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kl 60 amp for Uniden 980

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swen_out_west

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Before I get the FCC reg parrots squawking about 'That's against FCC regs. 1. It's a small amp and I highly doubt that the FCC enforcers are on the side of the road waving down people that are slightly over the 4 watt limit (as evident by some of the loud and proud crowd out there), 2. I prospect in areas that the closest person is 10 miles away and I only want the amp as a helping hand on days I am literally in the middle of nowhere.

Just bought a RM kl60 amp to connect to my Uniden 980 since the 980 is apparently very difficult to peak to a higher power out. Besides I want the radio to be stock and under 4 watts power out, I only want the amp for days I need a helping hand when I am out in the middle of the desert. Thus the reason for my question.

All info I have heard about using an amp states that you should turn down the power out to 2 watts. But it seems that this is basically to prolong the life of the amp and provide a cleaner signal. The KL 60 is a very small Amp (second smallest, the smallest with SSB mode) and thus the reason I bought it was to keep the radio stock and untouched, only powering up the amp for a helping hand. I don't want to lower the pwr out since 99 percent of the time I will be using my 980 without the amp. The price for the amp was only $40 so it's not a huge loss if the life expectancy is lowered.

So am I wrong with this train of thought or do I have to lower the power out, but then I have to power it up more often since I live pretty much out in the sticks and 2 watts isn't going to get out very far. Like I say I want to keep it in the glove box (yes, it's small, lol) and only hook it up when needed.

If it helps, I tried it yesterday with a fellow CB'r 4 miles away who is a HAM/CB'r and he claims that my received signal was strong ( not overly strong) and the audio was fairly clean in AM. Not quite perfectly linear in SSB, but that for my use it would be fine. I haven't used my SWR meter (it's a cheap one anyways) yet since I used my RF jumper cable for the amp and will make an extra cable later today.

The specs claim that it is rated at input power of 2 to 5 watts. KL 60
 
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mmckenna

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Using an amp probably makes more sense than trying to "peak and tune" a radio.
Often when these guys "peak and tune", the radio ends up sounding louder, but splattering all over the spectrum. Keeping the radio stock and using the amp might actually cause less issues than letting somebody mess with the radio.
If the tech doing the P&T was actually using a service monitor and knew what s/he was doing, there might be some value to it, but I think those sorts of techs are few and far between.

Also, keep in mind that it's a 2 way radio. Just boosting the RF output isn't enough. Make sure the amp has a preamplifier that can be switched in/out as needed. Also, using a good antenna makes a huge difference. Doesn't look like the amp you linked to has a preamplifier in it. Might want to consider looking at options.

While I usually like to stay on the correct side of the law, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone at the FCC that would care. Bigger fish to fry. Keeping the signal inside the CB band will help lower your profile, so avoid the P&T unless they are a known good tech with the right test equipment. A clean signal running 35 watts on the CB band isn't going to cause any issues.
 

swen_out_west

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McKenna, this site doesn't have a thanks button so am posting the thank you, lol.

Yes, I understand the need of a preamp but my rcv is fine for my purposes and with the squelch off I can hear very well. Even though someday I plan on buying the kl120 which does have a preamp. Yes an antenna is paramount, I have a Wilson 1000 with a spider ground plane add on. I just need it for others to hear me better. In fact, with my setup I really don't think a preamp is neccessary, simply amplifying what I can already hear (ie: tons of skip traffic, garbled chatter and basic background noise) isn't going to help any. I already have a 10 mile + footprint in AM. (12+ when I'm on the hill) I just need other mobiles to not tune me out.

I was just doing tests and I think that this kl60 will do exactly what I was hoping for. Still wondering though if I have to lower my power out on my 980 to the recommended 2 watts or since I am only going to use it once in a while, if I am fine.
 
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K7MEM

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The KL-60 manual specifies that it will accept power from 1 to 5 watts (1 to 10 watts SSB). Maybe with the old tube amps you could extend the life by lowering your input power, but not with the new transistorized (FET) amps. If you want the full power out (35 Watts - AM/FM/SSB) just leave your transceiver running at 4 watts.

The advertisements and the manual differ slightly. The ads claim 25 - 35 watts AM/FM and 50 - 70 watts on SSB. However, the manual only lists 25 - 35 watts for all modes. Some ads list it as 70 W PEP, which makes a little more sense.

Before I get the FCC reg parrots squawking about 'That's against FCC regs. ...
Is that really any better, or worse, then guys making up reasons to use the amps.

Martin - K7MEM
 

prcguy

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You have to look at how AM works to make sure your driving the amp properly, especially with a low power version like the kl60. Whatever an AM transmitter dead keys at, the peak power at 100% modulation is 6dB higher or 4X the dead key carrier power. That means if your radio dead keys at 4w and is working properly, you are putting out 12w peak at full modulation.

I see the kl60 is rated at 35w output and that would generally be the maximum when driven to saturation and it just can't put out any more. Subtract 6dB or divide by 4 and you have 8.75w. That would be the maximum dead key power before modulation you would want to see coming out of that amplifier, otherwise your driving it into distortion. Overdriving an amp where your stock radio with a full 6dB increase in voice power during full modulation becomes only a 3dB or less increase because you are hitting the amp too hard and its saturating before it reaches a 6dB increase during modulation can actually decrease your range, even though a wattmeter shows more power on a dead key.

The difference between a stock radio putting out 4w and the proper maximum dead key power you should get out of that amplifier is only a little more than 3dB or about one half S unit. In my opinion that's not worth a hoot and anything less that about 10dB increase in power is just not bothering with. Turning on that amp will probably go unnoticed by most people and you would have to decrease the power of your 980 to properly drive the amp. Just my 2c.
prcguy



McKenna, this site doesn't have a thanks button so am posting the thank you, lol.

Yes, I understand the need of a preamp but my rcv is fine for my purposes and with the squelch off I can hear very well. Even though someday I plan on buying the kl120 which does have a preamp. Yes an antenna is paramount, I have a Wilson 1000 with a spider ground plane add on. I just need it for others to hear me better. In fact, with my setup I really don't think a preamp is neccessary, simply amplifying what I can already hear (ie: tons of skip traffic, garbled chatter and basic background noise) isn't going to help any. I already have a 10 mile + footprint in AM. (12+ when I'm on the hill) I just need other mobiles to not tune me out.

I was just doing tests and I think that this kl60 will do exactly what I was hoping for. Still wondering though if I have to lower my power out on my 980 to the recommended 2 watts or since I am only going to use it once in a while, if I am fine.
 

swen_out_west

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The KL-60 manual specifies that it will accept power from 1 to 5 watts (1 to 10 watts SSB). Maybe with the old tube amps you could extend the life by lowering your input power, but not with the new transistorized (FET) amps. If you want the full power out (35 Watts - AM/FM/SSB) just leave your transceiver running at 4 watts.

The advertisements and the manual differ slightly. The ads claim 25 - 35 watts AM/FM and 50 - 70 watts on SSB. However, the manual only lists 25 - 35 watts for all modes. Some ads list it as 70 W PEP, which makes a little more sense.
I do appreciate the specifics. I was playing with the Big Boys on ch 28 (DX land) this afternoon and nobody seemed to have a problem with my audio, even though the strength is a lot lower than most of them and I only had 4 replies, two of them from over 600 miles away. Probably would have had more, but that is one busy channel when the conditions are right, like this afternoon.

Is that really any better, or worse, then guys making up reasons to use the amps.

Martin - K7MEM
I understand the comment about it, but it seems like I am one of the few who really care. Once I hear of the FCC going after all the people out there with big amps, I'll bury my little bitty amp in my tailing pile, lol. (It only cost $40) Besides, I only purchased it so in case of emergency I can get out and reach someone, from my understanding the FCC won't press charges in cases of emergency anyways.

Besides as mentioned, other than this afternoon of testing, it will stay in my glove box most of the time. But honestly, when I am using it and the nearest blacktop road is over 6 miles away, I'll even announce my location so the FCC doesn't get lost coming out there. Although, I'm not waiting for days for them to show up. lol.
 
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CarolinaClodhopper

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IMO the kl203 would have been a better choice, but to each their own.
Have you checked out any of snake radio customs vids on youtube?
He does a excellent job of matching the rm amps with the 980's.
 

swen_out_west

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IMO the kl203 would have been a better choice, but to each their own.
Have you checked out any of snake radio customs vids on youtube?
He does a excellent job of matching the rm amps with the 980's.
I was planning on purchasing a 203 next month once I pay off my Christmas bills anyways. Just to have it, in case.

But with the 203 I am forced to lower my power out from what I've read. I really don't want to go inside my brand new 980 until at least next November at one year old.

I appreciate the heads up on Snake Radio. I might have seen one of their vids when I was looking on you tube and doing a search for 980's but now I can be more specific.
 

DaveJacobsen

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IMO the kl203 would have been a better choice, but to each their own.
Indeed... KL203P is a better choice, an only marginally more expensive. Turning the 980's power down is a near trivial job -- one that could be made easier by changing the trimmer to two resistors & a switch on the back "Hi" for amp free talking, and "low" for amp use. I would spring for the version with a preamp as well.

I have had a lot of amps over the years. Dave's made are great amps, if you can afford them. A good (not great) amp is "x-force" (midnight line is very affordable). RM amps do a good job, but you really need a filter to keep from splattering too much. They are both (x-force & RM) wide banded amps; but you must turn your radio down if you want them to last... do not push them at their upper limit, you'll burn them up...

I have both RM amps: KL203P and KL503... They both work OK. Remember, if you go with a bigger amp, you need to really beef up your power supply wires, and eventually your alternator. (adding another battery will only make the problem worse).
I have the kl203p in use right now; it's small, easy to wire up, and works really well. If you are at all adventurous, you can order the board-only version of the KL203 and it will install inside the 980... very stealth.

For USA residents: Of course, blah blah blah, use of amplifiers on CB band is illegal and you shouldn't do it.
 

swen_out_west

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Yeah, now that I am back into cb I feel like a fool buying that kl 60.

I let the FCC parrots convince me that 4 watts is all there is, so I wanted to stay small. I was told by a 75 year Grandpa running a 500 watt in his truck today to 'throw that thing away and get back up on the porch.' lol

There is also a big misconception on the other site that I am a member of that all cb'rs are a bunch of Radio Bubba's. Part of that is a big misconception that CB'rs are a bunch of white trash rednecks. (The way they treated CB'rs and their arrogance was the reason I searched the internet and found this place) I was watching some youtube videos on the Superbowl (Ch 6) Shootout back a few years ago, there weren't very many white people in the video, lol. In fact, one of the big dogs of the CB World I found out is Sir Mix A Lot, a Black American rapper worth millions.

Good thing it was only $35. Time to research and get a real amp. I don't like being restricted to the porch, lol.
 
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mmckenna

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I was told by a 75 year Grandpa running a 500 watt in his truck today to 'throw that thing away and get back up on the porch.' lol
I'd take that with a grain of salt. There will always be someone with a bigger amp.

An amp that really does run 500 watts in a mobile raises a couple of questions:
1. The power draw is significant. Yeah, you can add another alternator, battery, bigger cable, etc. It's just money.
2. RF power output isn't the only solution. Far too often people (not just CB'ers, but Amateurs as well) underestimate the importance of a properly installed and setup antenna.
3. Running 500 watts out of a vehicle is dangerous. RF levels are very high and dangerous in close proximity, even to other cars.

Considering that lots of organizations all over the world run 100 watt HF mobiles and talk all over should shine some light on what it takes to make it work. Getting into an RF wattage race with others is just a money sink.

So, sure, go with a bigger amp, but don't ignore your antenna. If you are running anything magnetic mount, base loaded, etc. then it's sort of pointless. A 102 inch whip mounted in the center of the vehicle roof is going to make a much bigger difference, not only for transmit, but for receive.

There is also a big misconception on the other site that I am a member of that all cb'rs are a bunch of Radio Bubba's.
There is a small (but unfortunately vocal) portion of the Amateur radio hobby that likes to look down on CB'ers. I find this sort of interesting. It says a lot about a group that likes to have someone else to look down upon. Some think that this makes them look better. I've always thought it was interesting to see these amateurs talk this way. Amateurs, after all, are amateurs. For them to look down upon other portions of the radio hobby reflects poorly. Since many of us got our start in CB, moved to amateur, GMRS, etc. and then on to the commercial world, I've always tried to assist CB'ers where ever I can.

Yeah, CB's got it's losers also, but it's still a very valid form of communications. Just not quite as popular as it used to be.

Good thing it was only $35. Time to research and get a real amp. I don't like being restricted to the porch, lol.
Careful, it's a never ending game. Make sure you know what you want out of CB before you start spending too much money. Chasing someone elses RF power output is pointless if you don't look at the whole system. I'd gladly take a properly working 4 watt CB with a really good antenna system over a 500 watt CB with a crappy antenna.
 

JayMojave

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Hello SOW: Yeah Id second that "Thank You" from MMcKenna.

1. The current draw for a 500 watt amp would only be 60 to 70 amps not a big deal.
2. Yep with that power level u gots to have a good antenna. You loose being a weakie squickey station and turn into a "Big Strap" station. Wanting to play one must pay.
3. Yeah what are the safe power levels and how are they measured? I would think with the antenna outside and people inside the vehicle it would be (guessing here) -30 to -40 dB in field strength.

Yes a valid form of communications for many folks in po-dunk USA, were a stronger signal is needed for emergency communications in remote places.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert
 

swen_out_west

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So I ran a check on that kl60. With my input of just under 4 watts, it puts out 15 watts of clean audio. Definitely, the better way to go than peaking the radio, especially when the 980SSB is actually not an easy radio to peak and even peaked is lucky to break 10 watts. My biggest thing is that I do not want to break it open and do any mods while it's still under warranty.)

As McKenna has pointed out the 'My Amp is bigger than yours already started. It seems like the biggest violators trying to compensate for size issues are actually HAMS that moonlight on the CB,

I was given a White Tornado 225 the other day, and I mean the only cost was a hangover Saturday morning, lol. I hooked it up to see what distances I could get in the local area compared to the Kl60 (with a input of 4 watts the White Tornado it puts out 40,90 and over 100(my power meter is only a cheap 100 watt, of fairly clean audio, a little dirty on the high end but I would never, ever select it.) and the 4 HAMS on the local freq tore me up about throwing it away (wasn't even worth hooking it up in their words) and how it's not as good as their amps.

Since right now I only have a mobile with a Wilson 1000 (that they love to trash even though the difference between a 5000 and a 1000 isn't that significant) it really doesn't make any sense to go further than I can hear. I bought an IMAX 2000 as a base. which is en route and these same HAMS tore me up about that. I give up, all I've heard is online HAMS scream about 4 watts only and now since I have good antennas (Maybe, not the best but totally sufficient for my purposes) I have HAMS trying to get into this competition game on CB. which a lot of online HAMS love to trash and quote the regs. I thought CB had been abandoned by HAMS. Which is it?

I mean, really, 'Calling CQ..CQ..(and using your HAM call sign) on the local channel trying to impress the 'Radio Bubbas' with your HAM superiority??? Give me a break...

I'm going back to bare bones just to keep them off my butt, when they say how weak I sound I'm just going to reply with 'Yeah, but it's legal.' That's one way to stop this one up game.
 
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TheSpaceMann

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So I ran a check on that kl60. With my input of just under 4 watts, it puts out 15 watts of clean audio. Definitely, the better way to go than peaking the radio, especially when the 980SSB is actually not an easy radio to peak and even peaked is lucky to break 10 watts. My biggest thing is that I do not want to break it open and do any mods while it's still under warranty.)

As McKenna has pointed out the 'My Amp is bigger than yours already started. It seems like the biggest violators trying to compensate for size issues are actually HAMS that moonlight on the CB,

I was given a White Tornado 225 the other day, and I mean the only cost was a hangover Saturday morning, lol. I hooked it up to see what distances I could get in the local area compared to the Kl60 (with a input of 4 watts the White Tornado it puts out 40,90 and over 100(my power meter is only a cheap 100 watt, of fairly clean audio, a little dirty on the high end but I would never, ever select it.) and the 4 HAMS on the local freq tore me up about throwing it away (wasn't even worth hooking it up in their words) and how it's not as good as their amps.

Since right now I only have a mobile with a Wilson 1000 (that they love to trash even though the difference between a 5000 and a 1000 isn't that significant) it really doesn't make any sense to go further than I can hear. I bought an IMAX 2000 as a base. which is en route and these same HAMS tore me up about that. I give up, all I've heard is online HAMS scream about 4 watts only and now since I have good antennas (Maybe, not the best but totally sufficient for my purposes) I have HAMS trying to get into this competition game on CB. which a lot of online HAMS love to trash and quote the regs. I thought CB had been abandoned by HAMS. Which is it?

I mean, really, 'Calling CQ..CQ..(and using your HAM call sign) on the local channel trying to impress the 'Radio Bubbas' with your HAM superiority??? Give me a break...

I'm going back to bare bones just to keep them off my butt, when they say how weak I sound I'm just going to reply with 'Yeah, but it's legal.' That's one way to stop this one up game.
A lot of hams are using 11 meters for local chit chats, especially now that the HF bands are relatively quiet. I've heard quite a few of them on 38 LSB!
 

swen_out_west

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Please, don't listen to the people telling you to buy a 500watt amplifier for CB.
I think you misunderstood my frustration. I am not nor ever will get a big amp.

My frustration is reading licensed Ham's online quote the FCC regs and 'get your license'. Yet some of the people with big amps on the local AM channel are licensed hams.

I just get frustrated reading it all the time yet those that preach should police their own first.
 
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