The New President CB Radios

ImageImageThe Lincoln 2 and Grant 2 radios from President.

2 quite different radios arriving on the market within weeks of each other. The lincoln 2 was expected and waited for but the Grant 2 slipped in a few weeks ahead of the Lincoln 2 release to the surprise of most people.

The Grant 2 was well received and performed well despite the single final and 12 watts PEP. It is relatively simple to operate and performs nicely. Quite stable on SSB and easy on the ears in the reception department. Cut an internal wire and move a jumper or two and the freeband and a bit of 10m awaits. Sold and marketed as a CB radio. Grows on you. A large display and easy to follow buttons makes for a smooth learning curve. Putting it into export mode turns it into a no frills freeband CB with a pretty good sized five digit display on the LCD screen. It has 5 memories and can step in 10khz steps only. You choose the steps on the 5’s or the zeros. Use the memories to store a frequency ending in a 5 and another ending in zero in case you forget which button to push to toggle between them. That part of it resembles the way a magnum 257 works. Similarly it has 5 memories which store mode as well. It also revolves around each 40 ch band so you need to remember which button to press and hold to change the bands. With all the processing technology available today one would think they could have gone a bit further..Even the bearcat 980 had a course clarifier outside the fine one. The grant 2 doesn’t so can not go in between the 0’s and 5’s. Reduces the use somewhat. Clarifier is also fixed on receive. It is troubling that with all the technology built into the radio, President chose to present it in such an old school way. It is certainly a nice 40 channel CB set and hits all the buttons in that department, but it doesn’t quite meet the requirements for an “export” CB radio. Still it is nice and a lot better than the bearcat 980 that is closely resembles.

Add a kl203 amp for a smooth 100w set up.

Now to compare the Grant 2 with the lincoln 2.  The Grant box is quite bigger implying a bigger radio but it is not the case. Both radios are of a similar size and it is more the larger screen that makes the Grant 2 look bigger. The Grant 2 is a lot lighter than the Lincoln 2. The lincoln 2 feels heavy and is deeper due to the heat sink.

Where does one start with the lincoln 2? A few days after its release reports began filtering out that perhaps all was not well within. For a $400 “export” radio with the lincoln name to live up to it had to be right. But the negative reports continue to grow. Is there a problem? Is it that some people just don’t know how to use a radio of this calibre; the flagship of the president range? Hmm..time to put it on the bench and find out.

Here are my “impressions”. My radio, my set up. Doesn’t mean all will have a similar experience.  A totally non technical, no gadgets other than my ears and a swr/power meter to guide me, freebander user report. The Lincoln 2 is smallish and crammed with knobs and buttons. Looks impressive. Has a bunch of cool stuff for 10m like vox, split, CTCS, DCS , memories and the ability to step in 100khz, 1khz, 10khz, 100khz and 1mhz. Yummy! And it also has a waste of space plus 10khz kmob and bands of 40ch. and to add insult to Injury there is a huge 2 digit number taking the prime spot in the middle of the display. WHY? Why in Gods good name do we need a channel display (1-40) and +10khz in 10m? The only place it is of any relevance is on the 40 channel CB band. It is useless and worthless anywhere else. Swap the size position of the frequency display with the channel readout. Why have a channel readout on a 10m radio?. What a joke. The 6 digit display is tucked down out of the way on the lower left. I cant read it without glasses. And while we are on the basics…we have the option of 3 colours for the display. Orange, Green and Blue. They are all ghastly shades, especially the green! The blue is unusable (too dark) and the orange just passes with a bit of help from the dimmer. And this kind of sets the radio’s tone..it has it all, but it falls short of the mark in nearly everything. It does have nice transmit audio. Right up there with stryker 955. It gets out real well. Nice. Which is fine for the blokes on the receiving end. Not such a rosy picture for the operator reciving signals on the lincoln 2. The received audio is a worry. I don’t know what the problem is but I was continually working the clarifier to get the audio to sound ok and sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t. Even with hi cut engaged the receive was noisy. ANL/NB made no difference to the atmospheric noises. The receiver seemed to amplify the noises far more than the signal. Turning down the RF gain did not help appreciably either. I would not have the RF gain set more than 3pm regardless. There also did not seem to be enough volume to bring the signals up sufficiently as well. It is this radio’s receive characteristics that will kill it in the market place. It is just not nice to listen to when compared to other similar radios. The received audio sounds pinched some how. It doesn’t want to flow out of the speaker and into your ears.

If you only have the lincoln 2 and no other radios to compare the receive to; you may grow to accept it. Your ears will learn to filter out the noise and dig the signal out. Can it be retuned? I don’t know. Is it a component issue?, over active AGC, Bandpass too tight? IF gain too high? Something ain’t right here. Radio was new out of the box as per factory specs. It comes from the same stable as the cree 8900, the Stryker 955 and the anytone 5555’s. These people know how to make radios. I assume they will get around to fixing it in time but until they do, think twice about buying it if you live in a noisy environment.

I thought the AT-5555 was fiddly to use. The lincoln 2 takes fiddly, finicky and frustrating to a whole new level. Strong signals are distorted, weak signals are covered up with noise…Definitely designed by committee. The radio does not add up to the sum of the parts.  It doesn’t mesh.

Don’t get me wrong here. It is not a cobra 200GTL. There is still hope for the Lincoln 2. It is also grossly overpriced. It is not worth what president want for it. At least the cobra 200GTL was cheap. Half the price of a lincoln 2 for a bigger radio with a 100w final section built in. Cobra decided in the end it wasn’t worth messing with. I wonder what President will do?

It remains to see how the AT-6666 pans out. Hope it does not share the same receive woes as the lincoln 2
Lincoln 2 needs to be laid quickly to rest and reborn as something  more worthy of carrying the lincoln name.

In defense of the brand and name, all tests were made on air with a 6 element yagi at a time when there was a lot of noise and propagation was good. Atmospheric noises were everywhere. The grant 2 was also quite noisy, but better than the Lincoln for sure in handling it. On a different antenna under different conditions perhaps the lincoln will fare better.

For the time being I think I would be better off with a stryker, despite the chrome and glitz. Its how the Lincoln 2 works as a radio that really defines it and the most fundamental function of a radio is the receiver. And this is unfortunately what lets it down and if you use it you have constantly to live with this. You can close your eyes and press the PTT and be in another world till you release the PTT and reach for the clarifier..once again…It isn’t drifting…it just doesn’t sound right!!!

Fucked if I know.

Quirks.

I will run a list of quirks and other anomalies here as I find them and as reported by others.

1. Memories. There seem to be 6 but are they really memories? You can put a frequency and mode into a memory but if you then use the vfo to move away from the memory while the memory ” N* ” is showing then the frequency the radio is on when you vacate the memory is now the new memory! So much for the memory! Remember the early anytones when you used the clarify on a certain channel and moved …the radio remembered and kept the clarified offset until you reclarified it. Showing its heritage here for sure….

2. Adjust the RF Gain without disturbing the clarifier! RF Gain might have been better placed down between the Volume and the squelch and the RF power and mic Gain up next to the clarifier. I don’t normally adjust the RF power as often as the RF Gain.

3. Delay after the PTT is released and the audio returns seems a little long. If it behaves like this on CW it will be a disaster on that mode.

4. The Receive Hate to admit it but the more you use the radio the more you seems to be able to put up with it !!! Doesn’t seem too bad today.

5. Setting the Split offset. See page 34 in the english manual.Hands up anybody who got it to split more than .1 on the first go. It is actually quite easy when you don’t try to follow too closely what they say in the manual. !! I have 10khz up on split when activated. Took me a while !!!

 

l2bl l2gr l2or

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7 Responses to The New President CB Radios

  1. Carl says:

    Great write up thank you

    It,s amazing how CB radios have moved on to start looking more like PMR sets these days and I agree with the pointlessness of the frequency readout on a straight 40 rig but more bells and whistles demand a higher retail price right🙂

    Nice to see the Lincoln using the multiple color display like the Cobra,s though, much prefer to choose something than be stuck with whatever scheme the rig comes in.

    Just been looking at the Uniden UH8080NB CB/Scanner and by taking all controls up to the mic like the Cobra 75 the actual unit is very small, not sure how fiddly it would be to use though.

    • dd182003 says:

      I am more for the pointlessness of the channel readout anywhere other than on a 40ch set. Makes no sense to me to have a channel readout on an export set with a frequency display. Turn the channel readout off !!!. But when the makers bring out a set they are portraying as an amateur radio and I see a channel readout …..I see red. Pointless and useless and makes a mockery of them trying to tell the world they have built a 10m Ham radio. I have yet to see a channel readout on a recent HF amateur radio by Icom, Kenwood or Yaesu etc.

  2. Leave freebanding to the outlaws. They don’t care anyway. Let them get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Amateur radio has legally licensed classes of operators The temptation to use CBs in the amateur radio band is not worth the consequences if you get caught.-A legally licensed General class amateur radio operator.
    .

  3. cb radios says:

    A CB radio or “citizens band” radio is the perfect medium range communications tool. The average store bought 2 way radio usually operates on GRMS or FRS frequencies. These frequencies are limited to a few miles and are limited even further by buildings, tress, mountains and all obstacles. CB radios can obtain ranges up to 150 miles, sometimes more. CB’s operate on a different frequency than traditional consumer radios which allows them to obtain these extended ranges and makes them a preferable communications tools.

    • dd182003 says:

      Not always…mobile antennas are lengthy with no gain. Skip can ruin local contacts. Atmospherics can be a pita. CB handhelds are a waste of time as far as I am concerned.

  4. john says:

    need to come out with a base

    • dd182003 says:

      I doubt if we will see any more more new cb radios. Just the same old shit rehashed and re dished up. With multiband ham sets costing 500 usd in the shops now where is the money in cb radio. It aint there no more. We got hand phones and computers now.
      Dinasaur technology and dinasaur application. Heck CB needs skip to work more than 40 miles. Wats ap works the world 24 hours a day. Every day. Who needs CB?
      Wake up guys!

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