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Sunday 7 June 2020

Handheld CB discussion

I came across a video on UK CB Radio Servicing on YouTube in which Richard G0OJF has a go at servicing a PNI Escort HP62, which as I have worked out is the same radio as the Moonraker Major 42 which also from what I am to believe shares internals with the new "digital squelch" version of the Midland Alan 42, Richard also worked out that the circuit is designed to run off 12 volts rather than 13.8 volts, I wondered if the older Midland 42 Multi, which I own, was OK at that voltage, it is, then I did some digging with my Intek H-520 Plus car kit and concluded that the radio is designed for 9V as it is regulated down in the Intek car kit, whereas the Midland Alan 42 Multi car kit is straight through with no regulation.

The Moonraker variant is the cheapest handheld on the market today, it joins its Midland and PNI cousins on the Moonraker website (they're all fundamentally the same radio), other options out there are the K-Po Panther (which is really a President Randy II and uses a TNC antenna rather than a BNC one and has also been featured on a video by Richard G0OJF), and just recently appeared to market is the TTI TCB-H100 which has a roger bleep and echo facility onboard, as well as a drop-in charger as standard which to my knowledge no handheld marketed previously had one as standard and only the Randy II/K-Po Panther/Lafayette Urano had one as an optional extra, the Intek H-520 and 512 had the contacts for one but one was not made or marketed.

Having owned the Alan 42 Multi for some years (and my XYL liking that radio too) I am keen to see how the Moonraker Major 42 and the PNI Escort HP62 fair, the latter radio is solely the car kit and battery boxes and a BNC antenna are optional, it's also supplied with the Extra 48 antenna of which I already have one, the Moonraker handheld meanwhile comes with at least one battery box and the car adaptor is optional.

Though handheld CBs generally lack in performance due to their compromise antennas, though the longer Albrecht CL27 antennas are available and I have proven that antenna is a good option on YouTube, they can be very handy for communications in a similar manner to PMR446, you have flexibility of all 80 legal channels, I do still advocate their use but to do anything realistic with them a longer antenna is always better, modern ones also don't eat batteries as much as their older counterparts and can be put into low power anyway to save battery power if you don't need a full 4 watts (and some, like the Intek H-520 plus, refuse to even key up at full power when the batteries are at a certain level).

Moonraker do sell 5 PNI CB radio products including the Escort HP62, which I will cover another day, I also hope, finances pending, to be able to take a look at the Major 42 and see how it fairs against a distant cousin by Midland, and also hopefully take a look at some more PNI offerings because they're so affordable it makes sense not to promote these radios to those looking to start out in CB.

Again I hope to discuss this on my YouTube channel though I've not decided if I should do it as a live stream or a regular filmed video, but keep an eye on the channel.

73 de M0WNU/26CT730

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