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

highwayman1224

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Don't really think there's a "best" out there because everyone has their opinion on that, but I do love my Galaxy 979f. The big meter & blue display is very nice and it transmits and receives very well.
 

bill4long

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Anybody else want to comment in this thread before I make the final tally and post the final table that will look similar to the table that I did in Post #25? Going once, Going twice... Don't hold back! This may be your last opportunity to jump onboard... Going... This is it folks... No kidding... I cannot tell a lie... Going... There's got to be at least one more input out there... Going... Going...
Umm. What? Everyone has his own opinion. "One more input?" Are you the God and King? Umm. No.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I did not see the Motorola CB555 or CB550 Systems 500 on the list. Is it because so few were made or is it a dog? Inquiring minds want to know?
 
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prcguy

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I sold them in the late 70s through early 80s and I owned a CB555 for awhile. Its very good and I would say at least on par and I think a little better than the best vintage Cobra 148 or 2000. I would much rather own the Motorola over the Cobra's. The CBXXX and Systems 500 series was produced in an Asian country, possibly Japan or Korea where the Mocat's were made in the USA, but the US side never made a SSB radio.

The Motorola's probably belong on the list but will never be considered anywhere as good as the CPI series or the Stoner's which are the best there has ever been.

I did not see the Motorola CB555 or CB550 Systems 500 on the list. Is it because so few were made or is it a dog? Inquiring minds want to know?
 

JayMojave

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Hello All: Yeah what PRCGUY says, again. The Motorola CB radios probable had the best receive rejecting engine noises in the mobile. It was a pleasure to drive down the freeway and listen in without any noises. Talking to the Motorola guys they said the SSB group of Motorola Engineering were in Japan and it was their design and manufacture of CB555 and CB500 radios.

Only bad thing was the Motorola microphones has a wire wound dynamic microphone that used the smallest diameter wire that would break so one had to replace the mic or mic element. Commercial Motorola microphones could be modified to be used.

Base radios I used Yasue and Icom had way better everything. The use of these radios on the CB SSB channels 35 to 40 and the freeband induced many CB guys to get their Ham Lic.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert..... "Next Gas 150 Miles"
 

FPR1981

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Hello All: Yeah what PRCGUY says, again. The Motorola CB radios probable had the best receive rejecting engine noises in the mobile. It was a pleasure to drive down the freeway and listen in without any noises. Talking to the Motorola guys they said the SSB group of Motorola Engineering were in Japan and it was their design and manufacture of CB555 and CB500 radios.

Only bad thing was the Motorola microphones has a wire wound dynamic microphone that used the smallest diameter wire that would break so one had to replace the mic or mic element. Commercial Motorola microphones could be modified to be used.

Base radios I used Yasue and Icom had way better everything. The use of these radios on the CB SSB channels 35 to 40 and the freeband induced many CB guys to get their Ham Lic.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert..... "Next Gas 150 Miles"
When I look at the Motorola System 500 bases on eBay, I could puke seeing what people want for them. I can't in good conscience drop $700 on a CB at the moment, but I am curious as to how well the System 500 performed. It is my understanding that most of the Motorola CB gear was manufactured for use in police and highway patrol dispatch centers.
 

prcguy

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The Motorola CBs were not police radios or designed for police use, they were just CB radios. The AM Mocat's were built well with typical construction you would find in a low end Motorola commercial radio. The System 500 and SSB radios were on the upper end of quality and construction and very different inside than their US made AM cousins.

The Mocats were very good performers with a very large upward facing speaker that sounded great. The AM modulation was hard to get sounding really loud but it was good. I don't remember if the modulation limiter was adjustable and just didn't have enough range or if there was no adjustment but I do remember I couldn't make them "get up and boogy" like other radios where you could adjust or clip out the mod limiter.

The Motorola accessory base mic made a big difference and it sounded great but without that pushed to the limits sound that some people wanted and could get from other radios. I don't remember working on any Systems 500 AM radios but we did sell them in the late 70s and early 80s. I still have a couple of Mocat's here and the factory base mic and power supply tray.

When I look at the Motorola System 500 bases on eBay, I could puke seeing what people want for them. I can't in good conscience drop $700 on a CB at the moment, but I am curious as to how well the System 500 performed. It is my understanding that most of the Motorola CB gear was manufactured for use in police and highway patrol dispatch centers.
 

KA0XR

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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.

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What is the actual advantage(s) of through hole vs. SMT in real world performance? Is it a matter of robustness or longevity where SMT boards are more likely to fail or have issues from bumpy roads/abuse/etc. or is there an actual improvement in Rx/Tx sound quality or other aspects? Also, does Cobra use through hole boards in their 25 radio line or just the 29? Interesting move to remain in the relative dark age of electrical design but there must be a good reason.
 

KB4MSZ

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What is the actual advantage(s) of through hole vs. SMT in real world performance? Is it a matter of robustness or longevity where SMT boards are more likely to fail or have issues from bumpy roads/abuse/etc. or is there an actual improvement in Rx/Tx sound quality or other aspects? Also, does Cobra use through hole boards in their 25 radio line or just the 29? Interesting move to remain in the relative dark age of electrical design but there must be a good reason.
I would think that with such tiny components on a board, especially in a device that is mobile, even slight distortions repeated over time could cause issues. With through hole design, if assembled correctly, there should be quite a bit more strength. I remember a radio back in the 70's, the Pace 1000B, which used a double sided board. A big issue with that design is that in order to pass connections from one side of the board to the other there where short pins soldered on both sides. Over time these would "pop" on one side and most anything in the radio could be affected.
 

prcguy

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The Pace 1000B was a very reliable radio, I had one and also worked at Pace in the 70s QC'ing and repairing radios including the 1000B. Its also the radio the FCC inspected when they visited my house in the 1970s and found all the mods I had done to it. I don't believe there are any problems with through hole soldered pins, its no different than components soldered to the same holes. Plated through boards are much cheaper because there is no manual insertion of pins and soldering, the board has connections to both sides right from the board mfr. Plated through holes are more of a cost saving than reliability issue.

I have worked on some radios that just had a lousy manufacturing process where all the flow soldered connections looked dull and crumbly and the radio was full of intermittent connections because of that.

I would think that with such tiny components on a board, especially in a device that is mobile, even slight distortions repeated over time could cause issues. With through hole design, if assembled correctly, there should be quite a bit more strength. I remember a radio back in the 70's, the Pace 1000B, which used a double sided board. A big issue with that design is that in order to pass connections from one side of the board to the other there where short pins soldered on both sides. Over time these would "pop" on one side and most anything in the radio could be affected.
 

KA9MGC

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The very best ever made is probably the CPI series like the CP400 mobile and CP2000 base followed by the Stoner Pro-40, all designed and built entirely in the US by aerospace type companies. Radios like the Cobra 148 and 2000GTL are cracker jack toys in comparison. When I sold and serviced CBs in the 70s until the early 80s I got to see all the best stuff of the time like the stupid Browning Golden Pigeons and the Tram D201s, etc. Nothing came remotely close in build quality or performance to a CPI and that holds true to this day.

This is like a bunch of car guys arguing what the best car ever was and throwing out names like Ford Mustang and Chevy Corvette then someone pulls up in a Bugatti Chiron. That's what a CPI is.
Back in the day, before I was licensed as a ham, I had one of those CPI2000 radios. I actually won the thing in a CB group meeting in the late '70's. And it came with a Super Scanner antenna as a bonus.

When I got licensed as a ham, I sold it since I wouldn't be using it any more.
 
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