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Question for the CB experts: Is this $20 CB any good?

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #1
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Question for the CB experts: Is this $20 CB any good?

I know one can get better with more money but I don't have one nor do I really have a need for one... currently. The CB in question is this one which is the daily woot deal for only $20 as a refurb.

Will this get my basic CB needs met should I need it? I don't know the first thing about CB's other than we used to play on my G'pa's Moto when we were kids so I can't say as I have any real world knowledge to fall back on.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostrichsak View Post
I know one can get better with more money but I don't have one nor do I really have a need for one... currently. The CB in question is this one which is the daily woot deal for only $20 as a refurb.

Will this get my basic CB needs met should I need it? I don't know the first thing about CB's other than we used to play on my G'pa's Moto when we were kids so I can't say as I have any real world knowledge to fall back on.
You get what you pay for. If you don't really need or have to have one, I don't see why it wouldn't work for you. Just get a good antenna.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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Midlands suck. The little Uniden compacts aren't too bad for what the are. I would suggest a Little Wilson mag mount if you're not experienced with CB's as they are good, cheap antennas that are easy to set up and tune.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUSETACO View Post
Midlands suck. The little Uniden compacts aren't too bad for what the are. I would suggest a Little Wilson mag mount if you're not experienced with CB's as they are good, cheap antennas that are easy to set up and tune.
Why do you say Midlands suck? What specifically sucks about them?

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Originally Posted by bigmooze View Post
I use the same radio with a 4' Firestik II fiberglass antenna. I'm pleased with it so far. I just wanted something compact and functional for longer road trips and occasional trail riding. I've "radio checked" up to about 5 miles before with my set up.
That's great info. So with this $20 CB and a $25 antenna I can talk to people on CB's almost 5 miles away. That sounds pretty good to me really. The other option is I keep living CB-less and not talk to people 5 miles away.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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Every Midland I've had has been crap. They're right up there, or down there with Radio shack CB's. Just remember if you go with a Firestik you'll also need a stud, a mount, coax and a ground, where as the wilson is one unit plopped on the roof and all you need to do is tune it. Also you can easily remove it when not in use.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUSETACO View Post
Every Midland I've had has been crap. They're right up there, or down there with Radio shack CB's. Just remember if you go with a Firestik you'll also need a stud, a mount, coax and a ground, where as the wilson is one unit plopped on the roof and all you need to do is tune it. Also you can easily remove it when not in use.
Ok, but what has been crap about them? Like what specifically? I'm not against a mag mount either so I will also consider that and have time to shop/think/decide. The CB deal is the only thing I would have to pull the trigger on quickly.

Let me try another question, is there something better for $20 that's available?
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostrichsak View Post
Ok, but what has been crap about them? Like what specifically? I'm not against a mag mount either so I will also consider that and have time to shop/think/decide. The CB deal is the only thing I would have to pull the trigger on quickly.

Let me try another question, is there something better for $20 that's available?
$20 for a CB is as cheap as it gets. The compact Unidens and Cobra 19's go for about $40. Any CB is only as good as the antenna you choose. I think of Midlands as the Emerson's of the CB world. Sorry but you get what you pay for.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUSETACO View Post
$20 for a CB is as cheap as it gets. The compact Unidens and Cobra 19's go for about $40. Any CB is only as good as the antenna you choose. I think of Midlands as the Emerson's of the CB world. Sorry but you get what you pay for.
Unless you can offer specifics about what makes it suck or a similarly prices alternative I'm probably going to buy it. I realize you get what you pay for but even a sucky CB is better than no CB is the way I see it.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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All CB Radios are required by the FCC to operate not higher than 4 watts, so you're really paying for the components, rather than actual signal.

IMO, better speakers, microphone, build material, mounts, cables, and overall functionality (squelch, weather channels, etc) are all worth paying a bit extra for in the end. But if you want something to occasionally take with you to mess around on the trails with your buddies, then I see nothing wrong with the radio you posted

I personally have a $35 Cobra 19 (Wal-Mart) with a 20' antenna cable going to a 5' Firestik antenna. I can already read and send signals from over 5 miles away, and that's without an SWR tune. I'm confident I can get over 10 miles with the SWR tune, and this is all on a <$80 setup.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostrichsak View Post
Unless you can offer specifics about what makes it suck or a similarly prices alternative I'm probably going to buy it. I realize you get what you pay for but even a sucky CB is better than no CB is the way I see it.
For the casual first time CB user go ahead and pull the trigger. But I'm sure you're going to want something better down the road. Why not just spend a few dollars more on something better? Trust me I've had about 10 CB's in the last 3 years and many wasted dollars on crap set-ups. I'm not saying you have spend hundreds of dollars, just do it right the first time otherwise you will be . Keep in mind that a Cobra 19 or Uniden and a little Wilson is only about $70- About as cheap as a CB set up you will find that will at least perform somewhat decent.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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All CB's are 4 watt output the better one's may have a bit better noise rejection.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:39 PM   #15
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I just looked at your link again and I see that it is a reconditioned radio.... something else to consider. I'm not trying to be an ass, I just hate seeing people waste their hard earned money. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #16
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just wanted to throw in my two cents..... DON'T BUY THE MIDLAND!!!!!! my friends and i have owned a combined total of 6 of them and they all crapped out after about 6 months. the thing that went wrong with them is they stopped transmitting. the person on the receiving end would only hear static when the person tried to talk. i now run a galaxy 929 and 102" whip on my truck and love it. everyone else didn't want to spend the money and bought the lower end uniden's and cobra's. of the two, the cobra seems to be the better one. if your curious about how far i can talk, i can talk far. i live in Hawaii and i've talked to the east and west coast of the United States, Australia, Alaska, Japan and Mexico (well the last two i heard but didn't talk cause i don't speak the language). hope this helps you out. Aloha
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlg636 View Post
just wanted to throw in my two cents..... DON'T BUY THE MIDLAND!!!!!! my friends and i have owned a combined total of 6 of them and they all crapped out after about 6 months. the thing that went wrong with them is they stopped transmitting. the person on the receiving end would only hear static when the person tried to talk. i now run a galaxy 929 and 102" whip on my truck and love it. everyone else didn't want to spend the money and bought the lower end uniden's and cobra's. of the two, the cobra seems to be the better one. if your curious about how far i can talk, i can talk far. i live in Hawaii and i've talked to the east and west coast of the United States, Australia, Alaska, Japan and Mexico (well the last two i heard but didn't talk cause i don't speak the language). hope this helps you out. Aloha
Nothing to do with the radio and every thing to do with the 11 meter band tomorrow you may not be able to talk to your buddy 1 1/2 mile away.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:58 AM   #18
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Nothing to do with the radio and every thing to do with the 11 meter band tomorrow you may not be able to talk to your buddy 1 1/2 mile away.
well whatever it is, the midland (all 6 six) didn't work after about 4-6 months. my galxay has worked every time i've turned it on.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:32 AM   #19
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well whatever it is, the midland (all 6 six) didn't work after about 4-6 months. my galxay has worked every time i've turned it on.
SWR? using an radio that is not tuned will fry it in that amount of time. User error...there is a Cobra CB from 1994 in my RV and it still works like a champ. Just need to keep it tuned.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
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well whatever it is, the midland (all 6 six) didn't work after about 4-6 months. my galxay has worked every time i've turned it on.
That's exactly what happened to mine. Worked but subpar performance for a few months and then the transmit took a shit. Mine was a "higher end" Midland and it just screams cheap. Flimsy knobs, poor receive, poor trasmit and poor sound. I read some of the Amazon reviews and most of the 1 star ratings say that the radio stopped trasmitting after a short time.
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