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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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PE1RLN Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2008 01:49 Send this review to a friend
This is what you want  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you are looking for a radio with good performance to carry on your back, continue reading.

This radio weighs about 10kg and can be mounted on a carrying frame or in a backpack, both original and commonly available. It is being powered by a NiCd battery or an external 24V powersupply. A hand crank generator is also available to charge the battery during receive. On top of it you can mount a whip antenna of about 3m or you can use the wire terminals for a dipole or end-fed antenna. The internal tuner works for these terminals. When using the BNC outlet, the tuner is disabled.

When I bought this radio (about 600,-/ $ 700) I was looking for a portable HF radio that was really portable. The FT-817 requires an extra antenna, a tuner and also a battery. The FT-897 idem. The set-up time had to be short and it would have to be possible to use the radio while walking around. The PRC-320 seemed to be the only available radio to do all that.

What makes this radio so great?

1. unpack, power up, tune and go. When I got this radio, I took it out of the shippingbox, turned it on on 20m, looked for a QSO and made a contact over 1000km (PA-IE). Whenever you hear a station, you can work it.

2. works both as portable and base station. When you are walking around with the 3m whip, you can make contacts over 1500km. If you have a good antenna set up, you can work the whole world with only 20w. An external 24V supply is not necessary but it is quite handy

3. search the bands. It doesn't have a VFO knob to turn over the band. However, you can switch by 1 kHz or even 100Hz if you want and with a little practice, you can search the band just as easy as with a HAM rig.

4. long lasting battery. The battery is big but it also means that it lasts very long. The powerconsumption is low.

5. wide coverage. The PRC-320 goes from 80m to 10m so it covers the entire HF. Unfortunately it doesn't have 6m but then you'd better buy an IC-7200 for that.

The only complaint you may have is that LSB is not standard (unless you have the LSB version, then USB isn't in it) so you have to do the mod which is quite easy.
Changing frequency has to be done with rotaryswitches so you will have to practice to "scan" manually.

This radio is rugged, waterproof, stable and performs very good.
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