1. In celebration of the launch of the new redesigned site, we just gave away a FREE antenna! Click Here to See Who Won!

New CB Product Reviews Coming Soon...

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by Robb, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Robb

    Robb Yup

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    7,989
    Likes Received:
    946
    Hi y'all:

    I will have some CB items coming up for review in the coming weeks and months. I'm a little tight-lipped about some of these items and brands that are going to be reviewed at this time. But I will let you know what is coming up when I get assurances from the manufacturer that the product is on the way. So you will just have to stay tuned! In the mean time, if anyone has any suggestions as to what they would like to see in particular, just leave your suggestions after this post.



    I can tell you that I did have a great conversation with Sam Lewis of RF Limited a few days ago. We had a long chat and discussed his company's product line and history. I learned a lot about the radio industry from a man that had a pivotal role in shaping radio consumer electronics in that short span of time that we talked. Both Sam Lewis and his father were the owners of Palomar Electronics Corporation; a name that I trust that most of you know all too well. Most people associate Sam with the original manufacturers of the legendary Ranger AR-3300 and AR-3500 radios. That is true. The AR-3500 is much like the tip of an iceberg compared to what he has done since.

    Among the may products RF Limited makes today are the Magnum radio series, the Power Band RFX-75 add-on amplifiers, 2018 Xtreme & TurboEcho mics, and the EKL line of transistors. To name but a few items they produce that we are all well acquainted with on the WWRF. I'm not going to say if I am going to review all all of the products they have; you will have to wait and see. If I was to review another product of theirs; which would you like to see?
    Another radio - or?

    An exclusive...
    The first radio that I will be reviewing for the first time anywhere online will be the Magnum OmegaForce S45 "HP" 10 meter radio. Not many shops even have it on the shelf yet, but Sam is allowing me to take a careful peek at this unique radio. The article will have many pictures and details of this radio that Sam referred to as an 'evolutionary'. Indeed, as the original Clear Channel Corporation set the new standard with the Ranger AR-3500 -which we all know was a radio that was well ahead of its time.

    Be seeing you...
    #1
  2. #2
  3. Highlander_821

    Highlander_821 Amour d'Ecosse

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    14
    So they are coming out with a mosfet version of the Omega? That sounds kinda cool. I wish Magnum would find a way to tighten up the RX in their radios a little. It would give them a technical edge over the competition that all the gimmicks like echo and talkback will never do....

    All these exports can be made to TX well---the real question is do you want toys or do you want to be able to hear people better and get more QSOs by having a better RX? So far, the market seems to think the former, while I think that in this age of forums and a more educated, discerning customer, radio buyers would prefer the latter.
    #3
  4. Robb

    Robb Yup

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    7,989
    Likes Received:
    946
    As far as my approach to the reviews? I will be investigating the standard features, materials, workmanship, innovations, and effectiveness of any one 'item/unit' by itself - and comparing it to similar items in its class. I consider myself a pretty tough customer when it comes to picking and using audio related gear. I have a background in audio engineering/recording; so my tastes and expectations are pretty high. The overall standards in the recording industry are high and exacting. But there is just no way I can/will compare a $4k Neumann studio condenser mic to a $100 Astatic D-104. Using a George Bush Sr voice - I would say: "It just wouldn't be prudent"...

    As far as the equipment to test all of this gear, that won't be at the core of the reviews. The manufacturers are providing items that are waiting to pass inspection and scrutiny after their own techs checked it out. In a sense, they will be giving me their best shot. I will explore what features are present and just how well they fair against their advertised claims. I will use a Dosy meter to verify relative power and modulation claims when applicable. Will they measure up? Well, that is the nature of reviews...

    The mfrs demand and expect my complete honesty for their product. They change and improve on their products by honest criticisms from the end user. So I will neither let the readers suffer a poor product or allow the mfr in believing the have a winner if it is marginal or a looser. It does the mfr nor the customer any good - does it? Wasting time and materials is frankly - a waste! I really don't expect to find any real losers; as the items in question will be judged against its peers. But that remains to be seen - right?

    I feel that I have some pretty decent items coming your way for review. Most of what I will be testing at my end will also be judged by reliable radio operators in my area that I know and trust. These guys know radio; and there will be two to act as witnesses for verification of products. After all; whatever you transmit is ultimately heard by others - not you.

    BootyMon - Thanks for those questions and the chance to explain the means by which these upcoming reviews will be written.
    #4
  5. Wire Weasel

    Wire Weasel Senior Moment

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,449
    Likes Received:
    131
    I was generally very impressed with the great capabilities of the S45 and it worked very well as a base unit.

    Mobile was a complete bust for me. Have a '95 GMC 1500 truck. The S45's microprocessor picked up some kind of electronic signals from my vehicle and it would start changing channels and other things by itself. I've had numerous other microprocessor controlled radios in the same vehicle, and still do, and mounted in the same place, with the same wiring, and not have this trouble. Maybe the S45's microprocessor needs more shielding or something.

    Also I did not like navigating through the bands in banks and switching back and forth from a Frequency Display or a Channel Number readout. I would prefer a straight-through VFO type arrangement.

    Otherwise they are A OK rigs for a good price.
    #5
  6. "The manufacturers are providing items that are waiting to pass inspection and scrutiny after their own techs checked it out."

    id prefer off the shelf items with no special inspection or scrutiny , like folks that buy them will actually be getting .
    but i do appreciate your efforts and look forward to your reviews .
    #6
  7. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
    6,715
    Likes Received:
    362
    I'm the happiest man in the world knowing the S-3 is no longer in production
    #7
  8. Robb

    Robb Yup

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    7,989
    Likes Received:
    946
    Highlander: I agree that TX and RX performance should go hand-in-hand. My experience with my Galaxy 99v and my OmegaForce (non "HP") tells me that their receive performance is fairly matched to TX. May not have true with earlier units. The non HP Magnum's have been equipped with ERF 2030's since the blue LCD's were in production. Mine was modified by Clay's Radio and uses three ERF 2030's. One of three ERF 2030's is in the driver stage.

    BootyMon: As all radios are generally 'tuned' by the shop that one might purchase new, I just thought it would be fair to do it the way they feel was done most correctly. After all; at least it will be a reasonable assumption that the mfr can give their customers an honest expectation of what they are buying. I doubt very much that Chris Holland - RF Limited's chief tech - would make it into a bomb that will blow up due to tuning the output so high as to cause it failure while under review.

    Wire Weasel: I will surely pass the word to Chris Holland and Sam Lewis that you had this problem with that radio. I'm sure they will look into it if they aren't already aware of it. Sam confided with me during our conversation that the OmegaForce is better suited for a base station application as well. Since truckers are the ones that buy most of the mobile radios they sell, the primary use they have for any radio is AM mode - not SSB units. When the radio arrives I will also test it for mobile use and see if your claim is consistent with my findings - to be fair.

    mackmobile34: ??? Would appreciate why you said this. Getting any splatter from truckers on 6m?
    #8
  9. undertaker

    undertaker Undertaker

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    75
    #9
  10. packrat

    packrat Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    13
    I would have to agree that getting a radio from the manufacturer when they know where it is going would likely be a mistake. They will make sure that one is 100+%. All manufacturers do that. Cars, boats, etc. are built using the best parts and practices special for demo and testing purposes so they are sure to get good reviews. If you were to get one off the shelf, it would not have the extraordinary care put into the construction and tuning that a specially prepped rig would, and therefore provide a more realistic result.

    PR
    #10
  11. Robb

    Robb Yup

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    7,989
    Likes Received:
    946
    Doesn't the shop or internet dealer when one buys a radio from them do the same thing when they tune it up? Of course! One can be sure they will extract every watt possible - regardless of it is full of 1st and 2nd harmonics if requested. But tweaking it that high can speed the process of burning the finals or regulator up. Tuning any radio involves a finite number of adjustment points available for a tech to diddle with. Not all shops will tune a radio to be fully maxxed out; unless the customer specifically requests it.

    RF Limited's Sam Lewis insisted that it would be up to design specs; not peaked to the point of going down in flames. They aren't going to make it a 'special edition' to impress me and fool potential customers. Sam insisted that I be as honest and upright about my personal findings as possible. And I willingly agreed to that. It is fair for the customer, the reviewer, and the mfr to do it just this way. Fair is having the right info to those interested. Not pulling any punches here; it would undermine the entire process...
    #11
  12. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
    6,715
    Likes Received:
    362
    Tell them that idiot they have in Tn. doing warranty work for them should be fired.
    #12
  13. Highlander_821

    Highlander_821 Amour d'Ecosse

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    14
    So are you going to borrow Lon's paintshaker?

    Just kidding, LOL:tongue:
    #13
  14. packrat

    packrat Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    13
    RF Limited's Sam Lewis insisted that it would be up to design specs; not peaked to the point of going down in flames. They aren't going to make it a 'special edition' to impress me and fool potential customers.

    Yeah, and President Obama is going to make your house payments, too.:laugh:

    PR
    #14
  15. Robb

    Robb Yup

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    7,989
    Likes Received:
    946
    Well; then you will to read it and decide for yourself if it was an honest article or if RF Limited was being honest - eh?
    I can tell you that I am going to do it honestly.
    PS - My house is paid off.
    #15


Share This Page