Unusual is an apt description of STONER - The Sideband People and their products. In a depressed market, Stoner elected to introduce a "Cost is no object" professional CB transceiver, their Model PRO-40. Even so, the waiting list for this ultimate specification transceiver continues to grow!
One of the most notable features of the PRO-40 is its ability to reject unwanted stations and interference. Virtually all CBs use a conventional RF amplifier/mixer "Front-end" in their receiver which is susceptible to overload (bleedover) from strong stations. Stoner has eliminated the RF amplifier and employed a Schottky diode mixer similar to that used in commercial SSB radiotelephones. The company claims this circuit, in conjunction with dual cascaded crystal filters, allows the radio to be operated within 100 feet of another station without harmful interference. The adjacent channel rejection is guaranteed to be in excess of 90dB. Crossmodulation rejection is more than 120dB.
Annoying whistles from AM carriers (heterodynes) are virtually eliminated by the unique "Whistlestop" filter. This same filter can also peak the audio response to help separate stations, even on the same channel. Thus, the PRO-40 excels in the presence of skip interference.
Channel selection is controlled by a microprocessor and scan-actuating pushbutton switches. One of the most prominent features of the PRO-40 is the light emitting diode (LED) channel display and frequency meter. High accuracy is achieved by combining the various signals in the radio to compute the exact operating frequency, both receive and transmit. Even the sideband in use is displayed by an LED!
Tuning the PRO-40 is a real pleasure with a "feel" resembling that found in a ham rig. The wide range, 10-turn clarifier employs a large dial for smooth response. There is no critical impression such as one gets from using a tiny clarifier knob.
Transmitter features have not been overlooked in the professional product. The PRO-40 is supplied with a D104 microphone. The built-in speech processor provides the audio "talk power" of an amplified microphone, but without the distortion or the frequent need to replace batteries.
The broadband transmitter in the PRO-40 provides full power output with no sign of "falloff" across the band. PEP output is indicated by the front panel meter. A unique feature is the discriminator type SWR meter which indicates the optimum transmitting frequency of the antenna without calibration.
STONER- The Sideband People have developed a total system concept for their radio. The matching system components are shown in the accompanying photograph [Woody- I'll have it in here at a later date]. The station operating console incorporates a digital clock which will energize the entire station at a preset time. In addition, a phone patch can be used to interconnect mobile or distant stations into the local telephone network. Even a tape recorder interface is provided in the SOC-40 for logging calls or to allow an incoming station to hear how they sound.
A monitor oscilloscope is shown here. The OSC-40 monitors both the transmitted and incoming signal to provide an indication of distortion and overmodulation. Excellent audio response is provided by the matching base reflex speaker, and Stoner's careful attention to detail is apparent even in the SPK-40. The interior is padded with fiberglass matting to eliminate rattles and to extend the frequency response.
If you plan to study for an amateur license don't overlook their ham radio adapter - no one else has a similar product for a CB radio. The HAM-40 is a receiving converter which translates the 80-,40-, and 20-meter ham bands so they can be received ( and the frequency displayed) by the PRO-40.
A meter console (SWR-40) has provision for switching between four antenna systems. it indicates forward and reflected power, plus modulation percentage.
Looking forward to the day when CBers can sommunicate over-the-air with hobby computers, Stoner has even developed a computer interface adapter for their station.
Earlier, we mentioned the unique marketing approach of STONER-The Sideband People. Their production is intentionally keptlow to permit personalized customer service. They are also able to check every radio for specification compliance and give it a thorough 'burn-in" and air test before it is shipped. As a result, you may have to make a deposit and wait several weeks or more to purchase one of their products.
Stoner likes to think of their customers as members of a rather exclusive single sideband club. They even addign an individual club call to each radio (the Stoner number).