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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2012, 6:16 AM
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Default Whats the best mobile SSB CB radio?

I have a renewed interest in CB and have started shopping radios. I have owned quite a few over the years but I have never had a SSB capable radio. I'd like to give it a try and my options are vast when shopping SSB CB radios.

That being said, what would be considered the best performing mobile SSB CB radio? I've always had good luck with Cobras and a proper antenna setup, but I have to admit, I've always coveted a Galaxy or Connex.

I know alot of radios are clones and/or rebadged units with varying degrees of quality and stock performance, so hopefully some of you can help me sort through the rif-raff.
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Old 01-18-2012, 8:55 AM
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Best bang for the buck,
Cobra 148GTL $125 at Fry's
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Old 01-18-2012, 9:27 AM
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I think the best advice is to sit down in front of each candidate radio and see how YOU like it. Having the absolute best performing radio isn't going to do much good if you can't stand the sight of it, or it's too complicated for you, you know? That's also probably the worst advice to get cuz how you gonna do that? From there it's a matter of doing just what you're doing, ask people for opinions. Then you get to decide which opinion you want to try first. If you can pick a 'winner' on the first try, would you buy me a lottery ticket??
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:10 AM
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The Cobra 148 is a great CB radio and has one of the best receives on the market, Also a great radio when properly set up to a good antenna will last a long, long time. For the price you can't go wrong.Remeber when you go to the export radios Galaxy, Ranger,Magnum, they will have more power and a lot more chanels but are Illegal and also have 10 meters (A ham band) where you don't want to talk without a ham license.
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Old 01-18-2012, 1:43 PM
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I'm only shopping straight up AM/SSB radios, no 10m super-duper wonder boxes.

I really like the Cobra 148GTL, I think because it reminds me of my old 29. Plus Cobras have a rep for talking nice and clean right out of the box. Galaxy has the DX-9xx radios but I have no experience with Galaxy. I've read alot that says right out of the box they often need an alignment and that its not uncommon for output to be half the legal limit.

Is it desirable to have a frequency counter on SSB? What about unlocking the clarifier? I've read that doing that can make it more of a hassle to get good contacts.
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Old 01-18-2012, 6:56 PM
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I will say the best CB I have had so far is the Cobra 148 side mic .The one I have my uncle gave me 10 or so years ago and he had it for a long time .I would guees this radio is 25 or 30 years old I have had a few mods done to it and it still works great .I use it for trips tp Southern Ill and Western Ky each year .And as my base unit .
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Old 01-18-2012, 7:03 PM
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Default As mentioned by other posters,

the Cobra 148GTL is a great SSB CB. I've had mine for over 15 years and it still gets out. The main thing is having the right antenna for it.
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Old 01-18-2012, 7:11 PM
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The Galaxy DX-9x9 series are drifty radios. I used a 949 in my car for a few years (I have since sold that radio) for Channel 19 monitoring while on the Interstate and got on 38LSB (all stock, really was doing just 12 watts out on sideband) and was able to shoot DX and all that but only after the radio had warmed up. Apparently this trait carries on over to the 10-meter Galaxy radios as well.

Best SSB CB bare bones 40 channel radios?

Uniden PC-122XL
Cobra 148
Radioshack TRC-485 and a few others

Like others have said, the antenna makes the real difference.
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Old 01-18-2012, 8:54 PM
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No doubt in my mind, the motorola cb555 and cm510 are the best performing ssb cb's I ever had! If I ever found another, I'd probably cave and buy it.

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n9zas
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:10 PM
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I would go for the 148 GTL. Too bad the UNiden Grant XL is out of production-that was a great radio. They are still available on EBAY, but most if not all have had the "Golden Screwdriver" in them. As far as unlocking the clarifier-will be more of a headache than anything. You will have dificulty tuning others in, and you may actually sound off frequency to the other person. The new Galaxy radios, as I understand it, are now FCC approved, but still lack quality. They were great radios back in the day for "freebanders" and were popular for the easy modifications. If there is a good reputable CB shop in your area, I'd purchase it there and just have a peak/tune done.Just a peak and tune though, no "clipped limiters" "superswing mods," etc. After the peak tune (which should only adjust your radio for best wattage and audio output) get a nice powermike and a quality antenna. Also-I have noticed many retailers online do not offer warranty on Galaxy, Connex, etc-only factory warranty. Avoid those guys.
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Old 01-19-2012, 9:56 AM
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Agreed. Beware the "screwdriver experts" at some CB shops. A lot of the reason CB radio has a bad rap (esp. the channel 19 crowd) is because they got the "super peak tune whack smack pack whatever" "tuning" done on the radio - which consisted of the modulation limiter being removed. The modulation limiter is in there for a reason.
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Old 01-19-2012, 1:32 PM
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Well, sounds like the 148GTL is the favorite. Probably cant go wrong with a Cobra.
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Old 01-19-2012, 3:26 PM
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There isn't much to choose from. I'd recommend Uniden, they always had very stable oscillators and would be very nearly perfectly on frequency once they warmed up. But they don't currently make any SSB models. There's the Ranger TR 296 DX, Galaxy DX 949, and COBRA 148 GTL. They are all similarly priced and offer similar performance. There's also the Galaxy Premium DX 2547. That's a big sucker and can operate on DC but isn't exactly mobile. It's a good performer with some nice features.
Frankly I'd hit ebay, the flea market, yard sale, and find a good condition used unit. Have it tuned up. You may well find it works better than what's currently available.
My old Uniden PC122 rivaled some of the most expensive one's out there.
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Old 01-19-2012, 6:19 PM
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The best in my humble opinion would be the Ranger 2950 or 2970
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Old 01-19-2012, 6:45 PM
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I remember back in the day that I clambered for a Cobra 148DX; the export model. Those are sweet. I did like having the clarifiers unlocked. I'd tune someone in and they seldom had to tune to me.
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Old 01-20-2012, 8:57 AM
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Hello ZZDiesel:

Roger that! The Corba 148 DX was a great radio, I believe the Magnum S9 is a clone to the 148 DX and its a great radio with great noise cancellation. Its great to drive down the freeway and listen in like a base station nice and quiet. The diagram of the Corba 148DX and MagnumS9 radios are real close.

I have had this radio for years but just put in my truck, a while back and it works great on AM and SSB.

Jay in the Mojave


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Originally Posted by zzdiesel View Post
I remember back in the day that I clambered for a Cobra 148DX; the export model. Those are sweet. I did like having the clarifiers unlocked. I'd tune someone in and they seldom had to tune to me.
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Old 01-20-2012, 2:15 PM
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Many of those "export radios" are clones of each other.

Google search for "EPT3600" and "EPT6900".
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Old 01-20-2012, 6:02 PM
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Galaxy and other "export" manufacturer radios (ala Stryker, Magnum, etc) make great, loud AM radios, but SUCK on SSB. Trust me, save your money.

The best SSB CB I have found is the RCI (Ranger) line. In both my work Tahoe and personal vehicle, I have a RCI-2970N2 installed. Works fantastic, and well worth the price. I can work ch38 or 39 SSB on my way to work with no problems at all.
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Old 01-20-2012, 8:00 PM
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Maybe my ranger is broke but the rec sucks on it. Signals full scale on the 148 are barely readable on the ranger.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:12 PM
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Isn't the Ranger a 10 meter radio?
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