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What's a good Handheld CB Radio?

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NewSDScanner

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Oct 5, 2010
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San Diego
I'm new to CB but I have 2 scanners and use handhelds at work so I'm not new to radio. I'm asking on here because I looked through radios on Amazon.com and none of them seem to have 5 star reviews and they all seem kinda marginal. I have a small coupe and was mainly looking for a radio to pull out every so often and listen to while on the road. Would a handheld with a decent direct antenna (one connected directly onto the handheld rather than an external vehicle-mounted antenna) be ok for this? I was told that a whip antenna is needed for serious CB usage but how would a plain old handheld do on the freeway and stuff like this? Thanks.
 

Cruiseomatic

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Houston, TX
I've got a pair of Uniden PRO340XL that I've had for years now and never had any problems. Just replaced both the antenna's because they were beat to hell from use and battery life isn't that great but thats any handheld. I paid $80 for the pair at walmart new. As far as a "direct antenna" goes, I'm sure it would be fine if you're using it the highway or a major road. As far as on a back street or anything else, You'll want a "bigger" antenna.
 

gordiebill

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Ontario Canada
I recently bought a Midland 75-822 model. It can be used as a portable hand-held or as a mobile CB. It comes with adapters for both uses. I got mine from Amazon.

Give it a look. I really like mine.

Gord
Ontario Canada
 

gemniii42

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Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
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I recently bought a Midland 75-822 model. It can be used as a portable hand-held or as a mobile CB. It comes with adapters for both uses. I got mine from Amazon.

Give it a look. I really like mine.

Gord
Ontario Canada
Just got one also (last Wednesday) also from Amazon -
So far -
scan is "flaky" sometimes it seems to work, sometimes not.
I tried plugging in an external speaker using a brand new RS speaker cord w/ plugs (I was desperate so spent the $8) - didn't work, no sound out, after unplugging the wire from the handset - no sound from the built in speaker. After JAMMING the plug into the handset so hard the plastic on the plug folded back a bit, then removing the plug, sound returned. I sense a roundtrip back to Amazon. After my roadtrip today.

Other than that (no scan and no sound) it's a nice size.

Read the Amazon reviews, seems QC on these is Quick, Cheap.

Does anyone know of a better unit in this size? I would not mind spending 3X as much for a quality handheld.

If you have the space (which I don't in my VW) get a regular unit.
 

KBEX

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Aug 10, 2011
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CT
dang,I was looking into one of these or the Cobra 75WXST, I was leaning towards this model since it had the dual antenna option. I just wanted something compact ,portable and ready to go.
 

KJ6VIP

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Oct 6, 2010
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75
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
I'm new to CB but I have 2 scanners and use handhelds at work so I'm not new to radio. I'm asking on here because I looked through radios on Amazon.com and none of them seem to have 5 star reviews and they all seem kinda marginal. I have a small coupe and was mainly looking for a radio to pull out every so often and listen to while on the road. Would a handheld with a decent direct antenna (one connected directly onto the handheld rather than an external vehicle-mounted antenna) be ok for this? I was told that a whip antenna is needed for serious CB usage but how would a plain old handheld do on the freeway and stuff like this? Thanks.
Personally I own the Midland 75-822 HT model. It is a decent unit, and includes everything you need to operate it as a basic mobile. The likely reason you won't find a 5-star review for HT models, is because they are just basic. Nothing fancy, and no desirable features are included. You get what you pay for.

Since you don't seem to be the type to want a feature rich mobile unit, based on your post, you'll do fine with an HT unit. All the HT units are about the same quality. Picking which HT unit to buy is a matter of what your willing to spend. I personally would suggest buying the HT as a stand alone product, rather than buy a unit complete with an antenna.

You may want to invest in a decent magnet mountable antenna such as a K-40 or Wilson 1000. This way, if you decide later to upgrade to a feature rich mobile unit, you will have already invested in the antenna which will compliment any radio you decide to utilize.

-Rylak
 
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brianearlspilner
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I have a Midland 75-822 and although it is a great unit, they could have made the internal speaker louder.
 

KC9ICE

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
20
Location
Washington, IL
if you are gonna use it just to listen then why not just use a scanner set for cb?
If you (the OP) never plan to transmit, I like this idea. Run it with a good external CB antenna like a K40, Wilson, Hustler, Firestik, etc it should pick up CB as well as any mobile CB but it would likely have no problem picking up any local public safety VHF or UHF repeaters either. The coax attenuation on RG58 might be an issue if you would try to use it on 800mhz, but it would depend on your local system(s) (if there are any 800mhz systems where you are). It can be done though, I used a loaded VHF low-band 1/4 with 12' of RG58 on my semi truck and never had any problems receiving Illinois' Starcom21 (statewide p25 800mhz) system or my county's EDACS.

If you plan to transmit, I would recommend the Uniden Pro510. It's a mobile unit, but very compact and performs quite well. Whatever you go with, having a good antenna and having it properly tuned for low SWR (under 2:1) makes mucho muy mas difference in performance than which radio you pick.
 
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