RTL SDR IF Interface to Texas Ranger 696 SSB Base – PART 1. of ?

Using one of my USB RTL SDR’s to see where any signal action was occurring on the 27 MHz CB Band was a sure way to know where to be to work skip when it appears!

The annoying fact that it required another similar antenna to be able to receive the signals also was a HOA problem. (Wife)

As I had found out that my Icom ICR-71A had a Buffered Panadapter out that can be used as an SDR signal input, I decided to modify my Texas Ranger 696 SSB Base CB with a similar output from the First IF [ Intermediate Frequency ]

This IF is set at 43.830 MHz and signals can be seen here. [Not sure if this is correct – to be checked]

This is my initial foray into this project and as I wanted to delve straight into the possibilities, I decided to direct solder some quality mini coax to the Main PCB point of the First IF and ground. The other end was soldered to the Frequency Output socket on the back after removing and terminating the Frequency Out Cable. This socket as standard only produced a signal on Transmit Frequency Out and was superfluous as the 696 Base has an accurate Frequency Counter built in on the front panel.

Unfortunately this loads down the circuit and reduces the Audio & Signal Meter operation as shown, so a similar buffer to the IC-R71A will be needed.

Fortunately the SDR Software and Hardware work to perfection pulling in signals on my main antenna, a base loaded mobile whip on the shed!

I own different CB Radio classics including Tram, CPI, SBE, Cobra, Texas Ranger, DAK, Stoner, and my favourite, the Uniden PC122 CB built into a HAM Icom IC-701! I have a log book somewhere that counts near a hundred different countries that I have contacted on CB radios inside the 27MHz Citizens Band 40 Channel Government allocation in last 50 years.

So I hope you enjoy my efforts below as its purely for a hobby!

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