It depends on how you want to use the cb. If you just want it for emergencies or to listen for traffic problems, etc. WallyWorld has a Maxtor cb for about $35 and antenna (stick on-thru the window-no need to drill holes) for about $15. The range isn't all that great, but it's good for the above. If you're looking for something more powerful, check out Radio Shack.
Well, if your gonna put in a CB, you may as well put in a good one. If you put in a cheap"O", you will probably not be happy. You can get decent ones at various places and some have antennas included. Like last post said, it all depends on what you really want to use it for.....good luck
The 'best' CBs tend to be the 'professional' ones you get from a 18 wheeler CB shop. Many are 'Single Side Band', which provides more power between SSB radios at the cost of some clarity when talking with a non SSB rig. A good Cobra or equivalent non-SSB is perhaps the next best choice. I've got a nice Radio Shack which has both SSB and CB Scanner built in, but they don't sell it any more. In my new truck, I have the Cobra where the entire radio is built into the microphone. Just install a little (2 cubic inch) box attached to power and antenna, plug in the 'microphone' to this box, and you have a complete CB, with CB scanner and Weather bands. On sale at Campers World for under $100 every now and then.
The real key is the antenna. With permanent mount, there are many options, but for temporary use, a good magnet mount is probably the most practical. I've got one for around town, about 1.5 feet tall, looks like a cellular antenna, from Radio Shack. But when on the road, you need something LONG and QUALITY, like the WILSON 1000, to give any real range.
There has been some good advice given. When installing a CB on a fiberglass RV, you will need a good ground plane. My motorhome came from the factory equipped with an antenna but I could never get decent reception until I went to a CB shop and had the proper antenna put in. I also use the Cobra handheld in the motorhome with an auxilliary speaker and now everything works great. A year ago I decided to install a CB in my tow car and found some great buys on ebay.
Well you've been given some good advice above on some inexpensive radio options. However, if you wish to contact the mother ship, you gotta go big , & that wont be cheap! You need a good export radio, Galaxy, RCI, Connex There are many good radios out there. Keep in mind that none of them new out of the box talk worth a darn. You need to find a good reputable CB shop & have them tune up your radio so it you can be heard good & loud . You need a good antenna, this too must be tuned to the radio, with a quality coax at the correct length, you can spend a thousand dollars on equipment but if it is not set up right & all components properly matched to each other,, you'll still be just another mud-duck in the pond! I've been into CB Radio for about 25 yrs now and have a closet full of the smaller junk described above (no offense intended) The system I run today in my big-rig is as follows: Galaxy 99 Radio, Snowcap Technologies 6 pill amp, RM 400 amp to drive the 6 pill, Predator 10K antenna, 18 ft. coax. The end result is the mother ship is now trying to contact me! I talk all over country with this set-up, and when the skip condition is in, I talk all over the world! So it just depends on what you really wanna do. I f ya just wanna be able to talk across the street any radio will do that for ya, but if ya wanna really get out with the big strappers ya gotta set up a big radio! :laugh:
MRT57MRK, there is nothing wrong with having the best radio, the best antenna, the best mounting and top notch coax, all tuned for optimal performance. But I was under the impression that output was restricted by law to 5 watts (more, maybe 12 watts on SSB). Sure you can talk to the mothership, but aren't you worried that if you run into a FCC truck you might be socked with mucho dinero in fines? Or have they relaxed those regulations?
hertig: The equipment that mrt57mrk suggested is mostly illegal possibly with the exception of the radio (even that is probably "tuned" outside of factory specs). Without getting into the "bandit" style of the CB, the laws/rules limit the power out of CB radios. The equipment that mrt57mrk suggested will interfere with any electronic equipment nearby, and make you an instant outcast if anyone finds out who is causing it.
quote:MRT57MRK, there is nothing wrong with having the best radio, the best antenna, the best mounting and top notch coax, all tuned for optimal performance. But I was under the impression that output was restricted by law to 5 watts (more, maybe 12 watts on SSB). Sure you can talk to the mothership, but aren't you worried that if you run into a FCC truck you might be socked with mucho dinero in fines? Or have they relaxed those regulations?
Well fellas, technically you are absolutely right! FCC regulations limit cb radio power to 4 watts, and if this was still the late sixties, into the seventies there would be good reason to be concerned. However, they stopped actively trying to enforce these regulations years ago. The truth is 9 out of 10 big-rigs running up & down the highways and interstates of this country are running at the very least, a couple hundred watts along with export radios. We all buy export radios because they aren't tuned down to meet FCC standards. The base stations all around the country as a rule are running far more power than any of the mobiles, and is in large the reason we all run big radios in our trucks, if we dont the base stations just cover us up & flat wont let ya talk! :laugh:
MRT57MRK, so what you are saying is that it is illegal, but don't worry about it because the FCC is no longer trying to enforce the regulations? That's a choice a person needs to make for themselves, and I'm not sure that recommending that course of action is a good thing to do.
As I understand it, FCC fines are in the neighborhood of $5000 per transmission, so even if they are not actively trying to catch people, one suspects they would prosocute if an offender 'fell into their laps'. Especially if they got complaints about a particular person.
And just because some people may do something illegal and annoying, that does not justify anyone else doing the same thing to compensate. I listen to the CB while travelling, and there is not that much talking going on these days, with the exception of around big cities and during unexpected situations on the road.
Ignoring the legality of high powered CB and the personalities involved, CB amps with a "couple hundred watts" are overdriven electronically. This causes them to emit frequencies beyond their "design". You can even hear them on your FM radio if they're in the neighborhood. Mobile rigs only affect you briefly as they go by, but put one of those in the RV park with you and instant problems occur. :angry:
I would never suggest that someone use that kind of power in a park. With the exception of some abnoxious base stations, I don't know of anyone that would want to intentionly be a problem to their neighbors. With the flip of a switch you're talking barefoot. Just because you have the ability to power up when need be to reach out there to a distant station, certainly doesn't mean you have to use it all the time.
I also am not suggesting that anyone should or should not run a system that is above FCC standards. That is an individual choice. I simply tried to answer the man's question. He stated that he wanted to " get in touch with the mother ship". I told him how, what he does with that information is his business.
I agree with you completely that this kind of power used carelessly can be a real problem interference wise. Personally, I do appreciate other peoples rights and try to run my radio responsibly. I talk barefoot whenever I can. Where I use power is on the low side of the band shooting skip on a channel that the only people using the channel are all there doing the same thing. Even then, I do it out on the open road, NOT in town, and certainly not in an RV park! I have never had any kind of complaints from neighbors or anyone else.
Having said that, I wish you the best of luck and a great day!!
"I agree with you completely that this kind of power used carelessly can be a real problem interference wise." How would you know if your equipment interfered with a hospital that you were driving near? Or someone's pacemaker in the car driving beside you?
"I do appreciate other peoples rights and try to run my radio responsibly." How would you know?
"That is an individual choice." It isn't. There are laws involved.
I'm sure that you and yours are really great people, and I don't mean even to imply otherwise. However, your comments above seem to be in total contradiction with the facts involving this type of "bandit" CB equipment.
Of course, we can give our advise anytime or any place, but perhaps advise on illegal and interfering CB equipment would be better kept private rather than putting it out on a forum where we have no idea who might pick up on it.
Please don't read anything personal into my comment, because if I was standing in front of you right now, I'd stick my big old hand out and ask you to shake! Texas style! :laugh:
I have operated Cb radios since 1988...i can tell you from personal experience and tuning one up...that a factory radio tunes at near 20 watts...with any Antenna..the small center coil 2 footer cheapo at Radio Shack or any wilson 500,1000, etc..tuned properly are loud ...peaking the radio, and Audio modifications...is simple...and there isn't a 1-5 db gain in using a 100 watt Linear amp...i think using a 100 watt Hf amp is OK...no more than 100 though...above 100 it increases interference...and makes big Fcc Violations...100 is simple enough..and never does more than 25 watts really..considering ANtenna gains..a 20 watt mobile through a high gain antenna...is 4X that of power...20 watts X 4 = 80 watts PeP...25 X 4 = 100 watts Pep and on the ERP levels...estimated all mobile peaked are pushing 80-100 watts ERP levels anyways with 100% modulation,Power mics...so a small 100 WATT HF linear is all you need...no need for 500WATTS...100 watts overlooked....500 watts a serious matter...that defines it...
If you know this much about radios, then you should know that a CB radio is not supposed to be "peaked". It is supposed to be "tuned" down to 4 watts output to be legal. Limited to 4 watts output even though it is capable of more.
Almost everything that you said in your post is illegal for the CB radio band. But what the heck, if you don't like the law, just ignore it!
Have a nice day (even though you might not know when you killed someone's pacemaker with high wattage and frequency splatter! I just hope it isn't mine.)