In a world where you didn't have more super computing power than all those big mainframes in your very own pocket pool, we made contact with others using the nearby pay phone, phone booth, call box or a CB radio. It was like internet relay chat on the air but you only kept up with whomever was travelling your way, or, whomever had a CB radio in their house. There was a CB channel that was always monitored by PD that you sort of left clear. Other than that, you chatted and kept yourself awake when you were tired of listening to that 8-Track of Foreigner.
Now, I bought this unit for my mother for Christmas. She wanted to feel safe, so this rattled around in her trunk for a few years. After awhile, she got a new vehicle so there was no more worry about breaking down. Plus, she didn't travel freeways, just city streets to go to work. Therefore, it was gifted to me. I was going back and fourth from Toledo and Cleveland while I finished my two weeks at my previous radio gig and that's why mom gave it to me. I had other CBs, but they were a hassle to set up and take down. Plus, at that point, all the fun of talking to others was gone. I was into listening to other radio stations and playing music.
It was as easy at 1,2,3. You plugged it in to the cigarette lighter. You had the whole CB held in your hand and you placed the antenna on the top of your car. It was a folding type, and wasn't even a real CB antenna, so it's range was a bit less, but in an emergency, it did the job. You can cell it was the 80's because of the car the damsel in distress was driving. I believe they had larger types of this radio, but this was a smaller unit with a digital tuning. It was exciting. It was high tech. It had that 80's style "Digital" buzzword writing.
Breaker 1-9 bitches! I'm the CB Savage! Wall to wall and treetop tall. That is all. Bye Bye. Mr. Fat Hanz shows what the handset was like. Compared to a full sized or even a compact CB, having an all in one wonder was pretty good. Simplicity was the name. If this could have doubled as a Am/Fm radio, and a flash light, that would have made this all the better. The only thing this didn't have compared to the hand held CBs that Radio Shrek sold was the antenna, but it was a simple cable away.
That is all. The antenna plugged in like a VCR cable and the power adapter was inside the radio while you has a simple cable to plug in to the 12v. No batteries here. No fun here. Emergency radio. CB. Rocking and rolling on full automatic. They were sold in all the Best and U.S. Merchandise and Service Merchandise catalogs. GE really had a business up until the 90's. They kept a big electronics factory humming along in Singapore, were pretty inexpensive and very durable. When I think of all the cheaper versions of the stuff they offered... Who knew that there is a lot of GE stuff that still works now compared to GPX tape recorders and CROWN CB radios. Okay, I'll now come down from my soapbox.
I used it a few times until I really needed it for an emergency and... I used this when I car pooled with a friend to my first convention. (20th anniversary, Today.) Then, I used it again a few times for travelling to and from conventions in Memphis. The antenna was not really meant for use while the car was moving so it usually flipped down in the wind, but it stayed on the top of the car like a magnetic champ. Trouble was, with the antenna down, it drastically reduced the range it got, but it worked . Then, I got a used Pontiac Grand Am from my brother when my Saturn was destroyed. It worked, but I probably shouldn't have driven it back and fourth to Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Memphis from Louisville. I was driving home from Pittsburgh when the transmission gave out. I dug this baby out and got on the help channel and tried for a good hour to get someone, anyone to help. No dice. So, I started walking down the freeway to the next exit. A police officer stopped and picked me up, called me a tow truck and stayed while I was picked up. When I said that I tried to reach the PD on Channel 9, he said they don't even monitor that channel any more. Cell phones were cheap enough and plentiful enough by that time, that the CB went away. For a few years before that, we had the FRS radios to talk car to car, but that was a short three years, and by 2002, if you needed someone somewhere in a convention hotel, you called them on the cell phone. This went into a box when my mom got me a prepaid cell phone. (It plays TETRIS! Can this Help CB play TETRIS? You could use it as a brick in the wall...) This GE still works. Of course it still works. GE...we bring good trash to life!
...and here is the bonus content. GE products in the older days always has a sheet where you could send in your money for the neat little accessories. It was direct mail crap at it's finest. The antenna adaptor was so you could place a potable antenna on this or hook it up to a better antenna. You could actually buy better antennas for this as well or a replacement antenna when the one that came with the radio blew off the top of your car. (Yes, this did happen once against a strong wind and some 18 wheeler traffic, but it was on a short leash with a closed window so no real damage.) You could get fuses, car adapters, even a 12V power supply if you wanted to use this at home. Plus, if indeed you wanted to go all portable cell phone on this, you could spend the big bucks and purchase a battery pack to run this mess. I would have liked to have one of those. Hahahahahahahah. It would be more junk. Only good thing about NiCads over lithium is when they died for good, they were door stops, they didn't eat themselves and pose a fire risk. Holy hell. NiCads sucked, but listen to me. Get off my lawn!