Getting a SSB CB setup running when off climbing mountains has always been a heavy affair for us with the need to drag a full sized CB along and a way to power it for a decent length of time. This has sometimes limited us to the less then perfect bits of high ground as getting to the spots we really want to use with the equipment is too hard (where not getting any younger).
In an effort to start using the better locations without all the hassle of carrying we have taken another look at adding a SSB handheld CB to the gear we use on mountains. Since 2011 its been possible to by a multi-mode handheld that will give FM/AM/SSB in a package size not much bigger than the Midland 75-822.
With the legalization of SSB in the UK and Europe just around the corner these sets have been popping up on auction sites and some of the major European hobby radio dealers websites recently. The Albrecht AE2990-AFS looks the most promising at the time of writing and although it has some problems with transmit audio and the initial setup its seems these can be overcome with some slight alterations.
Courtesy of Michał Pasek
From the many YouTube videos with been staring at for the last few days it looks like it performs well enough once its connected to a proper antenna, which is perfect for our fields days. Good as the videos are there is no substitute for getting hands on a radio to give it a try out before parting with cash.
Next step is to ask around the CB’ers in the local area to see if anybody is hiding a AE2990 away that we can “borrow” for a while or failing that a trip off to a dealer who is willing to do an extended demo.
Don’t know if a SSB handheld will completely replace the other CB’s we like to use outside but if it lets us use some of the more inaccessible high grounds for a spot of SSB working its got to be worth a go.