When HHV sent us their flagship Helmet, the ATE our gears immediately started to turn. With all of our experience with either USGI or gear purchased on our own, there has been one common theme; its price point. While running and gunning with the 2nd Ranger Battalion or draping the blanket of freedom of movement across diplomats in Afghanistan the gear we used throughout both, never came at a price point that most would consider cheap [in cost, not value]. In any case, it was all very practical and undoubtedly contributed to the successes of each mission.
Besides the affordability without compromise, the HHV ATE helmet is a true contender in the tactical use arena. We have talked about its shrouds, rails, paint, and padding; a simple [yet commonly overlooked virtue of most headborne gear] is murky, but necessary communications piece with each. We have found a solution to communications integrated into your ATE helmet.
In March we talked about and illustrated the standards that HHV adheres to as they pertain to NIJ and ANSI safety standards. We have attached everything from PVS 7Bs, 14s, 15s, and 21s to it without fail.The ATE helmet checks out in every category of practicality.
We have owned and employed OpsCore, Wendy, and Crye Ballistic helmets for many years overseas. Absent less expensive alternatives, we had no other choice. If we wanted anything other than the standard MICH, it was on us to pony up and pull the trigger at [what seemed to be over a grand]. Each of the respective brands at that point was at the top of their game in quality, fit and finish. We integrated both internal and “big” comms without issue, so long as the SORDINs or PELTOR headsets were compatible
Through the years these helmets have been put to use in just about all facets of tactical application. Aside from basic designs across Cryes Airframe and OpsCores FAST, it’s hard to tell a difference, especially for those of us who do not geek out over things like this. HHV’s ATE helmet appears [in shape] to be the run of the mill above the ear tactical helmet. Once you don it, and incorporate whichever headset you employ, it couldn't more unique. It is not cast into two skull plates like the airframe, and it doesn’t have any less contouring like [Wendy] for profiling. It is most definitely one of the more comfortable helmets in practical and fit.
The purpose for an Above The Ear (ATE) cut is to accommodate a variety of different communications options for those with Tactical Command Industries (TCI), Sordin or Peltor headsets. While working downrange we had varied radio systems that we were required to use for different profiles. Especially as a “dirty contractor”, each mission profile required different comms. Whether it be internally [Motorola XTS] or talking to the TOC or military units, SATCOMs was the primary method of talking. Anyone who has done it, know that switching between radios can get confusing, especially when something bad is happening.
For those of us who now permanently reside back in the land of the big PX (Postal Exchange) and continue to value communications for survival, this can pose a problem. We left our encrypted radios behind yet we still have the enabling equipment that went with them.
We have the leftover remnants of our military equipment that works with our helmet. For this project, The TCI dual comms system is the test subject, along with the ATE brain bucket. Although the days of calling in aircraft or exchanging location through short burst traffic with adjacent assets are in our rearview, so what are we going to do with this setup? eBay?! Nope…were pack rats, so our research led us to the Triumph Instrument (TRI) PRC-152 multi-band replica radio.
It mimics that of the actual Harris PRC-152 yet does not have the capabilities [either do we] of satellite communications. If you hit the link for Triumph, you know that they are made in China…[elephant in the room]. If you are conscious of survival and don’t have loads of expendable income yet need the capability to talk to others through open comms…you may be able to overlook the place of manufacture.
The radio pushes 10 watts at its peak, 5 intermittently and 1 watt on its lowest power setting. The radio costs around $300 but is another case of value overshadows its cost. The mock 152 is constructed with a full aluminum housing, is waterproof and utilizes the military 6 pin locking connector to work with mil-spec headsets and other equipment like the ATE.
Since the PRC-152 is multi-band capable, it can monitor and transmit on HF/VHF/UHF, just need to run the Harris whip antenna to expand the range frequency band. Triumph Instrument also says that you can use authentic Harris components with this radio such as the programming cable, hand mics, antennas and batteries which they also make an unauthentic version. We have seen a number of people making similar products and an equal number of people employing them. Searching through eBay though will find a wide array of genuine Harris components you wish to go that route. If you served during the time of the 148 MBTR/152 you probably have some of the large radio pouches laying around somewhere that will accommodate this radio. We have yet to really get into the weeds of programming of this radio, which we will eventually.
Give Them A Try
For many of us, we have all of the enabling equipment we once used on a daily basis overseas, laying around an collecting dust. For our fellow survivalists, a major sticking point in our plan is communications, and whether or not you can employ them into our “bug out” procedures or during a natural disaster. There is a solution…at very reasonable prices. All in all, we ran the numbers and put the results into perspective. When you pick up an HHV ATE helmet for $425.00, a SORDIN comms setup for about 300.00 and a 10W TRI PRC-152 for $300.00, you will have a functioning comms setup for around $1000.00. Once you run the numbers yourself, for competitors helmets, you cannot get into the helmet alone for that price, and the quality is identical.