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Old 03-21-2011, 11:23 PM
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Default How to peak and tune ?

I was wondering if anyone knew where I would find some info on how to peak and tune CB radios? The guy that runs the local CB shop and jacked the price up on his peaking and tuning. So I wanna know how hard it is and why he is charging so much to do it.
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Old 03-22-2011, 7:12 AM
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Most of them are very easy and the only reason he is charging so much is the old P.T. Barnum expression, "there is a sucker born every minute". Folks truly think radios have little wizards in them and these "radio whisperers" can magically defy the laws of physics. They are making a buck off folks who are non technically oriented and breaking their radios at the same time. The reason it is expensive is because people will pay it,

"peaking and tuning" generally refers to illegal increases in transmitter output power. And generally some person thinks they can magically improve the audio chain and really garble the output.

Truthfully, there can be some benefit to "tuning" the radio. Get a good service monitor and really look at your output. You can generally (if you can find a schematic) fine tune how the rig sounds and make sure that it puts out full power. Some come from the factory putting out only 2 watts. But you need to understand the relationship in power increase and "range". Most real radios use a formula of 6db per "S"unit on a calibrated meter. So for somebody to sound 1 S unit better (or pound or whatever the jargon is) you need to double your power.TWICE. So if you are using the legal 4 watt radio and the other feller is hearing you at an S-3, then going to 8 watts will make him hear you at S-3.5. 8 to 16 watts will get you to S-4. 16 to 32 watts will give and S-4.5 and going from 32 to 62 watts will get you to S-5.

NO CB transistors can do this. They would need to be replaced at this level. But folks never replace the guts that supply the transistors, so the whole radio is built on a garbage platform that cannot handle the new power demands. And the benefit is nil. Going from S-3 to S-5 is a rather small increase. For the receiving station, it will make VERY little difference. And another problem is the receive. You now have a limited receiver or an "alligator station". Getting a decent antenna can easily beat your massive power increase in transmit performance and will also provide the same for receive gain. PLUS, you won't be breaking any laws.

What a lot of folks do though is add some aftermarket kits that REALLY sacrifice audio quality for power output. Most of these radios use transistors for their output that are only rated for 10ish watts (since AM CBs are limited to 4 watts). Peaking generally overdrives these transistors to the point of failure which makes them "splatter" and transmit all over the place. This can easily be done by making the audio (what you say into the mic) "louder" inside the radio and therefore drive the transistors harder. The problem, as I have mentioned, is that it makes you sound like you are yelling into a truck stop toilet.

The other oddity that I don't understand is the idea of "swing". People think it is neat to have a radio deadkey at 5 watts and "swing" up to 30 watts. I have no idea where this came from, or why it is considered good. It makes the radios sound like ever loving garbage.

In all reality there are dozens of ways to peak and tune and ruin CBs, but NONE of them that I have seen are technically sound. If you really want to break the law, buy a HF ham radio and modify it for CB use. It will work better, sound better, and not splatter all over the HF spectrum. And it is just as illegal as "peaking and tuning" a CB. If you are really set on modifying CBs, a simple Google search will yield tons of info. What you will see however is 1,000 ideas on how and what to do, all by different folks. Wade through them carefully.

WM
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Old 03-22-2011, 4:45 PM
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CBs among other rigs are "peaked and tuned" at the factory so why screw up a good thing? Rule number one in the field of maintenance is "if it ain't broke don't try to fix it". Rather than go into great detail you'll probably ignore anyway I'll just say those "truck stop shops" make money on the Barnum Principle taking advantage of ignorance, that is the average CBer's lack of a technical background.

"And it is just as illegal as "peaking and tuning" a CB. If you are really set on modifying CBs, a simple Google search will yield tons of info."

That was the best part of the post IMO, it reminds me of an old for the lack of a better title "stupid scanner tricks" web site that had me ROTFLOL. Where do you think these truck stop hacks get their ideas? Oh the lulz!
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Old 03-22-2011, 5:38 PM
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Talking peak and tune

If you want the info your looking for send me a PM or Email zeke365@charter.net include the make and model of the radio. the only reason i'm not putting it here is because of the ham operators that think it doesn't help and you get all garbled. don't need to get into a **** slinging match like ussual
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Old 03-22-2011, 8:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 365newi View Post
If you want the info your looking for send me a PM or Email zeke365@charter.net include the make and model of the radio. the only reason i'm not putting it here is because of the ham operators that think it doesn't help and you get all garbled. don't need to get into a **** slinging match like ussual

We don't just think, we KNOW it doesn't help but then again there's the fool and his money.


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Old 03-23-2011, 5:25 PM
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We don't just think, we KNOW it doesn't help but then again there's the fool and his money.


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YUP What he said!! Keep it legal and it can last you for a much longer time then anyone with a "Golden Screwdriver"
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Old 03-24-2011, 8:41 AM
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A 'peak and tune' means different things to different people. Very basically, it means to make the best of what's already there. Just like getting a tune-up for your car.
A 'peak and tune' is easy to do when you know what you are doing and have the equipment to do it with. If you don't have both of those things, knowledge and equipment, the odds are that you won't do anything worthwhile.
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Old 03-24-2011, 9:34 PM
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I had to retune a CB rig for some dummy at work who tuned everything for max smoke on the power meter in his VSWR meter - then wondered why nobody would talk to him.

What he had done when tweaking everything was to tune the multiplier stages for a lower harmonic and thus get more power indicated but unfortunately on the wrong frequency.

A spectrum analyser or very expensive communications monitor is the cheapest way and most backyard and high street radio shops won't have one. A specialised lab is the only way.

If the guy who's radio it was didn't pay in local currency (cans of sparkling brown health liquid!) and I hadn't have done the job in my lunch time, the charge out rate at the time was up there with lawyer's fees!
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Old 04-02-2011, 6:16 PM
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this is why you ham guys need to keep to yourself. not trying to be rude but has anyone of you ever given someone with a cb the time of day? NO!!!!! you all think your better than everyone. ( look at my other posts in this forum. let the guy who don't have a **** load of money to dump into a useless hobby alone get over yourselves PLEASE. who needs to grow up? thats the question. just look at my other posts I dare you and you are proud of being a ham ??? LOL give me a break
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Old 04-02-2011, 6:55 PM
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NO, actually this is why CBers need to mind their own business.

Look, there are hams who are 5 years old. Sitting and reading the testing material for 30 mins can make it possible to pass the test.

So when folks CONTINUALLY come on here and ask how to tweak their junk consumer grade radios so they splatter all over the ham spectrum, and all over the TV channels, it raises my ire. As a ham, I have to constantly fend off the attacks of folks who do not know better and think all 2way radios are the same beacuase their neighbors junk modified piece interferes with their computer speakers.

Hams are not holier than thou, or somehow special. We passed extremely easy tests and spend a little play money. Being too lazy to pass the tests or too cheap to spend the money on ham radios instead of CBs does not make you special. It makes you lazy and cheap.

Then asking about breaking the law makes them lazy,cheap, and law breakers.

So excuse when I get a little grumpy.

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Old 04-02-2011, 7:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 365newi View Post
this is why you ham guys need to keep to yourself. not trying to be rude but has anyone of you ever given someone with a cb the time of day? NO!!!!! you all think your better than everyone. ( look at my other posts in this forum. let the guy who don't have a **** load of money to dump into a useless hobby alone get over yourselves PLEASE. who needs to grow up? thats the question. just look at my other posts I dare you and you are proud of being a ham ??? LOL give me a break
This is where you get it wrong....99% of ham operators cut our teeth on CB, and just upgraded to ham because of the other options we have. Yes we are proud, and unless you haven't tried, you don't know. Anyone can plug a cb in and use it, but you have to study and pass a test to get your ham license. Ham has been called in for emergency communications and weather spotters to save lives, so if you call saving lives "useless", well more power to ya.

So to answer your question, yes, we gave cb the time of day. Would I get on CB today? Sure, if its civil and not a bunch of trash talk. Some people still use both, so what? They are both radios only one needs a license.

Another thing is, you may think we are butting in on use extra power on cb like we are jealous??? we can use 1500 watts of power legally on some bands, but doesn't mean we want to see cb'ers get busted, and yes, I know a cb'er it happened to. Had lots of money in his rig, got it confiscated and a $2,500 fine...
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Old 04-02-2011, 7:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyomingmedic View Post
NO, actually this is why CBers need to mind their own business.

Look, there are hams who are 5 years old. Sitting and reading the testing material for 30 mins can make it possible to pass the test.

So when folks CONTINUALLY come on here and ask how to tweak their junk consumer grade radios so they splatter all over the ham spectrum, and all over the TV channels, it raises my ire. As a ham, I have to constantly fend off the attacks of folks who do not know better and think all 2way radios are the same beacuase their neighbors junk modified piece interferes with their computer speakers.

Hams are not holier than thou, or somehow special. We passed extremely easy tests and spend a little play money. Being too lazy to pass the tests or too cheap to spend the money on ham radios instead of CBs does not make you special. It makes you lazy and cheap.

Then asking about breaking the law makes them lazy,cheap, and law breakers.

So excuse when I get a little grumpy.

WM
Well said! Before I was a ham, I took a radio (Uniden 520 Pro XL) to get peaked & tuned, and wasted the money....didn't do anything at all.
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Old 04-02-2011, 7:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 365newi View Post
this is why you ham guys need to keep to yourself. not trying to be rude but has anyone of you ever given someone with a cb the time of day? NO!!!!! you all think your better than everyone. ( look at my other posts in this forum. let the guy who don't have a **** load of money to dump into a useless hobby alone get over yourselves PLEASE. who needs to grow up? thats the question. just look at my other posts I dare you and you are proud of being a ham ??? LOL give me a break

Hmmmm, me thinks there's a tad bit of jealousy here.
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Old 04-02-2011, 7:39 PM
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Old 04-02-2011, 7:40 PM
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Hmmmm, me thinks there's a tad bit of jealousy here.
10-4?
Yep...I think so I think its right that a ham ticket would be a waste....probably waste money by failing the test each time and never getting the ticket....haha
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Old 04-05-2011, 2:46 AM
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We don't just think, we KNOW it doesn't help but then again there's the fool and his money.


n9zas
This is true

Had some of the good old boys years back talking on their overmodulated modified bleedover boxes going at it.

I joined in with my 100 percent stock radio.

They were all saying "Who did your radio... that sounds Sweet!"

I said.. "My radio is straight out of the box.. you guys got your stuff so screwed up, you don't know a good sounding radio from crap"

True story.. although the exact exchange of words has been forgotten with age.


I have discovered, though.. Each operator has their different voice patterns. Certain brands of radio "fit" an operator better. Design, audio reproduction, etc.

I always loved my plain jane Cobra 19 Plus CB. Still have it Got a new mike for it last year, after it had been in the junk box for 15 years. Now I lost it again. I need to get it in the van. Thing cost me less than $30 back in the 80's
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Old 04-05-2011, 5:23 AM
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Roger beep, turkey call, echo box, noise maker, all are essential toys of folks that have a decimal point in front of their IQ's.
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Old 04-05-2011, 6:18 AM
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Roger beep, turkey call, echo box, noise maker, all are essential toys of folks that have a decimal point in front of their IQ's.

Good one!!


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Old 04-05-2011, 7:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 365newi View Post
this is why you ham guys need to keep to yourself. not trying to be rude but has anyone of you ever given someone with a cb the time of day? NO!!!!! you all think your better than everyone. ( look at my other posts in this forum. let the guy who don't have a **** load of money to dump into a useless hobby alone get over yourselves PLEASE. who needs to grow up? thats the question. just look at my other posts I dare you and you are proud of being a ham ??? LOL give me a break
Gee for what some of you YUM YUMS put into your REAL radio's [which BTW are modified 10 meter HAM radios] I can get a radio that I can LEGALLY talk on and not sound like a jackwagon. Trouble is some of these great CBers could pass a test if the answers were written down for them. MOST don't have the discipline to talk with hams on a LEGAL ham radio. I love the "useless hobby" bit. WHO is it that EMA, SKYWARN, and others depend on for communications? [sorry it aint CB's] AND YES I am proud to be a ham I studied and passed a test and was AWARDED my license [Mr BIG CB DUDE was you awarded anything when you bought your CB?] I'm sorry I can't give you a break YOU'VE never earned it.
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Old 04-05-2011, 8:07 AM
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I ran my own CB repair shop in the early 80's. I did repairs for dealers, not the general public. It was a fairly lucrative business until the economy went south and people realized that eating, staying dry and warm was more fun than talking on the CB.

My shop was fairly typical. I had a signal generator, Bird model 43 watt meter with the appropriate slugs, an AM mod meter, a parts inventory of several thousand assorted transistors, ICs, resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc. and bunches of Sam's Photofacts for all of the CB's I worked on. None of these were cheap and all of them are paid for by the customer's repair bill. Of course I did peak and tunes, good money for little work and what did I care if he was splattering all over the band. Now a little technical info for you.

The factory tunes the radio for maximum power output (legal output) coupled with minimum harmonics, spurs and splatter. That tune will hold for the life of the radio. Sure I could make the watt meter go up another 1 or 2 watts however all of that added power was creating interference on other frequencies.

You can't have more than 100% of something, fact of life. 100% modulation of an AM transmitter means that the radio is generating splatter. That's why AM commercial broadcast stations only run about 80% modulation. At 100% modulation, the carrier is cut off on negative modulation peaks and this creates interference. Also most radios use high-level modulation meaning that the modulation is applied to the final amp. It takes 5 watts of audio power to generate 100% modulation on a 5 watt carrier. If it were possible to raise your transmit power to 10 watts by tuning, you couldn't get more than about 50% modulation out of your audio amp.

What others have said is very true, a fool and his money. But I made a lot of money from those folks and I thank you.
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