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CB/HAM Radios

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Gurkin    10

Hi, all. My first post here.

 

I used to repair CB radios many years ago in England from 1981 onwards until they fell from popularity and everyone switched to cell phones.

 

In 1987 I flew to Phoenix to meet and stay with the famous Lou Franklin, original CB repair guru.

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eXtermia    19

My little radio rack.  The thing on the left with the frequency censored out is my police scanner.  It's not illegal for us to have them or know the frequencies, but I'm not sure about other places, so to be safe I censored out the frequency it was receiving on.

 

The scanner is actually a hand-held, and I have a little rubber ducky antenna for it, but I hooked up a power cord, threw in some re-chargeable batteries, and plugged on an adapter and ran some coax to a big antenna out back for better reception.  The old Radio Shack CB on top is hooked to a little 36" Lil' Wil' stuck on the roof, and the Cobra 148 GTL on bottom is my baby, and is ran to an 18 foot Antron A-99 stuck up 40 feet in the air out back with a power/echo mic on it.  It's also a stock radio, so it's just got a 4 watt dead key and whatever additional wattage it swings when you modulate, but I've talked 60+ miles through mountainous country in the evening after skip dies down.

 

I do use the single side band capability occasionally because I have similar radios in both vehicles, and especially during the daytime it helps out a LOT by getting rid of all the background noise and helping us tune each other in and tune everybody else out.

 

I have seriously considered studying up and applying for my HAM/Amateur license, but I'm still learning and getting into CBs, so maybe once I've been on the air a few years and made some contacts and learned a little something I'll give it a shot.  Til' then I'll stick with the CBs.

attachicon.gifdesk-censored.jpg

I am just a technichian, and technichians no longer require morse certifications. 73's out to all you. I am in Germany so legally I can't transmit with my ham license as it is a kb9 series from USA. my Grandfather w9kyg used to talk all over the world and even to the apollo missions.

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Gerowen    1,199

Lots of skip rolling into Kentucky from the Florida area, heard one guy down in there from Barbados but he was distant and fading in and out and I couldn't get back to him.  There seems to be a lot more skip rolling into Florida though because at times it'll seem pretty quiet in my receive except for Florida, but the guys in Florida have been complaining about how much traffic there is, so I guess conditions have been more in favor of the guys in Florida.  I was even able to talk to one guy in Grenada a few days ago.  Not a whole lot of "really" long range DX going on lately though.

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+InsaneNutter    1,234

 

Here's the YouTube video of my conversation with John from Northern Ireland.
 

 

 

I must admit i don't know a lot about CB / Ham radios, however i found it quite impressive you managed to communicate with someone from Northern Ireland 3600+ miles away!

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Gerowen    1,199

I must admit i don't know a lot about CB / Ham radios, however i found it quite impressive you managed to communicate with someone from Northern Ireland 3600+ miles away!

That was the first out of country skip contact I had ever made, and I was still fairly new to the practice of shooting skip, and you can tell when I first realized he said "Ireland", I got kind of nervous and dumb-founded, lol.

 

Basically, skip is what happens when radio waves bounce off the upper atmosphere and land much farther away than they would normally travel in a straight line.  It is caused a lot by the sun charging the atmosphere, but can also happen as a result of cloud cover.  Either way, it's kind of fun when your radio is on and you randomly start hearing people from all over the place.

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Tews    206

My longest skip was from Alberta, Ca to Tampa Bay, Fl, on my Clear Channel AR3500!  :)

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Gerowen    1,199

My longest skip was from Alberta, Ca to Tampa Bay, Fl, on my Clear Channel AR3500!  :)

Seems like Florida is all I've been hearing lately on 38 lower side band.

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Gerowen    1,199

My longest skip was from Alberta, Ca to Tampa Bay, Fl, on my Clear Channel AR3500!  :)

Looked up a review of that radio, sharp lookin' rig, :-)

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Gerowen    1,199

Anybody in the Toronto/Ontario area of Canada talk on CB radio?  Made a lot of contacts the other day.  Here's a few of them I recorded.  The video has been edited down to save time, so that's why it seems to skip around in a few spots.

 

The reason I keep adjusting a knob is because I was talking on single side band, which removes the carrier wave and basically lets you talk on the frequencies between designated CB channels, and not everybody is on the exact same frequency.  That's why some people sound really low or high until I adjust the clarifier to tune them in.

 

http://youtu.be/QhYymi-tZTg

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Gerowen    1,199

Just posted an updated video of my CB radio base antenna setup.  I got suggestions from the YouTube community and implemented some of them for a better antenna setup.

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Gerowen    1,199

So I've started a petition on change.org to ask the FCC to increase the legal power output limit on CB radios.  I've listed the chairman and all of the commissioners as contacts so change.org will e-mail them with updates, and I've e-mailed those same individuals myself to make them aware of it and thank them for their time and consideration.  If you guys could take a look at this petition and sign it I would really appreciate it, :-)

 

https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/mignon-clyburn-amend-rules-regarding-maximum-output-power-for-cb-radios

 

http://youtu.be/CHDnXe2T8h8

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Gerowen    1,199

I need some advice in selecting a coax cable that meets the following requirements.  If anybody here has any experience in this field, since it doesn't pertain "only" to CB radios, I would appreciate it.

 

50 ohm impedance

Resistant to cuts and abrasions, direct burial possibly, and sunlight (will be used outdoors)

Low line loss (will be ran for ~450 feet with no repeaters)

 

I have a friend who is wanting to set up a CB base antenna at his house.  I just use RG8X, but I run a low wattage radio and my antenna is just up on a pole I built on the back porch, so my coax is only 50 feet long.  He is down in a very narrow valley and is wanting to put his antenna on top of the hill he owns to help get his signal out to the rest of the surrounding area (we have kind of a CB radio club where we all get on every evening and shoot the breeze), so I'm trying to help him find the best coax for the money that will function without a terrible amount of signal loss at 450 feet.  I was thinking of using RG8X like what I use, but then I read that at 500 feet you end up with a 10dB loss in signal strength, so I figured we needed to kick it up a notch.  He will only be transmitting at 12 watts PEP max, averaging lower probably, with a 4 watt carrier, so he won't be able to make up the difference by increasing output power, at least for a while.

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Gerowen    1,199
Here's some audio of 47 in France riding into my radio on 27.385 Mhz LSB this morning. I didn't make contact with him, but it was cool to hear somebody making that far of a trip.

 

His voice may sound a tad distorted at first because I didn't quite have him clarified in when I first started recording. You'll hear his voice rise and fall a little in pitch until I get him tuned in good.

 

The audio was edited for time so there may be an occasional pop where it jumps across an area I cut out.  Also note that the video is a still image of my radio, so my signal meter isn't broken or anything.  I recorded the audio via a line in cord, and just added the still image to make it into a video file for uploading to YouTube.

 


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Gerowen    1,199

So my wife decided that she wanted the CB radio in her car painted to match the interior of her car, so I obliged her.  I used Krylon paint+primer, let it dry for a few minutes, and then put it in the oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes.  I gave it one good coat, baked that coat, then gave it a 2nd layer and baked that coat on, and I'm gonna leave it sitting inside on my desk until she needs to use the car again to give the paint a chance to get good and hard before I put it back in the car.  I also painted the mounting knobs and the screws for the cover and speaker white to accent the purple, and to match what she's doing to the interior of the car.  While I had it apart I also cleaned some corrosion off the solder side of the board which seems to have resolved an issue I was having using the radio on single side band, and I cleaned and polished up the chrome on the faceplate.  I had considered stenciling some white designs onto it like pawprints or something, but once I got the purple done she liked it the way it was so I'm leaving it alone.  Contrary to how it might look in the last photo, I did not paint the speaker, I removed it and painted the cover on its own, but the last photo is a little bit fuzzy and makes it look like the speaker was painted too.

 

Here is is before I started.

P1030015.JPG

 

Here's the finished product.
P1040033.JPG

P1040031.JPG

P1030023.JPG

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Gerowen    1,199

Recorded some audio of Motor Mouth Maul last night riding skip all the way from California into my radio here in Kentucky.  Apparently he was having an argument with somebody.  Motor Mouth Maul in California and 131 in the Mojave Desert are probably the two best sounding stations I've ever heard.

 

Note: The "video" is just a still image of my radio, that's why the meter isn't moving when he speaks.

 

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remixedcat    2,767

What about a steak radio?

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Gerowen    1,199

Got to put my hands on a Cobra 29 LX today.  My brother has had this one for a while, but I had never really had the opportunity to mess with it much, so I thought I would hook it up and do a YouTube video of the radio.

 

https://youtu.be/hplbr5lea58

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chrisj1968    1,417

Oh, I'm filled with nostalgia... cq cq cq dx.... charlie oscar nine three pick up copy.... ;)

I regularly spoke to Italians, and well sometimes with an upper sideband setup, and a 70watt burner, a thirty foot silver rod on top of my folks house..

 

Then one day a guy from the home office appeared; "Your neighbour has complained about missing a TV movie due to exteme radio interference",

"If you remove that antenna and dismantle any equipment you have, I wont have to come back with a warrant" he wink winked...

 

So, that was my CB days, late seventies?

 

Some long time ago...

 

When i got out after desert storm,  I got a sideband TRC radioshack radio and omnidirectional whip and having been in CA. I picked up a lot of skip from australia at night. I used to be 31X1153 of the xray club. one night I got a contact card from a contact I made with a guy in NY. at about 9pm.

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+DoctorD    178

In the long ago time back in the 90's when I was in high school, I had a RCi Ranger 2950 with a Whiskey Still Jr  on my car.

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Gerowen    1,199

Got some standing wave ratio problems with a new radio I just installed, suggestions?

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chrisj1968    1,417

I just bought a Uniden Bearcat 980 ssb with a magnetic K40 whip.

 

serveimage?url=http:%2F%2Fimg.youtube.co Not my system but similar (minus the unit below)

 

I'm looking to finally buy a 13.8 volt power supply for making this into a simple base station system. I got my old call sign back 31Xray1153 that I had before my military days. been an xray member since I was 18 or 19. my new system has multiple colors for the unit.. (I only do strictly side band)

 

serveimage?url=http:%2F%2Fwww.truckers-ssorry, this is the 880 but it looks exactly like the 980.

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chrisj1968    1,417

My longest skip was from Alberta, Ca to Tampa Bay, Fl, on my Clear Channel AR3500!  :)

sounds like a great distance. did you get a Q card?

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Gerowen    1,199

I just bought a Uniden Bearcat 980 ssb with a magnetic K40 whip.

 

Image snipped Not my system but similar (minus the unit below)

 

I'm looking to finally buy a 13.8 volt power supply for making this into a simple base station system. I got my old call sign back 31Xray1153 that I had before my military days. been an xray member since I was 18 or 19. my new system has multiple colors for the unit

 

Image snipped

I just got one of these to run the radio in my shed (see the video above). Pyramid seems to make good power supplies.

http://www.copper.com/cart/Pyramid-PS9KX-5-Amp?search=pyramid&description=true&sub_category=true

In the house I run a Pyramid 12 amp power supply, and it has been a very good supply, no RF interference or anything that I've noticed.

I talked skip to a guy in Florida on 38 LSB (I live in east Kentucky) one time who was on a Bearcat 980SSB in his car with a Wilson 5000 mobile antenna. He sounded clear as a bell and didn't drift at all in the 5 minutes I chatted with him while he was driving home from work.

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abecedarian paradoxious    326

Video not working properly, but anyhow found the youtube video.

 

>1.5:1 VSWR is a problem, for sure; 3 is like telling you to buy new finals.
That's putting you out with substantial loss, both on the RX and TX sides, though TX will be more adversely affected.

 

Now, any corrosion anywhere on the lines can be a big problem, as I'm sure you know, as could be any kinks or pinches on the coax.

Also, I don't see much of a ground plane by the antenna, which likely isn't affecting VSWR but could be a problem with regards to signal propagation.

 

Check the ground potential from where you have the coax grounded outside the building to the ground potential in your building as well. That could be a significant influence on your VSWR. You should have < 0.01 ohm difference between the ground at the radio and the ground outside.

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Rigby    1,556

I remember hating CBs so much as a kid because they messed up our cable TV constantly, it was nearly impossible to watch anything. Ever few minutes a loud BRRRZZ ZZZAAPP and the picture would go all scrambled. Of course people had huge outdoor antennas and cranked the power on their CB sets to ludicrous levels.

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