Click for homepage
PRC-316
Lightweight HF patrol radio - under construction

UK/PRC-316 was a transistorised lightweight HF Special Forces patrol radio, developed in the mid-1960s by the Signals Research & Development Establishment (SRDE) in Christchurch (UK), and built by Rank Bush Murphy 1 in Welwyn Garden City (UK). The radio has 45 crystal-based channels and operates in the 2-7 MHz frequency range in CW (morse code). As the device was designed for anti-terrorist operations in the Far East, it also also known as the Jungle Set [1].

...   

During its development — which started in 1963 — the PRC-316 it was known as X3145. Twelve months later, in 1964, the radio was ready for deployment and tests were carried out in the UK and in Borneo. The set was offered to export customers for GBP 600. The last operational use of the PRC-316 was during the Falklands campaign. It was decommissioned in the early 1990s [1].

  1. Later (1968): Rank Precision Industries Ltd.

A
×
A
1 / 1
1 / 1

Features
...

Versions
There are five known variants of the UK/PRC-316, marked as Type A — F, that differ only in the crystal-defined channels. The device has 9 different base channels, each of which can be given 5 different offsets (-2.5 kHz, -1.25 kHz, 0, +1.25 kHz, +2.5 kHz), producing 9 × 5 = 45 channels.

The 45 channels are choosen in such a way, that none of their frequencies have a round number, thereby avoiding the spurious signals emanated by (domestic) equipment, such as synthesizers, televison sets, switched mode power supply units, etc. Although each variant has a different set of frequencies, there are some overlaps, as indicated by the colours in the table below. Especially
 3710 kHz 
seems to have been a popular operating frequency, as it appears in four of the sets.

Type 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A 2215 2520 3170 3710 4590 4875 5130 5270 5895
B 2280 2700 3280 3710 4510 4875 5305 6350 6940
C 3710 4040 4490 4574 4950 5090 5905 6770 6955
D 3205 3710 3970 4040 4595 5090 5925 6776 6955
E 2133 3170 3901 4659 4870 5202 6608 6770 6955
Radio amateurs who want to operate a PRC-316 have to be careful, as most channels fall outside the allowed bands (see below). The radio in our collection is of type E, which means that none of its frequencies fall inside any of the amateur bands:

  • 80 m
    3.500 — 3.800 MHz
  • 40 m
    7.000 — 7.200 MHz
Parts
UK/PRC-316 radio set
Radio set
...   

Interior
...

Block diagram
...

Specifications
  • NSN
    5820-99-117-7807
  • Frequency
    2 — 7 MHz
  • Channels
    45 (9 × 5)
  • Modulation
    CW, AM 1
  • Output
    4 Watts
  • Range
    800 km
  • MTBF
    1500 hours
  • Power
    16V, Alkaline battery block
  • Duration
    20 hours
  1. AM was used for short-range air-to-ground communication.

Documentation
  1. UK/PRC-316, User Handbook
    November 1968 1

  2. UK/PRC-316, Technical Handbook - Unit Repairs
    Issue 1, October 1971. 1

  3. UK/PRC-316, Technical Handbook - Field and Base Repairs
    Issue 1, September 1972. 1

  4. UK/PRC-316, Technical Handbook - Technical Description
    Issue 1, 9 October 1969. 1

  5. UK/PRC-316, Technical Handbook - Fault-Finding and Repair Data
    Issue 2, September 1971. 1
  1. Documents available from VMARS website.

References
  1. John Teague (G3GTJ), The UK PRC 316/A-16
    The VMARS Newletter, Issue 14, December 2000, pp. 11—18.
Further information
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. If you like the information on this website, why not make a donation?
Crypto Museum. Last changed: Wednesday, 08 May 2019 - 06:08 CET.
Click for homepage