Clansman Ques.

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by toadinthehole, Jan 27, 2009.

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  1. I'm a TA infantry Clansman backpack user who has recently been told that in some circumstances if the antenna touches a wet branch then the antenna may become grounded/earthed and will be unable to transmit. I have not had an opportunity to try this and was wondering if someone here could tell me whether or not this is indeed true.

  2. Dunno about it ceasing to operate, but probably won't do much good to the propogation properties.
    Be careful to ensure the antenna is secured properly to the connection on the backpack - tree's took one off me whilst on site guard back in the day's of instant sunshine being available to the British Army - spent ages wandering around the woods once it was spotted my PRC352 was diffy a certain essential item - to no avail of course.

  3. Stop climbing trees is my advice.
  4. It won't be unable to transmit, but range may be reduced considerably. Assuming it is VHF then only one of the variety of ae's is not covered in plastic/rubber anyway, so should not affect any more than normal 'screening'.

    Joys of being a now obsolete RSI!!

    Of course if is an HF set then that would be completely different, then...(nods off again...)
  5. .... and you hope to get an answer in the Sigs forum?? :roll:

    Infantry DS answer:

    One of the first IAs when comms are down is to MOVE THE ANTENNA. Switching the set on, replacing the battery and plugging the headset in are other good moves, too. Oh, and remembering to change frequency when everybody else does.

    If you've lost comms as a result of the antenna touching a wet branch then move the antenna away from the branch.

    It doesn't always cause you to lose comms - sometimes it can improve them. Radios are fickle beasts - a bit like the operators.

    Honestly! - Expecting Jimmies to understand terms like "manpack" and "wet branch"
  6. McVicar - Thanks for the helpful reply . Please see my PM to you.

    Bloomers - inf don't climb trees, we like to pretend we are them.

    JT - good advice.

    Hi there, Puttees - I'm unable to be as dismissive of the expertise of our RSigs collegues and welcome their understanding of the physics of this. As infantry you’ll know that sometimes there may be limited opportunities for antenna relocation. For one thing inf locations may be chosen for tactical rather than purely comms reasons and it is sometimes a case of “we’re here, because we’re here”. A platoon harbour in a Christmas tree nursery (itself in the middle of tall pine forest), the admin area of a long-term ambush also in pine forest, and a small OP on the edge of a wood which hoped to talk back to the OC located well to the rear (where remoting an antenna was not an option as the cable/fittings weren’t available) are three examples where the possibilties for movement were very limited (and comms nil). The question in the first two cases were, where do you move to when you are deep within unbroken forest ? For example, standing between the pine trunks in a forestry block, antenna stuffed up between low, interlocking branches and taking into account attenuation factors in the calculation of path loss we were unable to work even at ¾ the distances we thought we should have been able to. (of course, we could have got the calcs wrong, however we recalced once we were warm and dry and came up with the same results). The only open area available in one case was a track running in the general line of sight direction of the LR FFR I was hoping to communicate with. They heard not a squeak from me and not a squeak was heard from them. I am told the LR (along with a mounted antenna) was backed into low, dense pine trees, so the problem may have been at their end. Hence my interest in all this. I should say I'm not anti-Clansman at all - just interested to learn if I was asking it to perform something it was not designed to do, or if I'm doing anything wrong.

  7. Why not try running a length of R4 copper braid from the antenna connection and feed it up the length of the tree, as sort of a vertical trailing wire. But hey, if pedantic puttees is right, then what the feck would i know. Oh just as a foot note, pine trees act as a bloody good conductor cos of their ability to absorb water and the high resin content. I thank you
  8. TiTH - I'm not being dismissive of RSigs. They've got their job to do and they do it well (after all, this is their forum ;) ). But I doubt that running about with a manpack is their core trade, whereas it sounds as though it is yours and it used to be mine. Good comms is paramount. If you're bimbling about in a wood, there's not a great deal that you can do to improve comms. But if you've harboured up with a "no move before..", then you can remote your antenna or even set up a rebro. With a length of string and a good throw, you can hoist your antenna above the foliage, effectively using a tree as a mast. Or you could even try lying the antenna on the ground. Move a couple of metres to one side, then the other. Try an alternative frequency. Try everything, because sitting about with no comms is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Once you leave the classroom, you enter the world of trial and error. Experience doesn't mean that you'll get the solution first time, just that you'll think of more options to try.

    PG - You're absolutely right. You can do antenna calculations until the cows come home and sometimes not get through. Or you can stick a random length of coat hanger in the antenna socket and get lucky. (I presume that you weren't advocating finding a tree that's some precise multiple of a 1/4 wave high...)
  9. Running around with a manpack is our core, we been doing it the Battlegroups since 2001 in stan and 2003 in iraq. The RLD's with para battlions which I have been in one, do it all the time. regards Ex 216 SNCO Trg Wing Staffy
  10. I find when using a vhf radio in a static location using the elevation kit with the GSA and a suitable gap in the foliage.

    On the random pieces of wire side im a fan of sticking a fork in you're tuam.
  11. Didn't the old Clansman Groundspike Ae come with a hoisting line so it could be thrown over a tree branch or building parapet and raised above head height?

    Wire antennas are your best friend. They can be trailed behind you if moving in thick cover, clipped to fences, stuck through roofs or any other ad hoc non pamphlet application. They even make a good combat washing line to dry your socks on.

    Another old hasbeen RSI.
  12. Yup, the elevation kit.
  13. This is not a good thing because they will absorb your signal ,
    just like large expanses of water are not good for comms sites !

    Also it doesn’t matter that the RS don’t "run about with an man pack" its still a radio system that they will have knowledge of

    The principles are the same it doesn’t matter what box its in or how its transported around the battle field

    Personally I wouldn’t worry about it to much

    as has been said in the real world away from the class room it is ,trial and error!
    what worked an hour ago doesn’t mean it will work now or even tomorrow ,hence the Freq changes its not done just to fook people about ,although it feels like it some times

    all of this will depend of whether you have HF,VHF,UHF...etc
  14. That's what I thought. See, I told you I was right.
  15. Roadster - thanks for this helpful reply - please see my PM to you.

    Jacob - I like the idea of trailing a wire behind and had never thought of it (or heard of it). I appreciate there may be bit of trial and error here (a message that is running through the thread), however to cut the trial and error to a minimum can you advise if :

    a) This wire should be any particular length (matched to the VHF freq) ?

    b) Does the antenna wire have to be insulated (say with a rubber cover to stop it grounding) or can it be simply bare wire ? (which I think you are indicating).