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Old 08-06-2020, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
672 posts, read 558,235 times
Reputation: 630

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CB Radios have come along way since the 1970's. Yes there are a few of us "diehards" still out there:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cft-LqjRcv8
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:44 PM
Status: "But in the aggregate..." (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,331 posts, read 69,479,051 times
Reputation: 37326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Z View Post
CB Radios have come a long way since the 1970's.
Has the signal come a long way? Without a linear amplifier it was about 5 miles. Right?
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:37 PM
 
26,853 posts, read 34,365,950 times
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Ham Radio is more fun, IMO. 10 meters is a ham band.

Even with CB, side bands and good antennas you may do better than 5 to 12 miles. Atmospheric conditions also might help.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
672 posts, read 558,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Has the signal come a long way? Without a linear amplifier it was about 5 miles. Right?
I donno, I was talking to two of my friends on their bases with my new mobile radio using Side-Band (SSB) and one was 60 miles away, and the other was 45 miles away. None of us were using any linear amps, but all our radios put out a little more than 5 watts of power.
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Old 08-15-2020, 05:05 AM
Status: "But in the aggregate..." (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,331 posts, read 69,479,051 times
Reputation: 37326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Z View Post
I donno...
Me either. So I googled:
https://www.wearecb.com/cb-radio-range.html
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
31,304 posts, read 29,569,809 times
Reputation: 84369
In my experience back in the 70’s; 11 meter CB radio under normal daytime conditions 5 watts AM with a basic antenna would get five or six miles. SSB will change provide twice the signal power because of the nature of SSB lower & upper side of the transmitted signal. The lower side always seemed to be better without causing issues on adjacent channel.

(SD4020 post) is correct – the atmospheric conditions will help at times.

Last edited by AksarbeN; 08-16-2020 at 07:17 PM..
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,045 posts, read 25,155,098 times
Reputation: 34824
Breaker 19 this here’s the rubber duck


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnJEeHND_lQ
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
672 posts, read 558,235 times
Reputation: 630
Okay, I will give a more "educated" and detailed answer on the range of a CB radio. How far you can communicate with your radio will depend on conditions, quality of equipment, and installation. A 100MW 11-meter walkie-talkie will get you a mile under perfect conditions.

If you just slap an magnet mount antenna on your car and have a 5W mobile rig, 5 miles mobile to mobile is probably a good estimate.

If you put up a 5/8 wave all metal base antenna you can about double your mobile rig range to about 10 miles, but that's base station to base station.

That's the basics. So what can you do to increase your range? Here's the tech stuff.

#1, the biggest most productive thing you can do to increase your signal and range is get up HIGHER. The higher you go the farther you "hear" and talk. I once had a conversation over the CB with a guy three States away, but he was flying in an airplane! Each time you double your antenna height, you increase your signal by 6db or one S-Unit. It takes a 4x increase in transmit power to get the same gain and that comes without any gains in receiving signals.

#2, Keep your coax (feed line) as short a possible. When you put up that big antenna on that 100' tower, be sure you run the shortest route from the antenna to your radio. Different coax has different losses. You want the large diameter quad-shielded solid center stuff for the best results.

#3, ALL CB antennas need to be tuned. That's right, they don't come plug-n-play. They all need to be adjusted to the proper harmonics to radiate efficiently in the CB Band. In order to do this, you will need an SWR Meter. SWR stands for Signal to Wave Ratio. If your SWR is too high you will not only eventually wreck your radio, but you won't get out very well either. You need to tune your antenna for the LOWEST possible readings on CB channel 1 and CB channel 40.

To do this, you need to install your antenna and hook up the radio, then take preliminary readings. If your SWR is higher on channel 40, you will need to SHORTEN your antenna, and if it is higher on channel 1, you will need to LENGTHEN your antenna. You keep adjusting the length a little bit at a time until you get the same reading on both channel 1 and 40. This will ensure the best possible match on your system.

#4, You can also put up a Beam antenna. A beam will concentrate your signal in one direction and also pull in weak signals from that same direction. Beams are the way to go if you really want to get out. They also will improve your contacts during Skip. Of course, you will need to have your beam on a Rotater so you can turn your beam in all directions.

All of the above are perfectly legal to do.

The guy I was having a conversation with who was 60-miles away was running about 100-watt radio through a 8-element Quad Beam antenna mounted on a 60' tower. I was running 70-watts through a very well turned mobile antenna and we were talking on SSB not AM. Everything was legal except for our power levels.

One last thing I'd like to mention about mobile antennas, is they have to be grounded to a METAL service. If you have a fiberclass car body, or plastic, you will never be able to tune your mobile antenna to work. This means you can't put Kleenex or paper tower under that magnet mount to protect your paint job and expect to get out very well.
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