Modulator CB Radio Aerial UK
The Government decided to legalese CB to keep it within their control so the home office radio regs department wrote specifications intending to limit the performance of both the radios and antennas. Actually, the radio specs weren’t too bad in fact very similar in band and power to the illegal old timers and they functioned very well.
Les speaks of the time trying them out with his amateur buddies comparing them with more expensive and complex transceivers as used on the 2metre band and they were found to compare favourably. One main difference with the new style CB’s was the chosen mode, FM which did make them sound much clearer (if un-molested). But soon word got around that if the deev (deviation) was opened up, they would have more range. This was of course a fallacy because it would only cause the audio to sound louder whilst occupying a couple of adjacent channels either side. Anyway, regardless of all of this, Les looked at the antenna spec and realised that it should be possible to design a bit of a beast but that would conform to the new specs. Now this would really make a difference. He knocked up a prototype which worked beyond all expectations that eventually was christened ‘Modulator’, a word well understood by CBers. Les lived in a terraced house at the time and he kept machine tools in his basement. He decided to employ a couple of mates to help produce these antennas in his basement along with a couple of families in his street. A cottage industry began. Every lunchtime, the guys in the cellar would appear up through the pavement via a ‘coal hole’ and make their way up to the corner pub for lunch. Les’s wife at the time would not allow them through the house! Les soon realised that this could not go on forever so decided to rent a small factory premises and Wallen Antennae (Les Wallen Manufacturing Ltd) was born. Unfortunately but flatteringly, many small (Fred’s in their sheds) made cheap copies of the Modulator but due to their lack of engineering knowledge, lack of chemical and material knowledge and a suicidal approach to undercutting the originals price, were never able and even to this day are incapable of producing anything to match the original. Although Wallen Antennae moved on to bigger stuff, Les has always insisted in manufacturing Modulators in support of his loyal customers without compromise to the quality and performance and after 40 years of running the business is still its Managing Director at the age of 73.