The PRC-80 is an FM backpack transceiver for the tactical band. This radio setup is developed and built by Tadiran from Israel. These transceivers were built under license in Belgium by SAIT. The PRC80 was used in Belgium by the "Rijkswacht", a police force with military tasks. The PRC-80 transceiver was disbanded in the year 2000.
Between 30 and 88 MHz, 11 channels can be programmed as fixed channels or for frequency hopping. The channel spacing is 25 kHz. But there's an offset knob for -10, -5, 0, +5 and 10 kHz for shifting the set frequency in 5 kHz steps. The transceiver has an lcd display showing the frequency. The transceiver is rather easily programmed by the keypad. The RF output can be switched between 250 mW and 4 Watts. The supply voltage of the tranceiver itself is 12 VDC. When used in the frame with r power amplifier 24 VDC has to be applied to the frame. Voice encryption, frequency hopping, and digital COMSEC (Secure communication by encrypting informations, so that they are unreadable by an unauthorized listener) options are possible.
The VRC8000 setup has to be powered by the male 4-pin connector on the frame. The connections are: Pin A: 24VDC return/ground Pin B: +24VDC power
frequency range: 30,000...87,975 MHz PRC-80 (bare transceiver) RF output power: 0,25 or 4 Watts VRC-8000 (with RF amplifier) RF output power: 0,2/3,5/50 Watts mode: FM number of channels: 2.320 fixed or frequency hopping channels: 11 channel spacing: 25 kHz data transmission: up to 16 kbit/s (when the COMSEC module is installed) Powered by: 12 VDC (battery pack) Powered by: 24 VDC with VAU-6088 power supply/audio unit weight: 9,1 kg (complete PRC-80 manpack) size: 260 x 380 x 80 mm (PRC-80 manpack)
PRC-80 vs VRC-8000
The manpack setup is called the PRC-80. The vehicle setup with RF amplifier for example is called the VRC-8000.
The PRC-80 manpack consists of the following items: RT-3088 Transceiver AU-4088 Portable audio unit with battery box (connected to the transceiver) AT-888 Short antenna for portable use AT-288 Braod band long antenna for portable use H-189/R Handset
The VRC-8000 configuration for vehicle use (as shown below) consists of the following items: RT-3088 Transceiver VAU-6088 power supply/audio unit AM-5088 50 Watt RF power amplifier H-189/GR Handset. Mounting frame optional Elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC) module (not on the photo)
Most army transceivers (like the RT-3600 and RT-4600 transceiver) are painted in the 'standaard' NATO color RAL 6013 F9. But the VRC-8000 has a more brown color. Based on the RAL color chart, the paint color is RAL 6014.
There's a fault detection built into the transceiver powersupply/audio part. I found out that the red 'fault light' lights when the input voltage is too low. Due to the absence of a user manual and service manual other fault conditions are unknown.
The VRC8000 is nowadays (2022) quite rare. I almost never seen them. The SEM25, RT-3600 and RT-4600 can be found rather regular, but the VRM8000 is apparently much harder to find. I 'traveled back' to the year 2010 and it turns out that the VRM8000 was sold in The Netherlands for €295,00 as seen on the screenshot below. Since it's twelve years ago the stock is long gone so a VRM8000 is probably only sold by individuals nowadays.
Due to a lack of space I sold my VRC8000... But I've made a video about the cleaning of the device. The video about the cleaning an be viewed below.