Probably because they were all in my (TA) store then! God knows why, we never used them, because "you can't recharge them and we might need them one day". They'll either still be on the shelves or in a skip by now.
And as much as some may like to reminisce of old times sat in a cold dark room winding up the batteries, some people prefer to save their arm for more important duties and make life a bit easier with one of these.
Used to be the standard set for Ground to Air Comms, all the FAC's at Bde and DALO
at Div. were issued with them, 78-82, they were certainly used in 741/742 TACP's
these were 4Div Units(Minden) and 743/744 TACP's(Detmold) all under the wing
of 804 TACP(DALO) at 4Div(Herford)
I seem to remember they replaced the A43 and Ferret, when Spartan and Clansman
I think that there was a bit of a panic in regards to FAC equipment and training prior to GW1. In fact I know there was a panic, that's why they deployed the whole of JFACTSU. The powers that be thought that the 344 wouldn't be up to the task so we were gifted (or so I was told) a job lot of PRC113's from the US.
The benefit of the 113 was the ability to pre-programme freqs, which made it much easier to use when operating in a multi net mixed VHF/UHF environment. The VHF range wasn't really worth writing a Bluey home about though.
Some FAC's swore by the 344 as it did seem to out-perform the TX and RX capabilities of the 113's and it was probably the radio of choice just for 1 to 1 talk ons, you often picked up the jet long before it reached the CP.
Forgive me if I am wrong (which I often am), but do I spy a vehicle mounted TUAAM and antenna mount in the bottom right hand corner?
I smell a hand charger walt!
We had one, but it was only for curiosity's sake. We had an ACCU (16 batts, I think?) in the stores and 2x DCCUs in every wagon. Bollox to the hand charger. It was easier to fix the wagon not supplying the DCCU than to use the hand charger.
Yep the ACCU charges 16 which is more than the IBMS. The IBMS was quite useful being part timers though because it detects when the batteries are full and switches itself off. The DCCU / ACCU will continue to push power into the battery as long as it is switched on, which isn't ideal either for the battery nor the charger. If you but the batteries on the ACCU at 9.30 on Tuesday night and take them off at 7pm on the next Tuesday you would find the ACCU and the batteries pretty ******* hot. Apparently they can explode. The IBMS also has a 're-condition' function which can be useful for batteries which only get used on the weekends for short training periods etc, and don't get fully discharged. If you re-charge them from part discharged a few times they will develop a 'memory' and refuse to charge to full capacity, a process which, to some extent, the IBMS can reverse.
When it came to annual camp I remember we always packed the ACCU because it charges more at once, simples. IBMS in vehicles is something which, AFAIK, never really took off, it was very much a stores thing.
I may be wrong on this, it was a long time ago, but I do not think that the presence of a TUAAM necessarily indicates vehicle power is available. The 351/2 had no "tune" position, so could not initiate the TUAAM tuning sequence. Thus the Initiate Box, which did the job for you when using a 351/2 in a vehicle. Normally you would use a DCCU to power the 351/2, but I'm sure it would run from just the battery. The bit I can't remember is whether the IB had a power input, or whether it took it from the set. The TUAAM certainly didn't have a power input.
Correct, it is possible to have a vehicle mounted TUAAM without power in the vehicle apart from the regular battery under the front seat for the vehicle electronics; and for the radio battery to supply the power needed for the radio. My (light hearted) point was though, he said "no vehicle" and whilst yes, TUAAM and vehicle mount does not mean power available, it does usually mean vehicle attached!
For 351/352/320 etc, there was a plate you could use to mount the manpack frame on the racking in the vehicle. I assume this didn't go with the 344? I remember it being fiddly, especially with cold fingers. I can't remember why we didn't have a single 321 in the whole battalion but we didn't. We had tons of radio junk but a 321 wasn't part of it, so 'clipped in' 320 it was. However, unlike the diagram, we had a locally-made power supply for the 320 which somebody had made inside the battery casing (obviously had to cut a hole in it to plug it in). It involved some kind of modified portable laptop charger or something, it worked a treat actually.