Its human nature to want things to be better, faster, more powerful and no where is this more evident than the technology that fills our everyday lives.
Taking a CB radio and extending its frequency coverage or adding a little bit more internal power output has been one side of customization that’s been practiced since CB radio was unleashed on the world.
Are Older CB Radios Better For Mods
Choosing between an old or new CB has a lot to do with your skill level (if your doing the mods) and convenience. Older sets will be constructed using through hole components and are generally much easier to work on, even more so if the modifications are going to be extensive. After years of working with surface mount components I’m still not that keen to mess about inside a CB that’s been built using them.
You can get the required documentation to do a mod no matter the age of the CB but older radios will have more information from users who’ve attempted the mod over the years.
Big box radios (especially the home base types) offer more room to play around inside, allowing the easy addition of extra circuit boards and bulky modifications.
Should You Do Your Own Mods?
In my opinion this is always a tricky one and you should start by taking a good long look at the job ahead.
Even without too much electronics experience some simple mods can be attempted provided the instructions are clear enough and you understand them. Fitted a small internal linear amplifier falls into this category as its mainly a bit of rewiring.
Cutting tracks on the circuit board or cramming extra components in can be a challenge even on CB radio built with traditional components and could easily turn into nightmare when dealing with the newer surface mount technology type components.
It all comes down to how comfortable you feel doing the work yourself and ultimately how much the CB radio in question means to you. Thinking how you’d feel diving into the mods and completely screwing the rig up usually gives a fair measure of how you feel about a particular radio.
Don’t Forget Testing
Less subtle modifications won’t need much more than a power meter to track the results but others like changing the modulation or the way the CB receiver behaves will need a level of test equipment the average CB user just doesn’t have.
The price alone for this type of testing kit makes the case for having the more specialized mods done by a professional radio technician. If electronics isn’t your thing then splashing that amount of money for something that may never get used again makes those modifications very expensive.
By far the cheapest option for getting the test equipment needed is to borrow it from someone else, this has the extra benefit of possible help if things don’t go to plan.