This is the Midland model 13-898. A top of the line 23 channel SSB/AM base station, which replaced the earlier model 13-885. This model features a twin meter which showed received signal, relative transmit power, and SWR. Also included, was a handsome wood grained case with a more functional clock with alarm and turn on functions. These things, along with the expected usual functions of Volume, Squelch, R.F. Gain, Clarifier, Mode Selection, and SWR calibrate, round out the list of external user features. This design showcased Midland's new relationship with the Cybernet company of Japan, and was one of several radio models manufactured for Midland by Cybernet.
There were two versions of this radio made during the mid 70's. The original 13-898 and the 13-898 "B" model. The "B" model came out when the FCC revised their rules to allow radios to be rated by output, rather than input power, and included the related increases in both SSB and AM power. While cosmetically, they looked identical, inside the radio, there were more obvious differences in circuitry. The "B" model wasn't just the "A" model re-peaked for more power. I've never worked on the older model, but there were a few '898 "B's" floating around. The first one I got my hands on was originally owned by Blue Bandit. He had just sold his 13-885 to Channel Master, and wanted a new base radio, and the 898 was not his first choice, but it was available for a good price from his distributor. After hooking up the '898 though, a few things became obvious. The first was that it lacked the modulation "punch" that the '885 had. The adjacent channel rejection was not much (if any) better. It also had an annoying "chirp" sound when the relay unkeyed, which was amplified when using an external speaker. Needless to say, Blue Bandit didn't keep the radio long, and it eventually ended up in Dead Soldier's hands. While in Dead Soldier's hands, the radio saw a good bit of use, including usage as the base radio during our Explorer Road Rally. Dead Soldier eventually sold the radio to Tiger Shark. I recently horse traded with another local for one of these to add to the vintage radio collection. After some time playing with it, I have to admit, it's growing on me. It has a fairly smooth squelch action, which is not all that common on solid state radios. I like the twin meters, and transmit audio is farily good.
Performance wise, this radio was about a 5 on the scale of 1 to 10. It wasn't especially great at anything, but it did work fairly well for what it was.