The 6 best SSB radios you will ever need

which ssb radio

If you are a licensed short wave amateur radio hobbyist you know the importance of having good equipment. Having a powerful CB radio gives you a ton of choices with regards to enjoying this activity and it will give you greater range as well.

CB radios come in all price ranges yet if they are costly it does guarantee they are great and if they are reasonable it doesn’t mean they can’t do a nice job.

As an energetic CB’er, I am continually hoping to try new products and must have the most up to date and most prominent available to play with in my shack.

I’ve experienced a lot of radios and throughout the previous 5 years, I’ve been involved in the export radio craze buying every new one that came available to try out and attempt (as long as they had SSB).

Yet my big finding after all my purchases was that not many export radios are stable on SSB. The most stable of the exports are the following:

And contrasted with those the rest of the exports act like dogs when it comes to staying on frequency.

Stryker SR-955HPC

sr955hpc mrx

The Stryker SR-955HP was manufactured in May 2012. This radio has been quite a while in the making and the first rumors we knew about the radio started over four years ago.

Stryker spent quite a while working with the factory to build up this radio and the objective was to create an SSB radio that would hold all of the positive aspects of their past AM radios while offering SSB stability.

One of the greatest complaints about SSB export radios throughout the years has been issues with frequency drift during SSB operation. The Magnum 257, Optima, and RCI 29xx series have been a portion of the notable exceptions.

The other complaint has been that frequently SSB export radios performed well on AM however not SSB or the other way around. The objective (at any rate as I had heard it) was to create a radio that could perform in all modes and offer the frequency stability that the die hard SSB crowd requested.

The Stryker 955HP has incredible output: 75-85 watts on SSB and around 65 watts on AM. The radio remains on frequency even during long conversations.

The heat sink will get very warm yet I didn’t see any stability issues and truth be told, a limited drop-off in wattage when the radio got hot. The stock microphone on this radio is a king.

I attempted a variety of microphones and everybody said to put the stock microphone back on the radio. It’s a cheap-feeling microphone yet the audio reports were sparkling.

I got a huge amount of positive feedback on the air and people asking over and over what kind of radio I was using. AM audio was great – not exactly as screamingly loud as a portion of the different Strykers I’ve used yet certainly superior to many of the SSB exports I’ve used.

On SSB this thing level out rocked the airwaves. SSB audio was punchy, crisp, loud, clean and regular sounding. When I recorded myself on the air I was truly amazed at how pleasant this radio sounded.

People have been complaining for years about the lack of frequency stability on export radios (except for the 2950DX, Magnum 257 and a couple of others). Generally speaking, the export market has had a huge amount of radios that were loud on AM and alright on SSB. However, would drift everywhere.

The new technology being used on the Stryker 955HP has created a radio that has so little drift it is a non-issue and that is a big deal for SSB operators who use export radios.

The SR-955HPC is well known for sideband performance, and we have had the ability to additionally build it by including the NE612 SSB product detector.

The essential function of NE612 is better clarity and less noise. No other radios in this reasonable range are offering SSB if you adore SSB you will appreciate for this upgrade.

Cobra 146 GTL

cobra 146 gtl ssb

This year I went an alternate route. I’ve gone old school. I grabbed a Cobra 146 GTL (I had claimed one about 5 years ago and recollected that it is performing very well) for a song and dance and threw it in the mobile.

The first thing I saw is how well the old Cobra’s lessen engine noise and static with the NB/ANL switch. On AM I really had to switch the NB/ANL off at one point to ensure my receive was working, it was that calm.

Now perhaps they don’t have as touchy receiver as some of the exports, yet if you get so much static that you can’t hear the signal in any case what’s the purpose of having an incredible receiver?

This radio is small. Much smaller than the Cobra 148, yet that’s because it has fewer features. Performance wise however I would rank this radio higher than a 148.

After tuning it seems to have cleaner audio than most 148’s and takes less tweaking to get to the same output numbers.

All in all, I’m truly feeling that returning to the straight CB market could be a good thing. I adore the exports and every one of the features. However, the only real benefits after some time of owning the export were the extra channels and the extra power.

Since I once in a while leave the regular 40 the additional channels aren’t a big deal to me. Furthermore, if I can talk 40 miles on 20 watts I truly don’t feel like I’m missing out on any wattage.

GALAXY DX 979

galaxy dx 979 ssb

I’ve been a devotee of the Galaxy DX 959 before I have used Stryker SR-955. So when I heard that Galaxy was delivering the DX 979, I was excited.

This new radio was smaller and moreover incorporated the StarLite faceplate, so I set aside some money and sat tight for it to come out.

As for a tune up on this radio, I simply adjusted the modulation, set the high and low power setting where I needed them on the variable power, and I was prepared to go.

You can set the radio for a low deadkey and swing upwards from that point, or you can turn the variable up and deadkey 4 watts and swing upwards (this radio can deadkey higher than 4 watts anyway it’s not prescribed by the manufacturer to set it higher).

Swing numbers on this radio are magnificent. With just a direct modulation adjustment these new Galaxy CB’s are swinging than 20 watts on AM and 25 watts on SSB.

The receive is brilliant, yet the noise filtering isn’t exactly as good as the DX 959, TR-696FD1, or other older SSB radios. It has an NB/ANL position yet it doesn’t seem to filter similarly as that equivalent position on different radios.

Even though the background noise is somewhat louder when used mobile, I found the sensitivity on the receive compensated for it enabling me to hear stations some of my older radios weren’t picking up.

The only substantial disadvantage to me is that this radio suffers from mild SSB drift during warmup. This seems to be a trait related with SSB radios these days, especially with the 959 and 979 models. Including a frequency counter is useful if this is an issue for you.

President McKinley

president mckinley ssb

CB radios have hit the market over the most recent few years. So it peaked our interest when we saw that President was bringing out into the open an SSB CB radio for the U.S. market.

The radio is comparable in size to the Uniden 980 however the styling is totally different. While the Uniden 980 front face looks a great deal like an aftermarket car stereo, President McKinley has an extremely straightforward utility look to it like two-way business radios.

It just has three knobs (two are dual controls with inward and outer adjustments) and 5 buttons. The LCD display is extensive and easily readable.

Anyway, their receive sensitivity is comparable and receive levels were totally acceptable while listening to both locals and DX. The front firing speaker on this radio truly has a pleasant sound to it even though it’s pretty small.

This is a single last CB radio that was intended to pass an FCC inspection and will do the standard 4-watt output on AM and 12 watts on SSB. With some additional tuning, you will see around 15 watts output yet this isn’t designed to be a huge output radio.

While a large number of the newer CB radios have been lacking in audio on AM and SSB I discovered that this little radio had some great sound and keeping in mind that not overpowering it was certainly more punchy than some other radios I’ve tried.

With the expansion of an aftermarket microphone, I felt it sounded very great. The stock microphone isn’t awesome as the microphone element is really hold up behind some plastic so dependent on my tests I would recommend an SR-65BC with noise cancelling.

AnyTone AT-5555N

anytone at 555n ssb radio

The AnyTone AT-5555N can be considered either a HAM radio or a CB radio depending upon where you live on the planet. Various countries have various regulations with regards to radios so you’ll have to remember that in case if you’re looking into this specific model.

The AnyTone AT-5555N can be utilized as a CB radio with no issue in a large number of countries. Sadly, those countries do exclude the United States.

In the US, this model is considered a HAM radio and cannot be utilized to transmit on CB frequencies. All things considered, you can even now use it to listen to said frequencies.

The AnyTone AT-5555N is primarily implied for HAM radio operators who hold the proper license issued by the FCC. If you are among those, hope to profit by a greater number of features than similar models, as well as more channels.

This type of radio operates within frequencies ranging from 28.000 to 29.700 MHz, also called the 10-meter band. Amateur (HAM) radio generally operates within this band, at least in the US.

The AT-5555N can be transformed into a CB radio that accesses frequencies somewhere in the range of 25.615 and 30.105 MHz. In case you don’t know how to do this simply send us an email and we’ll help you out.

Ranger TR-966

rangertr966

I truly preferred the appearance of this radio when I got it. It’s about the size of a Cobra 148 however the face of the radio stands out more and isn’t flat – the channel area really has a touch of recession to it.

Since the radio wasn’t as glossy and covered in chrome compared to most models I figured it would be less obvious to theft as I lived in a terrible area at the time.

As far as transmit goes I had the capacity to give the radio a basic tune for peak numbers of 15 watts on AM and 17 watts on SSB. Much of the time I experienced no difficulty talking to locals or making contacts inside 10-15 miles (radio was paired with an SR-A10 Trucker mount).

The audio quality on the receive was somewhat lacking (not enough to truly call it a concern, sufficiently only to be noticeable). The transmit audio is somewhat delicate from the factory so expect that you’ll need to have the modulation turned up, and the expansion of a power microphone can do wonders.

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