3 channel CB radios

Can anyone tell me how these things work? I found a box of 8 or 9 CB radios that someone was tossing, and since I am incapable of passing up nifty electronics, the whole lot are now in the garage.

There are about 4 different makes, (one being “Motorola MCX90”, the others I can’t tell), but common themes are they all have handsets, cigarette lighter plugs, and displays that only show “1”, “2”, or “3”. There were three aerials in the box too, so I’ve been hooking up each radio in turn trying to make it work. Despite borrowing my brother and my parents van for experimentation, I’m nowhere near playing Smokey or the Bandit. Lights change colour when I press the transmit key, but my other test radio doesn’t even crackle.

All the radios generate a steady ticking of about 2 ticks per minute on channel 2 throughout the Edmonton area, so I’m pretty sure they’re working somewhat. These things only have 4 buttons each - what the heck am I doing wrong?

Pictures of said radios
Link only good at participating ISPs. Expires December 2004

These are not CB radios, if they are all similar to the Motorola MCX90. Motorola does not now, nor have they ever (to my knowledge) made CB radios. The MCX90 appears to be a VHF/UHF programmable transceiver. Whatever frequency these radios are set to use, chances are you’ll need some sort of licensing to operate them in the US or Canada.

Um… doh?

Lessee what else is in the box here.
“Midland Land Mobile Radio”, models 70-336B and 70-1336A. These sell as 8 or 16 channel radios, so I guess these are programmed differently…

“Canadian Marconi” Marcom V, Frequency 146-174Mhz VHF. The only site I can find mentions that this is a “VHF Radio”, so I guess this means I either get a licence, or indulge in my other hobby, taking things apart.

I was going to ask what the difference between CB (or “Citizen’s Band” I assume), and VHF was, but HowStuffWorks says CB is 26.96 Mhz to 27.41 Mhz, and these are 6 times that. :dubious:
This page says that the frequency range printed on that one radio includes “144-148 2 Meter Amateur Radio”

I suppose I can listen all I want w/o certification - some reprogramming may let me listen in on some local Amateur Radio traffic even. :slight_smile:

I recognize that Midland, because my father has an identical one in his work truck. What you’ve got there is a receiver for a private-use radio system. It’s designed to be used with a private transmitter, such as the kind a school system might use for its buses and maintenance personnel (like my father’s.) It’s not a CB, but it works the same way.

By private-use, I mean a system that operates on frequencies specifically licensed to an organization, and therefore are not for free use by the public.

Thanks both. :slight_smile:

I realized today that they’re probably transmitting on a different frequency than they recieve on, when I recalled that the bus drivers here can hear the dispatch side of conversations, but not what any other drivers are saying.

I didn’t know companies could get radio space for themselves - interesting. I’m still going to mess around with these things; getting traffic updates direct from Edmonton Transit would be fun for a while. :wink:

Say ‘Hello, Kitty’ to the MoCat.

Or the Motorola CB Pro

Well, kinda. What most Australians call CB, Americans call FRS. Both the US and Australia have the AM lowband AND the FM UHF bands. I think for the purpose of the OP, CB is referring to ~26-27 MHz AM. Technically, FRS is a citizens’ band in that its free for people to use license-free.