What CB do you like? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 11th, 2012, 09:05 PM
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Jeff Payne
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What CB do you like?

I asked for a CB for Christmas and got a Radio Shack something or other. I think that I want to cash that in for one that has some good history and favorable reviews. People on here have talked highly of the Cobra 75WXST. Also there is the Midland 75-822 radio that seems pretty slick because you can put a battery box on it and take it anywhere. I have a MUD dash console so I do have room for a regular in dash radio, but the two options I have described don't even have a dash module.

The next part is the antenna. I have seen discussions here about the firestick which seems to be the way to go. But what length? The four foot one appears to be popular when mounted at about he level of the capping. I heard talk of a no-ground antenna but it doesn't look like they make those any more.

And then there is the cable. Firestick makes the Fire Ring Cable as well as the regular coax cable. Any advantages to one or the other?

The last question, and should probably be the first, is this. What advantage does a CB have over some of the "long range" hand held two way radios? Trail communication is the only reason I even consider the CB option. Some of the two way radios are pretty good though.

As always, any thoughts are appreciated.

Jeff
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  #2  
Old January 11th, 2012, 09:23 PM
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Well, my experience with Uniden has been rather disappointing. My top of the line UM 625 marine VHF died with fewer than 4 hours on it. I tried to get them to honor the warranty even though it was past the warranty period. They would only repair it for a flat 60 bucks, which I had them do and it works now.
I would never buy anything but a Shakespeare antenna. No question.
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  #3  
Old January 11th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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John B.
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Have you seen the new Uniden Bearcat series? Just released. Look quite nice. http://customcbradios.com/Uniden-C276216.aspx They are also releasing the BC980 soon which has SSB.
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  #4  
Old January 11th, 2012, 11:48 PM
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David Short
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I bought the Midland that you mentioned above - for all the same reasons that you mentioned.

I took the radio to Rausch in the summer of 2011 and used it for a big Rover event. I discovered a few things.

- in battery mode with rubber duckie antenna on; I had very, very poor range - maybe only a few hundred yards. It worked great when driving in a line of trucks but I got seperated from the group and could no longer communicate. I happend accross some other Rover dudes that I knew with CB's. They tuned thiers to our channel and could easily have a convestaion with my group - so it was definately my radio. Battery life on double-A's was pretty good. I ran all day on the same batteries with no problems.

- in cigarette lighter mode; I experienced a lot of alternator noise on the radio. I drive a Stage One - which is just a late model Series. There was no factory AM/FM radio fitted and I do not think there is any supression in the circuits. I had to keep the squelch turned down low to keep the noise down. A cool-guy modern D-90 may not have this problem.

I am right in the middle of a 4' Firestik install. I have a double fist full of parts on order and am wrestling with a mounting bracket. Once I get this all sorted, I will definately report back on any improvements. According to internet lore - the larger antenna is supposed to make a night and day difference to the Midland unit.
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  #5  
Old January 12th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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Troy Smith
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Jeff;

I have the Cobra you mentioned and I have been happy with it. I use a firestick antena (which I tune) mounted on the rear of the truck and reception is satisfactory. I have found that most everytime I am out with a group we use 2 way radios more than the CB's. I will admit that I am usually with a truck load of kids and others in the group have a truck loads of kids so handing out 2 way raidos helps keep track of them to. Sometimes they like to wonder down the trail,play in creeks etc.

A quality 2 way radio will do the job just fine. A friend of mine has some sort of Kenwood 2 way radio that works very well. I use the Cobras you can get in a 2 pack with the charger. Fairly inexpensive but they have held up well.

Troy
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  #6  
Old January 12th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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Walter Dent
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I have the Cobra 75 with a Wilson antenna. Never had problems with either (had two of them).
It is still only cb. Limited range, am broadcasting, low power, lots of traffic.
If you would really like to communicate with some distance I would suggest spending $20 on a study guide and $12 on the test and get a ham license. You can get a tech license allowing you to use the vhf/uhf bands giving you access to higher power, fm broadcasting and a lot more spectrum to find a place to chat. It will also allow you to communicate to base camp instead of just who you are on the trail with and if you need it, call for help. CB channel 9 isn't going to work stuck in a valley somewhere even if anyone is paying any attention to it.
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  #7  
Old January 12th, 2012, 09:52 AM
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Doug Crowther
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I have the cobra 75 and a 4ft firestick. Like the ability to listen to the NOAA forecasts. I have had issues with my setup. Sometimes it works great for long distances and other times I can only listen-transmitting doesn't work. I'm fairly certain my issue is with the old firestick I used or it may have some corrosion where the cable meets the bracket. Need to spend the $20 and get another.
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  #8  
Old January 12th, 2012, 09:58 AM
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I have the Cobra 29WXNWST which I like. I would love to dump CB as many are going to 2M, which is so superior to CB, but CB still has a few advantages. First, CB is common on trails and in 4x4 clubs. 2nd, CB doesn't require a license (unlike 2M), and finally, CB is really handy on highways when there is a major traffic jam, as you can eavesdrop on the commercial drivers sharing information on how to get around it and what's going on.

The CB I have also has weather alert, which is nice in a campsight if severe weather is moving in. As long as the WX channel switch is on the correct channel for the area, then even turned off, the CB will report an amazingly/annoyingly loud alert sound letting you know a severe weather alert is being broadcast. If you're camping in a flood area (ie by a river or such) this could be life saving. That said, if that alert goes off while your in the vehicle driving, it could induce a stroke or seizure to an otherwise healthy person, as there is no volume for the alert and it is...loud. If I'm driving with my family in the car, particularly at night with my kids asleep in the back, just turn the WX channel to off station, or your CB will be destroyed by your spouse with the heel of a shoe.

As for antennae, I have a fire stik. the longer the better. My antennae is mounted on my ARB bumper, and I use my antennae for dual purpose. I got one that when mounted is as high as the top of my RTT. That way, when I'm on trail with low overhangs from trees and such, If i see the antennae move I know it's going to hit my roof load.
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  #9  
Old January 12th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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I've got the cobra 29 night watch and I've got a uniden pc-55 which must be close to 30 years old. Both work great on a 4ft firestick. I like the uniden because it's smaller and I like the cobra because it has a tuning feature (tuning the rig is important). We always have frs handhelds for extras and for the kid comm.

I second the opinion that cb is nice and all but having someone along with ham is a good call. Getting your tech lic is really easy and if you don't want to pay for the study guide there are plenty of online practice tests available. I bought my yaesu ft7800 before I had my license and installed it. I was able to hear the ham guys and relay messages to the cb folks. We normally have a few people in our local group who have ham radios. With one in front and one in back plus everyone with cb radios most people can communicate. Its also good when groups split up because the terrain is less of an issue and we normally have no problem communicating.
One year we split up into two groups and a rrc in my group got stuck in snow. His winch cable snapped (Nobody got hurt) but I was able to reach our other group with the ham to let them know why we were going to be back late and that they didn't need to come find us.
You can use a ham unlicensed if there is immediate danger to life or property so it's pretty good safety wise even if you are unlicensed. With the small sizes of radios these days having both is not a big deal even in a small truck cab.

Daniel
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  #10  
Old January 12th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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I have 2 Midland 75-822 with both with 4' Firestick... no complaints. Also allows for portable use with removable battery.

http://www.midlandradio.com/CB-Radio.WYQ/75-822
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  #11  
Old January 12th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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depens on what kind of scratch you want to drop, when I owned and drove semis, I used to run galaxy series, also rangers. they are pricey but out of the box you get the best bang for the buck... take it to a truck stop cb shop and let them tune it and youre in bussiness.
if you wanna go with something a little lower and limited in performance, a cobra 148 gtl is one of the best they offer a 29 series is middle of the road and the 19 series if youre not serius about your communication.
uniden is a rival of the cobra, the 78 series compares to cobra 29... personally I would not go with a smaller uniden.
as far as antennas, the least I ran with out a linear was a wilson 1000, with a 500w linear I ran wilson 5000 behind the galaxy 79 or the cobra 148 gtl as a pusher.
that combo had so much power in 3 stages I could hear mexican police from the blue ridge mountains in va.
and more than once I hear cb comms from cuba to the states.
going to a lower scale, and decent package.... cobra 29 tuned to max output, and a wilson 1000, do not coil extra coax because it chocks the signal, use at least a 9ft length and incrment in 3ft lengths and make sure you use a high quality coax.
midland is just a step above cobra and uniden but below the galaxy and ranger.
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  #12  
Old January 12th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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I have had a couple of these and love them: Cobra 75WXST

+1 on a firestik..I use a NGP (non-ground plane) so I don't need to worry about placement.

I also have an external speaker hooked up which helps a TON.
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  #13  
Old January 12th, 2012, 01:57 PM
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I like the "all in one" handheld, I cant really find a good place for a CB other than screwed onto the cubby box. Most of the people I know have Galaxys in their trucks.
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  #14  
Old January 12th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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Ian Gregory
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Cobra 18WXSTII mounted in a Tuffy Overhead console. 4' K40 stick antenna mounted on a bracket at the back.

I went with the 18WX because its small, simple, cheap to replace, has weather channel support and has a front mounted speaker. In the overhead set up I have this works great because the speaker is facing you and is much easier to hear without needing an external or to crank it up to distortion levels.

I prefer the K40 over the Firestik because it's easier to tune. The Firestiks I have require you to cut the wire to tune them which is a onetime deal and doesn't allow you to re-tune it if you move it or change your set up. The K40 has a small extension held with a grub screw that allows you to re-tune/fine tune as much as you like.

Buy an SWR meter and tune your set up once you have installed it and you'll find it works much better.

My set up works great as a basic trail comms set up but I am adding HAM as well for longer range comms and emergency use.

Ian
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Old January 12th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]The Firestiks I have require you to cut the wire to tune them which is a onetime deal and doesn't allow you to re-tune it if you move it or change your set up.
Only the old cheap ones. Most have screw tips. http://www.firestik.com/CatalogFrame.htm
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  #16  
Old January 12th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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Ian Gregory
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The truck stop I get my CB stuff from only sells the cut to tune ones. Haven't seen any screw tip ones anywhere around here.

Either way I guess the correct statement should be "buy one that is adjustable so that you can tune and or re-tune it if you need to".
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Old January 13th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipgregory View Post
The truck stop I get my CB stuff from only sells the cut to tune ones. Haven't seen any screw tip ones anywhere around here.

Either way I guess the correct statement should be "buy one that is adjustable so that you can tune and or re-tune it if you need to".
www.amazon.com

:-)
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  #18  
Old January 13th, 2012, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMSLongLake View Post
Shipping charges and waiting vs. I fill up at the truck stop so I am there anyway.

:-)

But this is pointless since we're all right.

Buy a tunable antenna, mount it properly and tune it.
If you can't find what you want locally, Amazon is your friend.

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  #19  
Old January 13th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Still have and use in my UPS tractor my trusty Cobra 29LTD I bought in 1994! I just pull it out when I go wheeling!
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  #20  
Old January 13th, 2012, 04:58 PM
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John B.
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The current Cobra 29s are still very modifiable and a good choice if you like to go that way.

They recently came out with the 29LX, https://www.cobra.com/detail/29-lx-lcd-cb-radio.cfm which has a pretty cool modern faceplate but still the same internals as the other 29s.
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