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Posted: 2/6/2002 8:54:05 AM EDT
I have an older Phillipine Cobra 25 LTD that i would like to install in my new truck. Before I got my new truck I was having problems with range and was seriously considering a booster. But, I have decided to get rid of the old steel Alcan with the bottom coil and upgrade to a wilson. My problem is that I don't know which model to get or in what length. I need your help in deciding the correct antenna (yes I do go off road so something that can get bumped occasionaly). Rigth now the the guy I bought the radio from has the radio "tuned up". Radios are a necessity where I live as ther is many miles between towns and cell phones only work if you are lucky enough to be on top of a mtn. If I do decide to get a booster, how enforcable is the law and what are the possible fines?
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 9:08:50 AM EDT
I dont think the laws are very enforcable, you would really have to piss some people off with them and they would also have to know who you were and where you were. Get one of the varitable power amps and keep the power reasonable. I was once talking to a trucker who was using a 300 watt kicker, he was splashing 10 channels on either side of the one he was using and was pissing people off, likelyhood of him being caught is still minute. BrenLover
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 9:14:11 AM EDT
I can't really decide how much range I will gain switching from a bottom load steel antenna to a fiberglass wire wrapped whip antanna. Is there a general "rule-of-thumb" for watts of output to miles of range gained? While keeping in mind that unboosted radios produce 4 Watts. Karl
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 12:52:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 1:02:03 PM EDT
Two way radio just happens to be my forte'. I consider CB to be practically useless for all the idiots that are clogging the channels with hundreds of watts of splatter. What happens is, people who don't understand anything but power tweak and tune their radios until it's reading max power on the power meter, but that's wrong. You may be putting out more total power, but a lot of it...too much of it...will be radiating on other channels. The very best piece of equipment for tuning a transmitter is a spectrum analyzer. Then, a properly tuned big rig will have huge carrying power and it won't interfere with even the very next channel...but it won't have the ears to match its loud voice, I'll bet. And, yes, the FCC has a workable budget for enforcement, for once. So they ARE pursuing hotfooted CB'ers, but especially they're pursuing the ones with the badly tuned rigs that are making people's refrigerators talk. Better solutions are amateur radio (no business can be done on amateur radio channels, though, it's purely for hobbyists and for relaying emergency traffic when needed), GMRS (UHF, business traffic OK), or renting service from a commercial radio service vendor like Radio One or NexTel. (Next Hell, we call it...but it works) With rental service, you don't need a license, but with the others, you do. CJ
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 1:20:46 PM EDT
If you want serious performance you need a serious antenna. Most of the short ones are pathetic radiators. A full sized quarter wave whip is about 102" long. Those are efficient. Short ones can never work at high efficiency. I concur that CB is probably not the best solution to your problem. Ham radio is much more versatile and the licensing is much easier than it used to be. Check it out. Watch-Six
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 1:35:17 PM EDT
I think that a lot of my problem may have been with antenna location and the style of antenna. I am considering three things: Front fender mount, bed cap mount, or the top of the cab (if I can stomach drilling a hole through it and hope that the hole doesn't leak). The problem with the front hood mount is engine noise and poor ground plane, the top of the cab mount may result in the antenna getting knocked around a lot but produsces the best radiation, the bed cap mount is also poor ground plane but well protected. If I were to get a really good antenna and mount it to the top of the cab I doubt I would need a power booster as I only need to communicate about 10 to 15 miles in the mountains (nearest neigbor and during hunting). I need some experienced advice, Karl
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 1:44:10 PM EDT
You can get a magnet mount antenna, I have a K40 on my car in the middle of the roof. Only bad part is I have a white car with a black cable showing. Antennas and tuning BOTH antenna and radio will do the best with the least. That I also have a 2 meter and 44o Ham rig in my car (N2VAY) and it is much more versitile and you will here more courtious people. BrenLover
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 1:47:48 PM EDT
You are correct about the importance of a good ground for the whip to work against. Some of those goofy mirror mounts and other schemes have almost no metal to act as a ground plane. Good luck with your project. Watch-Six
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 2:01:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 2:08:27 PM EDT
Hate to be pushy fellas, but I really need some suggestions on manufactures of mounting brackets, antennas and style, and the length of the antenna. BUT, I REALLY DO APPRECIATE THIS DIALOGUE :) Karl
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 3:03:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 3:25:25 PM EDT
there is a saying in amateur radio which sez:
For every dollar you spend on Amateur Radio, spend 99 cents on the antenna.
View Quote
You can apply this to almost every aspect of radio. Do NOT exceed the regulations for CB radio, as[b] Mr. Garand_Shooter[/b] said, they ARE stepping up enforcement in both CB, Commercial and Amateur radio. I am involved in commercial and amateur radio, I have seen the effect of what illegal operations do, they are a pain in the @ss to deal with... I WILL assist the FCC in tracking down illegal operations. This doesn't mean that you can't use a cb or whatever radio, just know your limits and operate within them. And a little side note: ANY freq, power and mode is acceptable to use in the time of an [u]actual[/u] emergency.
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 10:45:10 AM EDT
Just talked to a cb expert and he wants to sell and install a "swing-kit" that matches modulation with watt output (???). Don't know anything about this stuff (never heard of it actually). But he claims that it will legally boost my output to 10W. He is also advising that I buy a Francis antenna. I think that I have decided to do a front driver side fender mount using the Wilson four foot silver core flex. Karl
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 11:05:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By krazy_karl: But he claims that it will legally boost my output to 10W. Karl
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No CB over 4 watts am band is legal PERIOD. On a sideband model the peak allowed is 12 watts. As you said...he is trying to sell. People will say anything to sell.
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 11:48:27 AM EDT
Talked to a second expert just a few minutes ago and he said that all a swing kit does is increase the modulation. This second expert also said that some work and some don't and you can achieve the same effect by "tuning up the radio" which has already been done to mine. I think what the first expert was trying to say is that the swing-kit mimics a 10W increase in output. Karl
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 2:36:43 PM EDT
I have a wilson K-40 mag.mount and it talks just fine. It does bang on stuff as I stick it on the cab roof. They are good antennas. Francis antennas are too. You mostly get involved with the same thing as Ford truck dealers against Chevy dealers..Their truck is better than the others. Personal preference is usually involved more times than not. A tuned quality radio and MIKE is a must too. Your good to go there.
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 3:32:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2002 3:47:27 PM EDT by Derek45]
Were the antenna is mounted will effect propagation. Mounting a whip on the back bumper will cause most of the RF to radiate out the front of the vehicle. That's because the body of the car is part of the ground plane. CB is full of idiots, get a Ham license (amateur radio) I have an advanced class license, and love to use 10 meter/28Mhz mobile. This is very close to the 27Mhz CB band. I used a cut down CB antenna. The WILSON 1000 mounted in the center of your roof is an excellent setup. You can get a magnet mount if you don't want to drill holes. Because it's centered on top of your car, it will radiate out in all directions evenly. I think this is much better than a 102" whip mounted on the bumper. With this setup and a 25watt SSB rig, I have talked from Europe to New Zealand, mobile ! 4watts AM, 12watts SSB is max legal power for CB. Hams can run a clean 1500watts, several frequency bands, from very low stuff to microwave, even satellite. We have a local 144Mhz FM repeater, for $20 a year, you can make phone patches... cheaper than cellular ! All you have to do is study a small book about electronics, rules, etc., and take the test. Once you get your license, and start talking, you have to identify yourself with your callsign (issued by the FCC) and use courtesy on the air. A good antenna is more helpfull than more (illegal on CB) power. I've talked accross several states with 5 watts of power.
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 8:05:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 8:17:13 PM EDT
wilson 5000 ant on my box stock cobra 29 does every thing I need. As noted most amps or boosters are full of noise and interfere with every other channel. On my ranger it goes Through the roof half way between front and back.(mine is a 4 door). When I get out in the country away from all the yahoo's I cna get a nice clean signal send and recieve at 10 miles. I have a ham but most of my hunting friends do not so the cb is more practicle...pat
Link Posted: 2/7/2002 9:33:55 PM EDT
Here's a site with some info. I've had pretty good luck with these when I was in the CB business, back in the day. [url]www.shakespeare-ce.com/cbintro.htm[/url] coyote3
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 5:25:29 AM EDT
OK, I'm not a radio whiz, but I've driven a tractor-trailer for ten years now and here's what I've experienced: 1)Get a good antenna and tune it. Tune the antenna to give the lowest SWR reading. Most folks don't tune their antennas and unless you do, all your power isn't going out. A high SWR will burn out your radio. 2)Get the right length cable. It effects your SWR as well. Most of the time it will recommend the length of cable to use on the back of the antenna package. Get good cable, not the thin cheap ass stuff. Don't bundle the excess cable up either. Just lay it around haphazardly. It does make a difference. 3)Get a good radio. "Tuned-up" radios are like "souped-up" hotrods. They can be works of art, or junk. 4)If you're thinking about an amp, you need your radio set-up properly for that. It's a different set-up than without one, and done wrong will burn your radio up. Don't just throw an amp on top and think you'll be good to go. Have someone who knows what they are doing set it up. 5)As the others have noted, CB is probably not the best choice for your needs. I'd also add my voice to those that are recommending getting your Ham license. It's sort of like using the right gun for the right target. Ross
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 7:13:39 AM EDT
What equipment would I need for a mobile ham radio? Karl
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 7:19:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 7:24:08 AM EDT
How much money would I need to spend to get into a decent ham set-up? Karl
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 11:17:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2002 11:26:19 AM EDT by Lenonidas]
Originally Posted By krazy_karl: How much money would I need to spend to get into a decent ham set-up? Karl
View Quote
I recommend in order 1. Ham Radio [^] 2. GMRS 3. CB SSB 5. CB AM. Ham is by far the better choice. Lots of different bands and opportunities. Higher level of ettiqute. You can learn a bit about what you are doing. check out www.arrl.org You are looking for the technician class study book. The first test is mostly common sense and is not difficult with a little effort, you need a 70% (I think ) to pass. For a standard mobile set up, the Yeasu FT-2600 goes for about $165 from www.aesham.com or www.hamradio.com This is about the price of a SSB CB rig. Add an MFJ 5/8 wave 2m mobile mag mount antenna for <$30 to complete the setup. This will give you a reliable 60w 2m FM rig. Genrally FM sounds _a lot_ better than AM or SSB. Wire it directly to the battery through a fuse with 8g wire. Clarity is not even comparable with CB. For a home setup, get a Ringo Ranger II ~$50 and put it as high as you can. Get a Yeasu VX5R triband handheld radio for handheld use. 2m (146mhz) ham radio is the most popular, but it is only the tip of the iceberg of possibilities. The test costs ~$10 and books can be found at radio shack or your library. At 2m comprable antennas are generally much shorter and the equipment is generally of a better quality than CB. Another benefit of ham is that there usually are repeaters in the area which _dramatically_ increase your coverage. They are just like any public service repeater, put an antenna on a tall tower and repeat your signal, higher up and with more power. But even 2m simplex (radio to radio direct) is tons better than CB. For radio reviews check out (but you can get bogged down): http://www.eham.net/reviews/ A GMRS family license can be obtained for a fee from the FCC. They operate around 460mhz (above the 70cm ham band). The coverage is not at good as 2m in the mountians. The operate on similar frequencies and channels as FRS but with higher power possibilities. http://www.gmrsweb.com/gmrs.html FRS is excellent for _short_ range stuff and they are cheap enough you don't have to worry if you break one. SSB CB allows more power and more effecient signal. AM CB. fairly ineffecient, but cheap. I have had very poor luck with CB in the mountians. A simplistic explaination of effeciency is: 1/2 of the signal goes into the carrier, the sidebands are duplicates, so only 1/2 of that holds non duplicated information, so at full modulation (peak of your yell) only 25% or 1w is doing anything useful. SSB gets rid of the carrier and one sideband, so roughly speaking you get a 6db (4x) improvement from SSB, plus you are allowed 200% (~6db) more power. have fun! [:D]
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