Looking to buy a Radio for my Humvee

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alahman

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I currently have a Vic-3 system and I am looking for a Radio to go along with it. Does anyone know what radio setup will work with it and what type of radio I should get? Very new to all of this and trying to navigate the different setups out there. Any help would be appreciated.
 

papakb

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You can go with the older VRC-12 radios like the RT-246 or RT-524, the newer radios like any of the SINCGARS variants, or the very latest Harris radios like the PRC-117F. It all depends on what your willing to spend on a radio. They will all be correct for use in a HMMWV.

Something else to keep in mind is that using them to receive is fine but to transmit on any of them you're going to need an amateur radio license which is fairly easy to get. A couple evenings of studying and then taking a test and your good to go. The most commonly used frequencies in the MV world are in the 6 meter amateur band, 50 - 54 Mhz.
 

Bulldogger

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I use a Clansman, surplus from the UK. They are the least expensive options readily available, though not "period-correct".

Also, incidentally the ARRL are not conducting FCC license testing at this time. So it's not possible to get a license at the moment. However, papakb's statement is correct, a technician license or better is required to transmit on VHF.

BDGR
 

alahman

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Very good info.......so where could I find these units you are referencing for sale? It seems like it’s not easy to find.
 

sigo

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Are you looking for a radio for display, or something functional? Which band(s)?

Like papakb, I'll also offer a word of caution. Be wary of any RT-1523 series SINCGARS and any US military Harris radio variants. They all have embedded controlled cryptographic capability, and if you find one that hasn't had it removed it is highly likely not legally offered for sale. Likewise, if you find one that is inexpensive, do your research or walk away. Export models without embedded type 1 crypto are also out there, but not very common or cheap.
 

alahman

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Are you looking for a radio for display, or something functional? Which band(s)?

Like papakb, I'll also offer a word of caution. Be wary of any RT-1523 series SINCGARS and any US military Harris radio variants. They all have embedded controlled cryptographic capability, and if you find one that hasn't had it removed it is highly likely not legally offered for sale. Likewise, if you find one that is inexpensive, do your research or walk away. Export models without embedded type 1 crypto are also out there, but not very common or cheap.
 

sigo

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I use a Clansman, surplus from the UK. They are the least expensive options readily available, though not "period-correct".

Also, incidentally the ARRL are not conducting FCC license testing at this time. So it's not possible to get a license at the moment. However, papakb's statement is correct, a technician license or better is required to transmit on VHF.

BDGR
Not all VHF is license only, MURS is available but I can't think of a vehicle mounted military radio that is obtainable and able to transmit on MURS. Might be something out there.

Which Clansman radio and are you using it with a VIC-3 like the OP is looking for?
 

alahman

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I really wanted a setup for display. I don’t really know if I would use it but if it worked that would be cool. I just was trying to find out more info on what my options were and where I could buy them at.
 

sigo

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Correct display with a VIC-3 is limited to somewhat modern radios, which means $$$. Empty SINCGARS cases are out there and not terribly expensive if you want display only. You'll need additional components to make it correct such as a mounting base, vehicle amplifier adaptor, associated cables and AS-3900 or 3916 (both are common) antennas. Sounds cliche, but check out the SINCGARS technical manual series, then come back and ask specific system questions. Other systems are available, but other than a few niche radios they go up in price from a display-only SINCGARS. Mid-1990's and on period correct and use with a VIC-3 are your limiting factors, and unfortunately those two criteria will cost you.

eBay, steel soldiers sales/want ads, Murphyjunk.net has stuff from time to time. You can search the web for RT-1439, RT-1523 or SINCGARS. A RT-1439 is an earlier non-embedded crypto model that would still be mostly correct from about 1985 until about 1999, and a RT-1439 is usually much cheaper and more common. A VRC-88/89/90/91/92 with a RT-1439 uses the same components as a RT-1523 based VRC with a few exceptions.

You can also pursue replica radios such as a TRItactical PRC-117 or PRC-152 with mix and match some legit and replica system components. I think others here have done it.
 
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Bulldogger

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+1 for sigo's comments about replicas and broken units for display, not hard to find and prices aren't horrible.

sigo, I'm using a Clansman PRC-352 purchased off ta_shunca_uitco off eBay. It's a manpack, so I had to make a bracket to hold it in the HMMWV. I did buy his vehicle mounting bracket, but that is a storage bracket so I still had to modify it. It's not perfect but it works.
I don't know if it will work with a VIC-3, as I don't have one. I went with a Softcomm aviation intercom system. Lots cheaper, but I haven't managed to patch in the radio or sat down with my electronics bag to try to make a cell phone adapter either. If I ever do, I will share that.

I did mount a U.S. loudspeaker for use with the PRC-352, by making a unique adapter socket. More work to do on it, but I'm enjoying it. With the lack of rally's lately, I haven't had much time to experiment. Coming up next before long is an HF rig off the same supplier, with which I CAN reach out far enough to communicate without a rally!

BDGR
 

sigo

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+1 for sigo's comments about replicas and broken units for display, not hard to find and prices aren't horrible.

sigo, I'm using a Clansman PRC-352 purchased off ta_shunca_uitco off eBay. It's a manpack, so I had to make a bracket to hold it in the HMMWV. I did buy his vehicle mounting bracket, but that is a storage bracket so I still had to modify it. It's not perfect but it works.
I don't know if it will work with a VIC-3, as I don't have one. I went with a Softcomm aviation intercom system. Lots cheaper, but I haven't managed to patch in the radio or sat down with my electronics bag to try to make a cell phone adapter either. If I ever do, I will share that.

I did mount a U.S. loudspeaker for use with the PRC-352, by making a unique adapter socket. More work to do on it, but I'm enjoying it. With the lack of rally's lately, I haven't had much time to experiment. Coming up next before long is an HF rig off the same supplier, with which I CAN reach out far enough to communicate without a rally!

BDGR
Sounds like a nice install. You should post some photos of your set-up and details of you speaker adapter if you haven’t already (link?). I always hear good things about Clansman radios, I’ve been tempted to pick up a couple since they won’t be on the market forever. I’ve seen the prices increase over the years as it is.
 

sigo

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Actually Sigo the Sincgars RT-1439 variant never had embedded crypto so it's afe to use as is.
I agree, I overlooked in the first part but included later. I mentioned, “A RT-1439 is an earlier non-embedded crypto model...” in a follower post. Non-icom 1439’s were the first model I was trained on as a young Signal Support Systems Specialist years ago.
 

sigo

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Papakb, nice install. I’ve got one as well, but only in PRC-119 configuration. I picked it up with a vehicle set in mind, but never finished collecting the parts. What’s the small box below the radio set to the right with the two U229 connectors on the face?
 

papakb

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It's a 24v Southcom aircraft intercom that I modified into the chassis you see there to work with the radios. The HMMWV is so noisey that regular communications doesn't work on the road. The same intercom unit is made by Southcom, Avcom and a couple others and works well in military vehicles. I also bought a couple of intercoms from a company that installs them in EMT vehicles that I haven't worked on yet.
 
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