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chinese made cobra cb radios?

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by bratboy, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. bratboy

    bratboy New Member

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    Hey everybody, I've got a pretty basic question I hope you can help me out with. I've never had a CB and I'm looking to get one. I found a few local units, Cobra 29 and 148. Both are nightwatch. For some reason I really like the nightwatch feature! Anyway all the Cobra radios I find are made in China. I keep reading how China made crappy units. Should I steer clear? I would like to get a sideband radio with nightwatch that is good quality that I can modify. I know some people say more output power is pointless and if you're going to do it get a linear amplifier, but I like the thought of modifying for a little extra output. I've built electronic kits in the past. Anybody have any suggestions on a cobra or other radio, and should I steer clear from chinese-made radios? Thank you everyone I really appreciate it


     
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  2. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    Hate to break this to you, but the vendor that Cobra hired to make the Nightwatch series of models has a poor build-quality record.

    In our experience they just break more often than Cobra radios from their other vendors.

    Cobra is a brand name only. They hire low bidders to build the products they sell. Some are better than others.

    73
     
  3. 9C1Driver

    9C1Driver Sr. Member

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    If you really like the night watch feature look for an older Uniden Grant LT if you can find a clean one at a decent price. It would be best to have a good tech go through the radio as well. Some of the best "Cobra" radios ever made were actually built by Uniden.
     
  4. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Welcome bratboy, the Chinese cobras still work good enough if you want something to tinker with. If you accidentally mess it up, not a lot of money lost. Cobra had the refurbished 29 on their eBay page a while back for $70 and I bought one to give to a local. They are out now, but I should have gotten a few more just to have. There are a few mods that can be done to the 29 depending on what you are looking for. Do a search here and I am sure you will come up with a few threads on the 29.
    Chris
     
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  5. bratboy

    bratboy New Member

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    Do you suggest 29 or 148?
     
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  6. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    If you want big audio, go with the 29. On the 148, the mods that make the am audio big will also make the side band unusuable.
     
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  7. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    It's funny Corba's HQ is just a few miles from me, I have driven past it a few times. It's a fairly small place and its located in a residential area. As has been said Cobra is a name only, they farm out to the lowest bidder and even within a product run there can be several different builders .
     
  8. Tokin

    Tokin 42Zero Tampa

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    Depends on if you will be using only am or am and sideband. Personally i run both for my base station. I like the 29 for am and 148 or 2995 for ssb.
    Start out with a 29 and when you get tired of trying to tune in the noise you hear on ch38 with no luck buy a 148 and discover sideband.
     
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  9. kaos513

    kaos513 Sr. Member

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    To be honest If you want a CB radio get a new radio from manufacture since your new to the CB world .
     
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  10. 9C1Driver

    9C1Driver Sr. Member

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    A new Galaxy 979 or Uniden 980 would be decent.
     
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  11. Slowmover

    Slowmover Sr. Member

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    Either of which one is always pleased to own (and to keep as backups should yet another be purchased). I’ve both and am happy with each.

    An RM ITALY KL-203 behind them, is magic enough.

    The Radio isn’t the heart of the rig. The Antenna System deserves central place. Many radios can be plugged in (is the way to look at it).

    Whatever gets you on the air in that component slot.

    AM/SSB-capable is my recommendation over AM-only.

    .
     
    #11 Slowmover, Aug 20, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
  12. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

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    Hi and Welcome to WWDX Forums!

    To put it in simple terms, keep it simple if you're new to radio - but expect some hiccups along the way...

    SSB with Nitewatch? Hmm. Let me know what you find, I've been looking myself...:)

    But BACKLIT controls and faceplate is nice to have if your a nighttime driver - but too bright or if you have astigmatism, you might regret the choices and selections - for many are glaringly bright at night and can pose a night blindness condition where you may not be able to see objects or other drivers or road markers amidst night conditions if you're not careful.

    Unfortunately China is the nearly-sole source for many of the CB radios we have - you can thank trade relations for that...

    But for CB use, a simple on-line search for CB radios will uncover a PLETHORA of radios used or otherwise - then come back here and ask questions about them - then - you not only know the sourcing, but where to get answers for the ones you pick for further review!
     
  13. SIX-SHOOTER

    SIX-SHOOTER Sr. Member

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    I had the Nightwatch Cobra 29 & the 148 & the 148 was Terrible on SSB because it would not stay on frequency.It was unlike the drift of the Export CB's just jumping off frequency quiet often so I sold it quiet quickly.I much prefer the side microphone Cobra mobiles & refuse to own or use the front microphone models.

    SIX-SHOOTER
     
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  14. Turbo T

    Turbo T Certified CB Rambo

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    The Chinese Cobras are "ok". I had one, a side mic 29 version from 1993. When I sold it, people went nuts over it. But anymore it seems the newer ones are mostly throw away radios, once the golden screwdriver has been in it, and there are plenty of those.
     
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  15. big_sho9

    big_sho9 amateur extra

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    The early 90's,80's model 29 cobras was the best. After ranger quit making their board, (in my opinion) didn't last as long in a semi. But for years I heard drivers ad echo and talkback to one, and it sounded like they were in a barrel. I always bought a 10 meter galaxy with all that already installed, and bounced them around for years in a semi. Semi's are really hard on a cb.
     
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