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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Commercial/Military/Marine adaptable to ham use | PRC-320 Help

Reviews Summary for PRC-320
PRC-320 Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $475
Description: HF 1.8 - 30 MHz radio with CW, USB, AM and after modification also LSB with 20W power, built-in manual tuner.
Product is not in production.
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F4GNY Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2017 12:17 Send this review to a friend
Great rig !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Tested plenty others manpack and this one is close to perfect. Strong, water tight, nice RX, plenty of
accessories, affordable price, cool tuner that allow
numerous antennas combination, galvanometer to check whats power goes out.
Drawback : the internal PSU, need to replace tentalum caps asap to avoid any trouble.
Not the easiest rig to manipulate but when you have understand it, its a pleasure.
AK4YH Rating: 4/5 Oct 2, 2016 15:37 Send this review to a friend
Out of this world ruggedness.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The RT-320 almost feels like it was built on another planet. Nothing to do with amateur or commercial gear. You could probably run over it with an SUV without causing any damage. The weight, though not prohibitive isn't light. It isn't a trekking radio by today's standards. Tuning is a pain, we all know that.. The age of the components is starting to be a problem. All that said, I would not trade mine for anything! The ruggedness is incredible. I made a video:
I'll probably get a second one as a backup!
2M0LDT Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2016 09:17 Send this review to a friend
good fun  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
OK it may noT be the easier radio to operate, but its great fun, its heavy, but on its backpack frame, perfectly manageable, batteries last for about 7 hours !, and plenty ancillaries to keep you interested,
the hand crank is a hoot :)
great if you go camping with it, no need to worry about running out of power,

its very rugged, i dropped mine down a mountainside into a deep river, fished it out its was still receiving fine lol

my advice ? get one !, i got one with LSB and USB, hidden mod, no holes drilled, ( WATER TIGHT) uses the battery check switch for LSB definitely the BEST choice !
ZL1CVD Rating: 4/5 Nov 29, 2015 20:47 Send this review to a friend
To think military forces used these!?  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned and or used PRC-104, PRC-515, PRC-174, SE-6861 & RT-320. The RT-320 is a real clunker. Sure it works OK and has the advantage of a meter that can be modded to resemble a s-meter. But it uses the Plessey SL600 series IC's which will become an issue as time goes on and replacements dry up. More problems with these rigs, as I see it is: 1 - when will the PSU fail. 2 - when will the turret contacts fail. When comparing it to other military rigs I have been exposed to, I just feel internally construction is a mess and hard to service and so many of them need servicing.
But, having said all this, when they work, they work well. Sensitive enough, good punchy audio even if the manual ATU can be finicky. You have to take your hat off to the British government for releasing them to the public when so many other countries simply crush their superseded gear. This is one of those rigs that should get a few new hams on the air - for that, it deserves a higher than average mark.
KH6VP Rating: 4/5 Jan 18, 2015 23:55 Send this review to a friend
Great manpack radio, a little on the heavy side  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this radio, including all the accessories from a ham in Berlin. It came with an unusable battery (filled with hardened foam material), ground plane, many mikes and code key, a hand crank generator and antenna.
Although it looks a little on the worn side, it works very well.
I removed the batteries from the pack (which required cutting panels from both top and bottoms of the battery pack), and replaced them with Radio Control car batteries giving 25.2V capacity @ 5A, more than the original.
The radio came with its own backpack and a whip antenna.
Tuning is via knobs (down to .1KHz), and the tuning is based on audible signals, and watching a little meter for maximum output. Real easy. Why can't ham radios do this as well?
All in all very happy with it.
This particular radio saw service in the Falklands war.
KA4KOE Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2011 05:22 Send this review to a friend
Niche radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For what it is, the UK/RT320 is a great piece of radio kit. They are now no longer as plentiful as they were when the British MOD was blowing them out the door, literally by the pallet load, in their changeover to the new Bowman (similar to Harris Falcon 3 series) radios. If you want one, get one NOW.

The 320 is a utilitarian, "get the job done", military radio. The internal tuner is manual and optimized for particular dipoles and wire lengths. A metal silk screened legend for use of the tuner is attached to the side of the radio.

For those who are less than hard core, the LSB mod is highly recommended for use below 10 MHz.

If you like a lot of knob turning, switch "switching", style green radio, then the UK/RT320 may be for you.

I highly recommend you join the PRC320 Yahoo Group and do your research prior to obtaining one.

I like mine!

Philip Neidlinger KA4KOE
26TM119 Rating: 4/5 Oct 28, 2011 15:34 Send this review to a friend
prc 320  Time owned: more than 12 months
it is a clunky awkward bugger,but if you are not scanning and using set frequencies its bloody stable.i use the afv headphones with the noise cancelling mike/earpieces and the tx/rx audio quality is superb.i use it mainly up hills with various long wires and homebrew antennas and it just deals with it come rain or shine.i do have other radios but this keeps coming out to play!
KB3WBE Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2011 14:14 Send this review to a friend
Great for what it is  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
For what it is, the PRC 320 is an excellent rig. It is NOT a sit at home 100 watt rig. It is for people that like to be outdoors and are willing to put up with inconvenience.

Tuning is a bit of a pain, but setting up is a breeze. The battery lasts a while and can be kept charged with a hand generator.

I am a new ham and this rig is why I got into ham radio. I like to just take this little rig and set it up anywhere using the wire antenna kit, the mast kit or just the whip.

Set it up at the family barbecue and let the kids spin the generator, take it to a hilltop or simply throw the wire antenna bobbin over a tree on the edge of the Wally World parking lot, light it off and go to town.

For the serious at-home big rig ham this is NOT the rig you want, but if you are looking for a manpack rig for fairly short money this is the way to go.

Yes, it is a bit on the primitive side and yes there is newer technology out there, but this little rig is just plain fun.

GD7JWR Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2009 04:27 Send this review to a friend
great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
i have several of these man packs and they are a true military radio and great to use, the reciever is very good and if you can here a station you can work them, i also have the 100w matching linear.
G7IDJ Rating: 3/5 Apr 5, 2009 01:55 Send this review to a friend
Interesting radio but with drawbacks  Time owned: more than 12 months
The PRC 320 is indeed an interesting radio. I bought it with a lot of accessories for about 500.
Good things:
- it is sturdy
- can catch a bullet without suffering any internal damage.
- easy to use and operate
- has an internal antenna tuner
- ideal for portable QRP work when you don't to have to worry about the weather
- these radios seem to be indestructable but I am sure with the right person even these radios will suffer a certain death

- audio quality is not too good
- very heavy for what it is but then it is made for the military for rugged conditions with 80ies technology
- no LSB for 10MHz and below
- 28V necessary to operate the radio hence you need two car batteries or use the batteries which come with the radio
- tuning is a nightmare if you want to scan the band, the buttons are very heavy to turn and you would have one for each range i.e. 100Hz, 1kHz, 10kHz, 100kHz, 1MHz steps

I would not use them as a main radio and for the price you can get a a fully fletched HF radio with state of the art technology - still I did get it with all accessories i.e. backpack, antennas, hand generator, spare battery, 12V charging unit etc.
It certainly is a looker and it will generate more interest if you turn up with the radio on Field Day.
The technology is a bit obsolete and I would wished that they would have thumbwheels or a different method to select the frequency which is somewhat easier then again in a military context you would just choose the frequency and operate on would normally not scan the band for random contacts.
The batteries last a reasonably long time and it doesn't look to be too difficult to re-cell them.

As a first or main radio - by something more conventional and modern
To have a bit of fun on the side and use something for the outside...bearing in mind that the weight of radio is not something you would lug about for long trecks easily...this radio is ideal but it comes at a price.

I only give it a 3 in the rating due to the obsolete technology, the way the frequency is chosen, poor audio and the lack of LSB for 40m and 80m operation. I am sure your fellow hams will not be too excited if you operate in USB on 40 and 80m.


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