Radio Preppers

General Category => Military Radios => Topic started by: gil on October 04, 2016, 11:25:09 AM

Title: Do I need a PRC-351?
Post by: gil on October 04, 2016, 11:25:09 AM
Uh, no, of course not... That said...

From a prepping standpoint, it's a pretty nice rig. The RT-351 is a VHF FM 4W, 30 to 76 MHz British military transceiver. For us mere American and French, it means 6m only. There's practically nobody on 6m... I used to own an MFJ-9406 but sold it after not hearing a soul for weeks. I also monitored the AM calling frequency for weeks, called every day with my Gonset Comminicator, to no avail. And maybe that's good for us preppers... Less risk of someone listening in. You can also get one for $80, before shipping (6kg). The main point is that like the 320, the darn radio is practically indestructible. It also uses the same accessories and batteries.

6m is the magic band... Because it disappears all the time! Maybe that's what makes it appealing... It is a good ground wave communications band. My 320 can very well be used in the same role using HF, so why get a VHF set? I think that for local comms, patrolling within say 20 miles (assuming at least one antenna is on a tall mast), the limitations of VHF to line of sight can be an advantage when you don't want to be heard any further than you have to...

You can probably buy three Baofengs for the price of one PRC-351 station (PRC designs the whole station. RT-351 is the transceiver only). You can't however run over your UV-5R with a truck and expect to use it afterwards... The handheld wins on  weight, hands down though.

If I ever get a PRC-351, I would have to either get more than one or get friends to buy some... It would be to use within a group. I would not hope to contact anyone around here on 6m FM. A better bet might be to get a second PRC-320 and stick with HF for everything. My 320 can communicate with my small CW QRP rigs. 6m might be open sometimes, but with the solar cycle going down, it' unlikely.

I need to buy of of those USB dongles again to monitor 6m, see if I hear anyone around here. I'm within range of Lille, which is a pretty big city. Too far for England, though I could drive to the coast, it's a little more than an hour away. I'd need to know someone would be listening for me on the other side.

Bottom line is, I'll only get one if I have a hundred Euros burning a hole in my pocket... It's a neat radio, and it's green!

Title: Re: Do I need a PRC-351?
Post by: cockpitbob on October 04, 2016, 11:59:29 AM
Big, heavy, QRP, 24V, one unpopular band and hard on batteries(200mA?).  ???  Gil, you OK? ;)

Lemme think about this more.  On the plus side it's indestructible.  On the minus side, it's so heavy you're probably not going to stray far from home with it on your back, in which case it probably won't be abused much.  {Nope, still not seeing it.}

Lemme try one more time.  It's green, it's cool and you don't have one.  Bingo!  Now I get it! ;D

By all means, get one!
Title: Re: Do I need a PRC-351?
Post by: gil on October 04, 2016, 05:52:03 PM
LOL, that's probably it!

The truth is, the RT-320 impressed me. You have to hold one in your hands to truly appreciate how rugged it is. Describing it does not do it justice. The RT-351 is cut from the same cloth. 200mAh is half the draw of the FT-817nd.. 6kg, yes, that's a problem. I could only see this radio used in a patrolling role, for which it was designed in the first place..

Let's face it, in my case it's pretty useless right now. I have no support group, nobody to talk to with it. But as you say, unfortunately, it's cool, green, and I don't have one! ;-)