Clansman is the name of a combat net radio system (CNR) used by the British Army from 1976 to 2010. Clansman was developed by the Signals Research and Development Establishment (SRDE) in the 1960s, to satisfy a General Staff Requirement (GSR) laid down in 1965. Built by Racal, Mullard Equipment Ltd (MEL) and Plessey, Clansman represented a considerable advance over existing radios being offered to the Armed Forces at the time. It replaced the aging Larkspur radio system, and proved to be more flexible, reliable and far lighter. The technological advances achieved in the design of Clansman allowed the introduction of Single SideBand (SSB) operation and Narrow Band Frequency Modulation (NBFM) to forward area combat net radio for the first time.
Clansman was in use by British forces from the late 1970s and saw service in most recent UK military operations. It was replaced in the mid-2000s by the new Bowman communication system. Nowadays, in the hands of the amateur radio enthusiast, much of this equipment can enjoy a second life.. The PRC-320 covers many current amateur HF bands from 2MHz up to 30MHz.
This Transceiver was bought from a good Amateur Radio friend in February, 2016. It will go /Portable attached to the back of my mobility buggy. Hopefully fully operational when the Spring and Summer bring less inclement and warmer weather. It has been arranged to have the modification to enable transmission on the Lower Sideband, as well as the standard Upper Sideband.
The Clansman RT-320 / PRC-320 is a lightweight HF/SSB radio station designed as part of the British Army's Clansman range of radio equipments for combat use throughout the world. It was used from 1978 to 1995 by long-range patrols and Special Forces because of its sky-wave range performance and hand generator system.
The equipment operates in the 2 to 30 MHz band with 100 Hz channel spacing, which gives a choice of 280 000 frequencies. Selection is by decade knobs which control a micro-miniature synthesizer locked to a temperature compensated reference oscillator, giving a high order of stability under all environmental conditions.
The PRC-320 provides SSB (USB), AM, CW (wide) and CW (narrow) facilities. Speech processing and automatic level control are employed to provide whisper speech facilities and a high mean output power. A transmitter output power of 30 W PEP working into a 2.4 m whip antenna gives the PRC-320 a ground-wave communications range in excess of 40 km by day under normal conditions.
The PRC-320 is suitable for use as a ground station, working into static ground- or sky-wave antennas. Working into a dipole or end-fed antenna, sky-wave communications at ranges from 50 to 2000 km or greater can be achieved. This range performance is due in part to the high grade receiver and high efficiency manual antenna tuning unit (ATU) which is integral with the transmitter/receiver unit.
The radio is carried on the operator's back and allows him full use of his weapons. It is powered by rechargeable 24 V Ni/Cad batteries of 1 or 5 Ah capacity. Alternatively, the radio can be powered by a hand generator system with a 1 Ah battery, and can be operated remotely if required at a distances up to 3 km. With its man pack carrier and battery the PRC-320 can be used as a clip-in vehicle installation. A vehicle-mounted antenna is used and the battery is float-charged by a DC charging unit from the vehicle supply.
Technical Specification Frequency Range: 2 - 29.999 MHz Output Power: CW or SSB 30 or 3 Watts - AM: 7.5 W Channel Spacing: 100 Hz Number of Channels: 280,000 Modes of Operation: USB, (and LSB if modified), AM, CW wide (2900 Hz), CW narrow ( 400 Hz) Sensitivity: SSB / CW Narrow 0.8mW @ 10 dB - AM 3.5mW @ 10 dB Power Requirements: 20-28 VDC Power consumption: Receiving 175 mA... Transmit - Low HF output 1.2 A High HF output Battery: 24 V NiCad or Alkaline 5A/H, or 1A/H Measurements and weight: 330 x 250 x 90mm, 11 kg Operating Temperature Range: -37 to + 50C (plus solar radiation) storage: -40 to + 65?C Operating Altitude: 2500 meters, Transport: 7500 meters, Immersion: 1 meter for 2 hours
(Above) A NiCad Battery for the Clansman PCR-3209 These batteries also can be obtained as Alkaline
(Above) The Mains Powered Charger ACCU for up to 16 Batteries This was purchased on eBay, for 71 Pounds - They are quite scarce and hard to find, usually commanding a price of over 300 Pounds
(Above) the PRC-320 set up with whip antenna, battery attached to the right
The radio can use two different 28 Volt batteries... both the same size, but one is a 5 A/H, which will run the radio for several hours, and a 1 Amp Battery which is then attached to a hand generator, and will operate indefinitely when 'cranked' - The battery packs both come in metal case, or a plastic (later) model.
(Above) - The hand cranked generator for use with the 28 Volt, 1 Amp battery
(Above) The PRC-320, with a selection of available accessories
(Above) The PRC-320 in its Bergen (Carry Bag)
(Above) The Transceiver set up in its back Pack 'Portable' set up, mounted on a lightweight 'strap on' Bergen
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