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

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:44 AM
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Default New guy here, what CB equipment to buy.......

Hello,
54 year old guy here planning to adventure in an RV traveling the US.
I would like to buy a CB radio for our travels.
I used to have one when I was a teenager, and remember there is a lot of variations to the equipment ,etc...
So my question is what would you all recommend now for my set up in the RV with a $400 budget?
Thanks much
John
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:47 PM
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Uniden 980 is a higher end legal CB that will do everything for about $120. Antenna will vary depending on your RV type and where you mount it.
prcguy
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Old 09-03-2017, 1:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbbcd View Post
Hello,

54 year old guy here planning to adventure in an RV traveling the US.

I would like to buy a CB radio for our travels.

I used to have one when I was a teenager, and remember there is a lot of variations to the equipment ,etc...

So my question is what would you all recommend now for my set up in the RV with a $400 budget?

Thanks much

John


Depending on what the rv roof is made of, you may need a non-ground plane antenna. If you wanna venture away from legality you can go get an amplifier so you can talk power. But if you can't hear them what good is it? Seems almost everybody is running power ( me including) and almost none is clean power. I hear spatter 3 channels over on some guys setup. But back to the point, if you wanna talk farther and arnt afraid of the FCC, an amp is a viable solution but it is illegal. If you want legality and range a good antenna is your best bet. The radio prcguy speaks of sounds solid for the price but get a good antenna for your application, get the swr low, and talk away.


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Old 09-03-2017, 4:47 PM
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All RVers that I talked to about radios strongly suggest that the CB have the weather channels with the weather alert feature. I know that some Cobras, some Bearcats, and Midlands have that feature.
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Old 09-03-2017, 5:06 PM
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The Uniden 980 I recommended has that plus SSB and its their best model.
prcguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by sloop View Post
All RVers that I talked to about radios strongly suggest that the CB have the weather channels with the weather alert feature. I know that some Cobras, some Bearcats, and Midlands have that feature.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:33 PM
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Thanks much!
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Old 09-04-2017, 5:30 PM
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I just got a Uniden 980SSB and love it. I'm new at CB myself and would recommend it to anyone else looking to get one. It looks great and works well.
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Old 09-04-2017, 6:03 PM
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Wow.. 980 is popular. We just ordered one too (from GPS Central after looking around online all over).

Even though we had a number of commercial radios (XPR7550e's), DTR650s, some TYT's and Baofengs, wanted the SSB (12watts), since some of our portable radios also had SSB.

I'm curious to try some range tests between all of them.
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Old 09-04-2017, 7:07 PM
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If you are not shy about getting inside radios and making adjustments you can improve the 980s transmit a bit and get rid of the loud annoying beep every time you push a button. There are some Youtube videos that walk you through things. One adjustment is the AM mod limiter and the other is SSB ALC. You basically turn the adjustment until it sounds the loudest on AM and puts out the most power on SSB. You can use another radio to receive while you make the adjustments.
prcguy

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Originally Posted by michy View Post
Wow.. 980 is popular. We just ordered one too (from GPS Central after looking around online all over).

Even though we had a number of commercial radios (XPR7550e's), DTR650s, some TYT's and Baofengs, wanted the SSB (12watts), since some of our portable radios also had SSB.

I'm curious to try some range tests between all of them.
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Old 09-04-2017, 8:33 PM
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prcguy: great.. thank you for that info. We definitely will search youtube for them.
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Old 09-06-2017, 9:55 PM
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I just ran across the Uniden Beartracker 885 Hybrid CB.

https://www.amazon.com/BearTracker-H...ustomerReviews

I know its much more $$, should I consider this model?
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Old 09-07-2017, 7:44 AM
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I use the CB strictly for road travel, including trips in an RV. With it I glean information mostly from truck drivers regarding travel hazards in my immediate path ahead, including wrecks, equipment failures, washouts, etc. which would endanger or impede my travel.

Through the years the CB radio has been useful in saving me time by letting me know which lane of traffic to be in a traffic jam, or which alternate routes I should take in order to avoid long delays up ahead, or reporting a flat tire or other equipment failure that needs addressing, etc.

I want radios which are simple and compact, I don't want or need complicated or illegally powerful radios. The radios I found to fit my criteria are several simple compact models out there which can be bought for around 50 bucks or so: the Cobra 19, Uniden 520 and Midland 1001Z.

The antennas I use are the tallest I can get for best performance yet which are not so tall as to hit obstacles on my trip. My antennas range from three to five feet in height, depending on which vehicle I'm in and whether it needs to fit in a parking garage, beneath a heavy tree canopy, etc. The antennas that are serving my purpose are the K30 / Lil Wil, Wilson 500 and Wilson 1000. All these are magnetic-based antennas, but you need a metal roof in order for them to work. Other types of antennas need different mounting solutions.

A traveler doesn't need expensive equipment to fulfill his needs. The radio enthusiast might.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbbcd View Post
I just ran across the Uniden Beartracker 885 Hybrid CB.

https://www.amazon.com/BearTracker-H...ustomerReviews

I know its much more $$, should I consider this model?
Way too expensive, plus I don't think it has side band! I's stay away from radios that have too many things crammed into one unit. I's stick with the 980 SSB.
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Old 09-07-2017, 1:01 PM
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Gotta love those BearTracker 885 reviews.. first one is one star, second review is five stars.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:10 PM
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Break 1-9
OK, probably going to get the 980SSB,
Next question is, what antenna should I get? The RV has a rubber roof. Not sure whats under the rubber.
I would like to attach the antenna to the rear bumper.
Over
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:25 AM
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Sounds like solid advice
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveFilter View Post
I use the CB strictly for road travel, including trips in an RV. With it I glean information mostly from truck drivers regarding travel hazards in my immediate path ahead, including wrecks, equipment failures, washouts, etc. which would endanger or impede my travel.

Through the years the CB radio has been useful in saving me time by letting me know which lane of traffic to be in a traffic jam, or which alternate routes I should take in order to avoid long delays up ahead, or reporting a flat tire or other equipment failure that needs addressing, etc.

I want radios which are simple and compact, I don't want or need complicated or illegally powerful radios. The radios I found to fit my criteria are several simple compact models out there which can be bought for around 50 bucks or so: the Cobra 19, Uniden 520 and Midland 1001Z.

The antennas I use are the tallest I can get for best performance yet which are not so tall as to hit obstacles on my trip. My antennas range from three to five feet in height, depending on which vehicle I'm in and whether it needs to fit in a parking garage, beneath a heavy tree canopy, etc. The antennas that are serving my purpose are the K30 / Lil Wil, Wilson 500 and Wilson 1000. All these are magnetic-based antennas, but you need a metal roof in order for them to work. Other types of antennas need different mounting solutions.

A traveler doesn't need expensive equipment to fulfill his needs. The radio enthusiast might.
Actually you need a ferrous roof for magnetic antennas to work...something RV's generally don't have. If the RV is a coach based on something like a bus chassis (Prevost, Bluebird, etc) or Class 10 truck chassis (Peterbuilt, Kenworth, etc), it will have aluminum roofing either over the cab or throughout the entire coach.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:16 PM
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Bumper mounts are a bad idea for RV's even if its fiberglass. I have a fiberglass trailer and have a bumper mount but its for emergency use for HF amateur bands when other antennas are not available.

When I put a CB whip on the bumper mount some internal wiring and metal trim up high and close to the antenna it makes it impossible to get a reasonable SWR. My amateur antenna is much longer and part of it sits above the metal trim and the metal is less of a problem at the lower HF amateur frequencies. If my trailer were all metal nothing would work on the bumper.

You can still use a roof mount if the RV is all fiberglass or has no ground plane by attaching a large sheet metal plate to the roof, or making a suitable ground plane using 3" wide aluminum tape available from Home Depot. The tape can go inside under the roof or outside if you clean the roof and get good adhesion. I have several NMO mounts for VHF/UHF antennas on the roof of my fiberglass trailer and made ground radials from 1" wide copper tape on the outside of the roof and its holding up just fine.
prcguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbbcd View Post
Break 1-9
OK, probably going to get the 980SSB,
Next question is, what antenna should I get? The RV has a rubber roof. Not sure whats under the rubber.
I would like to attach the antenna to the rear bumper.
Over
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:21 PM
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As mentioned in a previous post here, we ordered the 980 and actually just received it. While the radio has pretty good reviews, first impressions is that aesthetically speaking, the knobs feel so light and cheap. Also the power mike has a very cheap feel to it as well.

In my opinion, the use of the radio is slightly more complex than the "radios of the 70s" due to the electronics of them today (there are some good youtube videos on that part).

There aren't many choices when it comes to the SSB CB's these days (makes us sad that Radio Shack is disappearing).

Unfortunately ours was an "open box" and was missing some parts, so I want to send it back for a new one. We used add notes with online orders that stated "Please ensure item sent is in a sealed box and is unused".
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Old 09-11-2017, 6:53 PM
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[QUOTE=michy;2816544]As mentioned in a previous post here, we ordered the 980 and actually just received it. While the radio has pretty good reviews, first impressions is that aesthetically speaking, the knobs feel so light and cheap. Also the power mike has a very cheap feel to it as

There aren't many choices when it comes to the SSB CB's these days (makes us sad that Radio Shack is disappearing).




Side note on SSB radios.

There aren't much in the way of choice but president McKinley or the Uniden 980 is about it.


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