Noob's first CB install

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SCPD

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Hey, I've always had an interest in radios but never took it mobile. I'm in the Navy and work on HF/UHF/VHF and SATCOM radios out at sea but recently started reading about mobile 27Mhz radioing. I found, through this website, that Walcott CB Sales, Inc. is a good place to shop so I purchased my first radio two days ago I got the Cobra 18 WX ST II with Wilsons Lil Wil magmount. I picked a smaller radio cause I'm installing this in my 2005 PT Cruiser and don't have much room up front for a larger radio. I already have a Bearcat 350 scanner installed but will be relocating the scanner once I put the CB in. My radio should be arriving in two days, I would like to take pics of the install process and post them for everyone to view and comment on. I'm sure I'll run into several questionable situations about where and what to mount. Stay tuned, I'll post pics of the inside so you can see what I see.
 

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eaf1956

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Being in RADIO in the Navy, why not just get your HAM ticket and have multiple bands and many various radios to choose from. I am sure the test would be a breeze for a COMM guy.

KC9LVX
 

SCPD

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Being in RADIO in the Navy, why not just get your HAM ticket and have multiple bands and many various radios to choose from. I am sure the test would be a breeze for a COMM guy.

KC9LVX
Have thought about getting my Ham Ticket, thought I would get it after I get back from this upcoming deployment.
 

SCPD

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Back after install

Ok here we go just got my rig back from the cb shop...First off these guys out here at the CB Shop in Loxley, AL at the Oasis Truck Stop where very informative and cool to hang out with a big thanks to them for their help with my set up and peak and tune!!! If I would have done a little more research before I bought my Cobra 18 WX ST II I would have just spent the extra $20 bucks and got the Cobra 25, but since I didn't they were more than willing to do everything they could to get my 18 working the best it possibly can. I'm deadkeying at 1.5, steady 1k hertz at 6, and swinging at 15. I had to turn down my Cobra Power Mic to 3 for the first time since I got it. Everything is sounding great! Heres the pics.
 

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kc4jgc

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If you had done a little more research, you would have found out that "peak and tune" isn't legal. Any CB off the shelf will transmit as much as part 95 will allow (4w; 12w ssb if you had a rig /w that capability).

Not sure what you mean by "deadkeying at 1.5, steady 1k hertz at 6, and swinging at 15"; Are you talking power out on your meter? 1khz? Surely your signal can't be THAT wide! A properly adjusted AM transmitter will show little or no "swing" on your meter. Why? One half of an AM CB transmission (2w) is the carrier. One watt on each of the sidebands is your audio. Spurious sigs from your rig can result from your "peaked" rig and can cause interference to other electronics.

My suggestion: take it back to the shop; return it to manufacturer specs!
 

CompuDoc

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If you had done a little more research, you would have found out that "peak and tune" isn't legal. Any CB off the shelf will transmit as much as part 95 will allow (4w; 12w ssb if you had a rig /w that capability).

Not sure what you mean by "deadkeying at 1.5, steady 1k hertz at 6, and swinging at 15"; Are you talking power out on your meter? 1khz? Surely your signal can't be THAT wide! A properly adjusted AM transmitter will show little or no "swing" on your meter. Why? One half of an AM CB transmission (2w) is the carrier. One watt on each of the sidebands is your audio. Spurious sigs from your rig can result from your "peaked" rig and can cause interference to other electronics.

My suggestion: take it back to the shop; return it to manufacturer specs!
He might be talking about his SWR on the channels 6 and 15.
 

kb2vxa

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No, "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" is one of those horrible "tweak and peak" (read misalignment) things that fool people into thinking they're getting more talk power out of the transmitter. Actually watching the meters dance may look impressive it actually reduces the communications effectiveness and may cause spurious emissions, that is interference within the band as well as to other services.

Rather than go into detail (rant mode) and confuse a noob I'll just say the Navy has its standards and would court martial you for mucking up their equipment, you get the idea now I'm sure. Here's the rub, finding a QUALIFIED radio tech with shop manuals and proper test gear to put it back to factory specs may be just a bit difficult with all the truck stop hacks out there like the one you fell victim to.

Barnum never actually said it but there is a sucker born every minute and unfortunately you fell victim to your own ignorance like so many other CBers who don't know a transistor from a loading coil. Oh well, live and learn, you just got your first lesson and I for one hope you learned from your mistake. Just get the CB fixed and you may as well use it, no sense throwing good money down the toilet. Then when you get a chance go for your ham ticket, a whole new vista will open for you with all the bands and modes it has to offer possibilities are endless. You a Navy radio man can go far (sic) considering the simple fact the NavPers were an invaluable technical study tool for me.
 
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SCPD

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I plan to take it back up there, there's something wrong with it now I cant TX...I just wanted the guy to make sure everything was working at it's best...but now it's messed up. You're right about the swing thing it looked really cool, at first he said that there was not much he could do with a Cobra 18 and said let me take a look at it. It sounded good the first day, then now nobody hears me. I'll keep it simple next time. Thanks guys!
 

hockeyshrink

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I plan to take it back up there, there's something wrong with it now I cant TX...I just wanted the guy to make sure everything was working at it's best...but now it's messed up. You're right about the swing thing it looked really cool, at first he said that there was not much he could do with a Cobra 18 and said let me take a look at it. It sounded good the first day, then now nobody hears me. I'll keep it simple next time. Thanks guys!
Yeah, I went through 2 of those Cobra 18 WX ST II before I got wise, and they were not mod'ed in any way, right out of the box.... :( It looks great and the wx feature is attractive, but nothing good comes from it.

If it's too late to get another model, H&Y electronics may still have a "cash for clunkers" program, where you get credit for cbs. I sent them 3 Cobras, lol.
 

SCPD

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If it's too late to get another model, H&Y electronics may still have a "cash for clunkers" program, where you get credit for cbs. I sent them 3 Cobras, lol.[/QUOTE]

Thanks I was just going to take it back up there and hope they will fix it. I brought my radio up there for them to look at it and see what it was reading because I heard that not all cb radios come from the factory max'd out at 4w because they leave room for error so the FCC don't come down on them. I'm guessing since he had the jacket off on it he would do his normal bizz to the radio, he also tuned it to my antenna which is where I saw my SWR readings. I'll try that H&Y electronics after I find out what they'll do for me, thanks again.
 
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kb0nly

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He screwed it up and the final transistor gave up and blew from the increased drive and current... I buy dead CB's now and then to repair to toss back on eBay for the fun of it. Most common thing wrong is someone got inside it and tried tweaking for more power, thereby pushing the radio harder than it should be.

While not legal, so don't bash me on this, there is a way to make more power in CB's that some shops are doing now. They actually replace the final transistor with a higher output model to gain some more wattage. Of course that falls under modification of a licensed device, etc... So yeah not legal at all any way you look at it.

But these peak and tune idiots just push the radio harder for a few more watts, not worth it.
 

SCPD

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I opened it up and seen that there was a cap added to the back side of the circuit board and a resistor also...The cap was busted and looked to be grounded to the shell...couldn't see if there was anything wrong with the final, but there is an awful smell to it. We'll see what tomorrow brings...The excitement of having it work like the big boys probably cost me my radio, lesson learned the hard way.
 

ffemt601

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I opened it up and seen that there was a cap added to the back side of the circuit board and a resistor also...The cap was busted and looked to be grounded to the shell...couldn't see if there was anything wrong with the final, but there is an awful smell to it. We'll see what tomorrow brings...The excitement of having it work like the big boys probably cost me my radio, lesson learned the hard way.
So much for the truck stop peak and tune. Seriously it doesn't make sense that people want to violate federal law and run modified cb's.
 

DX949

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No, "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" is one of those horrible "tweak and peak" (read misalignment) things that fool people into thinking they're getting more talk power out of the transmitter. Actually watching the meters dance may look impressive it actually reduces the communications effectiveness and may cause spurious emissions, that is interference within the band as well as to other services.

Rather than go into detail (rant mode) and confuse a noob I'll just say the Navy has its standards and would court martial you for mucking up their equipment, you get the idea now I'm sure. Here's the rub, finding a QUALIFIED radio tech with shop manuals and proper test gear to put it back to factory specs may be just a bit difficult with all the truck stop hacks out there like the one you fell victim to.

Barnum never actually said it but there is a sucker born every minute and unfortunately you fell victim to your own ignorance like so many other CBers who don't know a transistor from a loading coil. Oh well, live and learn, you just got your first lesson and I for one hope you learned from your mistake. Just get the CB fixed and you may as well use it, no sense throwing good money down the toilet. Then when you get a chance go for your ham ticket, a whole new vista will open for you with all the bands and modes it has to offer possibilities are endless. You a Navy radio man can go far (sic) considering the simple fact the NavPers were an invaluable technical study tool for me.
And when you get your Ham ticket you get to talk to guy's like this !...................LOL just kidding Warren.
 
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kb2vxa

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Yeah, and on HF he gets to talk with guys like you... OH NOOOooooo! (;->)

Bama, you're not listening. The only reason why I would bring it back to that jackass would be to use it as a skullcracka! (Pardon me for copyright infringement but I doubt the other jackass who makes illegal amps will sue me.) Look at it this way, since he messed it up in the first place it's my safe bet he's equally clueless as how to return it to factory specs. I hate to say it but it just could be the good CB repair shops like TV repairmen have gone the way of the dinosaurs, you may have trouble finding one and now have a smelly paperweight.

I hope you have enough temper left in you to see the humor in this, really I do. Consider this, your money wasn't wasted, you paid your tuition and here is your diploma.
 
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DX949

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Yeah, and on HF he gets to talk with guys like you... OH NOOOooooo! (;->)

Bama, you're not listening. The only reason why I would bring it back to that jackass would be to use it as a skullcracka! (Pardon me for copyright infringement but I doubt the other jackass who makes illegal amps will sue me.) Look at it this way, since he messed it up in the first place it's my safe bet he's equally clueless as how to return it to factory specs. I hate to say it but it just could be the good CB repair shops like TV repairmen have gone the way of the dinosaurs, you may have trouble finding one and now have a smelly paperweight.

I hope you have enough temper left in you to see the humor in this, really I do. Consider this, your money wasn't wasted, you paid your tuition and here is your diploma.
Couple of question for you Warren,When was the last time you had a visit from your kid or kids,and when did your Wife pass away ?
 

bezking

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Enough. Closed.

To the OP, modifying the radio in that manner is illegal. Please don't discuss illegal activities here on RR. Thanks!
 
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