Sunday, October 13, 2019



As you know, I just recently compared a Uniden 980 with the President McKinley, and the McKinley
won hands down in several categories, categories that mattered to me and most importantly - screen visibility in the vehicle during daylight hours. I pulled the 980 out from the car as soon as the comparisons were over. Even at night I found that the 980's screen was slightly difficult to view unless it was right there in front me. Viewing from either side angle was not favorable.

Enter the President Grant II "Premium" CB transceiver.  The Grant II came out about 6 years ago and was replaced with the Grant II "Premium" in 2015. Unless someone buys one for you overseas, or, you buy one yourself and have it shipped to the U.S. you won't be able to get one. In fact I believe that the Premium model has recently been discontinued in lieu of a President McKinley EU model (many more frequencies). A quick glance and you might think you were looking at a Uniden 980, but soon enough it's easy to pick either one by the bezel. The 980 has a shiny
chrome bezel that while looking sharp, the chrome area is a magnet for fingerprints and smudges and the Grant II doesn't. I prefer the mat finish of the Grant II Premium.

The Amber background is most pleasing to my eyes, but you also have the option to select GREEN. I guess I should have mentioned in the beginning the reason why this is called the "Premium". Well, the Premium version has a larger sized filter manufactured by Murata, and it's purpose to help your adjacent channel rejection fight off strong signals on channels other than the one you're talking on. Because I live in a RF "Dead Zone" as well as poor band conditions, I didn't really have an opportunity to see if there is any noticeable change in reception, and my noise level / reception was the same as either of the other two radios.

Comparing each radios footprint, the 980 and Grant II are identical, with the exception being the Grant II has a large heatsink. The transceiver itself is your typical 4watt/12watt SSB output so I'm not sure that it really needs one. As you would expect, the McKinley depth is much shorter than either of the other two.

With the McKinley's smaller footprint and front firing speaker it would be the easy choice when you're tight on space. All three models are very light weight compared to older rigs like a Cobra 148 or Uniden Grant.

The Grant II Premium is a fun rig to play around with but is it worth spending $300 or more for it? No. I wish the Premium model offered features similar to the McKinley like Auto-SWR, and NOAA reception. It would also had been nice if the design had been reworked with a front firing speaker too. The Premium is the only one to have FM, but that's not a mode I would every imagine using in the US anyway. Once the export mod is done you get a choice of bands similar to any export radio including the UK CB band.

All 3 transceivers had good transmit audio. I used my Turner Road King 70 on each model. They all had "okay" noise blanking ability, and I found the Hi-Cut feature (used in the Premium and McKinley) to be very useful fighting noise as well. To say that either of their noise blanker's worked as well as the classic 138GTL or original Uniden Grant would be a falsehood. While I'm wishing for other features, I wish that one day you could change the display from channel number to frequency ONLY via a menu function.

Once again, I'd prefer to have a McKinley in the car. It's backlit screen just edged out the Premium for readability in daylight hours. I would have preferred some Sunspot activity to see how each radio compared against the other but I'm afraid we're many months away from that happening. A detailed review of the Grant II can be found via CB Radio magazine as well as various YouTube channels.

If you've noticed, lately I've been posting some audio clips on this blog for your enjoyment (right-side). The most recent upload is another classic "Clark" clip about a High School science experiment gone horribly wrong in "the Lightning bolt from the butt "story. If you haven't noticed, well, now you know. I rotate these clips with others from time to time.



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