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Old 07-20-2019, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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CB Radio as FE Tool

I’ve had CB radios on & off for almost fifty years. Doesn’t mean I know much since Radio Theory is no small & easy subject (Antenna Theory worse). That said, it’s a fine gateway drug to two worlds parallel to the one you live in:

1). Commercial Truck Traffic

2). HAM radio

Over twenty years ago I obtained a CDL. And became truly fulltime in 2012 after divorce. My radio is on 10-12 hours daily.

How & Why on a CB to best utilize what’s right in front of you as you travel will follow this list. How I use mine to earn an income and what I find works best per operator comfort (if you will).

This first post is really just an equipment list so that it won’t be hard to find. . A minimum level of quality where spending more doesn’t (really) result in better performance. (Today’s cars are much harder to find a place to mount; not the subject here).

The goal is to hear, and to be heard. In that order of priority.

CB radio circuitry hasn’t changed (design) since Carter was President. What is different is fully digital transceivers (SMT) the last few years resulting in some low-priced, excellent-performing units.

I believe it wrong to not have available the full capabilities of RX/TX on 11-Meter. So to that end I would only recommend an AM/SSB unit. (AM is short range, and SSB is significantly farther).

(And, remember as you add things up: this equipment will last one, two, three decades)

1). UNIDEN 980 AM/SSB ($150) (Best brand is PRESIDENT. An upgrade to the $200 McKinley model is worth considering).

(There is ZERO need for a tech to open the radio. Leave it alone).

Couple this to a small amp that will run off the same circuit:

2). RM ITALY KL-203 ($75 shipped for 75W)

And bolstered by a mobile speaker featuring Variable Digital Signal Filtration; the type of noise reduction that otherwise ONLY $$$ HAM transceivers feature. Without you CANNOT hear MANY other units transmitting.


4). HARBOR FREIGHT Apache 3800 Transport Case for the above ($40). With pick/pluck foam for custom cushioned transport

12VDC should be accessed from the battery. A 15A or 20A fused lead on 10-ga Positive at the battery, and the Negative very close to the BATT frame ground (non-fused)

5). (See West Marine or WAYTEK for following):

ANCOR MARINE GRADE 10-gauge Duplex
ANCOR Heat Shrink Terminals
ANCOR Flame Resistant Split Loom Covering
BLUE SEA Fuse Holder & Fuse (plus spare)
ANCOR Adel Clamps to secure runs
ANCOR Flame Resistant ZIP Ties.

6). SIRIO 5000 Roof Mount Antenna ($75)

7). BREEDLOVE Machine Puck Mount ($50)

And the Guide for it all:


Alans guide will take you through the attendant (necessary) details for best performance even though it’s written for HAM operators. Pay special attention to vehicle bonding & grounding. Understand RF versus DC ground.

You youngsters can’t imagine travel without cell phones and GPS devices. So I’ll add that a copy of the RAND-McNALLY Commercial Vehicle Road Atlas is mandatory (at any chain truckstop).

The day cellphones and the all-too-fragile Internet go down plus the GPS satellite system glitches, you WILL want to know what’s going on. Without a CB you won’t. And separating yourselves from the mass of idiots may mean more than just relaxed blood pressure. If you plan to get home, that is. Understand that traveling by road makes you disposable. A genny-wine deplorable. So a mobile transceiver is also a tool to lessen risk.

Knowing what is out there on normal days, and how to use a CB to best advantage, is all about time & distance. Which is FE in a nutshell.

More later


Last edited by slowmover; 07-20-2019 at 12:10 PM..
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