Links

AN/PRC-77

What would a blog titled 'PRC-77' be if it didn't offer some links to information about the AN/PRC-77?

  • AN/PRC-77 Wikipedia Page. A little thin on information, but it's likely the first page that pops up when someone does a Google search
  • PRC-77 Technical Manual. This link is to a PDF version of TM 11-5820-667-12, Operator's and Organizational Maintenance Manual, Radio Set AN/PRC-77 (1 January 1987). This is likely the last Army TM published on the PRC-77. An extremely comprehensive manual and a must-have for anyone who owns a PRC-77
  • PRC-25, Forgotten Legend. Before the PRC-77 there was the PRC-25. In fact the PRC-77 is really just a product improved PRC-25. So to understand the history of the PRC-77 you must also understand the history of its predecessor. This article, written by Dennis Starks around 1999 is probably the best overview of the history of both of these great radios. This version of the article is from an original copy provided by Mr. Starks with his permission
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Military Radios & Communications

The number of enthusiasts that collect, repair and operate military radios is amazing. Many collectors and collector groups naturally focus on the radios used by their national military forces. For example, in the US there's a lot of focus on WWII and Cold War era radios, particularly what are refereed to as the 12-series radios that saw use from the early 1960's all the way up to the late 1990's. At the same time British collectors seem to focus on the iconic Clansman radios, a family of radios that served the British military, and many Commonwealth nations, from the 1970's right through the early 2000's. Here's a list of some of the better military radio sources I've found on the web.

  • N6CC.com. I want this guy to be my best friend
  • RATT Rig. RATT stands for 'radio - teletype' and refers to self contained mobile communications setup that accompanied military headquarters - RATT rigs! The idea, like so many of our military concepts, was born out of the communications challenges we encountered in WWII. The RATT rig was a large box that slid into the bed of a military vehicle such as the Dodge M37 3/4 ton truck, the Gamma-Goat, the M880 or CUCV pickup truck, or the HMMWV. The box contained all the communications equipment needed to provide robust, flexible and mobile communications support to whatever headquarters it was assigned to. The rigs normally provided secure HF and VHF voice and data communications and wireless facsimile capabilities. These rigs served as the US Army's communications backbone through Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War and Desert Storm, so its no surprise that there's at least one guy who's in to restoring old RATT rigs. Hey, everybody needs a hobby, right?
  • Vintage & Military Amateur Radio Society. A British-based collectors society focusing on military radios. There are a number of really good YouTube videos highlighting VMARS activites, so be sure to check them out.
  • Prc68.com. Brooke Clarke's incredibly comprehensive website/compendium of military radio gear and accessories. Booke also manufactures a broad range of electronic accessories and cables, including a 10 D-cell PRC-25/77 battery adapter and a PRC-77 power adapter cable, both products I can heartily recommend.
  • Getting The Message Through. The US Signal Corps' official history, published by the Army Center of Military History. An interesting read.
  • Olive-drab.com. This link takes you to Olive-drab.com's page on the PRC-25 and the the PRC-77. Olive-drab.com is a comprehensive website that catalogs a vast array of military equipment information, mostly (but not exclusively) US gear from WWII through the recent Gulf Wars. The site was started in 1998 by Chuck Chriss, who remains the website editor and still contributes content. If you are a military gear geek (like me) this site is dangerous - you can easily waste hours combing through the holdings.
  • History of the Squad Radio. A 1976 report by Mr. Marvin Curtis of the US Army Electronics Command. The United States headed in to WWII with a ground forces communications architecture that turned out to be inadequate to the task. While a lot of R&D was put in to mobile (vehicle mounted) radios for the rapidly expanding armored and mechanized forces, little thought was given to the needs of the smallest infantry units - the thousands and thousands of rifle platoons and squads we would soon be putting on the battlefield. The Army belatedly (and somewhat reluctantly) fielded the first true 'squad' radio, the SCR-536, in 1941. This report discusses in some detail the development of true squad-level communications systems from around 1945 onward.
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Amateur Radio

Amateur (Ham) radio and military radios go together (as Forrest Gump would say) "like peas and carrots." Both types of radios share frequency segments (particularly in the VHF bands) and the multi-mode agility of modern Amateur radios allows them to 'drop down' to the often limited military radio frequency segments. Add to this the fact that many Amateur radio operators got their interest in radio sparked (pun intended) during their time in service. This means that most military radio owners also hold an Amateur Radio license.

  • KK4GQ. My 'home' club, located in the very active Atlanta area 
  • ARRL. Love 'em or hate 'em, the ARRL is the 'big dog' in American Amateur radio and the one organization that the FCC listens to (and often defers to on technical issues). Me? I love the organization. The ARRL is one of the last of the enthusiast publications that actually holds to professional technical standards. The pages of their QST magazine are usually chocked full of worthwhile technical articles and interesting updates. Membership is pricey ($50/year), but it's worth it

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