Clansman PRC-319

Back pack HF/VHF Transceiver

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The #link error# is a British Special Forces HF manpack transceiver designed by MEL (Mullard Electronic Labatories), A Division of Philips, in 1988.(It is part of the Clansman family). It is a microprocessor controlled radio and covers 1.5 MHz to 40 MHz.

Power levels are selectable between 5W and 50W in CW and USB. It's EMP and water proof but won't float. Operational temperature ranges from -31C to +55C.

There were only 350 sets made. It has mixed technologies; SMT, Hybrid, Through Hole and Flex Circuits. The 319 has 150 IC's and about 2200 passives not counting the internal parts in the Hybrids and TCXO. It also has about a 90% BITE capability for the radio and modem. The Radio + TURF weight is 10.5 pounds (4.8 Kg) without a battery pack. The dimensions are 9 x 15 x 4 inches with the TURF and 4AH battery.

The #link error# has both 10 receive and 10 transmit channels for fixed frequency operation. It has no VFO, but this is not a problem because most of the HF back packers operate on known fixed frequencies.

The external 'wide range' automatic antenna tuner (TURF) has memory and has 30 latching relays in it. It tunes the Rx & Tx for each channel and remembers the settings.

General characteristics

HAM bands
Frequency stability
± 0.5 p.p.m.
Tuning steps


1.5-40 MHz
AM   CW   SSB  
Receiver system
Image rejection
Audio output


1.5-40 MHz
AM   CW   SSB  
50 W PEP, 2-5 W low power setting


Proprietary (military)


Power requirements
20-28V DC
Current drain RX


Between 1988 and 199x in UK
Dimensions (w×h×d)
228 × 380 × 100 mm (8.98 × 14.96 × 3.94 in) with TURF and 4Ah battery
4.80 kg (10.6 lbs)
Form factor

Other features

10 channels in 1 bank(s)
Military communication
Features + options
Range: 20 km with whip antenna, up to 5000 km with long wire or dipole

Manuals, diagrams and brochures

AN PRC-319 Service Mannual submitted by RigReference
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Reviews & stories

Interesting Unit

Clansman PRC-319, Back pack HF/VHF Transceiver

The PRC319 is a former British special forces radio used by the SAS. Its quite sturdy and relatively compact for what it is with an excellent 2 component autotuner. The radio reliably puts out either 5 or 50W power, though run time at 50W tends to be short due to limited battery life. The radio accepts most of the standard British clansman radio accessories meaning it can be used with a variety of audio input devices as well as CW key.

Some but not all units also come with an electronic message unit (EMU) that can be used to communicate with other units that are similarly equipped.

For ham use it is not ideal due to the fact changing frequencies is tedious, each receive and transmit frequency must be input manually which takes 10-20 seconds. This drawback generally limits to operating the PRC319 on a fixed frequency. No tuning around the band to find someone to talk to.

Also due to complicated nature of the radio repairs are frequently a DIY affair, don't buy a broken one.

Build quality
User friendliness
Value for money
Okay condition in 2011

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