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President mobile CB radios - Professional, polished and serious radios for the 11-meter band

FPR1981

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
547
Will I get completely eaten alive here if I dare refer to modern President radios as "ham grade CB radios," or will you be able to see where I'm coming from when I say it and appreciate my point? LOL

I use that description half loosely, but half not. Every single President mobile I've heard on the air has the most pristine audio quality of any type-accepted, politically-correct CB radio on the market. Galaxy's often earn the reputation of being "loud" radios, but I've heard three different President radios on the air, and every one had crystal clear modulation.

My wife, who is NOT a CB aficionado, has taken notice of two local guys who run them. She yelled in from the other room the other day when a guy I was talking to was asking about how his President Bill sounded to tell me it was one of the best sounding stations she has ever heard me talk to. Another guy I know has an Andy or Andy II, and it's the same situation, crystal clear and balanced.

Newer Presidents aren't for your noise-toy-loving, whip-on-the-rusted-out-Delta-88-bumper redneck CB crew. They're laid out like a piece of equipment with just the right extras, intelligent controls, they look professional and they sound good.

Heck, even the way they make a handheld CB is a cut above ANY company that has tried making a handheld CB to date. Rechargeable lithium battery pack on board, charging cradle, belt clip with mic holder conformation, roger beep, display colors you can change, audio quality adjustments, external mic jacks and a real antenna jack.

Try to find a President Randy handheld today. Most of the places I look, they're sold out.

Anyone here own any of the modern President mobiles?
 

KB4MSZ

Billy
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
685
Location
Tampa, Florida
I have the McKinley. My main use of the radio is to keep an ear on the conditions for upper HF. There are a lot more CB'ers than hams. As to the quality of signal aspect you pointed out, I think this may, in part, be due to the fact that the President radios seem to be much more "closed designed". In other words, the work necessary to modify these radios may be too much for the effect that is gained. From what I have read, the McKinley is somewhat difficult to modify with regards to the clarifier or modulation, and it's frequency coverage modification is mostly not possible. The reason you hear a better quality of signal with current President radios may be due to the fact that they are not being modified.
 

FPR1981

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
547
I have the McKinley. My main use of the radio is to keep an ear on the conditions for upper HF. There are a lot more CB'ers than hams. As to the quality of signal aspect you pointed out, I think this may, in part, be due to the fact that the President radios seem to be much more "closed designed". In other words, the work necessary to modify these radios may be too much for the effect that is gained. From what I have read, the McKinley is somewhat difficult to modify with regards to the clarifier or modulation, and it's frequency coverage modification is mostly not possible. The reason you hear a better quality of signal with current President radios may be due to the fact that they are not being modified.
And, maybe because they've put a little extra time into getting it right from the factory?

Comparing the audio quality of a President to a Cobra 29 from the factory, I find the President to be more pleasing to the ear and balanced. A lot of Cobra 29's and 25's put your audio low in the mix, even with a power mic. The President is right "in the mix" where it needs to be. You aren't buried beneath your carrier strength, but right in the center where you should be.

I'm drawing from my musical ear and years in audio engineering when I say that. They seem to have gotten the right balance.
 

FPR1981

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
547
And hey, I really enjoy being the token intellectual CBer of the board here. I swear I'm getting my amateur license this year, LOL.

Honestly, I love that I've pulled so many of you guys back down here into the CB gutter, hahaha. So many of you got your start there and it's nice to see people serious about the radio hobby come back and go down memory lane. I really enjoy breathing life into this forum.

I was a commercial radio talk show host once upon a time. I have the gift of gab and can get a dialog going like nobody's business.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
15,862
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Honestly, I love that I've pulled so many of you guys back down here into the CB gutter, hahaha. So many of you got your start there and it's nice to see people serious about the radio hobby come back and go down memory lane.
There's probably a age range where many hams got their start in CB radio. I know I did. Started off with my dad's Kraco 23 channel CB and an antenna that should have technically not worked, but did. Used to talk to a friend that lived a few blocks away.
Between CB, scanner and a short wave radio my grandfather gave me, it lead to a full time career in radio.

There are a handful of hams that will turn up their noses at the mere mention of CB radio, but if you do enough digging, you'll find that they got their start there, also.

While I don't use CB much anymore, I still have one in my garage. I've got it on the bench right now hooked up to my work service monitor. Going to do my own peak and tune on it. But not like the golden screwdrivers do. I've got the service manual and going to put this little cheap CB right on factory specs and see how it sounds.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Moderator
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,594
Location
Ohio
It was tube. I spent many a hour in the local drug store using their tube tester to keep the thing running.
Appears to be a Zenith Transoceanic H600. If you're inclined to get it running again (you won't be sorry) you can still get tubes, although on (the 1L6 local oscillator/frequency converter) is a bear to find; if you can find it, you'll pay upwards of $60 for one.

There is a dude out there who makes a solid state replacement, which works pretty well. I have one in my H500.
 

KB4MSZ

Billy
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
685
Location
Tampa, Florida
I wish I still had it, but unfortunately the power transformer caught fire in it and the radio was a total loss. And this happened the same week my Uncle passed away. I moved on to other radios, including CB's.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,251
I think most new CB's sold today will sound good right out of the box. Are they in need of some professional tweaking, most likely as manufactures play it safe by err on the side of caution at a slight cost in performance to avoid problems from the FCC. But in doing so the audio is going to be clean, not distorted from over doing it. I remember back in the 80's there were a lot of kitchen table radio techs tweaking and tuning to the point where they transmitted the loudest garbled distorted noise I ever heard! Every time I heared a new radio it would sound great on the air for a couple weeks, then turn to distorted trash within a week after someone would get in there with a screwdriver!
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
15,862
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
...then turn to distorted trash within a week after someone would get in there with a screwdriver!
Yes.
Too many that focus on watt meter needle movement. "If a little is good, more must be better!"

Doing the factory spec thing on this little Cobra should be interesting. I was about 450Hz off frequency. Not sure if it was always off that much, or from sitting in a garage for years.

Like most consumer radios, they go down the assembly line pretty quick. On the cheaper radios, I doubt anyone spends more than a few seconds making sure they are within the limits. 450Hz off frequency was probably considered 'good enough'.
They usually are set well below the 4 watt limits, also. This one wasn't bad, about 3.2watts. A new Uniden I had a few years ago was running about 2.5 watts from the factory.
 

FLA727

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
51
Location
Tampa Bay, FL
I have the McKinley in my truck and paired it with the President RW Texas antenna. The antenna is mounted in the center bedrail using a Breedlove mount and I used Armorflex dual shielded coax. Overall I love the setup and have received a couple comments on how well it was sounding. CB radio magazine did a video on the McKinley and he does show 2 adjustments that can be made on these but for now I'm not touching it.
 

FPR1981

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
547
While i appreciate the overmodulated garbage beinf the product of golden screwdriver types, factory modulation on a lot of Midland and Cobra radios is a disappointing 20 to 30 percent, even with the mic gain dimed. The carrier hiss is sometimes louder than the modulation. There is no excuse for that.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Moderator
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,594
Location
Ohio
I wish I still had it, but unfortunately the power transformer caught fire in it and the radio was a total loss. And this happened the same week my Uncle passed away. I moved on to other radios, including CB's.
Ouch. Bummer.
 

cralt

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
61
CB radio magazine did a video on the McKinley and he does show 2 adjustments that can be made on these but for now I'm not touching it.
You can turn up the carrier power but it knocks the built in SWR meter calibration out of wack. The other adjustment is modulation which on mine at least was already good.

I have a bill and Lincoln2+. Had the McKinley but sold it to a friend to get him on SSB. Another friend of mine just just got the Walker 2 FCC. All clean sounding radios with good fit and finish.
 

slowmover

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
371
Location
Fort Worth
Bought a President Lincoln II+ a couple of months ago. Took it out of the Peterbilt rack mount to swap in an older (2014) Galaxy DX99v2 that just came off the bench. (All else the same).

At my end (and only on AM) the differences aren't huge. The audio of the Linc is akin to better diction, and distance has little effect on quality. The Galaxy isn’t as good but it’s better than a Cobra or Uniden. AM use while mobile (reception-only) is almost the same, but the 99 is killer on AM.

Once up in this price range — AM/SSB Export — there are only a few radios competing (SSB performance is king. The determinant).

President has my vote. I don’t willingly recommend something less than a McKinley for mobile use. (Non-SSB not worth keeping). I have a McK for my son as part of a gift as I want him to have a no-compromise mobile radio

None of today’s CBs are as good as they ought to be. That aside, one won’t go wrong with President.
 
Last edited:

KD8DVR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
1,204
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Will I get completely eaten alive here if I dare refer to modern President radios as "ham grade CB radios," or will you be able to see where I'm coming from when I say it and appreciate my point? LOL

I use that description half loosely, but half not. Every single President mobile I've heard on the air has the most pristine audio quality of any type-accepted, politically-correct CB radio on the market. Galaxy's often earn the reputation of being "loud" radios, but I've heard three different President radios on the air, and every one had crystal clear modulation.

My wife, who is NOT a CB aficionado, has taken notice of two local guys who run them. She yelled in from the other room the other day when a guy I was talking to was asking about how his President Bill sounded to tell me it was one of the best sounding stations she has ever heard me talk to. Another guy I know has an Andy or Andy II, and it's the same situation, crystal clear and balanced.

Newer Presidents aren't for your noise-toy-loving, whip-on-the-rusted-out-Delta-88-bumper redneck CB crew. They're laid out like a piece of equipment with just the right extras, intelligent controls, they look professional and they sound good.

Heck, even the way they make a handheld CB is a cut above ANY company that has tried making a handheld CB to date. Rechargeable lithium battery pack on board, charging cradle, belt clip with mic holder conformation, roger beep, display colors you can change, audio quality adjustments, external mic jacks and a real antenna jack.

Try to find a President Randy handheld today. Most of the places I look, they're sold out.

Anyone here own any of the modern President mobiles?

I have an Andy II and have a Randy on the way. I agree 100% with what you are saying. There probably isn't a better FCC Part 95 certified radio brand out there today.
 
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