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Thread: PRC-148 Radio, First Impressions and Initial Setup, and Follow on Setup on Chest Rig

  1. #1
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    PRC-148 Radio, First Impressions and Initial Setup, and Follow on Setup on Chest Rig

    So I was posting on Euro's thread on his loadout, and thought it would be best to start my own instead of hijacking his. This thread will be a 'living' thread for a while, because I have more gear coming in for my radio, that will require more pictures and comments. Hopefully this is helpful. Before reading this thread, I would definitely read Euro's thread - there is some very useful information from him and Outlaw Systems. Click HERE for Euro's thread.

    So I'm not going to regurgitate Euro's thread. Suffice to say, I talked to them enough that I decided to pull the trigger. The radio arrived last week, so I'm going to post some pics of the radio, and also some of the accessories I needed to pick up so I could run it on my chest rig effectively.

    One thing I need to point out, is that I am not attaching the cable, or running the extension cable through PALS webbing on a PC. My PC is a Beez low viz, therefore it does not have PALS webbing. That said, I do have an extended X-Harness from Tactical Tailor that will suffice just fine.

    What I have on-hand currently: PRC-148 radio (pics to follow), an antenna relocation cable (from CommoCage on eBay). 2M J-Pole roll-up antenna from Nelson_Antennas on eBay. (links below)

    Accessories en route: Tactical Tailor PRC-148/152 radio pouch; Thales 1 meter blade antenna; TCI (Tactical Command Industries) Mast Relocation Kit, TCI Liberator II behind the head headset with noise cancellation, and PTT (getting a cord replaced)

    I'm going to post some of my other post, just so you can see the accessories all on this thread. Specifically the antenna relocation cable I got off eBay. It's a very well-made cable (Thanks DocSherm) and I will use it on one of my chest rigs.

    Couple of things I learned since jumping in with both feet.
    1. The more I get into it, the more I realize I don't know.
    2. I plan to run the following antennas:
    - 1 meter blade
    - 20" flex antenna
    - 2 meter J-Pole -

    So this is the 2M J-Pole rollup antenna. This antenna is great when you need a little extra rx/tx range. You connect it to your radio and throw it across some tree branches, make your comms checks/messages, roll the antenna back up and move out.

    For the J-Pole 2M antenna click HERE. Keep in mind if you are going to a military radio (or clone) you will need an adapter, I believe an SMA male to TNC Male, but I need to confirm this.
    ETA:I just confirmed from the guy who made the 2M J-Pole antenna for me. Shane is his name and he's as solid as they come. Super helpful with ALL my questions and makes a very good product. He told me I needed an SMA Male to TNC Male adapter. I did confirm this would work. Here's a link on Shamazon to the adapter you'll need. With the adapter plus the 2M cable, it is still well worth the investment. For the J-POLE antenna adapter for use with PRC-148 click HERE. You can also find the same adapter on eBay for less, but I was concerned about shipping time. You can find the adapter on eBay HERE.

    So let's get started. I will provide links to everything I can. I cannot provide the link to my headset, but I'll try to find one like it. Besides headsets are like AR's, it's a personal preference matter.



    Here's the radio: As Euro and Outlander said, don't freak out because it's coming from an AS website. Watch the videos. Click HERE for the radio.

    This is all the items that come in the box from jkarmy.com It does have a genuine Thales battery which is a huge plus. The two items on the lower right/mid-right are the charger. The Thales twists onto that little plate just like it mounts to the radio. Light on the AC charger flashes amber when it's charging, steady green when charged.


    PRC-148 control head, you can see how well its constructed.



    Top of radio. Standard military 6 pin comms connector for your TCI or Peltor head sets. TNC (threaded) antenna connector, on-off knob, frequency adjustment knob (middle)




    The radio, Thales battery mounted. [/li]



    Right side of radio:




    Left side of radio. Volume +/- , PTT, & monitoring button




    Bottom of radio, interface to the Thales battery.



    Radio on, and rx WX transmission. (the solid bar indicates you are receiving, and I believe it may reflect the strength of that signal) I'm still figuring things out. lol



    Here are the pics of the relocation cable from CommoCage on eBay

    It looks to be pretty well made, the ends are sturdy and have been shrink wrapped and a sealant around the bottom of the boot as well. The cable is recently manufactured (June 2016, It measures 46" long. Came packaged in a small bubble-wrap envelope, after all it is just a cable.

    If you want to buy this cable on eBay - click HERE







    To give you an idea of how much cable you get, I'll post a couple of pics. When I get my radio pouch in, which right now I have a TT small radio pouch, grossly insufficient for this radio, I'll make a thread and do like Euro did to show my chest rig and how I run the radio/antenna when I get it all in. But since you asked, I'll post a couple of pics now.


    The radio, with the CommoCage extension and the stock TRI antenna


    I just ran it through the PALS webbing to give an idea of how much it takes up. For go-to, it would be a little more clean, and I probably wouldn't position the antenna there, but it should give an idea of what you're working with. Also as noted above, my PC is a low viz PC, so it is not covered in PALS, but I can do all I need to do with the extended X harness that TT makes.


    This is not the correct radio pouch - this is a Tactical Tailor SMALL radio pouch. This is just to show how much antenna cable is running up the X -harness shoulder straps.


    I will replace this cable with the TCI Mast relocation cable (with QD TNC adapter) and move this cable to another chest rig that has a different purpose. If you are interested in the TCI Mast Relocation Kit, Click this link HERE.


    Just to clarify, the relocation cable from eBay does the job perfectly as far as I can tell. The TCI MAST Relocation Kit will allow me to relocate my antenna behind me on my Tactical Tailor X-harness, but since I've decided I want to be able and run different antenna lengths, which can affect the freqs that my radio will rx/tx on, I decided I wanted a QD mount. Hence the TCI MAST re-locator. It will come with a 90 degree QD TNC connector, that will allow me to disconnect from that antenna and connect to another antenna, either on the same rig on different rig.

    Again, all this can be done with one cable, but it will be a PITA and less risk for damaging threads in a dark, cold, wet night if I have QD TNC connectors.

    Updates to follow:
    Tactical Tailor PRC-148/152 antenna pouch arrives 10/26/2016 You can buy this from Tactical Tailor by clicking HERE. If you are military/veteran don't forget to use the WETSU discount code. Drops the price of the pouch to $36. If you look around, you can find it for less, but TT has amazing customer service, it's worth the extra bucks.
    1 meter blade antenna (Thales) will be here 10/27/2016.
    Liberator II headset, at TCI getting a cord replaced, will arrive the 11/01/20166 and along with it a TCI Mast antenna relocation kit.
    Adapter for my 2M/70 CM J-Pole antenna.

    I will Edit To Add on the thread once I get some more parts in. Let me know if you have questions, I'll try to answer. Or comments for that matter. If I've said something whack, straight it out!

    Yeah it's a big post and you probably fell asleep somewhere after the 3rd word, but if you made it this far, hopefully it's given you some food for thought.

    Thanks
    Robert

    =================================================================================================================================================================================


    Well, it's "finished" As finished as any kit item is until I decide to change something, but honestly, it's pretty much exactly what I envisioned when I set up to build a chest rig. I decided to just edit the OP because then everything will be together and it will be a more congruent read. The post is meant to highlight the radio, but I'll also talk to some setup on my chest rig in case anyone has questions/comments. Before I get started, I have to give some major gratitude to the M4Cer and my very good friend docsherm, who helped me put my chest rig together. It's a far cry from the old ACU LBV I had. He designed my load plan and guided me through getting what I needed to get and how it should all work together. If you have any intention to build a chest rig and aren't sure what you should get - or where you should start, then you need to read docsherm's "Chest Rigs 101" post. There is no better place for you to start. You can find docsherm's post by clicking: Chest Rigs 101 by docsherm

    I will go in the order of my "Upgrades to Follow" from the Original Post and then show some pics of the final setup. As before I'll post links where I can. I don't know if Tapatalk shows the links, if not you'll need to "Open in Web Browser" to see them.

    Tactical Tailor PRC-148/152 antenna pouch: There are many pouches for radios, and granted I am definitely partial to Tactical Tailor, but this really is a great radio pouch. Fits the radio perfectly, Works similar to some admin pouches in that you can flip it out to change freqs or verify freqs on the radio, close it up and snap the ITW fastener

    Radio pouch secured



    Fastener released, pouch tilts open allowing access to control head of the PRC-148.




    Here you can see the AN/PRC-148/152 Radio Pouch positioned left/front side of my chest rig. Between a universal pouch and my GP pouch. PTT cable also seen.



    You can find the PRC-152 radio pouch at Tactical Tailor by clicking here.
    If you're military or LE, you get a discount at Tactical Tailor. Just enter "WETSU" when you're checking out.

    So at this point I'm about out of images and we have a ways to go, so I will have to post this and do a reply. Sorry I won't be able to make it as seamless as I wanted, but hopefully you can still get some benefit out of the posts. - I have the majority of the other comments and pics written, it is just a matter to copy/past them into a new reply. So look below for...."The Rest of the Story."

    Thanks again for reading - Robert
    Last edited by RobertTheTexan; 11-26-16 at 03:20. Reason: Added links to the SMA Male to TNC Male adapter

  2. #2
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    I'm curious about how this setup is working.

    I'm getting very interested in amateur radio, and I know this radio requires a license to operate legally. I've been considering what my first radio should be, and this is in the top three (along with a Yaesu 817ND and the new CommRadio CTX-10, which are both more base station units than the TRI clone).
    "Man is still the first weapon of war" - Field Marshal Montgomery

    The Everyday Marksman

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrigandTwoFour View Post
    I'm curious about how this setup is working.

    I'm getting very interested in amateur radio, and I know this radio requires a license to operate legally. I've been considering what my first radio should be, and this is in the top three (along with a Yaesu 817ND and the new CommRadio CTX-10, which are both more base station units than the TRI clone).
    I've taken some pictures of my chest rig and will try to get it all posted tonight along with some comments.


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    Wow! I'm not sure how this has only one reply. Great post. When I made that thread (which kind of got turned to shit as all my photobucket pics were lost) I never expected to get so much interest on the radio. After all, it was a thread with a rifle, PC, optic, radio, etc etc.

    Outlander is the one who put me on to that radio. People like to say "Oh, Airsoft? Pass!" until I drop my radio in the ocean and then challenge them to do the same with their "non-airsoft" Hytera/Motorola/BAOFENG. When they refuse I say "Ok, no sweat. Where do I plug the Peltors in on yours?"

    You will love the blade antenna. I have NO SHIT reached almost eight miles in the most densely populated area in the 3rd most populous state during daylight hours using GMRS freqs with that antenna and that radio.
    Why do the loudest do the least?

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    Best thread Eva!! Not sure how I missed this.
    “Answer The Bell...” J.W.

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    Great post! How rugged does the radio appear to be? Do you think it will be able to handle the elements and field use well?
    "When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not Guilty." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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  7. #7
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    PRC-148 Radio, First Impressions and Initial Setup, and Follow on Setup on Chest Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by coastwatcher42 View Post
    Great post! How rugged does the radio appear to be? Do you think it will be able to handle the elements and field use well?
    Absolutely. The feel is certainly solid as a rock. EuroDriver has personally sunk his in the ocean. I totally agree with him. Don't be fooled by the airsoft, this is as close to a military issue PRC-148 as we are gonna get without taking out a W2nd mortgage. I snapped some pics this morning of how it's set up in my chest rig and will be posting those pics this afternoon.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i1qfjYhvW9M


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    Last edited by RobertTheTexan; 11-23-16 at 14:34.
    "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

    - Sam Houston

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    asking if this radio is rugged...

    Outlander has a video of some guy using his to smash cinderblocks in half.
    Last edited by Eurodriver; 11-23-16 at 14:47.
    Why do the loudest do the least?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurodriver View Post
    asking if this radio is rugged...

    Outlander has a video of some guy using his to smash cinderblocks in half.
    I regret not having that chest rig with me as I'm headed out to my little range to run some still, but testing out a new chest rig and build for my truck. Otherwise I would do some videos of submerging it etc. next time!!

    Can you get the link to post that video Outlander has?

    And thank you for the compliment above. Coming from you means a lot.


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  10. #10
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    I have very limited knowledge when it comes to radios but it appears to be a nice rig.


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