Stoner Pro 40 CB Radio Story
The Stoner Pro 40 Manual tells the story of the one of the only CB Radios designed for SSB Single Side Band.
The Stoner Pro 40 only has provision for integrating and controlling an AM Amplitude Modulation separate CB Radio.
It is an interesting story from Donald Stoner, so I have provided it below from the The Stoner Pro 40 Owners Manual.
This is to illustrate the dedication of Donald Stoner to SSB as a CB Radio Mode of operation.
As I have a Stoner Pro-40 that I bought from ebay I have been collecting info. See my (AX05’s) Stoner Pro-40 HERE.
Stoner Pro 40 Owners Manual.
SECTION ONE – INTRODUCTION
This is the place where you are usually complimented on your wisdom and good judgement for purchasing the manufacturer’s product.
I remember, many years ago, reading such a congratulatory note in a manual. I’ve retained the memory all this time because I was in a state of shock. I pondered (along with my wife) how I could have taken leave of my senses and spent $600 for a camera.
After I read the manual provided with the camera, the answer was clear. I had spent the price of a dozen Instamatics to purchase a NIKON “F”, the finest 35mm camera ever made. I’ve never regretted my decision.
[EDIT by AX05] Coincidently I worked for Bell & Howell Australia, the company with the NIKON Agency in Australia back in the Seventies, and was initially hired to repair all models of Nikon SLR camera’s which were mainly used by the major papers photographers of the time. Obviously price was not relevant to them, and they used to knock them around in day to day operation. I also repaired many other brands and the Nikon was superior to any SLR in quality and output. Though that may not be the case after the turn of the century now.[EDIT END]
There are many people like me who enjoy owning the very best and cost becomes a secondary
consideration. There is a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing you own a piece of
equipment, which possesses characteristics, which are superior to that equipment owned by
your contemporaries. It’s also reassuring to know that you own a handcrafted and
performance tested product.
History – The idea for the PRO-40 was born in “CB Magazine” during 1976.
At the time, I (Donald Stoner) was writing the “Stoner on Sideband” column and was also one of the owners of a company manufacturing professional marine SSB equipment. As the author of the column, I received many letters from readers lamenting the problems they were having with their equipment.
At the time, much of the CB equipment on the market was really trash. Complaints about “bleedover” interference were actually caused by poor adjacent channel selectivity. I knew I could make a better radio, but would people purchase a “cost is no object, high specification radio?”
I did a survey on the “ultimate CB sideband” in the magazine and the response was phenomenal. Hundreds of letters of complaints, suggestions, improvements, ideas and so on, were received. Many of the features incorporated in the PRO-40 were suggested by my readers.
For example, the 10 turn clarifier would never have been thought of by the typical engineer, yet, to an SSB operator, it is obviously a desirable feature to aid in tuning SSB signals.
AM – In the 25 years I have been producing SSB equipment, I have come to the inexorable conclusion that it is not possible to incorporate the AM mode into an SSB transceiver without compromising the SSB performance. Since this was to be a “no compromise” product, AM operation was never even considered. We did make provision, however, for adding the STONER AM-40 adaptor externally to the PRO-40 for those who feel this mode is essential.
Most dedicated 11 meter sidebanders wouldn’t be “caught dead” on AM, however.
Frequency Counter – A point should be emphasized regarding the frequency counter. Any true frequency counter has an inherent + I count error. For example, let’s say the actual
frequency is 27155.5 (approximately channel 1 . The counter reads to 6 places (nearest 100
Hz). Thus, the counter circuits will not know if the display should read 27155.5 or
27155.6. Therefore, the right hand digit will flick back and forth between 5 and 6. The
effect is somewhat annoying, but it does indicate to the user that the frequency is not exactly on 5 or 6, but in between the two.
The effect can be used to extrapolate a frequency measurement to + 50 Hz. The “jumping” of
the last digit does not indicate frequency instability in this or any other radio with a
Unlike most frequency counters, the display in the PRO-40 operates on both receive and
transmit. Thus, it can be used for measuring the frequency of an incoming station. Simply
tune in the station with the clarifier until the voice sounds clear and natural. The
frequency displayed will then be exactly that of the incoming station.
Tuning – Tuning the PRO-40 is done with push buttons, which control a microprocessor. The
frequency may be sequenced or made to scan by momentarily depressing the button or holding
it in. However, when you wish to stop on a specific channel when scanning, release the
button abruptly. If the button is slowly released, the switch contacts can “chatter” and
make the microprocessor think that a different channel, other than the desired one, has
Speaker Impedance – The PRO-40 must be used with an 8 ohm speaker such as our SPK-40. If a 3-4 ohm speaker is used, the audio integrated circuit can supply audio power in excess of its ratings. If full audio power is run continuously into a 3-4 ohm speaker, resistor R505 (which protects the audio IC) may be damaged. Always use an 8-ohm speaker. No damage will occur even at continuous full audio output.
Transmitter Peaking – The PRO-40 has an excellent reserve of power. We have designed the transmitter to provide 18-20 watts of power, then run it at 12 watts. Thus, the distortion products are virtually nonexistent and the PRO-40 is probably the “cleanest” transmitter in existence.
DO NOT be tempted to have the technician “soup up” the transmitter. The slight additional power output will not make much difference, but will certainly “dirty up” the signal you transmit. You will lose sideband suppression and interfere with adjacent channels.
If you require more power, please find some other way to get it. Don’t destroy the beautiful modulation of the PRO-40 which we have worked so hard to provide.
The Product – The PRO-40 represents what I believe to be a state-of-the-art 11 meter
single sideband transceiver. It is a very limited production product and our personnel
have sufficient time to tune, test and quality control the PRO-40 before it is shipped to
Everyone at STONER-The Sideband People is extremely proud of the PRO-40 and we hope you
will be equally proud as an owner/operator of our radio.
Professionalism, as well as profit, is the primary goal at STONER. We intend to make the
best possible product and do whatever is necessary to insure customer satisfaction with
STONER-The Sideband People.
With best regards,
Donald L. Stoner
STONER-The Sideband People
SECTION TWO – THE STONER PRO-40 OWNER
In the upper left-hand corner of your PRO-40, you will notice a “STONER number”. This is
your own personal club call as a “STONER Owner”. Naturally, these do not replace your FCC
call letters, but supplement them. No one else has the same number, which, by the way, is
also the serial number of your radio.
However, there is a “hitch”. To register as a “STONER Owner”, you must fill in and return
the warranty card we provided with your radio. As soon as you are signed up, you’ll start
receiving the mailings that go to the “STONER Owner”. One item, which I think you’ll like,
is 100 PRO-40 color QSL cards which you can send to the stations you contact.
You will also receive a letter from the Sideband People authorizing you to receive a 10%
discount on all future STONER accessories, which become available for your PRO-40. We’ll
be announcing some exciting new items in the near future.
You will also receive monthly propagation forecasts to indicate when the band will be open
and to what areas of the world. As interesting technical articles come along on Sideband,
we’ll include them in our club publication, “The STONER Owner”.
If that isn’t enough inducement to get you to fill in the warranty card, here’s a very
powerful one. Since the PRO-40 is a limited production radio and is registered to the
STONER owner, we’ll know who is using them. If one is stolen, call us immediately and give
us your STONER number. When the radio shows up here at the factory or at a warranty
station, we will contact you immediately and give you details of where the radio came
from. Naturally, any radios with the serial number altered or removed will not be serviced
and the original owner will be contacted. By the same token, if you sell your radio, let
us know so we can transfer ownership.
Limited Warranty – STONER, Inc. warrants this product to be free of defects in materials
and workmanship. We agree to remedy any such defect, which may occur during a period of
one year from the purchase date, provided:
1. We have a valid warranty registration card on file.
2. The defect is, in our opinion, due to improper materials or workmanship.
The warranty does not cover units, which have been subject to misuse, neglect, drop
damage, improper installation, or if the serial number has been removed, defaced or
changed. We reserve the right to void the warranty if modifications have been made to the
product, which can damage components or violate the FCC Type Acceptance.
If a problem arises in your PRO-40, the unit should be taken or shipped (prepaid) to a
STONER Authorized Warranty Station. A defective unit may also be sent (prepaid) to the
factory for repair. We will return the unit prepaid upon completion of repairs. When
returning a unit, be certain to provide complete details regarding the nature of the
Approximately 11 months from the purchase date, STONER will notify you that
your warranty is about to expire. At that time, we suggest that you send your unit to a
STONER Authorized Warranty Station for a checkup. They will install the various factory
modification that may have been incorporated since your unit was produced. There is a
$25.00 charge for this updating service. At any time after the warranty expires, the unit
may be sent to an Authorized Warranty Station or the factory for repair and/or
modification for a maximum charge of $50.00.
This warranty is in lieu of all warranties expressed or implied and no
representative or person is authorized to assume for us any other liability in connection
with the sale of our products.
The Stoner Pro-40 line came a bit late into the CB frenzy and unfortunately, Don’s company went out of business (In my e-mails with him, I was curious about how things happened, but he indicated that this was a not-too-pleasant memory from his past, so I let it drop). Previous to this, Don Stoner and Pierre Goral formed a company called SGC (Stoner-Goral Communications) in 1972, which made Marine-band radios. Once again, Don’s single-sideband knowledge and savvy marketing skills helped lead marine radio out of the “Ancient Mariners” mode (AM) and into the world of SSB.
The Stoner Pro-40 is a particular favorite of mine….well, my all-time favorite SSB rig, and if you ever own one, I’m sure you’ll like it too. I won’t spend a lot of time on the historical data, as you can find that under my Manufacturer “Bio” section (including the original CB Magazine Review, circa late 1970’s).
Retired from SGC, the early 1980’s saw another company spring from Don’s creative genius, called Digital Electronics, which he retired from later in that same decade. Don and his wife Lucy, became embroiled in a antenna covenants fight in Florida, which led him to help other hams in the same predicament .
ANS is saddened to report that the man who first conceived of Project OSCAR, Don Stoner, W6TNS, of Clearwater, Florida died May 4th. He was 67. Stoner reportedly had been in ill health for some time and reportedly suffered a ruptured aneurysm.
In 1960, Stoner, then living in California, was the idea man behind Project OSCAR. Stoner outlined his concepts for an Amateur Radio space program in the February 1961 issue of QST. In his prophetic article, Stoner envisioned a two-phase project, the first to launch an orbiting VHF beacon transmitter into space, the second to launch an ‘orbital repeater’.
OSCAR 1 was launched December 12, 1961.
An ARRL member, Stoner also will be remembered as a CQ columnist. He served in several editorial capacities including VHF editor, Novice editor, surplus columnist and semiconductor columnist. Stoner also wrote the ‘In Theory’ column in CQ-VHF magazine during 1996 and 1997.
ANS sends the sympathy of the satellite community to his wife Lucy and family.
[ANS thanks the ARRL for this information]