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Looking to get a CB

Old 08-14-2016, 10:31 PM
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Default Looking to get a CB

I want to get a cheap CB radio to mount in my jeep or under $50, I found a decent looking Uniden one and I want to make sure i have everything I need.

1. https://www.amazon.com/Uniden-PRO520...words=cb+radio

2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QB917Q...I3QNNMYM0ZVO7T

3. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000X3C8L8...I3OSRA4IODUJ2B

4. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ULN610...I3G43SDANZMFJ4


Is this all I will need to get started? I can make an antenna mount with parts lying around, will this be an ok setup for messing around on trails with friends?
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:42 AM
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I was thinking about getting the same CB please post a review once you install it.

You might want to get an antenna spring.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:17 AM
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Might want the mounting stud for it too as it seems the coax does not come with it.
https://www.amazon.com/Firestik-K4R-...tenna+stud+k4r
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:31 PM
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I never had any luck with using power from inside the jeep (cigarette lighter). I got all kinds of noise. I ran my hot lead directly to the battery, with an inline fuse of course. Not sure how much wire comes with the radio. probably not enough to make it to the battery.

Link to an antenna mount. there are others that sell similar mounts cheaper I believe

http://www.jcroffroad.com/product/XJCB-PC.html


and +1 on needing the stud ^^^
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mikesignal View Post
I never had any luck with using power from inside the jeep (cigarette lighter). I got all kinds of noise. I ran my hot lead directly to the battery, with an inline fuse of course.

Exactly right. 14 gauge wire is plenty, unless you are going rogue and running an amplifier. That's a different world.


All of the above are good suggestions, actually.

Handle the coax like it's made of glass. I've seen too many people treating it as if it's just wire. It's not. The radio characteristics of coaxial cable depend on the spacing between the outer conductor and the inner conductor. If you kink it, you will change that spacing permanently, and cause an "impedance bump". That will cost you power on the transmit and receive side, both.

Gentle handling, gentle turns. No bends.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeMark View Post
Exactly right. 14 gauge wire is plenty, unless you are going rogue and running an amplifier. That's a different world.


All of the above are good suggestions, actually.

Handle the coax like it's made of glass. I've seen too many people treating it as if it's just wire. It's not. The radio characteristics of coaxial cable depend on the spacing between the outer conductor and the inner conductor. If you kink it, you will change that spacing permanently, and cause an "impedance bump". That will cost you power on the transmit and receive side, both.

Gentle handling, gentle turns. No bends.

Well said!


Any radio from cheap to expensive is only as good as the way its installed along with the antenna and where its mounted. Always run + & - wires direct to the battery for radio connection.


I have advised many new hams starting out to buy a cheaper radio and the best antenna they can afford, start the other way around and you will have nothing as far as a signal. Radios are easier to upgrade than an antenna system.


A very good place to mount an antenna for a off road Jeep is a front fender mount close to the hood and the cowl panel coax enters at the corner of the hood. These are a simple mount that attaches to the inside fender to the side and bottom. It uses the hood for a ground plane and still sits fairly low for clearance with a fiberglass antenna. This has the advantage of being close to the radio also and can enter into the cab through the firewall grommets.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:14 PM
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I got the Cobra 29 on eBay used for 35 bucks and it has a built in SWR (kinda crap) but the radio is great and got a taillight mounting bracket($27) with a 5ft firestick($25). Plus a 16ft coax cord ($6) so my total setup was only $93 and range is great! You could probably even cut down the price with a cheaper radio or making your own mount!





Last edited by offroadXJ1999; 08-16-2016 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nardey11 View Post
I want to get a cheap CB radio to mount in my jeep or under $50, I found a decent looking Uniden one and I want to make sure i have everything I need.

1. https://www.amazon.com/Uniden-PRO520...words=cb+radio

2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QB917Q...I3QNNMYM0ZVO7T

3. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000X3C8L8...I3OSRA4IODUJ2B

4. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ULN610...I3G43SDANZMFJ4


Is this all I will need to get started? I can make an antenna mount with parts lying around, will this be an ok setup for messing around on trails with friends?
That's a decent setup, especially for starting out. Uniden makes a good radio and as Fred and Mark both said, it's all in how you set it up.

FWIW though, for 5 bucks more, I would go with the wilson flex antenna

https://www.amazon.com/Wilson-305-4F.../dp/B005ALD33K

It's made with a flexible fiberglass that won't break down and won't crack and get beat up from it banging against tree branches and whatnot on the trail.
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:24 AM
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The most important thing to remember is that straight out of the box all CB radios suck. FCC regulations limit them to like 5 watt output so right from the box. So they will "dead key" 3 watts and "swing" to like 5 and the modulation isn't what it could be. Take it to any CB shop (There is one in pretty much every truck stop). Just get a basic peak and tune and you will be doing a whole lot better
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Programbo View Post
The most important thing to remember is that straight out of the box all CB radios suck. FCC regulations limit them to like 5 watt output so right from the box. So they will "dead key" 3 watts and "swing" to like 5 and the modulation isn't what it could be. Take it to any CB shop (There is one in pretty much every truck stop). Just get a basic peak and tune and you will be doing a whole lot better
You don't need to do that. With a proper SWR, you'd be amazed at how far you can get out with the factory 3-5 watts.
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Programbo View Post
The most important thing to remember is that straight out of the box all CB radios suck. FCC regulations limit them to like 5 watt output so right from the box. So they will "dead key" 3 watts and "swing" to like 5 and the modulation isn't what it could be. Take it to any CB shop (There is one in pretty much every truck stop). Just get a basic peak and tune and you will be doing a whole lot better

There is a reason for that output level that being the cheap components used in all CB radios will not take the increase output without distortion.


Plus its against the law for anyone to do that to a CB $50,000 fine and loss of license if they even have one most don't. I would never advise anyone to do that for numerous reasons, least being illegal.


That said 5w with a good antenna is all you need for highway use and trail, if you think you need more power get an Amateur Radio License and you can 1500w.


But from personal experience I have worked 154 countries confirmed QRP (5w or less) in my XJ using a wire antenna and a Elecraft KX3 QRP Transceiver parked on mountain tops.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by offroadXJ1999 View Post
I got the Cobra 29 on eBay used for 35 bucks and it has a built in SWR (kinda crap) but the radio is great and got a taillight mounting bracket($27) with a 5ft firestick($25). Plus a 16ft coax cord ($6) so my total setup was only $93 and range is great! You could probably even cut down the price with a cheaper radio or making your own mount!




Did you get your antenna mount from the guy that sells them on here?
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Old 08-21-2016, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fred/N0AZZ View Post
There is a reason for that output level that being the cheap components used in all CB radios will not take the increase output without distortion.


Plus its against the law for anyone to do that to a CB $50,000 fine and loss of license if they even have one most don't. I would never advise anyone to do that for numerous reasons, least being illegal.


That said 5w with a good antenna is all you need for highway use and trail, if you think you need more power get an Amateur Radio License and you can 1500w.


But from personal experience I have worked 154 countries confirmed QRP (5w or less) in my XJ using a wire antenna and a Elecraft KX3 QRP Transceiver parked on mountain tops.
To each their own. It is a very simple matter to go into a Cobra 29LTD and change a few simple components and increase it's function not just a little but a lot both in output and clear modulation. I was in the CB radio competition game for 20 years and trust me it makes a major difference.

Is it "illegal"? Perhaps on paper. But the FCC has no one on the payroll who's job it is to monitor or enforce CB radios and hasn't for a long long time. In this cell phone, wireless computer etc age something like CB doesn't even exist on their agenda. They will only drag someone away from another department if they get a specific complaint because someone with a 16 pill DaveMade amp is coming thru their cell phone or whatever.

So if you decide to stay stock at the very least as someone mentioned make sure your SWRs are flat and run directly off the battery.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by nardey11 View Post

Did you get your antenna mount from the guy that sells them on here?
I got mine off eBay from "thatxjguy" Really quality product but id recomend mounting it behind the taillight instead of on top so your hitting the metal not the plastic taillight bracket if that makes since.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Programbo View Post
To each their own. It is a very simple matter to go into a Cobra 29LTD and change a few simple components and increase it's function not just a little but a lot both in output and clear modulation. I was in the CB radio competition game for 20 years and trust me it makes a major difference.

Is it "illegal"? Perhaps on paper. But the FCC has no one on the payroll who's job it is to monitor or enforce CB radios and hasn't for a long long time. In this cell phone, wireless computer etc age something like CB doesn't even exist on their agenda. They will only drag someone away from another department if they get a specific complaint because someone with a 16 pill DaveMade amp is coming thru their cell phone or whatever.

So if you decide to stay stock at the very least as someone mentioned make sure your SWRs are flat and run directly off the battery.

Perhaps you can tell us exactly how many db's are gained by doing a mod like this? In the mid-70's when I was big into CB's I had no idea myself, it is very small.


So what you are saying if you don't think you will be caught any laws can be broken, correct?
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