Which CB to get?
I'm new to the ideas of using CB's to listen out for loe locations and weather up ahead on the road, so if someone can suggest which CB to buy. Looking for the built in units, not the handheld ones.
Re: Which CB to get?
As far as range is concerned, the antenna is more important in a CB setup than the radio itself. For the antenna I wouldn't settle for anything other than a Wilson, preferably a Wilson 1000 or 5000, but the Lil Wil gets the job done as well. For the radio, any basic CB radio will get the job done. It all depends on how much you get into this as a hobby, really. A Cobra 19, which is their black plastic model, is the most basic and I'd say a great starter unit. If you want MORE features, grab a 29. If you want EVEN MORE features, grab a 148 (my favorite).
Originally Posted by SpdFreak
Yoda of Radar
I couldnt agree more with the above comment... its all in the antenna!
I have a Uniden 510XL Pro that is tuned and peaked, mated to a Wilson 1000 with a 66inch whip... and that thing gets out there for such a cheap/economy set-up.
I would say its a great unit, however, it does not have any weather channels that you want... but the truckers ahead 10 or 15 miles can help for that. With that said... why dont you tell us your overall budget? $125 will get you my exact set-up that has 10Miles dependibly, and without skip I have gotten about ~20-25Miles on both TX/RX. $200 Total can get you the Wilson 1000 with a ~125 dollar CB unit, that will get you all your asking for (weather channels and all).
If all you need is a Cb with no bells and whistles, just go with the Uniden 510XL, you can't go wrong with it.
coupled with a Wilson antenna of course.
The antenna does seem to be the focal point of the system when talking about 11m radio (CB), or heck, any radio setup.
Just got me a Wilson Lil Wil based on advice on this forum section and have it installed already, run to the middle armrest/console (the rest between the passenger seat and the driver seat). The CB is inside this console, and thus concealed when the lid of it is down. The CB itself is one of those small Radio Shack CB's you can pick up for $60.00. 40 channels, 4W, instant 9 and 19, basic microphone. It excels at being *very* small, and that's the reason I bought it.
The antenna, though not tuned yet (it will be, only so many hours in a Sunday, lol), has netted me a few responses to a radio check that I consulted a map on and discovered to be between 30 to 35 miles distant. The reason I checked the map is that the guy mentioned a side road I'd never heard of, looked it up, and sure enough it was that far away. Amazing antenna, to be certain. The cloudy day may have something to do with it as well, assuming 11m waves bounce like mad off of clouds, but still, heh, I was impressed.
Be prepared though, your car may well turn out looking like a remote control car to be used on Mythbusters.
:shock: Should you be transmitting without a tuned antenna?
Well, you know, probably not. But I've just done a few checks on channel 19. Will hold off on entering into conversations until I get an SWR meter on it.
Originally Posted by ELVATO
I know they don't come out of the box perfect or anything, but it's not like I was using a home brew setup made from a coat hangar and a spool of copper or anything.
Yoda of Radar
Normally they are 'tuned' from the factory, the Wilson are spot on, as long as they are installed correctly.
Originally Posted by ELVATO
A side note: Most of the time they tune them so that you need to cut off antenna (obviously it wouldnt be good if you had to have more antenna). So stay on channel 20 and below for transmitting and you should be ok.
I hooked my Little wil up, and these were my results when I first got it:
Channel 1: 1:1.1 (Needle Barely moved)
Channel 20: 1:1.4
Channel 40: 1:1.7
All of which are more then acceptable for a non-linear powering radio.
Anything below 2.0 is normally fine for a stock radio(Though personally I dont like to see that, normally I wouldnt run mine if it was above 1.80).
Anything below 1.5 is really good news, and should be what your aiming at to have after its tuned, every channel 1-40 should be at or below this. 1.2 or less though is really the optimal spot, though most average users wont get to this level when tuning their set up.
ALWAYS take very little bits off at a time, you can always take more antenna off, its not as easy to put more back on.
Yoda of Radar
Yeah, "skip" has a lot to do with the weather, sun spots and atmospheric conditions... personally I have gotten solid conversations from Georgia (mind you I am in CNY) up here. This is both on the Wilson 1000, and the Little Wil.
Originally Posted by MiddleMike
I have not been able to talk to them, but they were pushing 3/'4s of a full stroke on my CB. Im sure these guys are running an amazing amount of wattage, well into the thousands or tens of thousands... because I hear them often actually, only sometimes its good though.
I remember what the ham-store technician told me when I bought the Wilson 5000, the original whip does not need to be tuned (the SWR test) only if you go for the short load you will have to do the SWR test and automatic adjustment, I remember the guy cut off a small portion (top one) of the short load whip and then put back that little black cap on top of the short load whip, also I remember he did the SWR test and adjustment on ch 19, initially the guy asked me what ch I'm monitoring and I said ch 19... all this was 2 years ago, since then I've done the SWR test just once, after I bought a brand-new car, went back to the very ham store, the guy did the test but no need for a new adjustment so he did not charge me at all (the test is always free)... I never take the short load off that shiny chromy whip mount so no need for any more SWR test and adjustment...
Originally Posted by AirMoore