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Amateur Radio

Antennas (1)
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RFT System U-600
R-173 Tank Radio
SOTA 2010 Ireland
SOTA 2011 Ireland
SOTA 2011 Wales
SOTA Belgium/Other
SOTA 2012
SOTA 2012 II
SOTA 2013 Ireland
VHF 2013 Ireland
SOTA 2013 Wales
SOTA Germany
SOTA Luxembourg
SOTA 2014 Ireland
SOTA 2014 Ireland II
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Worked All Ireland

R-173 (P-173)


The R-173 Tank Radio


The R-173 is of Soviet design and dates back to the mid-1980's ...?  Built to withstand extreme mechanical and temperature conditions it was in use by armed forces in the USSR and its Eastern European satellite states and  was typically mounted in armoured vehicles.  It is still in use today albeit in its modernised version R-173M.


I obtained an R-173 Tank Radio about a decade ago but was missing the all important interconnect cables.  It took me many years to "find" matching cables and accessories both over the Internet and by browsing boxes of junk at hamfests.


These radios will typically connect through a tank "intercom system" which I did not have, so I needed to figure out whether the set would actually power-up, whether it was working (I took a risk by buying blind) and how to connect a speaker / microphone combination directly. 


I plan to use the set by programming certain frequencies in the 6m and 4m amateur radio bands, narrow band FM modulation.



The pictures below are about me testing the R-173 radio.



The R-173 on a trolley ... a 40kg hernia job!  All connections are to front.

R-173 side view with some cables connected.

The side connections are mounted at a slight angle.

This 20A power supply can be adjusted to 26V DC.

First power-up test ...

First interconnect test ...

Translating from Russian, making sure I had located the RX and TX pins!

Programming a 6m frequency into Channel 1.

Programming a 4m frequency into Channel 5.



Cables and accessories.



The original power cord:  4-pin female connector and bare cable end. 

Power cable (now fused at 20A) mated with more traditional red/black wires.

The original PTT switch unit.  German markings, probably ex-GDR.

Interconnect cable: PTT switch with a very peculiar embedded socket and a multi-pin female connector.

An original telephone style speaker/microphone assembly.  Note the peculiar male plug to match the PTT unit.



Russian coax connectors and patch cable.



Two disassembled (ex-used) Russian 70 Ohms angled coaxial connectors.

The all important ring.

I failed to remove the ring from this connector because it was spot-welded.  Don't buy these at hamfests!

Preparing the coax, twisting the braid through the ring's notches for soldering.

My adapter cable for Russian-to-N coax connections.

The R-173 connected to a dummy load.



Some info about side sockets and control panel.



XP1: 4-pin male socket, used for power supply.

XP2: 10-pin male socket, used (amongst other) for audio i/o [speaker / microphone assembly].



Display shows Channel + Frequency (KHz) only when Display button is pressed.



More info to come including measurements and first use on ham bands.




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