• 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.

need advise!

jrb327

Newbie
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
2
Newbie here... Looking to upgrade my radio in the rig... been running an old cobra for years. I need the loudest radio and most powerful that I can find...

Tired of getting crushed and stepped on all the time...
 

KB4MSZ

Billy
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
430
Location
Tampa, Florida
Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Road condition reports? Weather conditions? Smokey reports (do they still do that?)? If your goal is to dominate the local CB community in the town you are passing through with a modified export rig driving an old Henry amplifier then you have some setting up to do.
 

jrb327

Newbie
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
2
Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Road condition reports? Weather conditions? Smokey reports (do they still do that?)? If your goal is to dominate the local CB community in the town you are passing through with a modified export rig driving an old Henry amplifier then you have some setting up to do.
I run the road, seems like the radios get bigger and louder ever day...... just wanna reach out farther and be louder...
 

W9WSS

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
619
Location
Westmont, DuPage County, IL USA
Although it’s not legal, get an external amplifier and make absolutely sure your antenna is matched properly. Several installation shops will go out to your vehicle and check for standing wave radio (also known as SWR, not SWRS), and assure you have a good match. If you don’t, they might “tune” your installation for you for the price of labor. Some shops do this at a flat rate, others techs charge by the hour. If you have to remove everything at the end of the day, things may change the next day when you put your radio, amplifier, and antenna back in the vehicle. Avoid cigarette lighter plugs for power for the radio and NEVER, I repeat NEVER plug an external amplifier into a cigarette lighter. Does the word “poof” tell you why?
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
564
Location
Niles, IL
Newbie here... Looking to upgrade my radio in the rig... been running an old cobra for years. I need the loudest radio and most powerful that I can find...

Tired of getting crushed and stepped on all the time...
Well, since they're all legally limited to 4 watts (dead carrier) output--and most radios aren't designed to do much more than that (at least, not without overheating causing stuff to burn out), there isn't much to be done and still stay legal. Many amplifiers that are used illegally don't have the proper output filtering (which is why so many people get caught by the FCC). I don't know of any qualified techs willing to risk the legal repercussions brought on by "tweaking" a radio (they're probably out there but they're not going to advertise). Bottom line: if you want to run more than 4W, I'd suggest either GMRS or ham radio. Either would be the best way to avoid grief. BTW, Walcott CB has some interesting discussion groups on their web site too--maybe they've got add'l info..
 

russbrill

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
308
Location
Sacramento, CA
Newbie here... Looking to upgrade my radio in the rig... been running an old cobra for years. I need the loudest radio and most powerful that I can find...

Tired of getting crushed and stepped on all the time...
Before you do any new purchases, check your antenna system first. SWR should be about 1.5 or lower, also look at the physical condition of your system, replace corroded components..
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,829
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Newbie here... Looking to upgrade my radio in the rig... been running an old cobra for years. I need the loudest radio and most powerful that I can find...

Tired of getting crushed and stepped on all the time...
There's always going to be a bigger fish in the pond. If all you are looking for is "most powerful", then buy a cheap amplifier and be done with it.

If you want a system that actually works, you need to look at it as just that, a system. Upgrading only one component, or only adding an amplifier is a waste of time. Sure, you might make more noise, but it may still sound like crap.

Your radio system is only as good as the antenna. If you have a crappy antenna install, you can waste a lot of money trying to make up for it, and still end up with crap for a result.

Again, look at the —entire— system.
-If your CB is old, you might want to get it checked. Old doesn't mean it's bad. If you just want a new CB for the sake of having a new radio, then get a new one.

-Power for your radio needs to come direct from the battery. Anything else is a compromise. You need a supply of clean power, and the place to get that is direct from the source. If your power feed involves: fuse taps, cigarette lighter plugs, wire taps, any existing wiring, cheap crimp on connectors, old lamp cord, wire nuts, gobs of electrical tape, bailing wire, then you need to get rid of all of that. Direct feed off the battery.

-Grounding. Your radio should be grounded directly to the body. Do not rely on the long power lead back to the battery as your only ground. All that does is become a big antenna for absorbing noise. Ground the chassis of the radio to body steel with as short a lead as possible. You can ground your negative power wire there also. In fact, pulling the ground for the power off the body as close to the radio as you can is commonly done on commercial installs.

-Antenna. If you have a mag mount, clamp mount, any sort of compromise mounting, get rid of it. You can spend a lot of money on other gear, but if your antenna is not installed and tuned properly, then you're just wasting your time. The antenna is the most important part of your radio system. If your antenna system cost as much, or more, than your radio, then you are on the right track. If you bought your antenna out of a truck stop (along with bag of Frito's) and the total came to $20, then you need to replace it. Cheap antennas on compromise mounts designed for 'easy installation', or 'no holes required', are the source of much problems.
The antenna also needs to be tuned for your specific installation. That means you need a decent SWR meter and the knowledge on how to use it.

-If your radio has ever visited someone who lives in a trailer near the truck stop for a "peak and tune", then replace your radio, or find a reputable tech that is known to do good work. So many of these truck stop CB techs just twist up radios to increase power output without ever looking at it on a spectrum analyzer. It's really easy to increase power output of a CB radio, but unless it's done correctly, that increase power goes all over the place, not just where you need it. There are more important things to radio than just power output.

Fix all those things above first before buying an amplifier. An amplifier won't fix a crappy install of cheap components.
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
564
Location
Niles, IL
So many of these truck stop CB techs just twist up radios to increase power output without ever looking at it on a spectrum analyzer. It's really easy to increase power output of a CB radio, but unless it's done correctly, that increase power goes all over the place, not just where you need it. There are more important things to radio than just power output.
You've got several good suggestions! But, not meaning to nit-pick, I'd like to point out that radios had been tuned properly for a long time without spectrum analyzers, since spectrum analyzers are a relatively recent invention and therefore didn't exist in earlier years of radio development Like almost a 75-year gap between the early days of radio and the invention of the spectrum analyzer). I'll agree they're a nice toy for a newbie and I'm probably showing my age, but having grown up with oscilloscopes us older radio types have done quite well without the need of spectrum analyzers. But, on the other hand, they're a great double-check if someone feels the need for it (it's a great confidence-builder for the newbie).

As for "increase power goes all over the place"--well, if someone cranks the modulation up too high, yeah, it will. But percent modulation and power are not necessarily synonymous...(it sounds like you probably already knew that.;)).
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,829
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
But, on the other hand, they're a great double-check if someone feels the need for it (it's a great confidence-builder for the newbie).
Post was directed at the OP, and was written for someone new to radio. I'm not going to do a deep dive discussion about the tools and techniques used when someone with a post count of 2 asks a simple question.
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
564
Location
Niles, IL
Post was directed at the OP, and was written for someone new to radio. I'm not going to do a deep dive discussion about the tools and techniques used when someone with a post count of 2 asks a simple question.
Yeah, that's why I mentioned what I did about newbies in my post; we're on the same page! :)
 
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