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President McKinley USA Review

Over the years, CB radio continues to flourish as a device of choice for on-the-road communication. And with the latest technology available nowadays, developments in CB radios press on for increased reliability and function. And if you’re a power user who wants to enjoy cutting-edge technology combined with exceptional durability, you’ll definitely want to set your eyes on the President McKinley USA CB Radio, one of the best SSB CB radios in the market. 

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The McKinley is easily the finest radio in the President line. Many CB radio enthusiasts love the President brand for their innovation, advanced tech, and stability. After all, President has invented the Automatic Squelch back in 1996, and we know how valuable this function is for many radios nowadays. With the McKinley model as one of the frontrunners in the CB lane, expect nothing but reliable performance and a loaded feature set from this radio.

Although the President McKinley USA comes with a hefty price tag of $199.95, it delivers on technology and overall performance. This President McKinley USA review will serve as a guide to let you know if this SSB CB radio is worth the investment. 

What’s in the Box

  • President McKinley radio
  • 6-pin microphone
  • Mounting bracket and hardware
  • Power cord with fuse
  • Microphone hanger

Features

Design

Housed in a small yet solid casing, the President McKinley USA can easily be mounted on the stereo slot in your car’s dash. It’s true that modern cars are getting smaller, thus further limiting the space inside for CB radios. In this aspect, you have nothing to worry about because the President McKinley USA is small enough to fit easily even in cramped areas. This radio is similar in size with the Uniden 980 SSB, another competitive radio in the market.  

Despite its compact proportions, the CB radio can effortlessly take on harsh environments and rugged terrain without compromising performance – perfect for off-roaders. Its extreme durability exceeds the expectations of many CB users and guarantees long-lasting use. 

The bright LCD display is large and backlit, making it easily readable in daylight and low light. Compared to other CB radios, the screen on the model offers you more control in terms of brightness. There’s a dimmer and contrast adjustment option, allowing you to select whatever brightness and contrast levels you prefer. You can also choose between three colors: orange, blue, and black. With the added screen controls, you have more freedom to play around with the display and achieve the look you want.

SSB Stability

Quite a lot of SSB radios in the past had problems in keeping SSB frequencies stable. As such, the supposedly better audio quality that SSB provides was not maximized by many users.  Fortunately, the CB world has been able to push through and a few models including the President McKinley USA now have SSB stability. No more struggling with tuning; SSB frequencies on the McKinley are spot on every time. The Uniden 980 has integrated this technology as well, and both units give an impressive performance in this aspect.

SWR Test

Another highlight in this President McKinley USA review is the new SWR testing technique incorporated into the unit. Before, you’d have to manually calibrate your meter and flip over a switch to determine if your SWR is good or bad. In this CB radio, you only have to go to the menu, select the SWR test, and the radio will start testing and keying your radio. After the SWR readings are done, the McKinley will produce a tone to let you know the results. If the tone is long and steady, that means your SWR is good. Consequently, if you hear quick beeps, that means your SWR is bad.

When it comes to SWR testing, this unit definitely outperforms other radios with this new technology. In an increasingly plug-and-play world, automatic SWR testing is just what we need.

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Weather Channels and Alerts

With a cutting-edge radio like the President McKinley USA, the addition of weather channels on top of the 40 CB channels is expected, and rightly so. This radio is rugged and designed to survive off-road use, so it’s important for users to get weather updates while outdoors for obvious safety reasons. But even if you’re just traveling on the road, the ability to listen to weather channels is also imperative. 

Not all CB radios have the weather band included, but it’s a must if you’re driving most of the time. This model will notify you of any incoming storms or nearby emergency situations so you can get yourself to safety whenever the need arises.

Talkback

A nifty feature that the President McKinley USA has is its switchable talkback mode. Only a few CB radios have this function, and it’s a convenient tool that McKinley users enjoy. 

Basically, talkback allows you to speak into the microphone and hear your own voice through the speaker. With this, you are able to know first-hand how your transmission sounds like. Of course, it would be difficult to perceive the quality of your outgoing audio unless you directly ask a listener for feedback. With talkback, you can hear your own voice so you can make the necessary adjustments for better output. 

Microphone

If there’s one reason to complain about the President McKinley USA, it’s the stock microphone. For the expensive price tag, we would’ve expected better performance. However, the audio comes out a bit muffled. Buying a noise-canceling microphone with higher quality is suggested if you want to make the most out of this CB radio.

PROS:

  • Exceptionally durable
  • Small and compact
  • SSB Frequency Stability
  • Hassle-free SWR testing
  • Talkback
  • Weather channels

CONS:

  • Stock microphone underdelivers on performance
  • Expensive

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President McKinley USA SSB CB Radio Review Conclusion

Overall, the President McKinley USA SSB CB radio is a top-of-the-line device for your communication needs. It provides innovative features, stable SSB frequencies, weather channels, convenient SWR testing, and a talkback function – all in a rugged and durable case. Undoubtedly, it delivers a great performance that’s worth the price.

William

This article is written by William Johnson, the founder of RRD. William is passionate about radar detectors. His interest in reviewing and testing radar detectors from different brands started nearly 10 years ago, when his own radar detector then (a cheap and brand-less detector he bought online) failed to detect and radar gun nearby.
William

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President McKinley USA Review
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