CB/SSB Radio Use - I have a few questions.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JohnnyFlake, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

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    Is anyone on the forum experienced with the use of CB and/or CB/SSB Radios?

    As another SHTF item, I believe the ability to communicate, at times, can be very important. Of course, the ability to communicate wireless, with out a cell phone, even in good times, is a big benefit.

    Back in the day, like many of us old timers, I had a CB in my vehicles for a few years. I remember it as being a lot of fun back then.

    Anyway, I have been doing a lot of research and am ready to jump in, with all new equipment, set up as a base station. However, I have a few questions that I would like to clear up first.

    I will certainly appreciate any help I can get from those of you with experience.
  2. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    Where are the questions?
  3. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    If your going to plan to use it after shtf then you will want to protect your equiptment in a metal sealed container grounded. Protect from EMP. If not and your gona chance it then just get started.

    the higher your antenna's the better. I would use a tower type with 3 legs of 1` 5/8 pipe welded and go up 100'. From there I would allow for many different types of antenna's. VHF, am, scanner ect.

    I would get as many radios as possible. Cb, ssb, ham, vhf marine band, a scanner. Get 2 power supplies 12v and a marine battery for backup with a charger. Your good to go.

    Oh it doesn't take the military anythign to jam you, this is very old technology. Dinasoure even. Dont think anything you say will not be heard by othere it will. Ok for listening or reading the mail if you will. Dont say anything you dont want heard by the commies
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  4. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    one more thing the whole trick to me is to be able to get that tower up and down to service the antenna's. You could make a big footing in the ground and hinge 2 of the legs. I have a bobcat that will help me raise the tower. You probably dont so you will have to figure a way to winch it up from a tree or something. That is if you want to go 100' up.

    I think radio shack used to sell a push up pole to 36' that was not too expensive.
  5. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

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    Thanks for your responses.

    I live in Henderson, NV. which is a suburb of Las Vegas. We are fairly high where we live, about 2500' above sea level. There is no way for me to put up a 100' antenna. What I plan to start with is a FireStik KW7-B Seven foot original CB antenna. When mounted it will be about 35' off the ground.

    I will start with a Galaxy DX-959 40 Channel AM/SSB Mobile CB Radio and of course a 120V/12V power source. I will also have a separate Solar Charged 12V battery with a dedicated 60 Watt 14V Solar Panel.

    My main question is that there is no way I can configure the set up location without using about 35' of cable between the antenna and radio. What is the best cable to use, so I do not lose too much transmitting power? The unit I will use (above) will actually put out an honest 5W/5.5W CB when tweaked and 13W/14W on SSB.

    Your comments and suggestion are welcome.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  6. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    You will be better off buying a 10 meter ham radio and have it converted to pick up CB channels. Then a liner amplifer. Something around 500 watts.

    Then freeband.

    There is a lot of activity between below CB channel 1 and above the actual ham bands......world wide.

    Google is your friend on this one.
  7. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    RG 8X is common.

    I have a buddie in the marine radio business and he gets me some real heavy cable. It is 1/2" diameter. Its big like a rg 218 but i dont think that is it. The 218 is a 50 ohms cable.

    You could probably find a 50' roll made up ready to go. If 50' will make it.

    But as far as the coax goes it is a rg8

    you could probably ebay some of it
  8. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

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    I will assume that once converted you will be able to receive and transmit easily on all CB Channels and SSB Channels. Is that correct?

    What does freeband mean?

    Is this an expensive conversion?

    Do you have a radio or two to suggest for me to check out?
  9. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    Get a HAM license. Using amps, etc. with illegally modified CB rigs is not only illegal but it's also usually very spectrally noisy and attracts a lot of attention to you from your neighbors. You also learn a LOT more regarding electrical/electronics theory by going the HAM (Amateur Radio Licensee) route.
  10. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    I'd stay away from the Galaxy 949 and 959, they won't give you the power you'll be wanting. I'd go with Shooters idea and a 10 meter convert. Get the right one and you'll have 240 channels .
    Connex, Galaxy, Ranger, Stryker and Magnum all make 10 meter talk boxes.
  11. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    Way back when I was a young FCC General class amateur radio operator I made most of my antennas. (get an antenna book or probably online info, shows you what you'll need)

    We had a 65' tower with a rotor, a 15 meter diapole which I worked all over the world with it, above that a 10 element 2 meter yagi antenna...all homemade.

    We had a bare wire 80 meter 1/2 wave, 40 meter full wave dipole, one end hooked to a barn, the center hookup going the house, live end going to a 25' high gas line in concrete as a tower....again all homemade.

    We also had a Hustler 4 BTV (4 band trapped vertical) 40, 20, 15, 10 meter hooked to the chimney, not as good as a 65' tower but it will work fine.

    NOW in a pinch a temporary antenna hookup could be a tree, roof, chimney anything to give you some height.

    ALSO more power is great to get your signal out.

    And check your SWR (standing wave ratio) to get as efficent as you can get with your signal going out. Reading more is a good idea. ;)
  12. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

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    Just did a quick check on a 10 meter radio and came up with this and the product description. It says 240 Channels. Does that mean it also covers CB Bands?

    Galaxy 33HP 10 Meter Mobile Radio

    Product Features

    3 Level Power Output - Max 50 watts
    240 Channels, 6 Bands
    Adjustable Echo Controls
    Full 2 year Factory Warranty
    Galaxy DX 33HP
  13. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier New Member

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    I have an old Cobra SSB in my Diesel. I leave it on out of habit. I can tell you this no one uses a CB anymore. You will pick up some "Skip" and that is about it. The Cell Phone has done away with the old CB radio.:(
  14. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah CB was great -must have when on the road, then the trash and idiots took over, now cell phones, I haven't been on in decades.

    I still have a Cobra 32XLR in it's original box. A 110/12v power supply.
    Two Radio Shack 5w big walkie-talkies, power supplies, ext. mic, the whole thing.
    If you're looking emergency time I'd have at least some kind of walkie talkies.

    My old ham Swan 350 in my mom's basement.

    Used to be a lot of fun, even the hams and repeaters and all that isn't like it used to be.
  15. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake New Member

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    Can anyone give me a heads-up on which 10 Meter Radios are worth considering? I'd like to stay around $300 or less if that's possible. Something that will give me a good entry into the 10 Meter Radios. This will be my first. It seems from what is being said that going into a CB Base set up is really not the way to go now days.
  16. JUNKKING

    JUNKKING Active Member

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    Galaxy is an excellent radio also you may want to think about the possibility of a tube radio and linear such as Yasu or Palomar Siltronix just make sure that clarifier is unlocked and have a frequency counter so as you and the people you wish to talk with can slide in between channels and also make some type of code amongst yourselves. A ground plane or an omni directional antenna may be out of business as the signals may be blocked by who or what. A beam directional antenna may be the way to go but hard to conceal. 10 meter will give you the farthest range without needing a repeater tower which will probably no longer be working. A regular cb with upper and lower channels and an unlocked clarifier would be the cheapest route. You dont need a lot of power to talk any type of distance you can use modulation to drive the signal. If its distance youre looking to talk then a beam antenna or a full wave antenna diapole with no coil so you can drive that linear as hard as you want. So many different scenerios which may keep any of them from working but it is a thought. Or just for loacl use a set or FRS radios will do just fine providing the signals arent being blocked.
  17. Maine04657

    Maine04657 New Member

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    I have owned many but my Ranger 2950 is still my fav.
  18. gman51

    gman51 New Member

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    One thing to consider is when shtf there will be possibly very few people with cb or any radios for that matter. So all the noise CB used to have due to so many users will probably be way lowered then. As high as he is he could probably just stick any antenna near roof peak and receive pretty good. Reception and Transmiting could travel farther as said there will be very few radio operators then. That is if the govt. does not jam channels and frequencies.
  19. Mr. Al

    Mr. Al New Member

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    Johnnyflake, read your post. You need to talk to Sparky his shop is in Illinois. He will have all the answers.Contact him at Sparky's CB Shack or call 1-800-544-4343 aske for him personally, tell him your problem. Also on black Friday he has great prices on items.
  20. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Why fool with a Chicken Band radio? It is very easy to get your ham ticket and the ham bands is where the action will be. There is an excellent ham radio club in Vegas http://www.lvrac.org/ that will assist you in getting your ticket. You can study over a weekend and pass the Tech class and you are on your way.

    Most areas have set up a emergency communications group such as this http://www.ccnvares.org/ that you can join and help during an emergency.

    Modifying a 10 meter ham radio enabling it to transmit on the cb bands is against the law. You probably won't get caught but you never know.

    Antennas don't have to be on a 100 ft tower to be effective. I have a 23ft Shakesphere marine antenna on my motorhome and I can talk around the world with 100 watts from my Icom 706MKIIG. I can also communicate at 5 watts around the world using different modes of transmission.
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