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Trying to get an old cb working, Please Help

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molatov

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Sep 27, 2008
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5
Hello,

I recently discovered an old Knight base CB in my attic that my dad and grandfather built from a kit in the 1960's. I wanted to try and get it working, so I plugged it in quickly and it hums when I turn it on. The original antenna is long gone, so I went online looking for a new one.

I found the Firestik IBA-5 indoor base antenna which looks good for my purposes but I don't want to spend much money in case it does not work at all. Would it be possible to hook the base radio up to a cheap mobile antenna? If so, how would I go about making sure it was grounded?

I also need to make sure if the connection from the CB to the antenna will work with a modern antenna. I assume so, as it looks like a normal coax, but does anyone know if it will work with a radio this old?

Thanks so much for your help!
 

KC0QNB

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732
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Gothenburg, NE
of course a new antenna will work, but since the radio is probably a tube unit you might have other things to worry about.
Back in those days antennas were always outside, and radiation from the antennas would not get into the circuity.
take a picture of it and post it.
If it hums then the audio stage is probably ok, does the meter go all the way up when you power the radio up? then move back to the other side after the rig warms up? do all the tubes light up?
 

molatov

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Sep 27, 2008
Messages
5
Pictures

Here are some pictures of the radio, outside and inside. When I turn it on the meter does not move at all... And nothing lights up that I can see, it just hums. Does this mean it probably will not work if I get an antenna to hook it up to?
 

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ohiodesperado

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Location
Johnstown, Ohio
If it is just humming and you are not hearing any static on it there is a good chance that it has a problem. Is the hum audible at all volume levels or just when it's turned up?
If you take a random piece of wire, over 9 foot long and put it in the antenna connector do you get any static at all?
I can only see one light in the cabinet behind the channel selector. That being the case there is a good chance that the bulb is simply bad, so the fact it doesn't light up is not a major concern at this point.

The problem with KIT radios that you know nothing aobut is just that. You don't know it it was ever working. Without that knowledge, and without having the build and tuning manual for it, it's going to be a bit rough to get it fixed. I can say honestly that unless you can work on tube equipment yourself, and have the needed test gear to do so, it's going to be cheaper just buy a working radio.

This looks to be a 5 channel radio. There are 10 channel crystals. 5 are for receiving and the other 5 are for transmitting. If (big if) they used the same oscilator frequencies for both transmit and receive, then it's 10 channel. I could be wrong and it be a 23 channel radio, but I don't think that's the case here.

On a positive note this radio is in supurb condition. And would be worth the investment of getting repaired. But it's going to take more than the regular golden screw driver cb peak and tune artist to revive this unit and like I said before, prepare to pay a price.
 
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kb0nly

Guest
Agreed, its a piece of history, would be neat to get it going again, just realize its tube based, high voltage and possibility of obsolete parts.

Chances are all the electrolytic caps in it are dry or leaky and need replacement also. I have some experience working on tube type equipment, it can get expensive and time consuming sometimes.

I have a Heathkit SB-200 amp that i pretty much rebuilt from the bottom up, that was a project.
 

n8emr

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Oct 20, 2005
Messages
498
If your goal is to restore the old radio then have a good time. I suspect you will need to replace all the electrolytic caps in to start. After that check the tubes, I am sure there are collectors who can help with restoration.

Now if your goal is to get on CB, sell the radio to a collector and go buy a CB. WHat you have is a nice collector piece but is a crystal controlled radio that isnt worth the parts cost for just the function of using it.
 

molatov

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Sep 27, 2008
Messages
5
Thanks

Well everyone has certainly given me some good ideas I really appreciate your help. I will probably try ohiodesperado's idea with the wire to test it at some point but I don't think I'm up to the challenge of restoring it. It is cool to have an old radio that could be a collectors item. Thanks for for all your help everybody.
 

molatov

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Sep 27, 2008
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Selling the Radio

I was looking on ebay and the prices for vintage electronics vary greatly. I don't know if I will sell it just wondered if anyone knew about how much something like this would go for. Thanks.
 

n8emr

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Oct 20, 2005
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498
I was looking on ebay and the prices for vintage electronics vary greatly. I don't know if I will sell it just wondered if anyone knew about how much something like this would go for. Thanks.

Its just going to depend on who is wanting it when you sell it. What its worth and what someone will pay for it are often two very different things.
 

rico47635

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Nov 22, 2007
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161
If you are not getting any static with the squelch turned all the way down, then I'd say there is definitely something wrong with it. If it were me, I'd get rid of it on Ebay. If you just want to have an old tube type CB, you will most likely find one on Ebay for less than it would cost you to fix this one. Then again, it may have some sentimental value.
 

kb2vxa

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That radio is a classic valued by collectors and casual hobbyists alike. You have a gem in the rough so it's worth your while to restore it. I can see by the photos it uses an early "crystal synthesizer" to come up with 23 channels, the step between straight crystal control with limited transmit channels and PLL frequency synthesis. It's not unusual in that regard, Polytronics pioneered it and Courier was a rather common name at the time. Knight on the other hand is considerably rarer and quite likely the last model they made. That idea is reinforced by the fact those two (probably germanium) power transistors on the back tell me it's a base/mobile with a DC to DC inverter power supply used in the interim stage between tubes and solid state, some ham and commercial rigs (not CBs) were hybrids. That makes me wonder if you have the DC power cord, both plugged into the same spot and had the appropriate jumpers inside that black connector for making the AC and DC connections.

It's a snap to work on IF you understand the frequency conversion scheme and the crystals probably need replacement in addition to getting it "just working". Those HC6-U plated cuts had a bad habit of drifting off frequency with age. First give the switches a spray with Caig De-Oxit and give them a good workout, likely they're so dirty they're making no contact at all. Then replace that 20uF electrolytic cap (the big orange thing in the upper left in the photo and those two oil filled paper caps (the white ceramic cased ones at the bottom) as they're likely bad or soon will be. Paper-Mylar "Orange Drop" caps are the choice here, those ceramic discs seldom go bad so don't bother with them. Dealing with that chassis mounted can electrolytic may require a little research and ingenuity to locate a replacement. Panasonic makes an excellent line and is the most likely source, the trick is to find a dealer. Well there are ways around that if you don't mind a little jockstrapping. Don't forget to test the tubes before you even start, they are suspect number one in the lineup! GOOD LUCK and I mean that most sincerely.
 
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molatov

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Sep 27, 2008
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Thanks everybody

Well thanks for all the help, I will look into restoring it in the next few weeks when I get some free time to check and see exactly what it might need. I really appreciate the information it has been very helpful. I don't know how long it will take me to restore it, or if I will sell it to a collector, but i'll post the outcome someday. Thanks everybody!
 

freqs

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Well thanks for all the help, I will look into restoring it in the next few weeks when I get some free time to check and see exactly what it might need. I really appreciate the information it has been very helpful. I don't know how long it will take me to restore it, or if I will sell it to a collector, but i'll post the outcome someday. Thanks everybody!
Hello. if you decide to sell give me a pm and a price i might like to buy it i collect old radios thank you freqs
 

dirtfinder

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Jun 20, 2006
Messages
484
Location
Still in the middle of no where
Hello,

I recently discovered an old Knight base CB in my attic that my dad and grandfather built from a kit in the 1960's. I wanted to try and get it working, so I plugged it in quickly and it hums when I turn it on. The original antenna is long gone, so I went online looking for a new one.

I found the Firestik IBA-5 indoor base antenna which looks good for my purposes but I don't want to spend much money in case it does not work at all. Would it be possible to hook the base radio up to a cheap mobile antenna? If so, how would I go about making sure it was grounded?

I also need to make sure if the connection from the CB to the antenna will work with a modern antenna. I assume so, as it looks like a normal coax, but does anyone know if it will work with a radio this old?

Thanks so much for your help!
Try going HERE and asking the same question. There are a lot of radio techs here that know there way around the old tubed type radios. I will be shocked if no one over there knows about this radio. Hope you can get it restored
 
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