Original Vietnam War Era German PRC6-6 Radio Receiver Transmitter "Walkie Talkie" - RT-196/PRC-6

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. This is an original Vietnam War Era German Army (Bundeswehr) issue PRC6-6 Radio Receiver Transmitter "Walkie Talkie". It is a license made version of the U.S. Signal Corps RT-196/PRC-6 Radio, which has the ability to use 6 channels, which are switched by the knob near the antenna. Interior adjustment trim pots allowed adjustment of the 6 channel frequencies used. A window on the side of the unit shows what channel is currently selected.

This unit has not been tested by IMA but we were told that it is most likely functional. However, we will not guarantee functionality. This example still has the original paint and data tags on the exterior, and inside the battery compartment there are more labels, which would be used to record changes and frequencies. Overall the unit is in very good condition, though the exterior definitely does show wear from years of service.

Removing the inner RF shield shows the original vacuum tubes and circuitry, which look to be intact. The antenna still screws in correctly, and stows under the securing clips for the back of the unit. This is the first German license-made version that we have had, and it's definitely of high quality construction. It still has the original sling as well. Ready to display!

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, however the German PRC6-6 uses all subminiature tubes. 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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