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Basic questions

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dnlbrrg

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Hey guys,

I'm new to CB and I'm not the most radio savvy guy. I have a couple of questions that some might consider dumb.

1.- I have an AM only radio. I see that it has a switch to change from SWR to SR/F - What's the difference between the two? Is one better than the other?

2.- What's the deal with SSB? Is it worth getting another radio for SSB? what's the advantage over AM?

Any info would be appreciated.
 

KC4RAF

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Davenport,Fl.- home to me and the gators and the s
When switched to SWR,

your meter is checking the "Standing Wave Ratio" between the antenna and radio, (this includes the coax as well). The ratio is best when it reads "1.5:1", but sometimes you can get by with a slightly higher than 1.5. 2 and above could be a problem.
 

dnlbrrg

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Grand Rapids, MI
your meter is checking the "Standing Wave Ratio" between the antenna and radio, (this includes the coax as well). The ratio is best when it reads "1.5:1", but sometimes you can get by with a slightly higher than 1.5. 2 and above could be a problem.
Ok, but: is one better to communicate than the other? Should I only communicate on one or the other?

Also, about SSB.
 

LtDoc

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The settings you stated are for what the meter will read. I'm not sure what the "SR/F" means, but probably the strength of the signal you are hearing. That's handy for comparisons, or reporting to that station if you talk to him. The 'SWR' is as was explained above. It tells you the relationship of the radio, feed line and antenna. The idea is for all of those parts to "match". When that happens the reading will be '1', or very close to that. As that reading increases, the 'match' isn't as good and all of the signal may not be getting out of the antenna. There are practical aspects to that, as in nothing is ever 'perfect', so if the reading is less than about a '2', it's usable. Less than '2' is better. This deals with impedance matching and is not all that simple at all. "Low" is good, "high" is not so good.
'AM' and 'SSB' are the modes of converting speech to an electrical signal. Each has benefits and liabilities. 'AM' is the oldest voice mode, and is pretty easy to listen to. It's draw-backs include that it's not going to reach quite as far as 'SSB'. 'SSB' typically has more 'range' but is more difficult to tune in correctly (sounds like Donald Duck, sort of). CB radios typically are either only AM or have both AM and SSB modes. (That's in the USA, other countries have different modes/rules.)
None of this is very 'technical' at all, it's just a very basic explanation.
- 'Doc
 

OCO

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It's not "SR/F", It's "S R/F", with the "S" being "S units" read on the meter while receiving and "R/F" being the RF power output ostensibly in watts while transmitting. SWR as described by the other guys. Where's Tomcat's (Tom Kneitel) good old Intro to CB books when they're needed........
 

satosi

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It's probably not worth getting a CB that supports SSB unless you really want it. Almost all CB comms are in AM. I have a receiver that can pick up AM and SSB, but I've only ever heard AM on the CB bands.
 

KJ6VIP

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It's probably not worth getting a CB that supports SSB unless you really want it. Almost all CB comms are in AM. I have a receiver that can pick up AM and SSB, but I've only ever heard AM on the CB bands.
Although I agree that most local's operate via the AM band, I must disagree with and suggest purchasing a radio with SSB abilities. Having long range conversations via skip can be rewarding in and of itself. Besides the additional cost factor of owning an SSB capable unit, It certainly won't hurt to having the added benefit of SSB in case you decide to want to give some DX transmissions.

-Rylak
 

krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

SSB is used on channels 36 to 40, and primarily for long-haul comms.
 

kc4jgc

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Virginia Beach, VA
Hey guys,

2.- What's the deal with SSB? Is it worth getting another radio for SSB? what's the advantage over AM?
Single Side Band (SSB) Uses no carrier, your voice provides 100% of the RF going out the radio. YOu can use either upper of lower sideband. Rules allow 12 watts max on SSB.

Technically, when you switch the radio from AM to either USB or LSB, the radio suppresses the carrier and one of the sidebands, allowing only sideband to be transmitted.

An AM signal consists of a carrier (1/2 the power is here) and 2 sidebands (the audio which one is a duplicate of the other).
 

jimg

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So. Middle TN
Single Side Band (SSB) Uses no carrier, your voice provides 100% of the RF going out the radio. YOu can use either upper of lower sideband. Rules allow 12 watts max on SSB.

Technically, when you switch the radio from AM to either USB or LSB, the radio suppresses the carrier and one of the sidebands, allowing only sideband to be transmitted.

An AM signal consists of a carrier (1/2 the power is here) and 2 sidebands (the audio which one is a duplicate of the other).
Is an FCC license required for SSB operation?
 

LtDoc

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Oklahoma
There is no license requirement for CB radio in the USA no matter which mode is used, AM or SSB. But there is an 'implied' licensing by the use of a CB radio. That's more or less a legal 'fiction' that means that the FCC still can tell you what to/not to do and how (don't ask me, it's a 'lawyer' thing).
- 'Doc
 
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