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My First Do it Yourself CB Setup

cb radio cb citizens band radio

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#1 Gerowen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:27

So I just set up my first in-house CB radio. I needed something to talk to my wife with when I'm away because we get zero cell phone service at the house, and I couldn't bring myself to pay another phone bill just to get a land-line, so I stopped by our radio shack and dropped about $250 on equipment and wound up surprising myself.

I got a Cobra 148 GTL mobile radio, a 120V-AC to 13.8V-DC transformer, an actual transformer that regulates and cleans up the power to eliminate interference. I got 50 feet of coax and soldered my own connectors on and a SolarCon A-99 antenna that looks to be 18-20 feet long and mounted it onto my back porch.

I did a radio check and a guy 10 miles away told me I was blowing him out of the water easily, so that tells me I'll be more than capable of talking to my wife anywhere I decide to go locally using the mobile CB (Cobra 19 Ultra III with a 36 inch whip) that I've had in my car for several years now. Well at least she'll be able to yell at me, not sure how well my little mobile Cobra 19 will compare.

Anyway, this was the first time I'd actually soldered my own wires and everything so I was really proud of myself when I got a response from 10 miles away telling me I was crystal clear at that distance, so I thought I'd share for other people who do CB for work or for fun, and maybe get some pointers from those more experienced individuals. I'm not using any linear amps or anything illegal, and would prefer to avoid using them. I don't necessarily want to talk to people in Hawaii, I mean it would be nice if I could do it with legal hardware, but my main goal was just to talk to my wife when I'm out and about and to talk to people around the county when I'm at home in the evening.

I'll take a photo of the antenna tomorrow when it's light out. It's dark and raining outside and I can't get a good shot of the whole thing because of how far away I have to stand.

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#2 HighwayGlider

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:03

Pretty impressive!

#3 OP Gerowen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:14

Pretty impressive!


Thanks, I put a lot of effort into working it into the house. I painted the cabinet and tried to make it blend in with the rest of the house. I didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb and throw everything off. The coax has cable ties holding it next to the ceiling and I used weather stripping to buffer a window sill so the window can still be closed and sealed to keep out cold air, but the coax at no point comes into contact with the metal of the sill or of the window itself, thereby protecting my antenna wire.

#4 +hedleigh

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:26

Oh the memories, CB radio. If I remember correctly, the aerials are combinations of 9', could be wrong though. I think I used to use an 18' dipole aerial and was able to chat with people all over the planet when the conditions were right. As you suggest, a good setup makes all the difference and I can remember chatting with someone in Queensland and he was astounded at my location as I was "pushing high 9's"! :)
Have fun with it anyway, shouldn't matter where your wife is! :D

#5 HighwayGlider

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:43

Thanks, I put a lot of effort into working it into the house. I painted the cabinet and tried to make it blend in with the rest of the house. I didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb and throw everything off. The coax has cable ties holding it next to the ceiling and I used weather stripping to buffer a window sill so the window can still be closed and sealed to keep out cold air, but the coax at no point comes into contact with the metal of the sill or of the window itself, thereby protecting my antenna wire.

Nice job man, really. For me, doing these kind of things is impossible for me (no skills/knowledge+the availability of equipments&parts in my country for these kind of things is close to none), and I'm always amazed when seeing such thing being done at home.

#6 OP Gerowen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:39

Nice job man, really. For me, doing these kind of things is impossible for me (no skills/knowledge+the availability of equipments&parts in my country for these kind of things is close to none), and I'm always amazed when seeing such thing being done at home.


Yeah I know the feeling. Everything I know I learned from relatives. My grandmother used to have a 30 foot tower with an 18 foot antenna on top of it and she talked on it all the time, it's how she communicated. When I lived in Washington state CB radios and accessories were very rare and hard to come by. I was looked at as unique because I had one mounted in my car. Sometimes Wal-Mart would throw one tiny radio with a window-mount antenna on the shelf for $30, but nothing really worth much. The Radio Shack stores there carried computers, printers, ethernet crimping tools and gear, but nothing radio related. The one here in my little hometown of 2,000 people serves as a pharmacy/drug store, a gun store, and a Radio Shack all in one building. So you can walk in, pick up your meds and a mountain dew to take them with, ammo for your pistol and printer ink all in the same place, lol.

#7 Dan~

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:08

It looks so old but awesome at the same time.

I remember when I was a bit younger I'd tune into channel 9, police frequency hehe



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