Friday, 17 May 2013

CB Days part2


The following year, 1979, was an exciting year for me. It started off with a few of us starting a cb radio club, and quickly grew to include most of us school mates and other teenagers from the area. We had meetings and organized get togethers, and almost nightly nets. A few years later it disbanded, as we all went seperate ways.
I purchased my first SSB rig later that year, a second hand but not very old Xtal XSSB 10-18. It was the RB-249 Australian approved 18 channel version of the 23 channel from the USA. While it didn't have a very good reputation at the time, and had very basic features, I found it a great little radio which performed excellently. Like the Fanon Fanfare182, the Xtal had the Aussie 18 with the corresponding US channels on the dial. It cost me $70, which was less than half of the new price in '79. The radio was probably the most compact SSB mobile of it's time, which I would say led to it's poor reputation, bigger obviously meant better back then. I also upgraded my antenna to a 5/8 ground plane from Tandy, and added a cheap desk microphone, a Vicom VM2. This new set up opened a new world and I made many DX contacts on SSB, and started collecting QSL cards. We had our own club printed cards to send, and a club PO Box. Sad to say, all my old cards were lost over the years. It served me very well the Xtal and never had a problem with it.
Mick 361.


  1. Nicely done mate. The lack of channel "foresight" that our government showed back then beggers belief. Did they want to keep us in the dark ages? Jeez, you would've been popular back then : 5/8,desk mic and qsl cards! In 1980 i had a 23 channel AM (stock mic) and a boot mount 1/4 wave mounted to the house gutter. Great series, keep em coming please!

  2. Thank you. The desk mic didn't have great amplification, had to speak up close to be heard, but easier for the base set up. It was bottom end of the market and second hand, but did the job. 18 channels was a joke, but the government wanted to put it's stamp on cb radio and have control, so that's what they gave us. 40 channels was available in 1977 and should have been adopted when legalised here.