1. Holiday Special! - 2 for 1 Elite Explorer sale!

    Right now you can purchase an Elite Explorer membership for $20 and receive a two year membership!

    Click Here to start your membership and get rid of the ads!

    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Newbie to cb's

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by LOGJOCKY, November 10, 2001.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. LOGJOCKY

    LOGJOCKY Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    September 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Leduc, Alberta
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1994 EXPLORER XLT
    I need a cb and I wanna know what kind is best to buy and one that dosent cost that much. I was looking at a communications store and they only sell 2-way radios and they are expensive. I need to know what I will need for an antenna as well. I will mount it on my roof rack or by my mirror. I also know that radio shack sells cb's. Are they any good? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Support EF

    Elite Explorer 2 for 1 Sale! $20 for 2 years!

    Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



  3. Char

    Char Admin's Wife, Explorer Babe Staff Member Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    February 10, 1999
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    City, State:
    Wittmann
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1993 Explorer XLT
    Callsign:
    KB7TKQ
    Radio Shack's radios are okay. Their handheld radios aren't as good as their mobile. I know many people who swear by their handheld ham radio (need a license). Mid-priced Cobra are supposed to be good. If you buy the cheapest of any brand they usually aren't that good so look for the mid-range CB's.

    Personally, I wouldn't waiste my time on a CB. I would go for the ham radio. Yes, you need a license, but they give you all the questions and answers for the test. Also, the ham radio has much better range and can get out from small canyons, whereas CB's can't. You can find good radios for a couple hundred dollars and antennas for under $100. IMHO :D
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Boston Area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Ranger Edge
    My Opinion !
    Buy a Uniden or a Cobra, you can't go wrong for trail or just local mobile talk.

    The small Uniden can fit just about any where you want but it does not have a mic gain.
    Get a power mic if you can afford it.

    The antenna is another thing.
    How do you intent to use the system?
    How far do you think you want to talk?

    I use, on my wife's vehicle, a snall antenna called a Lit'l Wil. It is mag mounted and I run teh coax through the side window. Works great on trail rides and on the street runs.
    You can spend any amount you want on a mobile antenna but do you need to!?!?!?

    Decide on the answers to the above questions and come bak later and talk.

    73,
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Boston Area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Ranger Edge
    LOGJOCKY,

    What happening?
    Where are you in your CB project ?
    Keep the forum updatred!

    73,
     
  6. LOGJOCKY

    LOGJOCKY Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    September 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Leduc, Alberta
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1994 EXPLORER XLT
    Currently I am in the process of finding enough money to buy a cb. Im young and stupid and I have saved nothing since I started working...LOL. As soon as I get one I will make sure and let everyone know.
     
  7. scratched 95

    scratched 95 Member

    Joined:
    August 23, 2000
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Millersburg, Or
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 XLT
    Although Sandy seems to have a wealth of good advice on radios, I take exception to the last answer. (nothing personal) Particularly with CB, the antenna is much more important than the radio. The best radio in the world will not have any range or quality with a poor antenna, and the cheapest radio that works at all will surprise you with a good antenna. Spend the money on something good, and make sure you have a solid ground.

    Go out and listen from about a mile away to someone with a really good permanent mount antenna and then to someone from the same distance who is using a mag mount or thru-the-glass.

    I am using a Uniden portable I got from Fry's at a cost of $29. Works wonderfully with my antenna on the vehicle, and I can take it with me when I get out.

    Ed Bodnar/KD7NBH
     
  8. LOGJOCKY

    LOGJOCKY Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    September 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Leduc, Alberta
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1994 EXPLORER XLT
    Where did u mount your antenna? I plan to mount mine on the roof-rack. What is the best location.
     
  9. scratched 95

    scratched 95 Member

    Joined:
    August 23, 2000
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Millersburg, Or
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    95 XLT
    > Where did u mount your antenna? I plan to
    > mount mine on the roof-rack. What is the
    > best location.

    I actually am unmounted right now (using a mag mount temporarily when needed). I used to be on a permanent mount just behind the front roof rack cross-bar, but that is where I have the ham antenna now. I'm looking for a good location, probably will end up either on the rear bumper or another permanent mount just in front of the rear cross-bar.
     
  10. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Boston Area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Ranger Edge
    Well, I just got back from California on a business trip and see there have been some replies.

    LOGJOCKY,
    How's things going with the CB and antenna stuff.
    If you are going to mount the antenna to the rack watch out for the grounding. As scratch 95 says the antenna is the most important part and it has to grounded to work properly. Why not consider a magnet mount, you can mount it just in front of the rack and it will have all the ground it needs from the magnet. Usually with CBs the best antenna location is as high and centered on the vehicle as you can be. In the case of Fords, the roof is better because of the fuel pump noise; the body of the vehicle shields the antenna a little.
    How do you intend to use your CB? Trail use/local talk or do you want to talk to the world?
    Trail use almost any antenna will do, I use a 24" Wilson Flexi Whip for the trail and a Wilson 2000 for the road with a Uniden 538 radio w/power mic. I have to turn the mic to the lowest setting on the trail but on a road run I can talk to people a mile or more away if everything else is quiet.
    So what does all this mean, determine your use, buy a good name brand radio, the smallest one will work just as well as the top of the line. Buy a good antenna, as scratch 95 stated, and you should have no problems. Don’t buy Radio Shack, Cheap Stuff.

    Oh Ya, if you want to talk to the world, become a HAM. If you do want to be a HAM let me or any other HAM know, we can set you up.

    scratched 95,
    Just to carry on a little, my comments from previous replies did not mention that the radio was the most important part. I only stated to buy a Uniden or Cobra to keep the radio inexpensive but not cheap and I asked a couple of questions about how LOGJOCKY would be using his CB and to base his antenna purchase on his use factor because a good CB antenna can run 70 or 80 dollars.
    Yes the antenna is the most import part of the CB radio system and yes that is where he should spend any extra money but on the other hand LOGJOCKY needs to determine his use first then decide how much he has to spend and then buy his equipment. 73.
     
  11. LOGJOCKY

    LOGJOCKY Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    September 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Leduc, Alberta
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1994 EXPLORER XLT
    It will be used both for trail and road but mostly trail. I have recently found a CB in my garage and I am testing it right now to see if it works. It was used in my dads Freightliner. if it works there is a CB shop at the truck stop out here. I will go and buy an antenna and hook 'er up. Its a radio shack CB but I think it works. It will do for now. Also, how hard are they to hook up? I really suck at wiring. Thanks again.:ca:
     
  12. Char

    Char Admin's Wife, Explorer Babe Staff Member Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    February 10, 1999
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    City, State:
    Wittmann
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1993 Explorer XLT
    Callsign:
    KB7TKQ
    LOGJOCKY, they are not that hard to hook up at all. Another consideration is your cable. Try not to get the cheapest, but it doesn't have to be the most expensive either. If you get the really cheap stuff there is loss and with the fuel pump noise that could make it really hard to receive anything. On the trail you would probably be fine because of the closeness of the vehicles.

    I'm glad to see we have other hams on the board as well. :bounce: :bounce:

    73,

    Char, KB7TKQ (Try Keep'em Quiet)
     
  13. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Boston Area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Ranger Edge
    LOGJOCKY,

    Ok on the Ratshack radio, if it’s free it’s for me, the price is right.

    As Char stated either get a good antenna with coax attached or if you have to buy coax get good stuff. Make sure it has at least 90% shielding.

    If you have the cash buy a name brand antenna, the best known for mobile antennas right now are the K40 series or my choice Wilson. I use the smallest of the magnet mount Wilson line, called the Little Wil, in my wife's Navajo and it works great. I think it was around $40.00 complete. I get very little noise from the fuel pump.

    The wiring...
    Well my thoughts would be to run a black and red wires from the battery to the radio, fused at the battery on both wires. Ground the chassis separately with an additional wire just to make sure the radio has a good ground system. Not much more you can do. The draw of a stock CB is so low that 16 gauge wire will do just fine but if you want to run something larger in wire size go ahead. Run the power wires and the coax as far away from the computer as you can, may not make any difference but it won't hurt.

    Buy a good antenna, have the SWR checked by a CB shop or just a friend with a meter and you should be in business. (The Wilson antenna should not require much adjustment).

    Anyway, keep in touch and if you have any questions just ask. If you don't get answers here you can e-mail me if you like.

    73,
     
  14. Blue Steel

    Blue Steel Active Member

    Joined:
    March 19, 2001
    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    Explorer '97 XLT SOHC
    how much power does the average small cb draw? i'm wondering because i have a power block inside my truck already. also, what amp fuse do you put in line for the power lead for the cb? thanks. i'm a newbie too looking for a cb eventually.
     
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Boston Area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Ranger Edge
    Most CBs use less than 1.5 amps on transmit (5-Watts output.
    The standard fuse of 2 amp is more than enough.
    If you have some modifications performed on your CB, (Which I am sure you know is not legal), then you will need to know the wattage output and you can determine the amperage draw. (An approximate figure run 6 amps per 25 watts or 0.24 amps per watt, again this is approximate).
    The terminal block in your truck:
    Does the power come directly from the battery?
    Is the power line (red) fuse at the battery?
    Is there a ground wire (Black) coming from the battery?
    Is the ground wire fused?
    You may want to filter the line going to the CB.
    Also add an additional ground wire (not fused) from the chassis of the CB to the metal of the body or frame if possible.

    The one thing to remember is that the antenna is very important in a CB installation as well as the coax. Make sure you spend any extra cash on the antenna. There are a number of good manufacturers so shop around, don't just buy at Radio Shack!

    Good Luck,
     
  16. TwoToneX

    TwoToneX my pockets hurt Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    August 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    broomfield, co
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '90 XLT 4x4
    I'm sure my comments are unneeded seeing all the replies already given, but heck, why not? :D

    I have a 30 dollar radio shack cb with a 20 dollar magmount, works fine for what I need. It's not that high-powered, but I can talk to everyone on the trails with no problems. I actually like the shorter distance, because I'm rarely that far from anyone, and I've found that people with bigger attena's get more interference because they can pick up more stuff. Usually when someone says "I'm getting interference" I don't notice it. However, I can definately see how a ham radio or stronger attena would be helpful. I guess it all depends on what you need it for, but I just figured I'd say that the inexpensive setup isn't that bad either :)

    I just ran the wiring that I got with the CB straight into the fuse box, you can tuck the wires in under the dash, and there's a bolt close to the fuse box that you can hook the ground wire up to. I guess I'll say that Matt Adams helped me out, I can't take all the credit :)
     
  17. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Boston Area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Ranger Edge
    If it works, it works...

    You have to decide what will work for you and go for it.

    Good job your post say it all.



    Keep it on all four.
     
  18. rockymntnhi

    rockymntnhi Active Member

    Joined:
    February 11, 2001
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Pueblo, CO.
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98' Sport
    Yep

    Just here to agree w/ TWOTONE . If I could do it again I would do it as cheap as possible . I spent $180 on CB + 30 on Antenna + 8 mnt. kit + 30 Coax cable + 45 on install . Wasted every penny . My range is 1 mile in ideal conditions . And I only use it on runs . Could've spent under $125 and been just as happy . :banghead: :D
     
  19. Blue Steel

    Blue Steel Active Member

    Joined:
    March 19, 2001
    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    Explorer '97 XLT SOHC
    sandy, what i've got is a fuse block coming from the battery. there is an inline fuse that i can increase the amps if need be. the block is pretty much for any accessories that i need to run. right now it's just for switch power for my auxilary lights. i can cut the block on and cut all my lights on with that one switch. i ground it to various parts of the truck. how do i go about filtering the line going to the cb?
    also, for the modifications that are illegal, pretty much all you're doing is increasing the range in which you can transmit your signal right? if that's the case i'm not messing with it because all i'll be using the cb for is wheeling runs. thanks a bunch for all your help.
     
  20. Char

    Char Admin's Wife, Explorer Babe Staff Member Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    February 10, 1999
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    City, State:
    Wittmann
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1993 Explorer XLT
    Callsign:
    KB7TKQ
    Blue Steel,

    If all you're using it for is 4wheeling then you don't need to worry about modifying it, besides as Sandy said it is illegal. Make sure the fuse is strong enough to handle the load from both the cb and the lights at the same time. Use the formula Sandy gave you.
     
  21. Sandy

    Sandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Boston Area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2003 Ranger Edge
    Do as TwoToneFordExpl has suggested.
    If you have troubles work on them as they appear.
    The terminal should be fine to get started, do as Char said make dure you have the right size fuse forr everything and do not worry about filtering until you need it.

    Good Luck,
    Keep in touch,

    PS, Just in case you need it, you can buy an inline filter from a HAM radio shop that goes as close to the CB as you can. You may also need filters near the sources of the noise but wait to see if you need any at all.

    Keep in touch with the forum.
     

Share This Page







We Support Our Troops!