Italian Iret made Iraqi PRC 638 Radios
a buddy of mine has 5 of these he's looking to part with anyone know what they are worth? here in the US?
IRET PRC-638 With all the money that Iraq had available to spend on their equipment, that radio equipment which has been available for inspection by civilian collectors does not reflect a respect for communications ability or need. Equipment found is never of the latest design, or even of the same generation as that used by other nations military's. Instead it appears that the price tag was the determining factor in the acquisition of signal equipment for the Iraqi military. Most of the radios that were brought back, illegally by returning troops, were eventually disposed of to the surplus markets. These radio sets will fall into two categories, Obsolete equipment discarded, or replaced in the inventory of the country of origin and second class equipment, that was intended for military / police / commercial sales, and did reflect some state of the art technology but was physically ill suited for combat service. After the inspection of numerous pieces of radio equipment, it is apparent that if a radio should fail, and couldn't be easily fixed, it was discarded. In the event it wasn't, and repairs were attempted, it should have been discarded and later was. I think this technical failing can be seen also in every other item of Iraqi equipment that was complicated. We saw it in their missile program.
The diversity found in the communication equipment used is astounding. It would have been impossible to maintain any kind of logistic support for such a diversity of equipment types. Thus, the Iraqi army must have considered this equipment as disposable Before beginning to discuss this equipment, it must be kept in mind that it is not known the exact origin or time frame in which the Iraqi's acquired it. Radios could have been purchased on the open market, from clandestine sources or it could have been captured during the seven-year war with Iran as well as during their rapid invasion and capture of Kuwait.
For More Details on Iraqi Comms, See Desert Storm Article by Dennis Starks
A list of these radios and technical details can be obtained from Dennis Starks of the "Military Collector Group Post"
IRET PRC-638 Usage Instructions
IRET PRC-638 Usage Instructions, Translated
1- Put a fully charged battery in the device.
2- Attach the short or long antenna according to your need to itís socket. Note: when using the bipolar antenna (50 ohm) use the socket AA-6
3- Attach the manual device to the (not sure, I think socket) of the manual device number 1 (remote control, drawing, Morris)
4- Select the desired frequency using the 4 options given.
5- Turn the volume control knob all the way down
6- Turn the on off control button to on
7- Turn the suppression control (not sure about that) button to any of the off positions, then adjust the volume control to the desired level.
8- Turn the suppression control to up or down according to the need (tone or carrier) and according to the desired mode of operation.
9- To send push the send button and speak in front of the speaker and to receive take your hand off the button
Note: you will hear and interrupted tone outside the (?) when (?) comes down.
IRET PRC-638 Warnings, Translated
1- Do not utilize the device without antenna because that would damage it due to itís sensitivity.
2- Do not carry the device using the antenna or the manual device because that might result in damaging the base and itís connection to the manual device (I guess they mean the speaker)
1- Do not use the device charger to charge the dry batteries because that might result in damaging the charger
2- Keep the original batteries (nickel/cadmium) that came with the device because they are rechargeable for up to 300 times
3- Do not utilize the device using the charger directly without the batteries because that might end up in damaging the device.
4- You can not use the device and charge the batteries at the same time.
IRET PRC-638 Frequency Controls and Lower Knobs From Right to Left
- first socket upper writing: remote control then under it Morris and a symbol
- lower writing: socket for manual control
- Second socket upper writing one word: power
- Third knob lower writing: Volume control adjuster
- Upper writing from right to left: on, then voluntary emission and a symbol under it, last word is off
- Forth knob is: for control of type of suppression
- Upper writing on forth knob: first position is tone, second is carrier, third is off, the forth is tone, the fifth is carrier and the sixth is off
- There are three words on top of this knob the right top one is labelled high the middle word from top is the output power, the third is high.
- The fifth knob has two words one on top is on and two words on bottom upper one is off and the second on bottom is remote control.
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