31 December 2015

Happy New Year!


So we reach the end of another interesting year for radio enthusiasts.  A year where mighty radio companies have taken a tumble in the eyes of the buyers. Reputations have been damaged possibly beyond repair. Staunch defenders of radio brands have had to take a hard look and reevaluate things for what they really are. Numbers of radio operators continue to decline in many areas whilst some small sections of the hobby are booming - (The Midweek Nets!!!!!!)  

PMR446 has seen its first truly mobile radio offering in the guise of the Midland GB-1. Too little, too late perhaps and overpriced but certainly an interesting addition to the radio hobby. 

Looking at CB radios, the real stinker of 2015 has been the President Jackson 2 Chrome - What a steaming pile of SH!T - Not bad on AM/FM but simply awful on SSB. At £250 it's one to steer well clear of!!!! - Did President not learn anything from the Lincoln 2??????

There have been a few good or even excellent radios about but there is no doubt that the real winner has been the Albrecht AE6110. A cracking little radio with performance which totally outstrips its diminutive size. I am yet to hear of anyone who doesn't like this radio and for around £50 it's a real bargain.

Therefore I have no hesitation in announcing that the Albrecht AE6110 is "Delboy's Radio Of The Year 2015"!


Best wishes to all for 2016!

30 December 2015

Christmas 2015 CTX from the Black Mountains


Video: YouTube/UKCBTV

Midland GB-1 PMR446 Now In Stock @ Knights!



So there you go folks, you can now get your hands on a Midland GB-1 PMR446 radio from Doug at Knights.

Knights Website: LINK


29 December 2015

A Look Back At CB Radio In 2015!


Video: YouTube/M0OGY

Dave (M0OGY) takes a look back at CB Radio in 2015


Possible Aurora Predicted For New Years Eve!


Source: Twitter/@TamithaSkov

Be sure to listen on the air for wispy voices and strange sounding conversations as auroral conditions have been predicted to occur.

28 December 2015

CTX AM NET 27 Dec 2015



Video: YouTube/rigsearch

This video shows a contact on AM between the Welsh Mountains and Sevenoaks in Kent, a distance of approx. 175 miles!


27 December 2015

Midland GB-1 Due in at Knights £119


Doug @ Knights appears to be the first of the main retailers to announce the impending arrival of the Midland GB-1 PMR446 radio. 

The radio is due in the next few days, selling at £119, an expensive PMR446 for sure! But with the ability to be modded for extra fun this may temp some to part with their cash!

Knights Website: LINK

Instruction Manual: LINK

26 December 2015

President Grant 2 ONLY £99.95 - Nevada BOXING DAY Special Deal!


Nevada are selling the President Grant 2 (NOT PREMIUM) for only £99.95 - Limited to only 20 pieces so first come first served!





24 December 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!




It's that time of year to thank everyone who took the time to visit the blog and my other websites (Almost 10 million hits to date in total) and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Here's to 2016!!!!

21 December 2015

Aurora 20/12/15


Video: YouTube/Carl Gorse


Video: YouTube/Tony Everhardt


Look out - The aliens are coming!!!!!

20 December 2015

Aurora Alert!


Aurora KP Index expected to reach KP8 within the next hour!

I have already heard Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Iceland on the CB bands.

President Grant 2 Xmas Deal @ Nevada





Nevada have the Grant 2 on offer this week for only £159.95



15 December 2015

CTX Christmas Activities!

    (Click Image To Enlarge)

Those brave guys from the CTX team will be out and about again over the Xmas period so if you hear them be sure to give them a shout!





More on the Charlie Tango Website: CLICK HERE

2 December 2015

New PMR446 - Midland GB1



The 'world's first mobile in-car PMR446 radio' apparently!

Midland GB1 Features at a glance

  • Microprocessor‐controlled frequency
  • 8 channels PMR446 FM
  • 'Flip' function: the radio can be mounted with the speaker facing up or down; the display can read in either orientation
  • Adjustable squelch on 9 levels
  • SCAN function
  • LCD display
  • Integrated magnetic antenna
  • TOT (Time out timer)*
  • Side tone: noise blanker at end of transmission
  • Monitor function
  • Busy channel (BCLO‐Busy Channel Lockout)*
  • Broad/narrow band selection 25KHz/12.5KHz (only export version)*
  • High/low power (only export version)


UK Price Around £169.99

Website link: CLICK HERE

My thoughts - A nice looking radio which certainly makes PMR446 more useful when out mobile. Almost giving users a true UHF CB System, something I've long been asking for. The radio can be modded for extra channels/power if required.

However, this should have come out 15 years ago. Anyone who wanted a UHF CB system is already using 'other equipment' and let's be honest, who in their right mind would spend £169.99 on this radio when for less than £20 they can get a Baofeng UV5R which gives more power, more channels and many more features????

Don't get me wrong, this is a step in the right direction towards UHF CB but way too late and way too expensive in my opinion.

'Colin The Head' certified?


Maybe this should have been published on April 1st.... However here is the story that 'Colin The Head' has been awarded the prestigious title of "Ambassador for CB radio in the United Kingdom"!

Full story: CLICK HERE

30 November 2015

Martin Lynch and Sons Christmas Video!


Video: YouTube/MLandSshop

The 'HEX' - SSB Net!

    (Click to Enlarge)

'Hilltoppers and Extreme Ground Wave DX'ers Winter SSB Net!!!!'

27.405 (Ch 40 mid band) USB from 18:00 hours on 19/12/2015

More info on the Charlie Tango Forum: CLICK HERE

29 November 2015

CB Radio Lab Test: mTech Legend 3



Video: YouTube/TRXBench


Uniden made but how does it measure up? TRXBench takes a look....!


27 November 2015

Waters & Stanton Black Friday Deals - 10% Off!


LICK: CLICK HERE

24 November 2015

President Grant 2 ONLY £149.99 - Nevada Black Friday Deal!


Predicted by many as a possible Black Friday deal and here it is - Nevada have the President Grant 2 (Not Premium) on sale for only £149.99.

You can see this deal along with others on the Nevada website: CLICK HERE


Martin Lynch and Sons Cheeky BLACK FRIDAY Video!


23 November 2015

Shack In A Box!



Video: YouTube/Wow Sly

An interesting project for sure.....!
Charlie Tango Extreme AM Net Saturday 28th November 2015


Those intrepid guys from Charlie Tango Extreme have announced their latest AM net. Taking place on Saturday 28th November from 18:00 - 21:00 hours.

Calling will take place on the UK AM calling channel - 27.125Mhz Ch.14 Mid Band then QSY to a clear frequency.

Give a shout! Nice bit of AM, just like the old days!


18 November 2015

World Radiocommunication Conference Approves Global 60 Meter Allocation! (5MHz)



Agreement at last on the 60m (5Mhz) band with a small global allocation of 5351.5 - 5366.5Mhz with a tiny output power of 15 watts EIRP.

For more on this story follow the link below.

LINK: CLICK HERE

15 November 2015

President Grant II Premium with DSP!



Video: YouTube/Klaus R.

So here we have a President Grant 2 Premium with a DSP board fitted. An interesting idea for sure but as the cost of the radio plus the cost of the DSP unit plus time and cost of having it fitted comes to about the same as the price of a Yaesu FT817 I can't see this catching on!

2 November 2015

31 October 2015

President Electronics Promotional Videos!!!

President have released several promotional videos for their radios, none of which appear to point out the many serious flaws in the equipment!!!! (poor echo, crappy audio, overload on SSB, noisy receive, ghost mic keyers, AGC problems, loose controls, channel skipping etc....)








And then they give us a video entitled "Good Old President" - Yes President that was when you did know how to make good radios......! 

Sadly no more!!!!!


Videos: YouTube/President Electronics
THE BIG NET 2015!!!! - Final Reminder!!!!!


Modified President Grant 2 - Less Noise, Improved Receive!



Video: YouTube/prespostt.com

Text from their YouTube channel:

"RX modified Grant 2 in an electrically noisy environment coming from the antenna. Notice the dramatic change in NB operation

Stock on right and modified on left


Modified radio has a tunable S-meter and smoother RX audio modified to my own like. S-meter is very lazy on SSB with weak signals but it is set to 50uV S9 and 160uV S9+10dB and working correctly in all modes. Fix is about to come but have to figure out best way to do it.

Both radios have same sensitivity measured 12dB sinad in all modes. You have to use slightly more volume in AM/SSB to hear the weakest signals.

President should have done Grant 2 this way from the beginning

www.prepostt.com"



So the question has to asked - Why cant President make a decent radio when a simple mod is all that is needed????

26 October 2015

25 October 2015

President Grant II Premium PART 2 - RX Tests Stateside



Video: YouTube/M0OGY

In part 2, Dave compares the RX on the original Grant 2 with the new Grant 2 Premium

The M0OGY Review - President Grant II Premium PART 1



Video: YouTube/M0OGY


Dave (M0OGY) takes a look at the latest, and hopefully the best, incarnation of the President Grant 2!

Earlier models suffered from minor niggles which annoyed some users. President do appear to have listened to their customers and have modified the radio accordingly.

In this video Dave runs us through the features and gives us a look inside the radio showing the differences between the new and old model. In PART 2 we'll see how the radio performs on air.

24 October 2015

Channel 28 AM - Stateside!



Video: YouTube/Charlie Brown

Wicked skip on Ch38 CB Radio



Video: YouTube/Radionut63

CB RADIO ... Sounding its best!



Video: YouTube/26TANGOMIKE037
So You Send Your Faulty President Grant 2 Away For Repair.......

I am (or rather was) the proud owner of 2 President Grant 2 radios. However a few months ago one of them developed a fault. For no apparent reason the S-Meter would show a constant noise level of S8-S9 even without an antenna attached! (See video below)


So I contacted the retailer from whom I bought the radio, they were very helpful instructing me to return the radio immediately. 

The radio was sent and upon receiving the radio the retailer contacted me telling me that they had sent the radio to President for their assessment and action.

Several weeks went by and nothing heard so I contacted the retailer who in turn contacted President. President apparently informed them that they were having to completely replace the main board in the radio and it would be completed shortly.

Several more weeks went by and again nothing heard. By now the radio had been away for two months! 

I once again contacted the retailer who once again contacted President. They were informed that the radio would be returned soon.

A few days later I get a message that the radio had been repaired and is on its way back! Yipppppeeeee!!!!

The radio arrives, I open the box and I see my lovely President Grant 2 covered with greasy fingerprints. So covered in fact that when you held the radio you could physically feel the greasy residue on the radio. Furthermore, the front plastic screen on the radio was covered with scratches and marks which had not been there when the radio was sent for repair. I immediately contacted the retailer to inform them of this unpleasant discovery. They were quite naturally very shocked to hear about this and promised to take up the matter with President. 

However, after weeks of trying to get someone at President to return their calls/emails the retailer said they had given up and offered to sort out the problem directly with myself. Something that I very grateful to them for and I personally have now reached a satisfactory conclusion to this awful experience.

But it does raise the question about Presidents apparent customer service, How could they possible ruin a customers radio then apparently ignore all attempts to get it sorted out?

Makes you wonder!

Anyway here's a short video showing the state of the screen on my President Grant 2 when it came back from repair......





22 October 2015

20 October 2015

NEVADA Get The President Grant 2 Premium In Stock!


Priced at £219.95, this could be the radio that the Grant 2 should have been first time around!

18 October 2015

Galashiels Radio Rally 2015

CTX Halloween AM Net


The CTX gang are at it again with another AM NET on Saturday 31st October 2015 18:00 - 21:00 hours.

Calling will take place on the UK AM Calling channel 14EU (27.125Mhz) then QSY when contact is made. 

So do listen out and join in with the fun!

17 October 2015

Galashiels Radio Rally 2015

Just a reminder that The Galashiels Radio Rally takes place tomorrow (18th October)

The Volunteer Hall
St John Street
Galashiels
Scottish Borders
TD1 3JX
Doors open at 11.15am (Disabled access from 11.00am)


Video from last years rally:

11 October 2015

Reminder: The Big Net 2015!


Celebrating 34 years of legal CB radio in the UK - Monday 2nd November 7pm-10pm - Main Net on Ch34 UKFM (27.93125Mhz)


9 October 2015


Rip Off Britain? - CB Radio Price Comparisons



Many UK operators (Including myself) feel that CB radio prices in the UK are too high. But are we justified in thinking this?

To try to answer this I have looked around the web to get the prices of radios sold in Europe to compare them to UK prices.

Below you can see price comparisons between radios on sale in Europe verses the UK:





I feel that there is only one conclusion to be taken from the prices shown - With differences of up to 34.5% I think there is a little room for prices to fall in the UK!

* Exchange rate as of 09/10/2015


President Jackson 2 Chrome Limited Edition: First Mini-Review



So Presidents flagship CB radio the Jackson 2 Chrome hit the shops in the past few days. I was lucky enough to get  my hands on one of the very first to become available. Having used it for a few days these are my initial findings based on the radio I have in my possession:

The radio looks gorgeous, with a style that takes you back to the 80's.

In the box you find the usual standard microphone, mounting bracket, power lead, instruction booklet etc.

On closer inspection the 'chrome' controls actually look quite 'plasticy'. There is also some play on the controls. They wobble from side to side. The radio itself seems well built with a nice heat sink on the back (Hinting at a higher power output!). All the switches and controls are brightly backlit and the analogue S-Meter is clearly visible. 

The radio features include: Roger Beep, NB/ANL/Hi-Cut, Priority Channel, SWR Meter, VOX, Fine/Course Clarifier, RF Power Adjustment, Squelch/ASQ, Mic Gain, RF Gain, External Speaker Socket.

AM and FM incoming and outgoing audio is nothing short of excellent. The supplied standard microphone works very well. However SSB is a different story. In common with several of the newer radios (Most notably the President Lincoln 2) I found that the Jackson 2 Chrome suffers from  distortion on strong signals on SSB. You can reduce the RF Gain and this will clear up most of the distortion but if you are listening to say two stations talking, one of which is nearby and the other is a distant station you find yourself constantly having to raise and lower the RF gain to listen to the two stations. 

The radio also appears to 'drift' slightly on the receive and occasional clarifier adjustments are needed. 

Furthermore, the radio I have is slightly off frequency on transmit. I don't have a frequency counter to test this exactly but comparing it to several other radios (including amateur equipment) the Jackson 2 appeared to be approximately 300Hz low in frequency on both USB and LSB. Whilst not a massive amount this was enough to provoke several comments from other stations who were having to tune me in and is on the verge of being outside specifications! 

All the SSB problems were still evident when the radio had been used for some time and was fully warmed up. 


I tested the power output on my radio and found the following:

4 watts on AM/FM and 8 watts on SSB when the radio was in STANDARD mode. 

13 watts on AM/FM and 18 watts on SSB when the radio was in EXPORT mode.


Therefore when in STANDARD mode the radio is bang on with the power output on AM and FM but considerably short of the allowed 12 watts on SSB. 

One other disappointing thing is that when in STANDARD mode and operating in the UK setting the radio will only do FM, there is no access to AM or SSB on the mid band frequencies. The mode switch is used to switch the radio between UK40 and EU40 and has no effect on the operating mode. I realise that the UK CB radio market may be small but you'd think that some 15 months after AM and SSB were legalised in the UK radio manufactures would accommodate this into their new radios. 



CONCLUSION: I had really high hopes for this radio and had been looking forward to getting my hands on one but I have to say that I feel rather disappointed. Sure the radio LOOKS fantastic but the SSB problems are unforgivable on a 'top of the range' CB radio and the loose, wobbly controls have no place on a top of the range radio. The lack of AM and SSB in the UK mode is another serious omission for UK operators. 

If this radio retailed for £149 some of these problems could be dismissed but when you are paying £249 you expect something special and I feel that this radio comes nowhere close to being special!

Having previously faced much criticism over problems with the Lincoln 2 and the Grant 2 I was expecting more from President this time around but sadly it looks like they haven't learnt from their mistakes. 

  
Scores:

Appearance: 9/10
Features: 8/10
Build Quality: 7/10
Performance AM/FM: 10/10
Performance SSB: 3/10
Value For Money: 5/10

Overall score: 6/10



6 October 2015

President Jackson 2 Chrome CB Radio - EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK!





The World first look at the President Jackson 2 Chrome Classic CB Radio!



President Jackson 2 CHROME - World's First Photos!

So the rumours appear to be correct (Someone did buy one!) and here we have it, the first pictures of an actual President Jackson 2 CHROME in the real world!









Looks like a lovely radio for sure and very difficult to get your hands on due to a limited supply. 

Out of the box it has all the usual Multi EU bands with 4 watts AM/FM and 12 watts SSB, and can of course be set to EXPORT mode with a little extra output power.

It remains to be seen if this radio will become a truly 'classic' President. Only time will tell!

Home Brew SSB - QRP Radio On The Air

Video: Youtube/mk1tina

This video shows a 'home brew' QRP SSB transceiver in use and sure is working well! Great use of an old CB radio case.


5 October 2015

BREAKING NEWS: President Jackson 2 Chrome sold in the UK!

As yet unconfirmed, but rumour is rife across the web that someone in the UK has bought a new President Jackson 2 Spangly Chrome Limited Edition! 

Personally, I'm sceptical but stranger things have happened. 

We wait with baited breath....

Yosan Micro CB Radio



Video: Youtube/Rigserach

Small seems to be all the rage these days! This radio has been around for a while. Not as good looking as the Albrecht AE6110 in my opinion but still a nice little radio that manages to do what radios costing 5 times as much cannot - It gives you AM in UK mode!

3 October 2015

President Jackson 2 CHROME:
Nevada Starts A Price War? - £239



So it's started, first we had Knights pricing the President Jackson 2 Chrome at £249. Now we have Nevada firing the first shot with a price of £239 (Thats when they get them in stock of course, so you may need to wait). LINK: CLICK HERE

As I have already said on the blog, I had one of these radios in my hands last week and was tempted but the price put me off. It has not gone unnoticed that some 10 days after the radios became available a search of YouTube comes up with ZERO videos of this new radio. That suggests that I am not the only one who thinks the price is too high. Normally when a new radio comes out you find videos/reviews on YouTube within hours of the radio going on sale. Yes they are in limited supply but there are now plenty of radio dealers around Europe who have them in stock. You'd think that SOMEONE would have bought one a stuck it up on YouTube!

Maybe the well publicised problems with the President Grant 2 and President Lincoln 2 are still playing on peoples minds?

Poor band conditions no doubt have also had a part to play. It is understandable that when the radio is so quiet people don't feel like spending hard earned cash on new equipment.

So I wonder, which supplier (if any) will be the first to offer this radio at a price under £200?

The answer is - Probably none of them! But I'm sure that if it were to happen, this radio would sell really well!

29 September 2015

Knights - President Grant 2 PREMIUM On Sale Now £219


Well done to Doug from Knights as he appears to be first again with the new improved Grant 2 Premium.

LINK: CLICK HERE

CTX Radio - Delta Alpha LOTA 26/27th Sept. 2015



Video: Youtube/UKCBTV



Well done to the CTX guys who despite very poor band conditions appear to have had a cracking weekend!

28 September 2015

President Jackson 2 CHROME - In My Hands But I Didn't Buy It!!!!

So today I had a shiny President Jackson 2 Chrome in my hands. It looked lovely, well built and I was very tempted.... but after buying 2 x Grant 2's and a Lincoln 2 recently I just couldn't bring myself to part with another £250 on a CB radio.

If there had been loads of skip over the past week things may have been different, but the radio has been dead with hardly a signal heard. Is this a sign of things to come? Will sales of CB radios die off due to lack of propagation? Maybe!

So I've passed up the chance of having one of the first CHROME Jackson 2's!

Regrets? - Nope! -  I can always change my mind next week when the Americans are blasting in on 27.385 LSB!






PMR446 (UHF CB) New Analogue Channel Allocation

So word comes from an industry insider that the UK is set to adopt the new expanded PMR446 channel allocation.

No official announcement has yet been made so make of this what you wish but it does appear that the new allocation will go ahead.



The exsisting allocation of 8 analogue channels (446.00625 - 446.09375) have been around since the late 90's and there have been many operators calling for extra channels particularly in busy cities and town center areas. 

Having an extra 8 analogue channels (446.10625 - 446.19375) PMR446 begins to look like a true UHF CB allocation. 

Sure you only get 500mw(!) but it's surprising how far you can get from a favorable location. 

The whole band (446.000 - 446.200) will also be opened up to allow the use of up to 32 digital channels.

New radios, which will have more rigorous specifications to reduce the likelihood of interference, are expected to be available shortly after the new allocation is adopted.