Modern Era FM Backpack Portables

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is a British solid state tactical radio of the Clansman * - series, developed and built by Plessey.

It was primarily used by dismounted troups on compyny and bataillon level, but also can be used as mobile station.

Only five knobs (that also can be turned with thick mittens) are used to operate it. Four knobs switch the frequency.

The fifth knob has four positions:

Off (On /Off)
Whisper (Increases the microfone sensitivity by the factor 10)
    (At the same time reduces the loudness by the factor 10)
Loud (At noisy environment)
Noise on (Squelch is deactivated; also to test if the radio works.)

The PRC-351 can be remotly controlled up to a distance of three km; and serve as a relasis. It can be used as telephone (without a transmitted signal).

A switch with 5 positions next to the line connectors operates these functions:

 L ocal (used as a single radio)
 R emote control (remote control by wire)
 A utomatic rebroadcast (2 radios are connected to serve as a relais, to increase the
   range, or to connect to a different frequency.
 I ntercom (The local operator can contact the distant operator, without transmitting
   a signal); and
 C all (call tone).

The radio is carried on the back or at the belt. Battery, short and long rod-antenna and hendset belong to the set.

The antenna socket can be turned, so that the antenna is upright, even whan the operater is lying down.

Handset and headset can be connected simultaneously, so a second operator can listen in. It can br remote controlled from a distance up to three km, and also can retransmit. Without HF output it can be used as telephone.

The range with rod antenna is 10 km. An optional HF amplifier can increase the range- then the name of the radio is PRC-352. Only the use as mobile or fixed station allow the higher output. Used as manpack, the HF amplifier is deactivated, and the radio serves as a normal PRC-351.

PRC-351 M is the version in the collection. It was uses primarily by the Navy. It is a PRC-51 that can work together with the Clansman BID System. The BID system is a speech and data encryption that today still is secret.

The PRC-351 is powered by a 24V- Clansman - battery. The radio can be operated by or the battery can be charged by a handcrank between RT and battery. It also can be powered externally.

Existing accessories for the Clansman- Series are:
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SURF (Selector Unit Radio Frequency)

This is a SURF 4 Watt; meant for PRC-351.

This device is inserted between radio an antenna. It prevents interferences, when two radios are operated at a close distance.

The SURF is tuned to the operating frequency by hand; the transmitted and received signal is narrowed; the SURF is a very good input filter. Receiving is optimated; in return the output is reduced by abt. 25 %.

Like the PRC-351, the SURF has antenna outputs for battle antenna and for 50 Ohm.
So, for example, a GSA (Ground Spike Antenna) can be connected.

[ There also are SURF for PRC-350 (SURF 2 Watt); PRC-320 (SURF 12 Watt) and for VRC 321 (SURF 25 Watt) ].

  Operation SURF 4 Watt: > Klick <  


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The range can be enhanced by using an optional 20W- HF- amplifier - then the radio set is called PRC-352. The higher output is only provided when the radio is used as mobile or fixed station, since the amplifier has an 50- Ohm- output for use with matched antennas, and not with rod antennas.
To use the higher output, the coax output of the TR-351 is connected to the input of the amplifier by a short coax cable.

Antennas intended by Racal for use with the amplifier:

  • Spike- antenna, or the spike- antenna on the
  • Racal- mast. Likewise the
  • "clothes line" is used.

    When the PRC-352 is used as a manpack, the amplifier is bypassed, and the radios operates as a normal PRC-351.

    Spike- Antenne

    Usually both radios are operated by the 24V- Racal- standard- battery. However, an operation from the vehicle power or an external power source is possible- with a modified cord for remote power supply.
    The Clansman- series was used by the British Army from 1976 to 2010.
    It should provide communication between headquarters and fighting forces. It consists of 9 (or 10) radios and their accessories. (The PRC-350, in some sources. is not mentioned under "Clansman").
    The radios are:

    HF radios:
  • UK/PRC 316
  • UK/PRC 319
  • UK/PRC 320
  • UK/VRC 321
  • UK/VRC 322

    Tactical band radios:
  • UK/PRC 349
  • UK/PRC 350
  • UK/PRC 351/352
  • UK/VRC 353

    UHF- radios:
  • UK/PRC 344

    Frequency range:
    30 .. 76 MHz


    Technical data:
    HF output:
    4 W
    Channel spacing:
    25 kHz
    Narrowband - FM (F3E)
    150 Hz tone squelch (can be switched off : = "Noise on")
    10 km with rod antenna
    20 km with mobile antenna
    Data transfer:
    up to 75 baud
    24 V NiCad
    Battery lasts:
    9 hrs at transmit/receive ratio of 1 : 9
    7.5 Kg with rod antenna
    Measurements with battery: