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Vintage Amateur and Military Radio Amateur/military receivers and transmitters, morse, and any other related vintage comms equipment.

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Old 16th Mar 2017, 11:54 pm   #181
Damo666
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Default Re: All about CB radio

Re' the Jackson; I've just been Googling around to find info' & user reviews, and a few claims are being made that in stock form there's issues with RX on SSB with strong signals pumping, but there's a modification to improve this. Alternatively, people are just turning down the RF gain to improve the situation.

Not sure if I told you, Jeremy, but I also have the 80Ch Stalker 9 here and out of everything I've got it definitely takes pride of place. It's another really solid radio & it's a bit different in my opinion - I like that.

I'm not too keen on the Cobra 148 these days looks wise, although I once had a Superstar 3900, but I'm led to believe they're a good solid reliable performer. I sometimes come across them listed on eBay & they fetch ridiculous money, particularly if they're boxed.

I can see me becoming a bit of a collector of these old rigs, but I really shouldn't because previous experience tells me it's easy to get carried away and become a hoarder. I once had an habit of buying ex PMR gear off eBay even though I didn't really need it, and then I'd simply test it and plonk it in a storage box.

Last edited by Damo666; 17th Mar 2017 at 12:06 am.
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Old 17th Mar 2017, 12:36 am   #182
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Default Re: All about CB radio

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A ‘local’ brought a York JCB 863 (Cybernet 134 chassis) round for me to look at last night.
That's a first for me, I've never heard of the controls seizing like that
I think it was actually a first for me too. Its owner rides a trike and had transported the radio in a side pannier, but when he called later last evening he was a bit worried about putting the now working radio back in the same pannier, as he said it was bouncing about a bit on the way down. After trying to fit it inside his jacket without success, he gave it back to me and said he'd rather not take the risk with it on the trike and would call for it another time in his car, he phoned me and called earlier this evening to pick it up. I have to admit that the control was still a little stiff to turn, but I advised him to keep it turned full on and use the gain control on his microphone that he intends to use with it. I suspect that the issue with this control shaft could be down to the old 'monkey metal' degradation/expansion problem, and if I hadn't been able to free it off, I would have disconnected the wiring from the rear and hard wired it on permanent maximum, although I might have been able to find another control in a scrap radio. I found that the fixing nuts on all the control pots were slightly loose and needed a turn with a small spanner. The radio was actually very slightly off frequency to the high side which was so little that I wasn't going to bother with, but in the end I did just tweak it down. It was outputting about 3.5 watts, which he's happy with as it will nicely 'under drive' a small amplifier if he wants it to.

You're right about the 'characters' that are on in this area. Some of them are certainly 'larger than life' and many of them are certainly 'vintage' and as you say, stuck way back in 1983, but maybe not always in a good way, I could certainly tell you a few stories, however, most of them are ok. People say that in some areas CB radio is dead, well it's not dead around here. Most only use one channel, ie, 19, but if you know where to listen there are a couple of channels where all will be quiet until a little voice pipes up asking if anyone is there and the next thing you know there's a whole group on there having a chat. The folk that monitor these channels at different times of the evening, virtually never, ever use the 19.
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Old 17th Mar 2017, 1:09 am   #183
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The Major 588 was the first multimode export radio I ever got to see and use and I still think it's one of the best looking CB radios ever.
It was my second ever export multimode radio, my first being a Hygain V, which I bought brand new back in the AM only days. I sold that Hygain probably over 35 years ago to a forum member who I happen to know still has it in mint condition and in its original box - I wonder if he's going to post and admit to owning it

I think the Major 588 was the poor mans multimode 11, but I agree with what's been said with regards to the all black purposeful look. I bought mine under the counter from J Birkett in Lincoln, where I also bought that little Cybernet 1000 that i showed earlier on in this thread. I don't think that John Birkett himself actually had anything to do with the selling of these radios and it was down to a member of his staff who was working in the shop at the time, but you had to be 'in the know' to find out about them as there was a bit of a thing about the 'old school' hams getting upset if it was thought that he had anything to do with CB radio

I ruined my Major 588 by modding it to within an inch of its life. It lacked a KC shift (frequency shift tune control) with it just having a single clarifier (RX only tune control). I drilled a hole in the front panel and fitted a rotary KC shift. The set as standard only had two bands, but I fitted another two, plus the 'splits', plus low power, high power, super low power and a multi tone bleep. People that saw it called it 'the porcupine', due to all the switches that were on the back. I sold it long ago to a lad who thought it was wonderful with all those mods, as this sort of thing was a bit of a rarity back in those early days. I hope it doesn't still exist anywhere and has been srapped long ago as it would be a real embarrassment for it to turn up now and for me to have to admit to all that awful work
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Old 17th Mar 2017, 5:52 pm   #184
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A couple of the radios which ended up in my collection came through my hands as repairs originally - I know that because I used to put a little 'signature' on the PCB of every one that I looked at and two of them eventually ended up being in my ownership.

In one case I was able to trace the whole story of where the radio had been in its convoluted journey away from me and then back to me, but as to the other, I have no idea of its history during the intervening years. I only realised it was one I had seen before when I looked inside it.

So never say never... that M588 may come knocking on your door any day now.
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Old 18th Mar 2017, 9:53 pm   #185
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It was my second ever export multimode radio, my first being a Hygain V, which I bought brand new back in the AM only days. I sold that Hygain probably over 35 years ago to a forum member who I happen to know still has it in mint condition and in its original box - I wonder if he's going to post and admit to owning it
I ran it up a while ago and gave it a quick service. It's still fully operational!
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 9:56 pm   #186
SiriusHardware
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I'm noticing that one of the major difficulties facing anyone just starting to get into CB repairs is the lack of a suitable RF signal generator. Synthesised AM/FM signal generators aren't cheap, even when they are quite old and second hand.

The old standby back in the day was to use another radio set to low power and running into a dummy load but in truth, the output level from that setup was always far too strong for the intended purpose.

If you took a very battered but working mobile radio and completely disabled the transmitter leaving only the initial output from the VCO, that would give a much weaker signal. It might even be possible to build a switchable attenuator inside a diecast box and put it inside the 'host' unit and take the output from that to the SO239 socket on the rear of the unit. The main problem would be stopping stray radiation coming out of the unit, along the power leads for example. On an 'ideal' test signal generator the only place the signal should be coming out of is the output socket, and nowhere else.

If you picked something with a sine-wave roger bleep (ie, Amstrad chassis) you could arrange for the beep tone to be either continuously on or continuously off, giving the option to modulate the output signal with a sinewave test tone.

It wouldn't begin to approach the low RF leakage and fully variable level output from a 'proper' purpose made generator, but it might be better than trying to tune up on a local transmitter or on off-air signals.
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