*Midland Mobile/Portable CB Transceiver model 75-822*
By: LeGrosMammouth
03 April 2008

CBís uses to be the big crave in the late 70ís and early 80ís. Nowadays, they are rapidly disappearing to a point where itís now almost an anachronism to see someone with one. I for one will always have one handy because they have a lot of uses if you go in area where cell phone coverage is not available and you still need to talk to someone in the immediate area. For example, I do a lot of off-road trail using my 4x4 Jeep JK Unlimited. Often I need my co-pilot to go out and guide me through a particularly difficult line of access or while we are setting-up a winch cable. Thereís no substitute for speech and it makes a big difference to be able to just talk instead of only using hand signal. A few times where the cell line where not accessible in the area, using a CB allowed me to stay in touch with a nervous family at home while I had to go around doing my business (Thatís usually when people will say ĎI really should get one of those for emergencies).

Recently, my old CB died on me and Iíve been looking for something portable that can be carried out of the car and work for a few hundred feet but also can work well as base equipment with a 3-4 mile range. I came across the Midland 75-822 and after reading a few reviews decided to acquire 2 of them. Hereís my experience with it.

The 75-822 is a mobile-portable CB. So you can carry it around and use-it like the old talkie-walkie or you can use-it as an installed mobile device.

Objectives of this article
Iím not going to do a complete feature by feature run down. For that, go to the supplier site where you can find the spec sheet:

www.midlandradio.com

What I will do in this article is give you a factual opinion on what I consider the good, bad and ugly of this unit, not just a sales pitch.

Amongst the features worth mentioning is:

40-channel CB radio / 5 Memory channel /
Quick channel 9 and 19
10 Channel hazard/Weather information
External Jack for headset (Not included).
Quick/change battery pack
12 volt adaptor

40-channel CB radio / 5 Memory channel
Ok, so itís your typical CB radio with the usual 40 channel. If you have a few people using different channel as is the case when I off-road thereís a nifty scan feature that works very well. Thereís a backlight for easy viewing at night but it goes off after a while. I understand itís to save batteries but there should be a way to make stay on. The scanning feature is (really) fast and locks onsistently.

Quick channel 9 and 19
I like to switch my CB when I get close to any large metropolitan area. You can get some pointers about traffic jam or police hot spot or you can simply talk to that big rig by your car and ask-it to let you squeeze in the traffic. The quick one button channel 9-19 is nice for that.

10 Channel hazard/Weather information
This is mostly useful in the US where these station are much more common then Canada where these are available but thereís a lot less of them and they usually transmit a low power, still, if you are within 100km of any airport you should be able to pick-up something. I usually just check the weather channel or the Internet when I can get access but if you are camping out for a few days, itís nice to have that channel so you can plan your day. Especially when it looks stormy out there ;-).

External Jack for headset (Not included).
Another nifty feature is that you can use a headset. This is really practical when you need both your hand to do something but still need to listen or talk. You can get those on eBay for about $6-10. IMO, itís worth the expense and in some area might even be mandatory. In Quebec for example, cannot hold a talking device while driving, you are required to use some form of hand-free aid. These will fit the bill just fine.


Thereís a neat clip that you can attack to your clothing and you can either push/talk or switch on the Vox mode in which is like locking the transmit mode really.

Quick/change battery pack
One thing I liked about this kit is that it comes with quick/change pack. You can snap a new battery pack in just a few second. Midland gives you two pack. One that will hold 6-AA batteries and one that will hold 8-AA. The idea is to use the 8-pack with rechargeable and the other one with regular AAís (More on this later). Oh yeah, another nifty feature is that the 8-pack can be use to recharge the batteries with the included transformer. Thatís a nice touch.

The only thing I donít like about these pack is that they are made out of a cheap plastic that will break easily. This means that you have to be somewhat careful when you open them to change the batteries. In the middle of winter it means taking out your gloves and all that stuff. Not practical. What I do since I have two devices is keep the four packs full and just switch when the power start running low. Works just fine. I can change the batteries when Iím in the warmth of the car;-).

12 volt adaptor
The unit also comes with a 12 volt adapter which is really nice when you want to use it as your mobile device in your car. Just remove the battery pack and put the adapter on and Ďvoilaí you are operational.

The unit comes with a small antenna. This is fine when you are using the CB around the vehicle but you wonít get more than a quarter mile usage if you have two units using these.

Usage review

Batteries usage
If you intend to use rechargeable AAís with this unit I strongly recommend using high capacity one (2500mAh minimum) otherwise in less than a few minutes of talk your 6 pack will bring you down from 4 to 3 watts. If you use high capacity you can extend usage quite a lot. Especially if you use them in the 8 pack. We talked 30 back and forth for 30 minutes without any significant drop in power. Worth mentioning is that the unit automatically goes into battery save mode after 30 seconds of no audio or keying

Range of the unit
We tested the CB in the following fashion;

Midland 75-822 CB transceiver test
Direction of test Wattage used Unit 1 Unit 2 Audible voice
         
Handheld to handheld 4 watt Stock Antenna Stock Antenna 1/4 mile
  3 watt Stock Antenna Stock Antenna 1/8 mile (600 foot)
  2 watt Stock Antenna Stock Antenna < 200 foot
Handheld to mobile 4 watt Stock Antenna 102 inches 1/3 mile
  2 watt Stock Antenna 102 inches 1/8 mile (600 foot)
Mobile to Handheld 4 watt 102 Inch Stock Antenna 1 mile
  2 watt 102 Inch Stock Antenna 1/3 mile
Mobile to Mobile 4 watt 102 Inch 102 Inch 4 miles
  2 watt 102 Inch 102 Inch 1.2 mile

Noise interference
While there has been some comment about this unit picking up interference from the motor we did not experience any such thing when using-it with either our jeep or our Caravan. However, as Iím writing this article, I just noticed that when the unit is in talk mode it interferes with my Wireless keyboard operation. So, just be aware of this possibility if like me you start changing batteries on your keyboard and wonder what the heck is going on ;-).

Conclusion
It seems pretty obvious from these test that this unit is usable for very close range communication (say, someone outside the car guiding you) but if you intend to use-it for any serious communication you need and external antenna.

Price paid:
$75.00 per unit. I think itís a good price consider that all that came with it.
LeGrosMammouth



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