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CB Question (sorry) posting as new Thread

 

Bronze Member
Username: Tafkam

Dayton, Oh

Post Number: 33
Registered: Apr-04
Sorry this has nothing to do with Radar but it is the closest forum I could find on here and hopefully someone with CB radio experience can point me in the right direction.

Hi, well I might as well start out by saying I am a newbie to the CB world so please excuse the basic questions, I just want to make sure I get the right rig for what I wan to do with it. I use CB basically to listen most of the time, for warnings from the trucks as far as cops and traffic hazards. I hardly ever talk unless I really have something to say or a reply to someone that talks to me first. That being said, I want to be heard when I talk, so I am interested in some info either on some type of amp or perhaps one of the 10 meter "export" models. I like having the NOAA weather channels, so I was looking at the Midland 77-120 ESP or the Cobra 18 WX18 II.

If I go with one of these, what is the "peak and tune" that I see on some of the CB web sites? Does it increase watts output or do I need a separate amp to do that?

My other question is, I just started finding out and doing some research on these "export models" and I really like the looks of the Magnum 257, but the freqs are not for CB, can this be done with a mod? What about the weather freqs? And if so, I guess I would not need a separate amp since these put out about 30 watts from what I can tell.


Any advise anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated. Getting ready to take a 1000 mile trip in July and need something by then. Price wise I am not cheap but don't have all the money in the world either, hopefully not going to spend more than 200 bucks or so ( I found one site that has a refurb Magnum for 169)
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 3172
Registered: Dec-03
You are aware that modifying a CB for extra channels, unlocked clarifier, variable power, or using a linear amplifier is illegal, right?

I like using a Cobra 148GTL for mods myself. all solid stage, easy to work on and get parts for.
a Wilson 1000 antenna is the best one you'll find short of using a 104" steel whip.
Honestly though if you're just getting a CB for scouting cops, any CB is fine. you don't want too good of a range for that. Otherwise it's harder to tell where the cops are. If you keep a limited range, with a good front lobe of reception like you get using dual diversity antennas on a truck, you'll get the best results.

same thing with a scanner.
I use small "rubber ducky" antennas on mobile scanners mounted behind the scanner below the dash of teh car.
This severely limits reception range for the scanner, but then when I do pick up police, I know they're within a mile or so of me, which is exactly what I want. Especially in cities.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Tafkam

Dayton, Oh

Post Number: 35
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks Glasswolf you advise is much appreciated as always. You are right, the more I think about it I am better off with just a stock CB for what I want to use it for. I will go that route and spend the extra bucks on the Wilson antenna. One other quck questin through, lets say I go with a Cobra 18WX II, some of the CB sites I see it on sell it "peaked and tuned" for an extra 30 bucks or so, I take it this is not extensive or illegal mods or is it? None of the sites I see really explain what this is.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 3188
Registered: Dec-03
it's pretty much what it says. someone opens up the radio and tweaks it so it puts out its max power, with the most swing.
that's all.
 

Anonymous
 
But thats illeagal!!!!!!!!!! LOL....
FCC rules say NO MODIFCATIONS to your CB RADIO!
 

Anonymous
 
Sooooo, driving with no shoes on is illeaglal too but many do it. Big deal!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Bnd_rulez

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 430
Registered: Mar-05
Driving without shoes is illegal... how stupid is that..
 

CHL
Unregistered guest
Driving without shoes is NOT illegal according to most of the US states Vehicle Code.

I'm a ham op for 10 yrs. I am not against mobile CB's with amps but frown upon large amps for base use. They are class A/B and noisy. They 'splatter' all over the 40 channels and annoy neighbors.

For base and mobile apps, it's 80% antenna and placement. Opening up the Gain limiter is a plus as long as you don't double the effect with a power mike that makes your audio sound like a subway transit worker way too close to the mic. ;-)

SSB use will greatly increase your range, but on CB most people are on AM.

Some radios get better performance from the 'T&P' Cobra's especially from my experience. Just beware, sometimes it's $$$ spent for not much more performance.

Anyways good luck.
CHL
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Wisteria, Lane USA

Post Number: 7862
Registered: Dec-03
ehh just tuning my 148GTL I managed to get noticeable gain in audible distance around the DC area. I could get from Mt Vernon to Springfield with everything else in the way just using an unamped radio with an unlocked clarifier and variable power that was tuned using an SWR meter on a wilson 1000 whip with an astatic power mic. clear as a bell, too.
I understand about the annoyance of bleed and poorly set up radios though. That bothered me a lot too.
I don't even use the radio much anymore though, except for corss-state trips and then mostly to listen for speed traps along the interstates.
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3284
Registered: Nov-04
Glass, do cops there use CB? In Canada, all the cops use NFM bands, in the 850+ Mhz range.
I wish they still used CBs so I could pick them up.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Wisteria, Lane USA

Post Number: 7868
Registered: Dec-03
truckers use CBs. They tell everyone else where the cops are. Far better than a police scanner, but I do have a mobile scanner mounted right above the CB as well. I use a rubber ducky antenna on the back of it inside the car to limit the range of the scaner so I only pick up cops within a 2 mile radius or so. Otherwise I'd get them from all over a 3 county area.
 

Baloo
Unregistered guest
The only state or province that has rules on the books about wearing shoes while driving is Alabama. Alabama requires that you wear shoes while riding a motorcycle.

That being said, driving barefoot *really* makes long drives without cruise control a lot more comfortable.

And yes, I have been pulled over while driving barefoot (stopped because I was just off-roading and had broken some bulbs without realizing it, my right taillight and left brakelight were out so I got a $0-if-fixed ticket). Was stopped near US-26 and OR-35 only a couple miles out of Government Camp heading towards town. Oregon State Police officer noticed I was barefoot after walking up to the door. Only thing he had to say was, "Wow, you're the first person I've seen drive barefoot. Doesn't that dig into your feet?" "No, not really. Worse I've done is stub my toe on the clutch and stepping on a hot streetcar track on a summer day in downtown Portland is 20 at least 20 times worse." "Wow, so do you drive barefoot offroad?" "Not after that time I stubbed my toe on the clutch, that really hurt. I wear the boots I got at the State Military surplus when I'm offroad now." "Alrighty, just sign here, get those lights fixed and try not to stub too many toes. Have a good night, sir!"

Getting pulled over in British Columbia by the RCMP resulted in a similar conversation a few klicks south of Whistler a few months later (pulled over for burned out lights right after coming back on the pavement before I had a chance to get back into town to check them, it was a fix-it ticket that time, too).
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 51
Registered: Dec-03
What are the channels most truck drivers or other drivers use to warn people about cops?

im thinking of getting one next week, a cobra 20 XTR neon blue..

Its ok to have them now in canda eh? i knew befor u needed a licences
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Wisteria, Lane USA

Post Number: 7949
Registered: Dec-03
channel 19

I know people personally who've been warned or given citations for driving bare foot in Michigan.
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3510
Registered: Nov-04
For CB radios, you never needed a license in Canada. The only time you need one is for high powered amateur radios.
Don't get cheap CB radios. They don't reject noise as well as mid priced ones. They also don't receive much signals in the city.
That Cobra 20XTR is a toy. The antenna sucks. All it's good for is showing off to your friends at night. If you're serious about CBs, then invest in a Wilson/K40 antenna and maybe a Ranger CB unit.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Wisteria, Lane USA

Post Number: 7956
Registered: Dec-03
or find an old cobra 148GTL or a galaxy.. the wilson 1000 is a great whip.. comes as magnetic mount, trunk mount, and hole mount options.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 52
Registered: Dec-03
well i thought i had to buy my own attenna, and i was planing on buying a K40.

how much should i spen on a cb? i wont go higher then $160 but i dont want a old looking one
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 53
Registered: Dec-03
and its only for highway driving, we have 3 mills near by and lots of truckers and they drive the route im going
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3525
Registered: Nov-04
If you plan on using the CB often, then get the unit with SSB at least. Some will have SSB, CW, AM, and FM for 10M and 11M. Mine is a Ranger and has all of the above.
It is expensive but well worth it.
Look for models with RF, automatic noice blanker/RF noise blanker, squelch, SWR cal control/meter.
You most likely won't find a unit under $160 with all of the above features. They're nice to have, but not required for simple communication.
Lot, if not most of the cheap units say it's 4w or 5w output. In reality, it's much less. Most manufacturers will not exceed the legal limit set by the DOC. This is why when you use the CB in the field, you will get less than 4w. They just don't like taking any chances.
For max power, you will need to tweak it. If you don't have any experience, then have a pro do it. It's worth the extra money. Most of the time, it costs $20 - $40 extra. But instead of getting 3w, you will get 5w or slightly more.
That may not sound much, but in CB terms, 1w = 1 mile.
There are units that you can purchase with 10w or higher in power. They're not really a CB radio, more of an Amateur radio, but will transmit and receive CB bands.
With a booster (illegal), you can get power as high as 350w. That's enough to talk across cities and provinces.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 54
Registered: Dec-03
ok thanks..what is SSB,CW,AM,FM? if i would only have AM would i pick up the others or only AM?

i only want it for about a 2-3 mile range so i might pick up that theirs a cop around..i dont want to far because it would be too hard to tell where abouts the call came from

just somthing simple (legal), a radar detector will be a future investment
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3536
Registered: Nov-04
Those are different bands and frequencies. If you just had CB, then that is all you're going to get. Lot of the truckers have SSB for longer transmission nowdays.
The only downside to getting a normal or cheap model is, that 2-3 mile range will become even more limited under any kind of interference.
I find, lot of the times, when a trucker/car spots a cop, by the time they respond, most of them are past 2-3 mile range. With my setup, I get people 5-10 miles away talking about traffic around me. This is why it's better to invest on a good unit.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Wisteria, Lane USA

Post Number: 7971
Registered: Dec-03
for what he's doing he doesn't need anything more than a cheap 25 year old 23 channel mobile CB with a cheap mic and a small whip anyway.
all he cares about is local traffic for occasional highway use.
it doesn't matter much what he buys
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3538
Registered: Nov-04
Yea I guess, but you know. I just hate to see people waste money on cheap things.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 55
Registered: Dec-03
how is the Thru-the-Glass cb antenna?

i know i will loss range, but would i still get 1-2 mile range?..my truck would not look good with a long whip like 40"..or if i got a 28 30" antenna and connected it to the box behind my window so it raises pass the roof by a cuple of inches. that way its harder to notice

could the antenna be placed where to stock radio antenna was in the front?
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3554
Registered: Nov-04
Antenna should be placed as far away from the engine as possible. If not, you will pick up lot of noise.
I've never used the window install. It'll probably work for short distance. Like everything else, it's always to do things properly from the beginning.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 56
Registered: Dec-03
well i got the cobra 19 DX 3 with the 36" antenna magnet mount. but it doesnt have a SWR meter.. do i really need to to tune my antenna or could u use it like that?..i will install to tommrow and try
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3581
Registered: Nov-04
For maximum efficiency, you need to tune the antenna. If not, depending on how much it's off by, there's a chance you could damage your CB radio.
You can purchase antenna tuning kit for $50. It is well worth it.
A good antenna will give you 2:1 ratio. I get around 1.4:1 in mine.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 57
Registered: Dec-03
im going to see if a friend has one and try..i hooked it 30 minutes ago and i just get buzzing.. does that mean no one is talking..i turn the squelch a 1/4 turn then its quiet.. is that lock on high powered ones?

and i have about 2 1/2 feet of extra cord left should i trim it off?
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3596
Registered: Nov-04
Is that buzzing with your car on or off? It's usually from your engine. This is why you mount the antenna as far away from the engine as possible. Take a look at the cop cars. Their antennas are mounted right on the trunk.
Whatever you do, don't trim anything. Unless you can do it better than the factory job, it'll pick up more noise from bad connection.
Make sure you tune your antenna before transmitting. Receiving won't damage anything.
If you get no sound, then it's cause, you're out of range. Monitor ch 9 and 19 (highway).
Now you see why I recommended you to get a better unit? It'll pick up more distant conversations.
If you don't know anyone else with a cb unit, then drive by a trucker and talk on ch 19. That is where they usually have theirs.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 58
Registered: Dec-03
i put my antenna on my roof..its a 38"..ok i wont talk on it tell i true my antenna. well i seem to get how it works now.. i turn it until their is no noise. it seems pretty good now, i picked up a good conv when i was driving

now only if they would say their are cops out. flew passed one at 120 but he didnt turn around. lol
 

Bronze Member
Username: Randy420

Post Number: 59
Registered: Dec-03
ok i think i might of found a SWR meter, he he wont be hear for 2 weeks..the only ones i see all the time on the net are big ones. is their any other ones that are small? and in Ontario.

how would it damage my radio if i talk without setting it up?
 

Gold Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 3607
Registered: Nov-04
If your antenna is not tuned properly, it can waste as much as 50% or more of the power. So instead of getting 3 or 4 miles, you could be reaching only 1 or 2 miles.
Do a search on google on SWR and you will find a link on tuning your antenna. It is a good reading. It'll tell you how badly tuned antenna can cause damage.
Depending on where you live, try these 2 stores in Ontario:
Durhamradio.com
Radioworld.ca

One of them should be closer to you.
 

An American Trucker
Unregistered guest
Yes, tune your antenna with a decent SWR meter. If you don't know how, there are many websites that sell them & have detailed instructions on how to use them. Driving w/o shoes is illegal in North Carolina. I don't know nor care why, but if don't get pulled over & it won't matter anyway. Buy a decent cb radio (Cobra, Midland, etc) and a good antenna (anything by Wilson - I recommend the Little Wil for your purposes). If you want a little power boost buy a small (50w RMS or less) linear amplifier (Palomar is a good, inexpensive brand). Too much power will cause you to bleed over other channels. If you use an amp, check the SWR between the amp and the antenna, not between the radio & amp. I purchase most of my CB radio stuff from GI Joes Radio Electronics at http://cbshop.webtrix.net/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=92
 

New member
Username: Omnius1

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-07
Totally new to base stations and all. I drove trucks for a while and had just enough information to keep in touch in a very limited range on the CB. I want to get a base unit and a mobile CB for my personal vehicle and be able to communicate with home via CB at a range of roughly 40 miles or so. With a ranger base unit with built in 150w amp and a ranger CB with 10w do the job or would I need a amp on the CB, and if so, would a 150w amp on the CB in the auto work well. I will be using a Wilson 1000 antenna also.
 

New member
Username: Rainnaunseque

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-08
no need
 

New member
Username: Rainnaunseque

Post Number: 8
Registered: Dec-08
no need
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rainnaunseque

Post Number: 11
Registered: Dec-08
no need
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rainnaunseque

Post Number: 13
Registered: Dec-08
no need
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ilana

Post Number: 26
Registered: Oct-09
It writes well!Thank you for sharing these!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Insearchofbass

2 hifonics 2607s, 2dcSounds12xls SPL\idmax12SQ

Post Number: 14217
Registered: Jun-04
I havent used a cb in years
 

Gold Member
Username: 420pimp2

Baltimore Atlantic Ci..., MD, NJ

Post Number: 1005
Registered: Jan-06
they come in handy period
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