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Old 11-25-2010, 12:17 PM
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Default Tube Type CB Radios

I have a large collection of tube type radios and I mean large. I've been collecting for over 15 yrs and some I've had since the 60s/70s. If anyone has an interest in what I have ask for a brand/model and I'll look. I'm working on a list, All are in working order and have done some restoration. I've looked on ebay and I don't see many tubers.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:54 PM
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Boy, bringing back memorys now on tube radio CB's. Had to do a search on my first tube radio CB and that was a Heathkit radio that was given to me by my uncle. Had to apply for a license that was early 70's, the radio was only one channel and it was modiflyed to a four channel, had to get the transmit and recieve crystals for it, remember talking on channel 14. Anyway found this one on ebay, i think this was it.

Vintage Heathkit CB Radio Transceiver GW-12 - eBay (item 280576481624 end time Dec-15-10 21:19:28 PST)
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Old 11-25-2010, 1:24 PM
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"In the beginning" ham radio manufacturers produced CB rigs, all used tubes because transistors were in their infancy. Ah, you reminded me of my Multi-Elmac base and Hallicrafters mobile in which the vibrator made a THUUUUuuungggggg when turned on and low, steady hum when operating. Thank goodness for cheap gas, I had to keep the engine running to avoid pulling down the battery and getting stranded somewhere.

"I've looked on ebay and I don't see many tubers."
You won't, the few still kicking around are better known as boat anchors to hams and antiques by collectors. (;->) Oh and BTW, if you're adding to your collection you're much better off at flea markets, hamfests, private, garage and estate sales unless you want to sacrifice your first born son to e-Pay.
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Old 11-25-2010, 7:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgez28 View Post
I've looked on ebay and I don't see many tubers.
Might want to take a closer look on Ebay, keep in mind people sometimes don't list them as "tube" radios. I would not say that it is the place to get the best deals on tube type CBs, but there are always a bunch listed, even if most are overpriced. At a quick count right now I see a dozen Trams, 10 Brownings, several each Sonars, Raytheons, B&K, Johnson, Allied, Lafyette, Heathkit, etc. There are a couple of Hallicrafters, even one old Hammarlund HQ-105TR. All totaled maybe 40 or 50 total tube type CBs on Ebay right now.

I also have a few here, but I would not say I am a collector. One each Browning Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV. One each Tram D201 and D201A, Tram TItan III, along with a couple other Trams I forget the model number of. Several Heathkits and a couple of Hallicrafters and the odd SBE or two, I know a Sierra for sure. I also have a DAK X. And I have one of the above mentioned Hammarlund HQ-105TR's, kind of an odd duck that was really a general coverage SW receiver with a single channel CB transmitter in it.

T!
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Old 12-15-2010, 4:13 PM
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Wow lucky You , My first CB radio was a SONAR MODEL E if I recall it was a Gold colored case
and I had a bag of crystals to put in the six or eight channel options. wow what memories
I even recall my fed number KALB9515
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Old 12-15-2010, 7:22 PM
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I think I have a couple of Sonar radio's. One is a 40 channel tuber. My first was a Globe Star 300. I have one of those ,but it's a bit rough. I'm going to sell everything soon. Time to loosen the load. If anyone is interested, let me know what your looking for as I probably have it. KPM7839
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:34 PM
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Tubes are still superior when it comes to: a) guitar amps; and b) high-end stereo equipment. I can recall hearing the annoying sound of a Screaming Eagle back in the day. But, without a doubt, they put out a great transmission.
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Old 12-16-2010, 6:14 PM
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Yes , there 's nothing like the sound of a tube amp or a tube radio. In my youth I would repair/design the tubers. I am a definite fan of tubes, TRUE ANALOG.as is the human being
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Old 12-18-2010, 8:00 AM
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Hello Ridgez 28:

Yeah send us or post a list of the radios you have. I sent you a private message.

Jay in the Mojave
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Old 12-18-2010, 9:22 AM
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As a kid I had a Lafayette Comstat 25B - was a great radio. Combined
with the Sheakspear Big Stick antenna on the house roof was hard to beat.
I later used the antenna for 10 meter ham with a tuner.

When I became a ham I sold that and purchased a used National NCX-3,
which was another great tube radio for its day.
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Old 12-18-2010, 4:19 PM
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I remember Lafayette. I couldn't wait to get the latest catalog. I'm a Ham now also. I always wanted the Demco Satelite and the Browning Eagle, which I have one of both. I didn't have the money then, but picked up some good examples. The Demco is my fav. I had a set of Gismotche beams and a HY-GAIN CLR2 ground plane back in the day
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:07 AM
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I had a relative that worked in the communications biz back in the early 70's who was friends with a guy that was known to SOUP UP CB radios.

He worked away from home and when he came home for visits, he would leave with a back seat covered in old CB radios - tube type.

He would take them down to Virginia and sell them on the open market to anyone that wanted one.
The demand always exceeded the supply.
We had a conversation a while back about tube type radios.
The effective range of the transmitter and the ability to receive long distances.

It went something like this -

The normal output from a CB radio was 4 watts.
4 watts @27 MHz is good for about 25 miles.
The distance can be increased depending upon numerous things, elevation,
antenna gain etc.
Ionosphere bounce (Skip) is very common at 27Mhz and communications even
using single element (car whip style) antenna across the US or even across
the ocean is possible. The furthest that I talked was to Sydney and
Melbourne Australia.

The beam antenna like you dad had up had a gain of about 12db. That is
like 16 times the power so a 4 watt into the antenna made it like 64 watts
into a whip antenna.

The standard modulation was AM.
AM has been around from the 20s, was easy to modulate and demodulate.
It had some drawbacks.
1. It was not very efficient. If you had a 10 watt transmitter you needed
a audio power of 10 watts to modulate it to the maximum 100%. 50K signal
like KDKA am required 50,000 watts of audio.

2. Other outside electrical noise easily caused interference on the
receiver. Lightning, power line noise, car ignition, etc.

3. The receiver "threw away" 1/2 the power
In a AM signal there is the carrier and two sidebands the carrier + the
modulation and - the modulation.
Example: WCEZ in Punxsy has a carrier frequency of 1540 kHz. To make
things easy, Let's assume that they were sending a single 1KHz audio tone
for a minute. If you looked at the output of the transmitter on a spectrum
analyzer you would see the main carrier at 1540 kHz and a signal at 1539Khz
and one at 1541KHz. The two sidebands would be 1/2 the level of the main
carrier. The receiver only uses one of the sidebands and discards the
other. The main signal, the carrier, is there just to carry the
information modulation through the air.

Single Sideband was a major break through for AM type communications.
In SSB only the information is being sent, no carrier.
This is great from a sending view but the receiver needs a signal to tune to for demodulation.
So in SSB receivers there is actually a little transmitter that fakes the
receiver into thinking that the carrier is there.
This transmitter is called a BFO for Beat frequency oscillator.

The Federal Communications Commission authorized CB in 1958.
At that time they permitted Amplitude Modulation at a maximum of 100% and a final tube
input power of 5 watts DC. The reasoning was that the most efficient
design amplifier would be about 80% which would generate about 4 watts of
output power. When CB started to tale off in the early 60 and Regency
Electronics (AKA Idea Corporation) started building high quality units
Regency looked for some technical advantage to why people should buy and
pay a premium for their units. Regency determined that if they used a
combination of regular AM and SSB that they would have a slight advantage.
The transmitter had a DC input power of 5 watts meeting the FCC rules and
modulated with a 20 watt audio signal. The modulation was a Double Sideband
for several reasons. The filter to remove one of the sidebands was very
expensive at the time, and with transmitting both sidebands a regular AM
receiver would not notice any difference from a standard AM transmitter.
The power in a standard AM sideband was a maximum of 2 watts or audio
where as in the Regency the audio was equivalent to 10 watts (actually
about 8 watts when you factor in all losses) but as you can see it was
about 4 times the audio power. The model of this Regency was called a
Range Gain. Regency went further and added a BFO to the receiver and
eliminated the carrier in the transmitter in a step toward making it like a
SSB transmitter. Only this style had both sidebands being transmitted. It
was called a Double Sideband Suppressed Carrier.

Well the FCC didn't like this too much and changed the rules to limit the
"audio" power to both SSB & DSB transmitters. I don't remember the exact
specifications but it amounted to about 8 watts of maximum audio power. By
this time the Japanese were making cheap radios and the quality USA made
stuff went by the way.... Browning, TRAM, Regency, Courier, etc.
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Old 01-03-2011, 4:56 PM
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That is great info D_B and I forgot about that stuff. I have a Regency Range Gain and the beautiful Regency Imperial SSB. Thanks for the reply and I hope this thread keeps going. Regards.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:37 AM
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Regency Range Gain

My Uncle had one of those when they were new and it sat out in my grandmothers shanty for a number of years - on a old kitchen table.
Man how I would love to have one of those.

The big problem is - who would you talk to?

With all the cell phones and GMRS and the internet - there is no one on the CB radio anymore in my area.
It's is kind of a dead hobby - like collecting analog cell telephone bag phones.
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Old 01-05-2011, 6:46 PM
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Actually no, back in the days of plate modulated AM you needed 50% of the DC input to the FPA in modulator AF output to modulate 100%. Phase modulation was pioneered by RCA and Collins back in the 1950s eliminating the modulator and half of the audio chain thus saving a whole lot of electricity. Now with Class E MOSFET modular technology the savings are even greater and transmitters more compact and efficient than ever.

"Well the FCC didn't like this too much and changed the rules to limit the
"audio" power to both SSB & DSB transmitters. I don't remember the exact
specifications but it amounted to about 8 watts of maximum audio power."

Again no, 4W carrier is equal to 12W PEP* be it AM, DSB or SSB, a carrier has no peaks, no modulation and carries no intelligence. There is no such thing as "audio power" in this context, it's all RF on the air. "...8 watts of maximum audio power" is sufficient to modulate 16W DC input to the final 100% so it has never had any place in Part 95 equipment.

* FCC math is bizarre, before PEP output became the standard it was DC input which actually makes sense. Then at 100% modulation PEP was X2 the unmodulated value and with SSB the unmodulated output was (and is) zero. Along comes CB SSB and the FCC scrambles to find new output limits and decided on 4W carrier for AM and 12W PEP for sideband, somehow with Part 95 that comes out to a factor of three, not 2 as it once was. It only gets worse, now Amateur Radio being under Part 97 it comes out to a factor of 4, not 2, not 3 but 4??? It only goes to show how engineering got left in the dust of money making spectrum auctions and the like, they can't even read a 'scope anymore! Peak electrical AC power is measured from the zero center line to the tip of either a positive or negative peak, that's why the name PEAK power. Peak to peak is just that, the tip of a positive peak to the tip of a negative peak, PEAK TO PEAK. I'd just love to put the FCC on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader purely for the entertainment value.

As long as we're on the subject of toobz, there were always those power mad fools trying to squeeze every last drop out of a lemon battery. Yeah, it's real. There are limits to everything and while unlike solid state you won't likely let the magic smoke out the power supply does a little dance under modulation. If you put the RF outpoot on a monitor scope you'd see positive peaks flattened as if by an invisible hammer and so much carrier pinch you'd think you're looking at digital pulse modulation, SQUARE WAVES! (;->)

I love toobs, really big toobz.

Last edited by kb2vxa; 12-03-2011 at 8:59 PM..
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Old 01-06-2011, 6:12 PM
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Ah yes clipping and all of the odd harmonics that come with it. This is good stufff for us old guys who remember. Those days are gone and most of the guys I talked to on CB back in the 60s' were Hams and it was respectable then. Peak power always looked good from a selling stand point.
Great stuff KB2VXA. I am KC8YNF. I hope I didn't miss the point. I can't set up these new digital sopes to look at a sign wave or get the thing to trigger properly. The thing has 8 channels and it's not even a Tektronics, Regards
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:10 PM
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Nice pic of Timtron!
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:11 PM
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In the early 70's I ran strictly tube CB. Lafayette Comstat 25B, Courier 23+ and Tram D201 between my base and my buses. I ran control codes on channel 23. 3 tones each on a different frequency enabling 6 permutations for 6 different buses. and sometimes just for sake of conversation. Some wimps used to piss and moan.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb2vxa View Post
Actually no, back in the days of plate modulated AM you needed 50% of the DC input to the FPA in modulator AF output to modulate 100%. Phase modulation was pioneered by RCA and Collins back in the 1950s eliminating the modulator and half of the audio chain thus saving a whole lot of electricity. Now with Class E MOSFET modular technology the savings are even greater and transmitters more compact and efficient than ever.

"Well the FCC didn't like this too much and changed the rules to limit the
"audio" power to both SSB & DSB transmitters. I don't remember the exact
specifications but it amounted to about 8 watts of maximum audio power."

Again no, 4W carrier is equal to 12W PEP* be it AM, DSB or SSB, a carrier has no peaks, no modulation and carries no intelligence. There is no such thing as "audio power" in this context, it's all RF on the air. "...8 watts of maximum audio power" is sufficient to modulate 16W DC input to the final 100% so it has never had any place in Part 95 equipment.

* FCC math is bizarre, before PEP output became the standard it was DC input which actually makes sense. Then at 100% modulation PEP was X2 the unmodulated value and with SSB the unmodulated output was (and is) zero. Along comes CB SSB and the FCC scrambles to find new output limits and decided on 4W carrier for AM and 12W PEP for sideband, somehow with Part 95 that comes out to a factor of three, not 2 as it once was. It only gets worse, now Amateur Radio being under Part 97 it comes out to a factor of 4, not 2, not 3 but 4??? It only goes to show how engineering got left in the dust of money making spectrum auctions and the like, they can't even read a 'scope anymore! Peak electrical AC power is measured from the zero center line to the tip of either a positive or negative peak, that's why the name PEAK power. Peak to peak is just that, the tip of a positive peak to the tip of a negative peak, PEAK TO PEAK. I'd just love to put the FCC on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader purely for the entertainment value.

As long as we're on the subject of toobz, there were always those power mad fools trying to squeeze every last drop out of a lemon battery. Yeah, it's real. There are limits to everything and while unlike solid state you won't likely let the magic smoke out the power supply does a little dance under modulation. If you put the RF outpoot on a monitor scope you'd see positive peaks flattened as if by an invisible hammer and so much carrier pinch you'd think you're looking at digital pulse modulation, SQUARE WAVES! (;->)

I love toobs, really big toobz.
can a tube like that really put out a whomp whomp signal ?
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Old 01-18-2011, 8:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fineshot1 View Post
As a kid I had a Lafayette Comstat 25B - was a great radio. Combined
with the Sheakspear Big Stick antenna on the house roof was hard to beat.
I later used the antenna for 10 meter ham with a tuner.

When I became a ham I sold that and purchased a used National NCX-3,
which was another great tube radio for its day.
I had a Comstat 25 as a kid! Picked it up at Lafayette Radio on Fordham Road in the Bronx, in the middle of a snowstorm. It had a 100 mw switch, so you could still operate on the channels where the FCC didn't allow talk between stations of different licenses! I think the FCC calls that I finally got were KOD 6*** or something. There were so many CBers on the air back then, that all I needed to do was throw a long wire out the window, and I could reach about 15 of them! When I finally put up a used Antenna Specialists Magnum half wave antenna, I was shocked at how many people were on the air. That antenna actually lasted over 30 years, and never caused one bit of TVI! Used it on 10 meters as well when I got my ham ticket. Those were the days!
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