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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 12:56 pm   #41
Tim
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

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Sure that wasn't a 2001? R.A.F. light blue casings with 'vernier' style knobs?
May wall have been! I have a feeling it was a sort of sky blue colour. I used to think the government at the time was a bit mean, limiting a means of mass communication, but now I see some of the stuff on the internet I understand their concerns!
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 1:59 pm   #42
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

Yes, that sounds like one of the Midland 'Precision' series, most likely the 2001.

I can remember that there did seem to be some kind of official concern that a publicly accessible mass communications system could in theory be used to facilitate a mass insurrection or some other form of anti-authority activity and that was one of the reasons the government were reluctant to allow CB to exist. At the time I remember thinking that was an absurd argument in a country like Britain but yes, the events of the past few years do make you think a bit. Bear in mind we don't 'do' politics on this forum though, so we'd better veer away from that subject.

I stuck an aerial and a 'modern' (90's) 80-channel Midland on in the car when I went out for lunch, didn't hear much ongoing apart from some SSB which of course I could not resolve on the FM-only radio I was using. If it wasn't from some local source then there may have been a spot of Sporadic 'E' ongoing.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 3:34 pm   #43
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

Couple of guys chatting locally here right now but a bit of SSB as Sirius says which i can listen too as ive got my President Jackson2 wired in.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 4:41 pm   #44
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Yes, I've just got home (16:40, Wednesday evening) and 11m / 10m are actually open - not wide open, but the CEPT CB channels are quite busy and I'm hearing a few amateurs on 10m SSB as well. Pity the weather is so vile, at least in this area.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 6:02 pm   #45
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

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I can't believe I missed this mythical time around 1984 when 100+ radios were being sold off by chain stores for 10-20.

I'm not sure just now whether I will go out for a run tonight - certainly if the forecast had been fine and dry I would have.
I've got absolutely no memory of these radios being sold off cheap back then either, but I've read about this before, probably on this forum. I think at that time I'd just bought a semi-derelict house and was attempting to renovate it, so wasn't looking at what was going on with radio during that time.

I don't actually feel much like going out, but having slung all the radio stuff in the car yesterday (just before it really chucked it down with rain here) I suppose I ought to make the effort. The battery's now fully charged and I've just bunged it back in the footwell about an hour ago.

I tried two radios on the battery yesterday afternoon and I think I'm going to have problems with that Fidelity. I could hear the morse code breaking through again on the top channels and then I noticed it being heavily de-sensed and on spinning the channel selector, found a couple of truckers in convoy chatting as they travelled along a nearby (I guess) main road. So I suspect that this radio is really going to be as wide open on the front end as they say they are and likely to be knocked for six if there are a lot of stations on. Anyway, it's not a problem because I've also got an old Radiomobile CB-202 connected to the terminal strip and an antenna switch, so I can just switch between them as required. It's tempting to not bother with the Fidelity, but having gone this far it'll be interesting to see just how bad it really is and perhaps even prove one or two good points - we'll see. If all else fails there's still the Midland with the fag lighter plug on it shoved down the side of the seat with a protective wrap of cardboard round its case - the speaker mic on this set is very convenient for mobile use.

There's a bit of a story regarding that Fidelity when I first bought it. It was the only 'old school' CB radio that I saw at Newark. I felt a bit sorry for the embarrassment the poor chap selling it was having to endure from passing folk laughing at it, so someone had to help him out by buying it. I was saying to him that they had a reputation as being the worst CB radio ever made and he agreed. I told him he was asking way to much for it, so he said to make him an offer, which I did and said it was going to be my one and only offer, after a bit of deliberation he accepted it. I didn't even bother to ask if was actually working. It looked in good cosmetic condition (for a 40 year old rig) and had a non-original replacement mic fitted, so worth having at the price just for the parts alone. As he handed it to me he started telling me that the mic alone was worth what I'd paid and I was getting the radio for free - that always rings alarm bells when someone starts saying that sort of thing, being what they're really telling you is that there's something seriously wrong with it and they don't want you connecting it up outside in the carpark and then coming back and complaining. I did just that (not the complaining bit - I was more than happy that it was complete for the price), I connected it up in the car on the carpark and it seemed to be transmitting, but I was receiving what seemed to sound like a lot of continental skip type AM transmissions. There was a woman with a very strong signal shouting someone on what I 'thought' was channel 19. I tried several times to ask her if she could give me a radio check, but got no response. I then put the Midland on and with the Fidelity transmitting, I found that I couldn't find it on any of the UK 27/81 channels, so I then started to realise that it was transmitting somewhere else, probably down on the old mid band and what I could hear was continental/American skip. I couldn't believe that someone would have gone to the trouble of doing a mid band conversion on a radio such as this, but I've had this sort of thing before with CB radios bought for a quid or three from Ham junk sales that have turned out to have had 10M 28-29MHz conversions done to them in the distant past.

When I got home and investigated it with a frequency counter I found that it was in fact transmitting and receiving on mid band, starting I think on the 15/16 split and going up in 10kc steps to somewhere in the bit between the old, but now legal mid band AM/FM/SSB and the UK 27/81 band - and it was near enough on frequency to be usable, actually ending on a '6' rather than a '5'. I found that it was just transmitting a carrier at full power with no audio, so hence the lady I tried to get a radio check from wouldn't have heard me, not forgetting that she wasn't anywhere near the UK either, so I would have been pushing it anyway.

On opening the radio there was no evidence of any modifications or additions and to cut to the chase I found that the replacement microphone was not wired correctly for the radio. Having re-wired the mic plug the radio then transmitted on the correct UK 27/81 and it was virtually spot on frequency, ending in the required 125KHz. How having an incorrectly wired microphone gives you a mid band conversion on a 27/81 radio, albeit with no transmitted audio is anyone's guess - answers on a postcard!
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 6:12 pm   #46
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

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Pity the weather is so vile, at least in this area.
It's the same here now, but I think I'm still off out in a short while.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 6:23 pm   #47
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

Regarding the strange microphone-inspired frequency problem on the 'Fiddletey' - Uh Duh, no idea. What sort of synth do they use, the 7136/7137 or something weird?

I have the circuit diagram for that set somewhere but I have no idea why - if I came across a broken one nothing on earth could induce me to want to fix it. I hope you have a GREAT time with it tonight and prove all of us doomsayers wrong.

Edit: There's a redrawn Fidelity 1000 circuit here:-

http://www.cbtricks.com/radios/fidel...y_1000_sch.pdf

Looking at that the PTT from the microphone goes directly to the T/R input on the MM55108 PLL and to the PTT sensing circuit which detects PTT going low - let's say the incorrectly wired microphone was not taking the PTT rail directly to hard 0V as it should, but via the microphone voice coil. This partial ground through a resistance may have been enough to trip the RX/TX switching circuit from receive to transmit, but not enough to convince the PLL to switch from RX frequency mode to TX frequency mode. Something along those lines.

Last edited by SiriusHardware; 2nd Nov 2022 at 6:37 pm.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 6:37 pm   #48
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

I've just got my Alinco going again. I'll take a listen.

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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 6:44 pm   #49
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The 'publicity' for this 'event' says things should kick off on channel 27 at 19:00 and continue until it winds down to a natural end. Last year there was a lot of activity probably due to it being a 'significant', 40th anniversary. It will remain to be seen whether as many people are inspired by the 41st...
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 6:51 pm   #50
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

Found my Lowe TX40 but not its microphone, nor could I find a suitable 4-pin plug in my "connector conspiracy" box.

The TX40 mic wiring is odd; the PTT switch is actually a changeover switch. on receive it grounds the -ve side of the speaker, on transmit it opens the speaker-circuit and grounds the transmit-line.

So unless the mic is plugged-in there's no audio from the speaker. Meh!!


And I doubt it would be considered to be 'in the spirit of things' for me to come up on 11M with my Yaesu FT897D !

But listening around on the 897, there are still quite a few operators on the old CB27/81 FM channels. Best I've heard so far are in Newbury, Swindon and Pewsey.
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 7:19 pm   #51
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

I'm actually listening on my Kenwood TS50 just now but it is not enabled for TX outside of the amateur bands, nor would I use it that way anyway.

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So unless the mic is plugged-in there's no audio from the speaker. Meh!!
That is completely normal for the vast majority of 80s CBs. There are a few exceptions where the mic PTT activates a relay and the speaker is switched via one set of the relay contacts.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 9:48 am   #52
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Well, in the event I was just too cowardly / lazy to go out for a long drive in the pouring rain and I just connected my York 863 to my wonky half-size G5RV, which unsurprisingly has an unacceptably high SWR on 27Mhz, so no TX for me.

I left the radio ticking over on channel 27 for several hours and there was plenty of activity but most of it I could only hear one side of if one station happened to be near enough to burn through the S9 of noise.

I must make a proper effort again next year (weather allowing, obviously).

There is a WEBsdr in Grimsby which covers 10m/11m and I did look at that to see if there was any activity down that way, but not a great deal the several times I looked.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 11:24 am   #53
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

This thread brings back some memories. I bought a York 863 brand spanking new, pretty sure it was from Woolworths, IIRC.

Being reasonably high up, a GPA27 on the chimney stack went some considerable distance for FM, if conditions were favourable. However, I found the York a little bit deaf - On occasions I could be heard, but couldn't hear them - having to rely on a kindly repeater for the return trip.

Local auction prices for CB related lots is certainly on the up just recently, there is often little or no profit left in them.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 12:44 pm   #54
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

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This thread brings back some memories. I bought a York 863 brand spanking new, pretty sure it was from Woolworths, IIRC.
Hi,

I bought a York 863 for my daughter from Woolworth's after the initial surge at high prices. It cost 27, and I reckon that was a bit of a bargain.

Happy Days,

Kind regards
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 12:55 pm   #55
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

I was interested to note locknut's feeling that his York was a bit deaf as it had a Cybernet 134 chassis in common with many other radios of the day - My main radio for many years was a Binatone 5-Star (different clothes, same chassis) and I never had the sense that it was defective in that respect.

I'm still waiting to hear Techman's tale of triumph (or, possibly, woe) concerning his try-out of the Fidelity 1000. I would love to hear something positive about it, to be honest.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 1:11 pm   #56
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

I remember flogging off the Binatone Speedways at Rumbelows for about 19.95 in about 82.
It was such a bland CB it never really sold in great numbers especially compared to its big brother the Binatone 5star which i did buy back in the day and still have.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 2:39 pm   #57
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It was such a bland CB it never really sold in great numbers
And yet it also had a respectable Cybernet 134 chassis in it, just like the 5-Star. I never understood why they lumbered it with such a titchy meter when the equivalent and similarly sized basic Rotel, York, models had full sized ones.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 4:59 pm   #58
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It was such a bland CB it never really sold in great numbers
And yet it also had a respectable Cybernet 134 chassis in it, just like the 5-Star. I never understood why they lumbered it with such a titchy meter when the equivalent and similarly sized basic Rotel, York, models had full sized ones.
I think it retailed at about 59.99ish wheres the 5star was a lot more .
Tbh ive got one in my collection but ive never even fired it up so cant really comment on performance whereas my 5star works like a dream and gets fired up every now and then.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 5:20 pm   #59
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Default Re: 2nd November - UK CB anniversary

When I acquired my Rotel 220 (the most basic of the Rotel RVC range - Volume squelch, Channel switch - all an FM CB really needs) I noticed it had one less I.F stage coil fitted in the PCB than a 'full-featured' radio using the 134 chassis.

I suppose this was one of the few ways they could then say that the higher end model did offer better performance (in terms of receiver selectivity and immunity to off-channel transmissions) than the base model.

I don't know whether Cybernet removed that IF transformer on all of the basic 134-based models or whether it was unique to the Rotel 220 - something tells me it probably wasn't.

In truth, this would have been the only worthwhile improvement you got for laying out for the higher end model which was otherwise just a switch and knob populating exercise - "This radio has five switches and five rotary controls - what are we going to fill all of those up with on a single band, single mode radio?"

For example, compare the Binatone 5-Star with its closest ancestor in terms of tooling and general appearance, the Ham International Puma which was also made by Cybernet. I was looking at photos of one last night. The switches and rotary controls are by and large used for useful things, whereas the same controls on the 5-Star have been filled up with largely pointless features.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 6:43 pm   #60
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I'm still waiting to hear Techman's tale of triumph (or, possibly, woe) concerning his try-out of the Fidelity 1000. I would love to hear something positive about it, to be honest.
Well yes, it all went fairly well.

The worst thing was that there was a complete road closure that I wasn't expecting on the very road that I needed to be on, so had to go on a bit of a long detour to get into the back way of where I wanted to be. There were some major works going on with a bridge that crosses a dual carriageway and I needed to be on the other side of that bridge. When I did eventually get past all the bollards approaching from the long way round (the road was still open from the other end for local access to the odd isolated houses and farms that are on this otherwise normally very busy road) the road was deathly quiet with about three cars and a moped, likely to be locals living nearby, for the whole time I was there. The wind was blowing storm force and rocking the car at times. The detour made me a little late to the party, but I was in full contact with the channel all the while I was mobile.

It was nothing like last year and much of the reason was probably that the bad weather had put a lot of people off from going out mobile - in fact for the whole of the evening I was actually the only one on that was actually out static mobile, all others were struggling from home bases. One chap right at the end of the night came on from a base station in Shirebrook and said that he'd just come back in from being out mobile and that he'd made quite a few contacts, although he didn't say where, but that was the only report of anyone other than myself being out in a car and unfortunately I was the only one who could hear him.

What were the problems? The noise levels on these lower channels were pretty much killing it for most of the home bases. All the 4 watt only stations were struggling to be heard, other than by me who could hear everything! For a lot of the time there was a lively political conversation going on regarding immigration and other stuff that I was hearing from somewhere a long way off. I don't think they were anything to do with the anniversary and from the way they were talking I suspect that 27 was their 'usual' channel that they probably use all year round. I did try to get in on them to find out where they were, but they were keying quick and were likely fully squelched up. Also, I was the only one that could hear them and it wasn't a 'quirk' of the Fidelity, as they were coming through on both radios. One thing I hadn't thought about regarding using the Radiomobile was that people kept asking for signal reports and of course with this radio only having four little green dots, I had to switch over to the Fidelity which has a proper signal meter for this. Also, because of 'relatively' low contact count compared to last year, folk were reluctant to move off 27, as the thought was that it was better to stay where the party was supposed to be taking place in the hope of more joining in.

How did the Fidelity 1000 perform? Audio out was perfect, with just the odd person that, when they knew what it was, saying that it was s**t, but quickly followed by just kidding - it was an R5 all the way, and on every report! One chap that I know from within the city and who operates a very strong station, asked me to stay on channel 27 and tell him if he was affecting the radio if he went down a couple of channels to 25 and spoke. He actually went from 25 in steps down to 20 and then back up again one channel at a time reporting the channel each time and I could hear him clear as a bell all the way through, just gradually getting quieter the further he went from the 27 frequency, then gradually louder the closer he got back to 27 again. I think that this proves what a nightmare these sets must have been for their owners back in the day when used in built up areas when there were literally thousands of operators on the air at any one time.

Would the Fidelity 1000 have been a disaster if it had been the only set I'd had with me and is it a usable set today with less folk on? Well no to the first and yes to the second. There's obviously a major design issue with the front end, and what used to be said regarding nearby transmissions being able to be heard on all 40 channels is true - and not so nearby strong transmissions too, as proved in the experiment last night. It's a nice enough set to operate and it's obvious that nobody would know what you were operating on unless you told them, as the transmit audio quality seems from all the reports to be pretty much perfect. I would have to say, though, that it may be different if you were using an original microphone, as a lot of the inserts in these 40 plus year old mics are in some cases starting to struggle now - the mic with the set that I've got is non-original and looks fairly new.

Much of the talk was folk being concerned about their aerials, talking about looking out and seeing them bending over to horizontal in the strong winds - I suspect that one or two may have been found on the floor by this morning. As last year, I popped into Tesco on the way back through the city and did a bit of late shopping. The battery held up well and switching between radios was successful, other than having to remember which mic to pick up in the half dark.
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