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    CB radio information

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    booth9c1ss

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    CB radio information

    Post by booth9c1ss on Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:08 am

    I found this on another forum but it has lots of really good information.

    Credit goes to these guys: radardetector.net

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       The CB is considered the absolute best traffic enforcement countermeasure available on the open highway. It is rated more important than even a radar detector. This sticky is to answer all of the most Frequently Asked Questions by our members regarding Citizens' Band radio.

       If you have a link or a snippet you would like to add or change, post the fixes below and I'll add it and give you credit. . Most questions do not have a right or a wrong answer, so a brief synopsis will be given to point one in the right direction.

       Irregardless of the question whether 0 is a number, we start off with #0...

       0. What is the difference between a police scanner and a CB?
       1. How do I use a CB as a countermeasure to avoid speed traps?
       2. What type of radio should I buy?
       3. Should I have my radio peaked & tuned or aligned when I buy it?
       4. Do I have to have a huge antenna on my vehicle?
       5. Where should I put my antenna?
       6. What are with the different length antennas?
       7. Can't I run my CB on the same antenna as my AM/FM radio?
       8. Is the antenna on my handheld decent?
       9. Which antenna manufacturer should I chose?
       10. Why does my antenna have a spring built into it?
       11. Why does my antenna have this black chunk in the middle?
       12. Did I really need that black tip at the top?
       13. If I 'misplaced' my set screw, would I, per chance, be able to find a replacement?
       14. Can I install my CB myself?
       15. Does my radio or antenna need to be tuned before I use it?
       16. How do I tune my antenna SWRs?
       17. Can I put something under my antenna so it doesn't scratch the paint?
       18. Do any CB channels correspond to Walkie Talkie channels?
       19. How do I listen to all 40 channels at once?
       20. Why is channel 9 important?
       21. What about all those other channels?
       22. What are the frequencies of each channel?
       23. Do I have to have a CB to listen to truck traffic?
       24. What the heck am I going to do with 17' of antenna (coax) cable?
       25. Are there any accessories or modifications I should get for my CB radio?

       ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


       0. What is the difference between a police scanner and a CB?
       [Thanks to: The Breeze, robcollins5, Stealth Stalker]

       A police scanner is actually just a a radio receiver, just like the stereo in your car. It does not transmit. You cannot talk on it. It is designed to receive radio transmission on any number of frequencies or channels used by police, fire, paramedics, news media, and anyone else using two-way radios. Most scanners must first be programmed with frequencies that you want to listen to before they can be used. Some come pre-loaded with frequencies that are common to much of the country. The name "scanner" comes from the actual performance of the device. After the frequencies to listen to are determined and programmed into the device by the user, it will search all of them in succession for any active transmission. If someone is transmitting on a frequency the scanner will pause on that frequency allowing the user to listen to what is being transmitted.

       A Citizens Band (CB) Radio is a device pre-programmed with 40 channels or frequencies that can be monitored by any individual regardless of licensure, skill, or knowledge of the technology. A CB is also capable of transmitting (talking) on those 40 channels. The FCC set aside these 40 frequencies to facilitate the funneling of all current and future public chatter on airwaves into a small range that is easily searched and monitored, and doesn't interfere with essential government, business, or otherwise "claimed" frequency ranges. The two main uses of the CB are for communications between drivers on the highway, mostly truckers, and for hobby communications. The primary purpose it serves for us is to keep us informed about police traffic enforcement, as drivers discuss this information in real time.


       1. How do I use a CB as a countermeasure to avoid speed traps?
       [Thanks to: Stealth Stalker]

       The use of CB radio to avoid police traffic enforcement was pioneered by over the road truck drivers as early as the 1960s. This use of CB radios exploded in 1974, when the nationwide 55 mph speed limit was implemented, and speed enforcement on the highways reached epic proportions. For the next ten years, every trucker, and a great many regular car drivers, all bought CBs and began to use them to pass speed trap information to each other while travelling the higways. It's a sort of neighbor helping neighbor system that is responsible for millions of tickets avoided over the years. While the use of CB has diminished very significantly since the 55 speed limit was abolished in 1987 (as well as the rise in gas prices slowing truckers down), this system still exists and continues to save many people from speeding tickets.

       The way it works is quite simple. Truckers and other highway travelers tune into CB channel 19 and monitor. If you see a police officer watching traffic or running radar -- whether moving or stationary -- you alert other drivers by announcing what you see. Other drivers hopefully do the same. Calling out these sightings is not as proliferate as it once was though, so sometimes you will need to ask the other drivers if they have any police sightings to report, and hope someone has some good information to offer. Such requests are always better respected if they are preceded by you giving your own report.

       When you give a report, you do not have to have a police sighting to offer. In fact, simply informing other drivers that there were no police spotted between two given points is as valuable as an actual sighting.

       Another way that the CB is useful to you is in avoiding traffic jams. When an accident has the highway shut down, or seriously slowed down, you will usually hear truckers announcing the situation on channel 19. This gives you the opportunity to either decide to wait it out, or to take an alternate route, depending upon the situation.

       Traffic reporting on the CB takes place primarily on the Interstate highways. It is much less common on smaller highways, and pretty much non-existent on city surface streets. But you will find it on larger US highways too. Anywhere you are seeing occasional 18-wheelers, you may find the CB being used as a countermeasure.

       Before you start trying to utilize this system, it pays to spend a good while just listening to channel 19 to see how it works. The trucking community has a language all it's own, and that language establishes a certain etiquette. If you want their help, you will need to sound like one of them. You don't necessarily need to change your voice to sound like a complete hick. But you do need to choose the proper, accepted terminology to say what you want to say. If you play their game, they will respect you and play along. It may sound silly, but there is nothing silly about the huge money you can save in speeding tickets by playing this game!

       A comprehensive glossary of CB lingo can be found at: http://www.cbgazette.com/slang.html

       Here are some threads with videos of the CB in action in actual traffic/police reports, so you can get an idea of how it works:
       Smokie Being Called Out On The NJTP
       http://www.radardetector.net/forums/...r-beat-v1.html
       http://www.radardetector.net/forums/...on-run-cb.html
       http://www.radardetector.net/forums/...r-chatter.html
       http://www.radardetector.net/forums/...aginaw-ar.html
       CB useful on 2 lanes...


       2. What type of radio should I buy?

       [Thanks to: The Breeze, robcollins5, Stealth Stalker]

       The choice of what radio to buy is as diverse and complicated as what RD you operate. Choices range from powerful mobile-base-station type units to cigarette lighter adapter handheld units. To determine what may best suit your needs, as yourself these questions:
       * Do I want to get seriously into the CB hobby, or am I just looking for a countermeasure device?

       * Are you limited on space for a CB, or do you have plenty of room under the dash or center console?

       * Is hiding the radio a big concern, or do you mind having it out in the open?

       * Are you on a limited budget, and if so, what is it?

       * Do you want a lot of bang for the buck, or just the cheapest you can get by with?

       * Do you have a CB shop or truck stop to buy from locally, or do you need to order online?
       Once you answer those questions, we can help you evaluate your needs and your options. Radios range from the very popular, very small, very inexpensive, yet very well performing Cobra 19 Ultra III, widely available at $35 to $45 dollars...



       To the large, high-end, feature-rich Texas Ranger TRE936, available in the $160 dollar range...



       And in the $100 dollar range, there is even a CB (Cobra 75WXST) that hides in your trunk, or under your seat, with all the controls found in the microphone for a nice, clean cockpit look. This is especially nice for those in cramped, or high end luxury cars where aesthetics are a concern.



       Most full-featured CBs can be found in the $100 dollar or less range, so there is definitely no reason to break the bank for good performance. But many truckers and other seriously hardcore CB enthusiasts will often spend $400 to $500 dollars on a special "export" radio alone, plus many hundreds more on amplifiers and accessories. Basically, you can make this as cheap or as expensive as you like! But for under $100 dollars, you can have an effective CB countermeasure set-up, complete with radio and antenna.

       Don't even ask us about hand-held CBs! They are toys, and nothing more. No good as a countermeasure. No good for emergencies. No good for nothing. Don't waste our time or your money.


       3. Should I have my radio peaked & tuned or aligned when I buy it?
       [Thanks to: The Breeze, Stealth Stalker, robcollins5]

       The CB is generally considered a plug-and-play device that does not require any special set-up or tuning prior to use. And for use as a basic countermeasure against speed traps, it's not really necessary. However, many radio sales outlets offer a "peak and tune" on new radios, usually for around twenty extra dollars, that will squeeze a bit more power, reception, and modulation out of your radio for peak performance. Although not necessary, most would agree that it is worth it.


       4. Do I have to have a huge antenna on my vehicle?
       [Thanks to: FoolishOne, Stealth Stalker]

       That question is a lot easier asked then answered. It depends on the type of performance you are expecting to get. To answer the question bluntly, yes, for any reliable and clear signal you are going to have to utilise an antenna that is between three to six feet long, and mounted to the exterior of the vehicle. There are other, shorter options that are significantly smaller, but none of them will provide you with enough performance to work as a reliable speed trap countermeasure. For that, performance is paramount, and length equals performance.


      5. Where should I put my antenna?
       [Thanks to: FoolishOne]

       Whether you drill a hole or use a magnet for a mount, the best place for an antenna on your vehicle is the highest point. This is not to say that other locations will provide unsatisfactory performance, but optimum is at the top. There are all sorts of side mirror mounts, fender mounts, etc. that provide sufficient performance. Be sure not to over look the concept of ground planes.


       6. What are with the different length antennas?
       [Thanks to: FoolishOne, Stealth Stalker]

       The antenna is used to send and receive all radio communications. The channels of the CB radio are on frequencies that are much lower than the AM/FM radio, a police radio, a cellphone, or a cheap walkie talkie. And lower frequencies require proportionately longer antennae. Consequently, you cannot operate a CB on a shorter antenna made for a different frequency range. As an anaolgy, a 10 pounds of potatoes requires a ten pound bag. You can't do the job with a 5 pound bag. Therefore, for optimum CB performance, the antenna must be a specific electrical length. Ideally, that length is 102 inches. However, through some electrical design techniques, you can get 108 inch performance out of a three to five foot antenna. But again, the antenna must be specifically designed for CB, and not any other use.


       7. Can't I run my CB on the same antenna as my AM/FM radio?

       [Thanks to: Stealth Stalker]

       No. See question #6 above. Antennae are band specific, and are not interchangeable between different types of radios. At one time, several manufacturers produced CB antennae that looked much like AM/FM antennae, but longer, and they could replace your OEM antenna to run both the CB and AM/FM with. But with the decline in the CB market, these are no longer made. If you try to run your CB on any antenna except a CB specific antenna, you will ruin your radio.


      8. Is the antenna on my handheld decent?
       [Thanks to: FoolishOne, Stealth Stalker]

       Depends on the definition of decent. Using the above information, placement and the length of the antenna are crucial to an effective radio. The antenna on a handheld has 2 things against it:
       1) it is inside a big metal object (your car) with all this "stuff" blocking the signal
       2) it is short.
       Consequently, the "Rubber Duckie" antenna that comes on a handheld CB radio cannot be counted on for performance "decent" enough to work as a countermeasure.

       Handheld CBs can be attached to external CB antennae, just like any other CB radio, which can significantly improve their performance over the "Rubber Duckie" antenna that comes with the radio. However, as also mentioned in Question #2, no matter how good your antenna is:

       
    Don't even ask us about hand-held CBs! They are toys, and nothing more. No good as a countermeasure. No good for emergencies. No good for nothing. Don't waste our time or your money.

      9. Which antenna manufacturer should I chose?
       [Thanks to: FoolishOne, robcollins5]

       The brands most respected and most often used in this community are Wilson, FireStik, Maxrad/PC Tel, and Antenex/Laird, although there are other reputable, quality antenna makers. If you are a trucker, or otherwise have lots of room for a big, ugly antenna, the Predator 10K antennae are arguably the best. But Wilson and Firestik are top of the line, and the most widely available at most truck stops and CB shops, as well as online CB retailers. Maxrad and Antenex are professional products that take a little more effort to find. They aren't any better than a Wilson or Firestik, but they are a little more professional looking, for those who are concerned with aesthetics.

       For the average person who uses the CB only as a countermeasure to speed traps, and doesn't want to drill holes in his car, the Wilson Little Wil is highly recommended. It is small (for a CB antenna), inexpensive, magnetically mounted on any flat metal surface, and performs nearly as well as any top of the line antenna. Unless you plan to run an external linear power amplifier (see question #25d), you won't really need anything bigger.

       WARNING: Before you ask about any other brand of antenna, please refer to the Forum Rules for more information.


       10. Why does my antenna have a spring built into it?

       [Thanks to: robcollins5]

       The spring that some antennas have built in is there for several reasons. First, it increases the effectiveness of the magnet. It allows for more flexibility making it less likely for the magnet to fail. Second, Radio Frequency Energy (RF Energy) has to go somewhere. A larger antenna disperses energy more efficiently. Although the coil does not assist in the TUNING of the antenna by way of logic a coil creates surface area which better emits RF energy. We all know that more emitted-energy is less returned-energy. (LOWER SWRS!!!)


       11. Why does my antenna have this black chunk in the middle?

       [Thanks to: robcollins5]

       Much for the same reason as the spring mentioned in 6. Where the spring creates more surface area to emit RF energy the black chunk is actually a concentration of coils which results in a build-up of RF energy...a bottleneck, if you will. Often times you will see this in smaller antennas in an attempt to amplify the signal or in very large antennas, such as those you see on semi's, for those avid users who are ever striving for more "reach."


       12. Did I really need that black tip at the top?

       [Thanks to: robcollins5]

       The black tip is plastic/rubber. It does not enhance or restrict your antenna's functional characteristics. In most cases the tip is applied to avoid a classic environmental incident - STATIC. If the tip is there it most definitely served a purpose. Should you run out for a new antenna if it disappears? Probably not. It would be advised that you replace the tip with some other household material to prevent against static and the worst natural disaster - Rust.

       Refer to this thread and cell21633's response.


       13. If I 'misplaced' my set screw, would I, per chance, be able to find a replacement?
       [Thanks to:FoolishOne]

       For the Wilson antennas, yes. Thanks to Motor On we know it's a 10-32x1/8 link. Pick up at the local hardware store.


       14. Can I install my CB myself?
       [Thanks to: StealthStalker, robcollins5]

       Yes, Virtually any CB Radio can be installed by any amateur car electronics technician. Knowledge in car audio, 12v hard wiring, or even car detailing is directly transferable here. Keep in mind that you are the only person that needs to be satisfied with your install! All mobile-mount CB radios come from the factory with a mounting bracket, mounting screws, fused power cord, and directions. For the typical, simple install, follow the included directions. For more clever and involved installs, you will need a little ingenuity, and possibly even the help of an experienced CBer. To install it into your dashboard, or to separate the controls from the chassis, you may need to go to an auto accessory shop like Car Toys or Circuit City for a professional installation. And if you choose to use any kind of antenna other than a magnetic mount, it is recommended that you get professional or experienced help.

       If you choose to do the installation yourself, make use of the following tips:
       * Place your antenna first. Regardless of whether you intend to leave your antenna permanently or place/remove the antenna depending on needs, place the antenna where you intend to have it while the CB is in use.

       * Be certain that the Antenna cable (coax) will reach the location you've decided to place your CB. This may affect where you choose to mount the radio. If it doesn't, don't worry. Extensions are cheap.

       * Choose a place to mount your radio. Choose wisely with the help of this link.

       * Make use of built-in areas such as console space, coin areas, or flip-up doors built into the aesthetics of your vehicle. Don't be afraid to try several placements before deciding on one!

       * Do NOT place the radio anywhere in your travel path should you be involved in a front-end collision. (In front of knees, face, etc...)

       * Do NOT place the radio in a regular path of travel for entering/exiting your vehicle. (Left door panel, Left underside of dash, etc...)

       * Don't be afraid to use classic red-neck tools such as duct-tape and zip ties, Velcro, or 3m moulding tape to achieve the security and placement that you desire with the aesthetic finish that you desire. After all, is John Smith going to realize that you have duct-tape holding your radio precisely where you want it if he can't see it.

       * Hard wiring your CB directly to your car battery is the best method of assuring safe, optimum performance. The above thread is a good tutorial guide. There are also some examples to be found in the "How To" and "Show Off Your Install" sections of this forum. There are two other alternatives to direct wiring to the battery:
       a. Tap into the fuse box using an "Add-a-Circuit" adapter found at most auto supply stores, and online.

       b. Pick up a 12V DC cigarette lighter adapter at Radio Shack, Wal-Mart. or an auto supply store, that has ready-stripped positive/negative ends to connect to your power cord. This method, of course, is not encouraged for several reasons. It provides low voltage that limits the performance of your radio. It often results in electrical noise in your CB that will drive you crazy. And it prevents the use of your lighter plug for other devices, such as your cellphone and radar detector.
       * As soon as you deliver power and an antenna source to your CB, you're ready to listen! But...

      DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TALK ON YOUR NEWLY INSTALLED CB UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD YOUR ANTENNA TUNED! You risk ruining your radio. See questions #13 and 14 for assistance.


      15. Does my radio or antenna need to be tuned before I use it?
       [Thanks to: StealthStalker, robcollins5]

       The CB is generally considered a plug-and-play device that does not require any special set-up or tuning prior to use. And for use as a basic countermeasure against speed traps, it's not really necessary. However, many radio sales outlets offer a "peak and tune" on new radios, usually for around twenty extra dollars, that will squeeze a bit more power, reception, and modulation out of your radio for peak performance. Although not necessary, most would agree that it is worth it.

       Aside from the radio itself, you should have your antenna checked and tuned before transmitting on any channel (see next question). Until you get your antenna tuned, your transmissions may come across to listeners as squealing, full of static, cutting in and out, or even between channels. Worse yet, you may irreparably damage or ruin your radio. Do not transmit with your new radio installation until you have your antenna tuned (or visit threads within this forum for a DIY). The more you transmit on an un-tuned radio, the more damage you may cause to the radio's interior electrical components. With enough transmitting, you will burn out the radio.


       16. How do I tune my antenna SWRs?
       [Thanks to: robcollins5, StealthStalker, srtga]

       This is something that you can do by yourself. However, it takes a special meter (which is very low cost), and a little knowledge. If you are technically minded, and don't mind spending twenty or thirty bucks, as well as an hour researching the process online, you shouldn't have any problem doing this. Sometimes it is very quick. Other times, you may be stuck for days trying to get the SWR levels adjusted to acceptable levels. All in all, I recommend that the CB n00b get this done by a professional or experienced CBer the first time, to make sure it is right. If you do it wrong, you can kill your radio. Good tutorials are found here and here.


      17. Can I put something under my antenna so it doesn't scratch the paint?
       [Thanks to: StealthStalker]

       NO! Don't do it. There must be direct metal contact between your magnetic antenna base and your car. A piece of cloth or vinyl will make a significant difference in your SWRs, potentially resulting in irreparable damage or ruining of your radio when you transmit. If you are that worried about your paint scratching (which is certainly a valid concern, then you need to find another mounting option, or else take the microphone off of your radio so that it cannot transmit.


       18. Do any CB channels correspond to Walkie Talkie channels?
       [Thanks to: REBinc, robcollins5, Stealth Stalker]

       It depends upon the walkie talkie. Most of the, tiny, palm-sized, inexpensive walkie talkies sold in pairs in blister packs, are channelled on the Family Radio Service (FRS), not the Citizens Band (CB). They are not compatible. If your walkie talkie is the size of your hand, and has an antenna that is four inches or less in length, it is not a CB radio, and cannot talk or listen on CB channels, even though the channel numbers are the same. Some examples:




       There are, however, CB radio walkie talkies that operate on the CB channels. They are significantly larger, with larger antennae, and are not easily confused with FRS radios. They are also strongly discouraged for countermeasure use because of their dismal performance. They simply are not worth wasting any money on.


       19. How do I listen to all 40 channels at once?
       [Thanks to: robcollins5]

       You don't, nor do you need to as most talk happens on channel 19 (channel 17 for certain western states/areas). Some CB Radios, such as the Midland 75-822, have a built in "scan" feature that will traverse all 40 channels in a matter of seconds, however a CB can only receive on one channel at a time.


      20. Why is channel 9 important?
       [Thanks to: robcollins5, Stealth Stalker]

       Channel 9 is the nationally designated Emergency Channel. Federal law restricts it's use to only emergencies (reporting accidents or requesting public safety response) or motorist assistance calls (asking for directions or roadside service). It is illegal to chit-chat on channel 9, and only a complete arsehole would do so. From the mid-1970s until the mid-1980s, many highway patrol and state police cruisers and stations were outfitted with CB radios, and they could easily be contacted using channel 9. This has all but completely discontinued in most parts of the country, now that everyone has a cell phone. But despite its current un-popularity, it is still used in some areas, and the frequency may still be monitored by police in those areas. You definitely would not want to have to count on it as your means of communications in an emergency though.

       Because channel 9 is restricted, it stays very quiet. Some CBs monitor two channels at once. If yours does, it is recommended that you monitor channel 9 in addition to channel 19, so if someone goes there requesting assistance, you may be able to relay their emergency message for them by cell phone.


      21. What about all those other channels?
       [Thanks to: The Breeze, Stealth Stalker, robcollins5]

       There are only two out of forty channels on a standard CB that you will ever be concerned with. Channel 19 is the universal channel for highway traffic advisories. This is where the truckers all hang out to share information on traffic conditions and speed traps. And, as mentioned above, channel 9 is the universal emergency channel, but is rarely used anymore. The other thirty-eight channels are just there for people to use at random for private conversations and general chit chat. Many towns will have CB clubs, or just loose groups of regular users who choose a channel as their home channel for chatting on. And if your friends or family have CBs, and you want to pick a channel to meet on, you are free to do so. But there are no other channels in wide, nationwide use for any purpose that you need to be aware of. As a countermeasure, we could honestly get by with just a single channel radio, if they made one.


      22. What are the frequencies of each channel?
       [Thanks to: fire65]

       The CB frequencies can easily be found on the internet. fire65 was nice enough to provide 1-click service and listed them in the post directly below this one.


      23. Do I have to have a CB to listen to truck traffic?
       [Thanks to: robcollins5, Stealth Stalker]

       Not necessarily. Being that all CB channels operate on single frequencies, those frequencies can be programmed into any analog-capable scanner to be monitored. As stated in question #0, though, scanners are for monitoring only and you are unable to transmit. Often times purchasing a scanner can be more expensive and less productive than purchasing a CB Radio. Although CB channels can be monitored on some scanners, using an actual CB radio for the purpose works a lot better, and a lot cheaper.


      24. What the heck am I going to do with 17' of antenna (coax) cable?
       [Thanks to: Foolish One, Stealth Stalker]

       You will notice that most CB antennae come with 15 to 17 feet of antenna (coax) cable attached to them. If this turns out to be more than you need, just shove it somewhere under the seat, in a crevice, or a recess that is not going to be seen. Do NOT cut it off! This length is an integral part of the antenna system, and it is needed to add 'electrical' length to the antenna. Do not cut it. Do not coil it up like a garden hose. Do not kink it, or tightly fold or bind it, as this may damage the internal conductors and result in damage to your radio.


      25. Are there any accessories or modifications I should get for my CB radio?
       [Thanks to: Stealth Stalker]

       There are numerous additions and modifications that are available for most CB radios. Some are extremely useful. Some are just noisy gimmicks. Some you can do yourself. Some require an experienced technician to install. Here are a few of the most popular modifications:
       a. Echo Board - Technically, this is nothing but a gimmick to give your voice some echo, as if you're in the bathroom or a cave. But it has become so popular among the truckers that it is now the norm. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you want the truckers to talk to you like you're one of them, it very much helps to sound like you have a quality radio like them. Therefore, it's a nice addition to have. Most online CB dealers will install it when you purchase it, as will most any CB shop you can find locally.

       b. Talkback - This is a circuit installed into your radio (or comes standard on some high-end radios) that allows you to hear your own voice modulation through your CB speaker as you talk. Through the speaker, you will not just hear your own voice, but you will hear it as it actually sounds to those you are talking to. This allows you to know the quality of your signal, and if you have an adjustable power microphone, to adjust it to the level that is best understood. If you have a power mic, it is well worth having talkback. If not, you pretty much just have to be obsessed with your own voice to even consider it.

       c. Roger Beep - This is an audible "beep" or "ping" transmitted by your radio either when you press the button to talk, or when you stop talking (or both). It was developed and originally used by NASA for transmissions between flight control and spacecraft, and it let the listening party know that the talking party was finished talking, so they could begin talking without talking at the same time as them. It was useful for that purpose. However, in CB radio, it is very strongly discouraged. Truckers have to leave their radios turned up quite loud to overcome the road noise inside of a truck. When you key up a radio that emits a loud, high pitched beep, it is so extremely annoying that not only will they not talk to you to help you, but they'll probably cuss you out and prevent you from talking to anyone else.

       d. Linear Amplifier - This is an external device, roughly the size of a cigar box, that goes in between your radio and your antenna to boost your transmitter strength. It makes a significant difference in how far you can be heard. It is, however, illegal by federal law. That doesn't stop most truckers and hardcore CB hobbyists from using them. And if you want one, there isn't much stopping you. However, few people would say that such power is necessary when using a CB only as a countermeasure. A quality CB radio and antenna installation will talk an average of two to five miles, which is plenty of distance to learn of speed traps ahead. And after about 100 watts (the lower end of linear amplifier strengths), you begin to talk much farther than you can receive, so it becomes pointless unless the other person is also using one. Linear amplifiers are found online, and "under the counter" at most CB shops for an average of one dollar per watt, give or take.

       e. Power Output Peak - This is part of the usual "peak and tune" service that most online CB dealers and local CB shops will offer you for twenty to forty dollars when you purchase a new CB. It is certainly worth it. What this does is to adjust the circuitry of your radio to ensure that it is pushing out as much transmitter power as possible. Most CBs come from the factory pushing 3 or 4 watts. Peaking can double that output, or even more. It won't work miracles. Even with the best stock radio, it's not likely to ever get more than 15 watts output. The only way to do that is to purchase an external linear amplifier. But every little bit helps. Just beware that, if you intend to run a linear amplifier, it is not advisable to have your radio power peaked. Linears often work best with lower power inputs.

       f. Power Microphone - This is a new microphone that replaces the microphone that comes stock with your radio. They are powered either through the cord, or with an internal battery, and they significantly increase the loudness of your transmitted voice, without actually increasing your transmitter power. The louder your voice is, the farther it will be heard, maximising the efficiency of your transmitter. This is probably the number one best, most cost-effective upgrade you can do to any CB radio, and is highly recommended to make any radio -- even a cheap radio -- sound a hundred percent better.

       g. Modulation Peaking - This too is part of the usual "Peak and tune" service typically offered when you purchase a new CB from a CB shop online or locally. What it does is to adjust the circuitry of the radio to simply make your voice louder. The louder your voice (without yelling or speaking louder), the farther you will be heard, which is a good thing. It also gets the respect of the truckers, which is what you want. It will not quite achieve what a high quality power mic will do for you. But it is cheaper, and still makes a significant difference. Nothing wrong with doing both, for that matter.

       h. Channel Expansion - There are a lot of unofficial channels that can be tuned in with a CB radio if a technician does a little work on the internal circuitry. A lot of truckers will have this done, or simply purchase Ham radios that already have those channels in them. They use those channels occasionally for general, personal chit chat when they want to get away from crowded CB channels. However, there is nothing important going on there that you'll miss. Certainly not necessary as a countermeasure. And, of course, these channels are illegal to use. If you intend to become a hardcore CB hobby geek, spending hundreds of dollars to chit chat with anyone and everyone for hours and hours a day as an obsession, then it is recommended that you buy what is called an "export radio", which is a CB made for sale outside of the US, that already contains the "alternative" channels in it from the factory. Installing them into an existing CB is a waste.


    Last edited by booth9c1ss on Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:42 pm; edited 3 times in total
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    booth9c1ss

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    Re: CB radio information

    Post by booth9c1ss on Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:23 am

    original post wrote:

       6. What are with the different length antennas?
       [Thanks to: FoolishOne, Stealth Stalker]

       The antenna is used to send and receive all radio communications. The channels of the CB radio are on frequencies that are much lower than the AM/FM radio, a police radio, a cellphone, or a cheap walkie talkie. And lower frequencies require proportionately longer antennae. Consequently, you cannot operate a CB on a shorter antenna made for a different frequency range. As an anaolgy, a 10 pounds of potatoes requires a ten pound bag. You can't do the job with a 5 pound bag. Therefore, for optimum CB performance, the antenna must be a specific electrical length. Ideally, that length is 102 inches. However, through some electrical design techniques, you can get 108 inch performance out of a three to five foot antenna. But again, the antenna must be specifically designed for CB, and not any other use.

    102" isn't just a random length, it's the length of one quarter wavelength on 27mhz (CB frequency).  This the standard and the best antenna available for CB use.  However, mounting it can be problematic.  The shorter fiberglass antennas attempt to replicate 102" performance by using a coil of wire.

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