1. You can now help support WorldwideDX when you shop on Amazon at no additional cost to you! Simply follow this Shop on Amazon link first and a portion of any purchase is sent to WorldwideDX to help with site costs.

cb help

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by killlalkill, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. killlalkill

    killlalkill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Right now I have a cobra 19 dx IV with a cheep $20 car antenna I am a retired trucker but picked up cb as a hobby. I have $250 for either a better antenna for my house and a new cb or a better antenna and A linear amplifier. can anyone help me?


     

  2. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,239
    Likes Received:
    1,211
    Buy a better antenna first and then a better radio and amp later. Are you trying to set up a base station, mobile or both?
     
  3. Crusher

    Crusher
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    171
    Antenna and coax are where the greatest gain is. Agree with 543.
     
    AudioShockwav and Atlasta like this.
  4. wavrider

    wavrider
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,163
    Likes Received:
    921
    depending on the frequency the coax can make a big difference or very little difference.

    on vhf uhf coax loss does come into the equation.
    on HF not so much
     
    Captain Kilowatt likes this.
  5. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt
    Expand Collapse
    Professional Amateur
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    14,440
    Likes Received:
    5,767

    Even the worst coax is not any more than a single S-unit down in signal from the best when talking about 11m. Once people learn what dB's are and how they really affect signal they will realize that an extra dB or two is not nearly dramatic as they thought. Sure keep losses to a minimum but no need to go overboard with running heliax or anything.
     
    midnight special and BJ radionut like this.
  6. DainBramage

    DainBramage
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    151

    OH MY GAWD!!!!!!
    I spent big bucks to get my SWR's down from 1,2 to 1.11,..... It's just HAS to be better!
     
    BammBamm likes this.
  7. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    928
    A good antenna should be first considerations.

    For CB base stations, you can't go wrong with a Imax 2000 vertical antenna. These can be bought for $120 or so and you should use the ground plane radial kit for another $60.00 as pictured below. You will notice a improved performance of your radio compared to using it as a mobile in your truck.

    [​IMG]


    There are many dealers and even ebay and Amazon sells them so you can shop around for the best price.

    These antennas can be easily mounted to reasonable minimum length 18ft - 1 1/4 mast like fence posts or galvanized pipe for example. Or you can roof top mount it. Then all you need is enough coax to reach the antenna from your radio.

    Regardless of what people on here will say about using the best spec's coax, on the CB band and lengths around 50 ft. or so, RG8X will work good enough and the coax losses compared to others are really minimal.

    Your radio for now will work just fine and later on down the road you can look into a fancier radio if you desire.
     
    mechanic likes this.
  8. bassman21

    bassman21
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    41
    I think you'll need a little more money to do what you want to do right. I tried cheaping out and was never happy. Spend the extra money and do it right. The good thing about CB equipment is it has a high resell these days if you want to sell it later. I personally don't mess with used stuff too much, especially amplifiers. For your mobile get the antenna first. I recommend the Wilson 1000 magnet mount for a low cost antenna. You can remove the whip and coil while keeping the magnet and coax in place when you don't want the antenna on there. It will get out way better than what you have now. Put it right smack in the middle of the roof. If you want a permanent mount you have many options, just make sure you have a good ground. Predator is a good antenna if you're not worried about removing it or height issues. Next I would worry about an amp. The Texas Star DX 350 is a good amp that will get you out of the static. You will need to get your radio tuned for it as they like a low dead key. Another good one is the TNT 250. I will work similar to the Texas Star (clean sounding) and sounds to be closer to your price range. For a low cost AM radio radio that is loud, a Cobra 25 is a good choice. SSB I would look into a Cobra 148. There are many exports out there, but they can be pricey. Again you'll need to get it tuned for your radio. Better yet get variable wattage installed.

    If you want a base the Imax 2000 or the Maco V5000 is a good antenna. For a cheap antenna the Solarcon A99 is a good choice. Put it up high and a peaked radio will do well enough. A used Cobra 142 is a great base radio. You don't have to mess with a power supply. Use RG 8, 8X coax or similar quality. Do not use RG 58 on a base. Again worry about an amp later and keep in mind your neighbors may be bothered by it. I personally wouldn't run more than 200 watts on a base for CB. Some the exports out there will do enough wattage where you will not need an amp.
     
  9. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,239
    Likes Received:
    1,211
    If he just wanted to throw up an a99 or imax that's fine but if he buys the ground plane kit he's into it for $180. For that money he could have bought a 5/8 maco or P500 and get more performance for his money.
     
    midnight special likes this.
  10. Atlasta

    Atlasta
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    100
    The importance of a good antenna cannot be over stressed. The old maxim ' a dime in the antenna is worth a dollar in the transmitter' holds true.

    For a quick and easy- up base antenna it is hard to beat the IMAX. But there are better antennas for not much more money. I just went to the Hy-Gain Super Penetrator. With this antenna, coupled with some genuine Times LMR 400 coax I am not only reaching out further and stronger than before I am also hearing a LOT more.

    The Hy-Gain is about 25-40$ more than the IMAX depending on where you buy it. It's not that difficult to assemble but tuning it can be a challenge if you aren't familiar with the process. In stock form it handles all the power I'm ever going to run- but is easily modifiable to handle in excess of 5K watts!
     
  11. bassman21

    bassman21
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    41
    The IMAX is a good antenna for an entry level radio operator. Some of these other ones with the elements are a bit large and require more time and work to install. Another antenna is the Sirio Gain-Master. It's costly and doesn't handle much power, but it is supposed to be better for TVi. Also supposedly it works a little better than some other antenna's without a ground plan kits.
     
  12. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    928
    True, but even a Antron 99 should be used with a ground plane just as any vertical antenna if you want it done right.

    Maco 5/8 has horizontal radials which work fine but tend to attract birds to roost on them making things messy down below.

    Maco antenna cost about the same as a Imax with ground kit last time I checked.
     
  13. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    928
    Once again you contradict yourself about running power and being heard from another thread,

    For someone who self proclaims a high IQ and earns more money than most of us and knows all about radios, antennas, etc, I'm impressed!
     
  14. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,239
    Likes Received:
    1,211
    All vertical antennas? That's a broad statement.

    I just checked and the maco v58 can be had for $99.99 to $124.99 + S&H...they are more expensive on ebay. The imax without the GPK can be had for about the same price. The a99 with GPK is around the $100 mark.

    The radial kit may help antennas like the a99 and imax. Some people notice the difference and some don't. I don't park or hang out under my antenna and the bird shit makes the grass green.

    I would recommend that someone unsure about assembling an aluminum ground plane download the manual and read the assembly instructions first. You may decide to buy the imax because it's plug and play. Many people have gone back to the fiberglass antenna because they didn't built the aluminum antenna right or didn't seal their coax connections. It's not hard but take your time and do it right.
     
    222DBFL likes this.
  15. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,563
    Likes Received:
    928
    Why would you disagree? Maybe I should have said nearly all.

    You know vertical antennas are unbalanced antennas because they are 1/2 of a dipole and the ground radials at 1/4 wavelengths make up for that missing half.

    I would have thought you knew this since you seem very knowledgeable about antennas on other threads I have read by you.

    The bird poop reference was based on past experience having my antenna over my roof and the birds making a mess. I mentioned this for the OP and others reading something to consider if they are thinking about using a Maco 5/8 antenna.
     

Share This Page