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Reviews For: PRC-320

Category: Transmitters: non-amateur adaptable for ham use

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Review Summary For : PRC-320
Reviews: 13MSRP: 475
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
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
E78CB Rating: 2023-09-16
Good rig Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
One more good military guy from Plessey England. Mine was PRC-320L, surplus from Yugoslav People Army (JNA). Was much better for band scanning than PRC-515 (RU-20). Sharp 250 Hz CW filter and 30 W but I couldn't afford to keep it as rarely used so sold at the end.. also, it had only LSB telephony.
VK2JCC Rating: 2018-12-14
Best rig I have used for portable use Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
For a long time I had been reading about all types of military radios and keep an eye out for something suitable for myself.

I was unsure about taking on WW 2 valve units to restore and when I saw the PRC 320 Clansman decided I would try and purchase one.
They are well documented on the internet and have found 320 owners very friendly and full of helpful hints and advice.

The rig is all solid state puts out 3 and 30 watts. LSB conversion needs to be completed if you wish to work on the lower bands.Kits are available for this form the UK.

The replacement of the power supply caps and synthesizer caps was easy and necessary.

I have used a number of rigs including the FT817 and other small home brew qrp radios in the field, but nothing replaces the fun of unpacking the PRC 320 Clansman in a park and watch the crowds mill around to take a look.

The battery was new old stock and seems to last forever!

I was able to buy a full kit ( radio , backpack, battle whip,battery,goose neck, telephone handset, headset and boom microphone) and chased up a Morse key as a separate purchase.

I use a 10 m squid pole 20m half wave vertical wire and impedance matching unit.

Amazing results with this antenna.
Audio reports are described as "punchy".

Its bloody heavy, rugged, waterproof and operates well.

It takes a bit to learn how to use it and scanning around is done by rotating switches to dial a frequency.After a while you get to know the frequencies to scan.

Suppliers in the UK really have some very fancy prices as they become scarce.

Living in VK meant the freight charge was going to be high from the UK, but well worth it and the two week wait.

When you call "CQ Man pack portable", operators seem to come out of the wood work.

If the PRC 320 Clansman is what you would like ,I can only suggest go for it.

I rate it a strong 5!

F4GNY Rating: 2017-05-26
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: 2016-10-02
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: 2016-05-07
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: 2015-11-29
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: 2015-01-18
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: 2011-11-16
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: 2011-10-28
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: 2011-08-04
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.