Earlier this year I posted a couple of new videos on the old Cobra 138/139 XLR radios and the comment section gave me a good laugh. More than once I saw the following comment –
“Great to see you’re still alive!”
I guess it has been a while since I have done any radio reviews or videos and I apologize to those that visit my site or YouTube channel regularly. It’s been a crazy year for everyone and although I’ve been busy that IS NOT main reason my reviews have slowed down over the last couple years. The truth of the matter is that there are fewer and fewer new radios that have launched in recent years and for the ones that have launched there are less unique radios coming to the market.
To illustrate my point – Cobra has basically thrown in the towel as far as CB is concerned, the last new radios Uniden launched were the 980 (2012 launch, great radio) and the 885 which was just an expensive flop. The Galaxy CB line is pretty much the same and although they did release a couple of new Exports they were more just redo’s of previous radios. The same can be said of RCI/Ranger who hasn’t done anything different in years – they just keep adding more mosfets transistors to existing radios till they do 500 watts and cost $700. They continue to use the same boards they’ve used for years and we’re on version 6 of the RCI-2950DX which now looks like a Christmas tree.
We did have a little excitement a couple of years ago when the first generation of newer digital radios launched – the CRE 8900, Anytone 6666, Lincoln II, Maxlog 8800/8900, Stryker 955HPC – but we also got to experience some of the growing pains as many of these early radios had issues that had to be ironed out. We’re a couple of years later and the bugs have been figured out but we haven’t really seen anything new since this last batch. Even before COVID hit it had felt like we were in a bit of a slump in terms of new radios hitting the market.
The only manufacturer who continues to launch new radios on the regular basis seems to be President Electronics. They continue to launch new radios every year in the USA / Europe and their President McKinley USA (2017 launch) continues to be one of my favorite recent CB radios.
So as you can see there just hasn’t been a lot to get excited about in recent months/years. As most of you know I’m more of a SSB guy so seeing Ranger release a $480 200 watt AM radio that looks the same as radios they made 20 years ago just doesn’t pique my interest enough to drop the cash for a review, especially when there really isn’t a whole lot changing from model to model.
I’m not sure how much COVID has effected R & D in China (which is where all our radios come from these days) but I’m hoping that in 2021 we’ll see some new radios worth reviewing for all you CB lovers out there. In the meantime I’ll continue to look for interesting accessories, microphones, and maybe some classic radios to show you.
Best wishes for a happy new year!