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Realistic ssb radio what is the best one made?

Dutchman II

New Member
Jan 25, 2021
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I went ahead and purchased a TRC 490 on E Bay. I paid a bit more money than I wanted to spend but the radio looks like it is pretty mint condition so hopefully it was taken well care of, I will find out when it arrives.

I would have rather purchased a 458 or 457 (from the feedback I received) but from what I have seen it could have taken months, or longer, before a really nice one showed up on E Bay, if at all, unless I got really lucky, also, the real concern was buying something that has been hacked apart inside and was abused.

So for my uses a 490 should be fine, I read the sheet written by unit_399 (thank you for posting that), it looks like I can apply some of those modifications to the 490 (I am not an electrical guru at all, but if you want to know about car audio SQ), but I was wondering if there is also a sheet like that specifically for a 490 ?
 

Dutchman II

New Member
Jan 25, 2021
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Received the first 490 from Flea Bay the other day, exterior is in mint condition, figuring if you are going to buy one radio may as well have two, for a back up, should have the other 490 one in a few days. Seems to work, but I still have no antenna, just a magnet mount stuck on a work bench, still waiting on the SWR meter to arrive so I can't really transmit, ordered the PREMIUM recap kit so planning to recap it soon.

Spent a pretty penny on these radios, but the thinking was should hopefully have at least one working radio several years from now, thinking of ordering another radio for parts figuring spare parts will be harder and harder to come by.

Still looking for any other potential upgrades for the TRC 490.
 
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Dutchman II

New Member
Jan 25, 2021
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The second TRC 490 is in very nice condition as well, seems to work, although both radios smelled like mold when I powered them up, internal layout seems quite different from the 458 YouTube videos I have seen, more congested, hopefully I can up my soldering skills to recap them, my understanding this is something that should be done to older radios.

Moved the magnet mount antenna to a washing machine, about a 1.7 or so match, not a whole lot of people out here, seems most local people talk on just a few channels, hopefully I can get an antenna going soon and get some further communication.
 

SIX-SHOOTER

Sr. Member
Oct 2, 2010
1,023
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Macclenny,Fla.
I had a TRC 458, or 490 (forget which one, but I think it was a 458), back in the early 80s, and I am thinking of purchasing either a 458 or 490.

I am not interested in adding extra channels, but I would want the better of the two radios. Do you still stand by the 490 being the better receiver of the two ? Also, in your opinion, which is the better transmitter of the two ?

Could it be that Radio Shack, at that time, thought the chip in the 490 was better design and had nothing to do with tampering ? Not sure how long the 458 was in production before the 490 was released but one would think the 490 was in the planning state shortly after the 458 was released and the 458 has the better following because it could be more easily altered ? Unless of course, the redesign was to prevent tampering and the 458 was just better, however, if you compared the two head to head ....

Sorry for the delay in my reply but I had Back Surgery about a month ago so I have not been on the laptop since just before then.I still say the TRC-490 was the better of the head to head against the TRC-458 no doubt.I was never told that either was superior over the other on transmit audio but both did very well.

SIX-SHOOTER
 

sunbulls

Sr. Member
Apr 25, 2017
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TRC-451mobile (caps replaced). Stable after mild clarifier mod (+ or - 2kc), great audio with stock mic. No extra channels were added. PLL too difficult to bother.
 
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Dutchman II

New Member
Jan 25, 2021
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Sorry for the delay in my reply but I had Back Surgery about a month ago so I have not been on the laptop since just before then.I still say the TRC-490 was the better of the head to head against the TRC-458 no doubt.I was never told that either was superior over the other on transmit audio but both did very well.

SIX-SHOOTER

No need to apologize hope the surgery went well as does the recovery.
 
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Slowmover

BANNED
Feb 17, 2015
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Where the West Begins.
Sorry for the delay in my reply but I had Back Surgery about a month ago so I have not been on the laptop since just before then.I still say the TRC-490 was the better of the head to head against the TRC-458 no doubt.I was never told that either was superior over the other on transmit audio but both did very well.

SIX-SHOOTER


(I hope you’re feeling better now that a little time has gone by. Have missed seeing your screen name on posts, was thinking that as I rode towards D/FW the other day. And just recalled that moment to post this now).

.
 
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Dutchman II

New Member
Jan 25, 2021
20
5
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57
Went ahead and snagged a TRC 458 off Fleabay, radio is in pretty good overall condition and was recently recapped, dude did excellent soldering work and used quality capacitors, this is the radio I had as a kid / teenager. Installed a new relay, working on heat transfer first, power supply / output transistors, seems to run fairly warm in the power supply area, then probably something with the modulation, no extra channels.

Read 399 mod sheet, extremely helpful / useful, thanks 399.

Still looking for some mod info for the 490.

No idea how these radios compare head to head, yet.
 
Last edited:

SIX-SHOOTER

Sr. Member
Oct 2, 2010
1,023
1,321
173
Macclenny,Fla.
(I hope you’re feeling better now that a little time has gone by. Have missed seeing your screen name on posts, was thinking that as I rode towards D/FW the other day. And just recalled that moment to post this now).

.

My Back is much better & it's been just over 8 weeks now since the surgery.I have not taken a pain pill in about the weeks but I start PT in just about a month so that may change then.I only come to the group when I can get into my shack onto my laptop because it's just to small on my iPhone for my old eyes.I have a brand new laptop that I need to setup so I can use this one just for my shack but I'm not a High Tech Redneck so I will have a friend take care of that for me & he's been taking care of his wife for many months & she passed away just over a week ago & she was only 56.It's sad but she is no longer suffering.

God Bless,
SIX-SHOOTER
 
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