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 Post subject: Looking for a Citizens Band tube unit, whats the best one?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 1:42 am 
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Location: Alabama, 35016
Looking for an all tube unit, not just power output, any ideas? thanks
Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 1:51 am 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
What is the best brand of car? Ford, Chevy, Toyota? This is an almost impossible question to answeras you will get many differing opinions. Back in the days of tube CB rigs there were only 23 channels and even a lot of the rigs then had only five or six channel capabilities with discrete crystals for each channel. If you want the full 40 channels, I would think that you would then be locked into a solid state rig.

But if you don't need all the channels, I would probably have to put a plug in for the Johnson Messenger sets.
Curt

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 2:12 am 
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Location: Freeport, LI, New York 11520
Sonar Model "G" was a great unit. Good audio when teamed up with a D-104/UG-8 base, I believe they were downgraded in the power output dept., but with a power output meter and SWR, you cud tune it up a few notches. Tunable receive, Xtal controlled tx.

They were the marine equivalent to the VHF that's out on the water today.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 2:27 am 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
There were a few tube 40 channel units which are in high demand today. Tranceivers made by Tram and Browning are held in high regard. But my choice for an affordable, well-designed CB tranceiver is the 23 channel Regency "Range Gain". Among it's design features is a push-pull triode RF power amp modulated by a push-pull modulator that uses a pair of 6AQ5's. You can get tremendous positive peak modulation with that set-up and still maintain the legal 5 watt RF final input power level. I was king of the hill with that unit in the early '70's until it got stolen. I recently found another one for $15 but it's missing its S-meter.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 3:30 am 
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Location: Southern NH, 03076
I still have a Citifone SS I used mobile in the 70's when traveling, it runs on 12VDC and 120VAC and with a little diddling got the power to 7.5W. At one point the local CBers were getting out of hand and a few with amps were splattering all the way up on 10M. I took the SS and hooked it to the NCL-2000 on the low power tap and had a 400W AM carrier and 1600W PEP and had a little conversation down the band. No more problems :twisted:

Carl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 3:31 am 
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Hallicrafters! Always a few on ebay for 10$ or less!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 5:44 am 
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Location: NE Fla. 32043
Dave, what did the S meter look like? I have a NIB S meter that looks like alot of those radios had back in the day. When I got into CB, the "Green Face Robyn" was sought after.

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Last edited by Mbird97x on Nov Tue 03, 2009 5:50 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 5:47 am 
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Location: New Jersey
I've got several favorites from my own personal collection and past experience.

Tram D201. There are 3 of these, hand wired 23, circuit board 23, and circuit board 40. I've owned both circuit board models, currently I've got the 40 channel. Its got something dead on it, and I've never gotten around to diagnosing it, but when it worked it was spectacular. Excellent recieve with stellar selectivity, and extremely clean crisp audio with the un-amplified D104. 6L6 modulator, and either a 6L6 or something that I can't recall for the tx output.

Sonar FS23, excellent transmit, and none too shabby of a reciever. Not as much selectivity as the Tram, but I was pleasently surprised. I forget what the power and modulator tubes are.

Robyn T123, Teaberry T, some Lafayettes, others using that chassis: decent performers. Good recieve, tx not bad but they like an amplified microphone. Also runs hot enough to fry eggs due to poor cabinet ventillation. 6bq5 tx and modulator tubes. These seem to have a lot of demand, but personally I feel they're average at best, and not really worth all the pomp and circumstance.

Robyn T240, other 40 channels using that chassis, same as above, except the heat tends to cook the PLL to death and its unobtanium. 6bq5 tx and modulator tubes. The Robyn is yellow, visually cool but thats probably the strongest point.

Courier 23+, all around very decent set. Similar to the T123 family but with a fully perforated case that doesn't have the heat problems. 6bq5 tx and modulator tubes if I remember right.

Tram Titan: VFO recieve, 23 channel transmit. A bit clunky to use thanks to the manual recieve tuner and the somewhat touchy recieve tuner but its a good performer. Excellent audio, clear receive. I don't remember the output power being very remarkable but it worked well enough.

Tram Titan II: SSB performace not particularly great, same touchy tuner as the Titan and its a lot more difficult to deal with on SSB. AM performace is excellent with better audio and transmit power than the Titan. I think the recieve is a little better too.

Mbird: that would be the Robyn T123B. I had one, sent it off to be repaired and sort of lost track of it. Not really anyone's fault but my own. I got tied up with life, and quite frankly forgot about it. Personally I think they were better looking than they were performing, but thats just my opinion.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 5:52 am 
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Location: NE Fla. 32043
Right you are. Around here, it was just one of the one's that "sounded" good as not too many people spent the big bucks on Trams, Brownings, and such.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 2:11 pm 
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Mbird97x wrote:
Dave, what did the S meter look like? I have a NIB S meter that looks like alot of those radios had back in the day.


The meter scale is somewhat special. Besides S-units, it has scales for PA voltage and current to calculate actual input power. There is a 3-position switch next to the meter to select the functions. I have several meters that will fit but probably won't find an exact match for the scale.

The Range Gain has a front panel PA tuning control. With it, you tune for a current dip just like you would with a ham rig. You then multiply the current reading by the plate voltage. When the FCC comes to inspect your station, you can prove to them how you've determined your input power.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 03, 2009 3:37 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34328
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
Carl's way of running off the linear amplfier CB'ers reminds me of the time I got tired of the local CBer who was running considerable power and had diahhrea of the mouth. I fixed him good one Saturday afternoon.

I just so happened to have an old diathermy machine sitting in my shack and I figured it ran about 400 to 500 watts input to a pair of back-to-back DF-460 diathermy tubes, which are about the size of an 810. I hooked my 40 meter antenna to it and with that raw AC on the plates, it created a signal that wiped out the entire CB band.

Admittantly, this happened on three or four occasions, but only when blabbermouth would get on and wipe the band with his splatter. Other CBers were starting to talk about it and how effective it was to shut the blabbermouth up. It worked and it made him cut his mic gain back so he did not take up a dozen channels. There is more than one way to skin a cat!
Curt

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2009 12:13 am 
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Location: Howell, Mi
There were a small handful of 40 channel tube type CB's made, here's one, a Robyn T-240-D: http://www.flickr.com/photos/badwsky/201998232/

Other companies marketed the same radio, and "were made by Panasonic, and labeled for a handful of name brands like Colt, Gemtronix, Robyn and Teaberry."

All of these show up on ebay often.

I don't have any experience with these, but they do look nice.

As mentioned, the Regency Range Gain is suppose to be great. Again, I've never had one, but have read all good and nothing bad!

Add a Courier Royale, to the list. They even "sport" a Collins Mechanical Filter.

Lafayette had a "big dog" too...the HB-444:

http://odinn.org/radio/albums/CB/Lafaye ... .sized.jpg

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2009 12:28 am 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I had a Courier Royal and it was a great radio. Unfortunately, some of the synthesizer crystals drifted off frequency. Also the channel selector had become erratic and intermittent. I traded it and some money for the the Regency. This thread has made me want to dig my $15 Range Gain out of storage and begin restoration.

http://www.museo-cb.com/publicidad_equi ... fullscreen

The Citifone SS that Carl mentioned was also one of the most sought-after tranceivers in this neck of the woods. The explosion in CB interest by the public during that era spurred manufacturers to put a lot of effort in making radios that worked well because the competition among the brands was so great.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2009 12:35 am 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34328
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
I admit to mostly looking down my nose at CBers and CB rigs, as I came from a ham background. But I will have to say that I agree with Dave wholeheartedly in regards to come of the sets. I can recall seeing some of the nice sets back in the mid 1970's that would actually put a lot of ham gear to shame, and I am not kidding.

Like Dave said, the competition was fierce and the customers would often get on the air and discuss the faults in their equipment and praise others, so word got around much faster than a lot of people realize.
Curt

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(Connoisseur of the cold 807) CW forever!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2009 1:42 am 
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Location: Freeport, LI, New York 11520
Curt writes....
"Like Dave said, the competition was fierce and the customers would often get on the air and discuss the faults in their equipment and praise others, so word got around much faster than a lot of people realize. "

Ragchewers are ragchewers, no matter what side of the fence you're on....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2009 4:05 am 
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Location: Columbia, SC, USA
Jim Koehler wrote:
Curt writes....
"Like Dave said, the competition was fierce and the customers would often get on the air and discuss the faults in their equipment and praise others, so word got around much faster than a lot of people realize. "

Ragchewers are ragchewers, no matter what side of the fence you're on....


I couldn't agree more! An awful lot of Hams, myself included, started on CB and way too many have forgotten that. A wise old Ham I met on the CB many years ago told me something I've never forgotten. When I asked why he was still on the CB if he was a Ham he replied: "Radio's radio!"
And that's how I feel. There are good and bad operators on both. I enjoy making and talking to new friends no matter where I find them.
I just restored a Johnson Messenger 250 Anniversary model (it's SS I know but an old 23 channel) and it sounds great on the air. I'm also working on a Hallicrafters CB3A Littlefone. It's great fun and brings back a lot of good memories.

Terry

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sat 20, 2007 3:36 am
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Location: Southern NH, 03076
11M was a fairly active ragchew band in the 50's in the NYC/LI area and there were very few KW and beam operators to drive the small station off. I ran a DX-100 and later a Viking I to a ground plane.

When the FCC gave the band to the CBers many of us applied for a CB call and mine was 2W1497. Many of us continued ragchewing with 50-100W and the new calls. After awhile the FCC caught on and placed an announcement in CQ and QST stating they would not take enforcement action but to cut out the power and operate legally. After that it was no more fun.

Carl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Thu 05, 2009 4:16 am 
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Joined: Jul Tue 21, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 461
Location: SW WA state
gvel wrote:
There were a small handful of 40 channel tube type CB's made, here's one, a Robyn T-240-D: http://www.flickr.com/photos/badwsky/201998232/

Other companies marketed the same radio, and "were made by Panasonic, and labeled for a handful of name brands like Colt, Gemtronix, Robyn and Teaberry."


I have a Teaberry 40 channel tube rig with the LED display new in the box... Also have a Pierce-Simpson 23 channel rig I'm going to have to dig out, and then there's the Lafayette HE-20A...
Thanks for the memories!

-Tom


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Thu 05, 2009 11:45 pm 
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My Dad was the only 'Kid' on his 'block' back in the Sixties that had one of those Regencies.
It's nice to see them mentioned again.Some folks were puzzled as to how he could still be heard, but there was no meaningful indication on their 'S' meters. :)



http://www.retrocom.com/ad's&flyers/REG ... 20GAIN.jpg

RJ


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