Older CB radios

Discussion in 'CB Radio Forum' started by Vampire, May 2, 2022.

  1. Timin770

    Timin770 Road Train Member

    May 27, 2011
    Canton, GA
    What's the difference between 123A and 123B? I see both on eBay
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  3. Banker

    Banker Road Train Member

    Aug 19, 2012
    A friend of mine runs a 1970’s era Realistic like the one in the picture that someone practically gave him. He had new big radios stolen from company trucks in the past, so he thought he would try a different route. His is peaked and tuned and if you hear him talk you think he is talking on an expensive radio. Now instead of a CB thief breaking in to his rig and taking the radio they feel sorry for him and leave a $20 on the dash. His antenna is mounted and grounded properly and this is a big part of strong CB’s. 5E2E7197-B6B4-4D6C-8C2F-15C76F960E66.png
  4. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Road Train Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    The 123A has a black or dark gray face. The 123B has a black and silver face. Plus it has a switch on the back of the radio that lets you choose negative or positive ground. My favorite as far as looks was the 123A. Of course years ago as a teenager, I thought they were an ugly radio compared to all the other brands of cb radios available back then. But it wasn't until I worked for a custom harvest crew that used them, it was then I couldn't believe how great such a simple looking radio worked. I believe these 123 radios cost around $160 in the 70's. I remember drooling over the little tv guide like radio magazines, 20220516_150835.jpg that would arrive in the mail. Ah the good old days. Lol.
  5. Central_Scrutinizer

    Central_Scrutinizer Light Load Member

    Aug 30, 2019
    For sure I would use an old 23CH unit for the road.

    A 5-channel Johnson 'Messenger I' like this one was installed in my old van for a while in the late 70s. Mine has crystals for CH 9 and 19 and a couple others I forget which now. These are actually pretty decent rigs. It's been sitting on a shelf in the workshop for over 30 years now. Kinda glad I never got rid of it. Sometimes I think about using it as a dedicated channel 19 base rig. I'm located close to 4 truck stops.

    Despite its simple circuits, it seemed to perform comparably with more modern CBs at the time. One catalog from 1971 says "JOHNSON MESSENGER I is a 10-tube 5-channel CB transceiver for AC or DC. Built-in noise limiter. This unit is known for its penetrating signal and faithful voice reproduction. Rugged over-powered quality components are used throughout."

    It's a real battery hog. Mine is the 6 Volt unit instead of the 12 Volt, so it takes about 10-12 Amps to run it. Using an inverter it can be run on 110V so that means only 6 Amps from a 12 Volt system. A trick some people did to increase the power beyond 5 Watts was to change or bypass a resistor in the power supply. I got my doubts whether the modulator has enough reserve power to do a good job when the resistor's jumped. Screwdriver jockeys have been hacking up radios since day one.

    Like the Messenger 123 in the previous post, no one ever tried to steal it, but today thieves are so low they'd break a window to get at an ashtray full of cigarette butts.

    the manual's here for those who like to peruse nostalgic tech

    Bunch of them online to look at. Not pushing it, just one of my favorite old units
    E F Johnson Messenger One white face - Google Search
    viking messenger: Search Result | eBay
  6. '88K100

    '88K100 Heavy Load Member

    Aug 23, 2020
    Some of the ancient radios would no doubt be problematic.
    I have a Realistic TRC 427 in my tractor..its gotta be pushing 40 years.. I paid $14 on eBay some years ago.
  7. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

    Sep 16, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Those were pretty capable radios. Look inside, you should find the board has Uniden printed right on it.
  8. traingrapes

    traingrapes Bobtail Member

    Apr 10, 2020
    Picked up an older Uniden 520XL on eBay for $20 a few years ago and the thing works better than half my friends cheap-o ones from the truckstop.
  9. marmonman

    marmonman Road Train Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    central illinois
    I am running a 40 channel midland that I bought new in 1978 . Its been in every truck I have ran since 81 .
  10. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Road Train Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    I've never owned one, but I've heard that for a small CB radio they work very well.
  11. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Road Train Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    My first mobile CB radio in the 70's was a Midland also, it worked great, no issues. The fact that your still using your Midland CB today, speaks volume of the quality of the radios from years ago.
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