Recently, I wanted to start incorporating communications into my survival kit. I wanted some kind of a radio to work with. The local pawn shop had just gotten a Midland 75-822. Price was under $50. So I nabbed it and took it home. These guys have been around forever. In the 1970’s they were part of the CB craze. So they have plenty of experience in CB’s.

Although a brand new 75-822 comes with a power adapter, mine from the pawn shop didn’t. But I didnt get the antenna, handheld unit and car adapter. The car adapter is important. That’s because it lets you plug into the cigarette lighter. Speaking of power, there are two different battery case units. One for 6 AA batteries and one for 8 batteries.

But an antenna connector is on that unit as well. The 75-822 takes a standard CB PL259 connection to the antenna. So you can remove the rubber duckie antennae and go with a much longer one. Removing the battery pack and plugging in the car adapter is easy. Also you can add headphones to this unit. My Midland CB ran about $50 but I’ve seen new prices run around $75 or so. So if you can find one in a pawn or thrift store, snatch it up.

The 75-822 is easy to use and isn’t complicated to operate. It has 2 dials on top, Channel and PTT buttons on left side. 9 buttons are on the front which enable Channel selection. The Midland also has a dual watch feature that lets you bounce between 2 channels. It took a little bit of playing around to get the scanner to work. If you turn down the Squelch or SQL, then the scanner has a better chance of moving through channels.

Let’s start with the positives. Adaptability in operating from battery operation or car operation is important. Also, it provides me with hand held weather radio and CB local communications. Other positives include operation apart from cell radio towers and upgrading the antenna.

This handheld CB is strongly built and includes a solid clip on the back. This let’s me attach the unit to my bug out bags molle straps.

Another extra that I like is that it has a low/high power setting. This is great in case you are talking to people nearby. Just move it to low power to save on your batteries.

As mentioned earlier, I didn’t get a power adapter for the big battery. That’s because I bought this from a pawn shop. A new matching power unit from Radio Shack cost me $30, so in the end, the entire unit and accessories were a wash. Buying it online would have ended up being the same price. Also, the range with the existing rubber duck antenna isn’t that great.

Another negative is the back lit screen. I don’t like how the back lit screen goes off after about 10-15 seconds. In the dark, it would be nice to have back lit buttons to see what’s available. Its just strange seeing a back lit screen but you can’t find the buttons to push to operate the unit in the dark.radio strap

Now here is something else to think about.

Let’s say you have run through your batteries. And there’s no car available to power your Midland. What happens when batteries go out. How do you recharge them? One idea that I’m throwing around is the idea of using a BioLite stove with the USB power output. Plugging in a battery charger into the Biolite may be the ticket. This would let me power my Midland CB off the grid.

As a starter CB, this is a great model. I like the CB channel scanner, weather channel, antenna changeability and clip on the back. Not to say the battery switch out for cigarette adapter. I’m considering this CB radio an early training for moving up into ham radio.