So you have your radio but so far cant do anything with it, not even tell if it works, because you need - audio ancillaries! We will talk about those in this post, plus a few other bits and bobs, but first, a word from our sponsors -
Army Radio Sales
Alright, so they are not really sponsors, its not like they have given me anything to plug them on my blog (yet - you know where I am fellas ;-) ), but I ought to mention them as good suppliers of Clansman radios and spares, if only because I have quite blatantly nicked their photos for this post!
So, on to the audio!
Whichever radio you have, you will need some way to hear it and to talk on it. This is the one area where almost all Clansman equipment is the same - the audio ancillaries are all interchangeable. This is great as sometimes one type is better than another different set-up. For instance I like the standard headset for my PRC-320 if its on my back, but prefer a handset for fixed use.
The handset is probably the simplest to use, as its used just like a telephone, only theres a PTT (pressel) on the handle.
You may recall my cable-less handset - this is a 'Remote' handset, intended to be connected to the radio from a distance of up to 3km using telephone wire (properly DON-10, but at a push whatever is to hand). The PRC-351/2 can do this natively, theres a pair of terminals on it. This allows the radio to be used from a distance, ideal when the enemy DF you and mortar the position you left the radio in (not too likely for amateur use outside of Barnsley), but also as an intercom between the handset and the radio.
sets... for yer 'ead! Probably the most common accessory you will find supplied with PRC-351s. Most will be the 'Lightweight, Infantry' type shown below on Desperate Dan
These are ok, an advantage they have is that the two earpieces are independent channels, and one of them can be popped out to make hearing whats going on around you easier. The idea of the independent channels is so that when used in an AFV the radio can be in one ear, and the commanders intercom shouting at you in the other. The radios have both audio channels in parallel, so unless you run them through the various vehicle intercom boxes, you will get the radio audio from both earpieces anyway.
Another headset style is the Armoured vehicle type below, designed to be used with a tankies helmet (not to be confused with his Bobbies Helmet!)
Neither headset is any use on its own, as they dont have an integral PTT. So you must make sure you get a Pressel cable with them -
More commonly used with the PRC-349, there is the single earpiece Throat Mic
Not too bad but you do have to strap the mic around your neck! so they are quite unpopular as a result. There is also the Single Transducer Earpiece, shown in the black and white below. Quite unusual, and seemingly issued with the PRC-319, this has an integral PTT on the top, and uses bone conduction for your voice - this means that your transmission goes out sounding the way YOU think you sound, not how others actually hear you! Expect people to not recognise your voice!
And thats most of your audio options. If you can afford one, a freestanding loudspeaker is nice to have for the PRC-320 in particular
There are also audio extension cables available that allow you to use the radios from around 10m away.
You may also find microphones on their own, with an odd three pin plug on them. You dont need one of these (even if you discover the matching socket on the headset) unless your intending to play ham radio in State 3 Romeo, which to those uninitiated into the world of NBC Warfare (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) means wearing full chemical warfare clothing and respirator. This mic is the respirator mic - intended to fit on the speech capsule of your gas mask! No, I dont have one of these mics (although I DO have my S10 respirator!)
If you have a PRC-320 or 319, you might also like a Morse key! There are a few types available. Mine is a fully enclosed Racal thigh key (ie it straps to your leg!). The usual Clansman thigh key has a couple of adjusters on top.
So all thats left now is to discuss antennas!