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4x4JeePmaNthINg
August 4th, 2017, 23:57
hey all,

after recent events in my jeeping adventures ide really like to add a very capable and decent CB radio set up. Great range and user friendly!
i of course am googling info and trying to learn stuff, but please throw your wisdom my way, especially anyone in emergency services with great radio signal knowledge: channels/ frequency to use.... all the goods, sorry im very un educated currently, but i feel strongly this is a smart communication device to invest in especially when i go so far into the mountains.

please if you have any links/ info that you feel are worth reviewing, i would very much appreciate your assistance because as jeepers i want the advice from those that run and set these rigs up.

thank you very sincerely.

Tim_MN
August 5th, 2017, 07:26
CB is for trail communication with your group, or with other CB's on the highway DO NOT expect to make any emergency contacts with local residents via CB radio.

You want a small size 40 channel CB with volume, squelch and RF gain controls. It should also have switchable noise limiter. The Uniden 520 is a good choice. A good quality properly installed 3 - 4 foot tall CB antenna will give about 1 - 2 miles of range in the woods and 2 - 4 miles of range on the highway.

Read this >> https://www.rightchannelradios.com/blogs/learning-center

If study and pass the FCC Ham Radio license test you can use radio equipment that is more capable of making contact outside the limited distances CB provides.

RCP Phx
August 5th, 2017, 09:29
CB radios are pretty much "line of sight", I've been out when your buddies would just go around a bend in the mountain road and you will lose them. They work great if you live in Kansas or when atmospheric conditions allow "skip"! Besides being antiquated, they are semi-bulky, most people are using FRS radios these days.

Tim_MN
August 5th, 2017, 09:42
A correctly installed CB radio easily has more than 3 - 5 times the range of any FRS radio, and even in the mountains, one can expect CB communication range of more than one mile. If a CB cannot transmit farther than the user can see, there is a problem with the antenna system installation, not the CB radio.

TRCM
August 5th, 2017, 18:28
I always used Uniden....seemed to work better and get out farther than cobra or others I've used in the past.

Yes, you could go ham...but then all the others in your group would have to do the same due to different equipment, and ham radio use brings in it's own special set of requirements when being used too.

trippled
August 5th, 2017, 18:40
CB's work well for trail communication but I wouldn't depend on it to call for help in the mountains. And like Tim mn said, antenna location plays a big part in how well you can send and receive. I think ideally you would want it on the middle of the roof. Mine is mounted off the the rear hatch with a 4 ft whip and it is definitely directional. I have better reception sending receiving towards the back than in front of me.

Something like this would be nice too.
https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=296_35&products_id=1632

Greenz
August 6th, 2017, 00:32
CB-Talk (http://www.cb-talk.com/viewforum.php?f=109&sid=e35212a312ff1c7be1ecc385f26a8d29) is a great source for information. Lots of experienced guys that go back to the beginning of the CB craze.

Yes, antenna is everything. No less than 4' in length. Firestick makes a very good antenna for offroad use but it still has to be installed correctly.

I'm using a 6.8', 5/8th wave bottom loaded mag mount in the center of the roof. I easily talk to people 13 miles away on stock 4 watt radio. Getting up in the mountains makes TX/RX better actually if you can clear the trees. For AM, greater antenna height equals more distance. AM radio stations are a good example of getting distance but lacks the quality of FM. I will run a different antenna through the trees though. My Sirio antenna is already a tree trimmer. People say my XJ looks like a giant RC car. LOL! Would get destroyed on a timber trail.

You can spend a little or a ton of money on CB, because it's a fun hobby, that's it. One can go crazy and spend enough money to talk any distance you want. Or do like Tim said and go for the Ham license. With Ham, you get, better performance, longer range, less cost, and a better chance to reach someone if you need help. ...and you can still spend a ton of money if you are in to that but it's generally not needed.

Out here in NW Oregon, the CB scene is making a bit of a comeback CH28/17 are full of chatter.

ehall
August 6th, 2017, 07:05
Use your roof as the ground plane. I have my antenna on the D-pillar and am able to get the full frequency coverage, pretty good signal.

http://www.eric-a-hall.com/gallery/albums/cherokee-audio/JCR_CB_Antenna_Mount.sized.jpg

The cab is pretty tight. I mounted on the knee panel but had to use a small Pro 520 XL. Good radio but they are not big enough for all the features you might want (TX gain, weather, etc)

http://www.eric-a-hall.com/gallery/albums/cherokee-audio/PRO520XL_Installed.sized.jpg

The FCC restricts CB radio to 4 watts, very weak. If everybody in the group is tuned up you might get a few miles on a straight interstate highway, otherwise only dependable for a few hundred yards in the wooded hills. You can have a great setup but the weakest setup in the group is going to be the limiting factor.

TRCM
August 6th, 2017, 09:45
Use your roof as the ground plane. I have my antenna on the D-pillar and am able to get the full frequency coverage, pretty good signal.

The cab is pretty tight. I mounted on the knee panel but had to use a small Pro 520 XL. Good radio but they are not big enough for all the features you might want (TX gain, weather, etc)



The FCC restricts CB radio to 4 watts, very weak. If everybody in the group is tuned up you might get a few miles on a straight interstate highway, otherwise only dependable for a few hundred yards in the wooded hills. You can have a great setup but the weakest setup in the group is going to be the limiting factor.


I guess it depends on your definition of hills, but we use them for hunting, and routinely talk to people all over our property, which is wooded and hilly, and have no issue at all, and our property is a 3 x 6 mile chunk.

Alaskan89XJ
August 6th, 2017, 10:10
Greets; Back Story; Had a K40 C.B. antenna, and located just a few feet back from the top of the windshield, and it's base was magnetically held in place on the mid-line. I had drilled a hole in order to run the antenna lead/cable through the roof, and connect the other end to the radio. For theft protection it was easy-peasy to hop up, and twist/remove the antenna off from it's base, leaving the magnetic base in it's position, and swinging the antenna down, and around in order to place it on top of the dash-board, and visa-versa. The unit was '70's Radio Shack 4w, (tuned up, he-he), and worked superbly together. Today there are some who go through, and rebuild units known for reliably, (in their day). Search Google. More modern stuff.., I dun'no, but there's some units tweeked in Asia, or built differently, that are in all appearance the same labeled model number sold in our Country.., can't remember the details, but they are special, and might be found say eBay, etc; Google.

As touched upon regards the 'ground-plate; the location of whatever antenna you use is important. Picture a big circle around a more centrally located antenna, (such as mentioned above), and that's it's zone, and it projects the radio transmission equally forward, and rearward, and kind of sort of deep into the left, or right sides of the vehicle. Basically the central collection of vehicles can reach both the lead, or rear vehicle.., and everyone else in the middle, of course..! Frontal location works like a headlight beam which is useful if one is in the rear of a convoy wanting to reach everyone out to the lead vehicle. Rear location does that in reverse, i.e., projecting transmission of the radio signal way, way rearwards, and is best for the leading vehicle in order to reach over back to the rear of a convoy. Lead=rear mount. Middle=middle mount. Rear=forward mount. Sometime one sees a corner mount, but again the field pattern would be either of 4 directions diagonally away from the vehicle, i.e., forward to the left, or right, or reward to the left, or right.., not within the same zones as those mounted along the mid-line, i.e., front, middle, rear.

Consider what ever placement you require, and become acquainted with the hand-held SW Meter in order to 'trim' the length of your antenna's balance with your set. Google fer'sho. This task is better done around other C.B.'ers, some distance away in you area, but never, ever one in a vehicle thats just nearby, i.e., just yards, and yards away.., everybody communicating through their sets. I recall some asses would key up their mics in order to blow out nearby radio sets, (back in the day of Dixie 200 watt aux./amps). Anyway, I would imagine good sets/antenna's would have some documented suggestions about using the SW Meter, etc.

Direct positive, and negative leads can go directly, (from your set), to your battery posts, or some purists might choose a different grounding spot.., but what's cool is that you will minimize any rpm static coming through the set, which can be an annoyance at least, but a major detriment in attempting to hear a transmission, etc. A.M. radios also like the more direct connection. Or you can obtain noise filters for either.

From what I recall one can now operate a C.B.Radio without any kind of license. Groovy. However there are so many other types of radios that are more reaching, but who's to listen if the local network is just C.B. Fishing boats don't really demand C.B. radios, but some have every possible kind, including C.B. Trucker's often have multiple radios too. Safety is a big consideration, and as mentioned by those chiming in.., the terrain is a factor.., but other license requirement radios provide honking transmissions, and reception capabilities. In my area of Alaska, not so much C.B., but there are some mobile, and some base stations. There are a lot of other types that reach further, as previously mentioned. I have noticed that a lot of the C.B.'ers have let their equipment collect dust, and use cell phones in, and around civilization, lol.

There are different kinds of hand-mics, and that's another trip, lol, google again. I used a K40 mic, and K40 antenna with my Radio Shack. Anyways it's, (like been said), sort of a hobby thing, but if you have a fad going on in your area.., cool.

The above 3 cents is not intended to provide any expert knowledge.., just my memory lane thing, lol, rambling, lol.
Happy Trails.

Yzzerdd
August 6th, 2017, 10:21
Great info here. In MA, I've made clear contact 15 miles out, but your mileage will vary. I use a Cobra 18 WX ST II, wich has NOAA radio stations, and still looks classic. It's a basic unit, but works. Surprisingly a lot of people(truckers) on CB.

You'll need 50 ohm cable for 1 antenna, 80 ohm for two. I use a Firestik tunable tip. Get an SWR meter!

Good luck!

ehall
August 6th, 2017, 10:36
I guess it depends on your definition of hills, but we use them for hunting, and routinely talk to people all over our property, which is wooded and hilly, and have no issue at all, and our property is a 3 x 6 mile chunk.
As I said, weakest setup is the maximum usable. We get a lot of people with the handhelds on magnetic bases, they can't hear around a bend

4x4JeePmaNthINg
August 6th, 2017, 10:45
I ended up getting a free Midland 75822 from a guy at work. Though after reading some of your posts I would very much like the radio to be 100 percent priority for contacting emergency services. sounds like perhaps I should be looking more into ham or u/vhf. What is the best case scenario equiptment to contact emergency services when your Backwoods?

Greenz
August 6th, 2017, 13:12
If I were to buy another radio it would be Anytone AT-6666 (https://hamgear.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/preview-anytone-at-6666/)

Best bang for the buck. It will do AM/FM/SSB CB + HAM frequencies(license required for HAM channels). They go for around $260ish peaked and tuned.

Press a couple of buttons and it unlocks a heluva bunch of watts for AM/SSB, like north of 90 watts peak. It's sold as an import and is completely legal per US laws.

Stays fairly cool and is very compact. I know several guys running with that radio and love them.

ehall
August 6th, 2017, 13:50
Another option is a cell signal booster. Not just voice but also data.

Yzzerdd
August 6th, 2017, 20:10
What is the best case scenario equiptment to contact emergency services when your Backwoods?


For me, the best option was a VHF radio capable of picking up the repeater frequencies, at 144MHz-147MHz or so. Some repeaters are statewide, or more, but your message is out there nonetheless, and anyone who is writing your message down can call 911 for you Some repeaters have the option for you to literally dial in 911 with your DTMF mic. Get a HAM license and be done with it.

A radio for this purpose will set me back $60 for the exact model I'm looking for, but there are many models (TYT, QYT, Baofeng) that have TX/RX on amateur, but can still pick up nearly every other frequency. Harder to program, but can't beat that for under a bill.

FlyNNN
August 8th, 2017, 11:43
CB-Talk (http://www.cb-talk.com/viewforum.php?f=109&sid=e35212a312ff1c7be1ecc385f26a8d29) is a great source for information. Lame and on its death bed. Go to WWDX and get up to date information from people that know.
http://www.worldwidedx.com

FlyNNN
August 8th, 2017, 11:49
If I were to buy another radio it would be Anytone AT-6666 (https://hamgear.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/preview-anytone-at-6666/).... Best bang for the buck. It will do AM/FM/SSB CB + HAM frequencies(license required for HAM channels). They go for around $260ish peaked and tuned. Now you're talkin' ...

4x4JeePmaNthINg
August 8th, 2017, 21:48
For me, the best option was a VHF radio capable of picking up the repeater frequencies, at 144MHz-147MHz or so. Some repeaters are statewide, or more, but your message is out there nonetheless, and anyone who is writing your message down can call 911 for you Some repeaters have the option for you to literally dial in 911 with your DTMF mic. Get a HAM license and be done with it.

A radio for this purpose will set me back $60 for the exact model I'm looking for, but there are many models (TYT, QYT, Baofeng) that have TX/RX on amateur, but can still pick up nearly every other frequency. Harder to program, but can't beat that for under a bill.


i like the idea of this, so let me propose the question that has spawned my pursuit of getting good radios for emergency. What handhelds would you recommend in addition to the above ham vhf and cb all in ones? i would like a rig set up and a unit to grab with a backpack when on foot. i ask as ive recently had a situation deep woods where the rig died to where the engine wasnt running and the battery was dying.

ive see some emergency personal with the kenwood TM-D710GA in their personal rigs. probably much overkill for me, but being capable to reach help is very important.

thanks for all the great advice so far guys!

Yzzerdd
August 9th, 2017, 13:43
For handheld, I'd go with the Icom IC-V80 HD; there's a sport model as well that runs on AA's. It's a military spec radio from a brand that is quite reliable in my experience, and the non-sport model can be had for as little as $175 NEW on eBay. Furthermore, it's programmable on the go, whereas some models require purchase of a programming cable. The radio transmits on repeater bands, receives on 136-174, and NOAA.

For mobile, I'd consider a dual-band radio, but they are pricey unless you go Chinese- which isn't the worst option, but I'd want a backup.

I'm in no way affiliated with icom, etc.

acruz95
August 9th, 2017, 15:59
My first handheld was a Yaesu FT-60R which is a good quality radio. The Chinese radios while more budget friendly do have some quality issues. Check out http://www.eham.net/reviews/ for the radio you will be considering.