I used this CB handle from 1975 until 1982.
My Dad's Old AM Tube Radio
My life long interest in radio
communications began when I was 11 years old back in
November of 1974.
I can still see that old radio sitting on my shelf and lighting up the darkness of my room back in 1974. WOWO radio was playing "Jazzman" by Carol King, "Laughter In The Rain" by Neil Sedaka, "Angie Baby" by Helen Reddy, and "When Will I See You Again" by The Three Degrees. I could only pick up WOWO radio at night, so I would anxiously await the evening when all those great AM radio signals from far away places would fill the airways. That little radio was my first peak at life beyond my small town in South Carolina.
This is a song play list from WABC's weekly charts for November 1974
1946 Zenith Consoltone
My First AM/FM Radio
I received my first AM/FM radio for Christmas of 1974. FM album rock was in it's heyday and 95.1 WROQ was the best station in the Rock Hill, South Carolina listening area. In early 1975 WROQ was playing "You're No Good" by Linda Ronstadt, "Bungle In The Jungle" by Jethro Tull, "Best of My Love" by The Eagles, "Wishing You Were Here" by Chicago, "Changes" by Loggins and Messina, "From The Beginning" by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, "Levon" and "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John, and "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" by The Electric Light Orchestra.
In the 1980s WROQ was sold. Now they have a different call sign, and they suck.
My First Pair of Walkie Talkies
I received these walkie talkies for my birthday in 1974. My friends and I use to pretend we were spies and sneak around the neighborhood talking on these. My friends interest in their walkie talkies quickly faded, but I was beginning a hobby that I still enjoy 30 years later.
My Second Pair Of Walkie Talkies
In 1975 I would listen to all the local CB'ers with these Archer Space Patrol walkie talkies. I could hear all 23 channels at the same time, but the transmit was on channel 14. I could see further than these walkie talkies could talk, but at least I could listen to other people with "big radios". CB'ers I specifically remember hearing over these walkie talkies in late 1975 were Brown Sugar, The Devil, Little Sniffles, Carolina Bandit, Red Baron, Colorado Kid, The Colonel, Miss Gussy, Night Witch, Red Barron, and Fender Bender.
With zero knowledge of antenna theory and no one to help me, I began building my own outdoor CB antennas to enhance the range of my walkie talkies. Some of my outdoor antenna creations were down right comical and included aluminum pup tent poles jamed together, an aluminum wire display rack that the local corner store had been displaying Cheetos, peanuts, and powdered doughnuts in, a big wire mesh window screen, and several plumbing pipes jamed and taped together that I stuck out the top of a big cedar tree. Those laughable antennas did appear to receive better than the built in telescopic antenna that came with my walkie talkie, but I had no concept of wavelength or impedance matching at the time.
My First Big Multi-Channel Walkie
Words can't explain how in awe I was of this walkie talkie at age 12. I asked for one of these walkie talkies for Christmas in 1975. I don't think I can remember another Christmas that took so long to come. For the next year the Realistic TRC-27 walkie talkie and I were un-seperable. CB'ers I remember hearing and talking to over this walkie talkie include Brown Sugar, One Watt, Jeep Freak, Bald Eagle, The World Famous Eye Baller, Brown Fox, Funky Junky, Wonder Woman, Shining Star, Sunflower, Midnight, Pepsi, Wildflower, Cow Girl, Love Bug, Red Horse, Nut Cracker, Preacher Man, and many others.
I snagged the TRC-27 walkie talkie
below off Ebay to replace the one I wore out in 1976.
The First Full Power CB I Ever Talked On
One cold night in March of 1976 my next door neighbor brought home a pickup truck from work, and it had a mobile CB radio in it. When I realized there was a real CB radio next door I rushed outside with excitement and wonder in my eyes. Inside the pickup truck I saw a 23 channel Royce 1-612 glowing warmly under the dash. I asked Mr. Keistler to tune to the local teen channel which was channel 13.
The first voice I heard come over the CB was the sweet and sultry voice of Brown Sugar. I had listened to Brown Sugar for months, but she was too far away for my walkie talkie to reach her. I remember thinking how much clearer and warmer her voice sounded over the Royce 1-612 than it did over my walkie talkie. Perhaps it was that first flood of male harmones that was beginning to saturate my 12 year old body, but I still remember her voice as being one of the sweetest and warmest female voices I ever heard over the CB radio.
Ignoring the cold winter chill I grabbed the microphone and a anxiously said; "Break channel 13". After all those months of listening I was finally able to talk to Brown Sugar for a whopping five minutes before another guy broke in to talk to her. Oh well. I was way too young for a high school girl at age 12, but at least I could listen to her. By the Summer of 1976 Brown Sugar disappeared from the CB airways for good, but I can still remember the sound of her voice when she said; "KXE 1801- Brown Sugar".
My First Real C.B. Radio
When I received this C.B. for Christmas
of 1976 I talked on it so much I lost my voice for a day
My First Amp
I worked all summer in 1978 cutting lawns for $5 each to save up enough money to purchase my first amp. It was a D&A Hornet, and I bought it used for $75.00. Unfortunately it only worked for about two days before it blew up. A local repair shop tried to rip me off with a $75.00 repair bill. They told me the transformer was blown. For about a year the D&A Hornet sat in my closet until a self taught tech friend (Red Apple) figured out it was just a 98 cent RF plate choke that needed replacing.
I repaid my debt to Red Apple several years later when some loser sold Alexander The Great a D&A Raider that was broken. Alexander The Great was understandably upset when the amp did not start working after the required "30 minute warm up time" as the former owner had stated. I remembered how Red Apple had helped me, so I fixed Alexander's amp for free. When the former owner heard Alexander talking on the "fixed" amp he tried to buy it back. Alexander refused to sell. He he he...
I played with a few other radios from 1978 until I left CB in 1981, but I did not really care for any of them. They were a Regency CR-230 23 channel mobile (1978 through summer of 1979), a Midland 79-892 40 channel sideband mobile (Fall of 1979 through August of 1980), and a Royce 609 40 channel mobile. The Regency CR-230 received too much co-channeling, the Midland 79-892 had a heat problem that would cause the PLL oscillator to regularly drop out, and the Royce 609 had a very noisy receive.
In late 1983 I returned to the CB after a two year absence. In 1975 I had chosen the handle Carolina Pirate because the mascot for my junior high school was a pirate. At age 20 the handle did not seem to fit anymore, so I changed my handle to the name of my favorite rock band at the time - Night Ranger.
This web page continues under the title "Night Ranger's CB and Ham Radios".