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Discussion Starter #1
I installed a Cobra 19 in my ashtray last weekend with a PA speaker under the hood and a fiberglass 3ft antenna mounted on my toolbox.

I like the nice install in how the CB fits into the ashtray slot and doesn't take up much room. I like the PA function. Really, that is about all I like.

I'm used to my radios from work and I assumed that maybe it would be something similar; however, it is not even close.

The sound is really crackled and some people are really loud and others I can barely hear. It doesn't really matter anyway because ALL of the people sound like hicks and all they do is argue.

I bought the radio with intentions to have it for emergency communications and for the PA function. The emergency communication part seems to be pretty much useless.

I'm considering getting a HAM radio and install it but I haven't found one that has a PA function or one that would mount in a DIN location.

What do HAMS talk about? It seems that it is better setup for emergency communication with the long range abilities.
 

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I think one of the best uses for Cb is on the highway. If you listen to the truckers they all talk about where the cops are setup with the radar guns. Also you can learn if the freeway is shutdown up ahead from the truckers before you get to the accident and maybe get stuck in traffic. Around alarge city there is too much interference/noise for a CB to be of much use. YMMV
 

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Just get a HAM...you can hear people 15-20 miles away...i just installed my ICOM V-8000 and i listen to the local cops all the time hahaha So if I ever have an emergency I can just speak directly to the operator hahaha Nobody scans that emergency channel on CB's, so if youre stuck somewhere nobody's gonna hear you unless theyre 1-3 miles away depending on terrain.

As for PA capabilities, go on Ebay and type in "Coga PA"
 

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mgyver1 said:
How well is the antenna grounded? How clean is the power coming to the CB? How well is the cable shielded? Has the antenna been tuned? Things to check out to get better reception/transmission.
Hmmm... lets talk about shielding for a moment... Since I don't really know what that means...

Pic ?
 

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Going John Galt
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redrum said:
I installed a Cobra 19 in my ashtray last weekend with a PA speaker under the hood and a fiberglass 3ft antenna mounted on my toolbox.

I like the nice install in how the CB fits into the ashtray slot and doesn't take up much room. I like the PA function. Really, that is about all I like.

I'm used to my radios from work and I assumed that maybe it would be something similar; however, it is not even close.

The sound is really crackled and some people are really loud and others I can barely hear. It doesn't really matter anyway because ALL of the people sound like hicks and all they do is argue.

I bought the radio with intentions to have it for emergency communications and for the PA function. The emergency communication part seems to be pretty much useless.

I'm considering getting a HAM radio and install it but I haven't found one that has a PA function or one that would mount in a DIN location.

What do HAMS talk about? It seems that it is better setup for emergency communication with the long range abilities.
antenna grounded? is is tuned? (you need a SWR meter), what brand of antenna?

most any radio can be made to work very well ;)
 

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Yeah x3 on the antenna being grounded properly. You said you have it mounted to the tool box. Is the box painted, do you have a bedliner that is keeping the tool box from making a good ground to the truck? I have a hand held CB that I have attached to a 3ft magnetic attenna, and it works great I just don't have much distance because of the low power of batteries, but it works fine. So I just think you have bug in the system that you have to track down. Oh also try using it with the stereo off, not turned down but off and see if it gets any better.
 

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redrum said:
It doesn't really matter anyway because ALL of the people sound like hicks and all they do is argue.
in houston they all speak spanish. either way, i cant understand them. :lmao:
 

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CB has the WRONG antenae

First off, the CB is not going to be the cause. Like other have alluded to, ground, tune, etc.

BUT the main thing that is sucking on your set up is the size of your antenae. You have to have at least a 4 foot antenae to get any decent reception or distance for the cb. I had one of those cool short black ones because I wanted it to be smaller. I could not get out to anyone or receive much. I had to be like right in front or behind one other rig on the trail to get a nice clean signal.

So while I was doing a freeway drive and totally fustrated with my cb I stopped at a cb shop for truckers. I told the store owner whats up, he saw my antenae and said no problems. He sold me a cool black antenae, pretuned I guess and I screwed it on. SNAP, it worked awesomely. So get yourself a better antenae, screw the whatever ham radio thing. Who does that on a trail or on the road. NOBODY. Great for other things, but not what you will need it for.

Good luck and get yourself a better antenae.

Blackdog.
2001 dcab trd
2007 trd dcab
1985 4runner 6"lift dual inchwork tcases, Can I saw I will run over your truck and not feel.
 

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redrum said:
I bought the radio with intentions to have it for emergency communications ...
If this is truly a concern of yours then do yourself a favor and get your HAM ticket. A CB can assist in an emergency but only if someone is monitoring your frequency. If you program the local repeaters into your HAM radio for the area you are traveling in/to your chances of making contact with someone on those repeater frequencies are much better that on CB frequencies. HAMs who own local repeaters obsessively monitor them in my experience. Areas that have ARES clubs also monitor frequencies for distress calls. The best solution in my opinion is to have both a CB and HAM radio since a lot of off roaders use CBs. That way you are covered. :2cents:
 

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SCTaco said:
If this is truly a concern of yours then do yourself a favor and get your HAM ticket. A CB can assist in an emergency but only if someone is monitoring your frequency. If you program the local repeaters into your HAM radio for the area you are traveling in/to your chances of making contact with someone on those repeater frequencies are much better that on CB frequencies. HAMs who own local repeaters obsessively monitor them in my experience. Areas that have ARES clubs also monitor frequencies for distress calls. The best solution in my opinion is to have both a CB and HAM radio since a lot of off roaders use CBs. That way you are covered. :2cents:
I agree....I've been tossing around the idea of getting my ham license for a while now...guess I just need to go do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, my setup isn't the greatest. I plan on grounding the antenna this weekend and getting a local CB shop to tune the antenna. The antenna I have now is tuneable but...I don't have one of those meters.

If I had to list the reasons I have a radio in my truck they would be.

1. Emergency Communications
2. Public Address System
3. Communicating on Trails/Rides

Now, that being said I would love to add in: POLICE/FIRE/EMS scanning/communication. My employment is public safety. I work for a local police department. So it would be great to be able to communicate with the guys on duty from my truck in case of an emergency. It would be really nice to be able to atleast listen to them (scan) while in my truck. Like I said I live locally. Plus I'm a supervisor, so... I already carry my portable with me while in the truck.

Another point I think for the HAM radio in my area is that while searching the repeater datases for local repeaters I found that there is one within 1/2 mile on a mountain near my house. I can look out of my kitchen window and see the tower it is mounted on, so I think that would help for reception/transmission in my area.

Anyway, I think I'll work with the CB some more this weekend and read some more on the HAM thing. Maybe I can find an amatuer radio that has scanning and PA functions.

Thanks guys.
 

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Most radios will have a wide band receiver. I have 2 FT8800R and can get a wide range of Police/Fire/Emergency bands. Not to mention all of the NOAA stations and assorted cab/tow truck/dispatch communications. You can see my install write up here Part 1 and Part 2.
 

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With CBs, too many things keep them from working, not to mention power regulations limit distance severely. Get a license and a good HAM mobile radio. I have talked over 300 miles on repeaters and such, HAMS tend to be more helpful in emergencies, and it is generally more friendly of conversation (not the cursing and slamming you get with truckers as a "4 wheeler").

I teach HAM classes, it is easy to pass and get a Technician license if you understand basic electronics.

About your antenna, there is no such thing as a pre-tuned antenna. All that means is they tuned it at their shop, and wrapped it up so you could not tune it any more. Even most antennas say this on the back. A good antenna is a 5/8 wave long. Most "short, cell look-alike" antennas are half wave or 1/4 wave. That hurts the distance in CB tons. In Hams=, however, the difference is not that great. I use a 5/8 wave on my CB and a 1/4 wave on my HAM every day. My $.02, get a HAM for the emergencies and real conversations, get a CB for trails and some highway updates (I monitor a lot more than I talk on the road).
 

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Even though the FCC only allows CB's to be sold running at 4 watts, any CB Radio shop will tweak and peak your radio for $30-60. I've got a Cobra 29 running at 57 watts with a 4' fiberglass attenna tuned at 1.3/1 on channel 19 and I can talk to my buddy about 15 miles away through hilly terrain. And don't anyone give me any crap about FCC regulations because there's not a damn trucker out there running at 4 watts. You'll have to be doing something really stupid to get the FCC's attention talking on an "illegal" CB.
 

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Journeyman said:
Even though the FCC only allows CB's to be sold running at 4 watts, any CB Radio shop will tweak and peak your radio for $30-60. I've got a Cobra 29 running at 57 watts with a 4' fiberglass attenna tuned at 1.3/1 on channel 19 and I can talk to my buddy about 15 miles away through hilly terrain. And don't anyone give me any crap about FCC regulations because there's not a damn trucker out there running at 4 watts. You'll have to be doing something really stupid to get the FCC's attention talking on an "illegal" CB.

I had a run down Hwy 5 last weekend... the truckers were talking about some of the cops taking their 'booster's... and yes, my well tuned 4 watts if transmit power wasn't able to hit everything I could hear...

All I'm gonna say is that if you're breaking the law in any way, shape or form, posting about it on the internet is not something practical to do.
 

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A three foot anything is not going to get you out! Four foot antenna, minimum! And ground everything!!
I'm there with ya on the ham radio. I want to put in a Yaesu FT7800R, but then I would have two radios in the rig, plus an antenna farm on the roof. Also, a CB radio is pretty much required on our WATTORA runs. So for now, I'll stick with my trusty President Lincoln.



 

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Mr Tacomi said:
I had a run down Hwy 5 last weekend... the truckers were talking about some of the cops taking their 'booster's... and yes, my well tuned 4 watts if transmit power wasn't able to hit everything I could hear...

All I'm gonna say is that if you're breaking the law in any way, shape or form, posting about it on the internet is not something practical to do.
I'm just stating the truth that everyone with a CB clearly experiences when driving down the road. My measly 57 watts is nothing compared to some of the guys running amps in the hundreds and even thousands of watts range. There's a reason why the terms "tweaked and peaked" are so widely used, it's because dang near everyone's radio is. My intent of the post was not to brag about "illegal" practices but to inform the OP of a remedy for his diappointment which will give him much more satisfaction out of his investment.
 
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