1750RE: [ov-10fans] Question about antennas on the OV-10A
- Oct 30, 2013
The whip antenna was / were for the VHF / FM (or Fox Mike) radios and the various blade antenna were for the navigational / Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) radios. The longer blade antenna located on the lower side of the left (or # 1) boom was for the UHF radio. The shorter blade antenna located at the top of that boom was for the TACAN (TACtical Air Navigation) radio. On the right (# 2) boom were the upper and lower IFF antennae.
The Bronco was, primarily, an aerial observation or forward air control missioned aircraft. The VHF / FM radio (PRC-25 or PRC-77) carried by our ground forces in combat such as Viet Nam were line-of-sight radios, meaning they could not talk “over” mountains, many tall buildings, or any other like obstructions. The fix for that was to outfit the Bronco with two VHF/ FM radios managed by two separate control boxes and each with the “Re-Transmit” feature. The result was the ability to provide and aerial repeater for the ground unit and whoever they were attempting to communicate with (HQ, artillery, etc.) and the beauty of this capability was that these two entities didn’t have to be on the same frequency. The pilot (as those two control boxes were only in the front cockpit) would select the ground unit’s frequency on one control box and the artillery’s frequency on the other one, advance the ON / OFF switch to RETRANS and from that moment on it was all hands free for the Bronco as the powers of AVIONICS was enabling both the ground and artillery unit to talk as if there was nothing blocking their direct radio transmissions. When trouble shot this feature (many, many moons ago) I would select the squadron common ( the VHF / FM frequency assigned to our squadron; VMO-1) and I would dial in the frequency for TV Channel 6 (Wilmington, NC) on the other VHF / FM radio. Next I would place a radio call to our ready room and let them know I was about to do a Fox Mike RETRANS check and the Squadron Duty Officer (SDO) (or clerk) would acknowledge the request. They would tune in Channel 6 on the TV in the ready room, turn down the sound at which time, with my activation of the RETRANS feature, they are now watching the broadcast on the TV but listening to the sound via the squadron radio. Note both the pilot and the Aerial Observer (backseat) had the capability to listen these radio transmissions as well if they chose to do so.
I hope this answered your question, I am known for giving a twenty minute response to a five minute question. Take pictures and share when you finish your project.
I have a question about the antennas on the OV-10A - particularly the whip antenna on the tail boom and the little blade antenna on top of the vertical stabilizer.
I've noticed that most Broncos have two whip antennas and two vertical stabilizer blade antennas. However, I've noticed that when a Bronco has only one whip antenna, it also has only one blade antenna on the opposite boom of where the whip antenna is located. Are the whip antenna and this small blade antenna related somehow? I'm building an OV-10A model that has only one whip antenna, so I'm wondering if I should do only one blade antenna too.
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