One of the benefits of having a ham radio in your car (or on your belt) was the ability to use a “phone patch” to make phone calls. In the 1970s, calling someone from a parked car caught your attention. Of course, it is now commonplace thanks to mobile phones. But in 1977, cell phones were nowhere to be found. JS&A’s famous founder, Joseph Sugarman, saw a need and wanted to meet it. So he proposed “PocketCom CB”, billed as “the world’s smallest citizen band his walkie-talkies”. A full-page ad from 1977 can be seen below.
Remember, this was a time when ICs running at 30 MHz were not the norm. So you should keep your expectations in check. The small unit was 5.5″ x 1.5″ and less than 1″ thick. This isn’t bad actually, but optimistically it had an output power of 100 mW. They claimed the N-cell battery would last him two weeks with average use, but imagine it’s much less than that as soon as you start sending. It weighed 5 ounces, but I believe it has no batteries.
The device had a crystal for channel 14 and I was able to purchase another crystal to get a second channel. Considering the unit sold for around $40-$20, we found the extra crystals to cost $8. It is said that more than 250,000 units have been sold. The ad copy says it was used in the TV show Charlie’s Angels, but we’re not sure how that was done, and it could also be used as a pager, intercom, phone, or security his device. also said.
During operation, the device was very simple. Pulling out the 40-inch antenna makes the unit a little unwieldy. I found a relatively recent review of the CB Gazette from someone who picked up two of these on the used market. rice field.
Many hams convert CB to 10m or 6m bands. Before cell phones, people thought they needed bigger towers, more power, and more channels. After all, it’s the exact opposite.