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bearcat 980 ssb, amp, is it worth it? hooking it up

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#1
thinking about buying a uniden bearcat 980 ssb.

mostly because it has a scan feature for the channels.

thinking about buying it just to have it to keep from being bored all day, in the truck

would adding a amp to this radio make it receive more incoming cb talk?

does anyone know about hooking it up or some tips for hooking it up to the truck?

its a bobtail truck that has 3 batteries, but with a amp, I would have to hook it straight to the fusebox somehow, or to the one of the batteries, any tips?

if I run without the amp, I can get the 3 plug cig adapter, and just run in the the 12v outlet correct?

any recommendations for a slipseat box for the cb with external speakers?
 

KD8DVR

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#2
A receive amplifier will not help. A better antenna will help. CB is getting a lot less use these days. A trip from Ohio to Maryland to Florida and back, I was astounded by almost zero radio traffic. Totally dead.

AntiSquid disclaimer: All information provided is personal opinion only and may or may not resemble actual fact.
 
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#3
would adding a amp to this radio make it receive more incoming cb talk?
By "amp", if you are referring to an RF amplifier to boost the power output of the radio, then it would need to have a receive pre-amplifier built in to make any difference. Even then, it will boost is the noise as well as the received signal. A pre-amplifier on it's own would do the same thing, but it would have to be rated to handle transmitting.

And, I agree, a better antenna will give you greater results. Your amp won't help if the antenna isn't picking anything up.

does anyone know about hooking it up or some tips for hooking it up to the truck?
A lot of the modern trucks have a place for hooking up a CB. If your's doesn't, then you ideally need to run direct to the battery with fuses AT the battery connection.

its a bobtail truck that has 3 batteries, but with a amp, I would have to hook it straight to the fusebox somehow, or to the one of the batteries, any tips?
Avoid messing with the fuse box. Unless your truck has a specific place for hooking up a CB, always go to the battery. Never tap into existing circuits unless they are specifically designed for that. As for an amplifier, that would need to go to the battery. They usually draw more power than what the small circuits in the cab will support.

if I run without the amp, I can get the 3 plug cig adapter, and just run in the the 12v outlet correct?
Skip the amplifier. Go with a better antenna. It'll make a greater difference (unless you are specifically trying to waste money and drain batteries, then by all means, buy an amp). Cigarette lighter sockets tend to pick up a lot of electrical noise. Running a CB off that might result in your radio picking up more interference from the truck, engine, electronics, etc. than actual CB traffic. Always go direct to the battery if you can. It's a cleaner source of power.


And, I'm just guessing here, if this is a propane tank truck, I'd really skip the amplifier. I wouldn't want to be driving around a rolling bomb with a high power RF amplifier. I might be called a chicken, but that just doesn't seem like a good mix.

1. Clean DC power, off the battery is ideal.
2. Good radio. (don't let the guy with the golden screwdriver down at the truck stop touch it!)
3. Best antenna you can get. Properly installed, good cable, tuned properly. Pay someone to do it if you can't.
That'll make the most difference in performance.

Any thoughts of an amplifier should come AFTER you've perfected your antenna system. Otherwise you're just wasting power.
 
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#4
By "amp", if you are referring to an RF amplifier to boost the power output of the radio, then it would need to have a receive pre-amplifier built in to make any difference. Even then, it will boost is the noise as well as the received signal. A pre-amplifier on it's own would do the same thing, but it would have to be rated to handle transmitting.

And, I agree, a better antenna will give you greater results. Your amp won't help if the antenna isn't picking anything up.



A lot of the modern trucks have a place for hooking up a CB. If your's doesn't, then you ideally need to run direct to the battery with fuses AT the battery connection.



Avoid messing with the fuse box. Unless your truck has a specific place for hooking up a CB, always go to the battery. Never tap into existing circuits unless they are specifically designed for that. As for an amplifier, that would need to go to the battery. They usually draw more power than what the small circuits in the cab will support.



Skip the amplifier. Go with a better antenna. It'll make a greater difference (unless you are specifically trying to waste money and drain batteries, then by all means, buy an amp). Cigarette lighter sockets tend to pick up a lot of electrical noise. Running a CB off that might result in your radio picking up more interference from the truck, engine, electronics, etc. than actual CB traffic. Always go direct to the battery if you can. It's a cleaner source of power.


And, I'm just guessing here, if this is a propane tank truck, I'd really skip the amplifier. I wouldn't want to be driving around a rolling bomb with a high power RF amplifier. I might be called a chicken, but that just doesn't seem like a good mix.

1. Clean DC power, off the battery is ideal.
2. Good radio. (don't let the guy with the golden screwdriver down at the truck stop touch it!)
3. Best antenna you can get. Properly installed, good cable, tuned properly. Pay someone to do it if you can't.
That'll make the most difference in performance.

Any thoughts of an amplifier should come AFTER you've perfected your antenna system. Otherwise you're just wasting power.


great advice,

skip the amp,

you're right it will be in a propane truck,

newb question,

the radio frequency still would be safe right?

I thought cbs were popular, I know some locals in my area have them, base stations, etc,

maybe not enough popularity to justify having one?
 
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#5
cb radio

I just wanted a cb for the winter time,

there is a processing plant with lots of truck traffic,

wanted it to call down the road to let people know I was coming off the mountain, for safety,

or if it got bad, to call out down the road, to check road conditions.

snow plows are bad in the winter, erratic at times, driving on the opposite side of the road at times,

it would be nice if they had a cb, just to where they could move over a little.

big trucks drive in the center of the two lines,

even though it looks like theyre hogging up the road, its just because the truck is so wide.
 
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Messages
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#6
"skip" the amp

I'd pass on the amplifier. Big trucks often have antenna problems (think: corrosion, antenna hitting stuff, cable kinks). If the antenna has an issue you don't catch in time, you'll burn out the finals in the amp. Even if it works right, the boost in range you're gonna see won't be worth the hundreds of dollars for the amp.

About the 980: nice radio, good audio, built-in talk-back, simple to use once you get used to the menu. Multiple colors and brightness levels, and stable on SSB....great SSB radio for the price. The bluetooth microphone (optional, costs about what the radio does) has better audio than the stock mic, and even has a built-in speaker so you can talk on the radio from outside the truck (or in another room at the base).

I know there isn't as much traffic on the air as there used to be, but I still like having mine to pass time on drives. There's usually someone to talk to on SSB here in Ohio, even if there aren't as many motorists on the radio nowadays. Also never hurts to have a weather radio handy.

Just my 2 cents... get the radio, leave the amp.

enjoy
 
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#7
the radio frequency still would be safe right?
4 watt CB should be just fine. Probably not an issue either way since someone driving nearby with a CB and Amp would be a real probability. With the proliferation of cellular phones, etc. I doubt there would be a real issue. My concern would have been with a higher power CB amp.

I thought cbs were popular, I know some locals in my area have them, base stations, etc,

maybe not enough popularity to justify having one?
Yeah, I understand. I used CB's for a long time, maybe up to 2000 or so. For kicks, I put one back in the pickup for a long interstate drive. Didn't hear much, nothing useful.
But, it really seems to depend on where you are. Each area seems to have a different "CB environment". Sounds like from what you are saying about your proposed usage, it might be a useful tool.
 
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#8
And, I'm just guessing here, if this is a propane tank truck, I'd really skip the amplifier. I wouldn't want to be driving around a rolling bomb with a high power RF amplifier. ...
it took me 3 read thrus of the thread before i realized exactly how you guessed what kind of truck driver he was.

i havent had enough caffeine today.


Adding onto the thread.
Most medium duty and heavy duty trucks have pre-existing CB circuits in or under the dash, if not, the ONLY wire going to the fuse box is the ignition wire. The other two need to go to the battery to avoid interference and noise.
One or two flexible antennas on the external mirrors. If you go with a dual antenna setup, you can find the info you need in this forum (as per wiring, minimum distance between the two, etc)
Rugged antenna (or antennas) on the external mirror, since you probably WILL smack it on things.

A good antenna will improve your setup more then any (recieve) amp would.
 

fxdscon

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#9
The bluetooth microphone (optional, costs about what the radio does) has better audio than the stock mic, and even has a built-in speaker so you can talk on the radio from outside the truck (or in another room at the base)
Just an FYI..... The remote mic is DECT, not Bluetooth.

.
 
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#10
You do not need an amp. I own one <UNIDEN 980>, and it is in the vehicle<car>, with a mag mount. Straight stock about 13 watts output on ssb<only thing I use>.When skip is in talk throughout the MIDWEST, East coast, and Southern states.
Only thing I would do is add a power mic to it..I use a COBRA POWER MIC. . I do not use AM, just ssb, and the radio is well worth the money, just as the guys say..get a good antenna.
795
 
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#11
Hooking up antennas

it took me 3 read thrus of the thread before i realized exactly how you guessed what kind of truck driver he was.

i havent had enough caffeine today.


Adding onto the thread.
Most medium duty and heavy duty trucks have pre-existing CB circuits in or under the dash, if not, the ONLY wire going to the fuse box is the ignition wire. The other two need to go to the battery to avoid interference and noise.
One or two flexible antennas on the external mirrors. If you go with a dual antenna setup, you can find the info you need in this forum (as per wiring, minimum distance between the two, etc)
Rugged antenna (or antennas) on the external mirror, since you probably WILL smack it on things.

A good antenna will improve your setup more then any (recieve) amp would.
I've hooked up CD players but never a CB. Any good reference material/threads. Or advice. Do you think I would benefit more from dual antennas? Suggested brands. You're right the antenna will get smacked on things, as of right now I have a satellite radio antenna for my XM radio, and I try to avoid hitting into things with it mounted on my mirror.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Messages
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#12
antenna choice

what about something like the FIRESTIK PROFESSIONAL DUAL CB ANTENNA KIT, with a 90 degree fold down adapter, is case I run the antenna into some overhanging limbs, or the same antenna with a heavy duty spring, to give the antenna some flex.

its a dual antenna setup.

or two, 4ft wilson flex antennas, with a co-phased, RG-59 CB coax cable ?
 
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#13
cophase

Point taken - calling it Bluetooth was just being sloppy on my part.

Here's my 2 cents on running cophase (or dual) antennas - I'm sure others will have a variety of opinions:

It's one more hassle to deal with when getting used to your new system, and it can be a pain - especially routing the cable, since you can't cut or splice it [easily]. "Normal" coax is for 50 ohm antenna systems - cophase requires 75 ohm cable, that usually comes in a harness all ready to go (don't buy normal cable and an antenna cable splitter - not sure why they sell those anyway). Getting them spaced appropriately and tuned right can be a bit of a hassle, with twice as many potential problems. Also, you double your chances of having an antenna issue.

The benefit is that it makes your signal slightly more directional to the front and back of the truck - up and down the freeway, presumably where you most want to talk. For the slight benefit in gain front and back, I'd pass. I've done it a few times, and usually end up simply running a single antenna when its all said and done.
 
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#14
Single antenna in the center of the cab roof will work well. If you can't do that, then do a single antenna off the drivers side mirror.

Hooking up a CB is easy. + to +, - to -. Antenna cable screws into the antenna jack. Probably easier than hooking up a car stereo.
 
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#15
well, that particular one.

red to constant +
black to -
orange to ignition switched + if you want it to power on and off with the truck, or constant + if you want it on all the time.

Which reminds me, I need to switch the scanner to ignition switched power.
 
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#16
cb off/on tuning antennas

whats involved in tuning the antenna?

so as far as a brand or length or antenna, would I be better off with a 10 inch 'trucker' antenna from Wilson like a T2000 model cb antenna.

or a 5 inch antenna from Firestick?

as far as hooking up the cb in the truck, the one problem I see hooking it up to the battery, would be the CB would only be off if I turned the CB off,

I would like the CB to be on only when the truck is on, that way I dont have to remember if I turned it off when I park the truck, and if I do leave it on, the CB ends up draining the batteries.

not sure how I would hook the CB up to the ignition switch to only be on with the truck on,
 
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#17
If this is going onto a propane truck, height will be you enemy up top. You want an antenna that is as close to 108" total in length. Don't believe any of the hype about 5/8 wave 4ft antennas. Unless that antenna is near 23ft long, it's not s true 5/8 wave. Look for a good 1/4 wave type antenna. The Wilson trucker antennas, or even the Sirio trucker performer 5000. Use a bottom shaft long enough to get your loading coil above the roof line. This may take some measuring and may be more or less than 10". Mount the antenna to the mirror mount as long as it's metal. Then make sure it's bonded well to the vehicles door and then frame. Use 1/2" or larger flat ground braid strap. And cover it with heat shrink. Also make sure you have a good ground as well. And you don't have to run both the POS and NEG wires to the battery. Run the positive wire to the battery and then find a frame ground bolt to attach the ground to. Under your dash or your seat bolt, will work. And use
NO-OX special "A" on all connections. It looks like a brown grease almost. Here is a pic of some. eBay sells it for about $8. For a small can of it. Also don't worry too much about the amp at this point. Get the antenna setup as good as it can be!! Also good coax and connectors are a must. I use LMR240, and amphenol connectors for my mobile installs. What you use is up to you.
As far as companies that make good coax goes, Belden, Andrew, Commscope, Times Microwave, Eupen, Shireen, Davis RF Corp., and a few others I am sure I missed. These are good companies that make good coax. Don't skimp on your antenna setup, that is all I will say about that. It will make or break your station.
Now as far as the 989 goes, leave it stock or have someone that is truly qualified turn the power down a little. Like a 3 watt Dead Key and 8-12 watts pep. Same on SSB. Keep the power at stock or less power. This will save the final! Also you can add a heat sink or remove the internal speaker if you use an external one and this does help some with releasing the heat.
The wiring is pretty straight forward. Red to POS, black to Ground. If the negative wire isn't fused, don't connect it to the battery. JMO. I have installed quite a few radios aka never had noise issues by going to a frame bolt and keeping the ground wire as short as possible. But everyone has different opinions on this subject, so I would do your own research and see what will work best for your install as all are different. As far as mounts go, get a good one. Breedlove makes some very nice mounts, as well as some other companies. Stay away from the truck stop junk though. Again, JMO.!
Yes I do own a uniden 980. Have since they 1st came out. As well as the Wireless Mic.
You can get the radios off Amazon for a little over $100 new shipped to your door.' The mics have come down a lot in price as well. Costing about $50 new shipped to your door. And the wireless mics do indeed sound better than the stock ones do. Again, JMO. I have one and the only mod I performed was to drill out the moc hole with a 5/16" drill bit by hand. Then I used a 3/8" drill bit to add a larger taper without going all the way through the mic. And it works just fine!! Gets good audio reports, and it's wireless, with the base of the unit plugging into the radio and the mic being able to get about 75ft or so away from the radio and still be able to be used. The speaker in the wireless mic isn't the best, but you can understand what everyone is saying just fine!! Love it when I walk away from my vehicle and keep talking on the radio and the looks you get. Had to show my local pal by going into his house and then transmitting. He couldn't believe the mic worked like it did. At any rate, for the money, you won't find a better new radio. They are dead on frequency out of the box and don't need much if anything to operate well. With a Sirio performer 5000, A Breedlove 3" one hole mount, on top of an E-350 ford work van, I am able to reach back to base stations about 30 miles away when the band isn't roaring with DX. This is on SSB, and my power turned down to about 8 watts pep. As I said earlier every install is different and your mileage may vary. But if you get a good antenna and install it correctly, you have the possibility of getting out to 20+ miles depending on the terrain and other obstructions. Good radios. Great radios for the money. And the mic is a good buy as well. These are all JMHO's, and from my own experience using the Uniden 980. Hope some of this helps, and the other posts above mine are have lots of great info as well!! Be safe and take your time!! Have a good one.
 
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#18
parts list haha.

I'm looking at a Sirio performer 5000, you said you had a 3'' Breedlove one hole mount. what is a bottom shaft, is that a coiled spring? the whole antenna has to be above the roof line? like the bottom of the antenna has to be at the bottom of the roofline?


do you have a part number or something for the flat ground braid strap? it wont come with the antenna? the antenna doesnt come with a metal mount? the mounts that hold the mirrors of my truck are plastic.


that will save me alot of wire if I only have to run one wire from the battery behind the cab, into the cab, to the CB. and just ground the CB somewhere inside the cab. what gauge wire do you suggest?

NO-OX special "A" on all connections.
All connections going to the CB and antenna, ground wires, etc? \


the coax wires, thats the wire hooking the antenna to the CB right, which is the best would you say?


I've seen some reviews on the "red devil'' power mic, its suppose to be clearer/louder than a stock mic.

thanks 222DBFL, tried to quote your post and bold the questions, just couldn't do it,

if you could kind of make a parts list, with part numbers, it would give me a better idea on what to get to complete this install.

some of the stuff I found like the antenna, not sure which adapters to get for the coax, or the name of the bracket I would need to make the antenna sit above the cab, or a mount that would ground the antenna, because my mirrors are plastic I believe.

or what exactly you mean by a amphenol connector
 
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#19
A bottom shaft is the lower part of the antenna below the loading coil. You see them on large semi trucks most often. It places the coil of the antenna above the roof line. Here is a photo of the Sirio performer 5000 trucker series antenna. It has an 8" bottom shaft.

Now as far as the mount goes, check out Breedlove mounts. They are made well and are of great quality. Hey carry several different types of antenna mounts.
NO OX special "A" looks like this. It's a grease type rust preventive.

Here is some info about it as well.
Next up. The flat Braid ground straps. Here are a couple of photos of some of it. Good for bonding body parts to the frame and exhaust and so forth. Read up on the use of this for antenna installations.

Next is coax. Like I said I use LMR240. Yes some will call it overkill. But it is good coax that will last a long time and has good shielding as well. Any of the companies I listed have good coax.' Check out times microwave or Amdrew. The connectors (PL259) type,
I use amphenol ones. eBay sells them as does many other places.
Like I said, do some gold research before choosing an antenna and mount as well as the coax and connectors. Read up on the different types of coax and how they work and how good they actually are. The Sirio trucker 5000 is a good antenna. But you may require a longer bottom shaft. That is the metal shaft that goes below the loading coil. As seen in the photos I posted. Like said above, you get a good antenna setup, whether it be on top of the truck or if possible the mirrors, as long as they are metal arms and not plastic. If this is the case and they are indeed plastic, you may have to go with a roof install and look for an antenna that will work with your vehicle. Being too high will cause your antenna to smack every tree and over pass that you come across. This is why I say to research some about what type antenna will be best for your needs. Sometimes you have to compromise due to things like height of vehicle or the way it's made. Like having plastic mirror mounts and such.
Hope some of this helps. Not sure what I missed, bud if you have anymore questions l, feel free to ask. I am sure someone here other than me will help you as well as they have already so the mic is up to you. Adding a power mic to the radio you need to set the mic gain as well as the mic power level to proper settings or you can sound bad or even cause more heat and this in turn will cause more issues. I don't remember if the red devil power mic is a noise cancelling type, if it's not, it's going to amplify any and all noise that you might here in the cab of the truck. The RF Limited 2018 extreme mic is a great power mic with a noise reduction feature that can be turned off and on. Don't use the echo for SSB use, but on AM, a slight bit of reverb isn't a bad thing. Again, if I missed something, let me know and I'll try my best to get the info to you. My best advice is to spend as much as you can on the antenna system. Don't skimp out when doing this. Not saying to buy the most expensive things, but rather make sure to research what you are getting l.! Again, hope this helps some. Taken you time and be safe. And have a good one!!
 
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#20
Amphenol is a just a connector company that sells good PL259 connectors. Again, you'll have to research this and find which ones you need depending on what coax you use. Again, have a good one and don't be afraid of asking questions!!!
 
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