Classic Radio Review                                


This section is a direct result of my current affliction with collecting, restoring, and operating "Classic" CB rigs from days gone by.  I have had a lot of fun, as have a few other locals, pursuing this labor of love. It has also brought back a lot of old memories.

I guess it becomes helpful at this point, to define what is considered a "Classic" or "Vintage" CB radio.  Like in other collector driven hobbies,  there is a loosely defined criteria which determines the item's relative value as a classic, and with CB radios this is no different.  Based on a general consensus among fellow classic collectors, we've come up with 3 basic categories for defining a truly classic rig. Typically, the radios which garnish the most votes for classic status, are those which came to be in the 1960's, and sporting all tube circuitry.  The next category in the classic hierarchy, are radios which have no more than 23 factory equipped channels, which means made before 1977 (When 40 channels became legal). The last class in the classic radio group are those radios which are more than 25 years old. This last group can include some early 40 channel radios as well as pretty much encompassing all of the other classes as well. There is also a special class for those rare radio makes which were a little bit different from the rest, and didn't sell all that many units due to cost, availability, or otherwise.

I am hardly a "Big Gun" collector.  My collection is pretty much limited to about a dozen radios (if that).  I am not interested in owning every single piece of CB radio history.  Rather, my interests are in the rigs that I remembered owning, operating, or just dreaming about, or those of my closest friends when I cut my teeth in CB radio in the 1970's.  So the purpose of this page is to place an example of yesterday's technology into today's radio conditions and to compare relative performance between it and examples of more modern rigs to see how well these old dogs can still bark.  I will be taking candidates from my own collection first, but hopefully I can also coerce some of the other classic radio buffs to send in their comments as well.  The reviews will be gauged in three ways.  First will be a checkout on the test bench where the radio will be put on the test equipment and measurements taken.  The second test will involve subjective opinions of both myself on the receive end, and from others on the transmit quality.  The last test will be strictly a personal "fun" or "satisfaction" test, where I (admittedly very subjectively) rate the attractiveness toward running each particular radio based on nothing more than feeling.

So enough of the introductions.  Here are the candidates:

Hy-Gain 623         royce640.jpg (94607 bytes) Royce 640

SBE Trinidad        Tram D201

  Midland 13-885


Reviews by Spitfire, 441:

cr123b.jpg (38224 bytes) Regency CR-123B     psb23.jpg (35585 bytes) Pierce Simpson Bearcat

cr142.jpg (32756 bytes) Regency CR-142       imperial1.jpg (55779 bytes) Regency Imperial

cam88.jpg (33423 bytes) Cobra CAM 88         hb400.jpg (65689 bytes) Lafayette HB-400

cobra98.jpg (6572 bytes) Cobra 98