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A Trip Down Memory Lane with RadioShack
By Carl On June 6, 2017 · Add Comment

RadioShack has been dishing out electronics for so long that having a nice timeline of their marketing material is a great way to see how technology has progressed over the years. The website ‘RadioShack Catalogs’ has been kicking about for a while and if you’ve never seen it, you’ll certainly lose and hour or two going through all the material. Not only are there year after year of sales catalogs to browse through, but also a cracking array of videos that are well worth a look.

Without all the extra content that comes with radio magazines, Radio Shack catalogs cut right to the core and just list page on page of vintage equipment. I also like to see how the style of advertisements change as the general tech head gets more savvy as the years go by. Radio Shack catalogs can be found over at radioshackcatalogs.com


Unfortunately, How To CB Radio seems to have discontinued their website.  If you have a CB website, honor it and visit it often; that's what keeps it going.  


Carl was a great friend to us 

Courtesy "How to CB Radio" (UK) ---Thanks Carl

Compilation "Heart of Dixie CB Radio Club" (US)

CB RADIO USE IS TAKING A NOSEDIVE 

Anyone who used to use a CB Radio in the Eighties that turns on a rig for the first time nowadays would probably be shocked.  First by the general lack of signals that you find these days compared to how busy the channels used to be back then, and the second shock would be the amount of swearing and insults that get banded around on the channels.  The truth is, that even back in the Eighties the same problems existed. If you try long enough and hard enough though you will find people out there who are sane enough and polite enough to talk to, although it does take a lot more effort to do that these days.  But, be as it may, the greatest CB'ers are still from the early 1960s to mid 1970's bar none. Several of those guys and gals have left the hobby or either passed on. It was difficult to be a CBer back in those days as you had to obtain a license and then actually had to go by the rules. Then, you were taking a very substantial risk by doing the things people do on radio these days. Uncle Charlie was bad ass back then.  When I say "the Seventies" I am referring to the "early" Seventies.  The late Seventies saw the license for CB die and all heck broke loose. You could hardly find any channel to talk on after the allocation of more channels. And by that time Burt Reynolds had made CB radio the next cell phone with the movie "Smoky & The Bandit." 


However, as previously stated, you can still find some good people to talk to, but just not as many of them as in the past. Maybe that's good in a way.  I still enjoy the radio but the feverish passion has certainly dimmed as those good times had in the 70's and 80's have faded into the sunset.  

You just had to be there.   

I'm 10-7.

THE DAYS OF ME & OLE CB

Originally posted by Heart of Dixie CB Radio Club 1/12/14

A TRUE STORY


It was in the very late 1960s and early 1970; it was about being a true, red-blooded, All-American radio operator. Big title, huh?  That's what it was about though. The guys (me included) who were playing with these radios now are the true, genuine radio enthusiasts that lived the CB radio days when you had to get dear old Dad to get a license  But this license, of course, gave you a green light to get on the airwaves, and everyone else in the family. Just to get that license you had to be an American (no alien could get one). Oh, for you liberals, they didn't give a flip that you had a problem with that in the 1960s/early 70s.  Dad also could not have a felony on his record; had to be 18 years of age, and had to literally go by the rules and also make sure you did the same.  The days of radio then required me to give those call letters accordingly. And, I did so, and very proudly!  I was on my cloud "Nine of Radio". 

When someone said "Charlie is in town,:" that's just what it meant!  You also had 5 minutes for a conversation and any breaks were handled after the proper 10 code was given and you gave your call letters and signed-off. When I began talking on the radio, there were no truck drivers on either 10 or 19; there were none, period. At least none I'd ever heard.  As a matter of fact, I had to hunt people to talk to at first.  And age differences had nothing to do with who eventually became your friend on the radio, or friend in general.  I can remember a man who went by the handle of "Buzzard."  He had lived in my community for all of his life, along with his wife, and he was an old TV repairman and was now in a wheelchair. My family knew him but that didn't mean I did.  We had 60 years difference in our ages, but we were buddies. I later became the kid who cut his grass, made him a cement pad for his wheelchair to roll down to his car, and did a lot of odds and ends that I could handle.  He and his wife, even with the age difference, were my friends. Then, of course, as time passed into the 70's, girls began to trickle in here and there on the radio. Well, at my age at that time, this was great! I'd say CB was possibly the first dating service, first cell phone, first emergency service, etc.  If you were creative enough, it was about anything you needed it to be.  I'm sure many of you follow me.


FORWARD IN AGE.......

Not too many CB radio guys and gals are old enough to remember all of the above. Many that do are no longer around or not on the radio anyway.  A few still are, and that's a good thing. 

There are a few younger guys and gals of today that still have the same love of radio that the now 50 and 60 something's had back then --that being turning on that old 23 channel time machine. Yes, time machine. And If you came along in 1977, then cranking up that old 40 channel radio would apply to most of you. 1977 being the year when "Uncle Charlie" allocated an extra 17 channels for us. 

When I crank up my old Lafayette Comstat 25B now (yeah, some still work), even today I have all those old memories I described above come rushing back to me. My parents would literally sit in our living room and watch me talk on that radio. They would listen to the conversations everyone was having. It was a time when that form of social media was something that brought the family into the same room (not apart like cell phones of today do). Well, that and the fact that I was only 11 years old when I started the love affair with this talk box. But everything was different then. Family was closer. And most knew what you were doing and when you did it.  

Today, I am very happy to be part of a bunch of old dudes (and dude-ettes), mostly in our 50's and 60's, that have the same passion I did then and still do today for this stuff.  I am even happier that we have some younger ones that are just as enthusiastic as we were about it then and some of us still are today. The longer I can keep all those old memories fresh, well, they will never die. I wish that any and all that care to read this could just once have experienced the joy of radio back in the late 60's and early 70's. A time when just talking to an acquaintance down the road a few miles made one happy. When fun was climbing on top of the house to adjust that old Radio Shack ground plane you or your parents paid a whopping $9.95 for. It was something a lot of folks have forgotten. But I'll never forget it.  

That's what the love affair is all about.  If you read this, Thank you for letting me share in those wonderful days.  

Thanks, Mom & Dad!


In Memory of my Dad - RIP 1/20/1974 (My Hero)

Written By: 805 - Website Manager & Originally Posted 1-12-2014

"My 2 pill 2879 transistors will do 400 watts and swing 800." NOPE! That ain't so.

By Heart of Dixie CB Radio Club -2/2/2020


Guess again!.  And stop using those lying Dosy and Paradynamics meters. First they are not "pills". They are transistors. Toshiba's 2sc2879/2sc2879a transistors are rated at 100 watts PEP each. Not 150 watts PEP. Not 200 watts PEP.  100 watts PEP! If you overdrive them or over voltage them you will eventually blow them. Toshiba's datasheet for their 2sc2879a transistors in Adobe Acrobat format can be viewed by clicking here. Most CB amp manufacturers are not telling the truth. Toshiba is. If your meter agrees with the exaggerated claims of the vendors, get another meter. So, what kind of output should you expect from an amplifier with two properly set up 2sc2869 transistors in class AB operation? Assuming the transmitter is set up to run the transistors at their maximum rated settings and the power supply can deliver the required DC power input;


  • AM double sideband = About 70 watts carrier max with clean,           undistorted modulation, but it going to run hot!!.
  • SSB (LSB and USB) = 200 watts PEP
  • Many of the better amateur radio transmitters use two 2sc2879         transistors tend "loaf along" at 100 watts output on sideband.          The lower output is designed to promote long service life and            clean transmit signals. So take care of your equipment.
  •  HODCB-3-6-20

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HEART OF DIXIE CB RADIO CLUB. HERE ARE JUST A FEW CONTACTS WE HAVE MADE OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS.............STATE OF ILLINOIS…………..UNIT 316, IL……………BOOTLEGGER, IL……………UNIT 33, IL…………STATE OF NEW YORK………..UNIT 152 (SKIP SHOOTER), NY…………..JD, NY…………..UNIT 506, NY………..UNIT 230, NY………MULTIPLE CONTACTS, SYRACUSE, NY……………..STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA…………..BOB, PA……………MATT, PA…………DEWAYNE, PA……………605, PA………..UNIT 427, PA……….SNAKE EYES, PA…….UNIT 508……….UNIT 665, PA…………STATE OF FLORIDA…………….SHADOW, FL……….202, FL……………..UNIT 129, FL………STATE OF TEXAS…………..105, TX………….1029, TX………….DUSTY, TX……….PAPPY, TX………..STATE OF OKLAHOMA…………989, OK………UNIT 6, OK……….MOONSHINER, OK……. STATE OF CALIFORNIA……377, So.CAL……..5151, N. San Francisco, CA………..49, Santa Rosa, CA………COYOTE, Lake Tahoe, CA……….

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What's the most powerful CB on the market?


Welcome to the most powerful CB radio available, the Ranger RCI 69FFB4. Boasting over 400 watts PeP, this Ranger CB radio puts everything else to shame in terms of sheer performance. Posted 6/10/20

CONTACT JO GUNN ANTENNAS

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 Variation of the RCI-2950
The 100W DX6!
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Posted 6/28/20 

The (RM) KL-203 has been one of those amplifiers we have recommend to people again and again.
See review here

Hy-Gain SPT-500 Super Penetrator HF Vertical Antennas SPT-500

Antenna, Vertical, HF, Super Penetrator, 1,500 W, 12, 10 meters, 22.8 ft. Height, Each   Estimated Ship Date: 7/21/2020 (if ordered today)

$179.95

Snake Custom Radios (Phoenix, AZ) " The Best New Base Antenna"

How Far Can I Talk on My Type of Antenna

Approximate Ranges for CB Antennas

The most common question asked about CB antennas is, "What kind of range can I expect?" This can be a tricky one to answer accurately, as antenna range is affected by a number of different variables. We will get to approximate ranges shortly, but it's importanant to first discuss the different factors that determine how far you'll be able to transmit and receive.

 

Factors That Influence Range

 

Antenna Length & Type: Everything else equal, longer antennas will always have a longer range than shorter antennas. Also, certain types of antennas have a longer range than others. For example, center-load antennas tend to have a longer effective transmit and receive range compared to fiberglass antennas of the same length.  

Mount Location: Mounting location plays a large role as well. The higher an antenna is mounted, the better the range. If a poor mounting location is selected, this can dramatically cut the range to a fraction of its potential. For more information on selecting a good mounting location, please see our article on Selecting a CB Antenna & Mounting Location.

Installation Quality: Installation mistakes, such as not properly grounding an antenna, will lead to high SWR and limited range. To achieve the transmit and receive performance we indicate below, it's crucial your equipment is properly installed. For a great primer on ensuring your installation goes smoothly, see Elements of a Successful Installation.  

Terrain: The surrounding terrain plays a huge role in determining range. Perched up on an overlook, you'll likely achieve significantly longer transmit and receive ranges than those we list. Conversely, if you're in a deep, heavily wooded canyon, your range will plummet.  

Antenna Quality: Name-brand antennas are most commonly associated with build quality and durability, but are also linked (allbeit to a lesser degree) with range. If range is important to you, we recommend spending a bit more for a name-brand product, as you'll likely see an increase in performance over a generic, cheaper product. 

Radio Power/SSB: Most CB radios transmit at a standard 4 watts of power with one exception: single side band (SSB) models. SSB radios have upper and lower sideband channels (just above and below the standard 40 CB channels) which transmit only the CB audio wave as opposed to both the audio and carrier waves. Broadcasting only on the audio wave enables SSB radios to transmit at 3x the power, 12 watts, and signifigantly increase your range.  If you're using an SSB radio, you can effectively triple the ranges listed below. If maximum range is important, you'll definitely want an SSB radio. Please note that, in order to take advantage of SSB's increased range, the person you're communicating with must also be using an SSB radio. (All SSB CB radios).

 

Approximate Range by Type and Length

 

The figures in this section are provided with the understanding that antenna range is influenced by a number of factors (discussed above). It's impossible to guarantee the effective range of a CB antenna for a specific vehicle or application. All figures assume that the antenna has been properly installed and tuned for acceptable SWR, and that you're operating on flat ground.  

 

Single Fiberglass Antennas

2' Length: 2 to 3 miles

3' Length: 3 to 4 miles

4' Length: 4 to 6 miles

5' Length: 5 to 7 miles

 

Dual Fiberglass Antennas

Fiberglass dual antennas provide some benefits over single antenna installations. First, a dual installation will increase the effective range approximately 25% over a single antenna installation, especially parallel to the direction of travel. Second, having antennas on both sides of the vehicle improves overall coverage and prevents "dead spots" caused by an antenna being shielded by one side of the vehicle.  

  • 2' Length: 2 to 4 miles
  • 3' Length: 4 to 6 miles
  • 4' Length: 5 to 7 miles
  • 5' Length: 6 to 9 miles

 

Magnetic Antennas 

Listed ranges assume the magnetic antenna is mounted directly on the center of the roof, the best location for mounting any CB antenna.  

  • 3' Length: 2 to 4 miles
  • 4' Length: 3 to 5 miles
  • 5' Length: 5 to 7 miles

 

Single Center-Load Antennas 

  • 7 to 10 miles

 

Dual Center-Load Antennas 

Similar to fiberglass dual installations, center-load dual antennas provide a few benefits over single antennas. First, a dual installation will increase the effective range approximately 25% over a single antenna installation, especially parallel to the direction of travel. Second, having antennas on both sides of the vehicle improves overall coverage and prevents "dead spots" caused by an antenna being shielded by one side of the vehicle.  

  • 10 to 12 miles

 

Base Station Antennas


Base station antenna ranges are VERY difficult to estimate because they typically range from 15 to 50 miles. Terrain plays a large role, as there is much more variation in a 25- to 50-mile transmission radius than a smaller 5-mile radius for a mobile antenna. However, a properly installed base antenna can usually provided at least 15 miles of range and often significantly more.

  • Approximately 15 to 50 miles

 

Stainless Steel 102" Whip 

  • Approximately 7 to 10 miles

 

NGP Antennas 

Due to their unique construction, no-ground plane antennas have about 70% the range of standard ground-based antennas of the same length.  

  • 2' Length: 1 to 2 miles
  • 3' Length: 2 to 3 miles
  • 4' Length: 3 to 5 miles

Originally Posted 10/18/2014  Heart of Dixie CB Radio Club


The Dangers of Running Too Much Wattage on CB Radio.

Courtesy Kollman Radio:

I have for many years preached on what RF energy will do to you. This all came about when CB'ers were stopping by the old shop showing off the multi-alternator systems, feeding their dual amps in the back of their Suburban’s. The scary output was 5,000 watts or MORE!

The antenna of course was either behind their head or on top of the vehicle. Which is a moot point considering anywhere on the car is too close. Forget the legalities for a second. I have been at this since I was ten years old, in 1970. I don’t consider it an accident that so many of the operators I used to look up to, at that time, have died of cancer or tumors. I am not a doctor and don’t play one at all. Yet I still see and talk to those who are not paying any attention.

There are stations in neighborhoods that are operating at 10,000 watts or MORE. One in particular with their kids in sleeping in the attic under the antenna! Okay so they didn't know you can’t feel it. Somewhere, sometime the light should go on in their head that the antenna is glowing! What about our neighbors, aren't they glowing too?

This is serious! and since the season is on the way for mobile radio competitions it needs to be brought up. Saturating your body with extreme RF (radiation) has to be thought out. There is no filter for that.

RF exposure is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly. The FCC has numerous articles and literature regarding the dangers of RF to not only the operator, but also people implanted with pacemakers and defibrillators, etc. Please take the time to keep your radio in perspective. There is nothing more important than your family, and I'd imagine you're pretty important to them also.

Article Complied by Heart of Dixie CB Radio Club & Kollman Radio

The Coffee Break Remembered 

LOOKING BACK AT THE BEST TIMES IN CITIZENS' BAND RADIO
A GREAT READ

CB Radio has always been about bringing people together through the wonderful medium of wireless communication.  Today, most people don't think twice about the technology which makes their cell phones, laptops, and PDA's communicate with the outside world.  But back in the 1960's and 1970's none of that technology existed yet, and if people wanted to communicate with each other, they either had to visit in person, or use the wired landline telephone to call someone (Don't tell me about smoke signals).  Telephones only allowed a strictly 2-way conversation to occur, so the only way to kick back with a larger group of people was a face-face meeting.  Then came CB radio as a place for people to have a virtual party over the air.  Like the telephone, a CB radio allowed people to communicate with each other beyond the distance that your normal voice could travel unassisted.  But unlike the telephone, the CB was more like a "Party line", which allowed many people to participate in the conversation.  You didn't have to worry about what you had to wear, or how unattractive you thought you were, since other people couldn't see you anyway.  Radio was a great ice-breaker for shy and introverted people to seek out friends and to form personal relationships, which were easier to accomplish within the confines of the familiar surroundings of your own home, and which could also be severed simply by turning the switch off.  It was an ideal situation, and many people found kindred spirits and people who enjoyed the same activities or were simply fun to listen to.  Many nights would go by with all sorts of spirited debates, discussions of current events, experiments surrounding improving signal potential or increased equipment capability, or just general chit-chat and goofing off.  In many ways it was the ultimate solution to making (and keeping) friends.

Eventually though, when you've talked to someone for a while, and you became comfortable with them, you start to get curious about what they look like.  Or you might want to take the casual on-air friendship to a deeper level and do things in the real world.  Whatever the reason, it would seem that even the most shy and self-conscious CB'ers eventually wanted to "eyeball" one another.  In the very early days of my radio hobby, most of my friends and I already knew each other through school or by living in close proximity in the same neighborhood.  But as we got better equipment and our signals extended further away from our homes, we picked up some new friends who lived more than a few miles away, and who didn't go to our school.  So naturally, the time came when we desired to meet in person.  Other channel groups, especially those of the older adults, also sought a way to meet face-face with their radio buds.  And so the "Coffee Break" or "CB Jamboree", as it was known in some other areas, came to be. 

From what I've read throughout the years, the Coffee Break was pretty much a constant in most parts of the country, so my area was not unique in this aspect.  What a Coffee Break was, in essence, was a well publicized gathering of CB'ers at a predetermined public place, or at a rented venue.   Here, people would come, pay their $2 or whatever admission fee and, while wearing their "handle" badge proudly on their chest or baseball cap, sought out their radio friends.  Usually the larger events were open to all groups on all the channels from miles around, so there were usually hundreds of people in attendance, many of whom we didn't know or had never heard before.  It was also the place for the local CB clubs to show off their club shirts and to recruit new blood to add to their swelling memberships.  These larger breaks often had entertainment in the form or a band or DJ, plenty of food to purchase, and usually a door prize or other raffle drawing.  There were also various vendors set up hawking their wares.  Radio equipment vendors were the most popular and they provided a means for people to kick the tires on new radio models or, for kids like me who never had more than $10 worth of spare change, to dream about those radios we might someday own.  There were also vendors who sold custom printed QSL cards, or name, call sign or handle badges.  There were also the "XYL" vendors who sold cheap jewelry or other trinkets which appealed to the female contingent.  

Besides the larger "Jamboree" style breaks, there were other smaller "Breaks" which were usually impromptu, informal, and normally limited to just the members of a particular channel group.  These were held at a local restaurant, donut shop, or bowling alley.  These small breaks were nothing fancy, but simply a regular or semi-regular excuse for radio friends to have a face-face meeting.  The Coffee Break had its heyday from about 1973 to about 1977.  Beyond that I don't recall ever attending any close by.  I'm not sure why Coffee Breaks faded away as the CB fad was still on the upswing until the early 80's.  


It's a shame that events like this exist pretty much only in the memories of those old timers who were around in the 70's.  I have not heard anything about similar events in my area for many years.  I'm sure there may still be a CB Jamboree going on in some part of the country. Then again, today's CB is not the same as it was back then, so who knows what might happen. You'd probably have to screen everyone for weapons............ END


Heart of Dixie CBRC Posted 5/1/2020  

The A99 VERSUS IMAX 2000
Thanks to Copper Electronics Forum 

I have a friend that just replaced his A99 (no GPK) with the Imax 2000 (no GPK). I was shocked to see that the signal difference from him didn't change enough where you could tell it when up or down. He is aprox. 16 air miles from me. His feed point is right at 40'. I wanted to say "put the A99 back up so I can see that again" but he had the A99 sold to another CBer who put it up. The A99 is now aprox. 40' to the feed point at it's new location. He added the GPK to the A99. The fellow with the A99 is almost exactly the same air miles from me as the CBer with the IMAX. I get 1/2 S unit more on the IMAX station (both claim to be transmiting 4 watts). However, I didn't get even a needle width difference with the CBer that replaced his A99 with the IMAX.
I am not partial to either antenna. I run a Archer 5/8 wave that I bought in 1977 from Radio Shack. It is aluminum with 3 ground radials aprox. 19' in length. Yes I know it must have been another false claim but one thing I do know is that my good friend 1/4 mile from me on the same elevation as myself using either of his 2 RCI radios and a IMAX 2000 (same height to tip as mine) can't hear what I can. I can hear light traffic at 45 air miles that he just can't receive and guess what I can talk to them as well. I run a Cobra 25 and D104 desk mic.
I know that the IMAX is cheap enough and built better that the A99 but I am not real impressed with it.
I think that I would go with the Maco 5/8 if something happened to mine.
I know that there is a lot of IMAX die hards out there that use the price as a security blanket but if price was a consideration why not go with the A99? It is dirt cheap and almost as good.
I wonder if the A99 with the GPK and Fireup 99 just might keep up with the IMAX?
Maybe you can help me understand why it is that the aluminum antennas at around 19' with the ground radials out perform the IMAX (at it's true 5/8 wave length). I wonder if designers know something that the majority of us don't.  


Heart of Dixie CBRC - Posted 3/4/2020

Not All Radiowaves Travel Far At Night

Not all radio waves travel farther at night than during the day, but some, short and medium wave, which AM radio signals fall under, definitely can given the right conditions. The main reason this is the case has to do with the signal interacting with a particular layer of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere, and how this interaction changes from the nighttime to the daytime.  

The ionosphere is a layer of the upper atmosphere about 50 to 600 miles above sea level. It gets its name because it is ionized consistently by solar and cosmic radiation. In very simple terms, X-ray, ultraviolet, and shorter wavelengths of radiation given off by the Sun (and from other cosmic sources) release electrons in this layer of the atmosphere when these particular photons are absorbed by molecules. Because the density of molecules and atoms is quite low in the ionosphere (particularly in the upper layers), it allows free electrons to exist in this way for a short period of time before ultimately recombining. Lower in the atmosphere, where the density of molecules is greater, this recombination happens much faster.

What does this have to do with radio waves?  Without interference, radio waves travel in a straight line from the broadcast source, ultimately hitting the ionosphere.  What happens after is dependent on a variety of factors, notable among them being the frequency of the waves and the density of the free electrons.  For AM waves, given the right conditions, they will essentially bounce back and forth between the ground and the ionosphere, propagating the signal farther and farther. So clearly the ionosphere can potentially play an important part in the terrestrial radio process. But it is the constantly shifting nature of the ionosphere that makes things really interesting. And for that, we’ll have to get a little more technical, though we’ll at the least spare you the math, and we’ll leave out a little of the complexity in an effort to not go full textbook on you.

In any event, the ionosphere’s composition changes most drastically at night, primarily because, of course, the Sun goes missing for a bit. Without as abundant a source of ionizing rays, the D and E levels (pictured below) of the ionosphere cease to be very ionized, but the F region (particularly F2) still remains quite ionized. Further, because the atmosphere is significantly less dense here than the E and D regions, it results in more free electrons (the density of which is key here). 

When these electrons encounter a strong AM radio wave, they can potentially oscillate at the frequency of the wave, taking some of the energy from the radio wave in the process.  With enough of them, as can happen in the F layer, (when the density of encountered electrons is sufficient relative to the specific signal frequency), and assuming they don’t just recombine with some ion (which is much more likely in the E and D layers in the daytime), this can very effectively refract the signal back down to Earth at sufficient strength to be picked up on your radio.

Depending on conditions, this process can potentially repeat several times with the signal bouncing down to the ground and back up.  Thus, using this skywave, rather than just the normal daytime groundwave, AM radio signals can be propagated even thousands of miles. Of course, this can become a major problem given that there are only a little over 100 allowed AM radio frequencies (restricted to keep signals interfering too much with one another), but around 5,000 AM radio stations in the United States alone. Given that at night, the signals from these stations can travel vast distances, this is just a recipe for stations interfering with one another. 


Bonus Fact:

AM Radio (Amplitude Modulation) was the first type of radio broadcasting used for mass-consumption by the public and is still widely used today. (Although AM radio is becoming less widespread.


Heart of Dixie CB Radio Club posted 3/5/2020

Solarcon A99 Experimental Results and Analysis of Ground Plane Radials
By KAOSFM

Hello Everyone,

While this is my first post, I have been lurking in the background for some time assimilating as much information as possible. The conversations on this board have been invaluable to assisting my pursuits in this hobby.

A little background...I have been out of the radio game for some time. Back in the 90's I built my own LPFM station from scratch and broadcast for roughly 2 years. In that time, I experimented frequently with different antenna designs. The 10' wavelength for VHF is far easier to work with than the 10-meters or so we deal with at the top of the HF range. I used and/or built a 5/8 wave GP antenna, a 1/2 wave J-Pole, a crossed dipole array, a stacked vertical dipole array, a log-periodic beam, a 1/4 wave GP and various co-phased combinations of all of these.

In the VHF (~1000MHz) band I dealt with, nothing beat the performance of the 5/8 wave GP antenna. It had the strongest signal over the broadest region. Living on a hill at the time, I had people listening up to 30 miles away that were line of site. I eventually moved onto college and packed everything away.

I found an old Cobra 25-LTD Classic while going through storage and the radio bug hit me again. I had to find an antenna solution that would work in my circumstances since I am a renter. It could not be a permanent part of the structure, nor could it be overly obtrusive as to draw the ire of the landlord. I eventually settled on the Solarcon A-99. The Antron-99 was the only CB antenna that I remembered by name and figured it would be a good starting point.

I mounted the A99 on an old portable basketball hoop pole, approximately 10ft above ground. I almost immediately made contact with a gentleman 20 miles away barefoot, which surprised me. However, even that low power level was causing bad TVI, bleeding through speakers and causing smoke detectors to beep. This was unacceptable. I installed a 6-turn choke plus snap-on ferrite chokes at the feedpoint. It only partially resolved the issue.

Through my research, I discovered that the ground plane kit for the A99 supposedly aided in the reduction of TVI. I also heard that the kit was useless. It was a little too expensive and obtrusive in my case, so I resolved to build my own GP kit and hopefully resolve the TVI issues. I should mention that I slowly added 5ft mast sections to the top of the basketball pole, eventually setting up 3 of them for a total antenna height above ground of ~ 24 feet.

I tied 102 inch (1/4 wave) sections of 18-AWG speaker to a hose clamp right below the tuning rings where the regular GP kit goes. I also wrapped the A-99's mounting base with electrical tape to isolate it from the mast and prevent it from interfering with the ground plane. The angle is a bit steeper than the regular 45 degree angle of the GP kit. That's fine though...it is a lower profile and it makes the antenna look like some kind of beam weapon from a Star Wars x fighter.

Now, let's get to the performance. First, the TVI issue is gone. I am running 25 times more power now and the TVI is still gone, which is a bonus. I then set up an experiment. I chose a clear freeband frequency and operated in FM mode at 4 watts. I then got in my car and turned on my mobile to the same channel. I kept the radio keyed the whole time of the test. I then drove down each of the four cardinal directions (NWSE) and logged the precise geographical point in which the full-quieting full-bars signal started to swish around and drop to four bars out of five on the signal strength meter.

I performed the above test with the homemade GP radials installed and with the antenna in its stock radial-free condition. In each of the four directions, the A-99 with the GP radials won hands down. The GP version sent the signal out between 20% to 25% further. Not only that, but the signal on the outskirts was far more consistent, suggesting that the radials are indeed cleaning up the radiation pattern, making it more circular and casting the signal towards the ground. Also, the radials flattened out the SWR curve with a 1.1:1 match mid band and a 1.15:1 match on the edges.

I should mention that one of the strongest talkers I chat with on the band lives in an apartment where he hauls out a portable tripod with a 5' mast and the A-99 mounted on it -- so just 5 feet above ground! Despite this and the fact that he's only running 25 or so watts, his signal is one of the strongest I hear. I think I've reached a conclusion:

If your A-99 is mounted one half wavelength or more above ground, get the GP kit or build your own.

If your A-99 is mounted under half a wavelength in height (< 18'), don't bother with the GP kit.

Under 18 ft, I hypothesize that the mirror half of the wave is interacting with the ground in a way that helps the signal get out. Above 18 ft, the mirror half of the wave is in free space and benefits from the use of an equivalent counterpoise in place of the ground itself.

What do you guys think?
-Dr. Nick


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LOCAL CB SHOPS

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DODGE CITY CB SHOP
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BARKETT ELECTRONICS
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We have been in business full time since 1998 offering sales and service for both new and vintage radios. We have have improved our ability at servicing many brands of radios by tripling our facilities to 1800 square feet and purchased the remaining parts and service department inventory of Browning Labs Inc of Laconia NH, and by having many new service parts custom manufactured and in stock for our customers. Our increasing inventory allows us to finish repairs in a timely manner giving our customer the best possible service.  Remember to choose original Golden Eagle parts when repairing your Browning radios. Our trademark Golden Eagle is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark office in Alexandria, Virginia. So always ask for the best!

 

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How to Power Your CB

POWERING YOUR CB RADIO

Almost all CB radios come with an unprocessed power line, which consists of a ground and a hot wire. Getting power to your CB radio can be a little tricky. Luckily, there are a few different options depending on your level of electrical ability and your specific vehicle setup.


TAP INTO EXISTING WIRING

If you’re fairly knowledgeable about electronics, you can tap into one of the existing power lines used for other vehicle accessories such as stereos, speakers or seats. While this can be convenient, it’s not recommended for those with little electrical experience.


USE A FUSE TAPPER

A fuse tapper looks like a standard fuse, but has a hot lead wire coming out of the top of the fuse. This allows you to use power from the fuse box to easily power your radio without any complicated wiring. The black wire can be attached to any metallic element that grounds to the vehicle’s chassis to complete the circuit and power the radio.


USE A CIGARETTE ADAPTER

Another simple way to power your radio is to use a cigarette adapter. For radios that use a standard 3-pin power cord, you can buy inexpensive 3-pin-to-cigarette adapter power cords that will work with the radio right out of the box. For cheaper CB radios that don’t use a removable 3-pin power cord, you’ll need to have a cigarette adapter that can be used with bare-end wires.


WIRE DIRECTLY TO THE BATTERY

For minimal electrical interference, you can run the hot line directly to the hot terminal of a vehicle’s battery. The ground wire can be connected to the ground terminal of the battery or to any metallic element of the vehicle attached to the frame. If you’re experiencing significant engine noise that interferes with incoming signals, wiring the radio directly to the battery will usually reduce or eliminate the interference.

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INSTALLING A PL-259 to COAX   Connector to Coax

A PL-259 is often incorrectly assembled, so this video will help you do the job correctly and quickly.  Guaranteed! 

Below is a Comparison of different model Turner Base Mics and mic plug wiring. 

Courtesy Heart of Dixie CBRC

(Below) Watch Cobra 2000 LTD go from Silver to Black using decals

DEBS DECALS

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With discount prices, a large selection, and personal customer service, at Palco Electronics, you always get  "A Whale of a Deal!"


We are also one of the only dealers where JO GUNN antennas are available. We have a wide selection of the infamous JO GUNN antennas in stock. Just click below to see!


PALCO ELECTRONICS LINK

PROPER GROUNDING OF A CB ANTENNA


Proper grounding of your equipment is very important. Not only in performance but if you're running high power there are health risks involved with stray RF emissions. I know of cases where operators have gotten shocks while keying up and touching the mic to their lip. Proper grounding will correct this problem. In setting up a base station it's recommended that you place a 8' ground rod into the ground directly below the antenna. Run a #8 solid copper ground wire from the U-Clamp attaching the antenna to the mast. Add a second 1/4-20 nut to the clamp. The ground rod and ground wire are available at hardware or electrical supply stores. Seal all these connections. Silicone rubber will work but it deteriorates in the weather. The best product is Coax Seal. It is a pliable plastic putty that never hardens or cracks. It stays weather tight indefinitely. I strongly suggest using it on all outside connections. One roll will do several connections. At $ 2.50 a roll, that's cheap insurance. Most antenna problems are connections ... Avoid them! Next connect all the chassis together with copper braid and run another #8 wire to the same ground rod or place another ground rod near the equipment. The copper braid removed from coax will work fine. First strip the coax and slide the center conductor out. Then flatten the braid and tin about 1" at and drill an appropriate size hole at each end. Attach the braid to each piece of radio equipment using the equipment cover screws or ground connections provided by the manufacturer. The radio, amplifier, tuner, meters, TVI filter, etc., should be connected together and grounded. This will usually help in preventing RFI problems and RF feedback, which causes audio distortion and squealing in severe cases. In mobile installations it's recommended that the power supply come directly from the battery, both positive and negative. If a linear amplifier is used, it is mandatory for clean performance that both supply wires be at least #10 for up to 250 watts and are connected directly to the battery. Also inline fuses of a larger value than in the equipment should be installed at the battery. This will protect the vehicle from short circuits. I also recommend battery post extenders. They serve two purposes. First they make the accessory wires easily accessible after the installation. Second they keep your wire connections separated by brass from the post connection, extending the life of the connection. Also battery terminal protector spray further protects against corrosion. This can be purchased at any automotive store. I use NAPA Balkamp #765-1303 but any will do. All that remains is grounding the radio to a local chassis ground with a piece of braid. If linear amp is physically attached to the radio, connect the two with a short piece of braid. If the amp is under the seat or a remote location, ground it to the closest chassis ground point. These methods should improve the quality of your signal, outgoing and incoming. If you are experiencing alternator whine, a power line filter may help. All that remains is grounding the radio to a local chassis ground with a piece of braid. If linear amp is physically attached to the radio, connect the two with a short piece of braid. If the amp is under the seat or a remote location, ground it to the closest chassis ground point. These methods should improve the quality of your signal, outgoing and incoming. If you are experiencing alternator whine, a power line filter may help. All that remains is grounding the radio to a local chassis ground with a piece of braid. If linear amp is physically attached to the radio, connect the two with a short piece of braid. If the amp is under the seat or a remote location, ground it to the closest chassis ground point. These methods should improve the quality of your signal, outgoing and incoming. If you are experiencing alternator whine, a power line filter may help.  

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Posted 1/5/2015 Heart of Dixie CB Radio Club

IN SINCERE APPRECIATION & HONOR OF OUR
 MEMBERS SERVICE (Some who have passed)
TO OUR HOBBY.

Madison "WC" Brumbach

HONORARY LIFETIME MEMBER

Vice-President: Alabama SSB Assn.

40+ Years of CB Service

Photo Not Available

IN MEMORY OF HAM STATION

K1BBK

East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Mr. William (Bill) Todd (U.S.Navy)

Mrs. Joyce (Stafford) Todd

(FIVE's Anut & Uncle)

(Silent Key)

Paul (Butch-Red Fox) Coffee

HONORARY LIFETIME MEMBER

For 40+ Years of CB Service 

8/13/1943 -12/11/2019 (Silent Key)

IN MEMORY OF CB STATION

KBKE-3220

(Sarge & Lady Sarge)

Mr. & Mrs.Pop Bridier

Edgewater, Alabama

(Silent Keys)

IN MEMORY OF CB STATION

KXN-3782

(Tailgate)

Mr. Charles R. Stafford

Edgewater, Alabama

(Silent Key)

IN MEMORY OF AM/SSB STATION

UNIT 1992-CENTRAL, AL

HONORARY LIFETIME MEMBER

(TEDDY BEAR-UNIT 1992)

MR. FLOYD HARTIMAN 

(6-14-1919)- (9-5-2014)

(Silent Key)


IN MEMORY OF CB STATION

Ms. DUDE & Mr. DUDE

HONORARY LIFETIME MEMBERS

Ms. Dude - Honorary Roll Caller

(Mr Jerry & Elizabeth Ann Glaze)

(7-6-2013)   -   (2-17-2016)

(Silent Keys)

 
 

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