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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:58 am 
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I am looking for a hand-held CB radio.

Crypto recommended to look into this Midland radio.
Midland 75-822 40 Channel 2 Way Radio
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Reviews on this radio on Amazon are pretty good. One reviewer also said:
"...midland is only company that provides you with an external antenna hookup/power cord combined and make your radio the size of most mic's, you cant go wrong."
I like that. So, I am really considering it.

Amazon seems to have the best price around with Free shipping.
Price: $78.21
If you know a better place to shop for CBs, please let me know.

Amazon also recommends this antenna: Cobra HG A 1500 Base-Load Medium Magnet Mount 300W CB Antenna for $24.99.
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I know nothing about radios, and even less about antennas. Can anyone tell me if this antenna is any good? Or, would you recommend something else? I drive a Honda Accord sedan, and not looking anything obnoxious. I need something that would do a good job, but also something that I can just put in the trunk of my car when not in use for a prolonged period of time. I am not looking to spend more than $40 either. Any suggestions? :D

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:20 am 
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Bear in mind that the radio has a BNC connector and the antenna you are looking should have a standard CB connector (PL-259). You'll need an adapter to make them work together.

BNC to PL-259

I'm also not sure why they say the antenna has an SO-239 since that's a female connector typically found on the back of most mobile radios. Other sites list that antenna as having a pl-259.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:41 am 
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Look at the first picture -- it appears that the DC power supply that clips on in place of the battery pack also brings out an SO-239 on a pigtail. That means you can use pretty much any standard CB antenna's built-in cable and leave it connected to the car end of things, then attach the battery pack and a BNC antenna for portable use.

Also, that adapter on Amazon is mislabeled (though its description gets the names right). That's a BNC male to an SO-239, which allows you to attach a PL-259 cable to a BNC female jack. It would be the right adapter to attach a standard CB antenna to the BNC jack on top of the radio, but you don't need to do that.

(For the benefit of radio noobs who may be confused, SOcket-239s mate to PLug-259s, and don't ask me why the numbers are that dumb. It's historical or something.)


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 12:49 pm 
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OK, but is that a good antenna?
Are they all the same? (I am sure they are not, just saying that to prompt for response).

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:04 pm 
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CipherNameRaVeN wrote:
OK, but is that a good antenna?
Are they all the same? (I am sure they are not, just saying that to prompt for response).

It's probably not bad. I don't know CB equipment very well, but I recognize Cobra as a large brand that often covers the budget end of the spectrum. As such, I would expect the build quality and performance to be acceptable (i.e. they probably didn't screw anything up very badly).

As far as performance goes, short antennas (for CB, that means anything shorter than about 8 feet) are limited by the laws of physics. As long as the manufacturer doesn't mess things up, one 38" long antenna will perform pretty much like any other 38" long antenna. Differences like base load vs. center load vs. distributed load have a minor influence on performance, which is a trade off with convenience and durability. Base loaded antennas have a thin, flexible whip sticking up, which doesn't produce much drag (so the magnet doesn't need to be that strong) and tolerates running into obstacles fairly well. Center and distributed load antennas perform a bit better but are inherently bulkier and stiffer, so they require a stronger magnet and are more of a problem if they run into something.

I can't vouch for that antenna in particular, but I don't think you could go terribly wrong with it. Twenty-five bucks isn't a bad price, especially with free shipping. Unless somebody else chimes in with a spectacular deal on something else, I'd say go for it.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Is 3' length sufficient to get some range?

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Blargh I gots teh stupid today.

Removing this post until I can fix it.

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Last edited by crypto on Thu May 19, 2011 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:03 pm 
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crypto wrote:
1/4 of 11m (thats how long a CB wavelength is) is approx 3 feet.

:? Watch the units there. CB wavelengths are around 11m, and a quarter of that is about 2.8m. That's 9 feet, not 3. This is where the standard 102" whip comes from -- it's a quarter wavelength for something near the middle of the CB spectrum. Any CB antenna shorter than that uses loading coils, which trade efficiency for compactness. You can make a shortened antenna any length you like, from a tiny little stub to just shy of 1/4 wavelength, as long as it includes the correct loading network. The less antenna and more loading, the less efficient it will be. There's nothing special about 3-foot-long CB antennas, except that they're a popular choice for striking a balance between size and performance.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Thanks, I dont know what I was smoking.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Trigger pulled on both.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 12:19 pm 
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Now that you pulled the trigger on both, get yourself a Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) meter. This will let you do all the installation and antenna tuning yourself, making the whole thing a break-even or better deal plus you will have a tool to help you troubleshoot problems than can (and likely will) happen down the road.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Tater Raider wrote:
Now that you pulled the trigger on both, get yourself a Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) meter. This will let you do all the installation and antenna tuning yourself, making the whole thing a break-even or better deal plus you will have a tool to help you troubleshoot problems than can (and likely will) happen down the road.

Tell me more... or info links perhaps
I know nothing of this.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:48 pm 
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CipherNameRaVeN wrote:
Tater Raider wrote:
Now that you pulled the trigger on both, get yourself a Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) meter. This will let you do all the installation and antenna tuning yourself, making the whole thing a break-even or better deal plus you will have a tool to help you troubleshoot problems than can (and likely will) happen down the road.

Tell me more... or info links perhaps
I know nothing of this.

SWR (wikipedia article for the gory details) is a measure of how much of the power coming out of your radio actually goes out into the antenna, rather than bouncing back toward the radio (ignoring feedline losses). If your antenna is perfectly tuned, then all the power that comes down the coax will be transferred to the antenna and radiated (again, ignoring antenna efficiency). In that case, the standing wave ratio is 1:1.

Life is never perfect, though, so some of the power gets reflected back down the coax and heats up your transmitter instead of doing anything useful. The higher the fraction of power that's reflected, the higher the SWR -- 4% reflected power gives you an SWR of 1.5:1, which is fine. 11% reflection gives an SWR of 2:1, which is generally acceptable. 25% reflection gives 3:1, which can cause overheating in some radios, but can be tolerated by others. Much over that is both risky to the transmitter (overheating can burn out the final amplifier) and detrimental to performance (not much power is getting out into the air). Most CBs aren't too susceptible to thermal damage -- their power output is limited more by laws than by technology, so it's easy and cheap to overbuild the finals.

I'd consider an SWR meter a nice, but not essential, accessory for a CB installation. The antenna's tuning will probably be close enough out of the box to give decent performance. Measuring and adjusting it might get you a few percent improvement, but I've never seen a CB suffer problems from just slapping a magmount antenna on the roof and plugging it in.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:04 pm 
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Thanks, Bunsen.
Maybe I'll pick up one at radio shack. They have them there, right?

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 3:20 am 
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CipherNameRaVeN wrote:
Thanks, Bunsen.
Maybe I'll pick up one at radio shack. They have them there, right?

Don't count on it. For several years now, Radio shack has been reducing the inventory of radio related items in it's stores and even dropped the Radio from it's name, rebranding itself The Shack. It is best to call or check the Radio Shack website for availability. A SWR meter is nice to have but if you aren't going to use it regularly you may be better off trying to locate someone who can loan one to you or drop by a radio shop where you can pay a small fee to have the shop tech do it for you. Another suggestion, if the Radio Shack outlets near you don't have a SWR meter for sale you can try any nearby truck stops. While the CB craze of the 1970s is long over, long haul truckers are still a target market for CB sales and the truck stops which cater to them continue to stock a decent selection of CBs and accessories. You should be able to find what you need with a trip to a Pilot, Petro, Flying J or other truck stop.
Good luck.
After the edit-
By the way, I mentioned having a radio similar to this made by Radio Shack. I remembered to look at the model number when I was in the car this morning. It's the Radio Shack TRC-232. Google it and you will see it's pretty much the same radio with the RS label on it.

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Last edited by yale on Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 2:54 pm 
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CipherNameRaVeN wrote:
Tater Raider wrote:
Now that you pulled the trigger on both, get yourself a Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) meter. This will let you do all the installation and antenna tuning yourself, making the whole thing a break-even or better deal plus you will have a tool to help you troubleshoot problems than can (and likely will) happen down the road.

Tell me more... or info links perhaps
I know nothing of this.


Tools for radio stuff - SWR meter as mentioned.
V-O-M or volt-ohm meter.
Soldering pen (35 watts or smaller) and solder. If you have the dough, the propane soldering pens are da bomb for field use.... You can also find 12VDC soldering irons as well. Eye protection for use while soldering!
A solder sucker can be handy and works beter than wicking.
Good magnifying glass or those 'hobby' lenes you wear on a headpiece.

You prolly have the screwdrivers and such already. The VOM is good to troubleshoot some auto problems as well.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:40 pm 
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This is a little way over my head. To use these tools one would need to know a little more in depth about how radios operate and much more about working with radio guts. I have less than basic knowledge about radios. I would not know what to do with SWR, Voltohmeter, or a sodering pen. Maybe down the road I will get into it more. But, for now what works right out of the box should suffice.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:21 am 
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CipherNameRaVeN wrote:
This is a little way over my head. To use these tools one would need to know a little more in depth about how radios operate and much more about working with radio guts. I have less than basic knowledge about radios. I would not know what to do with SWR, Voltohmeter, or a sodering pen. Maybe down the road I will get into it more. But, for now what works right out of the box should suffice.


THE VOM can be used to check power to the rig (or any other device using power) the soldering pen can be used to repair broken wires, etc,etc. BUt, as you wish. Should those tools come your way, they are wirth picking up....

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:25 pm 
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I just saw one of these antennas on a roof of a car in the shopping mall parking lot. It looks so tacky. Especially with cables running along the roof. Is there a more attractive option for sedans? I see antennas on SUVs installed with a bracket on a rear bumper. I don't want to do that. I also saw glass attached antennas, and they look like they would not do so great of a job. Is there something more covert, even if it is a permanent installation? I just do not want to drill halls in the rood of my car though.
I guess I am asking for too much?! Huh!

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:47 pm 
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The little midland is not the kind of CB radio you fuck with or tune. It's a simple, robust device.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:47 am 
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Here it is :mrgreen:
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I did not get a chance to install the antenna on my car yet and I did not take it to the highway. Hence, I did not hear anyone on the air yet.

Crypto, I may throw some questions at you later if you wont mind.
Also, If you have any tips, please let me know.

Looks solid!

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:35 am 
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My immediate advice is to program in channel 19 into a preset memory.

If you've never had any CB experience before, there's a few things to know as basic info:

* Channel 9 is the emergency band, it is sometimes monitored by law enforcement.
* Channel 19 is the only band most people talk on.
* Everyone talking on 19 seems to be an ignorant loudmouth racist.
* Vehicle Mount antennas work best when they are in the center of a large flat piece of metal, like the middle of your roof or trunk deck.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:58 am 
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What accessory do I need to purchase so I could hang my CB like that?
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:04 am 
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CipherNameRaVeN wrote:
What accessory do I need to purchase so I could hang my CB like that?
Image


A microphone hanger, or a microphone holder.

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