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What is considered to be the BEST AM/SSB 40 Channel CB Radio?

prcguy

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Absolutely not related in any way. I also sold some Handic radios in the 70s and 80s, it was a Swedish company but the radios looked made in Japan or some other country that made good quality radios. Otherwise nothing special about a Handic except the color. The CPI is much different and the very best a US mfr could offer in quality and engineering at the time.

CPI was very expensive, I don't remember the retail price but even at wholesale cost I had to save for awhile and sell some stuff to get one. A Handic was priced like an equivalent Cobra at the time or just slightly more.

Reminds me of the Orange Handic radio's of that era. Possibly made by the same company just re branded.

View attachment 98159

Peter N1EXA
 

FPR1981

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Yes, I fully agree. Your response, however, is exactly what I am looking for. Thanks! Dave
These are probably some of the most popular, with the last one being the least known, but a solid Uniden product.

Cobra 135 XLR
Cobra 139 XLR
Cobra 142 GTL
Cobra 2000 GTL
Uniden/President Washington
SBE (Uniden) Land Command
 

K4EET

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I did a little tally of what we have so far. The Cobra 2000GTL has been mentioned the most (5 times) in the posts.

MAKEMODELMENTIONS
AnytoneAT-66661
Cobra148GTL2
Cobra138XLR2
Cobra139XLR2
Cobra142GTL2
Cobra135XLR2
Cobra2000GTL5
CPI*CP4002
CPI*CP20002
GESuperBase2
Handic23051
PresidentHR25101
PresidentLincoln II+1
PresidentWashington2
PresidentMcKinley4
RealisticTRC-4521
Royce1-6391
SBELand Command2
Stoner*Pro-402
StrykerSR-955HPC2
UnidenBearcat 980SSB4

* In a league all by their own...
 

LesWurk

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Dec 17, 2009
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In order for me....

CPI series
Stoner Pro 40 ( with all its accessories )
GE super base
Cobra 2000GTL

Modern day I like the Bearcat 980SSB.
I have a GE SuperBase and it has one of the best receive sections I have heard..YMMV
If you want a Stoner check this out (Stoner pro 40 only SSB)

 

Retroradio

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I have only ever seen 1 Stoner Pro-40SSB in person in decades of playing radio. Not to derail the thread but how many have ever seen one?
 

prcguy

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I've only seen two in my life. One was at the Dayton Hamstervention about 15yrs ago. I don't remember the exact price but it was just slightly out of range for me and they guy would not come down to my price. I'm sure its worth more today.

I have only ever seen 1 Stoner Pro-40SSB in person in decades of playing radio. Not to derail the thread but how many have ever seen one?
 

cralt

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Feb 12, 2005
Messages
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From what I read from lab reports the Mckinley has the most stable SSB while the Bearcat 980 tends to drift as does the newer Cobras.
Sadly Cobra doesn't even make a SSB radio anymore.

I have owned/own a few of the above mentioned radios.
There are actually 2 different 980ssb's. 1st rev and 2nd. The 1st revision ones where dogs and I think thats where a lot of the bad rap comes from. The 2nd is a solid radio that sounds great on AM and good on SSB even with the stock slightly modded mic. And for $120-140 its a great value. I got a 2nd gen for my brother and have one in my jeep. Both have been flawless.

The McKinley is about the same performance and more solid looking display. Front fire speaker and an auto squelch system that actually works well. President also put out a complete service manual with schematics for this radio. Rare today. I traded it to a retired friend so he could get on the air. Hooked to an A99 he gets out great and has been having a blast talking to local OM on AM and shooting skip with it on ssb.

LincolinII+ does great on SSB and is all mode. If you have a ham ticket then this is a no brainier since it can do 12/11/10 all mode with PL/splits for repeater. The only thing I don't like is the auto squelch doesn't really work well. After running the McK for awhile I kinda got spoiled by that. Other then that its very solid and feature packed. It has SWR protection which comes in handy if your forgetful and switching mobile whips back and forth for different bands. I think the AM sounds a little blah. Its definitely no Stryker 955 but its also doesn't carry a Stryker price tag.

All 3 above mentioned have built in SWR meters and the McK actually has an automatic audible one so if your outside tuning just crank up the volume. When the tones become solid your good.

If you want to talk about drifty radios my old Texas Ranger 696f is one. Luckily it has a real 6 digit counter built in that I make good use of to stay put as it warms up. This was the 1st SSB radio I ever got and still use it to this day at home. Sounds and hears great.

To get back to OP's question. Best SSB rig I vote Stryker SR-955hpc. Those radios just have a presence on air.
 
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Retroradio

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Messages
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Location
Ontario
I did a little tally of what we have so far. The Cobra 2000GTL has been mentioned the most (5 times) in the posts.

MAKEMODELMENTIONS
AnytoneAT-66661
Cobra148GTL2
Cobra138XLR2
Cobra139XLR2
Cobra142GTL2
Cobra135XLR2
Cobra2000GTL5
CPI*CP4002
CPI*CP20002
GESuperBase2
Handic23051
PresidentHR25101
PresidentLincoln II+1
PresidentWashington2
PresidentMcKinley4
RealisticTRC-4521
Royce1-6391
SBELand Command2
Stoner*Pro-402
StrykerSR-955HPC2
UnidenBearcat 980SSB4

* In a league all by their own...
Well done on the list. I would conjecture that most havent heard of the Stoner, CPI or SuperBase. ( oddly no one has mentioned TRAM) The most common top runner in that line was the Cobra 2000gtl and readily accessible. I think a lot of us Knew/Know folks that ran a Cobra but very few if any that ran the elites. Don’t get me wrong I’d run a Cobra 2000 in a heartbeat!
I only know 2 people( including myself) that have seen or had a Stoner, a CPI and or a SuperBase in decades of radio, but lots that ran the regular CB’s on the list. Very interesting thread.

They where the top of the food chain and for actual CB‘s that still stands Today IMHO. :)
 

TailGator911

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Debating 'best' CBs can easily lead to a truckstop brawl if you're not careful ;) 'Best' being a matter of simple personal opinion, I am partial to the Galaxy models, and they have always served me well OTR, both 10 & 11 meter. Nowdays, retired, I have a simple base station rig for local neighborhood communications - the Galaxy DX-2547, hooked up to an Astron 99 vertical 20-ft high. My truck CBs made it into my Jeep and RV and still serve me well.
 

WX9RLT

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First and foremost: Your radio is only as good as what your antenna is.

My opinion for the best cb is Cobra 29 LX
 

Retroradio

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First and foremost: Your radio is only as good as what your antenna is.

My opinion for the best cb is Cobra 29 LX

I agree that your radio is only as good as your antenna, that is a given.

However the receive on a GE Superbase or CPI out performs most in my experience as it has a separate receive section ( as opposed to a combined board). Its inherent design has a very sensitive receive section. I have tried it and that was my results. YMMV

Sensitivity of the radio plays an important factor but as stated the radio in the end is only as good as the antenna...and feedline.
 

cralt

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Feb 12, 2005
Messages
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The 29 does sideband?
Nope.
The 29 is interesting because they still use the same board from the 1980s. All through hole components. Even the fancy LX-PRO-WX-BT what ever radio. All the fancy display and extras are on anther PCB. The "CB" part is still the same old board. I don't know if its true or not but I read the reason Uniden stopped making their boards is because they wanted to move on like the rest the the world with SMT but Cobra wanted to just keep making the same board they always made. Maybe they just didn't want to pay for RD, design, and FCC acceptance. Or maybe they know their customers. The 29 sure has alot of fans and if you ask a trucker its the default radio to get. Its in every truckstop display case still. I will hold on to my mint 29 NightWatch because its cool.
29quad.JPG
 

slowmover

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Fort Worth
Nope.
The 29 is interesting because they still use the same board from the 1980s. All through hole components. Even the fancy LX-PRO-WX-BT what ever radio. All the fancy display and extras are on anther PCB. The "CB" part is still the same old board. I don't know if its true or not but I read the reason Uniden stopped making their boards is because they wanted to move on like the rest the the world with SMT but Cobra wanted to just keep making the same board they always made. Maybe they just didn't want to pay for RD, design, and FCC acceptance. Or maybe they know their customers. The 29 sure has alot of fans and if you ask a trucker its the default radio to get. Its in every truckstop display case still. I will hold on to my mint 29 NightWatch because its cool.
View attachment 98773
The 29 can sound pretty good on AM (no SSB so not worth buying, IMO), but it still needs more than 4W to be heard farther than across the highway. Need to add $75 for an RM Italy KL-203. Or get a dual final Galaxy like an 86v.

Which sounds every bit as good if not better. As do both the 959 & 979 (SSB capable, but single final). An 86v has SSB and the juice to get heard.

Mobile antennas have limits. Any of them. On any vehicle. The statement about their importance is that the antenna system precedes the radio in importance. That’s it.
 

Retroradio

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The antenna and feed line precedes the radio in importance, abosolutley correct. You can have the best radio going and without those of good quality and properly setup you might as well yell out the window.
 
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slowmover

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The antenna and feed line precedes the radio in importance, abosolutley correct. You can have the best radio going and without those of good quality and properly setup you might as well yell out the window.
And then you need adequate power plus DSP audio. 40W, not 4.
Ferrites and other noise treatments should also be emplaced.
Before the price of the antenna itself one has equalled or exceeded the cost of the radio in system construction/installation (parts, not labor) in a mobile install.

Then, the radio is better understood as a component that just plugs INTO the existing systems. Is not the heart of things though we unconsciously default to that mode.

I’ve just installed a radio that ran me $300 after tax/shipping. The rest of the systems/components involved ran 3X that amount.

At home, with a tower, it gets even bigger.

Choice of radio is last. Almost, least important choice (given stated design minimums).

Yet, who resist a Mr X creation? (Ha!)

(Everyone starts with the radio. Emotion, not reason).

79382722-3EFB-4400-B488-82D5DCE4D401.jpeg

“Best” is best performance. The radio is a vital but smaller part of what matters than we tend to think.

.
 
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