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Antenna Question

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RemydaCat

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I've narrowed down my CB radio choice. It will be a hand held since this is my very first radio. Question should I purchase a Cobra HG A1000 CB Radio Antenna or
SA2 - 24+ Flexible Extended Range CB Antenna? ( CB World) This is an add on Antenna you screw on in place of the stock antenna.
Thank you for feedback!
 

alcahuete

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Neither is going to work well. As long as you realize that going in, you'll be fine. The SA2-24+ is not going to do any damage to your car, as a mag mount potentially can, so that would probably be my choice personally.
 

mmckenna

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I've narrowed down my CB radio choice. It will be a hand held since this is my very first radio.
If you don't mind me asking, why a handheld for your first radio?
Nothing wrong with it, just trying to figure out where you are going...



No.
That antenna is 18.5 inches tall. That is way to short to be anything remotely like a good performing antenna. Mobile antennas like to be 1/4 wavelength long. At CB frequencies, that's 108 inches, or 9 feet. You can shrink the antenna a bit, but performance will drop. Shrinking it all the way down to 18 1/2 inches is going to result in horrible performance. As in a mile or so at best.


or
SA2 - 24+ Flexible Extended Range CB Antenna? ( CB World) This is an add on Antenna you screw on in place of the stock antenna.
Thank you for feedback!
Even worse.
CB antennas can only get so small. Add in that most antenna designs want to see a ground plane under them. A small hand held CB radio is no where large enough to provide a suitable ground plane. Taking what wants to be a 9 foot antenna and cramming it down to 24 inches is going to suck even worse that the antenna above. At least it's designed to go on top of a car with something that looks like a ground plane under it.

For handheld use, you don't really have a lot of options if you want to keep it hand held. Long extendable antennas are going to perform better than an antenna that has been shrunk down.

For mobile use, you really do want something longer if you want any sort of performance. Those ultra short antennas are designed for looks and for people that don't want a tall antenna. They are not designed for any sort of performance.

Maybe if you can give us some additional info on what your goal is, we can help. But given the choice between those two antennas, I'd chose neither.
 

RemydaCat

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Neither is going to work well. As long as you realize that going in, you'll be fine. The SA2-24+ is not going to do any damage to your car, as a mag mount potentially can, so that would probably be my choice personally.
If you don't mind me asking, why a handheld for your first radio?
Nothing wrong with it, just trying to figure out where you are going...





No.
That antenna is 18.5 inches tall. That is way to short to be anything remotely like a good performing antenna. Mobile antennas like to be 1/4 wavelength long. At CB frequencies, that's 108 inches, or 9 feet. You can shrink the antenna a bit, but performance will drop. Shrinking it all the way down to 18 1/2 inches is going to result in horrible performance. As in a mile or so at best.




Even worse.
CB antennas can only get so small. Add in that most antenna designs want to see a ground plane under them. A small hand held CB radio is no where large enough to provide a suitable ground plane. Taking what wants to be a 9 foot antenna and cramming it down to 24 inches is going to suck even worse that the antenna above. At least it's designed to go on top of a car with something that looks like a ground plane under it.

For handheld use, you don't really have a lot of options if you want to keep it hand held. Long extendable antennas are going to perform better than an antenna that has been shrunk down.

For mobile use, you really do want something longer if you want any sort of performance. Those ultra short antennas are designed for looks and for people that don't want a tall antenna. They are not designed for any sort of performance.

Maybe if you can give us some additional info on what your goal is, we can help. But given the choice between those two antennas, I'd chose neither.
If you don't mind me asking, why a handheld for your first radio?
Nothing wrong with it, just trying to figure out where you are going...





No.
That antenna is 18.5 inches tall. That is way to short to be anything remotely like a good performing antenna. Mobile antennas like to be 1/4 wavelength long. At CB frequencies, that's 108 inches, or 9 feet. You can shrink the antenna a bit, but performance will drop. Shrinking it all the way down to 18 1/2 inches is going to result in horrible performance. As in a mile or so at best.




Even worse.
CB antennas can only get so small. Add in that most antenna designs want to see a ground plane under them. A small hand held CB radio is no where large enough to provide a suitable ground plane. Taking what wants to be a 9 foot antenna and cramming it down to 24 inches is going to suck even worse that the antenna above. At least it's designed to go on top of a car with something that looks like a ground plane under it.

For handheld use, you don't really have a lot of options if you want to keep it hand held. Long extendable antennas are going to perform better than an antenna that has been shrunk down.

For mobile use, you really do want something longer if you want any sort of performance. Those ultra short antennas are designed for looks and for people that don't want a tall antenna. They are not designed for any sort of performance.

Maybe if you can give us some additional info on what your goal is, we can help. But given the choice between those two antennas, I'd chose neither.
I'm a women & I enjoy electronics. So this would be a hobby for me. I reside in a Downtown Apartment in a smaller city in my state. I can't have an antenna permanently outside due to the homeless & someone stealing. I would be open to an antenna that I can move inside/outside when using. I don't know much and I'm trying to educate myself. I've been speaking with and asking questions of different CB retailers. (honestly they're not very helpful) Two different retailers recommended those antennas. I will spend $$ if needed. Since it's a hobby I don't want to spend more than $100-400 to start with. I would like to be able to use if I go hiking or venture out in the country. I don't want to put it in my car. So that's why I opted for something handheld. CB World told me the the 24" Antenna is compatible with a Midland 75-822 Handheld. Also is the Midland 75-822 a decent CB HH?
 
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mmckenna

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Ah, OK, so looking for hobby use.

Apartments and CB's are a challenge.
CB's use frequencies in the 27MHz range, and the wavelengths are around 36 feet. For an antenna to be efficient, you'd be looking at starting around 25% of that length, or what's referred to a 1/4 wave length antennas. So efficiency in your antenna comes around the 9 foot mark.

Without an efficient antenna, your radio will really suffer from poor performance. You can shrink the antenna by shortening them and adding coils at the base, but that can only go so far, and efficiency will suffer. Trying to get 9 feet of antenna down into a 18 or 24 inch package is really going to be disappointing.

The CB radio dealers are often more interested in selling you stuff and making a profit than making sure you get something that works.

I don't like to see that happen. It's easy to spend a lot of money on hobbies only to find it's not going to work.

With the antennas you are looking at, you will be quite disappointed. Adding in a city location, it's going to be even worse. The inefficient antennas will make your signal very weak and your radio will not transmit or receive very far. Given that there are not a lot of users on CB, a weak signal, short range, and lack of people to talk to is going to create a lot of frustration.

A larger antenna -may- help, but I wouldn't expect miracles. If you can place a magnetic mount antenna outside your apartment, maybe on top of an air conditioner or metal railing, you might get a bit better performance. Take a look at a magnetic mount mobile CB antenna and see what you think. You can use that while at home, and still take the hand held out with you when you go hiking. The antenna would connect directly to the top of the radio, but you'll need an adapter: https://www.amazon.com/SO239-Female...d=1&keywords=UHF+to+BNC&qid=1590672295&sr=8-4

For an antenna, take a look at a Wilson K-40. They are a basic mobile CB antenna that seem popular with CB'ers. You can get them with a magnetic base.

But still, don't expect much from this setup. For use in your home, range will be limited by your antenna. When using the handheld, range will be greatly limited by the short antenna on top of the radio.
There are also not a lot of people to talk to. CB tends to be short range in most conditions, so unless there is someone close by on the same channel, don't expect to hear much.

If you are looking for other options, don't overlook GMRS or amateur radio. Amateur radio can be an expensive hobby, but it has more options and often more people to talk to.
 

mmckenna

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Since it's a hobby I don't want to spend more than $100-400 to start with.
A budget like that can get you a decent hand held amateur radio and small antenna that will actually work. Getting your amateur radio license isn't difficult. It does require taking a test, but it's some basic radio knowledge and memorizing some radio frequencies. Once you have that, there are a lot of options available. Some of the bands that can be used are higher frequencies and thus shorter wavelengths, so something like a < 2 foot long antenna can work quite efficiently. There are also a lot of repeaters that will receive your signal and retransmit it from a higher location with more power. Some even connect to the internet and can send your signal to other repeaters around the world. There are also a lot more people to talk to.

Might be something to check into if that interests you.
 

russbrill

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A budget like that can get you a decent hand held amateur radio and small antenna that will actually work. Getting your amateur radio license isn't difficult. It does require taking a test, but it's some basic radio knowledge and memorizing some radio frequencies. Once you have that, there are a lot of options available. Some of the bands that can be used are higher frequencies and thus shorter wavelengths, so something like a < 2 foot long antenna can work quite efficiently. There are also a lot of repeaters that will receive your signal and retransmit it from a higher location with more power. Some even connect to the internet and can send your signal to other repeaters around the world. There are also a lot more people to talk to.

Might be something to check into if that interests you.
Funny, I was thinking the same thing... 2 meters and 70 Centimeters might be perfect for her situation.. My Wife had her Technician license in about 45 days (studying + Exam + License granted)...
 
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