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COBRA 148 GTL Review

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  #41  
Old 11-24-2011, 07:39 PM
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Default Tried to pull a fast one!


I am glad to hear the "bad" news on the new 148 for me personally. I just got back into C.B. two months ago and with out checking whats going on these days I bought on eBay a new Cobra 148GTL for a total of $70.00 with the front mic jack etc.as the photo showed, this was the new version of the radio I used back in the eighties for my base and it had made an impression on me that lasted to this day. Well when the package arrived I was surprised that they were still using the same Cobra box "orange & white"exactly like I had remembered mine back in the late eighties. Well I soon realized that this was not new but was from around 1990 still in the box and for some reason I was disappointed and felt swindled and contacted the sellers who were trying to pull a fast one by using eBay's stock photo and the specs. on the new 148. What had gotten my attention immediately was the side mount mic and there eBay photo of a front mount mic anyway they had a "no return" policy well needless to say after I got done with them they not only were going to refund my money but also my shipping. Just for the hell of it I hooked it up and soon couldn't part with it and I have since found out I am better off with what I have. Whats funny about what the eBay sellers did in there trying to pull a fast one is if they would have been honest in there advertising they would have gotten twice the amount than what I paid.

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  #42  
Old 06-02-2013, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb View Post
In my first post of this review for the Cobra 148 GTL, I said that it wasn't up to the competition of other SSB radios in its class. After careful re-alignment of the radio and re-considering this situation, I would have to say that it is just as competative than the other radios in its class.

Maybe moreso; as it is far more stable on SSB than a Galaxy 959 or a Ranger TR-696 Freedom 1. At least, the 148 GTL non-NW/ST version has proven to be quite stable. The NW/ST version is another can of worms. But this 148 GTL after alignment, receive mod, and clarifier unlock has become a very satisfactory radio. I would recommend it.

Seems that a couple of locals want to buy it from me; but I have resisted because it is a keeper. Unlocking the clarifier and completely re-aligning made all of the difference - IMO.

If it sounds like I am eating some crow about my previous conclusions, you would be right . . .


Eating Crow . . . . It's whats for dinner . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb View Post
CB World Informer December 1996 Issue, Midland 79-290 Review.

Excerpt from that page:
The following will unlock and keep the standard clarifier range:
Remove D58
Follow the wire (white or green) from R44 and remove the other end from the PC board and connect it constant +8 volts (IC4 pin 3).


I like this method because it keeps VR5 active so that the TX frequency can be adjusted. Pulling D52 - as the other mod on this thread suggests - makes VR5 inactive. And if the radio is off TX freq - probably - you are in a world of hurt. You need VR5 if you want the radio to be dialed in with your frequency counter for alignment purposes.

I use the method - on that page/link I provided - that does't extend the slide range - and doesn't clip D52.
As it also makes it much easier to clarify since it will slide only ~2kc's either way.


First, lift just one leg of D58 off of the board; it is near the squelch VR near the front of the radio.

Next, there will be a wire near R44 - that also goes to a point near that squelch VR.

Lastly, unsolder that same wire - from the point near that squelch VR - and route it to C84 "+" side (IC4 pin 3).
OR to the "+" side of the 8v regulator - either way is fine.
That should check on your voltmeter as being +8v from the voltage regulator.
CHECK IT FIRST!
This source gets solid +8v in TX and RX; that is necessary.
Then, center the clarifier knob and then re-align the VCO.
Done.
(not responsible for work done wrong)

I've gotten a couple of used 148's and GrantXL's that had the 'D52 clipped'/method from locals or a hamfest that needed their radios aligned. I then reversed their work and did it by the method above. It aligns correctly when VR5 is working as it should.


I did unlock this reviewed Cobra 148GTL - BTW.
I also aligned it and put in four Shottky 1N6263 diodes (D1, D2, D21, D22) and two Sanyo 2sc2999e's (one for AM and the other for SSB - TR14 and TR19).
This radio could NOT have been aligned as I requested for this review. It was waaay off, even before unlocking the clarifier. The net result after a full alignment was favorable; it really got great reports. Got 4-12 PEP on AM and almost 17 watts PEP on SSB.


Here is another thing that can be done for the 148 - that I have not seen anywhere on the 'net . . .

The first step in aligning the Cobra 148/GrantXL is to check pin 8 on the PLL chip for 10.240000mhz +/- 20hz. Chances are, it will be off - even if it is new. What to do? Remove C85/10pf next to the 10.240mhz crystal, and install a 3-18pf variable capacitor. Either on top of the board or underneath the board - whichever is easiest and more convenient for you to do. Now you can adjust pin 8 of the PLL to exactly 10.240000mhz +/- 20hz! Also works on the 142 and probably other Cobra radios that use the 8719 PLL chip. Works great. Either you get a new 10.240mhz crystal for ~$6; or you can spend $.40 for an adjustable capacitor. Even new crystals aren't exact - BTW. So it is worth the time and effort for this simple and cheap mod. I've done it to all of my 148's and XL's . . .
Robb,

Thanks for taking the time to do this review and to follow up with these modifications. I will be trying this myself on a 148 and if it works well will probably do it again for a friend who is just getting into radio.

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  #43  
Old 06-02-2013, 04:30 PM
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I'll keep my 80's Uniden Grant

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  #44  
Old 06-02-2013, 05:00 PM
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No doubt because it does sound like a situation where "they don't make em like they used to." At least it sounds like now, if you don't have one of the old good ones, there is at least a path to get close.

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  #45  
Old 07-23-2013, 01:50 PM
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i traded my general ap hill... for a cobra 148 i love it got at A-1 cb shop in ky
i was talking to the guy for 9 miles then lost him
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  #46  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:37 PM
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The new 148 gtls are a shit box radio............

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  #47  
Old 07-24-2013, 05:54 AM
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the one i have is a cobra 148 nw st made in china
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  #48  
Old 11-12-2013, 05:04 AM
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Thanks for the review Rob..was thinking of getting one but I will pass,,maybe with a slew of upgrades it would be a little better,,I would almost buy it just for the smooth dual conversion RX as long as it was just like its older counterpart.I don't talk much on SSB anyway.

577-Jersey

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