It is my long held intention to become a licensed radio amateur, but with limited spare time over the last few years I simply haven’t got around to it. I have the necessary technical knowledge but don’t have the practical experience. I have dabbled with PMR-446 transceivers but they don’t allow many ‘legal’ experimental opportunities.
So when my family asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said “You can buy me a CB Radio” and they did!
It is a Midland 78 Plus Multi it has the legal 40UK/40EU channels, plus it can be set to European and North American frequency bands.
It isn’t the first CB Radio I’ve used, back in the early 80s when I was at school I managed to blag the use of the a friends set up with a small magmount antenna on a biscuit tin joined in the new craze! My handle was Morroco Mole 😉
I am experimenting with the set up at the moment, powering it from a modified PC supply which is giving out a nice stable output a little over 12V. I have constructed an inverted-vee antenna out of some spare cable. It is currently in the middle of the back lawn, the central mast is only around four meters high and the elements are set approximately 45 degrees to the vertical. It has an ‘ugly’ air choke and using a £10 SWR meter I’ve tuned it and the worst ratio I get is a little over 1:1.5.
It all seems to work but at the moment I don’t seem to have anyone to talk to on either the UK or the EU/CEPT channels. I’ve heard the odd transmission on some channels but they have been from nearby Mansfield and Nottingham.
I have monitored CB frequencies before with my scanner with limited success and was hoping for better with a proper CB radio. It is still early days but I think I may need to rethink my antenna until I get around to getting my mast sorted. I might have to stick the inverted-vee in the loft.
I was tinkering on Sunday afternoon and I switched the radio over to AM just as some more “Superbowl” skip came in, they really are amazing to listen to!