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KL7AJ
03-03-2012, 03:18 AM
Amazingly enough, there were a few. I have an early 1960s SONAR CB transceiver that has a Nuvistor front end...as sensitive as any 10 Meter rig I've owned. Been thinking about converting it to 10 AM, but it has some classic value I understand. I also have a Heathkit tube transceiver that has boat anchor quality audio....it has "heavy iron" in the modulator.

Anyone else out there with CB rigs that qualify as genuine radios?

Eric

WA4BRL
03-03-2012, 03:48 AM
What about the Hallicrafters, Johnson, Gonset, Eico, Heathkit, Knight-Kit, and other ham-manufacturer CB rigs? I know of them but not much about them. I do recall getting the impression as a kid in the mid 1960's that the Johnson CB line earned some level of respect. Were there any real standouts amongst these manufacturers?

K7MH
03-03-2012, 06:35 AM
I think Johnson had the most successful line over the longest period of time of the CB radio manufacturers you mentioned.

KC8VWM
03-03-2012, 06:42 AM
Anyone else out there with CB rigs that qualify as genuine radios?




Swan 1011D was a CB rig wasn't it?..

KB3LIX
03-03-2012, 07:26 AM
I have an old General RadioTelephone somewhere around here.
6 channel TX and variable RX. It is from the early 60's.
I also have a few old Johnson radios floating around.

I worked on several old Sonar radios back in the day.
As I remember, they had 2 "handles" one on each side
of the chassis/front panel facing forward
that made it LOOK like it was for rack mounting.
They are an oldie but goodie.

N0SYA
03-03-2012, 04:00 PM
The early xtal mixed cbs usualy had outstanding audio, and some of them had worthy filters too. Motorola made a more or less legendary ssb cb, as did some others. Shame any of them didn't go ahead and make a all hf band qrp rig with their existing IF and chassis design.

K9ASE
03-03-2012, 04:10 PM
Cobra "Cam 88" it glows in the dark.:)

W2BBQ
03-03-2012, 04:56 PM
Motorola also had their line of radios that were and are still popular.....judging by the prices they fetch on ebay.

KM3N
03-03-2012, 05:33 PM
The Johnson Messenger III was a great CB radio. My father ran a TV shop and used those model radios to talk with his two service vans. Johnson even had a two-tone Selcal unit for the Messengers so you didn't have to listen to the noise. I used one of the Messenger III's in the early seventies on my many trips between San Diego and LA while going to college.

Ken/KM3N

K7MH
03-03-2012, 05:51 PM
Some of the now very collectable makes I remember from the 23 channel days when I worked at ABC comm. are
Demco Satelite, Super Satelite (always wondered why they didn't spell it right)
Tram Titan 2, Titan 2 Elite
Browning Eagle (most any of the separates)
Courier 1M, Courier Royale
Sonar

The first one I had, I got from my cousin, it is exceedingly rare (if not hopeless) to find these days.
The Mesur-Matic Saturn CBX-15. 1962 vintage, $300.
I have watched for one on Ebay for many years and have never even once seen one.
Never seen one at a swapmeet in all the time I have been going to them.
Very few articles or references on the web about it.
Note the "conversion kit available for 10 meter 12 watt input", and that is back in 1962!
8757787578

N3HQN
03-03-2012, 11:48 PM
Swan 1011D was a CB rig wasn't it?..


Swan/Siltronix 1011D? It was a 11 meter rig for me back in the day. I ran the freq range of it to the max. The got my ticket and used it on 10. It drifted a bit but if you left it on all the time it was ok. AM on it was way outta hand bad. I could get it to act fair but it was a SB rig no bout a dout it. had a lot of fun with it. Got it for $100.00 sold it for more than that. I even ran a little CW with the darn thing. Fun rig to learn dip'n and tune'n on.

AF6LJ
03-03-2012, 11:59 PM
I think Johnson had the most successful line over the longest period of time of the CB radio manufacturers you mentioned.

I would agree with this based on radios I have repaired over the years.
Including the rare and little known Johnson Messenger 350 SSB radio.
(Only SSB not AM)

AF6LJ
03-04-2012, 12:01 AM
I have an old General RadioTelephone somewhere around here.
6 channel TX and variable RX. It is from the early 60's.
I also have a few old Johnson radios floating around.

I worked on several old Sonar radios back in the day.
As I remember, they had 2 "handles" one on each side
of the chassis/front panel facing forward
that made it LOOK like it was for rack mounting.
They are an oldie but goodie.

That radio was most likely an MC-6.
One AM radio I wouldn't mind having was the General Radiotelephone MC-11A.
My uncle had one, very solid radio.

WB2WIK
03-04-2012, 12:51 AM
My first 10m rig was a Johnson Messenger and it was quite good, although that was an old xtal-controlled version from the 1960s (it was "new" at the time). Never used it on CB, just crystalled it up for 10m and had a lot of fun.

I was "given" some CB gear called "Browning Eagle" stuff shortly after that. It actually had a separate TX and RX and took up a lot of space. I ran that on 10m also for a while and it was okay but not really any better.

A friend of mine as a kid was a CBer who I convinced to get a ham ticket and he had a "Globe Star" something or other 5W AM CB rig that we crystalled up for 10m and it sounded very good but I don't remember the model number.

I haven't actually "touched" a CB rig of any kind in probably about 40 years so I'm not sure what's out there now.

Best experience on 10m AM using a CB rig: I was a brand new General in 1966, a kid living with my parents, and my HF station was all CW, so I was never on phone except using a borrowed 2m Gonset.

But I was in RACES and was a member of CD, and CD had a lot of Johnson "Personal Messenger" 1W hand helds, crystalled for 10m so we could use them in nets and for emergency services. I had one at home, and checked into the RACES/CD nets with it (net control was 2 miles away, and it made the trip).

One night the band was wildly open and I could hear a guy in Argentina but after calling him repeatedly, he just didn't hear me.

It was January or so and very cold and snowy outside, but I stepped outside my bedroom window (which was on the third floor of the house, so it was up 20' or so above ground) onto the roof, barefoot in 30 degree snowy weather, to see if that would work better.

It did, and the LU station replied! NJ to Argentina with a 1 Watt hand held, freezing my butt off on my parents' roof.

A "best DX" moment, for me.

KD8DEY
03-04-2012, 01:30 AM
The original Cobra142/Uniden Washington/Realistic TRC-490 radios (Same Board with minor variations) were well respected for their receiver quality and transmitted audio. The early ones used the MB8719 P.L.L. (Later changed to the MB8734) which are nice converted to 10m use.

They were so highly regarded that Magnum supposedly "Borrowed" the design for the Magnum 257 which seems to be a very sought after radio.
Other highly regarded radios were the Realistic TRC-57/TRC-457 and the TRC-458

K7MH
03-04-2012, 01:55 AM
I would agree with this based on radios I have repaired over the years.
Including the rare and little known Johnson Messenger 350 SSB radio.
(Only SSB not AM)

I see it was a two channel sideband only radio and one of the first sideband radios out there for CB. It seems to have been not well accepted in the market place and Johnson didn't introduce another sideband CB radio until the early seventies.

We had a couple Johnson mobile rigs for sale at ABC but the JA stuff made it hard to sell them. The Johnson radios lacked features and were priced pretty high. I remember that Johnson hard wired the power cable to the radio whereas everyone else had connectors for it. It seemed like an attempt at saving a little to help keep the price down. As I recall, the mics were the same with the models we had.
Johnson was the last of the US made CB radios that I know of.

WB2WIK
03-04-2012, 02:19 AM
Johnson made some great stuff in the AM days, I don't know what happened after that.

The old "Messengers" had high level plate modulation, about 3W output, and sounded excellent on the air.

I suspect the "CB crowd" screwed everything up over the years, because back in the 60s it was pretty nice. Folks had licenses and callsigns and 5W rigs and chatted with each other. I never did that, but I listened to them, and it was respectful and nice.

In high school I had a part time job installing antennas of all sorts for a local company in NJ. A lot of our customers were CBers who wanted a good antenna installed but didn't want to go up on their roofs or whatever, so I did that.

Every time I installed an Antenna Specialists Super Magnum, the owner was delighted. It was a 5/8-wave ground plane that actually worked. I'd feed it with hardline or other low loss stuff I had that cost me nothing, and people were delighted.

That was in about 1967.

What happened after that?:p

WA9CWX
03-04-2012, 02:30 AM
Johnson made some great stuff in the AM days, I don't know what happened after that.

The old "Messengers" had high level plate modulation, about 3W output, and sounded excellent on the air.

I suspect the "CB crowd" screwed everything up over the years, because back in the 60s it was pretty nice. Folks had licenses and callsigns and 5W rigs and chatted with each other. I never did that, but I listened to them, and it was respectful and nice.

In high school I had a part time job installing antennas of all sorts for a local company in NJ. A lot of our customers were CBers who wanted a good antenna installed but didn't want to go up on their roofs or whatever, so I did that.

Every time I installed an Antenna Specialists Super Magnum, the owner was delighted. It was a 5/8-wave ground plane that actually worked. I'd feed it with hardline or other low loss stuff I had that cost me nothing, and people were delighted.

That was in about 1967.

What happened after that?:p

Shortly after that it got out that you could play on the radio with little knowlegge of theory, no real license testing like in A R at that time. Gee, wonder what would happen if they repeated that process on ham frequencies...??????????

WB2WIK
03-04-2012, 02:46 AM
Shortly after that it got out that you could play on the radio with little knowlegge of theory, no real license testing like in A R at that time. Gee, wonder what would happen if they repeated that process on ham frequencies...??????????

I'm not sure, but my first guess would be hams asking about how to make a dipole?

N6OIL
03-04-2012, 05:48 AM
Just to go a bit OT how many remember their 11 meter FCC callsign? BTW I was a teenager during the CB craze and didn't get a chance to use the Johnson line but a good friend I talked to on CH17 USB had a nice sounding Johnson, me I had a Courier Centurion 23 channel which I still have packed away.

K7MH
03-04-2012, 06:08 AM
Just to go a bit OT how many remember their 11 meter FCC callsign? BTW I was a teenager during the CB craze and didn't get a chance to use the Johnson line but a good friend I talked to on CH17 USB had a nice sounding Johnson, me I had a Courier Centurion 23 channel which I still have packed away.

I still remember my cousin's from '62 when I was 10 years old!
He took me down to a radio store in downtown Seattle back then. I was totally WOWed!!

AC0FP
03-04-2012, 06:17 AM
Back a few years ago a big name brand customer sent a bunch of samples of their 11/10 meter radios for evaluation. I sat speechless during the engineering evaluation meeting. Boy, was I ever glad, as the head RF designer, that the company turned down the business to design a new model!

fp

KD8DEY
03-04-2012, 06:51 AM
Just to go a bit OT how many remember their 11 meter FCC callsign? BTW I was a teenager during the CB craze and didn't get a chance to use the Johnson line but a good friend I talked to on CH17 USB had a nice sounding Johnson, me I had a Courier Centurion 23 channel which I still have packed away.
KNU-1507 .....

N8YX
03-04-2012, 02:02 PM
CPI CP-2000/BC-2000 ensemble.

Everything else is a toy - with the possible exception of the ARF-2001 and the Stoner Pro-40, the latter being SSB only and IIRC somewhat prone to receiver drift.

In the manner of other high-end communications equipment manufacturers of the day - namely, Cubic and Drake - the CPI series was built using silver-plated, double-sided glass epoxy boards and the various assemblies are well shielded. Signal interconnects are via runs of Teflon-dielectric RG174. This rig used an 8-pole IF filter and supposedly had one of the best (if not the best) adjacent channel rejection figures of any CB radio ever built.

Its receiver is similar to a TR7's in another regard: Eerily quiet until a signal is received. There's not a lot of hiss.

On the transmitter side of things, the radio features a robust PA of modular construction - and like the TR7, employs output transistors that are far over-rated for the job. It also features an effective speech compressor.

I would like some sort of notch filter on the front panel (a la the Pro-40) and a Tone control would have been nice as well - but everything else that's required to operate the transceiver is present.

Add the BC2000 and you get a clock, frequency counter which accurately reads both transmit and receive frequencies to 10hz, receive preamp, antenna switch and antenna tuner.

Over the years I've owned, repaired or used just about every CB radio built - and very few (past or present) can even think about matching the CPI's receiver performance.

W4HAY
03-04-2012, 02:20 PM
I had a couple of Johnson Messenger 1 "whiteface" sets I used in my business. They were very well built and lasted for years. Later I re-crystaled one for 10 and it worked beautifully. A CB friend made me an offer I couldn't refuse on it, so I returned it to its original condition and sold it to him. Evidently those sets quickly became legends.

I'm a bit prejudiced because I worked there, but I thought the Hammarlund CB-23 was a good set. We made thousands of them and very few came back. They were very sensitive and had clean plate modulation on the final. Unfortunately, Lafayette had us make a lower cost version for them with different cosmetics and their name on the face. We cut corners like they asked and it was a disaster. The sets were coming back into the factory almost as fast as we shipped them out. They could not take Summer heat in a car.

During the days at Hammarlund, I had an apartment high up on the mountain outside of Weaverville, N.C. It was the tail end of Cycle 19 and, with nothing but a dipole, I worked all kinds of "skip" with that CB-23.

AF6LJ
03-04-2012, 02:44 PM
I see it was a two channel sideband only radio and one of the first sideband radios out there for CB. It seems to have been not well accepted in the market place and Johnson didn't introduce another sideband CB radio until the early seventies.

We had a couple Johnson mobile rigs for sale at ABC but the JA stuff made it hard to sell them. The Johnson radios lacked features and were priced pretty high. I remember that Johnson hard wired the power cable to the radio whereas everyone else had connectors for it. It seemed like an attempt at saving a little to help keep the price down. As I recall, the mics were the same with the models we had.
Johnson was the last of the US made CB radios that I know of.

The Messenger 350 had a detachable power cord but the mic was wired into the radio. I have a messenger 350 in the garage I have been threatening to put on twelve meters. or maybe even twenty.....

N8YX
03-04-2012, 03:29 PM
The Messenger 350 had a detachable power cord but the mic was wired into the radio. I have a messenger 350 in the garage I have been threatening to put on twelve meters. or maybe even twenty.....
I would put it on 10 and join the fun. There's been a fair amount of AM activity around 29.000 when propagation cooperates.

AF6LJ
03-04-2012, 03:32 PM
I would put it on 10 and join the fun. There's been a fair amount of AM activity around 29.000 when propagation cooperates.

The Johnson Messenger 350 is sideband only.
Great QRP radio it runs two watts out.

N8YX
03-04-2012, 04:03 PM
The Johnson Messenger 350 is sideband only.
Great QRP radio it runs two watts out.

Ahhh...

Park it on the low end of 10. Or 12, possibly 15M. 17 or 20M may be a stretch; you're likely in for a lot of rework where the RF stages are concerned.

AF6LJ
03-04-2012, 04:11 PM
Ahhh...

Park it on the low end of 10. Or 12, possibly 15M. 17 or 20M may be a stretch; you're likely in for a lot of rework where the RF stages are concerned.

Believe it or not the rework would be easy to do.
The radio is simple by design and I have the service information for the radio.
The only drawback that the radio suffers with is Johnson used the same PC board material they used in their Fleetcom line of commercial radios.
You have to be very good with a soldering iron or lifted pads will be a part of the rework needed. Other than that the design is very solid.

KA9VQF
03-04-2012, 04:23 PM
I always liked the look of the DAK base stations. For a while I own a DAK mark X.

Later I bought a Browning Golden Eagle. I don't remember which model it was but someone had converted it from 23 to 40 channels. They had done a darn good job of it too.

The Browning came to me with the gold plated D104 amplified mic but since I never liked the D104 I cleaned it with TarnX and put it in a box for later resale.

As time passed people with more money that brains paid me a lot more than even I thought the radios were worth.

I built a very simple but darn nice looking cabinet to put the Browning in and gave it a near mirror finish with polyurethane. That simple box made from an old oak pallet probably doubled the selling price for me.

My main base and real work horse, when I had my CB shop, was a Jonson 250 Messenger. Mine had the wood grain face and the matching amplified Turner mic.

It was only 23 channels, when I first got it, it really didn't matter which channel you had it set on you were “ modulatin” the entire band. After some pretty careful alignment it was a lot better. Unless you were pretty close you didn't hear me more than one channel on either side of what it was set on.

K2WH
03-04-2012, 04:35 PM
The best CB Radio I ever had was the Courier 23. Don't know who made it, but it was big, all tubes and chrome plated. Then I had a little known transceiver manufactured by a little known company - Squires Sanders. Pictures attached.87658

KC8YLT
03-04-2012, 05:23 PM
One of my favorite classic cb radios would be the Tram Titan 2. Ive had mine for several years, I replaced the original 6gm5 audio amp tube with a 6L6 (I think it works better, had to change the socket also) This is a simple radio in design, xtal controlled vfo, and mine does not use troublesum nuvistors either. It no longer transmits in ssb (plate modulated am only.) I still own some Brownings, Tram D201s, Demcos, And Dak IXs along with countless other classic radios that arent worth a whole lot anymore! Theyre still fun to use and work on though! KC8YLT

K7MH
03-04-2012, 05:26 PM
The best CB Radio I ever had was the Courier 23. Don't know who made it, but it was big, all tubes and chrome plated. Then I had a little known transceiver manufactured by a little known company - Squires Sanders. Pictures attached.87658
The Courier 23 was made by...uhh...Courier!!:p
They were popular but around here you had to mail order for them. I never saw them in any shops until the later models. They had a Courier 23+ and the Courier Royale at the time they had the 23 on the market.
I don't know how well made they were but they seemed to be held in high regard back then.
I bet the chrome case helped make sales!!

Probably the best CB I knew of was the Cobra 21 mobile rig. We sold a zillion of them and had few problems with them.
One guy came in with his and he had never mounted it, just left it on the floor of his truck. All the finish was gone from the bottom from rattling around and it was all scratched up but still worked ok.
Another guy brought one in to show us. It was mounted under the dash in his truck. He was doing something with a handgun and fired a round accidentally that went right through the faceplate of the radio, the PC board, and out the bottom. It didn't work so well!! He bought another one.

AC4BB
03-05-2012, 03:10 AM
To me the best engineered CB radio, is one that cannot be converted to operate anywhere near a ham band.

KA9VQF
03-05-2012, 05:02 AM
My aunt Linda and uncle Alfred were The Hairdresser and Peanuts. My uncle had his nickname from way back, before the war, when he was in school and my aunt was a beautician starting in the early '50's.

Peanuts was also a mechanic. One day a fellow traded a tuneup on his car for a 5 channel mobile rig. Al brought it home and hooked it up to an antenna on the fridge and a battery on the floor.

Within a few weeks the had bought a Navaho 23 channel base station and had the 5 channel in the car. At first my aunt hated the radio being in the house. Skip was always rolling in from Mexico and she just didn't like it so she would turn it off all the time.

When Al would come home at lunch time he would turn it back on and usually soon as he went back to work Lin would shut it back off.
One afternoon as she was going to turn it off she heard a friend from down in Clinton calling for her own husband and decided to talk to her.

That was all it took. She started talking to lots of other folk around. It was her idea to get the better antenna and put it on top of the house. When the Navaho started getting some age to it they bought a Courier Conquer II 23 channel base with a digital clock in it. They added a Turner Super Sidekick mic.

At first she would write down who she talked to just like a ham operator keeping a log. Some of the old logs had some pretty interesting comments in them.

She logged contacts from all over the country and even Canada, Mexico and Brazil. They never used a linear or worked out of band and still had a blast. Everyone was convinced they had an amp because the radio was so strong sounding and she had so many long distance contacts logged.

As time passed and the license requirement was dropped and the amount of just plain crap increased she finally got disappointed enough with it all that she put the radio away.

One day, many years later, I found and bought a duplicate radio and put a Turner Super Side kick mic on it and obtained a Antron 99 antenna and brought the whole mess over and offered to set it up for them. I was shocked when they declined.

I still have a Shakespeare 5/8th wave antenna on my house and just wanted someone local to talk to sometimes but she was 'so totally over all that'. It had been such a big part of their lives before.

There are still some functioning CB's around here but I really haven't used one in years. Not so long ago I did some trading and got a Uniden 40 channel hand held. It works just dandy and runs on AAA batteries. The batteries seem to last quite a long time. I put NiMA rechargeable batteries in it and can charge them in the radio with a walwart.

KA5ROW
03-05-2012, 11:16 AM
I have a Midland 13-880-B SSB unit I restored, just to have it. I had one when I was a kid and liked it. It just sits on a shelf now. As far as good radios an old Johnson Black Face would be nice. Again it would just sit on a shelf.
87696

K7MH
03-05-2012, 04:37 PM
I have a Midland 13-880-B SSB unit I restored, just to have it. I had one when I was a kid and liked it. It just sits on a shelf now.
87696
I have one as well. It is in great condition and only had a couple problems I sorted out. It's in the garage waiting to be eBay fodder. I found it at a hamfest for 8 bucks. I have a Comstat 25B that is same as above. Got it for $5. Now awaiting the same fate.

G0GQK
03-05-2012, 10:53 PM
Best made range were the President models. The latest one available is the President Putin

N8YX
03-05-2012, 10:57 PM
To me the best engineered CB radio, is one that cannot be converted to operate anywhere near a ham band.
Why?

Plenty of hams used the old Cybernet and similar chassis to get on 10M cheaply after the "boom" died out.

Don't go blaming the tool for any illegal amateur-band incursions. Blame the FCC for a lack of candor and unwillingness to enforce its own rules.

As an aside, if you're a decent RF/synthesizer engineer you can convert ANY CB rig to amateur-band coverage.

N8YX
03-05-2012, 10:58 PM
Best made range were the President models. The latest one available is the President Putin

Ahhh....no. These have "barn-door" receivers, even the dual-conversion models.

NY3V
03-06-2012, 12:20 AM
What? Collins didn't make the 'Cadillac' of CB radios? :D

WA4BRL
03-06-2012, 06:36 AM
Fred N8YX has one of these:

http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o354/wa4brl/CPI-2000.jpg
CPI CP-2000 CB radio

He says it has an especially good receiver. I like the styling -- almost as pretty as the Hallicrafters FPM-200:

http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o354/wa4brl/FPM-200-7-1.jpg
Hallicrafters FPM-200

K7MH
03-06-2012, 07:36 AM
I'd WAY rather have the FPM-200!!!

N8YX
03-06-2012, 04:51 PM
I'd WAY rather have the FPM-200!!!

But you can't legally use it in the Class D service, which is why the CPI was obtained.

As long as we're throwing 'dream rigs' out for discussion, I would prefer a Collins HF-380/451S-1 pair. That, or a set of Drake TR-4310/R-4245 rack-mount gear.

KA7NIQ
03-06-2012, 04:53 PM
Swan 1011D was a CB rig wasn't it?..
And, it sucked too. It was unstable, and drifted all over the place.

KA7NIQ
03-06-2012, 05:16 PM
What a GREAT Thread !

I did not see Pearce Simpson CB Radio's mentioned, and they were pretty decent AM Rigs.
I remember the old Citi Phone SS, made by Multi Eimac, the old Tram's, or was it Regency's, with double sideband modulation controlled carrier, we called them "Double Ducks".

KA4DPO
03-06-2012, 06:15 PM
The Johnson Messenger was the only CB I ever had but it was built like a tank and had great sensitivity. I converted mine to ten meters ( 29 MHZ) and had a lot of fun with it in the 70s. It was an easy conversion.

KA7NIQ
03-06-2012, 08:52 PM
The Johnson Messenger was the only CB I ever had but it was built like a tank and had great sensitivity. I converted mine to ten meters ( 29 MHZ) and had a lot of fun with it in the 70s. It was an easy conversion.
I had an old white face Johnson Messenger. One day I was cleaning and re tubing it, and accidentally put the transmit and receive crystals back in, Backwards :eek:
I heard activity, and asked for a break. The guy told me to Go Ahead, and turned out he was in Kansas.
( I was in Michigan)
I asked him what channel we were on, and he told me we were way down BELOW CB Channel 1.
Of course, I stopped all transmission, and "fixed" it :rolleyes:
LOL

I was just a Kid back then. No way I would do that today.

AF6LJ
03-06-2012, 08:58 PM
I haven't seen anybody mention one of these...
http://www.cbgazette.com/stonerpro40.html
http://www.cbgazette.com/STONER1.JPG

It's even hard to find information on the Stoner Pro-40 on the web.
By ex had one of the 1000 that were made.
It was an interesting radio and preformed well.
My Ex didn't have the optional transmitter monitor scope....

WB2WIK
03-07-2012, 01:00 AM
I haven't seen anybody mention one of these...
It's even hard to find information on the Stoner Pro-40 on the web.

Stoner. Hehehehehe.

AF6LJ
03-07-2012, 01:24 AM
Stoner. Hehehehehe.
I knew you would like that.
We use to sit around get stoned and listen to the Stoner. :)

NL7W
03-07-2012, 01:42 AM
There's my nostalgia winner, the White Face, for sure. Great rig.

The CPI, Stoner, and Tram D201A ring bells, too.

Robyn made a tube base rig called the T123B I thought was decent as a kid.


The Johnson Messenger was the only CB I ever had but it was built like a tank and had great sensitivity. I converted mine to ten meters ( 29 MHZ) and had a lot of fun with it in the 70s. It was an easy conversion.

N9HLL
03-07-2012, 01:54 AM
Did someone mention Double sideband :)

87870


And another oddball with a decent receiver (Yea I have some of this goofy old stuff still ;) )

87871




Rick

KF5GWN
03-07-2012, 02:09 AM
Just to go a bit OT how many remember their 11 meter FCC callsign? BTW I was a teenager during the CB craze and didn't get a chance to use the Johnson line but a good friend I talked to on CH17 USB had a nice sounding Johnson, me I had a Courier Centurion 23 channel which I still have packed away.

KAKR-9967 On my 23 channel Midland 13-857B which I still have.

W9PSK
03-07-2012, 02:15 AM
The best CB I've ever owned was a Yaesu FT101. I didn't know it was a CB when I bought it, but I soon figured it out when I realized it wouldn't work worth a crap anywhere except on 11 meters. I don't know what all that golden screwdriving knucklehead did to that 101, but it sure worked nice on 11. Talk about good audio! Last I heard, the guy I sold it to had taken it all apart and was in the process of returning it to its intended purpose. Other than that 101, the best actual CB I've ever owned was a 23 channel Midland mobile rig my Dad gave me.

I'm pleasantly surprised you guys are speaking of CB radios in such a good light. A few weeks ago a good conversation on those old CBs got started over one of the local repeaters. There was one radio several of them talked about that I cannot remember the name of, but I do remember them saying it came in yellow and green with an aluminum face on it. Maybe some of you know which one I am talking about. They spoke very highly of it.

KM3N
03-07-2012, 02:20 AM
Just to go a bit OT how many remember their 11 meter FCC callsign?

I remember mine: KMX1305

Here's one even better. Do you remember the XXQXXXX CB signs? My fathers was 11Q0675.

Ken/KM3N

KA7NIQ
03-07-2012, 02:31 AM
Let's not forget the Sonar 2340 ?
Made in Brooklyn, NY USA by Sonar Radiotelephone, who were big in Marine Radio.


http://youtu.be/zYz7oHQ3Zy8

WB2WIK
03-07-2012, 02:41 AM
Did someone mention Double sideband :)

87870


And another oddball with a decent receiver (Yea I have some of this goofy old stuff still ;) )

87871




Rick

I remember Polytronics/Polycomm well, they were in northern NJ where I grew up. I knew several hams who worked there in the 60s-70s. They made some pretty good VHF rigs for 2m and 6m, including one fairly unique radio, the Polycomm 6n2 which worked both (AM only).

Squires Sanders made a few excellent CB rigs as well, although that was not their forte. Those guys had very good engineering, and for several years Ed Clegg worked for them (as the Clegg division of SS) and made the best VHF gear available at the time. They were also all in NJ, close to me, and were neighbors of mine.

AF6LJ
03-07-2012, 02:51 AM
The don't get much more basic than this.
http://www.cbgazette.com/johnson_messenger350_S.jpg

KJ4VOV
03-07-2012, 03:01 AM
Just to go a bit OT how many remember their 11 meter FCC callsign? BTW I was a teenager during the CB craze and didn't get a chance to use the Johnson line but a good friend I talked to on CH17 USB had a nice sounding Johnson, me I had a Courier Centurion 23 channel which I still have packed away.

KATL-3638 here :)

Ah yes, my first "real" radio... a Johnson Messenger 123A with a Turner M+3 microphone

K7MH
03-07-2012, 03:03 AM
I remember mine: KMX1305

Here's one even better. Do you remember the XXQXXXX CB signs? My fathers was 11Q0675.

Ken/KM3N

The ITU was not happy with them! Some of them infringed on call blocks issued to other countries.
You MIGHT think the FCC would have thought of that!
But then you might think they would have thought of many things through the years!

KA4EET
03-07-2012, 03:22 AM
I had one of the worst engineered ones...but I bought it with my paper route in 1964.
A lafayette HB 115-A 87882

KA4EET
03-07-2012, 03:37 AM
Also who remembers this radio?
The HeathKit CB-1 LunchBox. I had one for a brief time. I think it had a regenerative receiver....a strong signal would easily override a weak signal regardless of where the tuner was at...."0" selectivity!!!!
87883
HeathKit Also had the 2er and the 6er for the Early Techs.

AF6LJ
03-07-2012, 03:39 AM
Also who remembers this radio?
The HeathKit CB-1 LunchBox. I had one for a brief time. I think it had a regenerative receiver....a strong signal would easily override a weak signal regardless of where the tuner was at...."0" selectivity!!!!
87883
HeathKit Also had the 2er and the 6er for the Early Techs.

Pat has one of those.

W4HAY
03-07-2012, 02:27 PM
Only one???

KC8YLT
03-07-2012, 04:45 PM
I was wondering what the Johnson Messenger 350 looked like. Good ole AMERICAN MADE ENGINEERING! They sure dont make them like that any more! Ive seen and owned alot of cb radios. Never owned a Stoner, ARF, or any of the Sonars. I like most of the new ham equipment dont get me wrong, But there is a passion about the older made tube and early transistorized radios! Thanks to all for showing your radio pics! Carl KC8YLT.

KA4DPO
03-07-2012, 05:27 PM
I had an old white face Johnson Messenger. One day I was cleaning and re tubing it, and accidentally put the transmit and receive crystals back in, Backwards :eek:
I heard activity, and asked for a break. The guy told me to Go Ahead, and turned out he was in Kansas.
( I was in Michigan)
I asked him what channel we were on, and he told me we were way down BELOW CB Channel 1.
Of course, I stopped all transmission, and "fixed" it :rolleyes:
LOL

I was just a Kid back then. No way I would do that today.

That was cool, must have been one heck of a surprise to catch another station so far away. I guess no one has experiences like that anymore and it's really too bad cause that kind of stuff was what made radio so interesting to us.

I was able to get 7 watts AM output from that rig with just little tweaking and changing the grid resistor on the driver. Not a rock crusher but it's amazing what 7 watts will do on ten when the band is open.

AF6LJ
03-07-2012, 09:37 PM
I was wondering what the Johnson Messenger 350 looked like. Good ole AMERICAN MADE ENGINEERING! They sure dont make them like that any more! Ive seen and owned alot of cb radios. Never owned a Stoner, ARF, or any of the Sonars. I like most of the new ham equipment dont get me wrong, But there is a passion about the older made tube and early transistorized radios! Thanks to all for showing your radio pics! Carl KC8YLT.

The 350 is an interesting radio and you can find the schematic on the net.

K7MH
03-07-2012, 10:07 PM
The don't get much more basic than this.
http://www.cbgazette.com/johnson_messenger350_S.jpg
Looks like it is really built solid!
I found the manual here;
http://www.cbtricks.com/radios/ef_johnson/messenger_350/index.htm
Kinda weird to think of just a two channel, ssb only CB radio.
The only ones I knew of were quite full featured if they had ssb.

I was never around any of the 40 channel CB radios.

Here is a pretty old, weird one! Looks like it is about as old as a CB radio can get!
It makes a Benton Harbor lunchbox look HIGH TECH!

KC8YLT
03-08-2012, 12:12 AM
Thanks AF6LJ Sue, and K7MH for the info on the johnson messenger. Carl.

WA7KKP
03-08-2012, 01:17 AM
I remember during the CB craze and the first Arab Oil embargo, the SBE radios were solid performers (I'm particularly fond of the Cortez). They were nice in that you could unplug the mic and the receiver would still work. Most other CB's had a SPDT switching function in the mic which would kill the receiver when the mic was gone . . .

The Motorola Mocat was a good rig -- what made it worth the premium is their Extender (noise blanker). They're tricky to get into (hidden screws), and they were built a level above most CB radios.

I have fond memories of my first CB rig -- a Johnson (Black Face) Messenger II that I ressurected from the dead -- bad xfmrs and no tubes. Put a 6v vibrator in it and ran it in my pickup truck for several years. Outside of the xtal control of transmitter frequency limited to 10 channels, it was a good performer, and I always had compliments on the 'great audio'. By speaking firmly into the mic I could get 100% modulation easily. The later Johnson solid state radios were varying in quality, down to the infamous 123 which was worth less than the components used to build it. I had the chance to get a couple of I's and a II again -- they may end up on 10 AM.

I had a HyGain V (40 channel) that I picked up and was going to convert it to 10 meters, but it worked so #%#$%^ good on 11 I left it alone. Their 23 channel AM radios were junk; this was an exception. Nice quiet receiver, so quiet that without an antenna you'd think it was broke . . .

Most CB's though were built as cheap as they could get, except for the tube 23 channel units -- about all of them were good to better performers. The PLL rigs are easily converted to 10 meters (especially the SSB units) and are worth the small investment, along with cheap antennas, for us to inhabit 10 now that the sunspots are up and going.

I'm sure when the band opens up again, most legit users of 11 meters will probably part with their cheap radios even cheaper . . . do I hear a bargain in the flea markets out there?

Gary WA7KKP

KA5ROW
03-08-2012, 01:18 AM
I may look for a black face Johnson someday just to have it. I will restore it to the best of my ability, just for fun. There were some nice looking rig in the 60’s and 70’s too bad the band ended up in the trash.

KA7NIQ
03-09-2012, 03:49 AM
I'm sure when the band opens up again, most legit users of 11 meters will probably part with their cheap radios even cheaper . . . do I hear a bargain in the flea markets out there?

Gary WA7KKP
Gary, you must be smoking some better chit then the rest of us Brother ?
There are NO "legit" users of CB Radio left, NONE.
Go listen one day. Call Sign use has long been a thing of the past on CB.
The CB'ers enjoy working DX, just like we do, they just call it "talking skip".
As 11 meters opens back up again, CB Radio's will become more, not less, in demand.

KF5FEI
03-09-2012, 04:00 AM
Just to go a bit OT how many remember their 11 meter FCC callsign?

I was too young to get the license myself, so my dad got it -- KBJ9854.

N3PDT
03-09-2012, 06:13 AM
I also had the black face Johnson Messenger II. Mine had been "strapped" as described above, too. Paired to a D-104, it was a good set up. Got almost as many xmit audio compliments as a Kenwood Hybrid does. Didn't stick with CB very long. Even in 1975, it was pretty horrible where I was. I was ripe for ham radio then. Wish I'd run into, or searched out, amateur operators then, instead of waiting almost 35 years.

KJ4VOV
03-09-2012, 06:41 AM
The later Johnson solid state radios were varying in quality, down to the infamous 123 which was worth less than the components used to build it.

I'm curious about this statement as my very first radio was a 123A and I never heard a bad word about it, or has anything other than excellent reports when using it. Admittedly, I wasn't quite the "tech weenie" then that I would become later on (an alarming amount of which knowledge is now long forgotten) but nothing about it at the time jumped out at me as being overly "bad". Of course, I used a Turner M+3 microphone with it, and that no doubt contributed to the good reports I received using the radio but still, I have nothing but fond memories of that first "rig" so your statement surprises me.

N8YX
03-09-2012, 10:38 AM
There are NO "legit" users of CB Radio left, NONE.

Wrong.

A good many people still use CB in a legal, as-intended fashion. For starters, talk to members of one of the various motorcycle touring clubs (GWRRA, HOG, VRCC, etc) which utilize integrated CB rigs for bike-to-bike communications while on trips. Said members also use CB rigs for bike-to-base comms.

No "skip shooting".
No "Superbowl".
No "freebanding", as the OEM bike radios are extremely difficult (if not outright impossible) to modify.

There are many more legitimate Class D users besides these left. Additionally: Please don't get an otherwise decent thread locked by turning it into a bash-fest.

KA9VQF
03-09-2012, 02:00 PM
My last CB call was KAEE6623.

The FCC gave up on licensing CB's a long time ago but anyone can use their initials along with a K in front of them and the last 4 digits of their zip code and have a 'legal' call.

Its not the new CB'er's fault that the FCC does not issue calls anymore.

There is a Harley shop here in town called Poopy's that is also a restaurant/supper club and bar. They have live music almost every weekend and through the summer the bands play outside.

Its not uncommon for several hundred bikers to be in town on any weekend. A lot of those bikers do have CB's on their bikes. Not all the bikes that come to town are custom choppers.

I do still have a CB antenna up at the house and a few working CB's around though I really haven't used any in the last few years. Until recently I had one lashed up in my Neon and occasionally talked to some of the folks on motorcycles looking for Poopy's.

A few years back now there was a bunch of high school kids who would talk to each other on the way to school, they did not tolerate all the burping and swearing. When the 'bad' kids started doing that stuff they would try to move to another channel and if that didn't work they would just sign off and try again later.

In the evenings a lot of them would get together and help each each other with their homework and talk about things in general.

I guess they have all graduated and moved on to other things as I haven't heard them I a few years now.

KA4EET
03-09-2012, 02:06 PM
For all that finds Old CB and such interesting...check out this web site....Click on CB areas on the left side.
http://www.retrocom.com/

AD7DK
03-09-2012, 04:26 PM
I was about 12 years old when i bought my first CB with money I earned delivering newspapers. My father had to get the license because i was too young. KAOC8864. The radio was as close to garbage as you could get. It was a six channel TRC-11 with an antenna on the back of the set because my father wouldn't allow for an antenna on the roof. I could actually talk to friends as far away as 3/4 of a mile. LOL

The best CB I have ever owned was a Uniden PC-76. It lasted for well over a million miles in a two different Peterbilts, a Kenworth, and three different Freightliners before someone decided they needed it more than I did. I never had to do a single repair to the radio itself. I did have to re-solder the mike wires several times. I have owned several CBs over the years and I still use them to talk to co-workers all the time. CB isn't anything like it was 30 some odd years ago, but it isn't all bad. There are still a lot of civil people having civil conversations. Actually, I'm glad some idiot invented noise toys and other juvenile gadgets... they are what convinced me to get my amateur license. Funny thing though, if you listen to amateur bands, you will hear much have the same childish and rude behavior.

K7GFH
03-09-2012, 04:50 PM
Wrong.

A good many people still use CB in a legal, as-intended fashion. For starters, talk to members of one of the various motorcycle touring clubs (GWRRA, HOG, VRCC, etc) which utilize integrated CB rigs for bike-to-bike communications while on trips. Said members also use CB rigs for bike-to-base comms.

No "skip shooting".
No "Superbowl".
No "freebanding", as the OEM bike radios are extremely difficult (if not outright impossible) to modify.

There are many more legitimate Class D users besides these left. Additionally: Please don't get an otherwise decent thread locked by turning it into a bash-fest.

I second this response. Try telling the hundreds of loggers, log truck drivers and construction workers I see every month that CB has no legitimate purpose. As I do not like all the noise, language etc, etc I hear on the radio everyday I am happy it is available as it has saved me from extreme bodily harm numerous times over the last 14 years. I work with loggers so driving in the woods is a daily task for me. CB radio lets me know where the log trucks are and them where I am. We do our best to call out mile markers while heading in and out of the jobs. Don't believe me? Come to the Pacific Northwest and drive down any active logging road. They will be marked with a CB channel.

KF5FEI
03-09-2012, 05:46 PM
Yep. When we did a lot of traveling, we always had a CB in the car -- because you could always count on someone to tell you what the traffic jam was about or what exit or detour to take. Sadly, here in DFW it's now all spanglish dump truck drivers with echo boxes and rooster noises.

KE5ZDN
03-10-2012, 01:05 AM
What? Collins didn't make the 'Cadillac' of CB radios? :D

The Cadillac of CB radios are the Browning Mark IV's

KY5U
03-10-2012, 02:18 AM
I had 2 of the 13-880's, one for the house and one in my truck. I had also had the Johnson 2 ch ssb radio. When CB was with call signs it wasn't too bad. By 1972 it was way down the road of jackass. Sold my last stuff in '75.

KY5U
03-10-2012, 02:20 AM
Hey, Stoner is the "S" in "SGC" ham and marine equipment.

N8YX
03-10-2012, 03:36 AM
The Cadillac of CB radios are the Browning Mark IV's

Study their schematics and specifications along with the construction carefully and you'll likely rethink that comment.

WD5GWY
03-10-2012, 06:34 PM
Yep. When we did a lot of traveling, we always had a CB in the car -- because you could always count on someone to tell you what the traffic jam was about or what exit or detour to take. Sadly, here in DFW it's now all spanglish dump truck drivers with echo boxes and rooster noises.
Not all of us use echo boxes and rooster noises!! :D
Although, you are right about a lot of that. And don't forget the Roger Beeps!
I absolutely hate those. I usually offer to fine tune them for free. Not one takes
me up on the offer when I tell them I use only "American Made" sledge hammers!
But, CB radio is a must in our industry. At rock crushers and in the case of the company
I work for, on the job sites for oil and gas well, drill site construction. Most of those companys
will ask you to not come back if you show up without a CB to talk to operators etc.
james
WD5GWY

N8YX
03-11-2012, 12:11 AM
Not all of us use echo boxes and rooster noises!! :D
Although, you are right about a lot of that. And don't forget the Roger Beeps!

That's why I like this thread so much. All of my 11M gear is "old school" - no noise toys, beeps, echoes or other gimmickry.

When you come right down to it, just about every CB rig ever produced will output the legal 4w AM/12w SSB and (in conjunction with a microphone of decent quality) sound good in the process. Thus, my emphasis is on receiver performance - the more thoughtful and comprehensive the IF filtering scheme, the better.

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