Portable CB radio with SSB?

Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
7,195
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
#2
There were several combo 10m/CB versions like the Cherokee. I have a Titan Roadpro RPSY-201 which looks identical to the Cherokee that I might put on the market soon.

I remember something about a crystal control SSB handheld from maybe the 70s or 80s but would have to do some searching.
prcguy
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
5
#7
I still have 2 Cherokee AH-100 radios that I purchased back in probably the late 1980s or so. They've been boxed up in my garage for many years, but I'm sure they still work fine. I'll have to dig them out and try them again, as some guys from our UHF repeater group and some guys on our 75m group have mentioned that they recently found the 11m band to be wide open for propagation.

I purchased the optional long whip antennas for mine and it helped with the range. I remember talking from So California (on Catalina Island) to a guy in Florida with the 6~7 watt pep power level. The guy had a hard time believing I was on an HT.

I noticed someone posted something on another thread on this forum about Cherokee SSB HTs being illegal on the 11m band. Not sure where that bit of intelligence came from, but it's not true. Legal limit for 11m is 12 watts pep.

... and yes, the AH-100 and variant models are capable of out of band modifications (what they used to call 'Free Band' coverage - 25~30 mHz, IIRC)
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
7,195
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
#8
I talked from Long Beach, CA to the UK on my Titan RPSY-201 with 4ft telescoping whip.

I still have 2 Cherokee AH-100 radios that I purchased back in probably the late 1980s or so. They've been boxed up in my garage for many years, but I'm sure they still work fine. I'll have to dig them out and try them again, as some guys from our UHF repeater group and some guys on our 75m group have mentioned that they recently found the 11m band to be wide open for propagation.

I purchased the optional long whip antennas for mine and it helped with the range. I remember talking from So California (on Catalina Island) to a guy in Florida with the 6~7 watt pep power level. The guy had a hard time believing I was on an HT.

I noticed someone posted something on another thread on this forum about Cherokee SSB HTs being illegal on the 11m band. Not sure where that bit of intelligence came from, but it's not true. Legal limit for 11m is 12 watts pep.

... and yes, the AH-100 and variant models are capable of out of band modifications (what they used to call 'Free Band' coverage - 25~30 mHz, IIRC)
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
5
#9
IIRC, it was Courier that marketed a 6-channel SSB HT. They didn't find a large market, as most 11m operators still preferred to simply operate base and mobile stations on AM back then (only having channel 16 to utilize the ssb mode).

The main problem with an ssb HT was that the efficiency of electronics at the time (mid ~ late 70s) still drew too much power, and 8 AA penlight cells just weren't up to the challenge. It was possible to operate it from an external power with decent results source though.

Pretty much the same issue plagued the more modern variety HTs - my AH-100s came with measly 500mAH Ni-Cd battery packs that drained down quicker than hoped for, but again, could be externally powered ... then they worked great.

The big advantage with a standard ssb base or mobile radio: 12 watts pep TX (3x RF power output over an AM signal), plus 2x the RX sensitivity (0.25 microAmps vs. 0.5 for a standard AM receiver) provided adequate extended range.

However, with only 7 watts pep and a small whip antenna, the AH-100s still weren't real efficient and one had to rely on high elevation locations for good local communications, or prime solar conditions for DX comms . Of course, this is normal for just about any type of HT. An external antenna, coupled with the external power, will vastly improve any HT's performance.

At one point, I constructed a portable antenna in my back yard to test out a theory ... I used a Shakespeare 102" mobile whip, a Cushcraft VP-1 plate and 3 ground radials from an Antron-99. The whip was screwed into a standard 3/8"x24 to SO-239 mobile type mount, then through the VP-1 (turned upside down), then the 3 ground radials were bolted to the VP-1. The radials spread out to create a tripod configuration and supported the whole mess. Then a PL-259 to BNC adapter screwed onto the bottom of the SO-239. The adapter connected directly to the BNC on the top of the AH-100 so the radio was hanging directly under the apex where the whip/radial met.

I plugged in an external hand mic to distance myself a couple feet from the antenna and had a decent qso with a friend who lived about 12 miles away, although he was on a base station with an antenna on a 55' tower. In any event, I'm going to go on record and state that the experiment was a total success ... lol
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
5
#11
IIRC, there's was an 'AA' battery case from a Radio Shack or an ICOM HT that fits the AH-100 type radios. Alkaline batteries can provide more than adequate current, but the downside is that you need to carry a lot of them for extended operation.

The capacity of a fully-charged 'AA' Alkaline or NiMH battery is roughly 2000 to 3000 mAh ... which would be a much better choice for endurance.

The old technology 500 mAh Ni-Cd batteries drained pretty quickly, and of course, had a limited number of recharge cycles, as well as developing a memory condition if not discharged and recharged properly.
 
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