The early days of CB radio use always seem to stick in my mind so much better than all the years of CB use that came after. Dropping by old childhood stomping grounds on a recent camping trip has only made them stronger and hatched a plan to go and have another go at my slightly amateurish, early radio field days.

Armed with the cherished Harvard 410T and as many batteries as pocket money could buy, there were many nights spent on some of the highest points around my hometown in mountainous Wales.

Vintage Harvard 410T Handheld CB Radio

Not wanting to drag a full blown CB antenna up mountains, there were more than a few experiments with wire. Using anything I could lay my hands on usually produced an antenna with a hand full of soldered joints.

Luckily this time round I have a lot more wire and should managed a complete antenna with at least the minimum of messing around.

The Location

With clear views over the Bristol channel, up into the midlands and down toward the south, the spot in mind was one of the places most used by me (and other) CB’ers at the time. Its also off the beaten track so great for camping and playing radio without being disturbed.

The Equipment

Going to take both of the Harvard’s handhelds I have along with one wideband scanner to have a look at how the SSB side of CB sounds from a nice piece of high ground.

As the CB is exactly the same its only right that I used as close to the original antenna as possible, a 36 foot length (full wave length) of insulated wire that will be connected into the handy external antenna socket on the 410T. Shooting for a vertical antenna means I’m either going to have to climb the same tree I did regularly 30 years ago or throw something up to get the antenna over a branch.

cb radio wire antenna

Whichever way its going to be interesting and I have a feeling its one of the parts of this camping trip the wife is really looking forward to 🙂

Expectations?

There’s no getting away from the fact that the CB channels are a lot less crowded than the last time I did this, but I still believe there are more than enough users left to make it worthwhile. When you take into account the height of the camp ground, even a modest 4 Watt signal has massive potential.

30 years messing around with radio has change the way I see antenna design and I could do this very differently, but where would be the fun in that. As soon as the weather is good enough for a few days wild camping on a Welsh mountain, we’ll be off.

I’m going to get plenty of pictures and some video (if possible) to fill out a post about how it all went.

Watch this space…..

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