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CB Radio Forum - Discussions regarding Citizens Band Radio (CB)

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:05 AM
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Like others here, my first transmitting radio was a CB walkie talkie (blue plastic from Thrifty Drug Store, Ch 14 Tx, wide Rx). That was back in the day when station licenses were required and I got a license as soon as I was old enough.

Went through several iterations of mobile units and eventually got tired of hearing about "no code ham licensing being just around the corner" and learned Code, got my ham license, then upgraded a couple of times.

As prcguy said, ham radio offers a greater return on your investment in equipment. I still use CB when I'm in the backcountry with non-hams and I admit, also like prcguy, to having a fascination with these CBers who run kilowatts in their mobiles. I fail to see the point of it all, especially since about all these guys seem to do is try to blast each other off the air.
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Old 03-13-2017, 1:55 PM
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I actually see the point of it, its a macho thing, mine is bigger than yours, etc. That's all fine and well and I do admire folks who have assembled the elaborate equipment themselves and have something to show for it, even though it may be totally illegal to use. I can respect the guy who has done his research, found the best performing CB equipment and has installed it in a first class way and it performs really well.

But I can come along, lay down some cash and beat anything anyone has on CB for power, distance. sound, looks, whatever and with virtually no effort. Money will trump anything the next guy has. So at some point in the food chain of CB what really is the point? I have more cash to spend than everybody else? That is the only place it can go once you get to a certain level and if that's the way you want people to admire what you have, then I'm not impressed.
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Originally Posted by ladn View Post
I fail to see the point of it all, especially since about all these guys seem to do is try to blast each other off the air.
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Old 03-13-2017, 2:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KC4RAF View Post
It's rare that I even get on the 11 meters any more. But one thing for sure is that CBs have their place in our society. There are jerks who jam the frequency with their high power linears, use profanity, etc. (same goes for the amateur bands).
But for the traveler, there is a need/use. Back in the late 60s through the mid 70s, CB came in handy many a times.
Also there are times that some one wants to talk locally or maybe hit skip.
One thing I've noticed in my years in communications is that many hams got their start by being CBers. It's fun and can come in handy when the situation warrants it.
So get one of the better antennas as others have mentioned and you'll do fine.
Also, the A-99 is a really good antenna. Know a couple who use theirs and it gets their signal out.
Good points! Plus the A-99 (and many other CB antennas) are usable on 10 meters!!
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Old 03-14-2017, 9:15 AM
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"Mine is bigger than yours and costs more" pretty much sums it up. The same holds true for a lot of hobbies.

I do wonder, though, what health penalties these big guns suffer from sitting in such close proximity to broadcast level RF? Can you say "whole body diathermy"?
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Old 03-14-2017, 9:43 AM
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While I rarely partake in CB activity anymore, I'll admit it was my "gateway drug" into radios as a youngin'. I too got my first CB radio when licenses were required. I built my first 1/4 ground plane antenna for CB, built a 12VDC power supply and learned quite a bit about radios and electronics. While it is certainly hobbled compared to ham radio, it has its place. Would I be one to sink $10K into CB toys? No way. But as a way to learn, the price of admission is pretty cheap if you're willing to live with its limitations. I'd say to keep going and if you find you want to do more, study for you ham license and expand your horizons. I don't think you'll regret it.

Back to the antenna issue. A 1/4 wave ground plane antenna is easy to construct. Mounted on the gable at the end of your house it should still fit within the antenna restrictions that are in place. Built correctly it should also outperform the Tram antenna.
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Old 03-14-2017, 3:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bharvey2 View Post
While I rarely partake in CB activity anymore, I'll admit it was my "gateway drug" into radios as a youngin'. I too got my first CB radio when licenses were required. I built my first 1/4 ground plane antenna for CB, built a 12VDC power supply and learned quite a bit about radios and electronics. While it is certainly hobbled compared to ham radio, it has its place. Would I be one to sink $10K into CB toys? No way. But as a way to learn, the price of admission is pretty cheap if you're willing to live with its limitations. I'd say to keep going and if you find you want to do more, study for you ham license and expand your horizons. I don't think you'll regret it.

Back to the antenna issue. A 1/4 wave ground plane antenna is easy to construct. Mounted on the gable at the end of your house it should still fit within the antenna restrictions that are in place. Built correctly it should also outperform the Tram antenna.
What CB rig did you start out on?
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Old 03-14-2017, 4:42 PM
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It was a 23 channel made by Sharp. I still have it in my garage somewhere. Later, I went to a Midland 40 channel after the channel offering expanded. I think my brother has that. I have no idea if either of them work. I do recall that the Sharp was a solidly built radio and audio was pretty good in both directions.
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Old 03-20-2017, 1:02 AM
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If you want a decent CB base antenna less than 15 feet, get on eBay and run a search for 'Astroplane.' I had one back in the '80s and it worked GREAT. The antenna is 12 feet in length. There is a seller out of the UK that had a bunch NOS. I grabbed one up and will be putting it up this week. These antennas show up a few times a year. I am also looking for a Super Scanner MS-119 or a Sigma IV.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2017, 1:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bharvey2 View Post
While I rarely partake in CB activity anymore, I'll admit it was my "gateway drug" into radios as a youngin'. I too got my first CB radio when licenses were required. I built my first 1/4 ground plane antenna for CB, built a 12VDC power supply and learned quite a bit about radios and electronics. While it is certainly hobbled compared to ham radio, it has its place. Would I be one to sink $10K into CB toys? No way. But as a way to learn, the price of admission is pretty cheap if you're willing to live with its limitations. I'd say to keep going and if you find you want to do more, study for you ham license and expand your horizons. I don't think you'll regret it.

Back to the antenna issue. A 1/4 wave ground plane antenna is easy to construct. Mounted on the gable at the end of your house it should still fit within the antenna restrictions that are in place. Built correctly it should also outperform the Tram antenna.
I agree! One can build a ground plane out of wire and a PVC or wooden support for only a few bucks!!
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Old 03-20-2017, 7:10 AM
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The money thing is very true that's why I got out of CB, guys in my town were pushing 3-5 thousand watts to talk across town was just nuts plus cutting/ pinning coax
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Old 03-20-2017, 5:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lucky43113 View Post
The money thing is very true that's why I got out of CB, guys in my town were pushing 3-5 thousand watts to talk across town was just nuts plus cutting/ pinning coax
Yeah, some guys go insane over CB. I've seen vans with multiple alternators and amplifiers putting out thousands of watts! You should see all the CB groups on Facebook!!
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Old 03-20-2017, 5:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TheSpaceMann View Post
Yeah, some guys go insane over CB. I've seen vans with multiple alternators and amplifiers putting out thousands of watts! You should see all the CB groups on Facebook!!
I saw a linear competition on youtube in texas so much power the faa had to give approval and clear the airspace unreal
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Old 03-23-2017, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by lucky43113 View Post
I saw a linear competition on youtube in texas so much power the faa had to give approval and clear the airspace unreal
LOL!! Didn't the FAA notify the FCC??
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Old 03-29-2017, 1:23 PM
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Ok so i bit the bullet and bought an A99 antenna, and have decided to buy a mast and put it up next to my house. If i have it connected to the ground i can have the mast and antenna as high as 50 ft and not get in trouble with the town. I was planning on getting the following:

EZ Up 30 FOOT TELESCOPIC PUSH UP ANTENNA MAST
EZ Up 12 inch Deluxe Y Wall Mount Antenna Bracket EZ 30-12
EZ Up EZ32A Telescopic Antenna Mast Heavy Duty Base Plate

Thought i read somewhere not to use telescoping masts with large CB antennas? Maybe not...

Should i need anything else? I am not planning on having the mast extend much past the second bracket so i will not need guy lines etc, I already have grounding wire rods etc from my previous install.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 03-29-2017, 1:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lucky43113 View Post
I saw a linear competition on youtube in texas so much power the faa had to give approval and clear the airspace unreal
Don't believe everything on Youtube. That sounds like total BS.
I once worked at a government installation that transmitted a VHF carrier of several megawatts ERP up into space 24/7/365 and there were no FAA airspace restrictions around the facility.
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Old 03-29-2017, 2:50 PM
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Yeah nd5y, there's lots and lots of BS on that utube! Wish 'lucky43113' had posted a link for that vid. I need a good laugh this afternoon...lol
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Old 03-29-2017, 3:08 PM
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CB sucks.

If one were to choose three characteristics that will limit usefulness of 90% of what people want to use a 2 way system for it would be 1- HF, 2- AM, 3- 4 watts. CB is comprised of them all three.

Last edited by mancow; 03-29-2017 at 4:58 PM..
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Old 03-29-2017, 6:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nfernaays View Post
Ok so i bit the bullet and bought an A99 antenna, and have decided to buy a mast and put it up next to my house. If i have it connected to the ground i can have the mast and antenna as high as 50 ft and not get in trouble with the town. I was planning on getting the following:

EZ Up 30 FOOT TELESCOPIC PUSH UP ANTENNA MAST
EZ Up 12 inch Deluxe Y Wall Mount Antenna Bracket EZ 30-12
EZ Up EZ32A Telescopic Antenna Mast Heavy Duty Base Plate

Thought i read somewhere not to use telescoping masts with large CB antennas? Maybe not...

Should i need anything else? I am not planning on having the mast extend much past the second bracket so i will not need guy lines etc, I already have grounding wire rods etc from my previous install.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
You have a good plan. The A99 was a great choice. Please let us know how it goes when you get on the air!!

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Old 03-29-2017, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nfernaays View Post
Ok so i bit the bullet and bought an A99 antenna, and have decided to buy a mast and put it up next to my house. If i have it connected to the ground i can have the mast and antenna as high as 50 ft and not get in trouble with the town. I was planning on getting the following:

EZ Up 30 FOOT TELESCOPIC PUSH UP ANTENNA MAST
EZ Up 12 inch Deluxe Y Wall Mount Antenna Bracket EZ 30-12
EZ Up EZ32A Telescopic Antenna Mast Heavy Duty Base Plate

Thought i read somewhere not to use telescoping masts with large CB antennas? Maybe not...

Should i need anything else? I am not planning on having the mast extend much past the second bracket so i will not need guy lines etc, I already have grounding wire rods etc from my previous install.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Congrats! Now get that antenna up, and get on the air!! There have been several band openings recently, with lots of distant stations coming in!!
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Old 03-30-2017, 7:26 AM
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Thank you for your responses Movinon and TheSpaceMann, i have ordered my mast. Hope to be on the air within a week or so, excited to finally hear some chatter. Over the last few days i have been able to hear some chatter even with my Tram 1499. It makes me that much more excited for the new antenna. I will let you know how it goes.
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