This article provides an overview of an inexpensive, simple and practical CB radio communication transceiver 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 communication for personal, family, professional and other applications. Now we will look at one of the most interesting budget transceivers for installation in a car.
CB radio Luiton LT-198 is been made for a extended time. It is produced by a large Chinese OEM (white label) manufacturer, and its modifications (clones) are also known under the names: Ajetrays AR-27S, Delta Slim, MYT 925, Anytone Smart, Vector VT-27 Smart, Escort HP7110, Albrecht AE 6110 and many others. All of these models are very similar, although they may have minor differences in design and functionality. 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.
Car CB radio Luiton LT 198 is one of the smallest devices in the 27 MHz range. Thanks to its modest dimensions (105 (W) x 110 (L) x 25 (H) mm), you can find a place for it in any cabin – from an ultra-compact sports coupe to a huge tractor.
The light weight of this model (450 g) allows it to be attached to a panel or interior trim using a pair of self-tapping screws and a mounting bracket that is included in the kit. Someone may advise gluing the transceiver to the panel without a bracket, with Velcro or double-sided adhesive tape. We do not recommend doing this, because the bottom panel of the radio houses the loudspeaker (which cannot be covered), and the top panel is the cooling radiator (which must also be kept open).
This original model is interesting in that it has a Multi-band (Multi-country) functionality. This function, when switching 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 it to be used legally without a license in most European countries. The following country codes are available: UK, EU, DE, IN, I2, PL, CE.
How to change the country code (frequency and channel grid) in CB radio Luiton LT 198?
1. Turn off the radio.
2. While holding down the [A / F] button, turn on the radio – the display will indicate the current country code.
3. Change the country code by pressing the [UP] / [DOWN] buttons on the PTT microphone.
4. Turn off the transceiver and turn it on again.
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 (attenuator). This allows you to receive both weak (far) and strong (close) signals without distortion.
- The radio has both manual and automatic (spectral) noise suppressors. This allows to cut unwanted interference off in most cases. In addition, each of the squelches can be adjusted further (Manual Squelch has 28 levels of adjustment, and the Automatic Squelch (ASQ) has 9 settings.
- A good electret microphone and powerful transmitter allow speech to be transmitted over considerable distances.
The kits were tested on two trucks while driving in the same direction along the roads, mainly in rural areas, on channel 18, in FM and AM modes.
The average range of reliable communication was 2-8 km. The range was longer in flat terrain and, in line of sight, reached a maximum of 12 km. At the same time, near the power lines and among capital (stone) buildings, the range was dropped down to 1-2 km. The automatic squelch handled interference with confidence.
The radio was not found to affect any vehicle systems.
The speaker in this model is small but loud enough; therefore, it can be used both in a passenger car and in a truck or a summer car. The loudspeaker is a little lacking in low audio frequencies, but the speech sounds intelligible. The quality of modulation and sound is subjectively characterized as good, at the level of other devices in this price category.
Despite the fact that the control panel has only one knob and 4 buttons, and there are a lot of functions, control of this radio is quite simple. The kit includes instructions in English and Italian.
Laboratory testing using the devices has shown that the actual characteristics (sensitivity and power) correspond to the declared ones.
Disassembly of the walkie-talkie showed good quality of the radio assembly (SMD soldering), no traces of local overheating. As the final output RF amplifier, the well-known FQP13N10 (QFET N-MOS) transistor is used, which has proven itself well in a variety of radio frequency devices. The components inside the case are well placed: the output transistor and the audio amplifier module are spaced apart, mounted directly on the enclosure and have enough space around.
The housing itself is a monolithic case, made of thick aluminum alloy, and has multiple cooling fins (radiator). Compared to housings made of plastic or flat iron sheet, this solution protects the electronics much better from damage and deformation, and also helps to maintain the optimal operating temperature of the internal components.
The Luiton LT 198 has been tested with two different antennas from the same manufacturer: MAG-1345 and LT 18-2442.
LT-198 transceiver and MAG-1345 magnetic antenna.
MAG 1345 antenna is also produced under the names QYT CB-27, Delta / Sonar 874 and Intek Mag-1345 27 MC. Its height of 35 cm allows easy access into gates and garages. The 66mm diameter magnet provides sufficient force for an antenna of this length. The magnet has a protective rubber base and a 4 m cable.
LT-198 transceiver and LT 18-2442 magnetic antenna.
LT 18 2442 automotive antenna also features a tried and tested 1/2 length coil design. It is analogous to the popular antenna Alan / Midland 18-2442. With its small size, its base adheres well to the roof due to the magnet with a diameter of 88 mm. A height of 70 cm is sufficient if you want to raise the center of radiation above the roof or van and slightly increase the communication range. The antenna cable is 5 meters long, which is enough for optimal routing.
Of course, the LT.198 radio can be used with other antennas, for example, higher ones (which will help to increase the communication range).
Excellent reception and transmission characteristics, as well as good build quality make it possible to recommend the LT-198 transceiver itself and kits based on it for hobbies, car tourism and acquaintance with the world of radio communications. These CB communication kits will also be useful in professional activities: in the areas of road transport, production, services, and agriculture. And the elegant colorful packaging allows us to consider LT198 as a possible useful and interesting gift.
Where to buy?
You can buy separately the Luiton LT-198 transceiver in the ProMarket online store, as well as on ebay.it.
- Power supply: DC 12.8V + -2;
- RF power 4 W;
- Display, RX / TX signal meter;
- AM / FM button;
- Switch Channel 9/19;
- RF Gain Adjustment;
- Automatic / manual squelch (adjustable);
- Microphone with up / down buttons and auto / manual noise cancellation button;
- Standard 3.5 mm mono jack for external speaker or headphone ;
- Size 105 (W) x 110 (L) x 25 (H) mm;
- Weight 450 grams;
- CE / RED certified.
This article includes links to the examples of devices, which are discussed, on the informational website, on the Amazon marketplace, and/or online store ProMarket. You may use them if you are interested to get more detailed information or if you want to buy something you like with EU delivery.
Photos and technical details courtesy of Luiton, ProMarket.
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