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

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertTheTexan View Post
    Continuing from my previous post, Welcome to..."The Rest of the Story."

    Thanks again for reading - Robert
    I'll start with the Thales Blade Antenna, 1 meter.

    Antenna 1m Blade, 30-90 MHz I found mine on eBay, and it's really hit or miss if you find one. If you do, just be sure that it's in good shape and not damaged. Blade antennas will get weakened at the point they are folded up, if they have seen too much use. No one likes a limp blade antenna, and viagra won't fix that.

    The antenna unfolded stretched across my TT shemagh. Yes, technically it's longer than 1 meter, but I'm not sure they count the base, but the actual antenna portion since that has a direct impact on the frequencies the antenna is capable to rx/tx on. (I think, feel free to correct me on this.)


    Part number of Thales blade antenna




    Another shot



    There are some Thales antennas on eBay, the link will take you to the search, because I don't know the buyers well enough to post a direct link, and you get a piece of crap I'd not feel good about that. Also when you are looking, also look for Harris blade antennas. They are the same quality as Thales at a minimum..
    Click here to search for Thales and Harris 1 meter blade antennas

    Adapter J-Pole The J-Pole adapter is needed so I can use the J-Pole antenna. The J-Pole antenna mentioned in the OP gives you the capability to increase your TX/RX range, by throwing the antenna in the branches of a tree or some other pole - elevating in, giving in creased LoS (Line of Sight). It is a 2 meter antenna.

    TNC Male Plug to SMA Male Plug M/M Straight Adapter RF Cable Connector
    NOTE: When looking for an adapter you may run across some that are titled "RP - Reverse Polarity". Stay away from those.



    Liberator II headset
    Another eBay item. You'll understand why I went to eBay once you price these or Peltor's brand new. I know Peltors are popular especially in the SOF community, but the Liberator II is also an excellent headset. They are manufactured by Tactical Command Industries, and they sell into both the military and LEO space. Not surprisingly, SafariLand bought out TCI, but when you need to speak to a TCI rep you can get their direct line. I had to send my headset off to TCI for a cable repair and had them run some diagnostics since I didn't have a 35V handy. The Liberator II has noise cancellation or what they call "Digital Sound Processing" which should suppress the bang-bang while not suppressing other sounds you may need to keep your happy heart ticking. Here's a blurb from Tactical Life on a press release on the Liberator II's which were released in 2014 (Digital Threat Compression Technology to safely reduce hazardous noise while enhancing low-level sounds with Digital Situational Awareness Enhancement, which simultaneously provides the user with 360 degrees of ambient sound reproduction and unbelievable situational awareness.) They also indicated that the headset is waterproof and you get about 600 hours of life on 2 AA batteries. It still worked when I got it and the batteries looked to be rather used. Sounds fun right?
    I don't have a tactical helmet, but they should work with Ops-Core, Team Wendy, and the issue ACH or MICH helmets. etc.

    LIberator II headset, behind the head suspension




    Here's a view of the power button (that activates the noise cxl) and volume buttons. The mesh goes over your head, and the wired band securing the cables goes behind your head - hence "behind the head" suspension. The over the head is like a standard headset suspension like your Bose or whatever that is padded and goes over your head.



    TCI MAST (Modular Antenna System, Tactical) Antenna Relocation Kit, Version 2 So this piece of my setup was not necessary, in that I already had an antenna relocation cable, that allowed me to move the antenna to the back of my X-harness on my chest rig. However, since I have more than one chest rig, I decided to get the MAST for my primary rig, and use the relocation cable (Link in the OP) for my truck or SPR kit.
    This is a solid piece of gear and I am glad I went this route. It not only provides a pouch for the base of your antenna, but provides some security loops to prevent damage to the antenna base. I can build a cable easier than a blade antenna.


    The MAST kit, with a velcro strap to secure the blade antenna when it's folded up.




    A closer up view of the MAST. It's very well constructed and pretty easy to reach over your shoulder to release the velcro for the blade to extend. Using my left hand to fold and right hand to secure the velcro, I was able to secure the antenna. That's why it's positioned where it is, and also to get max LoS when extended, and less obstruction from my body.



    Securing the blade (the easy way)




    Here you can see the 'security loop' as it secures around the base of the antenna. One to keep the antenna from sliding up or down, but also to prevent any damage to the base of the antenna.



    The MAST Relocation Kit also came with a 90 degree QD connector. This gives you the ability to disconnect one antenna and connect another. For example, I can quickly disconnect the 1 meter blade antenna and connect my 2m cable when I need the extended rx/tx capability to send a message. Disconnect the 2m, reconnect my 1m blade antenna, and move out. This 90 degree QD fitting is part of the "Version 2" of the MAST kit.

    A good shot of the 90 degree QD fitting. I placed the antenna cable out front for the sake of the pic, as you will see I normally keep it behind my PTT



    A clean picture of the antenna cable as it connects to the MAST 90 degree QD adapter



    How it's normally ran on my chest rig



    This concludes the comms updates to my chest rig. I will do a reply to this post and continue on with my chest rig setup for those of you interested...

    Thank you for reading, I hope this is proving helpful to you.
    "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

    - Sam Houston

  2. #12
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    PRC-148 Radio, First Impressions and Initial Setup, and Follow on Setup on Chest Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertTheTexan View Post
    This concludes the comms updates to my chest rig. I will do a reply to this post and continue on with my chest rig setup for those of you interested...
    Wrapping up the chest rig. Rather than put links to the chest rig setup inside the comments, I'll put them all at the end of this post.

    Plate Carrier:
    Beez Combat Systems NIJ II Carrier in khaki

    Soft Armor: Second Chance Monarch
    Rifle Plates: SKD Tactical Ceramic, shooters cut, single curve



    Chest Rig - Tactical Tailor 2 Piece MAV with TT Extended X Harness, and TT Center Adapter

    Basic Load = 9 x 30rd 5.56 mags (maximum load out = 11 x 30rd 5.56 mags)





    Starting far right side (as worn)

    SO Tech Viper Flat A1 IFAK pouch I've tried a few different IFAK pouches or blow out pouches. This is hand down my favorite when you want a full IFAK size pouch. Pull that strap you see, and the IFAK kit comes out. It's secure, believe me, but also pretty easy to deploy.


    Inside I have the necessities for trauma:

    • Ace bandage,
    • 2" gauze,
    • plastic tape,
    • moleskin,
    • trauma shears (from Madison Supply or Elite Supply, another favorite),
    • blood clotting agents, both gauze and powder),
    • Nasopharyngeal Airway,
    • nitrile gloves,
    • acetaphetamin (no ibuprofen or naloxone which have blood thinning characteristics),
    • Halo Seals (Note: I don't normally have chest seals in my IFAKS, as I keep mole skin in sheets large enough to suffice, in this case they were given to me, so I'm using them.) Spare TQ, that would get moved to outside of chest rig once one is used.
    • Vaseline gauze
    • Antibiotic ointment



    Continuing to the right...

    - TT 2 mag shingle - I have KYWY inserts in my double and single mag shingles, rather than using the bungee cord, which I take off and repurpose to secure my TQ, light sticks, scissors etc on various rigs. I will also tell you the double mag shingle, makes a great pistol holster for my G19, when not used for ammo. (which would be a rare circumstance)
    - TT Multipurpose Pouch - Probably the best pouch on my chest rig. You won't believe how much you can store in this pouch. I have maps, included coated in acetate, notepad, markers, pencil, lighter, camo tape, camo sticks, small multi-tool, water purification tabs, light stick and that's not even filling it up. I do not build a chest rig, without the multipurpose pouch, with the exception of a low viz chest rig I have..
    - Gerber Strong Arm fixed blade - It's a good fixed blade, thick, excellent purchase on the grip in wet weather or gloved hand, it's a very solid grip. Steel takes a good edge and keeps it.

    Front left side (Left to right from ammo pouch with CAT TQ attached) to the PRC-148 radio pouch



    - TT Universal Mag Pouch - These pouches are probably my favorite ammo pouch. Yes I know the world loves the HGSI and other brand tacos, but I can do a lot more with this Universal pouch than I can with a taco. Taco's have their place, just not on this particular chest rig. It can hold 1-3 x 5.56 mags, 2 x 7.62x51 (AR-10/SR-25) mags, on my SPR rig, I use it to hold a TT medical insert. It can be used to holster my G19, and basically as a small GP pouch if needed.
    - TT Center Adapter; TT Single mag shingle; TT Compass pouch attached (Compass in front) - The center adapter connects via clips to each side of the MAV and is velcro backed. It gives me a somewhat quick release for the 2 piece since I don't have to use the ITW buckles, I pull the velcro apart and can lay prone without laying on my chest rig, the biggest benefit to the 2 piece MAV and why I got the 2 piece for this application. It has PALS webbing so I can connect the single mag shingle to it and the compass pouch to the mag shingle.
    Inside my compass pouch, I have a Silva Ranger compass. I also have Cammenga with my SPR rigs, this is the standard military lensatic with tritium, we all used, Silva makes an excellent compass
    Shown is my Garmin Foretrex, worn on my wrist when kitted up, stored in my GP pouch
    - next to single mag shingle, another TT universal pouch with 2 x 5.56 mags and CAT TQ attached via paracord bands. (testing this setup with my TQ and seeing if I can deploy it as easily as if secured with parabands.)
    - Next to universal pouch, is my PRC-148 radio pouch, already discussed.

    Some detail on the TT Center Adapter...
    Pic of how the Center adapter secures the 2 pc. MAV together



    The center adapter secures to each side of the MAV




    Moving past center of MAV, to front right:




    - TT universal mag pouch with 2 x 5.56 mags (Told you these were one of my favorites)
    - TT PRC-148 radio pouch

    Left side (as I wear it)
    - TT General Purpose (GP) Medium pouch, chemlights and Madison Supply trauma shears in PALS webbing
    - TT Universal mag pouch

    Inside my GP:
    • Oakley tactical gloves
    • Restraints
    • Rite in Rain Leaders Book (the 5x7)
    • chemlights
    • IR strobe
    • 550 cord
    • protein bars
    • whatever else is mission essential




    Outside chest rig:

    Zip tie restraints
    Ranger beads

    Gun Belt (Basic Load = 5 x G17 mags)

    Glock 19 Gen IV (Cerakoted Colt Coyote Brown and black)
    TRL-1 weapon light
    Glock 17 mags
    Active Handgun Trainer's belt w/ Cobra Buckles (AustriAlpin)
    SafariLand 6378USN ALS Low Sig G19 holster w/ TRL-1 - Easily the best holster I have ever used.
    TR_Holsters dual mag holders (with tensioner screws) (eBay)



    unholstered



    Battle Rifle - custom build, painted by me (that's probably obvious lol)
    10.3" SBR (From the bottom up)

    - Vickers sling Krypton Highlander w/ burnsed socket for conversion from 2 pt sling to single pt sling
    - LMT SOPMOD butt stock
    - VLTOR A5 buffer system, with H2 buffer
    - Fortis RE QD end plate
    - Hogue hand grip w/ cargo management (fancy name for in-grip storage)
    - CMC curved 3.5lb trigger (made in Texas naturally)
    - DSG Arms LPK-Enhanced (-) enhanced bolt release (Not compatible with ambil bold release kits)
    - Troy Ambi- Bolt Catch/Release
    - Battle Arms Development ambi selector switch 45/60
    - Aero Precision Lower
    - Aero Precision Upper
    - Redi-Mag
    - Raptor CH
    - LMT FA BCG (The only BCG I run)
    - Precision Reflex Fixed Sights (Originally had LMT fixed sights, replaced those with these. Liked these so much, swapped out my Daniel Defense fixed sights with Precision Reflex. The visual connection between the rear aperture and front sight is slick and as natural as I've seen)
    - EOTech EXPS 3-2 (Yes I still have my EOTech, and I will keep on using EOTech, it's what I've been training with and what I'm good with.)
    - LaRue 10" free floating rail (Yes I'm aware they haven't changed anything in 10 years, but if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.)
    - GG&G shorty (Replaced with BCM shorty that just arrived in the mail)
    - BA 10.3 barrel, Hanson profile
    - BA pinned gas block
    - BA melonited gas tube
    - TRL-1 light (Looking to swap this out - maybe with TRL-1HL, or PowerTac, still undecided
    - BattleComp comp

    I don't have an AAC Brake on this weapon as I don't think I'll suppress it. I built this weapon as a CQ rifle and extended the barrel 6" defeats the purpose in my mind.





    Also after replacing the LMT sights with the Precision Reflex I failed to mount my TRL-1 on the top of my rail where I like it. I decided to wait as I was waiting on some rail ladders from LaRue Tactical. All that arrived today, so I swapped out most of the LaRue index clips for the ladders and moved my light.



    I will come back and Edit To Add all the links for the chest rig. It's 0452 and I'm poppin' smoke.

    I hope this was a helpful post. Let me know if you have questions or comments.

    Last thing. I said docsherm helped me with my chest rig, but he's helped me in just about every aspect. Helped me organize my IFAK and I generally don't build an AR without consulting with him a few times at least. So I really wouldn't have much to show without his help. Never want to claim to do something alone when I haven't.
    Last edited by RobertTheTexan; 11-26-16 at 21:55.
    "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

    - Sam Houston

  3. #13
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    Guys,

    Sorry I could not post all of this in one post - but it's out here if you want to see the updates. It was rather late when I finished - around 0445, so...yeah it might have some strange things.

    - Robert


    Quote Originally Posted by 85cucvtom View Post
    I have very limited knowledge when it comes to radios but it appears to be a nice rig.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thank you 85 CUCV, I have put a lot of work into it, but I also had some great help.

    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).
    Depending on how serious you want to get, there may be a need for you to setup a base station and have a radio in your kit like the TRI PRC-142 clone. My step-dad who is licensed and eyeballs deep in HAM, has a "comms room", plus a nice Yaesu in his truck, plus some handhelds.



    Quote Originally Posted by Eurodriver View Post
    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.
    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.
    Thank you brother!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpmuscle View Post
    Best thread Eva!! Not sure how I missed this.
    Thank you JP!


    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


    Guys,

    Sorry I could not post all of this in one post - but it's out here if you want to see the updates. It was rather late when I finished - around 0445, so...yeah it might have some strange things.

    Robert
    "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

    - Sam Houston

  4. #14
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    Not radio related, but I'm also a fan of those TT universal mag pouches. I recently removed mine in an effort to eliminate as much Velcro as possible from my kit, though. Time will tell if it stays that way

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrigandTwoFour View Post
    Not radio related, but I'm also a fan of those TT universal mag pouches. I recently removed mine in an effort to eliminate as much Velcro as possible from my kit, though. Time will tell if it stays that way
    There's definitely 2 camps out there. Open top and velcro. I have a Ten Speed chest rig and my SPR chest rig that uses open top pouches. (they probably have a more tacticool name, but that's how I think of them.) For me, at the very beginning of building this rig, when docsherm was asking me 20 questions - "flexibility and adaptability" were key principles in the build. The universal pouch fit those requirements better than any tacos I've seen. Also I wanted to maximize ammo load out with out getting ridiculous. I train with this vest on and no it's not a lightweight like my Ten Speed, but it's not meant to be.
    I think mission/purpose determines what's smart and what's not. But sounds like you're focusing on what's the right setup for you.
    "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

    - Sam Houston

  6. #16
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    Did you have any issues hooking up your PTT? I cannot get my Peltor 6-pin to lock onto the radio connector for the life of me, already got a small blister on my palm trying to push and turn to lock it in place.

  7. #17
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    PRC-148 Radio, First Impressions and Initial Setup, and Follow on Setup on Chest Rig

    No issues here. Did you take your finger wet it and give the o-ring a swipe? Then try it? Can you tell of the pins are not engaging? In other words are there some marks that indicate the PTT female fitting is not going down far enough to engage?
    You can try sending a pic of the 6 pin male on your radio. I can compare to mine.
    Also I think I've used a little bit of oil on my finger or Vaseline maybe and swiped the o-ring. Technically you should probably use a silicone lube or something but I was not a commo dawg. It's been a long time since I've tried some of hose tricks I used as a soldier, but the "wet Willie" I've used more times than I can count.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by RobertTheTexan; 04-24-17 at 22:33.
    "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

    - Sam Houston

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turnkey11 View Post
    Did you have any issues hooking up your PTT? I cannot get my Peltor 6-pin to lock onto the radio connector for the life of me, already got a small blister on my palm trying to push and turn to lock it in place.
    Lick it before you stick it.

    Or use your finger to lube the o ring with spit.

    Whichever.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTF425 View Post
    Lick it before you stick it.

    Or use your finger to lube the o ring with spit.

    Whichever.
    I've done both of these more times than I can count.

    I even think I did it on a few radios too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

    - Sam Houston

  10. #20
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    I got her nice and wet first, it's as if I can't press it down far enough.


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