Original Vietnam War Era U.S. Navy RT-196/PRC-6 "Walkie Talkie" Radio Receiver Transmitters - Set of Two
Original Item: Only One Set of Two available. This is an original set of two Vietnam 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 both units are functional. However, we will not guarantee functionality. These sets look to have been used post war, and both have been painted U.S. Navy, with USN stenciled on the side.
One unit was made by DERO RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT CORP., and has serial number 1517 on the label. The contract information looks to be from the U.S. Navy, which unfortunately usually does not have a date code in it. We assume this set is from the late 50s, and saw service in the 1960s.
The second set has a replacement data plate stamped with serial number 31410, which is usually added when it is refurbished. There is no maker name on the plate, however the interior is definitely marked by maker EMERSON.
Both units look to have mostly complete internals, with all of the subminiature tubes present in their retainers. The main tube and other components are mostly present as well, under their RF shields. Both examples are unfortunately missing the antennas and carry straps, however they most likely were direct wired when used on a ship.
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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