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This is a CB radio Hack at work!

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E-design

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Someone pointed me to this video on YouTube. This guy does some custom work, which looks ok at the outset, but then he rips off stupid customers by replacing perfectly working parts with new ones to run up the bill. After watching a few of his videos, I can see a pattern of how he rips off customers. He aligns CB radios without any oscilloscope, SINAD or distortion meter. Then he jacks up the RF output without any idea of the harmonic content as he does not seem to have an SA to check with. I bet that is against FCC rules.

Here he talks about "crooked inductors" and the best around 6:25 on; he replaces a transistor with one having a better Vbe which he calls higher Milli-watts??

In one other video he rips out the linear power regulator and transformer ( he could not find the problem ) out of a base station and installed a switching supply!

And it looks like people are lining up to be ripped off.:|

Looks like "Snake Radio Customs" are also selling snake oil.

As they say; Fools and their money are soon parted!

- - - Updated - - -

And just to prove it was not a slip of the tongue ( mW, mV ) he does it again here in another video at about 8:05 8-O
 
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betwixt

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Back 35 years ago I saw a lot of this in the UK. It was the heyday of CB but illegal so all kinds of tinkering went on without regulation. I was often contacted to repair equipment, I think the best 'bodges' I was told of were:

1. The reverse protection diode (1N4001 usually) across the power socket replaced with a "gold standard" one to improve range.
2. The pot in series with the front panel power meter shorted out so the needle hit hard against the stop. Sold as increased output power.
3. More powerful crystals fitted in the PLL circuit. (I think these were magic crystals as used by astrologers rather than ordinary quartz ones)

I think the most memorable 'fix' I did was someone with a CB in their car but they could only achieve very short range. They came to see me and the most obvious omission was any sign of an antenna. The 'guy in the shop' said it should be hidden so he fitted it inside the trunk.

I also remember someone who used interesting lateral thinking with a CB base station. They bought a standard mag-mount antenna and fixed it in the center of a car roof which they then mounted on top of their house! It was a standard tiled house roof with part of a car sitting on the ridge - not really obvious, duh!


Brian.
 

vfone

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The pot in series with the front panel power meter shorted out so the needle hit hard against the stop. Sold as increased output power.
:) This was a good one!

But maybe the best that I ever heard (back in 80ties) was from a fellow from South Africa who had a CB radio shop. He placed inside of the radios big pieces of lead, just to increase the weight of the device, because was a rumor between truck drivers that heavy CB radios are much better than the light ones.
 

mtwieg

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I almost yelled when he criticized the spread inductor windings. Don't you even dare touch a tuned component without a SA or oscilloscope, you clueless idiot.
 

E-design

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If this guy just sticks to the customization side ( decals, lights, etc. ) it will be good, but he has very little knowledge of actual component level fault-finding ( no scope ). I have never seen any serious electronic service facility without any oscilloscope. How does he verify correct oscillator levels and other parameters that you usually will use a scope for?

In one video on there he dealt with a low receiver sensitivity fault ( TX was good ) by just shot-gunning components and replacing a bucket full of components, including the PLL chip and VCO block. For this, he charged the poor customer $30/h + parts for his incompetence.
 
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bigdogguru

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I found it rather amusing that all the comment sections of his youtube videos have been disabled.

If the comment sections had been enabled, I suspect the majority of the complaints would concerning the blaring 80's rock in the background, rather than the fountain of BS and his obvious lack of knowledge.
 

E-design

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I was informed that he used to have a live video feed where customers could watch him doing his thing on their equipment but got such a blow-back from others calling him out, that he shut i down and the comments on his YT videos.
 

bigdogguru

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Checkout those crooked coils!
:laugh::bsdetector:

Sounds like he is aligning the front end of a Ford, rather tuning an RF circuit.

Breakout the socket wrenches and the "big" screwdriver/pry bar, time to straighten those components.

Did anyone else notice the Mac Tools calendar with scantly clad women spread over the hood of the car?



A scene from one of his videos reminded me of the following scene from the film Spinal Tap:


Is eleven any louder?

Well it's one louder isn't it. It's not ten.
 

E-design

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What makes it worse, he is a registered radio ham apparently. KF7MIM
 

vfone

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On his QRZ.com page is mentioned that he is a self-taught technician who came from welfare ranks 10 years ago, situation that should cool down a little bit our angry words.

On the other way, you cannot even compare this "self-taught-radio-technician-who-restores-old-citizen-band-radios-for-a-living" with let's say, Oliver Heaviside, one of the greatest mathematician, physician, and electrical engineers of all times, who also was a self-taught person, but who changed the face of telecommunications, mathematics, and science for years to come.

Unfortunately the Internet, and especially the YouTube, is full of videos of self-taught guys having absolutely no shame posting thousands of garbage and nonsense videos, most of them with zero value for since or world culture.
The biggest problem is for the beginners or young people who watch those videos and don't have (yet) the ability to filter the wrong information that is given.
 

E-design

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If he came from humble beginnings, he should act accordingly and lay of the BS talk. In one of his videos, he claims to be the no.1 CB custom/repair shop in the country. Now that appears as plain arrogance to me. It is clear he has very little actual electronics fault-finding capabilities. Almost anyone can repair a CB radio if given enough parts and time. He replaces parts until the fault is cleared and the customer cough up for this and his time.

Another thing, I would think as a registered radio ham adding illegal modifications ( excessive RF power, out of band channels, etc. ) to certified equipment could get the attention of the FCC.
 

biff44

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ham radio has become a joke, compared to what it used to be. back in the day there were guys trying to talk to the other side of the world using a single vacuum tube, a long wire antenna, and a morse code key. Nowadays they would not know which end of the soldering iron is the hot end. There is a major ham radio place near here, and they do not have a single transistor in the house! If you ask them for an antenna at a certain frequency, all they can ask is "what band is that". So, I would not knock some guy on the internet who does not know much...he is head and shoulders above his brethren with his electronics knowledge!
 

betwixt

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This reminds me of a salesman in a well known UK Photographic/electronics/Audio company who wired up a selection of loudspeakers through a switch box to a good quality amplifier so his customers could quickly compare loudspeaker quality. Nothing wrong with that - except he was caught demonstrating them to a customer over the phone!

Another time, a customer visited the shop with a film camera they had problems with. I'm not sure what their complaint actually was but I saw him open it up, remove the film and pull it all out of the canister, hold it up to the light and tell the customer they were right, the film is blank.

Brian.
 

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