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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 7:35 AM
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Default Some advice please

I need some help/advice please. I want to use cb's to communicate with my grown children. One daughter lives about 2 miles away, the other about 7 miles away. I tried full power walkie talkies with my wife, and they worked great...until she actually started driving. i lost her less than a quarter mile away. I just purchased a trc-457 for my base. I have about 12 mobile radios and at least as many walkies. I can not put up an antenna and know nobody who does. Is the firestik indoor antenna a good option? All I want to do is reach my children. Would they need they same setup as far as antenna or would mobile antennas be good enough if my antenna is good? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also is an Astatic Silver Eagle a good choice for mike for the 457? Or a turner a better option? Thanks to any and all in advance for their help.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:11 AM
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I'm curious as to what catalog you got your wife from? Lol. Shes a keeper for sure. Have you looked into gmrs? It's different from ham as your family needs 1 license instead of everyone licensed


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Old 12-07-2012, 12:00 PM
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Using a walkie on CB band in a vehicle, I'm not surprised you lose her a quarter mile away. For the most part, you're almost going to have to put up an external antenna to get the distance you're looking for. With GMRS, you're looking at the same issue for the most part. With Ham you've got a little more latitude as far as what frequencies and how much power you can use. The only downfall is everyone who uses the radios would have to be licensed, which might not be a bad thing. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 12-07-2012, 1:01 PM
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Build an Inverted-V and install it in your attic. Run the two wires at approximately a 45 degree angle down from horizontal. Do not short the center conductor and the shielding. Do not let any of the antenna touch metal.
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Old 12-07-2012, 3:47 PM
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With GMRS and CB you would get the best range with a outdoor antenna, a base antenna (like on a pole) would give you the best range while a mag-mount antenna outside would be better then a antenna inside. This would go for your family too.
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Old 12-07-2012, 4:57 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I apologize for not saying originally but I do not have an attic. I rent the ground floor of a two story house. The attic is not accessible to me. I knew I wouldnt get too far with a walkie but I was surprised at how little range there was. I was a cb nut in the 70's and I use to get farther with a 100Mw walkie. Yes redneck my wife is definitely a keeper. She puts up with my many hobbies. Our bedroom has cb's, scanners, and walkies all over the place, and now she let me buy a 457. She knew that was the holy grail for me. I have wanted that unit since the 70's. I know there are better, the stalker, the superbase, etc. But I have always had my heart set on the 457. $70 and it literally looks fresh out of the box. I'll try the magnet mounts outside. i did that back in the day and I got quite a surprising amount of range, although i know i wont get near that much now. I ordered the firestik so we see how that goes. I may just have to look into ham, although the price range for that may be too much??
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Old 12-07-2012, 8:33 PM
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A handheld CB with a rubber ducky antenna in a car is effectively inside of a Faraday cage, so it's not too surprising that this didn't work more than a quarter mile. That 11 meter wavelength can't get out very well through the 1 meter-ish window frames. OTOH, a GMRS or FRS with a much shorter wavelength does fine. If you can take off the handheld CB's antenna and attach an external magnet mount antenna, it should do a lot better.

If all involved had an attic antenna like capturecom described, it ought to be enough to reach the full seven miles. If you had a pretty good antenna, your children might get by with just mobile antennas. But odds are that a pretty good antenna wouldn't be stealthy enough for your neighborhood.

Build a stealthy base antenna for your house, then start working from there. If handhelds or mobiles at your kids' places are enough, you can stop there. If not, then upgrade their antennas, and keep working it from there until something does the job. One thing's for sure: seven miles is easy for CB, if you can get enough antenna on each end.
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Old 12-08-2012, 9:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeNumber View Post
If you can take off the handheld CB's antenna and attach an external magnet mount antenna, it should do a lot better.
Again my apologies. I should have specified that this is what I did to begin with. thats why I was so surprised at the limited range. I knew I wouldnt reach 7 miles, but I did think it was enough for my daughter who is 2 miles away. Like I said, its been years since I used a cb. I just tried with 2 mobile units and 2 magnet mounts. The range wasnt much better. I will try the firestik on my end and see how far i can reach the mobile. If it is still very limited, i dont think I have much hope of doing what I was hoping to accomplish within the limited options. Thank you all so much for your answers. They are tremendously appreciated.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:06 AM
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Hello TRC68: That 457 is a good radio.

You need if at all possible is a outside antenna, up in the tree's if there available. A dipole or inverted V as menationed will quit well outside say in a tree or supported in a tree. Were its hard to be seen. Needs to be vertical.

I have put up towers and outside antennas in neighbor hoods with deed restrictions and home owners association, what a buch of busy bee's. I paid an attorney to find out my rights as I leased the house.

The home owners Assoc was just a few neighbors upset with my antennas and towers. There was no real home owners assoc, or legal binding deed restrictions. As the deed restrictions were set up by the builders to look good on paper, but the builder of the homes went out of business, and the deed restrictions were just on paper looking good to potiential home buyers.

My towers and antennas stayed, until I bought a house else were.

I know every bodies situation is different tho.

Good luck.

Jay in the Mojave
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Old 12-08-2012, 1:39 PM
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Looking at the practical side of things one of those mobiles and a small (4-5A) regulated supply will do nicely. So will a Firestick on a mag mount but where to stick it? Not hard for a Redneck engineer, the yard is bound to have an old car, refrigerator, 1950s Coke machine, rusty tractor or some useful item to stick it on. (;->)

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Old 12-08-2012, 5:36 PM
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You would just about have to setup an external antenna on the 11M CB band to talk to someone 7 miles away. As far as walkies go, trying to compact an antenna that needs to be almost 9 feet, into a portable 1 foot or less application, will have drawbacks. Also I think most portable CB radios have a 1/2 to 2 watt max power output. What about a "clothesline antenna?" Put it right outside your apartment patio, and try to point it in the direction of the farthest house. As capturecom stated, a coax with the shield stripped to one side, and the center conductor, pulled in the opposite direction, stretched between 2 poles. Make it look like its supposed to be there. An example is the classic dipole. 11 Meter CB Dipole Antenna Made for Distance Use Outside or in Attics | eBay
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Old 12-08-2012, 9:29 PM
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Thanks for the link lowerrollin. I have ordered one of those. I will have someone put that up fpr me( I am disabled or I would do it myself.} I will try the firestik at both of my daughters houses see if it works well enough with the dipole at my house. If not I will get 2 more of the dipoles. Thanks again.Oh by the way the Walkies I used were full-powered 4 watts output. I knew they would never reach all the way to my kids house but I thought they would reach farther than they did.

Last edited by trc68; 12-08-2012 at 9:33 PM..
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:32 PM
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Default Point to Point

Quote:
Originally Posted by trc68 View Post
I tried full power walkie talkies with my wife, and they worked great...until she actually started driving. i lost her less than a quarter mile away.
I tried a similar experiment in 1982 with unfortunate results. You see, my wife got in the car with her Walkie Talkie and started driving West. I heard her for almost a mile, then she faded out and I lost her - and the radio - and the car. It was a great radio too!

I guess I forgot to tell her - that when she didn't hear me anymore, to turn around and come back home. Now, we have NO IDEA where she is. You're lucky to have such a bright woman!

I always had pretty good luck with those right-angle loaded telescopic antennas, though I guess you'd be better off with something - anything - outside the windows.

The MAG Mounts won't do very well without a ground plane.

How about a 3 Element Beam, disguised as a clothes line?

Or, ask the kids to move closer!

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2012, 8:06 AM
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Hello Warren: Your forgetting about great rock n roll and C&W music playing over the loud speakers, a motor cycle in repair in the kitchen, Duck tape and card board covering the windows and bullet holes, a little Moonshine cut with a Dr Pepper, some of the worlds gratest BBQ'in, friendly people, fine looking ladies, and a rusty tractor to pull ya out of the mud. You have a nice duplex there, best be thankful!

Hello TRC68: I have used in the past when travelling RG178 small / thin coax feeding a dipole, with it wound into a Balun and the dipole feeding point, the Balun (about 10 to 15 turns of the coax on a 1 inch piece of plastic pipe) is a big help. Each leg of wire was 103 inches long.

This type of antenna works very well as compared to commericaly available antennas. And its hard to see unless your right o top of it. Won't take a lot of power but will let ya talk local.

Again good luck

Jay in the Mojave
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:31 AM
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You've GOT to be kidding, nobody in his right mind would mix shine with Dr. Pepper! It's not called sippin' likker for nothing, gram'paw in his rocker on the porch will tell you that. Given time he's not in his right mind but not off his rocker, he's passed out in it. Right about the greatest BBQ and friendly people though.

Getting serious, a dipole may not work as intended. Run horizontal they're bidirectional off the sides and being cross polarized there is considerable signal loss unless the other station is broadside and also horizontal. To overcome that it may be mounted vertical but then it gets a bit sticky running the coax at a right angle for 18' being 1/2 wavelength as not to become part of the antenna system with some nasty results. A compromise may be reached making it an inverted V which is less directional with both horizontal and vertical characteristics.

None of this may be practical for trc88's installation which is why I suggested the Firestick and mag mount. Where he puts it is up to him, the Redneck junk yard was SO tongue in cheek I look like a hamster. Just as well, I AM a HAMster.
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Old 12-12-2012, 1:08 AM
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This help is so awesome. Thank you all so much. Any opinions on this? I'm thinkin this here and 2 dipoles at my kids.

Solarcon Antron 99 A99 Base Antenna w Ground Plane A 99 New | eBay
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Old 12-12-2012, 3:21 AM
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The Antron is one of the best base antennas


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Old 12-12-2012, 1:08 PM
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I wouldn't say the 'A99' is the 'best' 'base' antenna around, but I'd certainly think it's one of the most common. If it's -that- common, then I have to think it's performance is at least acceptable. It should work in most cases, most of the time, probably. Each and every installation has to be evaluated separately if you want the 'best'. I think you'll find that having the 'best' is greatly over rated in most cases, there's not really much difference between 'best' and 'good enough'.
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Old 12-12-2012, 5:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trc68 View Post
This help is so awesome. Thank you all so much. Any opinions on this? I'm thinkin this here and 2 dipoles at my kids.

Solarcon Antron 99 A99 Base Antenna w Ground Plane A 99 New | eBay
It looks like a nice antenna, how high are you going to put it up? Do you got any ideas on what coax to use?
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Old 12-12-2012, 8:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trc68 View Post
This help is so awesome. Thank you all so much. Any opinions on this? I'm thinkin this here and 2 dipoles at my kids.

Solarcon Antron 99 A99 Base Antenna w Ground Plane A 99 New | eBay
It's a good antenna, maybe not the best, but a pretty good all-rounder at a fair price. Put it up on piece of chain link fence top rail for a mast (about 20'), and it should stomp your 7 mile problem flat. You may get by fine with as little as 10' of mast, or some other improvised mount. By many accounts the radials aren't worth the effort and money:
antron 99 ground plane kit

On my A99 (no radials, 22' mast), I was able to make ragged-just-barely contact at 25 miles with a friend using a homemade dipole. Seven miles should be easy.
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