This article provides an overview of an inexpensive, simple, and practical CB radio kit for installation in a car or truck to communicate with fellow travelers, work colleagues, or hobbyist radio enthusiasts.
From the previous article, we know that the CB radio is the most affordable way of operational real-time communication for personal, family, professional, and other applications. Here we will look at one of the most popular kits for installation in a car, consisting of a two-way radio (transceiver) and a magnetic antenna.
The CB radio car kit, which includes a Luiton LT 298 radio and a CB Euro Mag magnetic antenna, is a ready-to-use 27 MHz (“Citizens Band”) radio kit.
CB radio Luiton LT298 has been produced for a long time. It is produced by a large Chinese OEM (white label) manufacturer, and its modifications (clones) are also known under the names: Canva CB268, Optim 278, Manta CB02, Moonraker Major II, Nanfone CB268, PNI Escort HP-8000, PNI Escort HP-8024, Thunderpole T800 and many more. However, we prefer to deal with a product that is produced under the original brand of the manufacturer. This allows us to be sure that we receive the most versatile and high-quality product in its latest version.
This original model is interesting in that it has a Multi-band (Multi-country) function. This function, when you switch the country code, automatically adapts the characteristics of the radio module to comply with the regulations in force in that country and the channels that are used there. This allows this transceiver to be used legally without a license in most European countries.
The radio has a small size, but a sufficiently large loudspeaker; therefore, it can be used both in a passenger car and in a truck or motorhome (camper).
The CB Euro Mag car antenna also features a time-tested design. It resembles the popular President Virginia and PNI 45 Extra antennas. With its small size, its base adheres well to the roof due to several powerful magnets. A height of 45 cm allows you to drive into gates and garages. The whip is made of durable carbon fiber and flexes if it hits an obstacle.
Benefits and advantages
The Multi-band function guarantees the optimal performance of the radio in any country.
The receiver has both automatic and manual sensitivity adjustment (especially good for AM). This allows you to receive both weak (far) and strong (close) signals.
The radio has both manual (SQ) and automatic (spectral, ASQ) noise suppressors. It cuts out unwanted noise in most cases.
A good electret microphone and powerful transmitter allow speech to be transmitted over considerable distances.
The antenna has a distributed coil to improve reception performance.
The antenna has a tuning pin in the collet connector that allows you to easily set the ideal SWR on the desired channel.
The antenna cable is 4 meters long and has a small diameter, which allows it to be routed through the rubber seals of the doors and trunk of the car.
The kits were tested on two trucks while driving in the same direction on roads, mainly in rural areas, on channel 18, in FM and AM modes.
The average range of reliable communication was 5-7 km. The range increased in flat terrain and, in line of sight, reached a maximum of 20 km. At the same time, near power lines and among capital (stone) buildings, the range dropped to 1-3 km. The automatic squelch handled interference with confidence.
The radio was not found to affect any vehicle systems. On the contrary, on one of the trucks, the influence of one of the electrical systems of the truck on the quality of the radio’s reception was noted: when the windshield washer was turned on, the level of interference increased and there was some short deterioration in AM reception.
Laboratory testing with the help of measuring instruments has shown that the actual characteristics (RF sensitivity and power) correspond to the declared ones. The quality of modulation and sound is subjectively characterized as good, at the level of other devices in this price category.
Disassembling the apparatus showed the good quality of the radio assembly and SMD soldering, and no traces of local overheating.
Excellent reception and transmission characteristics, as well as good build quality, allow us to recommend both the kit as a whole and its individual components for hobbies, car tourism, and acquaintance with the world of radio communications. This set of CB radio will also be useful in professional activities: in the areas of road transport, production, services, agriculture. It is ready-to-use, simple, and convenient.
Where to buy it?
You can buy Luiton LT-298 transceiver separately in the ProMarket online store.
You can buy separately the CB Euro Mag antenna and other models in the ProMarket online store.
Power Supply: DC 12.8V + -2
RF power: 4 W
Channel display, LED meter for RX / TX signal
AM / FM button
Switch: Channel 9/19
RF Gain Knob (only works with AM)
Automatic / manual squelch
Microphone with up / down buttons and auto / manual noise-canceling button
Jack for an external speaker or headphone (female 3,5 mm)
Dimensions: 115 x 38 x 150 mm;
Antenna dimensions: 120 x 60 x 500 mm.
CE / RED certified.