• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

CB Radio Suggestions

RemydaCat

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
7
I'm looking to purchase two CB radios & two antennas. Prefer mobile.
Myself: I reside in an apartment. I have ability of placing an antenna outside my window which will rest on a stable building.
The person I hope to communicate with resides 15 miles away. They have full ability for an antenna no restrictions.

Does anyone have recommendations for Mobile CBs, Amps & Antennas.
In advance thank kindly for any suggestions:giggle:
 

freqs

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2004
Messages
1,264
Location
warren michigan
15 miles is a long shot in most cases on CB .You need to know Amps are illegal on CB Radio and lot of people use them we all know they do .With that said get a good CB Radio and good Antenna stay on the off Channels the ones that are not usesd to much you will have better range .With a mobile CB you will also need a power supply to power it .
Antenna how can you mount it outside a window ?
 

jassing

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
268
Location
Shelton, WA
For cheap & easy -- uniden 980 ssb & a KL203P amp That should get you both on the air to each other, but even with the amp, it's no guarantee. Your biggest issue with running an amp will be a sufficient power supply, which can end up costing as much as your rig.
For them, a 3 element beam would be ideal, but any base antenna would be better than a mobile antenna.
For you, something like the MFJ-1622. You might be able to "hang" a firestik dipole type of antenna which might perform better than the MFJ1622 -- but it's all up to the limitations of your installation.

A better antenna is worth more than a small amp. I had a large 5 element beam in Atherton, CA; and was able to talk to mobile people 2 cities away fairly easily without the use of an amp. Using yagi's on both ends will help even more.

Another thing: With a wideband amp like the KL (and most "affordable" amps) will bleed over and cause interference. If you cause interference to your apartment complex, someone will complain, and with an antenna outside your window, they'll know who to blame; so only use it if you really need it. A low-pass filter might help.

Amps add complexity (and legal issues) you would be wise to avoid in an apartment setting, aside from the power supply requirement. Using sideband will help. Using a pre-amp will help; even if you don't have a beam, them using a beam+amp and you using a good antenna & pre-amp, on an unused sideband, may do what you need w/o an amp at your apartment. As pointed out: Amps are illegal. Beams & pre-amps are not.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 18, 2009
Messages
3,772
Location
CT
In advance thank kindly for any suggestions

Not going to get 15 miles if one radio is using a mobile antenna out a window.
I agree, especially if the window is on the opposite side of the direction you want to transmit.

My cousin and I used to talk over about 15 miles using outdoor, elevated antennas.

Good luck, but you may be better off using the phone.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
12,938
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Does anyone have recommendations for Mobile CBs, Amps & Antennas.
In advance thank kindly for any suggestions:giggle:
As the others said, 15 miles with the limitations you have is going to be difficult at best, and likely not very reliable.

There are some other options you might want to consider:

If you are in the USA, you can get a GMRS license from the FCC. If you and the other person are not directly related, they will need to get their own license. No test, just something like $85 each. That'll let you run 50 watts on UHF on some of the GMRS frequencies. Since GMRS uses a higher frequency, the antennas are much smaller. A directional antenna looks like a small TV Antenna and can easily get you more range. Issue with UHF frequencies, is that they tend to be line of sight. So you would need to have a pretty clear shot to your buddies house.
You can use repeaters on GMRS, but finding one that the owner will allow you to use can be a challenge. Repeaters are not free, and are considered private property on GMRS.

Amateur radio licenses are fairly easy to get. With some studying and taking a 35 question multiple choice test, and passing with 70%, you can access a lot more options. Both of you will need to have your own licenses, but it's not hard to do. HF, VHF, UHF, would all likely do what you need.

CB is a good tool, but it's very limited. Adding in your apartment limits it even more.
 

RemydaCat

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
7
15 miles is a long shot in most cases on CB .You need to know Amps are illegal on CB Radio and lot of people use them we all know they do .With that said get a good CB Radio and good Antenna stay on the off Channels the ones that are not usesd to much you will have better range .With a mobile CB you will also need a power supply to power it .
Antenna how can you mount it outside a window ?
It would lie flat. The building is a stable garage. I can't literally mount it.
 

jassing

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
268
Location
Shelton, WA
I have a dipole made out of 2 5' firestik antennas; it works surprisingly well for a couple of mobile antennas -- I've tossed a rope over a tree and hoisted it up to height & gotten out pretty well barefoot...

The MFJ-1622 has gotten pretty good reviews for an apartment antenna.
 

robertmac

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,213
And with solar cycle 25 hits you may not be able to communicate more than a mile during the day [most days at peak of cycle].
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
12,938
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
It would lie flat. The building is a stable garage. I can't literally mount it.
Even more working against you.
For CB antennas to work well, you want them up high. Laying on a garage roof is going to be an issue. It can also make it a little less omnidirectional, which could work in your favor, but not likely enough to make a difference. Your friend would need to have their antenna horizontal, also.

Really, with the limitations you have, I doubt CB is going to work well enough to be even remotely reliable.
 

MisterLongwire

Amateur radio operator/QC tech for radio mfr.
Banned
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
578
Location
San Marcos,Escondido, CA.
Why are people so dang cheap? Another thing are people getting into these hobbies and not reading literature about it (ARRL mags),
Like they get a bicycle and expect it to have autopilot, auto transmission, etc. In a car you get a mobile antenna. At a base station you use a BASE ANTENNA. Sheesh
 

WB9YBM

Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
316
Location
Niles, IL
stick to name brands and you'll have the best chance at good operation. Cobra & Uniden for radios; for power supplies I've had best luck with Astron.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
9,584
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
And stick with BIG. A little 5ft base antenna will not perform, go big if you want any chance of hitting 15 miles. 18ft tall would be a half wave antenna, I would look for something at least that size and they get bigger. Don't skimp on size or getting it in the air above buildings, etc, or you will never get the range you want.

stick to name brands and you'll have the best chance at good operation. Cobra & Uniden for radios; for power supplies I've had best luck with Astron.
 

joehawth

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
96
Location
Morrisville, Vermont
as much as it kills me to recommend someone buy and operate a baofung, it would be substantially better than playing with CBs, and hopefully get two new operators hooked on ham radio.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,846
50 watt GMRS. 9 dBd yagis both ends.

There are propagation models that will allow you to model the path to determine if this is remotely possible.

But you can do a quick look without all the science. You need Google Earth Pro.

First look at Google Earth and place a pin at both locations A and B. Then draw a line with ruler from point A to B. Look at the terrain under the line, using the option. This will give an idea if it is remotely possible given The terrain plus the height you will have at each end.

Next go into the properties for each pin A and B and select the option to set the height. You want the pin elevated to the height you can attain at each end relative to ground. Make sure to extend to ground.

Now select pin A or B.. select the ShedView option... ShedView will show the foliage along the direction of your path. You can get a sense of where you can visualize the far end. Do same for the other direction. It is not by the book, but it will give you an idea if hopelessly blocked. But don't despair. You can always experiment with some portable radios from height if you have that opportunity.
 
Last edited:

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,846
Not going to get 15 miles if one radio is using a mobile antenna out a window. Just not going to happen. If you can get a reasonable base antenna on both roofs the stock CBs can work with no obstructions.
I wonder how this might work, SSB CB and NVIS antennas using a wire counterpoise laying on the ground below.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,846
NVIS propagation rarely happens over about 10MHz so you would never see it on CB.
A neighbor of mine who worked on secret squirrel "laser beam" stuff said his lab was working on UV vertical optical communications reflecting from cloud formations and atmospheric water vapor. There was an Australian hammy who built a pirate station using modulated mercury vapor lights to go quite a distance.
 
Top