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Getting back into hobby - reputable peak/tune?

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bonginator

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Mar 29, 2014
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I dug out my old CB radio and then of course ended up picking up an older unmodified Cobra 148 GTL. I'd like to find a place that would be very reliable and just do a straight peak/tune on it only and give me an honest opinion on whether it needs a cap replacement or not. Preferably someone who actually a trainer engineer.

Anyone got any solid recommendations?

I don't want the radio butchered - just brought back to peak performance.

Thanks.
 

Dawn

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Apr 5, 2003
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Location
Pinecrest,Fl
I've been in two early 5 pin side mic 148's since I've stared doing restorations that sat up in boxes or closets in our humid enviornment down here. Despite my suggestions for re-capping, the customers didn't want to go that route and added expense. These were unmodified or tampered with and even 30 some years later, the only improvements were the warping caps on the crystals due to crystal aging and some deoxit on pots and switches from oxidation. I couldn't do any better then the factory tune on the coils which like many older sets appear to be pretty stable. During the past 1 1/2-2 years that I did these radios, one threw an audio chip and a even though the 'lytics around it tested good, I still replaced them as a precaution. Personally, I would recap as a preference and to protect against future problems even if the radio met spec. If you have access to a frequency counter and DMM and a basic power/modulation meter, buying a small can of deoxit from RS or much cheaper on the net and there's plenty of downloadable manuals and SAMS docs on this unit. Even if you don't know what you're doing, following the procedure and geting the crystals on frequency and vco range within range and cleaning the pots and open frame ones would be pretty much what any competent tech would do if he didn't have some nonsensical ripoff mods he's trying to sell you. Harbor freight sells very decent dmm's for under $5 and you can get a chinese portable frequency counter for less then 3 starbucks lattes. An old 3 way test set that does swr/mod/power should cost more then $10 plus shipping off Ebay and all you really need if you're following a test procedure from any of the docs above. These were great radios and conservatively rated if you follow the original alignment. Recapping only takes basic soldering skills and there's plenty of outfits selling a kit of caps for particular radios that are higher voltage and temp rated.

The test equipment are things you should have anyways. What you learn doing this yourself is priceless.
Why let a chop shop that has a vested interest into selling you dubious mods that you don't need and compromise the longeivity of the components by pushing them well beyond thier nominal ratings?

The old, original units were a great chassis and need little control cleaning and retuning primarly of the crystals and vco lock range to return them to original spec. Maybe a good cleaning and regreasing of the power devices with a small tube of silicone grease would be a good addition as a precaution. Even old mics can use a good cleaning with deoxit on the switch and maybe the cloth baffle can use a good soak in ammonia or an ultrasonic cleaner to remove dried spittle and derbis for improved audio.

Lot you can do yourself without paying someone with a vested interest in trying to sell you on a bunch of mods.
 

bonginator

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Mar 29, 2014
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Thanks, Dawn. Very informative.

I will thnk about whether I want to tackle it myself or not. If not, still hoping for referrals to someone who won't butcher it up but just restore it to spec and solid operation and really knows what they are doing.
 

CarolinaClodhopper

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Why is it everyone is always wanting to peak and tune? Can't anyone just be happy with a out of the box radio anymore? Take for instance the new line on Uniden radios with all the surface mount technology they are basically eliminating the days of the "golden screwdrivers" with very little in the line of peak and tunes. Technology is moving forward with the times...
 

bonginator

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Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
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Why is it everyone is always wanting to peak and tune? Can't anyone just be happy with a out of the box radio anymore? Take for instance the new line on Uniden radios with all the surface mount technology they are basically eliminating the days of the "golden screwdrivers" with very little in the line of peak and tunes. Technology is moving forward with the times...
Tommy - My older (90s) Cobra just doesn't seem to be getting out so that is why I was looking at a peak and tune. I'd still love to get recommendations on a reliable shop.....
 

KD8DVR

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Apr 11, 2004
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1,126
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Why is it everyone is always wanting to peak and tune? Can't anyone just be happy with a out of the box radio anymore? Take for instance the new line on Uniden radios with all the surface mount technology they are basically eliminating the days of the "golden screwdrivers" with very little in the line of peak and tunes. Technology is moving forward with the times...
When I use my out of the box CB, I get all sorts of compliments.... people asking where I got it "fixed"... People are so used to golden screwdriver garbage, they forget how a radio is supposed to sound!
 

JayMojave

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Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
668
Location
Mojave Ca
Hello All: Yeah its human behavior to want the "Hot Setup" Why not?

Maybe you guys can show us in scope measurements the difference between the stock and modified configurations? And how many dB difference there is?

My Cobra 29 sounded like weak audio, a new Mic, and a little adjust-O and its sounding loud and proud. And still stock.

Jay in the Mojave
 

CarolinaClodhopper

Was Trucker_Tom
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Joined
Feb 13, 2013
Messages
504
I agree Jay, through the years I have had many radio setups, from the basic peak and tune to the whack packed Radioactive radios. None of them ever lived up to my expectations. I currently run a bone stock out of the box Uniden 880 fed into a RM Italy KL203 p amp and have never been more happier, the only other change I see coming is a better mic than the current stock one, something with better clarity.. Other than that i'm totally happy and hasn't been any golden screwdrivers poking around in the chassis!!!
 

ChetsJug

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Apr 19, 2014
Messages
92
El Dorado CB Shop on I-40 exit 287, Webbers Falls, OK
He's in a building that looks like a white barn and large letters CB SHOP. You can't miss it. It's sitting in a large lot next to the Chicken Buffet. Across the street from the Love's travel center. His Name is Jason, tell him Grape Ape sent ya.

This man is a Licensed Tech. For that matter he's a Ham Tech and has many years in repair. He's a Ranger Dealership and a Freemason if that counts. When you walk in, you will note the 150 Sam's on the wall. There are two work stations for he and his partner complete with scopes and tone thingys and what all I don't know. Two or three days a week his wife bakes cookies he leaves on the little fridge for customers lol This is not an idiot that bought a meter and turns screws. He will leave the mod limiter in or take it out, it's your call.
 
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