Here’s a new FCC approved radio from a company I haven’t heard of before. This gold face beauty is made in the Philippines for Fulton Electronics Inc. of Orlando Florida. The face is reminiscent of the old Teaberry radios. Designed with truckers in mind, this unit has a few very useful features that I will cover later in the review.The instruction manual was put together in haste.
I believe it was written before the radio was designed and the information was taken from the preliminary engineering guidelines. Most of the descriptions are incomplete and vague. I suppose the manual isn’t on the top of the truckers’ priority list when buying a radio anyway. On a positive note, the manual does include a schematic and block diagram although quite small. These will aid in troubleshooting if it’s ever required.
Below are the block diagram and schematic supplied in the instruction manual:
- On/Off Volume Control
- Squelch Control
- Mic Gain Control
- Channel Selector
- RF Gain Control Hi/Med/Low Lamp Dimmer
- Mic Jack
- CB/PA Switch
- NB & ANL Switch
- S/RF/SWR/Cal Switches
- NB ANL Indicator
- Cal Indicator
- SWR Indicator
- S/RF/SWR Meter
- LED Channel Indicator
- Delta Tune Control
- SWR Cal Control
This is a good looking radio with some hidden features built in. Rings around the knobs and switches light up for night use. Its dimensions are about the same as the Cobra 25GTL or the Uniden PC 66XL and will fit either bracket.
This is good to know if you want a spare bracket or are mounting it in place of one of the other radios. The power cord and mic wiring are also the same.Inside the radio I found a good quality circuit board.
The board has provisions for FM, this leads me to believe this radio is sold in other countries where FM is legal. It wouldn’t be added easily, but during manufacturing it would be simple to add the proper components.
Most of. the, interconnecting wiring is terminated with connectors. Even the speaker unplugs from the main board, a feature that Uniden has gotten away from. The use of connectors can be an asset to the technician. Having the ability to disconnect wires from the main board is quite handy in many instances.
The radio is designed in such a way that it makes it easy to use the lamp dimmer for a band switch increasing the capabilities to 120 channels. Also the delta tune controls can be unplugged from the main board and plugged into a Connex echo board without rewiring. The only soldering required when installing a Connex board is the audio in and out from the Connex board.
Installation of a Connex echo board is as follows:
- Disconnect the pink wire connected between Pin 2 of the mic connector and the mic gain control at Pin 2 of the mic jack.
- Connect the center conductor of the Connex board input coax to Pin 2 of the mic jack.
- Connect the, center conductor of the Connex board output coax to the open end of, the pink wire disconnected in step 1.
- Connect the. two coax shields and connect them to the point where the black wire connects to pin one of the mic jack.
- Follow the wires from the Delta Tune controls and unplug the two brown connectors from the main board.
- Plug the Delta Tune control wires into the brown connectors on the Connex board.
- Find the loose connector with the brown and gray wires and connect it to the white connector on the Connex board.
- Screw the Connex board to the chassis just above the mic connector to complete the job.
Now the radio has echo without drilling holes or removing and taping controls inside the radio.
For the channel modification move the following connectors on the main circuit board:
1. A to Al
2. B to B1
3. C to C1
The Mongoose tuned up to about the same levels as the Cobra 29GTL and Uniden PC 76XL. The Dead key was 7.5 watt and with a modulation swings up to 24 watts on a peak reading watt meter. The modulation is adjusted via RV2, this control adjusts the AMC (automatic modulation control).
I did notice a slight amount of hash across 40,channels on a monitoring receiver while dead keying the Mongoose. This wasn’t the case with the Uniden unit. I don’t think this will create a big problem on the air but I would like to see the manufacturer look into this
The receiver selectivity is close to the Cobra 29GTL and Uniden 76XL although the Mongoose did receive slightly more splash on the air. The receive audio was extremely clear with the ANL/NB off. With the ANL/NB on the radio was extremely quiet.
The clarity and quieting is far better than that of the Cobra or Uniden radios.The Mongoose 450 is a great radio for operators that want an AM radio with some extras while retaining the stock look. It’s a good performer and the biggest market for this radio is the truckers. The radio out of the box should have a price tag of around $150.00 and with all the work done it should be around $235.00