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 Which first radio?

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PostSubject: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 10:35 am

Hello everybody,

Redneck here, a brand new member of the forum. Without further ado here is my dilemma;

I am looking to return to CB radio and possibly stick me toe in the water with the ham bands in the future, possibly just listening for the time being.

CB is the main priority as I want to be able to converse legally and not upset anyone. 

I’m keen to have AM, FM, and SSB capability and the ability to program the radio on a PC is a nice touch.

I’ve been looking at these four radios and would appreciate feedback or advice on the strengths and weaknesses of each, plus any recommendations.

SS 6900N
SS 9900   
President McKinley
Alinco DR135 DX (apparently improved version of CRE8900)

Any other radios I should consider as this list isn’t final? study 

Redneck


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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 11:10 am

I can’t help on the CB side, as I haven’t used any of them…but if a future requirement is ham, for not much more money you could look at a basic s/h HF radio like a Yaesu 450D, or iCom 718, and you’re future proofed.  Just food for thought…..

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 12:16 pm

Hi redneck, its got to be CRT 9900 for me. For a first radio they are great, for an only radio still great. I've had great results with this little beast, and small enough to put in car if you get another home base. Good price, get V4 onwards(no probs with mic then),will work 10 11 12 meters, I've done it and had very good audio reports. Only down side they can get really hot at the back, maybe turn power down and run an amp.
hope this can be off help.
regards 
mark 26 ct3433

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 2:08 pm

43CT016 wrote:
I can’t help on the CB side, as I haven’t used any of them…but if a future requirement is ham, for not much more money you could look at a basic s/h HF radio like a Yaesu 450D, or iCom 718, and you’re future proofed.  Just food for thought…..

I like your way of thinking and had this been my predicament prior the 2019 I’d have snapped one of those sets you mentioned up in a heartbeat. (Probably the iCOM since I own several of their business radios which I rate highly.)

Sadly my finances have nosedived since then and I’m scraping together the finds for this rather than splashing the cash willy-nilly like the good old days.

Of course I could always postpone my purchase and sell a few things, save up, but I’m not great at waiting once I’ve got an idea in my noggin lol. bom

Thanks for the left field suggestion though mate! Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 2:11 pm

Markone wrote:
Hi redneck, its got to be CRT 9900 for me. For a first radio they are great, for an only radio still great. I've had great results with this little beast, and small enough to put in car if you get another home base. Good price, get V4 onwards(no probs with mic then),will work 10 11 12 meters, I've done it and had very good audio reports. Only down side they can get really hot at the back, maybe turn power down and run an amp.
hope this can be off help.
regards 
mark 26 ct3433
Thanks, I did favour the 6900N, but then spotted the higher output 9900, then got drawn away by the Alinco until I read some bad reviews saying it had a terrible receiver. 
Now I think I’m either favouring the 9900 or the McKinley unless someone can persuade me otherwise…. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 3:58 pm

hi redneck, also have a yaesu 450d,great entry level rock solid radio. But your looking around £500 s/h.
regards mark

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 4:19 pm

Markone wrote:
hi redneck, also have a yaesu 450d,great entry level rock solid radio. But your looking around £500 s/h.
regards mark

Hi Markone, yea that would be an awesome first radio, but it’s over double my budget sadly, and I’d still have to find the funds for a power supply, ariel, SWR meter, decent mic etc..

Crying or Very sad pale


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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 7:10 pm

I would go with the Mckinley or search out an old school set that has been looked after and serviced.

I am not a fan of the chinese sets, especially the CRE/Alinco 135 as I have had three of them, and two suffered display faults. They do work ok when working, but for how long for?

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 16, 2021 7:36 pm

If you want to stay strictly legal the only radio of the one's you have listed that tick that box is the McKinley, even the 450d isn't legal on the C.B. frequencies.

73's Gary.

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2021 6:10 pm

Mudslinger wrote:
I would go with the Mckinley or search out an old school set that has been looked after and serviced.

I am not a fan of the chinese sets, especially the CRE/Alinco 135 as I have had three of them, and two suffered display faults. They do work ok when working, but for how long for?

Ok, that makes sense. Are the President sets actually made in the USA? I know they’re an American company but assumed their kit would be Chinese like everything seems to be these days!

If so I think I’d plump for the McKinley to be honest.
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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2021 6:13 pm

GaryWilson wrote:
If you want to stay strictly legal the only radio of the one's you have listed that tick that box is the McKinley, even the 450d isn't legal on the C.B. frequencies.

73's Gary.

Ok that’s interesting, I’d forgotten that these other radios are capable but not Type Approved for CB, so that’s always a worry.

Amazed at the number of YouTube people who are uploading content of themselves using the unlicensed radios without the HAM license and nobody seems to give a toss! drunken

Do Ofcom ever follow up and prosecute these infringements’ or is it more of an implied threat?
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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2021 7:00 pm

I think it is rare ofcom do anything at all regarding cb and ham.
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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2021 7:15 pm

On Ofcom following up and prosecuting.. more the latter these days from what I can tell. There's always the possibility of getting caught and prosecuted but I don't think they have the resource to police the bands, just like the Police are stretched to enforce law.

E.g. Using your phone whilst driving is against the law but so many people still do so and get away with it (not condoning, just using as an example), but if you have a serious accident and be found to have been using your phone at the time you are going to be prosecuted. Translate that to using a non-type approved equipment, power or frequencies.. most people are not going to have a knock at the door, unless reports of interference to neighbours or other services.

On the 'which first radio' throwing the Xiegu G90 in to the mix to consider. Still might be above budget for you, but worth considering. Great price (for a new HF rig) and feature packed despite it's size. Mine is not opened up to tx on 11m, but it looks easy enough to do. Maybe some good condition second hand ones out there already opened up. ..again wouldn't be a 'legal' rig though for CB.

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2021 7:25 pm

Redneck wrote:
Mudslinger wrote:
I would go with the Mckinley or search out an old school set that has been looked after and serviced.

I am not a fan of the chinese sets, especially the CRE/Alinco 135 as I have had three of them, and two suffered display faults. They do work ok when working, but for how long for?

Ok, that makes sense. Are the President sets actually made in the USA? I know they’re an American company but assumed their kit would be Chinese like everything seems to be these days!

If so I think I’d plump for the McKinley to be honest.

I think that the McKinley is made in Thailand. It has a Uniden chassis.

The chinese sets work ok, but I would worry about reliability.

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2021 8:18 pm

Ofcom require a £70 or £80 fee if your neighbour wants to put a complaint in and will they pay.
I am not saying go mad with 500w and all that just that it's not herd of much at all getting a knock on the door that is.
I was on cb back in the 70s and never had a legal radio until i went for my ham licence and now i have all the bands with a 10w limit and a legal cb well it is still in the box but i have one.
Enjoy your radio when you get one and don't be worried about a knock on the door as it will be you who get's the interference from next door with phone chargers wifi and loads of stuff that cause us qrm.

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeThu Nov 18, 2021 11:04 am

nothing is legal to transmit on 27.555,so lets be realistic. If you want to stay totally legal, your not going to be dxing on the calling channel .

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeSat Nov 20, 2021 3:24 pm

Markone wrote:
nothing is legal to transmit on 27.555,so lets be realistic. If you want to stay totally legal, your not going to be dxing on the calling channel .

Can somebody explain this technicality to me please? I see these YouTube people forever gassing on that exact frequency Neutral
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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeSat Nov 20, 2021 5:01 pm

I will try,26.965 to 27.405 legal (mid band) 27.601 to 27.991 legal (27/81) muppet band. most but not all dx action happens in-between on 27.415 to 27.675 or so and this is known as the free band. Hence the dx calling channel 27.555 is illegal, that been said it is not policed and used by nearly everyone who dx on USB .this is for your reference on deciding which camp your in when buying a new radio.

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 23, 2021 12:28 pm

Markone wrote:
I will try,26.965 to 27.405 legal (mid band) 27.601 to 27.991 legal (27/81) muppet band. most but not all dx action happens in-between on 27.415 to 27.675 or so and this is known as the free band. Hence the dx calling channel 27.555 is illegal, that been said it is not policed and used by nearly everyone who dx on USB .this is for your reference on deciding which camp your in when buying a new radio.
Thank you for the explanation Markone! 

Mad I didn’t realise it was so complicated lol.

So there are two legal ranges that nobody uses and a dead zone in between that everyone uses, seems logical. Lol. silent

I’m toying with the idea of a handheld to begin with, since I don’t have use of a car most of the time currently, and can ride my motorcycle to the top of a nearby hill if required. Do any of them work longer range or are they more for gassing to your mate down the road, or driving back from your house?

Also, could the mobile (car/truck) sets be run by one of those adjustable switched power supply units you see on Amazon and eBay where you set max Volts and Amps? 

Finally, can CB and Ham bands be serviced by just one type of ariel? I’ve got very picky neighbours who I don’t think would take kindly to me having an array of antennas on my house. pale
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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 23, 2021 5:26 pm

Hi redneck, I cant really be of much help with handhelds, i have a baofeng for PMR but never had the need for a handheld CB, I find the cb band is in a time warp, with idiots playing music and using bad language, but there are a few good ops out there .The band set up is a mix match of 27/81 and the CEPT band which is the old mid block. This gave 80 channels legal cb, then they allowed ssb, so you got 80 channels AM/FM/SSB. Then you have export radios that can be programmed to cover 10 11 12 meters which includes 27.555.Hope that helps on that front. The short answer  to the antenna question is no, but as always. there are some exceptions. a gainmaster will give you 12 11 10 meters at a push,a cobweb will give you 20 to 4 meters. But nothing does all efficiently, that's why HAMS have a few antennas up. What I did was buy a CRT9900 and a silver rod, then the gain 
master to give 10 11 12 meters, then an efhw (EndFedHalfWave) later for 40 to 10 meters. Hope this helps and someone can give more information

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PostSubject: Re: Which first radio?   Which first radio? Icon_minitimeTue Nov 23, 2021 6:30 pm

Ok, I have had a bit of a splurge and bought both a;

Retivis RT95 &
Midland M20

I now have a ham and CB set on their way and suppose I’m looking at one coaxial cable, two ariels, an SWR meter, and at least one power supply?

Ugh, I wish I’d bought a handheld lol. Rolling Eyes

Did I forget anything and what is a good low cost starter option?

P.s. only did what I did because I’m not sure of activity in my area on either format so at less than the price of a McKinley or CRT SS9900 I can dabble with both.
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