Home:  Military Comms: BRITISH ARMY MURPHY A41 No2, 1960's


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The Murphy A41 No 2 was replaced by the Number 3 and then the Racal R351 Manpack.

Donated by the R.E.M.E. Museum

Your comments:

  • As a Royal Marine I serviced their radios 1972 to 1975. Manpack A40 (for Sections-corporal & his 5 to 9-man team).
    The A41 (Troop Commander/officer) communicated down to his Sections and upwards. Never remember any bad problems with them.
    The transistorised Larkspur version was the A13. This also introduced the "module" build.I noticed that some tecchies would lazily order a replacement "module" (expensive) where it was rarely a component failure.
    We had comprehensive EMERS (tech document folders) to remind us how to do thorough:arrival checks,tweaking Tx/Rx stages performance and final inspection.
    I took a pride in setting all my radios at their peak performance of transmission and reception before sending them back to my fellow marines.
    .......... peter hannaway, alverstoke, gosport, hampshire, 2nd of February 2019

  • I was a L FITT GC in The RAF and was seconded to 2 Sqn (Field) RAF Regiment during the mid seventies who used Larkspur radios including the A41, along with the C42 which was a vehicle set and a A43 which I believe was a UHF radio. The A41s must have been a No1s as they had no Squelch. I carried out 1st and 2nd line servicing on them. I agree with Richard Hankins that the sets were beautifully made and pictures of the inside would be nice and yes they were very heavy about 48lbs I think and that may have been without the spare battery.

    .......... Gerry Seal, Northallerton, North Yorks, UK, 6th of May 2018

  • The A41 was used by the New Zealand Army in Vietnam from about July 1965. It was withdrawn within the first few months and replaced by the non-hermetically sealed PRC-25, a transistorised American radio. The 90v battery used by the A41 was lucky to last a day while the PRC-25 lasted up to 3 days depending on use and was lighter to carry and very easy to service in the field.
    .......... Richard Collins, New Zealand, 30th of April 2014

  • Hi Guys,
    There seems to be a radio law which has not been written yet. It is, quite simply, that these get heavier with each step one takes!!!I recall an Airborne course circa 1965, during Royal Signals time. PTI-"Who's in Signals?"(This was all units "P" Company or pre-para training.) Self:- "I am Staff!" PTI" Good! Cop for this!" Guess what was chucked my way? Yup, good old A14! Boy do I miss those days! Best to you all, great site, Regards, Gary
    .......... Gary, Cardiff UK, 3rd of August 2012

  • There are number of significant technical points to note about this set:
    1. It was a development of the A41 No.1, which still lacked squelch (a feature which shut off the horrendous noise in your headphones, when not receiving a signal, i.e. most of the time!). This version was the first of the Larkspur era manpacks to finally get the squelch back again. (Quite why the Army saw fit to remove squelch in VHF sets, from the WS31 Mk1/1 onwards remains something of a mystery.)
    2. These A41 sets were more or less direct copies of the American PRC-10 sets. It is said that you could buy a surplus PRC-10 set in the UK before the British Army actually got its first A41s! So, the British Army was struggling on with its enormous, heavy WS31s, first introduced back in 1947 - 8 (or thereabouts).
    3. These sets use tiny "pencil" valves, which are probably the ultimate in miniaturisation for valve technology. They are beautifully made inside - and some photos of the inside would not go amiss on this website.....
    4. The A41 No.3 was not a replacement for the No.2 - as far I know only a few sets were made and never went into service with the British Army. The No.3 was a transistor version.
    5. The real replacement was the PRC-351, which is part of the Clansman family. These came into service in the early 1980s, some 20 years after transistors first appeared (the British Army never rushes anything!). The resulting leap in technology between A41 No.2 and the PRC-351 - the most notable for the user being the frequency synthesiser, which allowed the frequency to be dialled up with a series of decade switches.
    .......... Richard Hankins, Ross-on-Wye, 8th of June 2011

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