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Old radios vs new ones.

78k10

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I’m looking to put a cb back in my truck for hunting purposes. I tried to get my cousins to go with GMRS mobiles but no luck. So I’m curious, are the older radios built better than the new ones? Specifically, I have a Midland 13-882b 23 channel radio. I think it needs a little work but I could be wrong, I haven’t fully tested it yet. Would it be better to use the Midland instead of say a new uniden pro 520? Do the older radios talk better, or have better quality parts than the new ones?
 

scanmanmi

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I know almost nothing about CB but I heard (maybe Mik'e Radio) the new Cobras use an audio amplifier on the RF final! Sounds messed up to me.
 

jassing

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if it were me, I'd ditch the 23ch radio... it probably could use with new caps as well as a tune; at that point, you're better off getting a modern 40ch radio for about the same money. There is little point to having a radio "peaked" even if the radio only puts out 3watts,, "peaking" it will not really help you much in transmission power.
I've had good luck with my uniden 980. But I also have some new cobra's that work well w/o anything done to them.
 

jassing

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even if 23 channel radios were illegal to use, who would know?
I just wouldn't think the effort/cost to resurrect one is worth it.
 

mmckenna

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I'll qualify that. Legal to listen, not legal talk on. Check out the link.
That post is from 2012, and the personal radio services have been rejiggered since then. Even then, the argument was not valid. New 23 channel radios could not be marketed after a certain date. That doesn't mean they cannot be used.
Current CB rules are here:

There is no limitation on using a 23 channel CB radio as long as it is type accepted.
 

robertmac

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Better start using before sunspot cycle 25 starts as CB will be useless for anything but skip during daylight. However, cycle 25 may not be a major one but will still impact CB so legible communication of a mile or more will be useless. Thus FRS might be slightly better.
 

W8RMH

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If I were going to choose a radio for hunting I would prefer a handheld MURS radio. If you fall from a treestand, have a weapons accident, or otherwise become injured that mobile radio in your vehicle a mile away isn't going to be of much use. You can always plug it into a mobile antenna in your truck to increase it's range while mobile.
 

78k10

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Thank you for the input guys. I figured that by the time I paid to have this one fixed, I could just buy a new 40 channel and be good. I know the meter is wonky, not sure what, if any, other problem it might have. I have another identical one for parts, I just don’t have the tools or know how to fix one. And I should have specified, rabbit hunting. Mainly to be used while mobile, to round up the dogs. I tried to convince them to put mobile GMRS radios in the truck so we could use handheld radios and be well connected. But they already had CB and wouldn’t budge. I know there is better stuff available for this use, but what can you do. They’re not radio people.
 

Token

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I'll qualify that. Legal to listen, not legal talk on. Check out the link.
I did check out the link, including when that discussion was new, 8 years ago. The initial posting in that thread ask the question if old 23 cahnnel CBs are legal to use, it does not say they are illegal. No place in that thread does it say 23 channel CBs are illegal to use, further, no place in the thread does it quote a regulation as to why it would be illegal to use. It does quote the regulation that establishes that old 23 channel radios, made and certificated before a specific date, cannot be manufactured or marketed.

There was a "rumor" around at the time (1976/77) the regulation changed, that old radios would no longer be legal. It was persistent. But no one could ever point to an actual regulation that stated so. That rumor has lingered to today and is still around, but people are still unable to provide anything verifiable that makes 23 channel radios illegal to use.

Certainly, a radio built to the old spec would not be legal to make today. It is not the fact that the number of channels changed, you can make a CB with any subset of the legal channels you want. But several other technical factors changed that the original CBs would no longer meet. Frequency stability, 4 W output power vs 5 W input power, maximum PA dissipation, etc. But the FCC, back in the day, clearly said that continuing to use the old radios would not be considered a violation.

T!
 

mmckenna

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Thank you for the input guys. I figured that by the time I paid to have this one fixed, I could just buy a new 40 channel and be good. I know the meter is wonky, not sure what, if any, other problem it might have. I have another identical one for parts, I just don’t have the tools or know how to fix one. And I should have specified, rabbit hunting. Mainly to be used while mobile, to round up the dogs. I tried to convince them to put mobile GMRS radios in the truck so we could use handheld radios and be well connected. But they already had CB and wouldn’t budge. I know there is better stuff available for this use, but what can you do. They’re not radio people.
If someone wanted to split hairs (or hares, in this case) opening up and repairing a CB radio would void it's FCC type certification. But, no, the radio police are not going to find you.

Modern 40 channel radios are cheap. Unless some hack tried to "peak and tune" one, they are probably going to outperform the older radios. There's a lot of things that can fail over time with a 40+ year old radio, capacitors can leak, etc.

Doing a proper installation of the radio (any radio) is going to make a bigger difference. Get a basic modern CB and make sure you power it directly off the vehicle battery, and do a proper antenna installation. With a good setup, you'll squeeze the most performance out of the system.
 

FiveFilter

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If the radios are going to be installed and used in the trucks, then the HF CB band is good, with the longest antennas that are practicable.

If the radios are going to be used while on-foot, then UHF GMRS and/or FRS bands are better, because they are more effective with the tiny antennas needed for hand-hand radios in the field.
 

78k10

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These will be just for use in the trucks. Not sure if I want to do a mag mount on the roof, an NMO on the roof, or a full 102” somewhere on the bed.
 

MisterLongwire

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I really wish everyone would read the thread word by word. One can use (receive and transmit) on a 23 channel...no problem. One can sell on ebay...no problem. PROBLEM is that manufacturers can no longer make 23 channel radios or sell their extra stock they had hiding in the closet. Kind of stupid things the FCC has done, not the the first, not the last. SO go ahead and install your 23 channel radio in your car/truck. No gestapos to worry about. At least they are smart knowing that if they did state they were not allowing anyone to use a 23 channel how in the <bleep> they would be able to enforce it. Just think about it. Me I would rather stick a 40 channel in my truck and put the 23 channel up to display in my man cave.
 

mmckenna

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These will be just for use in the trucks. Not sure if I want to do a mag mount on the roof, an NMO on the roof, or a full 102” somewhere on the bed.
102" whip with a spring is a good setup but it's going to bang every tree branch. Mounting one of those on the roof is probably going to be annoying.

A 3/4" NMO mount smack in the center of the roof with something like a Larsen NMO-27 antenna will work quite well. I ran that set up for years. With the better ground plane, they tune up nicely. With a stock radio, it's probably the best you can do without going to the full 102" whip.
 

78k10

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102" whip with a spring is a good setup but it's going to bang every tree branch. Mounting one of those on the roof is probably going to be annoying.

A 3/4" NMO mount smack in the center of the roof with something like a Larsen NMO-27 antenna will work quite well. I ran that set up for years. With the better ground plane, they tune up nicely. With a stock radio, it's probably the best you can do without going to the full 102" whip.
I definitely won’t be putting the 102 on the roof, way too tall. I was thinking somewhere on the bed. But I’m pretty sure the Larsen on the roof would be a better choice, better ground plane and what not.
 

mmckenna

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I definitely won’t be putting the 102 on the roof, way too tall. I was thinking somewhere on the bed. But I’m pretty sure the Larsen on the roof would be a better choice, better ground plane and what not.
Absolutely. Ground planes make a big difference in the radiation pattern. You'll never get a big enough ground plane for CB on any road legal vehicle, but doing the best you can makes a big difference. Smack center of the truck cab roof works well. Unfortunately, some hobbyists will waste a ton of time and money on compromise mounts to keep from drilling the hole.
 
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