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Will an expensive cb radio transmit/receive farther?

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by TacomaTSP4, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Apr 28, 2010 at 7:21 PM
    #1
    TacomaTSP4

    TacomaTSP4 [OP] Go Big or Go Home!!

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    Will an expensive cb radio transmit/receive farther than a cheaper cb radio? How do i know how far a cb radio and transmit/receive?
     
  2. Apr 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM
    #2
    98_Mud_bug

    98_Mud_bug 98_mud_bug

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    the ones we have in our work trucks range about 15-20 miles depending on weather but we have 15' whips mounted too, They are motorolla but i cant think of what model.
     
  3. Apr 28, 2010 at 7:33 PM
    #3
    TacomaTSP4

    TacomaTSP4 [OP] Go Big or Go Home!!

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    so is it mainly just the height of the whip that increases the range?
     
  4. Apr 28, 2010 at 7:38 PM
    #4
    dhurley

    dhurley Well-Known Member

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    CB radios out of the box are 4 watts maximum output. The thing you're paying for with a more expensive radio is more features (rf gain, mic gain, swr meter built in, weather channels, backlit display, etc). Comparing a Cobra 29 to a Cobra 18 for example, the 29 has more features, plus it's easier to upgrade it (more power & modulation). As far as range goes, the antenna must be tuned properly, location on the vehicle is important & also the antenna itself.
     
  5. Apr 28, 2010 at 7:40 PM
    #5
    dhurley

    dhurley Well-Known Member

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    No, but it can help. Weather & terrain can affect your range as well.
     
  6. Apr 28, 2010 at 7:43 PM
    #6
    98_Mud_bug

    98_Mud_bug 98_mud_bug

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    yea i drive a bucket truck for the power company. its 12'7" with a 15' whip ha ha its pretty tall..
     
  7. Apr 28, 2010 at 8:04 PM
    #7
    gjbonner

    gjbonner Well-Known Member

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    dhurley is on track. 4 watts is max output so really where yo mount the antannea and how tall it is will determine your range. obviously terrain will affect any setup. a trick however illegal is to get n amp (special amp) for your radio that boosts the output. if you stay sensible with the choice of amp you shouldnt be red flagging yourself.


    Google how to hook up a cb linear amp or something like that and you'll learn everything. length should be 3-6-9 feet for the best wave ratio. thats 3feet of cable between the CB and amp, then 6 feet between the amp and antenna and then 9 feet coiled around the antenna itself. it is just the way some cat smarter than us has figured it out to be :) it has to do with the length of the wave.

    Not that i condone any of that. just saying people do it:) and that other than antennas it is the only other way to increase output:)
     
  8. Apr 28, 2010 at 8:15 PM
    #8
    dhurley

    dhurley Well-Known Member

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    A linear amp will definately boost receive/transmit distance. Some radios can be adjusted internally to boost power/modulation or add modules inside (these are also illegal, but can be fun, so I've heard).
     
  9. Apr 28, 2010 at 9:18 PM
    #9
    gjbonner

    gjbonner Well-Known Member

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    yep..they call it being spanked. when some one is transmitting and you call out and transmit over hem with a more powerful radio they would just say "spank' and you would know someone just made your radio look like a bitch. those guys could talk across states. i'm not kiddng.
     
  10. Apr 28, 2010 at 9:36 PM
    #10
    TacomaTSP4

    TacomaTSP4 [OP] Go Big or Go Home!!

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    i was just hoping to be able to talk to someone across town possibly and for trails and trips
     
  11. Apr 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM
    #11
    mountainwolfpup

    mountainwolfpup Living the dream !!!

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    ALL CBs are 4watt MAX and typically have a range of 1-5 miles, and are pretty much line of sight. Also, since they use the AM band you'll have tons of pops, hissing, and other noises to contend with.

    It's all in the antenna. Firestik brand antennas are my recommendation. Check the SWR match on the antenna to ensure all of the 4-watts output is getting radiated from the antenna. Don't use ridiculously short antennas and don't mount them next to the car body! An antenna needs to be free and clear of obstructions in order to radiate a signal effectively. Get the antenna tuned to work with your particular CB, takes about 20 minutes and costs $30 or so. Money well spent.


    Other radios might be a better option for your needs:

    If you want the most power legally available then get an SSB radio which can legally send 12watts... they only work with other SSB radios. So your off-road buddies would also need them.

    Family radios (GMRS and FRS). That's what we use mostly and I highly recommend them over all other options. They use the FM/UHF bands and therefore have a lot less noise issues. But they are like .5watts, but still get 1-5 miles even with stubby whip antennas.
     
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