Imagine just for a moment that life gave you the opportunity to have your pick of any CB radio equipment with no restrictions on the actual rig itself or the antennas, CB linear amplifiers and other pieces that could go together to make the dream CB setup.
Faced with so many options it might be hard to make a decision right away as all the radio stuff that has been out of reach becomes a possibility. Maybe you’ve been eying a particular radio for so long that this would be the first one to cross your mind but wait that may be doing yourself a disservice.
Every piece of radio equipment has an obtainable value and for most people if enough hard work and time is put in they can usually get it but this is a money no object situation people so it only seems right to raise the bar that much higher.
A Question of New or Vintage?
New CB Radios
With a few releases from legacy manufactures (Cobra, Uniden etc) in recent years there are at least some brand new CB options available if you choose that route. Rigs like Cobra,s 29lx range and the Uniden Bearcat 980SSB have everything modern technology can throw at what is in reality a 40 year old radio system.
Vintage CB Radios
Preparing to go with vintage CB radio gear isn’t a problem with the amount of great radio produced over the years but while finding mint condition rigs is still easy enough, getting their owners to sell them to you is a little more difficult (sometimes no matter how much cash you flash).
The truth is most CB’s don’t have an easy life between general mishandling and the various half arsed modifications that get inflicted on them in the name of a few extra channels or some more wattage.
The collectors holding on to the good examples of quality radios know that there are very few left in that condition and either through an attempt to protect the rig or for future monetary gain are very reluctant to pass them on (and who can blame them).
Getting hold of the best vintage CB gear may be just as much about skillful negotiation as a suitcase full of money.
Amateur Radio Gear
Amateur equipment that will transmit on 27 MHz (after a spot of tinkering) could be a good option not only for the built-in increased RF power output without having to tack on external linear amplifiers but also the build quality and all the extra toys that come with buying a top of the range HF transmitter (including a general coverage receiver).
There are plenty of monster rigs to choose from among the top manufactures but we think something like the Kenwood TS-990 would be an excellent choice if we were throwing money around. Looking like a console from the space shuttle we could certainly find space for it in between all the other radios, many of the options available on the TS-990 are useless if its used on CB frequencies but who cares it looks great and remember you can afford it 🙂
Check out the video below to see what your $8,000 (about 6,000 GBP) while get you.
There are some excellent log periodic antennas for 27 Mhz that when coupled with a rotator and tower provide a good high gain solution but as they tend to be on the large side and you may already have something like the TS-990 on the way maybe going for a fully fledged HF beam would be a better option.
A tower and beam will take up a lot of space and likely get you removed from your neighbors Christmas card list so when you consider a new house could well be in order just to enjoy the shiny new radio gear this better be a huge windfall.
Over to You
Given the option what would you consider for the ultimate CB radio setup?