Racal Panther V and 2000-V Military VHF radios.

The Racal Panther series of Radios were one of the last radios to be produced by UK communications giant Racal before their closure in 2000. Many of Racals more modern designs were taken over by Thales and the Panther radios have been sold (and may still be being sold) by Thales.

If you obtain one of these radios it’s likely that the hold up battery (HUB battery) for the radios memories will be flat. It is a 3V AA sized lithium batter soldered to the motherboard underneath the MOD/SYNTH module. It’s quite easy to change, the radio will throw up all sorts of error messages if the battery is flat. The Panther radios throw up a BIT (Built In Test) error if their memory battery goes flat or if the power supply module is disconnected from the chassis/motherboard. This is caused by the need to reset the radios internal clock. Press the up arrow and 3 to enter the clock setting sequence.

If you have one of these Racal radios I would urge you to replace the 47uF tantalum capacitor in DC-DC converter on the back of the main power supply board (not all have a Tantalum cap, some use an Electrolytic). This is inside a small screen can on the rear of the board. They have a tendency to go short circuit, explode and catch fire. This will burn out the input choke to the converter and can cause extensive damage to the PCB that may be difficult to repair!  Other common problems with these radios is failing high voltage decoupling capacitors in the power feeds to the tuning circuits of the RF unit. The capacitors start to pull down the 85v dc rail that is used to tune various circuits throughout the radio until the radio will no longer work on certain frequencies or frequency bands. You can access the 85v rail on the bottom of the main motherboard to measure it’s voltage. If you find this is getting pulled down below 80v on certain bands then it would be good to look for bad caps on the RF board. The 85V power supply is located on the SYN/MOD board.

Cinematographer and film maker Alister Chapman's Personal Website