Today we are looking at a really nice example of an absolutely classic eighties CB Radio
If you’ve seen any cb radio videos on YouTube of folks out on the hillsides then you’ve possibly already spotted one of these known as a Midland Portapak and as I say this is a really good example of one
I spotted this one on EBay and only bid on it because it was going for a lot less than I ideally see them going for and I thought I’d grab it to try out next summer when I’m out DXing
I have hd one of these before and it a review of it a couple of years ago but it didn’t come with the case and it’s accessories and was just the rig itself. The model of the Radio itself is the Midland 77-805 and is ideal as a portable cb radio because of its weight and size.
Before we look at the features of this great little radio let’s take a closer look at the case
This one is in really good condition with the shoulder strap and buckled all still in nice condition and the thumb screws and mic clips are usable
The mic on a portapak is actually a speaker mic meaning that sound comes from the mouthpiece when not the key isn’t depressed. This makes it easier to use as a portable radio allowing you to hold the mic closer to your face when in use. Particularly useful in high winds
The aerial is obviously the key feature of the portapak and extends fully with only a slight bend in the top section
These aerials are very fragile and often end up getting broken or sections coming apart
The other key feature of the portapak is the battery compartment which can power the radio through 12 AA batteries when running portable. This though is where I found a problem with this one.
I’ve tried it with a full set of AA batteries and even tried it with a pair of dummy batteries to reduce the Voltage but can’t get it to power on from the battery pack . I’ve got it running from the mains at the moment but got hold of this power adapter which fits to a cigarette lighter end which I can run from my portable battery or from the mains like this. As well as the power lead on the back of the rig there a PL259 end to fit any type of antenna. When I’m out this summer I’ll connect this end to a T2LT on an 8ft roach pole.
But this radio should work completely independently with the integrated whip antenna.
The portapak also has a feature that most small form radios don’t have and that is a signal meter. This obviously useful when giving radio reports when portable
As far as controls go there are just two pots on the portapak which helps keep the radio small in size.
As well as the channel indicator which is green on midland radios and the signal meter we just mentioned. You get just a channel selector with channel marked on the dial and the volume control with squelch on the collar of the volume dial and that’s it
Considering this is Snowpaw original 27/81 model is is pretty advanced for a radio of its age
There really isn’t another radio out there that can run from batteries with an integrated aerial out there other than handheld rigs so this has to be one of the radios for extreme radio activations out there and I can’t wait to give it a try out later on this year