Most red blooded young amateur radio operators in the 1970’s were quite opposed and appalled by the shenanigans taking place on the CB airwaves. On the other hand, most young male amateur radio operators were quite intrigued by the CB column appearing in Elementary Electronics magazine, “Kathi’s CB Carousel,” authored by Kathi Martin, KGK3916. Undoubtedly, most of them probably wondered what a nice girl like Kathi was doing in a place like eleven meters. (We previously wrote about her in an earlier post.)
But she seemed to enjoy the CB lifestyle, and who were we to judge. So we read with interest her articles, such as the one appearing 40 years ago in the March-April 1977 issue, reviewing the latest in anti-theft devices, the Kriket Kamel, Model KC-3085, from the Acoustic Fiber Sound Systems company. It was a “hump mount” (hence the camel moniker) for safely mounting a CB radio on the transmission hump of a vehicle.
Kathi begins by noting that the confounded transmission hump on the floor of the car was about the most useless thing in the world. But thanks to the Kriket Kamel, it made the perfect place to mount the CB. The whole radio could be removed without a trace. Without any tell-tale signs of a CB radio in the car, a thief wouldn’t take a chance by breaking into the trunk and rummaging around for one.
She suggested that to complete the CB-free illusion, there were two options for the antenna. First, you could use a combination CB-AM-FM antenna. Since it looked just like a regular broadcast antenna, the thief wouldn’t have a clue that the car was owned by a CB’er with valuable equipment. Another option would be a trunk mount that could be removed completely to inside the trunk.
An added bonus was that this mounting position provided improved sound, since the Kamel also included a speaker, and the transmission hump allowed it to be mounted perfectly for good car-filling audio.
Kathi noted that she wasn’t “one of those helpless type females,” but since an eager male friend was hanging around, she let him do the installation job for her. “I figure it does no harm to let the boys demonstrate how clever they can be too–at least once in a while!” The whole operation required just a few minutes to attach two bolts. The power cord was connected to a cigarette lighter plug, which didn’t even require soldering, since Kathi was partial to crimp-on connectors.
To take the radio out of the car and outwit the thieves, it was a simple matter of unplugging the power, unscrewing the antenna connection, and putting the entire unit in a safe place.
Due to her relatively common name, attempts to find out more about Kathi Martin on the Internet have largely proven futile. The Editor-in-Chief of Elementary Electronics was Julian Martin, WA2CQL, (also known as Julian M. Sienkiewicz), and it appears that CB Editor Kathi was his daughter. But I haven’t been able to find any more information about her. On the other hand, people Google themselves, and it’s not unlikely that she will eventually be reading this. So I’ll put out a request to her: I suspect you have a lot of fans who wonder what you’ve been up to. So if you’re reading this, please leave a comment below or contact me so that I can get them up to date. If you wish to continue keeping a low profile, I promise to respect that wish and will keep your contact information confidential.