PDA

View Full Version : CB Radios



War Pin Meers
11-19-2006, 11:56 PM
Figured this fits in this forum, dunno where else.

Way back my cousin and some of his friends had picked up some CB radios, and I guess they were pretty useful, not to mention just plain **** cool to have in your car. Me n some friends are looking at doing the same thing, not to mention it'll be great with no interference out in the boondocks. Problem is, from what I've read, max legal output is 4 watts. I've looked around, and I guess a bit of modding won't get you in trouble, as long as your arent messing with some important freqs. I've looked around and seen that most radios reach 4-5 miles at a time, with the max legal limit being 155ish. Then I see that some are reaching thousands of miles at a time, and now I see the sunspot cycle comes into play.

This (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4642484) is the radio we're all looking at picking up ($30 cheaper at wally than the current model on the Cobra page). My question is, has anyone ever tried this? Anybody know how far we can reach with these? ..and, to get farther, what kind of modding are we gonna have to do? Also..how big of an antenna comes with that thing? It says "4-Pin Screw On Dynamic". So from the sounds of things, it's all internal, which is great. All feedbacks appreciated.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:03 AM
That particular CB falls under the category of what those heavily involved in the hobby to any extent like to call "ham sandwich" radios since that's the approximate size of the unit. It isn't moddable, sadly, and that is due purely to the internal circuitry not supporting such an action.

It doesn't come with any kind of antenna. For that price you get the radio itself, an el-cheapo mounting bracket, the power/ground wiring, and a very basic microphone (the mic is what the "4-pin screw on dynamic" is referring to, btw).

My, my, my but this conversation could go on forever.
Yes, legal output in 11-meter, which is the group of frequencies dedicated to Citizen's Band radio transceivers....26.965mHz to 27.405mHz, is stated by FCC regs to be no more than 4 watts.

The overwhelming majority of people running technically illegal rigs won'[t ever be troubled for their indiscretions as the FCC has extremely minimal funding in their budget for infraction enforcement.

The cheapest equation to longer transmission distance will be to get a top-quality antenna (which you will NOT find at Wal-mart)

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:08 AM
this is what i do for a living,i own my own cb/ham shop.

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:10 AM
I see, so simply, if we were to buy that exact model, they'd be practically useless unless we were close together?

Another thing, when you say "ham" radio, you don't mean amateur radio, right. I don't wanna get confused here, I'm new to the whole CB thing, and from what I've looked up amateur radio is an entirely different topic, but I've seen "ham" thrown around quite a bit in discussion with that.

Hypothetically, if we were to buy that radio, and this (http://www.cobra.com/index.php?page=shop/flypage&product_id=206&id=1) antenna, do you have any prediction as to the distance we could achieve, or do you have any recommendations altogether.

Also, how would we fare in the sound quality department, I've heard very little on that. Thanks again.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:11 AM
this is what i do for a living,i own my own cb/ham shop.
I used to be hardcore into it but the widespread use of the 'Net pretty much killed the CB...

I still have some gear but it's currently stored in the attic.



Hypothetically, if we were to buy that radio, and this (http://www.cobra.com/index.php?page=shop/flypage&product_id=206&id=1) radio, do you have any prediction as to the distance we could achieve, or do you have any recommendations altogether. The linked-to item is an antenna. The fact that it is priced @ $5 ought to tell you something...

Hypothetically speaking? If your SWRs were completely flat (Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about) and the ambient noise-floor on the day in question were almost nonexistant I'd say 10 miles across flat terrain and lessening dramtically if there's anything to block the signal. (trees, buildings, etc)

pitbull12888
11-20-2006, 12:14 AM
lol ham sandwhich wow.... dads big into ham.. we have about a 60 foot antenna with a rotation thing on it . the whole antenna is painted john deere green and yellow off our house haha .. tell me that aint redneck

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:14 AM
that little cobra tuned up properly,and a good antenna and swr's set right,should talk good for at least a good 10 miles mobile to mobile,now if you were to get a base antenna like a antron 99 and put it up about 30 feet or higher,you could talk pretty **** far like 30 to 50 miles barefoot at night.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:17 AM
that little cobra tuned up properly,and a good antenna and swr's set right,should talk good for at least a good 10 miles mobile to mobile,now if you were to get a base antenna like a antron 99 and put it up about 30 feet or higher,you could talk pretty **** far like 30 to 50 miles barefoot at night.
Solarcon A99 ~ IMO there's not a better ground plane base antenna to be had for the $$$ :thumbsup:

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:17 AM
then if you wanted to really talk a long way's,thats when linears come into play,which i build them also,basically they amplify your singal which is guaged in watts.they start off little and get monsterly big.

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:18 AM
Solarcon A99 ~ IMO there's not a better ground plane base antenna to be had for the $$$ :thumbsup:


no doubt,unless you go to beams

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:18 AM
Yep, typo there, meant antenna. I'm not looking to get deep into it at first, so I don't want a project we're I'm tuning, modding, anything like that. I just want a quick, simple solution, extending preferably near 30 miles, must be mobile, with the largest antenna being one mounted on the rear window, within an affordable price range. I'm pretty much lost from there. I figured that radio at Wal-Mart was a steal, considering its priced $30 cheaper.

angrytrucker78
11-20-2006, 12:20 AM
I drive a truck and currently all I'm running is a good ol' Connex 3300HP peaked and tuned with a wilson trucker 2000. My SWR's are WAY LOWWWWWW.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:21 AM
no doubt,unless you go to beams
But then beams aren't a ground plane, are they?
I have a set of PDL IIs in storage as well as a set of Moonraker IVs.
Up a 60-foot tower with about 800w (dead key of 120 with MASSIVE modulation from a modded JB 12) it talked pretty well! The Moonrakers transmitted better but the PDLs inarguably have better ears in my experience.

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:22 AM
you are not going to talk very far at all with a antenna on the back glass,now with a proper mag mount and like a wilson 2000 ant and your radio tuned up,possibly

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:23 AM
you are not going to talk very far at all with a antenna on the back glass,now with a proper mag mount and like a wilson 2000 ant and your radio tuned up,possibly
There isn't a magnet-mount version of the Wilson 2000, is there? Isn't that strictly designed for a mirror-mount or something fabricated similar to one? I thought the only magnet-mount versions were in the Wilson 1000 and the 5000 excepting the 'Lil Wil (which I liken to the K30, the K40's little brother, and I'm not impressed with either) :confused:

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:24 AM
no beams are not considered a ground plane,a ground plane hears and talks omnidirectionally,a beam talks and hears where you point it.

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:25 AM
im saying you can purchase a mag mount and a wilson 2000 seperatly and set them up together.

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:25 AM
I'm hearing way too many terms I dunno tossed around, lol. Any opinions on what we should do then? I honestly was hoping I wouldn't be spending more than $50 or so. Guess I was way off.

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:27 AM
i prefer good powerful radios with lots of channels and features like the connexx 3300 hp,general lee,magnum s-9,galaxy 99v,etc

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:28 AM
cb is another expensive hobby.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:29 AM
im saying you can purchase a mag mount and a wilson 2000 seperatly and set them up together.
Fair enough. :) I stand corrected ;)


I'm hearing way too many terms I dunno tossed around, lol. Any opinions on what we should do then? I honestly was hoping I wouldn't be spending more than $50 or so. Guess I was way off.
Sadly, like car audio, CBs adhere strictly to the old adage "you get what you pay for"

That <$50 setup will technically work but not well. It would suffice for two vehicles traveling together on the highway and wanted a method of communicating that didn't rely on cell phone batteries and/or service areas.

On the flipside of the same coin if you're going to be separated by any appreciable distance then cheaping out isn't going to yield satisfactory results. It's an unavoidable fact.
The last mobile antenna I purchased, a Wilson 5000 magnet-mount, ran over $100 and that was for an antenna and nothing more.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:32 AM
I don't need all the bells and whistles in the Connex radios....I prefer a more subtle approach but still with heaps of channels without needing mods to get them such as the RCIs with the jumper moved to access 11-meter and beyond or one of the first Super Stars like the 360FM or the 3600, etc etc

If I feel the need for echo/reverb/whatever I'll buy a mic that does it.
Until then I'll stick with running my RCI 2950 without the Roger Beep engaged and an Astatic handheld power mic :thumbsup:

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:34 AM
Ouch. How much is the Wilson 1000 running for? I'm looking at the site, but it doesn't show a price. That, coupled with the Cobra radio, how far could that get us, city, and country (pretty hilly at times)?

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:35 AM
but they all need a good tuning from the factory,because they still will not put out over 4 watts out of the box.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:36 AM
Average retail on the Wilson 1000 magnet-mount runs in the neighborhood of $70 iirc (bear in mind it's been some years since I have purchased any CB radio gear)

With that "ham sandwich" Cobra 19, properly tuned (can be done at most any truck stop with a radio sales/repair section) paired with a Wilson 1000?
Hmmm....10-15 miles on average I would suggest...

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:37 AM
but they all need a good tuning from the factory,because they still will not put out over 4 watts out of the box.
Correct!

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:37 AM
go to h&y electronics on line,google it

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:37 AM
Ya, I suppose. Pretty much whatever I'd buy, I'd be back on here asking questions on how to tune, etc.

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:39 AM
and angrytrucker that is a good setup i see that same setup alot,if you ever get down into ga,check me out at exit 97 1-75

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:40 AM
Ya, I suppose. Pretty much whatever I'd buy, I'd be back on here asking questions on how to tune, etc.



if you want a easy and better radio to tune get a cobra 25ltd,or a uniden pc68

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:41 AM
So, is there a more bang for the buck approach rather than the Cobra 19/Wilson 1000 approach to attempt ~15 miles?

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:41 AM
I think I'd go the 29LTD over the 25 looking for a budget rig but that's just me.

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:43 AM
wilson 1000 is a good antenna,now the cobra 19 is really not that good,spend a little more and get a cobra 25 ltd

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:44 AM
A Cobra 25LTD/Wilson 1000, no amp-what am I looking at in terms of miles. Once an amp is added..how much more will I be pushing?

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:44 AM
the 29 and 25 have the same board and finals,the 29 just has a delta tune which does nothing and a swr feature which in most cases the swr feature is not even accurate.

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:46 AM
Here's (http://cgi.ebay.com/COBRA-25LTD-CLASSIC-40-CHANNEL-CB-RADIO-NEW_W0QQitemZ190051383555QQihZ009QQcategoryZ40055Q QrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) a 25LTD Classic for $85/shipped if that helps you out at all (normal retail is higher than that so it's not a bad deal)

matrxx dude
11-20-2006, 12:46 AM
A Cobra 25LTD/Wilson 1000, no amp-what am I looking at in terms of miles. Once an amp is added..how much more will I be pushing?

without a amp prolly around a good 10 miles(tuned),and the amp issue is all about how many watts you want,its just like car stereo the more the better.

War Pin Meers
11-20-2006, 12:54 AM
I have no idea what I'd need when dealing with these. Am I looking at a simple couple watt amp? Is it possible, and reasonable, to achieve 20 or so miles using an amp with the 25LTD/W1000?

Something I just thought of, are there any radios out there with an attention feature? For example, a friend attempts to contact me while I got the (edit: even the alphasoniks, lol) haaaammering, will there be a little bleeping light trying to grab my attention?

Prowler573
11-20-2006, 12:59 AM
without a amp prolly around a good 10 miles(tuned),and the amp issue is all about how many watts you want,its just like car stereo the more the better.
But just like car audio where you wouldn't want to try and drive a Pyramid sub off of an Orion 2500D and expect good results you can buy too much amplifier (CB) for your particular antenna and fry it the first time you key the microphone!

No, you're not looking at a simple "couple of watt" amp as the CB itself should output more than a couple of watts.
They range anywhere from 50 watts to several thousand. It's entirely dependant on how much $$$ you want to spend (much like every other hobby in existence)