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#301265 - 10/04/22 02:06 AM A CB Radio Test Gone Awry
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2192
Loc: Bucks County PA
In late April this year, I stopped at a yard sale, and there I found a Cobra CB radio, in great condition, forlornly sitting on a table full of junk. Inexplicably, since I have no interest in CB radio, I asked "How much?" and the person said, "A dollar. It works."

So I bought it. And it sat in my shed. I didn't have an antenna or anything for it. Then, in late July, I stopped at a Flea Market, and there was a nice new-in-packaging magnet-mount mobile CB radio antenna sitting on a table full of junk. "How much?" I asked, "10 Bucks" the person replied. "Too much." I said and put it down. "Fifty Cents" the person said. So I went home with an antenna.

Now, the radio and antenna sat on a different table full of junk all summer, waiting for me to order an SWR meter and some cable. I already have a nice 12VDC power supply and wanted to test it by my shed with the antenna stuck to a big hunk of sheet metal ground plane first.

Finally, in late September, I remembered to order the SWR meter and some related short cables and adapters. They arrived late last week.

And THIS EVENING I finally went out to the shed, set everything up, and I turned the power switch on the CB Radio on, and it immediately burst into flames. Sigh. Electrolytic capacitors do not age gracefully.

It got tossed out the door quickly, nothing but the radio was hurt.
I think maybe I'll just buy a new radio for $40.

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#301266 - 10/04/22 08:37 AM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: MartinFocazio]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3069
Loc: Big Sky Country
At least you provided us with a chuckle! grin
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#301267 - 10/04/22 02:03 PM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: MartinFocazio]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3719
Loc: USA
We know the smoke is magic, because when the smoke gets out the magic stops.

I can receive CB radio with some of my ham gear, but I don't own a CB transmitter. As the Designated Comms Guy for my family, my CERT, and my friend group, I've been thinking about whether that's something I should fix.

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#301268 - 10/04/22 04:01 PM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: chaosmagnet]
Michael2 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 74
There's a lot of support in local (San Francisco East Bay) CERT groups for the use of GMRS radios. The group in Berkeley even has a good GMRS repeater set up.

There is also an area amateur radio ARES-RACES group that has been around for 30 years, too. Actually, a lot of support for 460 MHz GMRS comes from local hams, who look favorably on GMRS as a good entry to radio for those unable or uninterested in passing a license exam. This contrasts with the traditional view that regards 11 meter (26 MHz) CB as a cesspool. I don't know if it's gotten better in recent years, but I don't think there's as much activity any more.

The Berkeley CERT (GMRS) radio group was initially set up by local amateur radio operators. Many of us hold both types of licenses.

See Berkeley neighbors seek to widen grassroots emergency radio system

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#301269 - 10/04/22 04:34 PM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: MartinFocazio]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1181
Loc: Germany
It´s rarely a good thing to loose equipment.
On the bright side you were there and could take action when the radio had the thermal runaway.
_________________________
If it isn´t broken, it doesn´t have enough features yet.

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#301270 - 10/04/22 05:39 PM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: MartinFocazio]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2322
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: MartinFocazio
In late April this year, I stopped at a yard sale...

You have a knack for telling a good story. You hooked me, then made me laugh. Sorry you lost the radio, but at least the loss probably didn't put you in dire financial straits (at least I hope it didn't...)

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#301271 - 10/05/22 12:22 AM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: MartinFocazio]
UncleGoo Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 388
Loc: CT
"That's a good price for a CB. Is it 'hot'?"

"No, not yet."
_________________________
Improvise,
Utilize,
Realize.

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#301272 - 10/05/22 01:13 AM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: MartinFocazio]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2753
Loc: Nacogdoches, Tx
Not quite the same since my situation was my fault, but your story reminds me of a $5 garage sale computer that was smoking. It had a non-working hard drive. I unscrewed the hard drive from the case but did not disconnect its cables, and I placed it on top of the power supply unit. I turned the computer back on to run a test, and either the power supply or the hard drive started smoking. Not knowing and not wanting to know if I had fried the power supply, I threw the whole computer away.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
“Birds of a feather sure know how to clip each other’s wings, huh?” Lutz, Ascendance of a Bookworm: Part 2 Volume 4

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#301273 - 10/05/22 01:31 AM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: MartinFocazio]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3719
Loc: USA
I think it’s the first time you shout, “Fire!” that makes you an IT professional.

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#301274 - 10/05/22 07:16 AM Re: A CB Radio Test Gone Awry [Re: chaosmagnet]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1181
Loc: Germany
I barely missed my opportunity due the eagerness of our admin/maintenace crew. They regularly cleaned the dust out of our machines.
I had a computer that I used for automated software tests. It ran the CPU at 95% most of the time and got more load occassionally. The CPU housing showed signs of serious thermal damage when it finally got retired.
_________________________
If it isn´t broken, it doesn´t have enough features yet.

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