Friday, January 17, 2020

BITS...PIECES...WALCOTT RADIO REVIEW





I've been a bit dodgy on 2020 posts thus far so I thought I'd throw a few thought out on the text editor to see what stuck!

First of all, a shout out to Walcott Radio... If you've been reading this Blog in last 6 months or so you know that I bought a President Lincoln II+ via Amazon. The price was $249 w/free shipping + $21 sales tax. I did the wide-band mod myself and noticed (at the time) the menu function would give me an ERRxxx code from within the firmware, yet allowed the initial programming, but ultimately failed shortly thereafter. 



I'm in the process of sending it off for repair (HERE is where Walcott comes into play).

I really wanted another Lincoln II+ in the truck while waiting for the other one to get sent off so I thought it might be good to get one where a tech had already done the mod and checked out the radio before sending it out.

Walcott Radio had everything I wanted for a vg price. Without sales tax (vs. Amazon)the shipping charge was negated and the wide-band / tuneup was a mere $35 so I took the plunge. I pressed the "BUY" tab on Sunday night and by Mid-morning Monday I received their shipping notification. The radio arrived via USPS Priority on Wednesday and it's in the Dodge as I type. 

Included with the radio was a piece of paper detailing some of the menu functions as well as informing the buyer (me) about how the Clarifier setting in the menu would not be saved on a power up/down situation. It's just a small thing, but if I had known this via my purchase elsewhere I would not have wasted so much time on Google trying to figure it out, so a thumbs UP👍 to Walcott for letting a buyer know about it from the beginning.

You can quote me as being VERY happy with their price, service, and speedy shipping.


Changing directions, here are a few of my recent YouTube views...



Here is a review of the President Taylor CB by a young HAM/CBer named "Charlie", on his YouTube channel - "Charlies Shack".






As well, another of my favorite channels (DX Commander) recently posted a quick collection of moments taken from his 2019 videos.








'Nuff Said

Woody















Monday, January 06, 2020

THIS QSL CARD "FIND" WAS....



FREAKING AMAZING!!









Most of us that are into radio are familiar with QSL cards. Normal use would be to confirm a contact, as well as to adorn the shack walls with the more interesting designs. Back in the heyday of CB radio it wasn't the best idea to send a DX contact your QSL card because talking over 150 miles (skip) was a big no-no as far as Uncle Charlie (FCC) was concerned.

For this reason, most of us got a P.O. Box, using it as an address over-the-air, bringing some comfort to the CB Pirates mind (I had my own P.O. Box at the age of 13). At CB Jamborees it was common to bring your QSL cards as swap them with others that you met eyeball-to-eyeball, and magazines like S9 had an entire section devoted to QSL cards, and their addresses.

I'm telling you this as a foundation to my "Freak'n amazing story".


Over the years, from time-to-time, I'll search listings on Ebay that have QSL card for sale in hopes of finding my old card, but never do (no, this story doesn't end with me finding my card but it's still amazing). This past Sunday I had some time on my hands so I took to Ebay as to continue me QSL search, and as usual I came up with zilch.

Suddenly a thought flashed across my brain - "Hey, maybe I should try Google". So off to their search engine I went and tried an image search for CB QSL cards in New England

There were a lot of hits, so I confined my search to "CB QSL cards from Connecticut" and in the second row I saw this card:









 

It wasn't my call sign, nor did I recognize it from my early days, but it was from my home town. The CB handle, the "Whopper", was like a wake-up-call-slap-in-the-face because I used to talk with him and his wife (Whopper Junior) all of the time, back in the late 60's and early 70's!



WHOPPER/WHOPPER JR.s 10-20
I lived close to the orange marker on the map, to the left side of Scitico and remember either hoofing or pedaling over to their "20" when I couldn't get a ride from my Dad. 



The odds of finding this on my first Google search were astronomical and just as huge as finding my own card would be. Perhaps it was placed there to remind me that nothing is impossible....




'Nuff Said,

Woody





























 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

BYE-BYE 2019







HELLO 2020!!




It's almost time to tuck 2019 to bed and wake up 2020, so to all the regulars, lurkers, and anyone else who stops by -  


Monday, December 30, 2019

UK OP'S GETS A HIGH PRESSURE PRESENT FOR NEW YEAR'S





THE YEAR IS ALMOST OVER














HF operators across the UK (especially 10/11 meters) have been getting some foreign DX thanks to a high pressure weather system which has covered the land. Television viewers who use Freeview television have been receiving French channels which have blotted out England's English language broadcasts, and they're raising a ruckus on social media, so turn on your HF rig and do some talking 😉

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Sunday, December 15, 2019

PART 2: WHEN CB ONLY HAD 23 CHANNELS





Having read the first part, I hope you're ready for Part Two.









SBE SUPER CONSOLE
My Dad and I arrived just as the shop was opening, but even then we weren't the first arrivals. Glancing to the left I could see the Midland inside the display case, while to the right a thick cloud of cigarette smoke hovered around the owner and several of his cronies (It's weird - back then I didn't seem to notice cigarette smoke much, but now, I can't even stand the hint of a cigarette). One thing I did learn about the effects of smoke on a radio was that it was almost like a preservative. A little soapy water and a soft towel was all I needed to get that front panel looking like new again.

The fact that this was a Midland CB was of particular note because neither Rat Shack or Lafayette sold them. You could only buy brands like Midland, SBE, or Pearce-Simpson thru your local garage-shop seller or mail order, and usually a buyer wanted to see/test/hear his potential purchase before plunking down hundred's of dollars. This was one reason why it was such a big deal  when Mr. Chips bought an SBE Super Console. While he was happy to let any interested "local"  come by for a demo he could have easily gotten away with charging a small admission price. But I digress....

Back to the shop in Springfield. 


The owner saw us peering at the Midland and sidled over to the display case. Understandably, he started talking to my Dad, telling him about the benefits of single side-band until my Dad set him straight: He knew next to nothing about CB so he (the owner) should start talking to the one who did (me). Obviously flustered, the owner fumbled around trying to figure out how to talk radio geek  to a lowly teenager, when I quickly let it be known that I had researched the rig and all of it's specifications so he
could cut to the chase and start talking about how much he was willing to knock off his selling price to make a sale. It was at this time that I re-introduced the "bank" to the owner so the adults could formalize a transaction. Shortly thereafter we departed - my Dad in the car and me, floating above it on cloud 9....

Fuzzy already had a side-band rig but it wasn't long after I came home with the Midland before my handful of trusted cronies had upgraded as well. Once my nemesis (the Bald Eagle) realized that I had SSB capabilities he too upgraded from his Browning AM set to a Mark III. Bleedover being what it was I'm pretty sure he could sense me cringe every time I heard that Browning ping.

Looking back, I see that it was just as dead with 23 channels as it is with 40 whenever the Sunspot cycle was low. It was fairly quiet, and just as congested when it wasn't. The biggest downside to having the 13-880b was it's crappy adjacent channel rejection. Having a neighbor as close to me as the Bald Eagle was really made me second guess my purchase, until I added a EF Johnson Messenger 124. It was only an AM rig, but the super adjacent channel rejection
EF JOHNSON MESSENGER 124
made life tolerable whenever my neighbor was talking to HIS cronies down on channel 2 (as I have come to learn, Midland CB's may have many features at a lower price, but great adjacent channel rejection is not one of them).

One not-so-secret-secret about most 23 channel radios was 2 extra channels you could get (usually) by cutting the "Green" wire on the channel selector. Called 22 "A" and "B" they were actually higher in frequency than channel 23. Whenever you needed some privacy 22 A&B were the channels you went to (although anyone with a CB that had a tune-able receiver could easily listen in)


There were other "A" channels between 1 and 23 as well, with 3A, establishing itself as the official frequency for Browning radio operators to convene using AM (Lord help you if you tried calling DX on SSB). Around the same time the FCC took 1 channel away to created a designated emergency frequency - Channel 9. If I recall correctly Trucker's had been using ch.10 and moved their channel up to 19 to avoid hassles by being so close to channel 10, which in-turn gave us Sidebander's, bleed-over headache's on ch. 16 lsb

So, we gritted our teeth hoping for some help from Uncle Charlie,  and finally began hearing rumors of new channels, moving the CB frequencies to another part of the radio spectrum that wouldn't be as defenseless against skip, and / or a combination of the two began to be circulated. In moving to Texas in '75 I had sold most of my radio stuff to finance the trip, and didn't keep up with Citizen's Band radio like I used to. I didn't fully realize that the purchase of an E.F. Johnson Viking 352 in 1976 was really like me, throwing $300 down the train....

In the future I'll go into my crazy purchase, as well as a segway into the new 40ch. transceivers. But for now - this ends Part two...


73

WOODY