WESTVILLE, ILLINOIS -- I will be traveling for work quite a bit in the near future. As always, I'll have my cellphone and AAA road service. I have my music on CD's. And I sometimes enjoy listening to the radio stations in the towns I pass through. But I've been thinking lately that may be it's time to carry a CB radio with me. Years ago, even before the CB craze of the late 70's, I used to enjoy listening to the CB radio. It came in handy on the road too.
So, for the last several weeks I've been surfing the net, trying to educate myself on CB radio again. I've come across a few good sites. Some of them are informational, some are retailers. There really aren't too many retailers out there anymore that have any real sort of inventory.
One night I happened across Sparkys CB Shack. They have a forum, much like this website has for members to communicate. I've spent about 6 weeks reading and then participating on Sparkys forums. I am very impressed with the knowledge of the members. While it's true that many people that continuously talk on two-way radios eventually graduate to Ham radio, many people talk on both bands.
I was immediately made aware that the people on Sparkys forum were electronic wizards to varying degrees. I know enough about electronics to understand a lot of what they discuss, but it has certainly been a learning experience for me. One of the first things I noticed was the solidarity of the members. They back Sparkys as their primary source for products, service and information.
So, after a few weeks of reading and looking, I knew what I wanted. It's a slick-looking radio with most of the bells and whistles. I usually don't care about the bells and whistles, but I do like nice styling when it comes to electronics. I may dress like a bum, but daggonit, I want my electronic gear to look sharp!
I called Sparks today for the first time. It was exactly what I was led to believe, after having read so much about them. The guy that answered the phone (possibly Sparky/Al himself) was very friendly and helpful. He helped me with my questions and made me feel good about my purchase. After I hung up with him, I used the internet to actually order the radio. I won't have it for a few days, but when I get it, I'll comment on this thread and give a report.
Sparkys website and forums themselves are enough to deserve a nice review on M3C. But I actually dealt with them today, and so far it's what it appears to be. An old-fashioned, customer service company. Of course it makes good use of the new age of the internet to give you the best of both worlds. You can shop and educate yourself until you're ready to call, if you even have to. If you do call, you get a real person. A real technician that knows what they're talking about. Refreshing! Their website: http://www.sparkyscbshack.com/Home.html.