Alexandra, HP gear hasn't been green since about 1980. All of it I see now (including the new-fangled Agligent gear) is an off-white/beige color.

AM
 
RE: Greenies  
by W1BAK on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What a great article! Thanks for "bringing back the memories". And the replies were pleasant to read, also.
 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
EXCELLENT!!! My only compaint is that it reads like one of your D.E.D.S!!!!!!

I love mil. stuff too. I have 2 harris's, one Racal,
and Motorola.

No, you do not get ANY bells and whistles.
You do get solid RX,TX, and abuse.
 
RE: That's My Boy!!!  
by WA2JJH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Actually Scott (W4PA). Greenies have 3 meanings.
1)Mil.Radio's
2)That exact size green screw driver found in any tool kit. Unfortunate things happen when you use a greenie on IF cans, trim caps, and trim pots.

3)A greenie is the poor soul that ate 10 5 doller hot dogs.



73 Mike Wa2JJH
 
RE: Greenies  
by WA6BFH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thinking about this sort of activity has inspired me! I think that I may make a 'walking stick' antenna for my FT-100D that will work on all available bands from 70 cM down to 80 Meters.

While the radio is not green, it is light and easy to toss in the back of my hiking backpack, along with a 7 Ah battery or two. Friends and I often go up this time of year to a campground in the Angeles Forest where the “Pacific Crest Trail” as well as a smaller trail intersect. It might be fun to do some pedestrian ‘mountain topping’ at about 8000 feet!

Maybe I will announce here the weekends that I would be doing this! I will of course be on 50.125 MHz for “E-season” but, can also list prospective ‘sched’ times for 10 or 17 Meter contacts etc!

73! de John
 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
There is one "greenie" That is priceless to hams amd militia's, and still in service for a few miliarys now.


It is a TR-7A! EXCEPT
1)It is painted Mil.GREEN, or black.
2)It has a DDS VFO, instead of the PTO
3)BUILT into a 19" rack mount
3)Front mounted speaker.

$10,000 used but working is a bargain price.

Check out the Drake museum for this radio.

I am finishing a report on converting a tr-7 into it's mil spec. ultra rare varient.

Part one will be the review of DDS VFO replacement
 
Greenies  
by NS6Y_ on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! And people say the Icom 7800 is expensive! No wonder a lot of companies would rather sell to the militaries than to hammies, I think we hams should try to appreciate how much bang for the buck we get with our ham market, non-mil rigs.

This Greenie thread is great - a look into a whole new "radio fetish"
 
Greenies  
by NS6Y_ on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N0T0NE all of MY mean-grean HP equipment around here is green! Lessee, 436a, 5342a, couple of 4192a's, my lovable 8601a, 3314a all GREEN. And, all of those supported if not sold, into the 90s. In fact the 4192a was still sold in 2000 I think.

Looks like there's an ick-beige HP freq counter in my future though, guess it's time for some green Krylon.
 
RE: Greenies  
by KA4KOE on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Greenie freqs where to meet?

7.296 Mhz
18.1575 Mhz
14.3425 Mhz

All are USB.

PHILIP
 
RE: Greenies  
by WA6BFH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
USB even of 40 huh? Okey-dokey!

Do you guys use cool handles too? Like maybe the Green Monster, or Green Lantern or something? Just kidding!

 
RE: Greenies  
by WA2JJH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
OK brother Feeip, Meet you one the Festival freqs. you mentionedatt. At the RED HOUR!

Many of the Manpacks also have a motorola like converticom system.

The JEEP version charges the batts, and usualy has
a 400W amp and an unbalanced antenna tuner for a HF whip.
oard
Seems like 1987 is the latest vintage one can purchase. However they will meet if not often well exceed specs of a new rig today.

All these radio's make repairs "under fire" a possibiity. A system called BYTE is used for self diagnostic. The CPU will diagnose the problem down to a board. The boards remove as easy as a PC board.

The radio's are designed so a new board can be swapped in with NO alignment.

I was shocked find out your radio is direct conversion. A modifed design will produce vitually
no image. then Active op amp filters provide huge amount of gain and filtering.

Many design probems are reduced to just above audio
frequencies.

Pul-lease do a part 2 on this greenie.

BTW I did publish some of my Greenies on Eham.
I put them under product reviews, because I thought very few would enjoy any eval. that is not sold as a ham rig.

73 DE MP WA2JJH. PS.FILIIP, PLEASE WRITE MORE STUFF. THEY, OR IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE DEAD OR A DUDE!!!:)

 
RE: Greenies--commercial and real mil spec  
by WA2JJH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Actuay John The MIC saw that HF H-t's were limited in practicality.

The Shoe boxed sized field h-t's were VHF lo- 30-66mhz.Super-regen RX an A,B,and C battery.(filiment, HV, and bias. Todays gmrs radio's are far better

The SGC's-2020 even with the latest VOCARD and specs good enough for 60M is not mil spec.

Even with HARRIS, My 1446-u is mi spec. My RF-3200 is commercial. I think I did a breif review on both.
Check EHAM product reviews.

 
RE: Greenies--commercial and real mil spec  
by KA4KOE on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, due to the conversion scheme, some of the guys have older rigs, such as the aforementioned PRC-47, that will ONLY due USB. There are other frequencies Milpack and HFpack folks meet on, pretty much all are USB for this reason. The kind reader is referred to Bonnie's (KQ6XA) Yahoo Hfpack group for additional frequencies, meeting times, etc.

Brace yourself kiddies, another installment of Dead Electrial Dudes (Also heard monthly on This Week In Amateur Radio), # 17 , Oersted, is due up shortly.

Feeleep
 
PRC-2000  
by KA4KOE on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Let me tell you, the receiver on my PRC-2000 is superior to the one in my Icom IC-756PRO. True, there is no image problem. The AGC is great too.

Let me quote AC5XP's review on this site---

"Lately many PRC-2000?s have been sold through Ebay from a company based in the UK, in brand-new condition, and of late-manufacturing date (1992). I assume this company has acquired the last stock of these radios from Philips-MEL just before MEL was sold by Philips (read: ceased to exist). My PRC-2000 I indeed got through Ebay from this source, I must say I was not disappointed when I got it.
The PRC-2000 is a British made military radio, produced by Philips-MEL before that company was acquired by Thorn-EMI. Its frequency coverage is 1.6 MHz to 30 MHz in 100 Hz steps.
It was developed for military field and vehicle use. It apparently saw its first deployment in the Falkland war in the early eighties where it apparently performed well (Source: Janes Military Communications 1986)
The PRC-2000 is primarily a man-pack radio, (relatively) light-weight and has room for a NiCad battery in the bottom of the radio. In this configuration it can be worn in a back-pack configuration, using a whip antenna and a handset.
There also is a vehicle configuration (called the GRC-2000), where a power-conditioner module having the same dimensions as the battery replaces this battery, and where the PRC-2000 radio is placed on a vehicle mount using a fast mount-&-remove mechanism. In this vehicular configuration, the radio can be operated anywhere from 10V DC to 32V DC, as the power conditioner regulates this back to 14V DC for internal radio operation.
In the vehicular configuration, there also exist a separate power amplifier-tuner to beef-up the 20 watts RF from the radio to about 100 watts. In this configuration, the transceiver digitally controls the amplifier/tuner through a serial control signal which is transferred through the same RF connection that connects the RF output from the radio to the amplifier. So no extra control cable is needed here.
The downside from this method is that under certain conditions some digital noise can he heard on the RF, also in the manpack mode without the amplifier. This is mostly the case in the band 1.6 MHz to 3 MHz, beyond that it is not significant.
The PRC-2000 has the same footprint as the Philips-MBLE RT-600 HF radio (Belgium) and the VHF radio Philips-HSA RT-3600 (Dutch). They all use the same vehicle mount and same battery.
The PRC-2000 radio is conceptually an excellent example of a ?thinking outside the box? design. The RF concept is basically that of a direct-conversion type, where the RF is directly mixed down (or up, during xmit) to (from) baseband using an image-reject mixer approach (also called an I-Q mixer concept)
This is done through two high-level ringmixers, each accepting the same LO signal but the Q chain has the LO signal 90 degrees shifted. Sideband reversal is done by (digitally) change the LO phase for the Q mixer from +90 degrees to -90 degrees.
Using this concept assures the opposite sideband is sufficiently rejected for both transmit and receive. And when I say sufficiently, I mean REALLY sufficiently, close to 60 dB
This approach also means the concept of an image frequency (due to a 1st IF) is unknown to this radio; the only image product is in fact the suppressed sideband. The manual triumphantly touts this; Receiver image rejection: Not applicable?
The direct-conversion concept also means the audio filter IS the IF filter. So no crystal filter is used here as the passband-determining filter; it is realized as a chain of hi-Q LC pot-core resonators having many poles. This results in an exceptionally good receiver passband curve, and an audio quality very pleasant to listen to without any ?SSB fatigue? so characteristic to some of the (earlier) Japanese radios.
One wonders why such an I-Q direct-conversion concept is not used in today?s DSP based radios; decoding and filtering in the audio passband should be a cinch for a DSP. The reason is probably because direct-conversion allows only for SSB radios, modes as FM (and AM) would be a problem here.
The radio has very good sounding modulation, partially due excellent speech processing. The speech processing is done by mixing the baseband AF to a 1.5 kHz IF (not a typo for ?MHz?!) and then back to baseband again in a concept I still do not fully understand. It results in the sideband being ?folded in half?. It doesn?t happen often that I do not follow the concepts of my radios, but this is such a case!
Another out-of-the box idea is the way the frequency synthesizer makes the 100 Hz steps (traditionally a challenge to accomplish this phase-noise free for ANY HF synthesizer before the DDS era). Adding some kind of modulation in the loop-filter does this, but again the exact mechanism behind this concept (still) escapes me. But the result contributes in giving this radio a very good receiver as a whole.
Another advantage over your everyday radio is the AGC attack and decay. This works so well in this radio you wonder why not all radios have AGC?s this smooth. Its AGC decay does not slowly ?eb? away, it stays flat for about half a second and then suddenly releases. An effective built-in noise-blanker makes sure the AGC does not attack on noise spikes which otherwise could be a problem for such an AGC concept.
The construction of the radio is done very well. The casing is diecast aluminum all around. Opening it up reminds of the older Philips oscilloscope construction in the days these instruments were still allowed to cost some bucks. All circuits are modular on glass-epoxy. In general, the Philips PCB boards always looked so much ?cleaner? and ?orderly? compared to the competition; this radio gives you the same impression.
All internal frequencies are derived from one high-stability master oscillator.
The whole radio is under CPU control, including the volume control. All settings go through UP/DOWN buttons. Frequency step size for the UP/DOWN control is fully programmable from the keypad, any step size can be made.
The display is formed by a large backlit LCD showing frequency, mode and memory channel (10 can be programmed), as well as relative forward and reflective power.
RF power can be set for low (4 watt) and high (20 watt). There is a built-in automatic antenna tuner but this is designed to work only with the whip; the tuner can not tune random antennas. The tuner can also be bypassed for stationary operation, by removing a BNC-to-BNC link on the front-panel.
When using a special handset, the 10 memories can be selected directly from the handset without the need to reach to the control panel (as the latter would be somewhat difficult to accomplish by an operator in man-pack configuration). The radio does this by sensing a variable resistor from the hand-set; each value corresponds to a certain channel. Simple but effective?
Supported modes are LSB,USB, CW and FSKL/FSKU. The latter two are basically LSB and USB without the speech processor, and with fast AGC decay. Filter bandwidth for CW is unchanged from USB.
I have made many contacts on all bands with this radio, the 20 watts it offers is more than sufficient to reach out. Quality of the modulation always gets me very positive sound reports. And as said, the receiver is a pleasure to listen to.
These radios go on Ebay for about $1500 US, in new condition. That really is a steal for the quality of radio one gets!"

Really a nice radio. Mine has a few scuffs, but it adds character. The nice large LED display is good and also indicates SWR and PWR out during transmit.

Philip

 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
once of major complaints with many Mil./commercial rigs and is lack of a VFO knob!

Having to tune in 10hz or 100hz steps is a drag.

Some radio's are modable. My Harris u-1446, I just got an IEEE 232,432,411, and the standard for fuzzy ogic contols RS-422. (jog and shuttle on BDCST VCRs)

IMHO, The two radio's That were Mil/commercial that are best suited for ham base use are.

1)The Harris RF-3200. The ultra smooth VCO is also your band selector. Pre-ampless front end. The entire rig is adjusted by the CPU.

They use an auxillary IF for the CPU to look at nd control many key parameters. The Always on speech proc is enhanced by real time attact and decay parameters of the transmitter ALC.
keypad entry 100 conventionl or split memories + 100
ITU/Commercial maratime freqs.
Rig loafs at mil spc clean 125W-150W PEP/CW.

The IF gain acts as smart RF gain control. The AGC tells the CPU the real time signal strength. The CPU then through a D/a gives a control voltage to not only lower the IF gain, but also will protect the first mixer from overload

Before you say DSP, its not. IT is digitaly optimised
analoge.

This radio is a bargain at $1200
 
RE: Greenies  
by K4JSR on March 31, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I still like my Alinco DX-70TD, even if it ain't green!!!


 
RE: Greenies  
by WA2JJH on April 1, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
K4JSR, your closer than you think. As long as you avoid mil freqs and 60M

Slap the rig into a 19" rack mount. On the mount you will
have enough room for an external audio and the all important FRONT MOUNTED SPEAKER DRIVEN BY 5 WATT audio amp. The larger front mounted speaker is the secret to some commercial radio's :)

You think this is an April fools joke, well?
Give many Swiss Army Knief Radio's a better audio ouput chip and a front mounted speaker....you would be amazed!!
Add in the same rack a decent SWR/PWR meter. Put plastic over the rig and buy your self some JEEP-GREEN
spray paint! Perhaps hire a graffiti artist to paint it
better!!!!

Believe it or not, Drake did sell the R-8 in a rack mount config. The R-8 is no better thn todays transceivers!!!!

Pay Alinco $1000 royalty for your upgrade:)
 
RE: PRC-2000  
by WA2JJH on April 1, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
That compressed sideband modulation scheme is not that new.

When you mix as you know you get the sum and the difference of the products.

One scheme/scam for the partial reduction of 220mhz was a modulation scheme pitched by UPS.

Indeed the mofified SSB signal transmitted to 1.5 khz. A subaudable pilot tone locked the transceivers,so no RIT was needed. At the rx end a sample of audio above 1kc was doubled to 2kc.
The 1.5KC and the 2kc doubled sampe were added together.

The Result after some further processing gave clear
voice with a 2.5kc sounding audio. The pilot tone locked each transceivers center. No carifier and 2.5kc channel like operation. It never took off.

In your PRC only 1.5KC is speech processed. that is the bulk of the demoded audio. They then double a small sample of the processed 1.5kc spectra to 3kc.
Only a small segment of the doubled audio is used.
The doubled audio is added in phase with the processed
1.5kc SSB.

One can get very clear 2.1-3kc audio. I am sure they use a low pass op amp filter to make the audio passband
a good sounding less than 2.4kc wide SSB signal to be amplified to 20W.

Another audio trick and a step closer NBSSB.
 
RE: PRC-2000  
by WA6BFH on April 2, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hey JJH, what do you mean NBssb? Do you mean like amplitude compandored side-band?
 
Manpack issues  
by KA4KOE on April 2, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
One has to balance the need for a manpack versus its repairability. Fortunately, the good ones are built to last, being military, and with a measure of care and luck, should last for years. Particularly, the PRC-104s seem almost indestructible. A friend has one that looks like hell as it was dragged through the surf by Navy Seals (true-no kidding).

Parts can be a problem. The 1099s are still servicible by the manufacturer.

Hopefully, if repair is needed, the components won't be manufactured from the rare earth element Unobtainium 000 (right before H on the Periodic Table of the Elements).

Philip
 
RE: Manpack issues  
by K4JSR on April 3, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Philip sez, "Hopefully, if repair is needed, the components won't be manufactured from the rare earth element Unobtainium 000 (right before H on the Periodic Table of the Elements)."

That, sir, is what is meant by getting the "Greenie
Weenie"!


 
RE: PRC-2000  
by WA2JJH on April 3, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
BFH, NBSSB is what narrow band single sideband.
The FCC had a proposal to squeeze SSB down to 1.5khz
The same proposal was to squeeze FM down to 2.5KHZ deviation.

Both are do-able now. However many opponants say it would cause operator fatique.

What you are talking about,I do not have a clue!
ENLIGHTEN ME PLEASE

73 MIKE
 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on April 3, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
iS JAPNESIUM on the metalliod part of the periodic table?

The properties of JAPNESIUM are metalic in finish
Polymer plastic in ductability and durability.

Japnesium are the outer case of many cheaper stereo goods! Many ham rigs have JAPNESIUM control knobs
 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on April 3, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
iS JAPNESIUM on the metalliod part of the periodic table?

The properties of JAPNESIUM are metalic in finish
Polymer plastic in ductability and durability.

Japnesium are the outer case of many cheaper stereo goods! Many ham rigs have JAPNESIUM control knobs
 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on April 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
fEELEPE! I just love the BS story you gave your wife!
You convinced her in case of a massive flood or storm the PRC was only for emergency use!!!!

2000 bux later seems like the PRC is you main rig!
Just some kidding amonst friends.

Actually these radio's can be fixed by the average ham.

I also thought direct conversion was poor mans superhet.

Shoot me over a schematic.

If you want mil spec. that is current tech, you can spend $90,000 for the Motorola M500 HF rig.
 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on April 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
fEELEPE! I just love the BS story you gave your wife!
You convinced her in case of a massive flood or storm the PRC was only for emergency use!!!!

2000 bux later seems like the PRC is you main rig!
Just some kidding amonst friends.

Actually these radio's can be fixed by the average ham.

I also thought direct conversion was poor mans superhet.

Shoot me over a schematic.

If you want mil spec. that is current tech, you can spend $90,000 for the Motorola M500 HF rig.
 
To Bruce KB1IIW  
by KA4KOE on April 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Your email address is bouncing----here is my response

A great rig is the ICOM 718. Its only about 500 bux. Does all you need it to do, HF only. But it does not have an internal tuner. In the used market, the best you can get is a Kenwood TS-850Sat. Fabulous receiver. Of course, if you don't mind vacuum tubes, a nice TS-830S Kenwood is a winner.

Now, if you want a DO IT ALL rig, look into a new Yaesu FT-857 or FT-897. Icoms are too expensive right now, since the replacement for the IC-706 MK2g is coming out at Dayton.

73

PHILIP
 
Greenies  
by K0HB on April 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry to rain on this parade, but I spent 21 years in uniform operating your "greenies". Lot of great rigs for that job, but not a single one of them worth lugging home to the ham shack.

For the guy(s) singing the praises of the TCS, you obviously never had to communicate "in anger" --- if you did, the TCS was the LAST piece of crap you'd want to deal with.

73, de Hans, K0HB
Master Chief Radioman, US Navy




 
RE: Greenies  
by KA4KOE on April 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Rain is good in the spring. It makes the flowers bloom so purdy!
 
RE: Greenies  
by K3UOD on April 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

"For the guy(s) singing the praises of the TCS, you obviously never had to communicate "in anger" --- if you did, the TCS was the LAST piece of crap you'd want to deal with."

Hi Master Chief,

I just said that it was "neat". By that, I meant by WWII standards. I played with the receiver for a while, never got the transmitter working (didn't try very hard). It was given to me to play with. I never considered it as a serious ham rig. I don't know what it's tactical shortcomings were.

When I had to communicate "in anger", I used sound-powered phones. :)

73,
Jerry Golabowski, FCC(SW), USNR RET

 
RE: Greenies  
by K4JSR on April 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hans and Jerry, first thank you for serving our country. I for one appreciate your service. But I must say that of my many friends who are active military (My son included) or are veterans usually communicate their anger with the middle finger of their hand! :-D
Sorry! That was just too juicy to pass up!
73 and God bless our troops and our veterans.
Cal K4JSR
 
Green with Frustration  
by KA4KOE on April 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I communicate in anger every time my puny PRC-2000 20watt signal is stomped on by some LID who is all signal and no ears.

Sheesh. Guess I should write alittle more on my Coulomb DED article.

PHILILILILILILILIP
 
Mikee is Green with Envy  
by KA4KOE on April 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES:

Mikee (WA2JJH), one of my three bestest ham radio buddies in the entire world, took the plunge today and purchased a Racal Syncal 931 for a whole lot less than yours truly plunked down for his manpack.

I guess he just couldn't stand the thought that I may have a radio neater than any in his collection, or maybe he's just lost his mind like I did a long long time ago and far far away.

"They're coming to take me away, ha ha, the coming to take me away!!!"

PHILILILILILILILP
 
RE: Mikee is Green with Envy  
by WA2JJH on April 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
philip,nYUP. The late 1970's Vintage Greenie was at a
bargain price on EBAY.

The price stood at$250. I just knew it was to good to be true. I used an auction snipe program for $1000.

Sure enough tons of late bidders made the price climb.
I paid $700. It is a decade older than yours. Same features. I got a many expensive acc's for free.

OK, here is a good justification. Wearing 25lbs while QSOing, will get one in shape. Simply tell you wife or girlfriend, you have taken up power hiking!

Too all ret. or active MOS, please do not take offense that we buy PRC's to play soldier boy or G.I.
Shmoe.

I like to study the electronics that out performs todays rigs! PRC's lend themselfs to easy access to the electronics.

The other reason is to Hike, QSO, with 25lbs is good exercise. I also like the solid construction.

I can see why most PRC radios have a large dynamic range speech proc. I can see a harried LT. yelling in coordinates. For Covert ops, a whisper hs to be heard.

My radio has a very unusual history. It is RACAL made for the Brits. They sold them to Saddam Houssans
army.

They were used in both wars with Iraq by Iraqi soldiers.

WE DO NOT MOCK THE ARMED SERVICES. OUR USE OF THESE RADIO'S IS FOR COLLECTOR VALUE. Rather then these radio's being available like AK-47's to future foes, these radio's are sold back to US AND BRITISH TAXPAYERS!(:

I HAVE FRIENDS AND FMILY THAT ARE MOS. They nver get their hands on freq. hopping,BYTE,ALE, and real nice RACAL PRC's
 
RE: Mikee is Green with Envy  
by KA4KOE on April 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Did you get an antenna? You will need a shock mount and an AT-271. Your thread is probably 3/8 x 24, fine for the antenna whip connector, since its British, like mine. I think the correct number for the shock mount is an AB-129 type.
 
Mikee is Green with Envy  
by KC8VWM on April 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
His Racal has a built in autotuner.. I bet Mikee could hook up a sardine can and it would work fine..

(Mental note self: Auction sardine can as HF manpack antenna on eBay)

73 Charlie The Tuna - KC8VWM
 
Autotuners  
by KA4KOE on April 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Unfortunately, the autotuner in the PRC2000 is relatively narrow ranged and is designed to only tune the 2.4m sectional whip, which it does superbly. I have since purchased an SG211 mini-autotuner. Seems to be a neat little box. I'll let you know my results as soon as I get my potable (portable?) antenna built.

Flippit
 
RE: Green packs, love em or hate em  
by KD5SJE on April 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Great article, and fun reading the responses.
Green radios seem to be an either love em or hate em thing. I just have way to much fun with green packsets. I like to get out in the Ozark hills and hike with a radio as often as I can. This gets me out in the fresh air,keeps my middle age body trim,and I always get a kick out of contacts with someone that has never heard of pedestrian mobile ops, much less with a military packset.
Yep,the PRC-104(one of my favorite radios)is very hard to get spare modules for and the IC's are unubtainium. I had one PRC-104 that looked like the Navy SEAL team left it in salty bilge water for a year, then cleaned it up by tying a rope to it and using it as a weight for jogging practice, by dragging it down the beach over and over.The hardware was rusty,much of the paint was gone.It worked perfectly!!!spot on frequency and full 20 watt output.
I recently got a Prototype PRC-104 that came from the Hughes company plant in CA when it closed.It was a factory demo unit that had sat on a shelf for 20 years, was bought by a fellow who put it in a box in the garage for another ten years, said it didn't work, receiver self osscilated badly.I cleaned the tiny internal coax connectors between the modules inside, fired right up, on freq,full power out, and good audio, both RX and TX.
They may be hard to fix or find spares for, but like Dave said, when you have one that works its seems to just keep working.I love my FT-897, great radio! But I can't drop it in the water. I like to play kayak mobile,I could swamp my kayak, roll it over, bail it out and then call for help with my strapped in PRC-104.
My " made in Japn" portable radio has some extra features I really like,it gets used,in the shack and traveling.But when I need waterproof,simple, and want to be able to load up anything metal, with an all in one box radio, its the PRC-104 I grab. Then there is the PRC-132 Special ops. rig, thats a whole nother story and also way too much FUN!

Keep up the good work Fileeep

Cheers,
John Cook
k6ero
www.muttmotorpool.com

 
RE: Green packs, love em or hate em  
by KA4KOE on April 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks John.

I am seriously thinking about retitling, rewriting, and regurgitating this article, and submitting it to QST.

P
 
RE: Green packs, love em or hate em  
by WA6BFH on April 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Philip, You shouldn't do that! Publish it in a Ham magazine that will appreciate it!


Hmmmm, I guess Ham Radio magazine bit the dust huh?

Well, when you only have a half-dozen Ham's in the country who can understand Ham radio, what are you to do?

That oughta stoke the coal's! Guess I'll go get a beer, and wait for things to warm up!
 
RE: Green packs, love em or hate em  
by NS6Y_ on April 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KOE do it!! I'll vote in the monthly poll for it, you might get one of those 10lb ARRL plaques out of it, apparently they give one out each month, based on a poll on their web site people vote in, for their favorite article in QST each month. Doesn't have to be the article that makes the cover, just has to be ppl's fave. Remember the folks at QST like accurate web addresses, book titles, etc for references or where readers can go to find out more.
 
RE: Green packs, love em or hate em  
by WA6BFH on April 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe I will get a Big Mac, or a FiletO'Fish to go with that beer!
 
RE: Autotuners  
by K4JSR on April 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Fliperty-Jibbet sed, " I'll let you know my results as soon as I get my potable (portable?) antenna built."

Your potable antenna will be a beer can vertical, of
course. I volunteer to help empty the beer cans.
After all, even an OF needs SUDStenance!!!

John, BFH, don't you go downgrading the ARRL.
I have a life membership and refuse to go SK until I
have wrung out every last Que Street from them!!!

BEER! MORE BEER!

73 and a gleefully uncouth belch from the world famous Forget-Me-Not Rest QTH and OF Center of the
(Don't Panic.)Universe.

 
RE: Autotuners  
by KA4KOE on April 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Cal,

You've been AWOL from the retirement home so much that you need one o' dem electronical leg irons. They tell me that the TVI from your homebrew spark transmitter is so bad they can't watch Lawrence Welk in the evenings. Don't even get me started on the legion of complaints about you spoiling appetites at din din time with your astounding lack of skill in the personal hygiene department.

HI GENE!!! Goodbye Jeans (PFIISSSSSSSSSSST, KERSPLAT!!!!)

Yuck yuck. I make myself laugh too much.

Feeel-up
 
Greenies  
by VE7YJA on April 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I dunno about manpacks, but I've been lucky enough (Especially for a young'n 17- year old like myself) to grab ahold of a beutiful ARC-5 (Actually a BC-455) variety receiver. It appears to be NOS, and the paint doesn't even have dust! I'm in the process of building a power supply and control box, and eventually, purchasing the dynamotor.
 
RE: Greenies  
by WA6BFH on April 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Well, it seems like the commentary on the last few articles has settled down to a dull roar.

I guess I will have to write something!
 
RE: Greenies  
by KA4KOE on April 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Usually, after a few days of comments on the dead articles, we settle down to limerick contests, in which Cal usually wins. I am surprised he hasn't started in on this one.

PHILIP
 
RE: Greenies  
by WA6BFH on April 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, I see! Its too late though, woops I did it again!
 
RE: Autotuners  
by K4JSR on April 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
In days of olde
when eHams were bold
and thread posters not so particular
we ate pickled eggs and drank lotsa beer
and belched loudly at flames
trying not to gross out the dames
and aimed for points that were venticular

There once was a ham named Beanie
who operated on the air with a greenie
He tried to cook a hotdog on the antenna
but got himself fried instead and then declared DED
And he will always remain a KOE BEANIE WEENIE

There once was an Olde Fart named Bart
who loved to flame young squirts apart
No one could ruffle his hair
because on top of his head
there was no hair
and he had a huge 6 inch wide part.

There once was a young squirt on eHam
who took old farts and gave their postings a slam
even though the vitriol was a sham
Their posting are now filtered
thanks to a company named FRAM.

There was an old fart from Madras
who operated mobile while sitting on his ass
It was not split and ugly as you may think--
But was gray, had long ears...
AND ATE GRASS!

Feel ep, that is what you get for saying that I am off my rocker!

Your turn, KC8VWM...
Then WA2JJH...
Then???
 
Greenies  
by KG6UTS on April 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Take a look at: http://www.syzen.com/milradio/, we will be meeting again in May.

Ed (who likes TCS sets anyway and has a pet SRT-15)
 
RE: Autotuners  
by WA6BFH on April 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Cal, Hows this?

How Does My Antenna Work,
and What is its Radiation Efficiency

Ham’s love to try different antennas, and play around with them all. They will string all sorts of wires around there homes large and small. They might put them up in the attic, or string them from trees. Some will opt for more modest antennas and get a tall tower, and others will disgiuse their antennas to look like a flower! But how do these antennas work, what makes one better than another? Can the answer be determined by study and ardor? I think so!

 
RE: Autotuners  
by K4JSR on April 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
John, in over fifty years, off and on, of ham radio,
I studied antennas to the point of paralysis by analysis. I wanted "THE BEST" and would not settle for less. No compromises for this old fat boy!
This attitude from a guy who taught ham classes for
over 6 years, gave over 1.0k Novice exams and yadda, yadda, yadda.
I finally took my own advice and put up a a 135 dipole
fed with 450 Ohm stuff. Use the antenna from 160 to 6
meters. If I hear 'em, I can work 'em! I don't worry
about near field, far field, normalized impedances,
Smith charts (A bane to trifocal wearers!), conjugate
matches, cloud warming or 3dB points.
The relief has been phenomenal and a blessing. I quit worrying and started having fun!
Today I worked PJ2/K9SG with 15 watts on that antenna.
Most of the folks who got good reports were using low power and marginal antennas.
I am not saying that hams should quit experimenting or learning all they can about antennas, just don't
let scholarly pursuits kill your fun in making QSOs.
I am still looking for just the right beer can pop-top
to make my infinite gain 160 thru gamma ray isotropic
radiator perfect. You gotta empty a lot of beer cans
to find just the right one! Long live 807s!!!!
BUUUUUUURP! And 73, Cal K4JSR
Say, don't auto tuners usually work in an automotive
shop?
 
RE: Autotuners  
by WA6BFH on April 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Cal, let me move to a more serious side of the discussion, for a bit!

While your nice long dipole, fed with low velocity ladder-line will load Ok, I would not bet your chances for working very much 6 Meter DX with it!

Give me a nice pair of beams (vertically polarized Caity) up at least 1.5 wavelengths, and fed with Belden RG-213, and I will flatten your 807's for ya IMNTBHO!

73! I'm gonna watch PBS now. They have a program on about the first Trans-Atlantic Cable -- perhaps a good Ded topic! de John
 
RE: Autotuners  
by WA6BFH on April 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Roses are red, and radios are green. If I drink any more beer, I may need a new spleen!
 
RE: Autotuners  
by WA6BFH on April 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Mollusks are slimy, and some ham’s are to.

Roses are red, and violets are blue.

Solutions are transient; do you think that’s true?

If you’re a slug, then I’ve got salt for you!
 
Slugs N Salt  
by KA4KOE on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Bravo!! Cal, his last made me laugh!!
 
DED  
by KA4KOE on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
There once was a man named Ohm,
Who had guests that wouldn't go home.

So he wired up their dinner chairs,
And electrified their derrieres.

Now its just Georgy and the dog all alone!
 
RE: Slugs N Salt  
by K4JSR on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
John said, "Give me a nice pair of beams (vertically polarized Caity) up at least 1.5 wavelengths, and fed with Belden RG-213, and I will flatten your 807's for ya IMNTBHO!"
What makes you think that I would not prefer a perfect antenna? Some of us retired OFs are not wealthy and simply don't have the bux. *GIVE* me those pair of beams, too. The operative word being
"give".
The point of my posting was that you should not let not having BFH's definition of a decent antenna stand in your way of having fun on the air.
Like I said, "If I hear them I can work them". However, I do have a 3 element 6 meter Yagi going up on my roof in the near future. As far as a tower goes, I have 110 ft of Rohn 25 with all the fixin's sitting in my basement.
It will not be going up at this QTH as I am looking for my street to be over run by commercial interests
in the near future. In real life I would like my QTH
to look like the QTH of PJ2T!!! :-D Oh, YEAH!!!

John, just do not use salt on your Bird 43 slugs!!!
Philip, if you wish to do away with garden slugs
try beer. I am serious. Cheap beer in those little
4" pie tins will do away with slugs! Just fill the
tins to near the top rim, place the tins in your garden or yard where the slugs congregate. In the
morning you will find bunches of happy and dead slugs in those pans! Repeat until you no longer find any
more slugs. Save your Guiness---Slugs ain't got no
class!
By the way, do you guys know what a slug's favorite song is? "Happy Trails To You..."

Now you children go and play nicely, ya heah?

 
RE: Slugs N Salt  
by NS6Y_ on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
JSR you'd better put that tower up and all the antennas you can, so they'll be "grandfathered" in when Starbucks etc invades your neighborhood.

Unless you're planning to sell and move, in which case, nevermind.
 
RE: Slugs N Salt  
by WA6BFH on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
JSR, Damn, 110 feet? That'Ol 3 element beam will be real sweet (even horizontal {pssst don't tell Caity I said that})!

Use real good coax though, SERIOUSLY!

73, 807's all around!
PS
Beer for slug's (ham's or otherwise)? Hell with that! I'll bury'em in salt first (although after pro-longed converstaions with Caity {or Alex} I do tend to leave half empty bottles sitting about}!
 
RE: Slugs N Salt  
by K4JSR on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Alex, moving out when the price is right is the plan.
I am an OF enough to capitalize on the one time
capital gains (windfall) loophole. With the profits I may put up a nice telescoping tower at the new place--
Complete with a SteppIR 160 to Blue light 20 element
monster. I could then point it at BFH and give him
a good RF tan! :-D (Wear your thong Speedo, John!)
Then point the thing at KA4KOE after eating garlic and
pickled eggs!!!! Sorry! Just having another "senior moment"! :-D
I also want to have enough room at my new place to put up a Haddon Fish Bone antenna. It is supposed to have more gain per acre than a mere Rhombic.
Philip, after you kill all of your slugs off, I'll bring you some nice Kudzu sprigs to plant around your antennas to help "greenie" them up a bit!
Be ready to choke down some raw oysters and beer in
a little over 3 weeks!

73, Cal K4JSR
 
RE: Slugs N Salt  
by K4JSR on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, by the way, Alex--
Starbucks Coffee is too weak for us around here.
More than 10 cups per pound of coffee is a waste of
water. When we want high octane jitter juice, we *WANT* to jitter after drinking it!
I like to dice my left over coffee into cubes and
chew it. HAW! Those Bozos who tailgate me on freeway
learn to back off in a hurry! They must think I
chew tobacco! ;-P (Which is another good way to get rid of worms!)
 
Raw Oysters = Lingering Death  
by KA4KOE on April 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
You don't eat raw oysters around here unless you're bucking for a good case of hepatitis or whatever it is that is nasty. I like mine steamed in a crocker sack over a far in the backyard.

However, I do know of a GOOD sushi restaurant here. Love my bait!!

PHILIP
 
RE: Kids Radio Names  
by KX4TT on April 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Do you call it Kenny because it's a Kenwood or because it dies every week like Kenny in South Park???

73 de N4MVL Lee
 
RE: Kids Radio Names  
by KA4KOE on April 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The former.
 
Landru  
by KA4KOE on April 29, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This article chat is complete. It is the will of Landru.
 
Greenies  
by K9CTB on August 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Very nice article, Phil. I was always one of those guys who thought "Gee, those radios sure are cool" and that's as far as it ever went. I have seen quite a few "backpacking rig" articles in some of the ham magazines lately. Apparently, quite a few middle-agers are hauling their carcass and a PRC-xxx around the back hills. I hope it really does catch on!
73 de neil
(K9CTB)
 
RE: Greenies  
by KL7IPV on October 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
A fun read!! Reminds me of the mil (Navy) radio I had in the 60s. It was a true boat anchor. The Navy called it the TCK-7 transmitter. It had a crystal oven and two 807s AND two 814s. It weighed in at over 100# and was on wheels. I am sure it was NOT the forerunner of todays manpacks. Had huge relays to turn on and kick in the transmitter and turn off the receiver and a six inch rotary tuner with a huge capacitor to tune anything from a one foot wire to infinity!! The output was 1600 watts AM only. Sadly, when I had to move north, it stayed with a ham friend in Pomona (Jerry). I often wonder where it finally went when it became a "parts heaven". You gotta love the old stuff! Even if they weren't "green".
73,
Frank
KL7IPV
 
Greenies  
by WA2JJH on April 15, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
PHILPIE!!!!!!!!

FALCON-5 OR BUST!
 
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