Electronics World articles Popular Electronics articles QST articles Radio & TV News articles Radio-Craft articles Radio-Electronics articles Short Wave Craft articles Wireless World articles Google Search of RF Cafe website Sitemap Electronics Equations Mathematics Equations Equations physics Manufacturers & distributors LinkedIn Crosswords Engineering Humor Kirt's Cogitations RF Engineering Quizzes Notable Quotes Calculators Education Engineering Magazine Articles Engineering software RF Cafe Archives Magazine Sponsor RF Cafe Sponsor Links Saturday Evening Post NEETS EW Radar Handbook Microwave Museum About RF Cafe Aegis Power Systems Alliance Test Equipment Centric RF Empower RF ISOTEC Reactel RF Connector Technology San Francisco Circuits Anritsu Amplifier Solutions Anatech Electronics Axiom Test Equipment Conduct RF Copper Mountain Technologies Exodus Advanced Communications Innovative Power Products KR Filters LadyBug Technologies Rigol TotalTemp Technologies Werbel Microwave Windfreak Technologies Wireless Telecom Group Withwave RF Cafe Software Resources Vintage Magazines RF Cafe Software WhoIs entry for RF Cafe.com Thank you for visiting RF Cafe!
PCB Directory (Manufacturers)

Exodus Advanced Communications Best in Class RF Amplifier SSPAs

Werbel Microwave (power dividers, couplers)

Please Support RF Cafe by purchasing my  ridiculously low−priced products, all of which I created.

RF Cascade Workbook for Excel

RF & Electronics Symbols for Visio

RF & Electronics Symbols for Office

RF & Electronics Stencils for Visio

RF Workbench

T-Shirts, Mugs, Cups, Ball Caps, Mouse Pads

These Are Available for Free

Espresso Engineering Workbook™

Smith Chart™ for Excel

Crane Aerospace Electronics Microwave Solutions: Space Qualified Passive Products

Realistic (Radio Shack) TRC-409 Portable Citizens Band Radio
Cool Product Report

Featured Product Archive

The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough to warrant an appearance.

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 |

<Previous                     Next>

Realistic (Radio Shack) TRC-409 Portable Citizens Band Radio - RF Cafe

Realistic (Radio Shack) TRC-409 Portable Citizens Band Radio.

Here is a list of "10-Codes" used by CBers.

It has been a long time since I've had a citizens band (CB) radio in my car. Back in the 1970s when the CB craze was at its peak, with songs like C.W. McCall's "Convoy"* topping Casey Kasem's American Top 40 (AT40) charts, my high school compadres were all installing 23-channel CBs (standard at the time) in their cars and pickups. I joined in with a Radio Shack unit (don't recall the model number). In those days the FCC required operators to register and mail a check for a few bucks - same with radio control (R/C) systems for model airplanes also operating in the same 26-27 MHz radio band - in return for a "Citizens Radio Station License" document to carry in your wallet. Most CB channels were spaced at 10 kHz, but the R/C frequencies were in−between some CB channels spaced at 20 kHz. For instance, my 3-channel OS Digitron R/C system was at 27.195 MHz, which resided between CB channels 19 (27.185 MHz) and 20 (27.205 MHz). Some electronically savvy CBers would illegally modify their radios to include operation on those in−between frequencies (e.g. Ch 19A at 27.195 MHz), thereby creating a scenario where merely keying up the transmitter could "shoot down" a model airplane if close enough.

Here are some photos of my late 1980s vintage Archer (Radio Shack) model TRC−409 portable CB (40 channels). It is in like-new condition since it rarely got used. I also scanned and posted the user's manual below for the benefit of anyone looking for one. I see the TRC-409's for sale on eBay sometimes without the manual. People like to bash Radio Shack, but I got a lot of good stuff there over the years when ordering online was not an option. This "Plain English Rules - Citizens Band Radio Service" pamphlet was included.

You can see there are no integrated circuits in the RF and analog sections, with just a single IC for driving the LED display. I could not find a schematic for the TRC−409, but it looks from the back side of the PCB that there is no other DIP footprint that would indicate another IC. The large potted section appears to be the PLL circuit, where the bottom layer of the PCB being a ground plane.

At some point I'll post my Realistic TRC-474 40-channel CB radio stuff.





Realistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual 
(searchable text version below)

Realistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p1) - RF CafeRealistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p2) - RF Cafe Realistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p3) - RF CafeRealistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p4) - RF Cafe

Realistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p5) - RF Cafe Realistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p6) - RF CafeRealistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p7) - RF CafeRealistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p8) - RF Cafe

Realistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p9) - RF Cafe Realistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p10) - RF CafeRealistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p11) - RF CafeRealistic TRC-409 Portable CB Radio User's Manual (p12) - RF Cafe

Here is the searchable text of the TRC-409 Portable Citizens Band transceiver

Owner's Manual

TRC-409 40-Channel Mobile CB Transceiver

Please read before using this equipment

Cat. no. 21-1500



Your Realistic® TRC-409 40-Channel Emergency Mobile CB Transceiver gives you security and peace-of-mind anytime you are on the road. It is specially designed so you can take it with you in any vehicle.

The TRC-409 is simple to set up and use. Everything you need stores in the sturdy carrying case and you can power the unit from almost any vehicle's cigarette lighter socket. (See "Setting Up the TRC-409.") In a matter of seconds, you are ready to report accidents or ask for information about traffic conditions, road conditions, or anything else you need to know about.

Your TRC-409 has a 40-channel PLL (phase-locked loop) tuner that uses a single crystal to synthesize all CB frequencies. This assures reliable, accurate tuner operation.

Before you use your CB, carefully read this manual. If you have problems, see "Maintenance and Problem Solving."

• Magnetic-Mount, Telescopic Antenna - attaches quickly to the metal roof or fender of a vehicle

• DC Power Adapter-provides power from a vehicle's cigarette lighter socket, if the vehicle has a 12-volt, negative-ground electrical system

• Instant Channel-9 Tuning - lets you quickly tune to the standard emergency channel

• Two Ceramic Filters - assure superior selectivity and freedom from adjacent channel interference

• Range (Squelch) Control

• Automatic Noise Limiting (ANL) Circuit

• Automatic Modulation Control

• Sturdy Carrying Case

No FCC License Required (USA) - You can operate a CB radio in the USA without a license. However, you are required to know Part 95 of the FCC Rules and Regulations. It applies to the operation of a class D citizens' band unit. A copy of Part 95 is enclosed with your CB radio. For your own protection, we urge you to record the serial number of this unit in the space provided below. You'll find the serial number on the back panel of the unit.

Serial Number 0128774

©1988 Tandy Corporation.

All Rights Reserved.

Realistic and Radio Shack are registered trademarks of Tandy Corporation.

Control Locations

See images in page scans above


See images in page scans above

Using the TRC-409

Setting up the TRC-409

See images in page scans above


•The supplied magnetic-mount antenna is designed for use on a vehicle that is stopped. If you want to use the TRC-409 in a moving vehicle, use anyone of Radio Shack's mobile CB antennas.

• Do not use the TRC-409 when no antenna is attached to it.

• Power the TRC-409 only from a vehicle that has a 12-volt, negative-ground electrical system. Most vehicles have this type of system, but if you are not sure about your vehicle's system, check with your vehicle dealer.

1. Remove the antenna from the carrying case, fully extend it, and place it on a metal surface on the vehicle.

The roof is the best antenna location because the higher the antenna is, the better your reception is. However, if the vehicle has a vinyl or cloth roof, you can place the antenna on the hood or fender.

2. Plug the antenna's cord into the TRC-409's ANTENNA jack.

3. Insert the DC adapter's smaller plug into the TRC-409's DC 12V jack.

4. Insert the adapter's larger plug into the cigarette lighter socket.


1. Set the RANGE control to MAX.

2. Turn on the TRC-409 by turning the POWER/VOLUME control clockwise.

3. Press either channel button - [UP] or [DOWN]-to select the desired channel.

3. Adjust the POWER/VOLUME control for a suitable volume level.

3. Adjust the RANGE control to cut out background noise when the radio is not receiving a strong transmission. (This is similar to the squelch adjustment on other CBs.)

If you are trying to receive a weak transmission, set the RANGE control to MAX.

The built-in ANL (automatic noise limiter) circuit helps reduce of eliminate noise from external sources. This circuit is always on.


1. Press either of the channel button - [UP] or [DOWN]-to select the desired channel.

1. Press and hold down [TALK], and speak into the built-in microphone in a normal voice. Release the [TALK] button to receive.

Using Channel 9

Channel 9 is reserved for reporting emergency information about accidents, hazardous road conditions, and so on. Do not use channel 9 for non emergency messages.

To immediately tune to Channel 9, press [EMERGENCY]. Press [EMERGENCY] again to return to the previously selected channel.

Tips for CB Operation

Maximum Range

The range and quality of CB transmissions vary depending on the following facts:

• The type and quality of antenna used

• The height of the antenna's mounting location - the higher the antenna the better the reception.

• The surrounding terrain - mountains and tall buildings limit the range

• The weather conditions

• The number of nearby CBs operating on the same channel

CB Courtesy

Follow these courtesy guidelines when using your CB:

• Wait for a pause in other people's transmissions before you ask for a break.

• If you do not receive an answer to your call after a second attempt, sign off and wait several minutes before trying again.

• Do not hold down the [TALK] button when you are not talking. (This is called dead keying.)

• Assist callers with directions, information about road conditions, and any other reasonable requests.

Noise Reduction

Because your CB transceiver is exceptionally quiet, any noise you hear is probably from an external source in your vehicle - the ignition, another radio, spark plugs, and so forth.

If you operate the TRC-409 with the vehicle's engine off, you should not have noise problems. If you use the CB with the engine on, you must locate the source of the noise. You can determine the source of the noise by turning off the engine and operating the CB with the ignition set to ACC. If most or all of the noise goes away the problem is in your vehicle's ignition or electrical system. Here are a few hints to help you reduce or eliminate such noise:

• Make all CB power and antenna wires as short as possible.

• Do not route the power wires next to antenna wires.

• Be sure that the ground connection (black wire) is secure.

• Replace old ignition wires with new, high-voltage, noise-suppression wires.

• Install noise suppressors on your spark plugs, or install new spark plugs that have built-in suppressors.

• If problems persist, check your alternator/generator and regulator gauges. Noise from these sources can be reduced or eliminated using bypass capacitors at the various output voltage points.

Your local Radio Shack store has a wide selection of noise-suppression accessories.

Common Uses for a CB Radio

Business Uses:

• For security policemen, a 2-way radio is more than a convenience; it is a must for both safety and efficiency.

• Truckdrivers and deliverymen learn road and traffic conditions and obtain assistance in locating destinations. CB is also good company on those "long hauls".

• In construction crews, CB quickly pays for itself when you are calling for additional materials or coordinating the activities of various work crews.

Personal Uses:

• Keep in touch with home while driving to work, to the store, or to a social activity. Let your family know you are tied up in traffic or that you will stop by the market on the way home.

• If you are a two-car (or more) family, CB units are great for communicating with members of your family while they are in their cars.

• Contact friends and neighbors - find out "what's happening" or plan a get-together. You can even meet new friends this way.

• Ever have car trouble or run out of gas on the highway? What an assurance it is to be able to radio for assistance.

• Camping, hunting, fishing, or other sports are more fun with CB. Locate a buddy or find out "what's cooking back at camp".

Commonly Used 10-Codes

Citizens band radio operators have largely adopted the 10-codes for standard questions and answers. These codes permit faster communication and better intelligibility in noisy areas. The following table lists some of the more common codes and their meanings.

See images in page scans above

Citizens band Frequency Chart

See images in page scans above

Maintenance and Problem Solving

Your transceiver is a fine example of electronic engineering and construction.

The following suggestions will help you care for your CB so that you can enjoy it for years. If at any time you suspect that your unit is not performing as it should, refer to the following and see if you can eliminate the problem. If the problem persists, take the unit to your local Radio Shack store. Our personnel can assist you and arrange for service if needed.

Keep the transceiver dry. If it does get wet, wipe it off immediately. Water contains minerals that can corrode electronic circuits.

1. If you experience trouble while receiving.

• Check the VOLUME On/Off switch setting.

• Be sure RANGE is adjusted properly. Is it over-squelched?

• Check if the unit is switched to an operating channel.

• Check for a good antenna connection.

2. If you experience trouble while transmitting.

• Check if the transmission cable is securely connected to the antenna 12 Volt DC car adapter.

• Check if the antenna is fully extended for proper operation.

• Are all connections secure and free of corrosion?

• Be sure you are fully pressing the TALK button.

3. If the transceiver is completely inoperative.

• Check the 12 Volt DC car adapter and in-line fuse (replace only with an identical 2-amp fuse).

If these checks don't solve the trouble, do NOT attempt repairs or adjustments yourself. The unit should only be serviced by a qualified radio technician. Whenever possible, return the unit to the store from which it was purchased.

Fuse Replacement

Twist to open the fuse holder and install a 2-Amp fuse. Do not use a fuse with a rating higher than 2 Amps.

See images in page scans above



Frequency Coverage

All 40 CB Channels 26.965 to 27.405 MHz


0.7μV or better for 10dB (S+N)/N

Adjacent Channel Rejection

60dB (at 10kHz)

Intermediate Frequency

1st IF = 10.695 MHz,

2nd IF = 455 kHz

Audio Output

1 watt (max)

Frequency Response

450-2500 Hz

Cross Modulation

50dB (or better)


Adjustable from 0.6μV to 1 mV


Frequency Coverage

All 40 CB Channels (class D) 26.965 to 27.405 MHz

Power Output

4 watts (maximum 5 watts input power)



Modulation Capabilities

+90%, -90%

Spurious Radiation

Less than - 65dB

Current Drain (13.8 volt supply)

850 mA (no modulation) 1500 mA (full modulation)


Magnetic-Base Antenna

12V DC Adapter

Travel case

Radio Shack Limited Warranty

This product is warranted against defects for 90 days from date of purchase from Radio Shack company-owned stores and authorized Radio Shack franchisees and dealers. Within this period, we will repair it without charge for parts and labor. Simply bring your Radio Shack sales slip as proof of purchase date to any Radio Shack store. Warranty does not cover transportation costs. Nor does it cover a product subjected to misuse or accidental damage.

EXCEPT AS PROVIDED HEREIN, RADIO SHACK MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Some states do not permit limitation or exclusion of implied warranties; therefore, the aforesaid limitation(s) or exclusion(s) may not apply to the purchaser.

This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

We Service What We Sell

Radio Shack

A Division of Tandy Corporation

Fort Worth, Texas 76102


Printed in Korea

*If you've never listened intently enough to pick up all the words, you can read the lyrics here... "Well, we shot the line and we went for broke With a thousand screaming trucks, and eleven long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus."



Posted February 4, 2021

Crane Aerospace Electronics Microwave Solutions: Space Qualified Passive Products
ConductRF Phased Matched RF Cables - RF Cafe

Copper Mountain Technologies (VNA) - RF Cafe

withwave microwave devices - RF Cafe