Established June 8, 2006

RichardSJohnson.net        Updated 19 May 2015

 

Military comm gear collecting is a hobby of mine. Its a little strange how I got started in it, but I guess it fit me well becuase I was always facinated by CBs when I was a kid and an avid CBer as I got into highschool and got a car.  Back in the day before cellphones existed, we all had CBs.  It helped that we watched the "Dukes of Hazard" growing up too.

Any way, the information I have here is just a bit on each item I have listed from my collection. There is so much more information available other places on the net on each item that I am not going to put much here. Just some pictures of the fun stuff that I do.

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HAM Radio Field Day '08

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Making contacts on Field Day.

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This man is a Medal of Honor recipiant.  He was a Corman in Nam and was awarded the medal because he threw himself on a grenade to protect the two men he was bandaging.  It didnt go off so he rolled over and threw it back, it went off after it hit the ground.  He really liked my impression from my display at the Pomona Miltary collectors show and he had to get his picture taken with me.  My display is in the background.  I also won first place in the uniform contest there.

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This is how I originally had the GRC-193a set up in my shelter.  It looked really odd in the double stack mount on the top shelf of my shelter, there was soo much extra room on each side of it.  I opted  to switch to the side by side mount for accessability and to use up the space.  If I get another radio that I want I may eventually go back to the double stack to make the room.

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This is my M-37 with the 32ft AT-1011 HF antenna on top. This was taken at the MRCG meet at FT MacArthur in Nov. 2008. I was set up on top of the hill above the Coastal battery.

GRC-193 TMs

HF AT-1011 Bases

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This is the current "Top Shelf" of my shelter, my HF radio.  A GRC-193A in the rare side by side mount.  Quite impressive as it sits about 200 pounds of green radio. The RT-1209A is the Radio that powers the whole set up, basically an HF back pack radio (PRC-104a)with the mobile 20w amp and antenna mount removed and installed in a huge ground mounted system.  Its 100w and 400w PEP selectable, 2-30Mhz, Upper or Lower Sideband or CW/Data and will also Tx/Rx RTTY if I so desire.

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This is my Chevy M1008a1 CUCV Army truck with the GRC-193 400watt HF set in the back.  The forward antenna is the 32ft verticle AT-1011

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Here I am operating our miliary radio collector net on 40m from the GRC-193 in the back of the CUCV. I was running off the truck power.  I also set up a dipole from the radio instead of the AT-1011.

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This is My PRC-25 base set up. It is powered by a regular 12v power supply. I use the RC-292 antenna below that is 35'above my house.

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Here is something interesting. This is a PRC-25 or 77 dupleplex unit. It powers two radios through the power/audio plug on the face of the radio by the antenna mount. It also routes the audio of both radios through the one handset plug on the front. Also it interconnects to a telephone switchboard. What it does is set up a duplex, two way radio station that transmitts on one (radio)channel and recieves on the other radio(channel). IT is brand new with the protective plastic cover over the data plate on top that has the scematic and directions how to set it up.
The unit can be powered by an external battery, 110 AC power, or hooked to a vehicle.
THe problem is that the DC to DC converter squeals pretty bad, and if you use the audio through the Duplex unit, the squeal bleeds over onto the audio. I havent tried using it for duplexing yet but may if I find somebody that can hookup with me.

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This is the RC-292 Antena that is on a pole above my house.

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This is my PRC-1077, made by Datron in Excondido CA. It is a solid state built in comsec radio that replaces the PRC-77. IT is full backwards compitable to equipment and frequencies. Notice that it has three power settings. .5w, 1w and 5w.
It is sitting on top of my other RT-524.

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Here are some of my collection of PRC-25s and 77s. Just came back from an event and havent packed them back up yet.

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Here are my hand held PRC-68As and PRC-126. With the battery charger. Very fun to use around large meets and other events when an FRS is handy, but with these you can still go GREEN!

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This is my PRC-174 HF pack. A product of Tadiran in Isriael.  It puts out 20w in AM, USB, LSB and CW.  I really like it accept that its pretty heavy, add with it the two 12v gell cells and its really heavy. 27 pounds. The red LEDs are showing my batteries are low. 

Fabricated Antenna mount base

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Here is the full view of ther radio. The mount on the side is where the whip antenna mounts on to. 

The PRC-174 is a very cool and now popular radio.  The orignal whip mount from Tadiran is made from unobtainium so this one was fabricated for me by the seller in Israel. It is made from heavy duty plastic and uses the base from a PRC-77 so that type of antenna can be used.  It has a magnet glued to it that trips a switch inside the radio telling it to change from the BNC cable plug on the front, over to the whip adapter output on the side.  The battery box is also home made.  The batteries for these radios clipped right onto the bottom of the radio, so there was no box to put a battery into.  This box is metal, but very crude and in no way water tight, but it does the job.  I would like to build a box that replicates the properties of the PRC-104 CY-7575 box, and use two of the "90" series batteries and also be able to charge them at the same time.  A small box that would simply hold 20 1.2V C cell Nicads would be really adventagous because it would be much lighter on an  allready heavy radio.  I reccomend this radio to any body getting into HF packing.  If you can deal with the weight which is a tad more than other out there, it is about half the price or less than the rest.  The cost today (2010) about 800 or so dollars US and more people are supporting them and lots of people are using them. When I first got mine a few years ago, I think I was the second person in the US to have one.

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My PRC-104B.  It has the CY7875 battery box that uses two of the "90" series batteries. I have two BB-590 Nicads in it. The box also has a charging plug on the side to charge the batteries while in the box and the radio is operating.

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A close up of the screen showing the menu I discoverd which inclueds 6 memory channels and scanning of those channels.
Below is the directions for loading preset frequencies into the memory, courtesy of Jim Karlow KA8TUR

Mempory loading PRC-104B

Bizzare mount for the PRC-104

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The front of the mount showing how the radio clips on to it.

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The back of the mount, showing that the battery clips on to it and powers the raido via the pass through plug in the bulkhead. Also, the plug has the screw holes to accept the standard external power adapter cable made for the PRC-104 so that the battery would not need to be used.

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Top view of the mount with the PRC-104 and the CY-7875 battery box. 

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Front view of the mount, if it were to be mounted on a shelf as standard miliary mounts are.  It would unfortunately hold the PRC-104 upside down, making me think that this is for mouting from the top, hanging from a ceiling like in a Tracked vehicle or aircraft or something.

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This view shows the radio right side up, and the top of the mount. Note how the clips on the front that hold the radio would also hold the mount to the ceiling or rack of whatever this thing attached to.  Note also the cleats in the rear, they face forward, not rearward.

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Here is the data plate tag from the mount. It is clearly made by Hughes for the PRC-104. After some thought, I think I may have figured out what this is for. It may not be a vehicle mount at all, it may be made to carry the C-11525 Frequency hopping controller that appears to be a good fit for the other side of this mount.  See the link to read all about the 104 and the C-11525.

Brooke Clark's site

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Scematic of the battery charger built into the PRC-104 battery box.  Debate rages on as to whether it is for the BB-490 Led acid or the BB-590 Nicad

 

 HF in a Rubicon Jeep Wrangler

URC-113 HF component of GRC-206

This radio is a RT-1209(A or B) from a Huges PRC-104 mounted into a single cradle power amplifier and antenna coupler manufactured by Collins Radio

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I built a radio shelf very much like in a military Jeep to hold the URC-113 cradle.

Underneath the shelf is a 12-24v inverter to run the raido since the Jeep is 12v and the radio requires 24v.

I ran 6 gauge wire from a circuit breaker at the battery back to the inverter and have to shut power off to the inverter when I am finished operating otherwise the inverter will continue to draw current even if the radio is off. 

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I currently use the 32ft AT-1011 anteann with this radio by utilizing a class III trailer hitch mount.  The antenna is conntected by a single wire lead coming from the radio.  Operating below 40 meters requires  me to attach a multi wire counterpoise to the radio chassis where it is grounded to the Jeep because the vehicle is not a large enough ground for lower frequiences.  Eventually I will mount a whip on the Jeep once I get the reenforcing corners mounted on the Jeep and new tailights designed to allow room for the whip mount.

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This is an MRC-85 (90) series battery charger.  It will charge any of the batteries in this series. Its built into a pelican style plastic suitcase and holds 6 batteries with the retainer bracket for charging and transport.  It runs off 120v AC or 12-24V DC.  Cool huh!  I got a few of these and traded all but one. Ive seen them available from Murphy's and Steve Haney surplus.

 
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PP-8481 battery charger. Will charge two batteries at the same time and automatically cycle through all in place.  The charger has firmware that is updateable and it will detect bad batteries.  It can charge several types of batteries with the stock tray adapters including BB-2590 etc series and MBiTR and others, but there are other tays that will hold different formations of batteries, like all BB-2590, or all Harris PRC-152 etc.    

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 The PP-8481 charger comes with two power cords, 24v for vehicle mounting and 110v for building opeartion.  A very good set of instructions also covers all the accessory trays that can be obtained through the supply chain for other types or multipule sets of the same battery.