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CB Newbie - Basics

Discussion in 'Communication (CB | GPS | HAM)' started by 1986Blazer, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. 1986Blazer

    1986Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys.....I am a newbie to the CB world. I am about to buy and install my first CB in my K5.

    Can anyone direct me to any past posts that cover the basics about antenna installation - the do's and do not's

    I plan to install my antenna (length not known yet) on my rear bumper which I am now building and designing. It will stick out about 7" from the rear of the tailgate.

    Also, are there any "must have" features on a CB unit. I was looking at one of the all weather units available from Radio Shack and a few other manufacturers.

    Any "basics" help will be welcome.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/keywestk5/KeyWestK5.html>http://www.geocities.com/keywestk5/KeyWestK5.html</a>
    So I says to him, I said, "get your own monkey."
    1986 K5, 350 GM Crate, 700R4, NP208
     
  2. 2BIG

    2BIG Registered Member

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    Just get a UNiden CB suchas the PC66XL with a Wilson 1000 magnet mount and put it in the center of your metal roof. The whole rig will cost under $100.00. JMO
     
  3. The_Sandman_454

    The_Sandman_454 1/2 ton status

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    I got a Texas Ranger (Made by Ranger Communications) TR966. Radio shop I got it from tuned it up quite a bit (free in fact, since I got it from there, although don't expect a free peak and tune everywhere). Although I paid about $170 for the radio. They also sell versions for less $ of the same brand. Never tried those though. Mine will swing about 22-23 watts on AM and probably (at least) close to twice that on the SSB...

    I run a magnet mount Wilson 5000. Only costs a little more than the 1k but both are great antennas.

    Must have features... I like adjustable RF gain so if someone has a powerful transmitter nearby you can turn it down so you can still understand what they're saying. External speaker is a good feature in a loud vehicle but even el cheapo units tend to have that. Analog meter on a radio is great especially if it has it's own SWR calibration/SWR meter built in. More convenient (and you don't have to buy a seperate meter to read SWR) to tune the antenna in properly. SSB is a feature I'd like to see all OHV users go with since you transmit more power and the signal tends to be clearer although a bit distorted (like the voice effects on Star Wars when they're attacking the death star). You can tune in the signal with the clarifier if you want though, it helps a lot. Better for longer range communication and the channels you run SSB on (typically 16 and 35-40) tend to be less crowded than some other channels. Just my thoughts on that though...

    If I were you I'd stop in at a variety of CB shops, I tend to avoid radio shed stuff like the plague... Not only that but the radio shops would be able to tune it up for you a bit so you can transmit a bit farther. Never used their radios but definitely avoid antennas they have unless they're Wilson or some other decent brands K40, Firestik, etc... An expensive radio isn't as important as a great antenna.

    You'd be better off to get as much of the antenna over top of the vehicle as possible for best TX/RX ability/range.

    If you don't mount the CB to a metal surface, run a strap or wire from the case of the CB to a decent vehicle ground. This helps set up a ground plane...

    www.wilsonantenna.com has a great tech section about tuning an antenna, what different placement of an antenna does to signal reception, and so forth... Best tech section about it I've found anyhow...




    Tim
    &lt;img src="http://bbs.off-road.com/wwwthreads_uploads/53-559733-usflaglargesm.jpg"&gt;
    <font color=red>"Don't Tread on Me"</font color=red>
     
  4. 3car

    3car 1/2 ton status

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    if you want a basic,reliable radio with most features,get the uniden pc66,76 cobra 25 or 29.good and reasnoable.find a good cb shop and have it peaked and tuned,which is about 20$.magnets are for refrigerators.if your going to mount on your bumper,go with a 102"stainless whip.tune swr'sto1.5or less and youll be happy with it.trust me.

    eatin'fords and shittin'dodges down in the sunshine state.
     
  5. Highlander

    Highlander 1/2 ton status

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    For me I like a radio with SSB like a Cobra 148GTL there are some good radios out there, As for the Antennas I think Placement of a good Ant. Is more important than the brand The best place would be on the roof but then you run the risk of ripping it of the top. I'm running mine on the drivers side of the K5 I have a Ball mount with a 5.5ft Francis ant. 18ft of Coax, As for the radio it's a Galaxy 33. That being said if I had to do it all over I would of put the ball mount on the upper part of the body I would get better SWR's right now I'm getting to much interfearance from the body, only time will tell I still mite change the Ant. placement, About the 102 whip Ant. I don't like them they work well but they do whip around alot some 4x4 clubs will not let you run one on the trial for safety reasons,
    Have you stop at a CB shop yet? Here in Denver there are some good Shops that will help you set it all up.

    Eric

    <a target="_blank" href=http://cethern.tripod.com/erics-home-page-and-other-stuff/>http://cethern.tripod.com/erics-home-page-and-other-stuff/</a>
    AMSOIL Dealer # 529948
    Cethern@interfold.com
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I started out with a older Cobra 29LTD Classic. Uniden is good, I'd recomened not buying at radioshack. I don't care for thier radios. Look at www.copper.com it's a good site to look radios over till you decide what you really want.
     
  7. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    I've got a PC76XL, its been just about indestructible. Figure on spending about $100 for the radio and ant., I would recommend a permanent mount for you ant. because the magnetic mounts don't stick on there when you drag them through trees. I have my radio mounted between my center console and drivers seat so it is right within reach, just be sure to use large enough wood screws in the plastic console so that they don't back out.
     
  8. CaveBlazin

    CaveBlazin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Sorry to bump in on this but what would the Pro's and Cons be with using Firesticks I think thats the right name for them I have a Cobra 29LTD and it worked ok. I have them mounted to the mirror would the rear be better...
     
  9. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I like the larger antennas. It seams to me that a 102" whip gets out father, and recieves better, but that's just my opinion. /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  10. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    The firesticks are a great antenna but the stainless steel whips tend to get out better and they don't need to be tuned. Also you are limited on the amount of power by the firesticks (1,000 watts?) and the whips will keep on chuggin'. You also recieve a little better with a whip. The only nice thing about a firestick and any other wound antenna is that they are compact.
     
  11. ratpack7

    ratpack7 Guest

    ___________________________________________________

    I have them mounted to the mirror would the rear be better...
    ___________________________________________________

    Well thats kinda up to you? the truck is your ground plane and the antena transmits over the ground plane. Wich means if it's in the back your stongest signal is forward. In the front the stongest is backward. The Ideal location would be dead center of the ground plane for equal signal strength but thats not really posibale unless you want a 102" whip atached to the top of your roll cage sticking stright up.
     
  12. CaveBlazin

    CaveBlazin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    But I thought most firesticks were OMNI-Directional not directional..
     
  13. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    Firesticks along with any single whip antenna are omni-directional if placed against a perfectly round ground plane. The problem is vehicles aren't round by any means.

    If you place a firestick or whatever type antenna as close to the center of the vehicle as possible then it will perform, generally, equally well in all directions.

    Like it was said before, if it's placed on an edge of the vehicle then it will receive and transmit slightly better in the direction of the ground plane(or vehicle body in this case) So if an antenna is placed on the back bumper on the drivers side then signals will be stongest to the front right corner of the vehicle.

    The longer/larger the vehicle is and the more extreme the antenna is off center the more noticeable the signal difference will be.

    Hope that helps a little.
     
  14. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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  15. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    I't a shocking experiance when you park under a low power line and climb out of your truck...FLOL.... Just remember that the whip does hit everything when you go anywhere and you can were them down to where they will break.... I wish I would have taken Pic's of mine when it broke..... I just haven't put the new one in the garage back on yet....
     
  16. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I was going through tunnel and my antenna was throwing a shower of sparks above me, pretty cool looking with the top off /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  17. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I've got my 102" mounted to the roof light-bar. hits everything. but then again, a 102 gets out better the more you bend it up, LOL. /forums/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  18. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    It's fun to have a "Z-bend" /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  19. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Sparklers are fun....... I'm just a big Kid at heart.... Sometimes I hink I have more fun then my daughter does....
     
  20. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Spaklers ??? I wack a few over-head power lines, but haven't seen any sparks yet. /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif
     

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