Jun 11, 2010

AN/PRC-148 - World's Most Powerful Handheld Radio

This Handheld military "Walkie Talkie" used by US/NATO forces can be truly called as the most powerful/rugged/highly used handheld Radio in the 21st century.

The AN/PRC-148 is today the most widely fielded handheld multiband, tactical software-defined radio, in use with the US Military and NATO forces around the world.

The AN/PRC-148 is a small and light full-featured Combat Net Radio (CNR) operating contiguously over the 30-512 MHz frequency range. The radio has imbedded US Type-1 COMSEC protection and is capable of both voice and data modes of operation. The AN/PRC-148 provides a hand held, highly flexible tactical radio useful over a very broad range of combat environments.

The AN/PRC-148 is the cornerstone of a complete system solution for the warfighter which includes a Vehicle Adapter with a unique, cable-free, rapid radio dismount capability; dual radio AN/VRC-111 Vehicle Adapter Amplifier; Base Station for fixed applications; Tactical Repeater for range extension; and compact, rugged Man Portable System for dismounted operations requiring higher power output.

Another fantastic feature of the AN/PRC-148 is its ability to communicate with aircraft. Foot Soldiers of the past using standard handheld or man-pack radios were restricted to ground tactical-radio modulation modes and frequency bands (30-88MHz FM) that were not compatible with the radios in all military aircraft.

There is even more good news for troops equipped with the AN/ PRC-148 from the ground-to-air perspective. The radio has built in the ability to generate emergency AM swept tone beacon signals on the standard VHF and UHF international rescue frequencies of 121.5 MHz (AM) and 149.975MHz (AM).
This capability means that AN/PRC-148 users can be heard by virtually every aircraft in the world and located with common aircraft radio direction finding equipment. This feature can literally be a lifesaver when in tactical situations requiring help from airborne search and rescue assets.
Overall a real boon for military foot soldiers and a wonderful handheld radio technology. This could very well be the most capable handheld radio in the world.

SCR-536 Walkie Talkie : World's First Modern Handheld Radio

The SCR-536 is often considered the first of modern hand held, self-contained, "handie talkie" two-way radios. It was developed in 1940 by a team led by Don Mitchell, chief engineer for Galvin Manufacturing (now Motorola) and was the first true hand-held unit to see widespread use. By July 1941, it was in mass production. In November 1942, the SCR-536 received coverage in the amateur radio magazine QST.

It appeared on the cover as well as in Signal Corps advertising, and was featured as part of an article on the Signal Corps. “Smallest field unit of the Signal Corps,” a photo caption read, “it is not much larger or heavier than a conventional handset.” It was carried among the first waves to hit Omaha Beach at Normandy in June, 1944. Every rifle company of the U.S. 29th Infantry division had six; one for each of three rifle platoons, two for the weapons platoon, and one for the company CO.

The Germans were deeply impressed by the SCR-536 and the SCR-300 after capturing several units in Sicily. By war’s end, 130,000 of the units had been manufactured by Motorola.

Today the SCR-536 is often restored and operated by vintage amateur radio enthusiasts and military radio collectors