Clansman Batteries

Hi All

Took the plunge or rather an impulse buy and purchased a PRC 320 the other week, couldn’t resist £150 for the radio with frame, antenna whip including the goose neck, handset and 2 Ni-Cd batteries.
I have been looking at a means of charging the 24v 4Ah batteries and the methods I am considering are the Turnigy Accucel-8 150W or the clansman 12v DCCU.
Just wondering if anyone else has another way of charging these batterries and could advise to what they are using.


Have you checked the Ni-Cd batteries are OK? Although this is a slightly newer radio than the ones I worked on there were a lot of problems with Nicads of this generation and they may have “whiskered”. If the worst comes to the worst and they are low voltage and the usual methods of reclaiming them don’t work then it is fairly easy to replace the cells with Ni-MH ones.

If all is OK then any constant current supply will charge Ni-Cd but watch the temperature (the Clansman charger does this for you IIRC)

Barry GM4TOE

Hi Graeme,

A couple of years ago, I was activating G/SP-004 Shining Tor, working SSB on the 20m band, when I received a call from Alex VK2HAS with a lovely 5/9 signal. We had a natter and I asked him what his working conditions were. He told me, a Clansman 320, running 25 Watts into a folded dipole. He then asked if he could drop his power down? No problem for me. He reduced the power to just 2 watts and I gave him a 5/7 signal report and we carried on rag-chewing.

Sadly, those band conditions are well behind us :frowning:

Alex is a big Clansman man and his QRZ page is well worth a visit.

73 Mike

2 S points is 12dB.
25W is 14dBW, so -12dB takes that to 2dBW
2dBW is 1.6W

Experimental result confirms theory of S meter. Who’d have thought they actually do work (well they do on some radios)


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Hey Graeme… there’s a guy on eBay offering several lots of 100x new old stock Clansman 24V batteries.

Hi Graeme, I use a Turnigy model 01027 to charge my 1aH Clansman cell which I rebuilt with Turnigy cells. My 4ah cell I rebuilt with 2 SLA’s but it is a little too heavy for long SOTA hikes. This charger seems to work well. I also built a discharger which keeps the cells from getting any memory effect (I hope). Details for it can be found on the PRC320 Yahoo, it’s a great group if your not already a member.

Thanks for the replies I will try to reply to all.
Had a check on the batteries when I purchased them they were reading between 26-27v, they look in good nick sparkley with a plastic case, used one of the batteries for 2 hours today so passed my expectation. The last time I used a clansman you were lucky to get an hour out of each battery many spares had to be carried and distributed amongst the platoon. Failing that they will make a good paper weight.

Had a check on VK2HAS qrz page after you mentioned about your QSO to me at the Bishop Auckland rally, I have made myself a little crib sheet of the operating procedure. Looking forward to the next S2S events EU to VK or EU to NA, in general should be fun to use.

Could be a good investment 100 activations of 10 pointers and not bother with the charger, I don’t think the other half would be to pleased. One good thing about the 320 no S meter.

Thanks for the info Paul on the battery rebuilds I had seen a few web pages showing this in detail and I did think about it, but looking in my drawer and cupboard I see a few projects I still have to complete/start. I think the Turnigy 8 150w may have an option for discharging the battery.

I found this YouTube clip made by VK6OP it may useful for anyone else showing the setup that he is using for charging the batteries.


Hi Graeme
great deal. 150£, is a great price for that wounderful radio. :slight_smile: enjoy it.


Sadly, big quantities of Clansman radios have been destroyed. Their strong point is actually their Achillies heal. There’s a big gold content on the board edges and so many of them have been torn apart and stripped of their gold by reclaimers.

I should imagine that Clansman radios would have been a very expensive when new…


Priced in the £1000’s when new

I first used the clansman 320 during 1987 as a young teenager. I was taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and one of the modules was a communication course we had to complete for our bronze award nothing to complicated, probably equivalent to todays foundation licence.
My only experience of radios before that was a CB with an old biscuit tin and a whip in the attic.
It was a bit of eye opener as the course was held at Clonaver Barracks in Belfast and the first night was a demonstration of the different systems being used at that time.
Always wanted one ever since, all I need is a sherppa to carry the batteries and time of from work.

73 Graeme
Happy Christmas

you could get the 28v chargers on ebay, thats where i got mine, i use a 30v adjustable power supply to run that. you might be able to get the 6 bank charger which is 240 run, these are big and heavy so you may be paying alot for carriage

martin 2m0kau

Hi Martin

I went with the Turnigy 8 150w charger I run this from the PSU at home or it can be connected up the vehicle to charge the batteries.
Thought it would be a better investment for when I need to replace any other batteries for my portable setup in the future.

Happy Christmas

I just found this article about Clansman and the PRC320 in Wireless World April 1978

Just love that word “lightweight” - :laughing:

Man-portable: adj. A notionally portable device that weighs as much as a man.

Portable (Navy): adj. Anything that can be mounted on a ship and moved around. eg. “That turret of 16 inch guns is portable”

As someone who used to both use and repair clansman equipment, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Give me Yaesu, Icom etc any day!

I’ve heard that the distinction between mobile and portable equipment is that the portable equipment has enough handles to lift it.


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