Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Full Monty

Well, after being shouted at from both ends, Hermes managed to find my missing parcel and deliver it on Wednesday. This contained all the remaining Clansman items from Andy in Glasgow. I left it where it was in reception until lunchtime on Thursday, when I summoned up the energy to carry the box to the car!
Hmmm, goodies

It turns out that theres two 4W SURF units, and not a 2W SURF as I had imagined. Not that that makes any difference. The Free Standing Loudspeaker, there in the middle, was what the whole deal was about!

After a few tests and checks, Ive decided that the PRC-350 from Andy is actually in better condition externally than the one I already had, so I have swapped the brand new antenna connector over and made this one as good as possible.

The naked 350

To do so, and be sure the antenna contact was properly made, involved opening it up. There was a dent in the back cover, so I removed the PCB from that half and knocked that out. I had to open it up again after fitting the antenna connector, and fit the seal i'd forgotten the first time!

This meant that I could get onto testing everything. The loudspeaker works brilliantly, but its volume knob was a bit rough and knocked about, so I swapped that with one of the knobs from the Amplifier box. It could do with a bit of a paint touch up in places, and on the stand.

Of the six PRC-349 sets, I found two of the earpiece and throat mic sets faulty. Not a big issue for me. One of the radios however, seemed to be faulty.

This radio would work ok in NOISE ON (*) mode, but not receive in L or W modes, unless it was close to the transmitter. This led me to suspect a squelch fault. So, I popped the cover off, did the same to a working one, and checked the adjustment positions. Sure enough, it wasnt in the same place as the working one, a quick tweek and that radio now works just fine.

I did notice that two of the antennas were better condition than the ones on my mint pair of 349s, so swapped those. Likewise, some of the dust caps got moved about!

With all the kit tested apart from the two SURFs and the Amplifier Box (which I cant test), I decided to have a look at the two extra 'faulty' radios. Both have one fault the same, i'll come to that in a moment. But one had a fault which I just couldnt believe when I saw it.

The photos below show show the faulty one on the right - can you see problem?

The entire 0v connection - thats a nut, bolt, washer, solder tag and ceramic capacitor -  were missing! Just simply not there, and the -ve battery terminal looked like it had never been connected!

Closer look - wheres me solder tag?
This was a simple fault to repair, but time consuming to find a suitable nut and bolt! The two radios are still faulty, but I know the problem. The protection link, a short length of thing tinned wire, is in both cases missing.

I need to find the right sized wire in order to repair these links. Theres no rush to do that though.

The rarely seen underside of a PRC-349 radio

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