Original U.S. Korean War Era Service Worn RT-196/PRC-6 "Walkie Talkie" Radio Receiver Transmitters - Set of Two

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Set of Two available. This is an original set of two Korean War Era U.S. Signal Corps RT-196/PRC-6 Radio Receiver Transmitter Walkie Talkies. This equipment has not been tested by IMA but we were told that they were functional when last used. However, we will not guarantee functionality. These sets look to have been used post war, and have been repainted multiple times, giving them a lovely worn look.

Both units no longer have the original data plates, so we are not able to tell exactly what era they were from, or whether they were refurbished in the past. The RT-196 had a very long service life, and was still used for training well into the 1970s, and even the 1980s. Both sets are missing the flexible antennas, and only one has the original strap, though it is missing one of the three attachment clips.

One of the sets has had the retainer clips that holds the back cover on glued in place with some type of putty. We were not able to get the unit open to examine the internals. The other set (the one with the strap) we could open, and it actually still has an original battery inside! It does appear to have leaked somewhat, so there is some corrosion on the inside of the back cover. The sub-miniature and transmitter tubes all look to be intact.

A nice honest set of surplus "Walkie-Talkies", ready to add to your collection!

The AN/PRC-6 is a walkie-talkie used by the U.S. military in the late Korean War era through the Vietnam War. Raytheon developed the RT-196/PRC-6 following World War II as a replacement for the SCR-536 "handy-talkie". The AN/PRC-6 operates using wide-band FM on a single crystal controlled frequency in the 47 to 55.4 MHz low band VHF band. Rated power output is about 250 mW. The range is about one mile (1.5 km), but much less in jungle.

The AN/PRC-6 circuit uses 13 vacuum tubes for the receiver and transmitter combined, all but one subminiature. The unit may be changed to a different frequency in the field by replacing the crystal and adjusting tuned circuits, using tuning indicator ID-292/PRC-6. The tuning chart inside the case is not accurate enough to properly align the unit. The AN/PRC-6 uses a 24 in (61 cm) whip antenna, with a BNC connector for an external direction finding antenna. There is an optional handset H-33*/PT that can be connected to the AN/PRC-6 by a 5 ft (1.5 m) cable. The RT-196 can be carried over the shoulder using a provided web sling.

The US Marine Corps made limited use of the AN/PRC-6 as late as 1972.

The AN/PRC 6 was also manufactured under license in France ("TR-PP-8") and Germany (6 channel version or PRC6-6). Israel too manufactured single channel equipment. Modernization of the AN/PRC6 resulted in various solid state crystal controlled and synthesized radios, usually with higher output ratings. For example, Greek valved sets were refurbished in the mid-1980s and converted into single channel solid state one watt units housed inside the original casing. These updated solid state versions were given various designations such as PRC-6T (for "Transistor"), PRC - 6T/180 (180 channel synthesized unit) and PRC - 6GY.

The frequency range of the PRC-6 covers the 6 meter amateur radio band (50-54 MHz in the US and Canada, 50-52 MHz in the United Kingdom), and the many versions of these sets are relatively available and cheap (around £30-40 in the UK) in comparison to other vintage military radios. As a result, many examples have been put on the air, although practical operation is hampered by the necessity of building new, custom power supplies (the original dry batteries, which supplied +1.5, +4.5, +45 and +90 volt outputs, being unobtainable or display pieces only) and the limited output power and range. In addition, a separate crystal and laborious retuning is required every time a frequency change takes place. For this reason in the US 51 MHz is used as a net frequency at many radio events, necessitating only the one crystal.

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