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CB Radios, Communication

#1 User is offline   Jim B 

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  Posted 06 November 2003 - 07:45 PM

When you buy a CB radio I am under the firm belief that if you buy your CB on the web or any where else to get the best price, you should not buy the antenna or any connections with that purchase. I will explain why I say this.

Usually the best antennas are the K40s and Firesticks, they carry life time warranty, some 5 years or more as I can not exactly recall. If you go to your local CB radio shop and buy it from them along with all the connectors they will probably put it on for you at a very reasonable price and tune the SWR which is very important. You will also support the local shop to an extend so they can be around when you really need them.

In 5 years I've knocked off a K40 antenna which was replaced no questions asked by the local CB radio shop. On my last trip I had problems with my CB with weak transmission. I should have investigated further myself (glad I did not....) but I said what the heck and headed over to what I think is the best CB radio shop in the area.

It turned out to be several things. The major problem was a lose connection behind the glove box that I've could have easily fix. I guess with time they seem to come loose especially when you have one that you can move from vehicle to vehicle. The CB shop went to check the SWR and there was a further problem with antenna connectors in the rear, he changed the connectors, the connection improved some but not enough to the standards of the technician. He stated that from all the tree collisions something could have been wrong with the antenna. He replaced the antenna with a new one and the problem was solved. Cost me $14 with connectors, troubleshooting and labor. There was no charge for the new antenna due to an excellent warranty.

If you are from this area I've listed the contact info under "4x4 After market" of this shop. Keep in mind that all CB technicians are somewhat a bit dry and strange in personality at first... these are the good ones.

Now, what are the different opinions with regards to a hard mounted CB vs to the all on the mike like I have? Since I don't use it on the highway, only when I off road or city traffic, I hear it ok when the mike/speaker is hanging on the dash. To me this is not a problem of having a bigger speaker like the large hardwire units.

I've had mine now 5 years and going strong. There are two all in the mike units that I like which is the Midland and Cobra, I own both of them. I tend to lean now towards the Midland model.

Let's hear it fellows! :shock:
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#2 User is offline   Tom 

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  Posted 06 November 2003 - 08:48 PM

Jim

Good advice on CBs.

I just bought a new CB, the local Radio Shacks here are closing out one of there better CBs. It looks kinda like the Cobra 29, has a built in SWR meter, Mic gain, couple other noise blanking features and the 7 band weather radio. The mic has the ability to change channels on it and a channel lock feature on the mic. So far it seems to work OK. Have not used it on the trails.

The Radio Shack manager told me they were closing it out because Radio Shack is going to carry name brand stuff instead of their own brand, simular to what Sears is doing. A couple days after I bought mine that store got in a new Uniden CB that was very simular to the one I bought.

Anybody interested, check with your local Radio Shack. The CB listed for $120.00, and it was on clearance for $80.00, I found one store here that listed it for $75.00 and the manager took a extra $10.00 off, that made it a great deal at $65.00 plus tax. The manager said all manager can take 10% or $10.00 dollars off items.

The Radio Shack CB looks simular to this Uniden unit, they are close to having the same controls...

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#3 User is offline   Jim B 

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  Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:10 AM

Tom,

This is a very good deal, the CB look pretty good with all the bells and whistles.

You reminded me of posting pics. Below is the Cobra which I now use on the Jeep.

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The next two pics are the same unit for the Midland. I can use it as a portable or on a vehicle with a hard mounted antenna. This is the one I have on the RV and the more durable of the two models. Has more of the bells and whistles and I'm not sure but also an SWR meter. Most in units SWRs that I've seen are somewhat accurate but nothing like the big Papa the CB shop uses.

You will also notice that the all in the hand units will be larger than a regular mike but amazingly not that much bigger in where it becomes a hassle. If you are used to a hard mount unit and you move to one of these it will take about a day or so to get used to the additional weight.

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Now here is another subject with regards to CB radios. How many of you use or have used a booster or small amplifier. I found out that I never needed one since we don't get further than a few miles off the trail. Yes, there not supposed to be used but all the truckers have them. :shock:

A friend of mine gave me a very small one that is around 35 watts that I have not installed. The CB shop stated that these were cheap and they will distort the voice. He is correct as I know people that have tried some of these winding up shutting off the amplified switch all the time. The CB tech showed me a nice 100watt that will not distort but it was too large for the Jeep. Does anyone know about any good ones that are not that large and do not distort?
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El Niño
Experience is defined as something you get, after you need it.
Give the world the best you have. The best will come back to you...

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." 9th Commandment.
"Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust." George Washington, Rule 89 of Civility and Decent Behavior.
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#4 User is offline   John 

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 09:36 AM

I have the Cobra like you have in my jeep. I agree its an excellent TRAIL CB as it takes up very little room, another advantage is you can easily remove it if you leave your Jeep outside or otherwise park in area likely to be robbed. The main disadvantages are: 1. Speaker is in the mike thus quite small. This makes it difficult to use on the highway, sometimes I actually have to hold it up to my ear to listen. This CAN be overcome as there is a provision to add another speaker overhead but then that tends to defeat the original purpose of having a small CB.
2. The most significant disadvantage is the weak squelch since everything is in that mike. This hasnt proven to be a real problem for me as I regulate the volume along with the squelch to get best signal coming in.

You didnt mention it, but Bells also will TWEEK your CB to give it its MAXIMUM output. (they come from the factory well under legal limits). I had mine tweeked, cost was $20 and I believe I have very good distance.
As to antennas. I have had the firestick and now the Wilson. I believe the wilson to be the better of the two. More easily and accurately fine tuned with a SWR meter. John

#5 User is offline   Jim B 

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  Posted 07 November 2003 - 09:54 AM

John,

I have no experience with the Wilson, what is their warranty? I use the K40 on the Jeep and so far it's worked out well.

Good tip on the TWEEK to give it its MAXIMUM output. Was not aware that they come from the factory well under legal limits. So far the normal has been fine range for the trail, even on the highway while traveling to the event with other vehicles that are not further than 2 miles. The question is whether the additional $20 is worth the extra tweaking. I think I would have went for it.

But a good question is... why do they come tuned from the factory well under legal limits? Would not this hurt the company in performance reputation?

Btw, have you ever used an amplifier?
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El Niño
Experience is defined as something you get, after you need it.
Give the world the best you have. The best will come back to you...

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." 9th Commandment.
"Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust." George Washington, Rule 89 of Civility and Decent Behavior.
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#6 User is offline   Mountain Man 

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 10:52 AM

:shock:

I used to have a MIDLAND......it was from the early days of CB,
and it finally got stolen.

Then about 1995, I bought a UNIDEN and it is a very good and reliable unit.
The top of the magnetic antenna base finally rusted away and I just
replaced it with a MIDLAND ANTENNA.....bought it at Sports
Authority for $15.00, cheaper than from eBay or Radio Shack.

My other vehicle has a HAND-HELD unit that gets power from
the CIGAR LIGHTER....don't know the brand.
But, it works good!
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He would have paved the whole earth.

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#7 User is offline   John 

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 04:05 PM

No, I never used an amplifier, and I dont know why CB's are underpowered compared to legal limits. I suppose they dont want to take any chances with the FCC or something. All I know is I am pleased with the performance of my Cobra now. Dont even know the Wilson warranty, never got to see the damn box as that fellow you mentioned through it away and said I didnt NEED to see it. You KNOW how he is. (gg) john

#8 User is offline   Hellbender 

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 06:52 PM

Jim B, on Nov 6 2003, 07:45 PM, said:

Keep in mind that all CB technicians are somewhat a bit dry and strange in personality at first... these are the good ones.

LOL :sneak: :sneak:

This is very true, The only 2 "good" ones I have known are exactly like that!!

HB

#9 User is offline   jeepcat 

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 09:00 AM

great info guys....thanks!

#10 User is offline   Alex 

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:28 PM

If i were you, id do as i did...buy some 4-6 foot fiberglass whip antennas, bridge em, run em through a linear amp pushing atleast 150w. Buy a $35 maxon 40 channel from walmart..put the two together and you'll be talking from possibly state to state. THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST WAY TO GO!!!if you want pics, ask
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#11 User is offline   Jim B 

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  Posted 10 November 2003 - 02:19 PM

Alex,

While I do not wish to communicate State to State, since I don't think anyone can reach me back. I am intrigued to see some photos on how you system is wired to accomplished this feat. If you can please give us a more simple explanation for guys that don't know all that electronic jargon. Thanks.
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El Niño
Experience is defined as something you get, after you need it.
Give the world the best you have. The best will come back to you...

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." 9th Commandment.
"Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust." George Washington, Rule 89 of Civility and Decent Behavior.
Wheeling Gallery ----- E-Mail
Life Member: South Florida Jeep Club

#12 User is offline   Alex 

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 08:34 PM

no prob, im gonna go get a smartmedia card for my digital tommarrow from circuit city then i'll shoot some stuff. basically, you get some antennas...and you get a piece that can connect two antenna wire heads into one output. Out of that, get somemore CB wire and run it from the output to a linear amp. A linear amplifier boosts the signal over the legal wattage which is only 4 stinkin watts. Go on EBAY or call up a CB shop. Although linear amplifiers are illegal, you can still find them relatively easily. In palm beach county, theres a CB shop called "pink lightning" just west of the okechobee exit on 95. She carries them there but you'll have to tell her your not an FCC agent or whatever those guys are called.

Anyways after that you run some power to the amplifer from battery terminal or whatever you want. There's another output on the other side of the amplifer that will allow you to connect another piece of CB wire and run it directly to the CB radio. Flip the switch and you'll be amplified to as much as 1000 watts depending on the power amp you get. Keep in mind, you can turn on and off the amplified boost.

Linear amplifiers will run you anywhere from $80-1000+. All you need is about 100 watts tops to talk for 50+ miles depending on weather conditions. Keep in mind CB's if im correct are running on Amplified Modulation or AM so static will fluctuate between day and nighttime.

One time i was talking to a guy was running about 7,000 watts out of based CB station in his house on the coastline in maine. CB base stations are illegal for your information.

If your not looking for so much money just on radios, just buy a 30 buck maxon like mine from walmart and dual antennas. Forget amplifiers, the key to a cheap and effective set up is getting the best GROUND on your jeep. Specifically speaking- the frame.

dont ask me how i know this crap, because i have no idea. :sneak:

-alex
-94 1 ton YJ - lifted/welded/300 ponies 4.7 Stroker/snorkel/winch/37 boggers 4sale
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#13 User is offline   mrssig 

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 12:30 PM

Last Night At The SFJC Meeting The Topic of CB Radios and that Every Jeep On the Trail is supposed to have one.

I Use a Portable... No Wires to Run :)

I Purchased Mine at Buy.Com... But they do not sell it anymore :yahoo:

So Here is a Link to another Site for the same Radio I Purchased

http://www.heartlandamerica.com/browse/ite...mp;DL=GAW1&


Hope This Helps :)
Jane

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“Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
-Theodore Roosevelt-

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