Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Equipment AAR: URC-111V radio  (Read 1622 times)
aswayze
Admin
Knows what he's talking about...
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5558


« on: March 29, 2010, 10:13:50 am »



 Item:  Motorola URC-111V multiband tactical radio. 

Plan: 

Use the URC-111V as the backup TOC radio (VRC-12 on Staggs Deuce was the primary) since it is pre-programmable and can be set to scan the admin net as well as monitor the primary tactical frequency.  Additionally, the fact the URC-111V has a built in speaker meant that we did not have to set up the GRA-39 and feed it D-cell batteries all week.  Since the URC-111V has no manpack antennas, we were to use the OE-254/GRC for the tactical VHF side and the Comet for the air band UHF side in the event we got support from the 1/135 Attack Recon squadron or 442nd fighter wing.   

Performance:   

Since we were unable to move Staggs Deuce into the pasture without making a complete mess of the place, we ended up using the URC-111V as the primary radio system. 

We thought that you could program the URC-111V to scan all 6 of it’s programmed channels but it turned out that the system will only scan the two guard (airband) channels plus the selected channel.  As a result, we overwrote the airband channels with the Admin net so we could scan admin as well as the tactical net. 

URC-111V interfaced VERY well with the OE-254/GRC and provided us with very solid comms all around and near the AO.   

Most comms was accomplished at 1.5 watts with 5 watts only being used when we were trying to get someone attention on the admin net with the quite irritating “beacon” mode.  (never really worked, but it was fun anyhow) Tongue

Issues: 

Comet antenna was never employed since we never got word back from the 1/135 or 442nd fighter wing guys.  Ben also over wrote the guard frequencies with the admin net.  (a good call given the circumstances)  As such, we had no air band communication set up…Obviously, we were caught very much with our pants down when the Apache’s suddenly materialized and we had no way to talk to them.

Motorola sucks at making audio gear so the sound on the URC is not as good as the sound off of the PRC-77s.  As usual, there is some motorboating and the usual Moto stuff.  None of this makes the system unusable, it is just not as clear as the PRC-77.  I guess if you are going to sing lullabies or be an auctioneer on the net, you should probably check out a PRC-77 for that job. 

URC-111V also was something of a holy grail as an admin radio.  It always transmits the 150Hz tone required for the PRC-25/77 radios to open squelch but would ALSO open it’s own squelch for a carrier.  As a result, to the operator of the URC-111V, there was effectively no difference between talking to Abica on an R-105M and talking to Trucker on a PRC-77.  Even the VRC-12, which can do both, has to be manually switched back and forth.   This reduced the amount of scurrying around to answer admin calls by a fair bit. 

Fixes:

Need to get a man pack UHF antenna for this guy.  It would not take much to get the job done, I’ll see of I can make something up.   I’d say we should always put the Comet antenna up but we really are not trying to do air traffic control here, the little antenna will do us just fine, I just need to find one that will get the job done. 

Apart from that, I am quite happy with this radio.  I might look around for a vehicle mount but that’s about it. 
Logged
abica
East Wind II East Bloc Planning Staff
Knows what he's talking about...
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 677


« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 10:52:01 am »

Beacon mode?  I...think...I heard some crazy tones coming in on the admin net a couple times over the week, maybe that was it?

As I recall, it was easy to tell what radio was being used for admin traffic.  The URC-111V must have been the "main one that's really solid."  I experienced a couple anomalies throughout the week on the receiving end, but rarely anything major.  (I remember one or two instances I was talking to Swayze and he barely came in, but he could have been using a different unit). 

I guess once a comms guy, always a comms guy...I was taking mental notes on admin net performance without even thinking about it.  Traffic on what I believed to be PRC sets (trucker, etc) was fair to excellent in almost all situations, by the way.

Logged

"Everything in war is very simple but the simplest thing is difficult"
~Carl von Clausewitz
aswayze
Admin
Knows what he's talking about...
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5558


« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 11:19:19 am »

If I sounded like I was asleep on some of that faint traffic you may have been hearing me talking to you on the PRC-25 with the ribbon antenna, it pulled cot side admin radio duty from time to time.   I don't think I ever talked to you on the PRC-68. 
Logged
benjamin.kelley
East Wind NATO Planning Staff
Recruit
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 33


« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 10:17:26 am »

The beacon mode sounds like a weaping moan(I believe that's how the manual describes it). It's probably the least functional radio beacon I've ever used. It however would for example make a really good feature to annoy people on an less than active net. It should have sounded similar to a UFO, WEEEeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuUUUUUUUWWW...

Issue: URC-111V was received only days prior to EWIII, so there was no training available before hand for officers who would be designated to operate it. We primitively deployed it at first, not understanding the scan feature etc... After reading the manual and getting a grasp, I was then able to educated all the officers and TOC personnel on the operation of the radio for how we were to deploy it.
Fix: Add this to the COMMS training lineup.

Issue: Ben didn't know there were valid guard frequencies programmed into the radio, thus he overwrote them with the more useful admin net.
Fix: Admin should mention to the S6 person this type of data. Smiley

Issue: We only have one of these mothers.
Fix: Convert our dollars to shekels to buy some more. This is an incredibly useful radio and it would be nice to have an additional around for various reasons.

Issue: Existing NRI(net radio interface) connector on the GRA-39 that connect to the PRC-77 and VRC series is not compatible with the URC-111V. We were unable to deploy NRI as planned. In the scale we were deployed and the amount of radio usage, this wasn't necessarily a problem, but it does need fixed before EWIV.
Fix: Have Allan solder up a connector this this. We could have done this in the field, but again due to our situation it was not worth the time.
Logged
aswayze
Admin
Knows what he's talking about...
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5558


« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 11:05:44 am »

The GRA-39 works exactly the same for the URC-111V as it does the PRC-77 or the VRC-12.  It is mostly a remote system, if you want to do NRI with it then you need to make up a wire dongle thingy that puts the switchboard in contact with Pin A and Pin B on the handset jack on the GRA so that the switchboard (or attached telephones) can trigger the PTT.   Either way, we were not really set up for NRI this year, we'll have to play with it some during comms weekends this fall, I think it will be helpful in the future. 

Ben is correct that the URC-111V was recieved in inventory very late.  Literally, I finally got the set powered up and tested literally the week I was packing for East Wind III.   Not very much time to familiarise ourselves with the system before it hit the field.   No time = no training = no communication.  Hence Ben did not know Guard A was Civilian Guard and Guard B was Military Guard (I had programmed them in when I was testing the radio)  Switching to the URC instead of the VRC in the deuce was sort of a last minute call and givent hat thee were a lot of fires to stomp out just then pretty much all Ben got was a URC-111V, a users manual and a smack on the ass.  Given the circumstances, he adapted pretty well. 

Logged
benjamin.kelley
East Wind NATO Planning Staff
Recruit
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 33


« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 11:59:35 am »

The GRA-39 works exactly the same for the URC-111V as it does the PRC-77 or the VRC-12.  It is mostly a remote system, if you want to do NRI with it then you need to make up a wire dongle thingy that puts the switchboard in contact with Pin A and Pin B on the handset jack on the GRA so that the switchboard (or attached telephones) can trigger the PTT.   Either way, we were not really set up for NRI this year, we'll have to play with it some during comms weekends this fall, I think it will be helpful in the future. 

Ok, I misunderstood what you were saying about the adapter then, I probably had mud in my ears.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to: