This radio has been a standard ‘go to’ radio of CB fans for a considerable length of time. It has left a permanent imprint on the minds of beginner radio operators and veterans alike.
I can still remember hearing a Cobra 148 that left an impact on me back when I initially got into CB’s in the mid-1980s. The folks who owned and operated these radios were the ‘big dogs’ of the airways. Also, sideband – otherwise known as ‘SSB’ – was their kennel.
Initially built by Uniden and sold under the Cobra name, this radio had a 5 pin mic plug that was mounted on the left half of the radio – not on the front as you see pictured here.
The move to the front of the radio was motivated by cost-cutting and by individuals who used it in a tight-fitting mobile application. In any case, between these two points in time, a GREAT has changed under the hood.
Today, it is a minor shadow of its former self, since Uniden and Cobra had issues on agreeing for the expense of manufacture and production. Uniden hasn’t built Cobra radios for the last decade or more.
Little has changed dimensionally on this radio. The front panel has seen various button functions both come and go. Similar controls generally are the same as past 148’s have.
The Noise Blanketer/Automatic Noise Limiter (“NB/ANL”) still functions well. When shut off, any vehicle that drives past my station will disturb my receive until I turn it on.
It does this genuinely well – with just a minimal impact on the incoming/receive audio. No better or worse than some other radio that has a similar function switch.
With the stock mic, the PA functions work fine. I sometimes – if at any time – use this function. So far as that is concerned, I sometimes use the stock Cobra mics.
I have a small box full of them and give them away upon request or incorporate one with a radio that I may sell to make the sale complete. So do many other people that purchase Cobra radios. In any case, these radios react exceptionally well to SR-65BC mics – an exemplary combo.
The SWR meter coordinated with the same outcomes as my Dosy meter did. It was really exact in that regard. The receive meter was likewise spot-on, as was the SSB and AM output/transmit readings.
I have constantly enjoyed this type of analog meters on the Cobras; simple and clear to read and genuinely accurate if adjusted properly. After testing the radio for both AM, USB, and LSB performance, they all concurred – consistently – that from a scale of 0 to 10 it merited a 7.
The normal complaint is that it was off frequency on SSB mode and just improved marginally following thirty minutes of consistent discussion back and forth.
WR000 in SF said a similar as well; despite the fact, he could hear me with just 1 S-units in that distance. Not bad – when one considers a ~50-mile distance with LOTYS of urban spread the middle! The AM
The performance was satisfactory and clear modulation was noted when using the SR-65BC mic. This mic improved SSB performance generously too. Perhaps if they incorporated a Cobra power mic with this radio it would enable them to get more interest.