Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Then it must be MOVIE NIGHT"

Yes indeed, we're 3-for-3 in seeing very good movies on a Tuesday night! Tonight's movie "OrPHAN" was slightly diminished by several MORONS who just had to text and talk (they got quieter when Robin leaned over and hissed "Ssssssh", and even quieter when they stopped texting and actually watched the movie).

The catch line, "There's something wrong with Esther" (movie poster to your left), is pretty much "dead-on", but perhaps not for reasons you are thinking of. When I saw the previews on TV, I thought to myself: "Hmmm, another kid-goes-wrong movie" along the lines of "The Good Son", or maybe even poss
essed as in the "OMEN" movies.
Just by looking at the evil girl, gives you chills, and I don't they could have found a better actress because she nails the part, pure and simple. The plot is simple - Woman loses child (which would have been her third) and a year later she and her husband try adoption. Impressed by Esther's manners and artistic abilities, the adoption is done.

During the movie there are hints of trouble in the marriage, and the mothers former drinking problem (which led to her young daughters hearing loss), but the director doesn't really hammer it in - which is good. Obviously, with a movie such as this, you know that there will be something wrong with Esther, you just don't know what it is....for sure. And that's as far as I'll go in telling you about this excellent, CREEPY movie that gets under your skin. We both gave it "Two Tubes Up", and if you do see it, tell me what you thought of it!


REVIEW: 2 Tubes UP




Wednesday, July 22, 2009


With the Sunspot cycle being what it is, I thought you'd like to travel back in time and spend seven minutes in 2003!! Just click on the Browning and buckle up in Woody's "Wayback" machine...




Monday, July 20, 2009


I was poking around Ebay over the weekend and saw a few ads that read "VINTAGE 80's CB", and my first thought was:
"MAN, are they 2kc's short of center slot"
But then it hit me - 1980 is 29 years backwards!! My mindset has the 80's firmly entrenched as a modern time, not a vintage time. I guess it won't be long before I see "Vintage 90's CB" auctions popping up and it's still very hard to wrap my brain around that one. How 'bout you? Do you ever get the same thoughts or is it just me?


I ran across this auction today for a Cobra 148f-gtl "Drift-O-Matic" am/ssb mobile. Nothing unusual about that - I see 'em pop up every now and again, but I'm afraid my jaw dropped when I saw that the Buy-It-Now price was (ed. - brace yourself ):
I'm not kidding, check it out for yourself - AUCTION.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Yep! The dX has been rolling in all day, and tonight it's even stronger than it was earlier. It's weather related skip, so I've only heard some fairly close States, but it's nice typing on the keyboard while listening to Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, and Oklahoman fading in and out of the very low noise level. Occasionally they'll hit a Texas station but it seems like their skip is running further North, like Michigan.

One fellow I heard was running a CPI-2000, and that's one rig that I've never owned, or, operated. Funny about those things; I've operated a ton of radios but there's always the oddball that for one reason or another, I've yet to get.

Collectible radios can fetch a good price, but there's an auction for a Browning "Raven" that made me do a double-take at the Buy-It-Now price of $700. I've bought some things from this seller with excellent results, and I know he knows his stuff, but I owned a Raven once and I suppose if you're a Browning collector and want every Browning radio ever made, you'll find the Raven a very hard "Bird" to find. Nonetheless, it's really nothing to look at, doesn't have the Browning "Style", and if I were going to spend $700 on a Browning, it would be a Mark III or IVA to be sure.

Anyways, I'm watching the auction to see what happens, and he does have a "Make an Offer" button, so I'll be curious to see what this radio sells for!


Thursday, July 16, 2009


How many rigs do you have to own to talk on-the-air? ONE.....

Yep, you can (normally) only talk on one radio at a time, so why are "Radio Collectors
" (ed. - aka "nuts") so obsessed with having a shack with 3,4,5,15 different rigs?? I suppose it could be bragging rights amongst the locals, or nostalgia, and perhaps it could be love-of-the-design.

People who love older cars usually don't buy one, and when they buy several it's not the same car - they have a love for the style and quality of that era (whatever era it may be). The same is true for us rig loving operators whether you're a CBer or HAM (ahh...another thing the two groups have in common). I got into it so much that I had too many rigs; in fact, so many rigs, I couldn't even display one tenth of them. That my friends was just too much.

When I published the CB Gazette, I'd ask for "Shack/Collection Photo's" and received a ton of 'em, and many collectors had their collection of radios very organized and neatly displayed. I was just looking at them the other day (trip down memory lane) and I wonder how many of these collections are still intact, and sadly, how many of their owners are still alive. As I am now, I like a few classic CB's around just to spark a memory or three, but otherwise my rigs are now amateur (HAM) radios, because I have a greater selection of bands to choose from and with the Sunspot cycle being what it is, I can use all the help I can get.

While we're on the topic of "NUMBERS", it's a sad picture at the right of the sun with ZERO sunspots. Remember though, if the one that energized our airwaves last week holds up (and maybe gets BIGGER), we should see some improvement on Wednesday of next week!

Keep your fingers crossed (ed. - but not your power leads!!)



Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This is another limited release movie, and we were fortunate to see it Tuesday (before Harry Potter took over the theatre). The movie is called "MOON", and is Directed by David Bowie's son!! But, that's not why we went to see it - from what we read, the plot seemed interesting.

MOON, stars Sam Rockwell, as a worker ending his 3 year contract on the moon, and anxious to get back to his wife and young daughter. While there isn't a HAL, there is a GERTY, a computer that is very reminiscent of HAL in 2001-A Space Odyssey. Gerty's voice is played by Kevin Spacey.

That is where the similarity ends. Sam, plays an astronaut named "Sam", and as the plot progresses, he begins to realize that things aren't what they seem to be. If you're looking for action, lasers, and battles, then you should skip MOON. This is one of those rare INTELLIGENT movies that suck you in, and keep your attention from the beginning to the end. I'm not going to give you any spoilers, but I would highly recommend "MOON" as THE movie to see this week (if it's playing in your area).

This was one of the best movies we've seen this year, and it's on my list of movies to purchase when it's released on DVD!

I thought a lot about what to rate it, and after some consideration, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars....



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

"THERE'S GOLD......"
"....IN THEM THAR D-104's"

Well, at least you'd think so, by the prices that some folks put on them on Ebay. I guess they think they are very, very old (by the appearance/shape of the microphone), so they put B.I.N. prices at $100 and up for microphones that aren't even "Silver" or "Night" Eagles. This has me scratching my head when I see this, knowing that there are tons of Astatic microphones (especially varietys of D104's) everywhere. Whew! Everybody just take in a deep breath and exhale....



(They should have said "Rustic" CB Mounts)


Saturday, July 11, 2009


Nope! It's not my vision I'm talking about - more like the vision of certain telescopes pointed at the Sun (ed. - if you've been living w/o radio for the past 3 days then you missed the largest sunspot in the past two years). Needless to say, HF was "Very-VERY" good to me, as I hope it was to you as well. If you missed out on this one, then heed Woody's warning: "They will come again........."
Click on sunspot for more details ('Nuff Said.....)


Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Last night we went out to see the latest Woody Allen film, "Whatever Works". It was a limited release movie, and we weren't sure how long it would hold up at the theatres. From what I've read; 'Whatever Works' is a decades old script that Woody Allen dug up and cast Larry David as his lead character - a "genius" who sees nothing good in mankind or the "inch worms", people who inch along in life and never see the big picture. David not only sees the big picture, but also makes it clear (from the beginning) that he can also see the audience watching the movie.

I'll be the first one to admit that I'm not a huge Woody Allen fan (although as a teen, I went with my friends to see his "Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex - But Was Afraid To Ask" movie) but lately, we've caught a few of his flicks on the tube, and decided that we'd partake in the movie experience once again.

While there appears to be nothing charming about his character, he manages to marry a young woman who picks up on his type of thinking very quickly. Some of the funniest moments are when she is with someone else, and starts throwing out things that seem normal to her, but only because she is with David's character.

Much to our surprise, we had the entire theatre to ourselves, so this felt much like a "Private Screening", and the times we laughed we knew were funny, as opposed to a theatre full of contagious laughing patrons that affect you much like someone who yawns in front of you...heck, just thinking of yawning is making me want to do it as I type. This isn't a movie for everyone, especially those cellphone texting youthful idiots that make going to a movie a nightmare, but we enjoyed it, and it's on our list of one of the better movies we've seen this year. Perhaps the biggest plus - Woody Allen isn't in it. If he were, this would not be the movie it is - I'd say, if you catch an early showing and only have to shell out $5 to go see it, then "Whatever Works" is worth it. If not, make a note to find it at your local Blockbuster whenever it comes out on DVD.




Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Remember back in the good 'ol days of 11m radio when buying an Astatic D-104 was so confusing?? Most of us are familiar with the late 80's and 90's where it was just a matter of which microphone style you wanted (i.e. - Silver Eagle, Night Eagle, etc.), and then you were going mostly on which D-104 looked best attached to your rig (ed. - okay, for some, THAT was a hard decision). But I'm talking about something even more confusing, especially as a teen-age youth.

Back in the olden days, you could walk into a CB shop (actually most were part CB, the rest - TV Repair) and tell the man behind the counter -

"I want to buy a D-104"

The crusty old man, with tobacco stains on his beard and shirt collar, would peer down at you and give you the once over, then furrowing his brow and appearing to be in deep thought (ed.-trying to figure out a way to get rid of this new breed of pest). A cynical smile would form as he put his cigarette out in the tray with 100 others and he'd say,

"Oh, you'd like a D-104 would ya?"

"Tell me this", he'd say,

"Do ya want the UG-8, TUG-8, 'G', or TUP-9 stand with that?"

and then for good measure,

"Also do ya want the D-104 ceramic, crystal or 10-DA head to go with your selected stand?"

By then, any rookie radio operator would have his hair standing on their ends! "Did I have to study and take a test for this?" many might have thought.....

Yes, sometimes, buying a D-104 back in those days could be complicated. If you picked the wrong one, many, MANY hours would go into trying to get the microphone to work and sound correctly before someone who had gone through this before told him that he had bought either the wrong microphone stand, or microphone head. Nonetheless, Astatic D-104's were very popular; especially so with the Browning crowd. They offered crisp audio which leaned towards the higher end of the spectrum, often making a radio sound loud with a lot of treble in the audio. Also, it was not uncommon for someone to buy a D-104 and end up with a squeal in the audio!!

I hadn't really thought much about D-104's back then, but after the Turner article and comments I got to thinking about the trials and tribulations of my first D-104 desk microphone....





Monday, July 06, 2009

"8 YEARS AGO..."

In 2001, I published an article about the Turner Microphone company by Tom Moss. I thought it was time again to revisit this interesting piece!! Tom worked for the Turner Company for many years and certainly details the rise of Turner in the 1952-End years. As Tom suggest, check out Eric Braun's site for some great photo's, newspaper articles, and a look into Turner's earlier history.

History of Turner Microphones
(The final years – 1952-1979)
By: Tom Moss
Copyright 2001 CBGAZETTE.COM

September of 1952 found the company struggling to survive. Microphone sales at about $240,000 were not enough to keep the plant going although subcontract work for Collins Radio helped (The export operation brought in about $100,000 of the mike sales). As microphone companies went, the Turner company ran a poor fourth place among U.S. mike manufacturers (Shure Bros., ElectroVoice, and Astatic). Since the conversion of war production to civilian output, the company tried to expand the product line. The most recent effort was a TV booster in 1951. Result - minimal sales. After years of trying to get a license from Brush Development to make crystal phonograph cartridges (standard items with the other mike companies), Turner succeeded, only to find the industry shifting to magnetic units which was just another disappointment.

Turner's next attempt, a TV UHF converter in 1954, was also a disappointment as they entered too late into a market loaded with excess inventories, while UHF stations around the country failed, one after another. With the company’s resources dangerously thin and 2,500 converters in inventory, sales totaled 12 units. Amazingly, the entire inventory and the balance of the 5,000 unit production run were sold to Milwaukee distributors in the first week of September. That turned out to be the only market penetrated, and eventually swallowed up 15,000 Turner converters bringing in half a million dollars - At last! Although the converter success helped turn the first profit in years, it didn’t cure the basic problem: Turner couldn’t live on microphones alone.

With the UHF boom over, once again the marketing of microphones became the challenge. The companies sales force, about fifteen rep organizations, was well established throughout the country, many of them with Turner fifteen or twenty years. Nearly all sales were to radio parts distributors, who found their customers among ham operators, commercial sound installers, and other owners of amplifiers, radio transmitters, and broadcast transmitters which was a limited market.
The decision to go after the OEM business, especially the rapidly growing tape recorder market, was the turning point and it paved the way for an surprising reversal. Companies that made devices that required a microphone rarely built their own. The reel-to-reel tape recorder market exploded in the late fifties, and Turner began designing small ceramic microphones, inexpensive and complete with a cloth-covered cable and RCA phono plug (much of this business involved private labeling, designing and building a mike to customer specs).

After a 24-year struggle, came the beginning of the golden age! Instead of distributor orders for fifteen mikes, these OEM accounts were bought by the thousand. Wilcox-Gay, later known as Recordio, Telectro, Heath, Webster Electric, and the VM corporation – names mostly forgotten – had a brief day in the sun, and it was the beginning of the Turner success. The growth of products that required a microphone was a major factor in this success story. Turner made tens of thousands of microphones for the tape recorder industry, most of them private labeled, custom built. Dictating machine companies – Dictaphone, IBM, and others designed their case and Turner built the mike cartridge. Largest of all these was the leader in two-way radio, Motorola.. As a single source, Turner built about 30,000 units a year for Motorola in the late sixties and early seventies.

Sales hit the million-dollar mark in 1955 for the first time (nearly four million at the time of the sale to Conrac in 1968). They continued upward, to $7.5 million in ’75, $15 million in ’76, and $35 million before the CB market died and Telex bought the remains. Before the final boom and crash of the CB business, there were two developments in our cultural history that brought the distributor business back into play: Rock bands and the Catholic Church! In the sixties, Rock music bands exploded onto the scene and began to demand high quality, broadcast-type mikes – often four at a crack. The Turner model 500 became a standard. During this period, the Catholic church replaced Latin with English in all services which translated into a need for amplified sound where it had not been necessary before. The Turner gold-plated cardioid, with the appropriate cross on the nameplate, generated new business for Turner distributors nationwide.

Finally, I come to the Citizens Band radio market, which was the mother lode for Turner. In the beginning of the Citizens Band Radio Service, there was skepticism on the part of many suppliers, especially the mike people, about whether or not it was worth entering the market. Turner, still in fourth place among the mike companies, jumped in early with a cobbed-up tape recorder mike – a ceramic model that sold in 10,000 quantities at $1.67. But, it had to have a switch and coiled cord – and the price went to $3.90. All of the tear-drop, hand-held models (ala Motorola) made by the mike companies were die-cast metal cases and cost seven to nine dollars. Early CB sets used the little tape recorder mike, but not for long. Turner designed a plastic case tear-drop model, made an operating sample, and went after the business. That hand made mike from the Turner model shop languished in a sales manager

That was the model 350C. Hallicrafters, a ham radio manufacturer in Chicago, actually placed the first order, to be used with a marine radio built for RCA. Tooling finished, the mike hit the market and by the end of six months, eighteen of the early 22 makers of CB transceivers had the 350C on their radios – all private label, in a variety of colors and nameplates.

Nearly a million 350C microphones were sold.

But wait - it wasn't over! The company introduced the first power mike, the Plus 2, which was a base station model complete with a press-to-talk switch, battery, and volume control to adjust the modulation. The die-cast case was a standard part of the commercial sound line, Model 250 series, and the +2 for the CB market was painted blue. It was an immediate success. Meanwhile, the original CB mike (350C) was replaced by a new version (355C) and with the CB market expanding rapidly, that model became the standard replacement for thousands of CB’ers. The clamor for a mobile CB mike with a modulation control took the company into the final step of its success story, as the M+2 was introduced. The new case looked like a cake of soap, but it became the single most popular mike Turner ever made, and dominated the replacement business until the crash.
Well into the CB boom in the early seventies, Turner engineered a line of CB antennas with production set up at the Cramer division of Conrac. The
SignalKicker antennas were quickly established and within a year ranked third in the country behind Antenna Specialists and HyGain. Again, the distributor business expanded as hundreds of new outlets began ordering large quantities of CB mikes. At the peak of the boom – early 1976 – the largest distributors placed standing orders for thousands of mikes to be shipped each month. Production increases failed to keep up with the demand, and the lead time grew to four or five months. There’s an interesting background story to the end of the Turner company. After the years of struggling ended and debt had been erased, the cash position grew to the point that a decision was made to buy another company. After two or three efforts failed, that project was dropped, only to be replaced a year later with a decision to sell. The first offer came from Amphenol, a connector company; the second, Telex Corporation, and the third, the Conrac Corporation. Turner became a division of Conrac and in 1979, Conrac sold the division to – you guessed it – Telex.

(ed. - Today, as in 2001, there are many buyers turning towards Ebay for collectible Turner microphones. With almost no exceptions, just about any microphone made from 1960-on can be found in very good condition. While locally it may be impossible to find a Turner Super-Sidekick desk microphone, or the earlier "+2", there is no shortage within a few keystrokes on Ebay or other sources. The rule-of-thumb is to be patient and wait your turn for the right microphone at the right price. If you've seen a mint condition microphone once, you'll find it at least two or three times in the next six months or so. At least this has been my observation. When it comes to Turner vs. Astatic? Well, I prefer Turner microphones; whether it be a 251,252,254,+2,+3, etc., you'll find the correct microphone to match your rig - and your own voice characteristics. It used to be easy to pick up some beat-to-hell Turner desk microphones just for a good parts supply, but shipping prices being what they are now, unless you get FREE SHIPPING, or a very good deal, it's almost - almost not worth it. Each buyer has there own needs and has to be the judge of what they find acceptable or not)

Sunday, July 05, 2009



I've always been a walkie-talkie/HT kinda guy and although I prefer alarger unit (the FT-530 was PERFECT), I was on a bit of a tightbudget, so when I saw this new model FT-60R for under $200, I had togive it a try! This little bugger is a dual-band (VHF/UHF) handheld with extended rxcapabilities, in a small, yet heavy duty housing. Some of the featuresare: New Emergency Automatic ID system; Large LCD readout, over1000 memories, Ten memory banks, 5 watt output, NOAA WX Alertscan, 2 front panel programmable keys, and last but not least, what Iconsidered the final selling point - it came with a nice long-life 7.2V/1400mAh Metal-nickel Hydride battery, as opposed to the others I looked at (including the Icom IC-W32) which came with the lowly NiCad.THE LOWDOWN
The FT-60R was very easy to program! From the time I opened the
manual until I was finished setting up my local frequencies, only 20 minutes had gone by. The handheld has a nice feel to it when its in your hand (to coin a phrase: "It fit like a glove"). The display could have been a bit brighter, but still it was easy to see. When you first turn the unit "on" it display's the batteries current voltage (nice). Received audio through the little tiny speaker was "okay", and if I left it on and set it on the shelf near my desk to monitor, I would turn up the volume a bit and the spkr would start to vibrate. I suppose this was due to the small size of the handheld. To my surprise, the Yaesu FT-60R is made in China, something I'm not happy with, but time will tell how well this guy was made (i'll keep you posted). [ed. - and say yer prayers at night that the HF rigs don't go that way! -nuff said]

If you are in the market for a dualband HT, the FT-60R really seems to make sense for the budget minded HAM because you don't have to run out and purchase a better battery - it's already there! For other comments check out E-Ham Reviews to see what others have to say about it, and of course.....I'll keep ya updated should something happen. UPDATE:2009 - I've bought and sold many of this fine little HT's and never had an issue with even one of them. Their price (NEW) is still just below $190, and they can take a lickin and keep on tick'n.


In 2001, I wrote about this unique T.I. CB, and wondered if anyone had ever seen or owned one. I never got a reply from someone who did. So:

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, the Calculator/IC manufacturer was supposed to introduce a new CB in the late 70's (1977/78), model number SM-172/mobile SM-173/Base. This was a unique radio: Remote mount with all the controls in the mike-head. "Hey" you exclaim, "There's nothing unique about that". This is true my friends, but this is the only one I know of that was AM AND SSB! The other interesting feature was the "Auto-Tune" clarifier. TI said that it would auto tune your SSB signals for you and maybe that's why I don't recall seeing more than just a picture of one (How in the world would is determine which SSB signal you wanted clarified?). If you remember those first handheld TI calculators with the little red LED display then you recognise the "look" of this am-ssb-in-the-mike rig. If anyone actually OWNS one, send me an e-mail with some photo's and your comments!


Saturday, July 04, 2009


Here we are celebrating another July 4th, and yes, there is some DX out there. It's a great time to get together with family and friends, whether they be in person or via a nice QSO, and it's times like these that are often good for reflecting on the past, present, and future. It doesn't seem that long ago when I was perched on a rock near the Atlantic ocean back in New England and my Dad was taking a picture of me. Being the sullen, sulky teenager that I was, it was mandatory that I did not smile (by-laws of Sullen Teens, section iv, article V, paragraph 13), or appear to be enjoying the event. I was a master at this by the time this picture was taken of me. If I had to come up with what might have been in my head at that time, I can only think it was "When can I get back to my radio".

Ugh....what terrible things I put on my feet as well. Yeah, I still cringe at the photo of me and I'm sure we all have photos that we'd like to have buried away in some box, never to see the light of day again. But it's always good to revisit those pictures and see just how far you've come from those goofy/awkward teenage years (or, if you happen to be reading this while in your goofy awkward teenage years, keep that photo in mind the next time someone yells "SMILE FOR THE CAMERA").

But today we traveled up to Spring Texas to spend the afternoon with my Dad ("Have stints will travel"), enjoyed a nice lunch out, and returned to his house where his outdoor temperature sensor read 106.3 (ed. - this being at around 4:30p.m. AND in the shade). My Dad enjoyed the visit and told us several nostalgic stories from his olden days, and we finally left somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 - still in sweltering heat of 100-102 degrees. Needless to say, it was HOT.

I got a few surprise emails; one from Charlie Zafonte (ed. - who wrote many great articles for my CB Gazette) and he has risen from the flames of his collection lost in the rubble of a burned out house to finally get back on-the-air. It was good to get something from Charlie, who was my over-the-phone broker for used and collectible CB's pre-Ebay. Without his help, I would not have been able to collect some of my early radios. Sure, he made a profit from it, but it wasn't any worse than what Ebay does to us, and, if something wasn't quite right when you got the equipment, all it took was a quick phone call to get things straightened out (a quick PHONE CALL - try that with Ebay). It's always good to hear from Charlie Z.


The other email I received was from one of Don Stoner's sons who said he enjoyed my "Stoner" pages on my website. It was very nice, and one of the best compliments I could have received. Donald L. Stoner's contributions to Ham radio, CB Radio, and world communications are the kinda stuff legends are made of. While I'm not doing anything that will be remembered for years to come, it's the least I can do to educate others who are taking for granted the very things Don Stoner helped make better for all of us (ed. - I'll be updating my "Stoner Section" so if you have any stories you'd like to tell about Don, let me know - I'd be happy to add them to the site). Seriously - someone needs to write Don's biography and get it published and put up on the ARRL site....

Stoner's "SPOOT-NIK"

Yes, I got to reflecting on where I had been, and where I was at, the collection I was losing, and realized the simple truth of the matter:

"It's not what you own, it's who you're with, that matters......"

(or, in other words)

"I only need one rig to talk on, and it sure is nice to wake up happy every day of the week."

"May your DX drift this way sometime in the near future"




Thursday, July 02, 2009



The problem with uneducated sellers is that they don't really know what they're doing. They may advertise a radio as working, when in actuality it was never tested (ed. - go figure). When buying equipment from an estate they may sell the factory matched desk microphone weeks before the sale of the transceiver, leaving the potential buyer in the precarious position of buying an untested transceiver and getting a microphone that may or may not be appropriate for that rig, with the soothing words of "Well, the connector fits......".

If I've seen it once, I've seen it a hundred times (or more). Why the seller doesn't just come right out an say "I don't know anything about this equipment, so it's as-is", is beyond me. It would at the least, be honest. Then the buyer can make a decision that is based on the truth of the seller, and his own desire for the rig, thus leaving the buyer blameless.

Unfortunately we live in the real world, and a seller's greed overrides the truth. There is a Buyer's responsibility as well however (ed. - when entering into a buy/sell agreement it is a two-way street), and the buyer has to ask some hard questions like:

  • How do you know that it works? Have you tested it on receive and transmit?

  • If so, what was the output on AM and/or Sideband? (you can have a transceiver that works on one mode only, while the other mode is defective)

  • If the microphone supplied has the same connector, is it wired for that radio? (many radios will not even receive audio unless a properly wired microphone is plugged in)

  • If it isn't wired for that radio, how could you have tested it in the first place? (some seller's consider it working if it turns "on")

  • Does it come with a power cord? (if not, see above)

  • Does it have a manual?

  • Does it come from a non-smoking home, or, does it smell like smoke? (cigarette smoke. Not the "Oh-my-God-something-just-fried" smoke)

  • Does it have all the screws in place?

  • Do all the tubes (if a tube model) light up?

  • Did the buyer turn the various potentiometers, and if so, where any "scratchy"?

  • If the rig is a mobile, does it come with the mounting bracket?

  • If it has a shiny chrome case, are there many, if any scratches?

And I'm sure there are some other questions I missed, but you get the idea, just because it looks good doesn't mean it is good. I know that when I test a rig I like to leave it "on" for several days just to see if anything turns up after a period of time. A quick power on/power off doesn't say much.


Mobiles are even harder. If a seller states that they don't know anything about this type of equipment (they just bought it at an estate sale) and yet claims it is working, I often wonder: "Did they really hook this mobile up to a car battery or power supply to test this?"

If you asked just half of those questions you're doing good, but many buyer's are timid and afraid to ask any questions - instead, they settle for taking the word of the person selling the item, and that my friends, can be risky.....