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CB questions - who has SSB??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 2Dogs, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Disclaimer: Steve/Grim, I need some more info from people that don't read the communication section - can you leave this here for a day or 2?

    Thanks to those that answered my newbie CB questions in that forum!

    I need to make a decision about a CB.I think I will go with
    one of the following. The Cobra is more adjustable because of the dials but the Midland is TINY with weather stations. The Midland can be peaked and expanded to European stations (freaked?, anyone confirm this??). The Cobra peaked only.

    Midland http://www.bills2way.com/equip/148nwst.html

    I will be running a Firestik off of the right rear of the truck. I will use the old external spare mount brackets (either upper or lower) - should I use the lower for a longer antennae or will that add interference from the body?
    Or does it matter with the Firestiks?

    How high above the shell/cab do you run your Firestik?

    Other misc. questions:
    Weather stations - yea or nay?
    SSB - yea or nay?

    PLEASE REPLY IF YOU HAVE SSB.

    Thanks,



    Dave

    Rehab is for quitters.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics</a>
     
  2. ducati-cooter

    ducati-cooter Registered Member

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    I run a UNIDEN GRANT radio with ssb, this has been my power house radio for the last 6 years. I run a wilson 1000. i used to run the mag mount but I now run it on a fender mount on the dr side front. the fire stick I think you are referring to is only 36 or 48 inches tall. to get the best reception get it higher than the truck or at least a portion of it. I have used ssb and the weather band radios. I feel the weather stations are a nice idea but not really needed. ssb is really useless unless your friends have radios with it and know how to use it otherwise it is a waste and it also has similiar rules of running it as ham band does. Just my .02
     
  3. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Firestiks come in 3', 4', and 5'

    What model Uniden do you have? Everyone likes Uniden but I haven't found the model with SSB.

    And on the SSB - that is why I am posting here. SSB sounds good if it catches on.... How old is the technology?

    Dave

    Rehab is for quitters.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics</a>
     
  4. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics
     
  5. Danno

    Danno 1/2 ton status

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    SSB has been around for about as long as affordable HAM radios have been around, I think.



    1984 K5 Blazer 4x4 Silverado
    6.2L diesel, 700R4, 3.42 gears, 31x10.5" tires
     
  6. ducati-cooter

    ducati-cooter Registered Member

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    ya ssb has been around for a very long time. the problem with using it is adjsuting it to recieve and transmit clearly. ssb is basicaly an offshoot of a particular channel. (19a is upper side band and 19b would be lwer side band.) ssb has a seemingly stronger reach and it can triple your normal channels. people without it will only here a little bit of cross talk or walkover. I used to use it around my home town but cb's are loosing there popularity again just like years past.
     
  7. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Losing poularity? Figures. But my use is specific - trail rides with friends and family. Nobody in my family has SSB but if there are enough CK5ers (and if I ever get to go with y'all, August in Moab fer sure!) I will get it and convince the fam they NEED it.



    Dave

    Rehab is for quitters.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics</a>
     
  8. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    I've run a Pierce-Simpson 23 channel SSB radio since '72 and have actually found about a 1/2 dozen times when someone else had sideband. Have actually been looking at a new 40 channel as the P.S. SSB is getting pretty worn looking. I don't see a real need for SSB in this day and age with 40 channels available and most people not having a CB, let alone a sideband. After looking at your two choices, like the Cobra better. Looks more user friendly when bouncing around offroad. Looks alot like my Pierce-Simpson so it can't be too bad. Weather stations might be OK, but how often is it really needed?

    87 K5, 427/340hp BBC,4.56 D60 &amp; 14BFF, NV4500, NP208, TSM rear disc's,
     
  9. Innerpiece

    Innerpiece 1/2 ton status

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    SSB is used in marine applications all the time ... better range by not "Wasting" transmit eneregy on a duplicate sideband ... so It would be great for talking to ocean going boats ... on the other hand ... SSB can be finicky with antenna mounting ... you need to get the antenna above the truck or you'll get some horiffic directional issues ... also .. SSB likes to have a nice symmetrical ground plane (easy on a boat) .. so top of your cab for an antenna mount and electrically connecting the top of your fiberglass top to the rest of the truck (copper tape stuff) would add a lot ...
     
  10. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I was considering SSB for its transmit and receive quality - was told it was better. Is that wrong?

    Maybe I need to evaluate a few more models.

    And the 'button' style on the Midland worries me also.

    Dave

    Rehab is for quitters.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics</a>
     
  11. Innerpiece

    Innerpiece 1/2 ton status

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    Yes it is better ... that's why boats use them ... a lot better range and clarity for the same amount of output power and all of that comes together really well in an unobstructed area (open water) ...

    A little EE background for you (anyone feel free to correct) ... Standard Frequency Modulated (FM) radios transmit around a main carrier freq (like 101.1 Mhz on your FM Dial). For simplicity of components the "information" is encoded in the sidebands (a couple of kHz wide). The Citizen's Band (CB) type radio's are standard two-way (transit / receive) FM radios using a certain section of the frequency spectrum (say 50-88 MHz as an example) ... your car radio is receive only in the 88-107.9 MHz band.

    Ok so far ... so standard FM radios transmit what looks like a simple bell curve ... the horizontal axis being frequency and the vertical being "power" .. the peak of the bell curve is at the carrier freq and all of the information is encoded from (Carrier freq-sideband freq) to the Carrier freq and the DUPLICATED from the carrier freq to (carrier freq + sideband freq). The Total Power that is transmitted is the area under that bell curve and is fixed and based on your transmitter (i.e. 25 watts). So for a standard FM radio ... you're using all of your available power to transmit the information and a duplicate at the same time.

    Single-sideband transmitters eliminate one of those sidebands through some kewl electronics. so now all of the information is encoded from say the carrier freq to (carrier freq + sideband). You get half a bell curve (folded vertically) ... but with the same transmitting power (area under the curve) you can get a higher overall transmit power

    visualize a full bell curve and a half bell curve ... both with the same area ... which one is taller?

    This also leads to some interesting thoughts on SSB receivers getting full FM signals, and vice versa ... but that's a story for another day.

    That's where the benefits of SSB come from ... and the military has some even more technically complecated stuff to get the most "power" (distance) from the same size transmitter.

    Bottom line: Yes, you get better range from a SSB ... the clarity comes from being digital (higher end systems) ... but you won't have a whole lot of people to talk to. I'd stick with a standard CB

    Anyone wanna know why digital is better?
     
  12. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    "stick with a standard CB" Isn't the SSB a feature independant of standard? Will I lose functionality for standard channels with an SSB unit?

    Is the SSB technology increasing or decreasing in popularity in the public sector?

    I hate being a noob.

    Dave

    Rehab is for quitters.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics</a>
     
  13. Innerpiece

    Innerpiece 1/2 ton status

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    Since SSB units are usually higher end models most of them can do both ... SSB and standard FM ... but you pay for the capability.
     
  14. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    That's pretty interesting stuff. But don't CB radios use Amplitude Modulation (AM) instead of Frequency Modulation (FM)? [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
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  15. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    no kidding and down around 27mhz
    strange post.
    sounds like it is written by a rad freak but wierd easy stuff seems off???

    i thought SSB was just a more accurately tuned frequency so guess i will have to read his novel more closely.

    I would get SSB radio, they are dirt cheap so why not get all the bells?
    CBs suck, no range (sometimes a real good thing)
    VHF is where it is at 147.???
    crystal clear, range like mad.

    formerly 77chev
    still a jerk though
     
  16. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    I guess I'll throw in my two cents. When you key up on regular AM on the CB you send out what is all called a carrier wave. When you transmit, everyone's needle moves even though you haven't said anything yet. The carrier wave works different on side band in that you don't get it unless you modulate (make noise). This helps to cut down on the crap interference of people dead keying and you are allowed to run 12 watts. It focuses the signal into a narrower beam so you can cut the channels in half and talk on the upper and lower parts of them. You have to fine tune people in though, so thats sort of a pain. Go rent Star Wars and listen to the part when they are attacking the Death Star. One guy says "we're passing through the magnetic field". They actually side band to record that line, George Lucas used it because it sounds more spacey I guess, haha.

    Cobras are not what they used to be anymore. Uniden used to make them but they got into a pi$$ing match and parted company. Uniden now has their own radios and manufactures top notch stuff. Cobra isn't bad, but not what they used to be when Uniden was making their stuff. I have a Washington base station and a Grant LT mobile unit and love them both. I've shot skip to Australia a few times. Get an 18' base antenna and try around channel '38 lower side band, there's a alot of aussies on there.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76>The Blazer Boy Page</a>
     
  17. Hoover87

    Hoover87 Registered Member

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    Okay, I have read many things in this thread that are not quite right and seen a few questions that haven't quite been answered. Hopefully I can break this down into an easy to read bottom line answer for you without going on a tangent of my own.

    I've been into HAM radio and CB for over 10 years (not as long as some, longer than others) so make your own judgement as to what my background is.

    SSB has been around since the begining of HAM and CB radio, its not at all a new technology.

    CBs in the USA use AM as a standard and SSB if you chose to buy a radio with that feature.

    CBs in the USA operate at 27MHz, unless you include FRS/GMRS radios which operate at 460MHz, but that is a whole different topic.

    On AM a CB radio has an output of about 4 watts and on SSB an output of about 12 watts. Refferance earlier post explaining how and why. For a clearer explanation do a search on the web on how it works or ask me to make an attempt at explaining it and I will reply with a wordy explanation to the best of my ability, but I consider it a tangent at this point.

    SSB on CB has no additional rules, it is meant to be used just like any other channel on the CB. Hardcore SSB users give the impression that there are additional rules resembling the HAM bands, but the truth is there aren't any.

    There are a lot of SSB users out there. SSB is usually used by people trying to "shoot skip". Skip is when your radio wave bounces off the ionosphere (atmospheric layer) and lands in another state or country. This is not unique to SSB, AM does the same thing, however it is easier to do with SSB because there is no carrier signal (refferance earlier posts) to add interferance. Because there are no carrier signals you can understand 3 or 4 stations at the same time transmitting on the same channel, rather than just hearing the strongest signal as on AM (due to a strong carrier). Any more on this and I go on a tangent.

    Don't let the above sell you on using SSB for trail use because SSB is a bit harder to use in the way that it is likely that you will have to fine tune your receiver to understand the people that you are trying to receive. This is achieved by adjusting the clarifer, standard feature on a SSB capable radio.

    For road trips, trail rides, and general use you will probably never use SSB. AM is the mode of choice on a CB for these activities. No extra tunning required and everyone has it.

    The plus with SSB is that it opens the doors to you as a radio hobbyist if you want to "shoot skip" and make some really cool contacts with your CB. Again, you'll probably never use it in the activities listed above, but it is a fun feature to have. Lots of people have SSB.

    The Cobra 148 that you described is a good radio, but not as good as the old Cobra 148 from 5-7 years ago, nor is it as good as the Uniden Grant. The Uniden Grant looks almost identical to the 148 and has the same features, but it is the favorite out of the two. The Midland you mentioned is a great radio. I owned one for a little while and it sounded great! I also modified it to operate on the 10 meter HAM band and it did great there too. The early ones had a problem with receiver noise, but rumor has it that the problem has been fixed with the newer ones.

    Extra channels in your radio, don't bother unless you plan to "shoot skip". Non-standard (illegal) channels equals less users, equals easier to make a skip contact.

    The FireStik is a great antenna, and don't ever let anyone tell you different. It is what is called a top loaded antenna and is very efficient. Fact, it will outperform the popular Wilson 1000, especially the base loaded mag-mount Wilsons. You really need a FireStik that is 4 foot or taller to realize the performance. Anything shorter on CB and performance will really suffer. The bigger the better. I believe they even made a 7 foot FireStik at one time. This would work great in the location where you plan to mount it.

    As for SSB being picky about the antenna, not true. Antennas are dictated and tuned according to the frequency of your radio, in this case 27MHz. You MUST be sure that your antenna is tuned properly. This is where SWR comes into play. A local radio shop or CB friend can help you with this.

    My advice to you is if you are not strapped for cash and think you might like to explore radio a bit, go for the Uniden Grant or the Midland that you mentioned. Experiment with SSB and see what you think. You will either love it or hate it. If you get the bug you will find tons of operators on there that can help take you to the next level (extra channels, etc., all other illegal stuf). If you are a little short on cash or don't have an interest in the hobby side of radio then don't bother with the SSB. Take a look at the Uniden PC-66 or any other similar radio. Just be sure whichever radio you decide to go for has noise reduction features like a Noise Blanker (NB) or Automatic? Noise Limiter (ANL). My personal guidline for a minimum spec radio that is still functional is a Uniden PRO-520. Don't bother with anything less than that. I don't own one but have a few friends that do.

    Anyway, I hope this helps.

    Mike
     
  18. ramjet gmc

    ramjet gmc CK5 Staff Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    I read your post and a also would like to thank you for setting me on the right path

    89 gmc jimmy 35" 10bolt front and back
    but the build up is on the way
     
  19. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Thanks everyone and a BIG thanks to Hoover!

    On the Midland - do you think having a the Gain (and one other adjustment, forgot which tho) being hi or low is ok compared to the dials on the Cobras and Unidens?

    I still worry about the buttons on the Midalnd vs. dials on the rest....

    But I will get a Uniden or Midland.

    Man this site is great!

    Dave

    Rehab is for quitters.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Daves-Pics>91 Blazer and Toys</a>
     
  20. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Hi Mike! How goes it?

    Nice explanation. Even I understood it! [​IMG]

    73

    Pam KG6JlI

    <font color=blue>Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog, it is very dark.</font color=blue> [​IMG]
     

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