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Thread: Simple CB

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    Default Simple CB

    Read through the threads. Some are old, and some folks don't like old threads resurrected. I'm seeking some advice on my first CB install. I don't know anything, and the threads I've read blessed me with a headache. My simple place thus far is:

    Vehicle: '01 Limited.
    Radio: 40 Cobra, Midland, or Uniden compact (whatever's around here).
    Antenna: Firestik? Seems to be what folks like, but I see reference to using a small commercial radio antenna as well.

    Antenna placement:
    1. I like the logic of what xjzaped posted about a hood channel mount, and that it's common for public safety installations, so I assume it works well. I like the idea of not having to route coax very far.
    2. Mudderoy's passenger tail light mounting location seems great as well.

    I appreciate your patience and keeping it simple.
    Last edited by packmule1911; 07-23-2015 at 10:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    We don't mind resurrected threads here.... if the info is relevant to your situation by all means.

    Cobra 19s are fine radios, I have run a number of different versions over the years.

    Antenna... do you have a height limit? I am a big fan of 102" whips, they are the best performing and easiest to tune antennas. Whichever antenna you choose get a spring for it, it will save your antenna from getting broken by branches.

    My CB antenna is mounted above my driver side tail light to avoid bashing trees along the side of the road as I was running a 102" whip. The passenger side is generally considered better because your signal is a bit skewed when the antenna is not mounted right in the middle of the vehicle. With it mounted on the passenger side tail light the signal skews to the front and drivers side, which is great for travelling down the highway as you can talk to on coming traffic, not as big of a deal in a small group on the trails.

    I have my ham antenna mounted on my driverside fender lip on my daily driver (mounted top center of the vehicle on the trail rig). It works fine and you can see the antenna to tell what you are going to hit it on. I have noticed a performance difference though both receive and transmit with the antenna in this location. If it is not mounted top dead center of the vehicle it is a compromise in performance.

    I do think the 102" whip makes up for some of that compromise though as I have been able to talk 10 miles (open farm country) with my Cobra 19 and 102" whip mounted above the driverside taillight.... my watt meter said I was only putting out 2.5 watts (4 is legal max).
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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner1982 View Post
    Antenna... do you have a height limit ?
    No limit per se. In general I like the idea of a low profile, smaller foot print solution, but that doesn't mean longer is a problem. Want it to work well though.

    The main motivation is to be able to communicate in emergencies. While I love the idea of trails, I don't know where any are around here, and haven't connected with the groups who do. The Jeep is stock, other than a throttle body spacer, and since my kids are still with us I don't really have the money to do much, yet.

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Not my taste, but for practically...

    CB run power all the way to the battery.

    Mount a firestick on the front bumper. I don't think the fender lip would be strong enough.

    You cable run would be simple and short and the antenna would be well out of the way of most obstacles.

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Quote Originally Posted by packmule1911 View Post
    No limit per se. In general I like the idea of a low profile, smaller foot print solution, but that doesn't mean longer is a problem. Want it to work well though.

    The main motivation is to be able to communicate in emergencies. While I love the idea of trails, I don't know where any are around here, and haven't connected with the groups who do. The Jeep is stock, other than a throttle body spacer, and since my kids are still with us I don't really have the money to do much, yet.
    For low profile and emergency communications I would have to suggest ham radio. A 1/4 wave antenna for CB is 108" (102" whip plus spring= 108").. a 1/4 wave antenna for 2 meter ham radio is about 20". With repeaters ham radio communications can reach further and more reliably. It isn't all that hard to get your Technician (entry level) license. Let me know if you are interested in more info.
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    Default Re: Simple CB

    You can mount a 3 or 4' CB antenna on the front of your Jeep, but don't expect more than about 2 miles or SO out of it. A short antenna mounted on top would do a bit better... long whip would be best.
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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner1982 View Post
    Let me know if you are interested in more info.
    I'm interested in most all of it. I don't have the expectations of being an expert at any of it, but I do not want to be ignorant or without functional knowledge and passable skill. So, yes, I'd be happy to learn about Ham radio options with my Jeep.

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    I had good luck using the FREE Tech study guide from WB6NU, http://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/

    The tests are typically 15 to take and your ham license is good for 10yrs.

    Now the mobile ham radios are more expensive than the compact CBs... but you get more power and better quality audio and more reliability. A 2 meter single band ham radio can be had for about 130-140 and an antenna for about 30 (though they can get pretty expensive as well).

    You can start out with an HT (Handy Talkie).. such as a Baofeng for 30. Not the best for mobile but with an external mag mount it can be doable until funds are saved for a mobile radio.

    I ended up going with a dual band radio not only due to the additional frequencies it allowed me to use but also the fact that they typically have remote heads, the "faceplate" comes off the radio and can be mounted away from the radio body. I have my radio under the seat with the remote head on the dash.

    There is so much more that I can go on for awhile. First thing first is to study and get your license.

    Feel free to ask any question you might have.
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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner1982 View Post
    For low profile and emergency communications I would have to suggest ham radio. A 1/4 wave antenna for CB is 108" (102" whip plus spring= 108").. a 1/4 wave antenna for 2 meter ham radio is about 20". With repeaters ham radio communications can reach further and more reliably. It isn't all that hard to get your Technician (entry level) license. Let me know if you are interested in more info.
    Very true and FM less people, quieter, the list is long. The downside? You can't talk to that girl and the truck stop/rest area. ;o)

    70cm antenna is even shorter!

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    I have the Cobra 75WXST... it isn't the cheapest CB setup, but it is a compact unit, which covers WX channels as well, and is pretty easily removed if you feel like removing the main unit for the radio... I have the JCR tail light mount.. unfortunately when I bought mine, they didn't have one out for the passenger side, but they do now, so you can have on for either side, or both if you want to run two ant. setup....

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner1982 View Post
    You can mount a 3 or 4' CB antenna on the front of your Jeep, but don't expect more than about 2 miles or SO out of it. A short antenna mounted on top would do a bit better... long whip would be best.
    Really? I wouldn't expect that. I mean depending on band conditions I guess. I would think at night with no ionosphere prorogation you'd get 15 to 20 miles mobile to base. Best pattern would be to the rear of course.

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedragon436 View Post
    I have the Cobra 75WXST... it isn't the cheapest CB setup, but it is a compact unit, which covers WX channels as well, and is pretty easily removed if you feel like removing the main unit for the radio... I have the JCR tail light mount.. unfortunately when I bought mine, they didn't have one out for the passenger side, but they do now, so you can have on for either side, or both if you want to run two ant. setup....

    Yeah and if you have a vice, a hack saw, a drill and a BF hammer you can make one pretty easy.

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudderoy View Post
    Really? I wouldn't expect that. I mean depending on band conditions I guess. I would think at night with no ionosphere prorogation you'd get 15 to 20 miles mobile to base. Best pattern would be to the rear of course.
    To base maybe.... but I figured we were talking CB mobile to CB mobile. Besides most base CBs around here are alligators, all mouth and no ears and I wouldn't want to depend on them to help me in an emergency. Besides the fact there are far fewer base CBs than hams.
    Last edited by prerunner1982; 07-24-2015 at 09:13 AM.
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    Default Re: Simple CB

    Thinking about equipping my wife's van too, or the GC my son drives. Are the handheld units garbage, or might they be viable for fairly close convoys?

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    Default Re: Simple CB

    What kind of handhelds are we talking about? CB, Ham radio, the FRS/GMRS radios you buy in pairs at walmart?
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