SBE or the Side Band Engineers company were prolific in producing fine CB radios.
Some SBE CB radio’s were microprocessor & keypad channel controlled.
Using the tried and proven SBE 817 Mobile CB radio chassis with the unusual 3 chip PLL system, the SBE company engineered the Console VI Base Station with a KeyPad under microprocessor control to select the 40 Channels as well as memory and channel scanning right through to 27.700 with a few mods.
The SBE Sidebander VI Mobile cb radio was also microprocessor controlled and was a delight to use in the mobile XA Ford Panel Van that was my work transport on the road between client offices repairing Micrographics equipment. The two large external rear door hinges were perfect to mount the 9′ stainless steel antenna on a special bracket that also doubled as a support for a telescopic aluminium pole that held a quick screw extendable Ringo up 6 yards in the air when out in the sticks dxing on some hill location around Victoria Australia.
Probably the best CB mobile radio going except for my CPI CP300 40 Channel SSB Mobile
An SBE similar to the Console V below was my first true CB Base radio that has the same mobile internals as the SBE Liner 878 with the three discrete PLL chips controlling the channel selection code.
The Side Band Engineers SBE models were a bit different to the rest of the CB radios out on the Citizens Band radio scene that mainly used the one PLL chip like the D858 & 02A based cb radios did at the time. The PLL code stepped in 5kcs and easily went to 27.700 so covered the freeband frequencies that were the international DX operating frequencies. I made many barefoot dx contacts world wide on the SBE Console V Base CB with a Black Leson TW232 microphone that I still have operating.
All those spare switches on the front panel were handy for freebanding back in the 70’s and talking in the “RatHole” from home at the time in Black Rock on a three element yagi.
The mobile SBE cb 40 channel SSB radios at the time were avoided by the buddies because they did not look as good as the other cb radio mobiles on the market, with a very plain looking black front face.
The black plastic tuning knobs also looked cheap and the tx/rx meter was small. The Channel selector was also finely graduated with the 40 channels interlaced on a clear plastic background. At night it had a light highlighting the selected channel at the 12 o’clock position?? Hmm maybe at three o’clock, – damn i cant remember but will check soon and edit this if wrong.
But for all its visual shortcomings, it was an awesome receiving and transmitting mobile cb radio that was the radio of choice for the AlphaXray cognoscenti.
Especially when we all had linears in our mobiles behind them doing well over 250 watts into decent mobile antennas. The AlphaXray “Rathole” was alive with DX that no-one else on channel 16 or 35 even knew about.