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  #16  
Old June 24th, 2020, 16:36
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Tim_MN Tim_MN is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

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Originally Posted by Rob Mayercik View Post
What radio is that ....
Magnum 257, they are no longer made.
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  #17  
Old June 25th, 2020, 09:44
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Rob Mayercik Rob Mayercik is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

So that's what it is. Ok, thanks.
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  #18  
Old June 25th, 2020, 12:11
JonnyCat63 JonnyCat63 is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

This is what I did for my 99. This setup will work for 97 and up XJ's. I used a Metra double din trim kit for an XJ. They just came out with it. About $60.00 online. CB World makes a single din kit for some CB's. I used a Uniden Pro520XL radio, but I'm sure you could use others. Anyway, I basically stacked 2 single din units together to make this work. I had to fab some brackets, and it takes a little work, but it comes out nice. I did the same setup on my 97, but I modified the existing trim piece. It is alot easier using the Metra kit. Got my stereo and trim kit from Crutchfield, and my CB from CB world.

I mounted an external speaker on the firewall tucked above the pedals on the drivers side. Plenty loud enough to hear on the trail.



Single din for CB's.
https://www.wearecb.com/dinxxxx-in-d...nts-18057.html
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  #19  
Old June 25th, 2020, 12:13
JonnyCat63 JonnyCat63 is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

This is what I did on my 95. I don't really like it there, but I couldn't find a good spot to put it in the dash. Uniden Pro520XL CB radio

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  #20  
Old June 25th, 2020, 17:23
Black1990jeep Black1990jeep is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

Hey thank you all for neat ideas!

Now I am curious about a HAM radio, if compact enough. this seems to overcome range limitations on the cb. For a HAM radio, what are the choices to be made in a small sized unit? I recall back many decades ago my dad had some old HAM radio stuff, big units, tube powered, and lots of bands.

Are all the compact portable HAM radios covering the same band range?

I am thinking for jeep to jeep convoy use the cb is fine, but if we are spread out with hill terrain between, limitation become apparent. Also say we need emergency help in the middle of nowhere, in hill terrain, 50 miles as the crow flies from anyone, would not the HAM radio work under that circumstance?

What are your thoughts on the utility of a compact HAM radio in the jeep? recommended units? I dont need to talk to someone in china or europe with it, but getting out a distress call in the mountains, over 50 miles say, that would be the real need for me.

As a kid I had and old wwii short wave radio receiver from a B-29 bomber, with a long copper wire run up a tall redwood tree as an antenna, I could pick up Australia, and even Europe at night. I still have that receiver, big as a suitcase.
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  #21  
Old June 25th, 2020, 19:09
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devildog0 devildog0 is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

Most decent dual band ham radios are going to be about the same size or smaller as the bells and whistles CB radios. I'm currently running a Btech UV25X2 and it's pretty small (3.9" (W) x 1.4" (H) x 4.6 (D)" ) overall takes up very little space but I've ran smaller and larger radios.

My opinion don't rely only on any one radio for emergency communications if you really need help. A PLB/EPRIB is going to be a much better option. It uses satellites to relay a signal (COSPAS/SARSAT system) to the Air Force who contact local authorities to come to your rescue. They are expesnive (250-300 for lower cost PLBs) but they are a one time expense then you register it with the COSPAS SARSAT system and then you're good for 10ish years (battery shelf life).

As for HAM. It's probably the best most flexible radio setup you can have. But unlike CB it requires a license. The test is really easy and typically costs about 15 dollars but the license is good for 10 years and renewing it is free.

Not all HAM radios cover the same bands, the most common ones for mobile use are going to be Single band, VHF or UHF or Dual band Covering VHF and UHF both. The dual band is probably the most common now days.

There are radios that cover more bands like Triband or quad band radio but they start climbing in price and the other bands they cover aren't as used especially with off road groups.

Once you start using HAM if you can get the other people you travel with to switch over you'll not want to go back to CB. The signal is a lot clearer (most VHF UHF use is FM vs CB's AM) the equipment is typically higher quality, you can run a lot more power (CB is legally limited to 4 watts HAM can go up to 1500 legally but most radios will be around 50 watts max output) and the antennas are much smaller.

Don't get ideas about VHF/UHF being some kind of magic band that can travel around hills and stuff. They are largely line of sight (UHF more so than VHF) and with enough terrain you will still block the signal. But access to repeaters is going to greatly increase your range. It was uncommon for my buddies and myself to talk all over San Diego County with one another using one repeater. My longest simplex (just radio to radio no repeater) contact was 98 miles but I was at 8000 feet on a ridgeline talking out across the Anza Borrego Desert.

There's a lot to ham radio and it can be a deep rabbit hole to fall into. I've avoided making it yet another hobby and mostly use it just for Jeep related comms but I've also got a GMRS license (70 dollars for 10 years but no testing) and use a local GMRS repeater quite often. My local Jeep club has shown no interest in HAM but I have got some folks to get their GMRS licenses. The local GMRS repeater we have covers about a 40-50 mile radius depending on what direction you are from it.

-KK6RBI / WQYH678
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2004 Suzuki DL650 VStrom/1978 Suzuki GS1000E/2003 Yamaha TW200
1982 Suzuki GS850G (barnfind project)

Last edited by devildog0; June 26th, 2020 at 05:31.
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  #22  
Old June 25th, 2020, 19:37
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

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Originally Posted by Nimrod View Post
I took and passed the technician's exam this morning.

For anyone else thinking of doing it, I highly recommend hamstudy.org. They have electronic "flashcards" with all of the test questions from the question pool with short explanations, as well as practice tests. As you go through the flashcards, the site tracks your progress in terms of the percentage of questions from the exam pool you've been exposed to, as well as your aptitude in individual subject areas as judged by responses. Both these measures are displayed in a neat bar chart. You can go through the flash cards randomly, or review cards related to specific subject areas separately. In addition, as you take the practice tests, results are tracked on a line graph-type chart, so you can see your progress over successive tests. And its free of charge. For me, studying the flash cards, reading some of the explanations, and then taking practice exams was much more beneficial than taking practice exams alone would have been.
Preparing for and passing the technician licensing test is so easy even a nimrod can do it.

KM6DDO
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  #23  
Old June 26th, 2020, 05:30
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devildog0 devildog0 is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimrod View Post
Preparing for and passing the technician licensing test is so easy even a nimrod can do it.

KM6DDO
5 year old kids pass it often enough. Heck if I can pass it a baby should be able to pass it
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2004 Suzuki DL650 VStrom/1978 Suzuki GS1000E/2003 Yamaha TW200
1982 Suzuki GS850G (barnfind project)
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  #24  
Old June 26th, 2020, 06:16
XJlimitedx99 XJlimitedx99 is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

I have my radio mounted to my center console wedged in next to my driver's seat. I've never seen anybody else mount the radio in that location but I really like having it there. The controls can be slightly awkward to reach but I prefer having the radio out of the way because I do not use it all that often.

The seat covers the internal speaker on the radio so I have an external speaker mounted on the dash near the base of the A-pillar. The external speaker works great. Loud and clear.

I have a 4 ft Firestik antenna mounted at my tail light. My SWR is 1.25 on both channels 1 and 40. Its one of the best performing CB setups I've been around.

Oh, and I also have a PA horn mounted under the hood, just for S&G
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  #25  
Old June 26th, 2020, 06:50
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Rob Mayercik Rob Mayercik is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJlimitedx99 View Post
I have my radio mounted to my center console wedged in next to my driver's seat. I've never seen anybody else mount the radio in that location but I really like having it there. The controls can be slightly awkward to reach but I prefer having the radio out of the way because I do not use it all that often.
I had my old one wedged between the passenger seat and console for a long time, but I found it was always shifting around on me (particulary on the trail where it was bumpier) and it also tended to put the radio's weight on the antenna cable; I think that damaged the cable doing that. Another downside was having to drape the mic cord across the console/handbrake, but that wouldn't be an issue for what you're doing.

Still, I'm happy with my overhead radio mount and remote mic. To each their own.
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  #26  
Old June 26th, 2020, 07:31
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

The right ham radio is much more gracefully mounted in an XJ, especially in an older one ('96 down).

I have a Kenwood TM-V71A. It is a dual band unit (2m, 70cm) with a detachable face. I have the base mounted under the passenger seat, the head unit mounted in the coin tray in the console, the mic jack mounted in the rear of the console and the mic bracket on the side of the console. Everything that matters is in easy reach and the support elements are all tucked out of the way.

I will have to see if I have good pics or need to take some.

If you are thinking about ham, do it. Far better than CB. Opens up a whole world of options for communication.
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  #27  
Old June 26th, 2020, 17:22
Black1990jeep Black1990jeep is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

Whats the scoop on the ham radio types, I see dual bands, UHF, VHF, 2 meter, HF, 50 Mhz, 144 Mhz, 430Mhz, all mode, etc... on the radio feature descriptions. I assume these all are frequency ranges, but what is commonly used? Will I miss put on some highly useful things if I dont get a dual band? which bands are in the dual bands? seeing a 50, 144 and 430 Mhz radio, seems to me there maybe tribands out there, no? Where is uhf verses vhf on the spectrum verses the Mhz values. FM, isnt that the commercial radio fm band?

So much stuff to consider for a basic radio, I dont even want to go into the gps, way points and those features yet.

So what is the simplified version of the bands and above acronyms? What of the utility of the different bands? antennas needed for each, range, etc...

I see some radios with 100s of presets memory, how many channels are available in each band?

As for repeaters, how does that work, do you radio someone at a repeater station with your message, and they rebroadcast? is rebroadcast on same freq as initial message? Is the repeater service automated? Is it a pay service or free?
I get the idea of a repeater, just dont know the procedure to use it, is cost or subscription envolved?

what might I be getting into here?
Just looking for a decent ham radio, but am totally lost with the seemingly endless options, features etc...

Here are some options...
https://www.dxengineering.com/search...rder=Ascending

I am looking in the lower price range, a little more than 200 bucks or less. But I dont know what all these features really mean for utility, verses stuff I really do not need.

Advice?
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  #28  
Old June 26th, 2020, 18:50
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

Oh boy, where to start?


First off, I posted up my own radio install. You can see it here: https://naxja.org/forum/showthread.p...#post246694910


That should give you some idea of the mounting options for you to consider.


Now, as to all your other questions...


First off, your location shows as California. 2m/70cm will be a good choice. Those are the popular bands on the west coast. I have heard otherwise for the plains states, but 2m/70cm are probably your best bets for California. Oh, and 2m is 144 mhz, VHF, 70cm is 440mhz, UHF. Different names for the same thing. And no, FM is not necessarily commercial. It is simply "Frequency modulation" versus "Amplitude modulation". The same radio waves are shared with all sorts of things, cell phones included. Ham radio gets a share of those radio waves.


Oh, and regarding 50mhz, it would give you greater range, but requires a larger antenna. Pros and cons with everything. I know no one else who runs 50mhz.



Ham is not like CB in having "channels". You can dial into your frequency by the actual mhz rather than depending on someone else's selection of specific frequencies. This comes with its pros and cons. Interference can happen because of something else being close the frequency you are using. However, you can easily change frequencies and get away from that interference.


Repeaters do not require anyone else relaying your message. It happens essentially instantly through well engineered electronics. As your signal comes in to the repeater on one frequency it is immediately relayed back out on another frequency. These frequencies are on selected offsets, and generally speaking nothing gets repeated unless the signal comes along with a tone code that tells the repeater these are valid signals to be repeating.


Many repeaters are public and require no contribution on your part, although if you do become a paying member you can access benefits the general public does not get to access, such as the ability to make a phone call from your ham radio (Yes, you can do this. DTMF tones are part of most modern ham radios and some repeaters are set up to allow making phone calls, in some cases allowing you to make phone calls where even a cell phone would not work.)


There are other repeaters which are private and which you would not be able to access. Among other reasons, their tone codes are not publicized.


As to the number of presets you can store, again keep in mind these are not like channels. In SoCal there are lots and lots of repeaters. I have over a hundred different presets stored in my radio. Many of these are repeaters with their specific tone codes. Others are simplex (no repeater involved) which are used by different groups, especially when off-roading. You probably don't need hundreds, but modern electronics have made it easy for manufacturers to offer them.


What you need most of all is a radio that is easy for you to manipulate while driving. I don't like it when everything is buried in menus. Those are hard enough to navigate when sitting at home. Trying to manage them while on the trail just doesn't make sense. And there will be times when there will be interference or some other reason to need to change settings. Make sure you can do that gracefully.


Your best resource would be to find a local ham who can show you how things work. Coincidentally enough, this weekend (June 27-28, 2020) is field day. I have no idea how things are being handled with Covid-19, but there should certainly be some way for you to find someone who could show you how things work, although it will most likely be on HF (not UHF/VHF, because HF is what has the ability to reach all over the world, no repeaters involved. But that stuff tends not to be mobile, at least not effectively.) I will send you a PM and see if I can't help connect you with someone depending on your location.
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  #29  
Old June 27th, 2020, 11:25
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black1990jeep View Post
Whats the scoop on the ham radio types, I see dual bands, UHF, VHF, 2 meter, HF, 50 Mhz, 144 Mhz, 430Mhz, all mode, etc... on the radio feature descriptions. I assume these all are frequency ranges, but what is commonly used? Will I miss put on some highly useful things if I dont get a dual band? which bands are in the dual bands? seeing a 50, 144 and 430 Mhz radio, seems to me there maybe tribands out there, no? Where is uhf verses vhf on the spectrum verses the Mhz values. FM, isnt that the commercial radio fm band?

So much stuff to consider for a basic radio, I dont even want to go into the gps, way points and those features yet.

So what is the simplified version of the bands and above acronyms? What of the utility of the different bands? antennas needed for each, range, etc...

I see some radios with 100s of presets memory, how many channels are available in each band?

As for repeaters, how does that work, do you radio someone at a repeater station with your message, and they rebroadcast? is rebroadcast on same freq as initial message? Is the repeater service automated? Is it a pay service or free?
I get the idea of a repeater, just dont know the procedure to use it, is cost or subscription envolved?

what might I be getting into here?
Just looking for a decent ham radio, but am totally lost with the seemingly endless options, features etc...

Here are some options...
https://www.dxengineering.com/search...rder=Ascending

I am looking in the lower price range, a little more than 200 bucks or less. But I dont know what all these features really mean for utility, verses stuff I really do not need.

Advice?
Get a Dual Band (2m/70cm VHF/UHF) radio. Even outside of California those two bands are by far the most common for normal local and regional communications. 2M in the majority of areas is going to be more common than 70cm.

Your budget if you want one of the "big three" (Yeasu, Icom, Kenwood) radios is going to limit you to used radios with exception of some single band 2m units that are sub 200 dollars.

What you're getting into is completely up to you. Some find HAM radio to be a very fun hobby. I'm not fully in that camp, I find them useful to expand on my existing hobbies and I find that radio knowledge is useful for those same things, this is why I haven't moved past a tech license. The VHF/UHF spectrum does everything I want to do. Other fall into a black hole and it becomes a whole other obsession.

Good video over repeaters.

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2004 Suzuki DL650 VStrom/1978 Suzuki GS1000E/2003 Yamaha TW200
1982 Suzuki GS850G (barnfind project)
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  #30  
Old June 27th, 2020, 20:50
Black1990jeep Black1990jeep is offline
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Re: CB Radio in the XJ

That is some great info from both of you. The frequency lingo, repeaters and such I now have a knowledge of the basics, Thank You!
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