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Help me pick a new CB

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by TheRookie, February 2, 2007.

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  1. Lug/Nut

    Lug/Nut New Member

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    i just bought a 40 dollar cobra cb for a camping trip a couple weeks back. i was in a hurry so i just bought a $10 antenna the thing is i can only get reception within 3/4 mile at most. my friend told me that i need a better cb and that the antenna isnt the prob. any answers on this? also does the size of the anntenna matter?
     
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  3. FROADER

    FROADER Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Antennas make a big difference. I had a cheap ass radio shack CB that worked the better than my Cobra 29 with a my crappy antenna
     
  4. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Size DOES matter. :D
    I had a full wave whip on my truck, and I got GREAT coverage. Much better than the 1/2 wave I had. How long is the antenna, and where is it mounted?
     
  5. Lug/Nut

    Lug/Nut New Member

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    its about a foot and a half long and its right behind the sunroof. also if i got a 5 ft antenna what kind of reception would i get if i mounted it on my bumper
     
  6. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Wow, that sounds pretty short, compared to any CB antenna I've ever had. I'm not sure what kind of reception you SHOULD expect from that. Altough, the higher the better, and the closer to the middle of the car, the better, I think that the larger antenna, on your bumper, would work MUCH better. Disclaimer is that I'm not a CB antenna expert. :)
     
  7. TheRookie

    TheRookie Traveling SAS guru

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    Doug, Its a black radioshack of some sort and most likely has a significant coat of trail grime from the buggy. I know I left it in there when you left.
     
  8. Critter92X

    Critter92X Active Member

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    Some people care about looks others care about the features,some radios have built in SWR meter,dyna mike, noise limiters,noise blanker and the options go on and on.With all that aside some radios just work better out of the box than others even if they are all set at the factory 4 watts.I have been talking on radios for over 30 years and I have seen alot of factory stock radios that work better than others. Set up on the same antenna some just work better than others due to better components inside,whether its the receive or the transmit that shows it.If you only use your radio to talk to someone on the trail in close range or across the freeway for a traffic report then it probably doesn't matter what you use.I use mine talking to the base station at the house and maximum range means alot to me.Yes I have a cell phone I can use if I want but I like talking on my CB.For the same reasons I drive Fords instead of chevy's or dodge,I have my preference in radios.
     
  9. Ranger379

    Ranger379 Well-Known Member

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    i have the cobra 25, i really like it, ill pry get the 29 tho when ever i buy a new one, i dont like the cheap ones cause u cant adjust RF Gain/ Dyna etc. also the cobra 19 is 65 bucks on the corba site, i seen them at wallyworld for 35 lol, so if u go with that one shop around for the cheaper price haha, good luck, also dont forget u could have the best CB out there but it wont perform well with a crappy antenna...
     
  10. Ranger379

    Ranger379 Well-Known Member

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    anteanna makes more of a difference that the cb, the cheapo cb i had in my moms had a cheap 10 dollar anteanna from walmart, it does ok, but my wilson is alot better, size does matter, as well as location. most people say roof, alot also say bumper, but i agree and have mine in the center of the roof its a 3 foot magmount Wilson lil wil. i wouldnt mount on the bumper b/c the higher above the vehicle the better it works, so if u go with the bumper then u should get a longer one..... (this is all from what i recall reading, im no specialist so please feel free to correrct me if im wrong haha)
     
  11. Critter92X

    Critter92X Active Member

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    Yea,the antenna makes all the difference in the world.One of the small Wal-mart type cheap antennas might work for you if you are only looking for short range, but a good antenna will get you on out there with some range.The center of your roof is the best location,on the bumper makes it more directional.
     
  12. TheRookie

    TheRookie Traveling SAS guru

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    This is going in a full size pickup. I was considdering dual mirror mounts. Center of the cab wont be an option as I will have a slide in camper in the bed that will come over the roof
     
  13. old mechanic

    old mechanic Well-Known Member

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    Remember, for best results, you have to match the antenna to the CB. I really don't know how to do it but after someone telling me to do that, I took my truck to my local (well, a few towns away) radio-CB shop and they matched it free of charge. Now I buy any radios-CB's I need or want from them.
     
  14. Ranger379

    Ranger379 Well-Known Member

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    i read somewhere that dual setup is not as good as one signle antenna, alltho they do make a "Splitter" to hook both together before u hook it to CB. if i had a truck and was going to do dual setup (which was my plan when i was gonna buy a ranger) would be have one hooked up and the other one just botled to the mirror lol. i do really like the looks of dual anteannas tho
     
  15. TheRookie

    TheRookie Traveling SAS guru

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    eh, I wouldnt mount anything to my truck that isnt in use. If a dual setup isnt worth it then I will skip it. Perhaps I will just put one on the fender oposite side of the radio antenna
     
  16. Ranger379

    Ranger379 Well-Known Member

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    flat metal surface bewteen hood and wiper cowls is possible, or the front fender mount that mounts on the inside of fender then comes up are two possibilities
     
  17. old mechanic

    old mechanic Well-Known Member

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    The spliter that connects the CB to your radio antenna works prety good.
     
  18. Critter92X

    Critter92X Active Member

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    That would probably be your better option although with your slide in camper it will make it somewhat directional due to the camper blocking some signal.I always ran duals on my BIG truck but they are harder to get a good swr match and keep it.A single antenna works better in most cases.

    I've never used the converter to use your fm radio antenna but in my opinion I would stay away from it,they aren't designed for transmitting and just aren't the right length for 27 mHz.I'm afraid it would damage your radio in the long run due to SWR issues but that is just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: February 7, 2007
  19. Doug

    Doug I'm Awesome! Moderator Emeritus

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    Those FM adapters should work halfway decent. They electronically shorten the electrical length of the antenna, and this is actually a fairly common practice for transcievers that operate on a wide frequency range with one antenna. As long as the impedance is right, your radio won't know the difference, though I don't know the quality of the units available. Also with a properly tuned dual antenna setup you should see better on highway performance. Due to the way the antennas work you'll be able to transmit and recieve better along the length of the vehicle but not as well side to side.
     
  20. Critter92X

    Critter92X Active Member

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    Like I said I have never used the FM radio type converters,it would be handy if they performed well.I can see how they might get it matched to possibly get a fair SWR,but I still can't see how they would perform very well.A wave length for 11 meters(cb channels) is about 36 feet.A simple steel whip (102")is a 1/4 wave antenna and works well where the more common loaded antenna is a 5/8 wave which is about 22 feet long and has better gain.They have a stinger 3,4,or 5 feet long with the remainder of the 22 feet wound into the coil.People argue back and forth about whether the 1/4 wave 8 + feet straight in the air or the 5/8 wave mostly wound in the coil works best.They both work pretty well,but when you use your fm antenna you have about 30"(I've never measured my fm antenna) which amounts to about 1/20 of a wave exposed outside.I can't see how that would have much gain to perform very well but again I've never used one.
     
  21. Critter92X

    Critter92X Active Member

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    It would be nice if someone would come out with a load you could mount on your fm antenna,where you could use one of those and have an am/fm/good 5/8 wave antenna all in one.
     

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