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CB noob questions.

Discussion in 'Communication (CB | GPS | HAM)' started by newboy89, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. newboy89

    newboy89 Registered Member

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    I am looking around on these posts trying to get a feel for all of this stuff but it's hard to put it togeather. so here are my questions.

    1. If i run a rig with SSB can i talk to someone with a regular CB?
    2. what exactilly is SSB?
    3. antenna placement and coax routing, where and how?
    4. best brand you can think of for under 250 w/ a peak and tune?
    5. good web sited for ordering everythign i need to get this thing up and running.
    6. best place to mount the CB.
    7. nesiccary features?
    8. antenna brand?and length?

    and any other points you think are good to make. thanks alot for the help guys.
    charlie
     
  2. The_Sandman_454

    The_Sandman_454 1/2 ton status

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    1 &2: CBs' with and without SSB operate on the same frequencies (channels). The different is in how the transmissions are structured. Traditional CB's operate on AM (amplitude modulation), it uses a carrier which is un modulated and 2 modulated sidebands.

    SSB (either upper or lower sideband, you must pick which you use at a particular time, it also *must* match the mode the person/people you want to talk to are in or you'll not understand them and they'll not understand you) utilizes only one of the sidebands and no carrier. It's more efficient, you tend to get less static, etc as well.

    Other modes of transmission are FM and CW (Frequency Modulation) and (Continuous Wave, which uses a key and morse code), neither of which you need to worry about at all since they're only modes you'd use as a HAM/Amateur radio operator, legally anyhow.

    3. Best place to put an antenna is in the middle of a metal roof. If you must put it on the side of the body or bumper or a bed rail, keep in mind that you get best performance with the antenna at least 2/3 over the body. Keep in mind that your SWR (standing wave ratio) can be affected by signal reflecting from a body panel that's too close to the antenna. Putting it anywhere but dead center will make it a bit directional towards the opposite corner, but then again that's only noticeable at really extended distances...

    4. Best is probably still the Uniden Grant XL or LT. They sell them as factory refurbs for $140 if I remember correctly. They don't produce new ones anymore but that's one of the best ever. I run the Ranger Communications TR966. It's a pretty good radio. Costs a little more than the refurb Grant...

    5. Good place to order from... I tend to go with the local shop if possible, since they can work on it for you if there's an issue or deal with the warranty if something comes up, etc. If it's a decent place that's not tryin' to gouge you, they'll set it up and peak/tune it for you either free or *very* little cost. The guy I go to does it free. Also sets antenn SWR free if you bought it from there or very cheap I think $5 if you bought it someplace else. Also factor in the cost of shipping into whether you can get a better deal online or at a store you can really walk into...

    6. Where ever it's convenient for *you*... If you don't mount it to a metal surface, run a ground from the chassis of the radio to the nearest metal surface that's got a decent ground...

    7. Necessary features... That depends on what you think you need. I consider noise toys (robot talk on galaxy radios, as one example) to be worthless and rude... If I'm talking to somebody I want to be able to understand them, etc, not have to struggle to understand someone. If I can't understand somebody due to their junk I'll ask 'em to turn it off once, after that I just ignore them if they don't comply...

    8. Antenna. I like Wilson magnet mounts. The Wilson 1000 and 5000 are good choices. Magnet mount is nice because you can pull it down easily when you're under heavy cover, although i've encountered some trees and not had much of a problem with it coming off anyhow. I'm not sure who makes the best fiberglass whip if you wanted to go that route. I've had the tech I trust most recommend an 8' shakespeare brand whip and a triple magnet mount base... I think I might try a setup like that someday.

    You also have to ponder how you're going to use it. Just for trail communications, or want to get out as far as possible on the highway too.

    For power I run a negative and positive wire directly to the battery. The reason being the battery *will* act as a filter to filter the noisy power from the alternator and make sure you get cleaner power. You *could* buy a filter to accomplish the same thing but I've found it works about as good (as have many others) to simply wire direct to the battery. You *do* have to remember to turn the radio off/on that way since it won't be operated by the ignition switch but then again I've never had a problem with doing that.

    I'm sure some will disagree but this is info that's worked well for me.
     
  3. newboy89

    newboy89 Registered Member

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    Thanks alot for all of that information, it has helped a bunch. but you never answerd if i can talk to someone who is using a regular old CB that they bought at radio shack, or do they also have to use a CB with the SSB?
    thanks again.
     
  4. The_Sandman_454

    The_Sandman_454 1/2 ton status

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    If somebody has a non SSB Cb then you can talk to them but only if you're in AM mode.

    /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif A radio with the selector on "lower sideband" will only be understandable to and only understand another radio set to "lower sideband".

    To talk to non SSB CB's just put the selector in AM. That's the standard way to transmit here in the US... Over in Europe they've got the opposite where they only have FM and the sidebands... /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif But that little bit is irrelevant...
     
  5. 4GUNZ4X4Z

    4GUNZ4X4Z 1/2 ton status

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    I strongly agree with Sandman, but I'd like to add a few things.

    3. 18' of coax is ideal. When routing the coax route it however you want, but do not route it in parallel with power wires and when/if you have extra coax left over do not coil it up. Instead shove it where ever in an unorderly fashion.

    5. Try "<a target="_blank" href=http://exportradio.com>exportradio.com</a>". Like said earlier your best bet is to find a CB shop and have them work on it for ya.
    8. I'll swear by a 102" whip forever. I also like the wilson 2000. A wilson will add 2db gain which will increase your swing(the watts your radio is putting out while key'n up and talk'n)

    All in all Sandman gave some good advice. I wish I could help on #4, but I got my favorites and they dont touch $250. Even my plain ol CB w/o ssb is kinda pricey.
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I'm a big fan of the 102" stainless steel whip antenna. I have a potbelly spring to prevent breakage, and a quick release for those times it does need to come off. I mount it to a roof light bar, ground strap to bolt for topper. I also like the export radios, I've got a Galaxy DX-99V. I think the voice changer and robot voice are crap, but I like having more then 40 channels. I also like the large meter and the freq. counter.
     

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