Author Topic: CB radio  (Read 3167 times)

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Offline Phoenix200

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CB radio
« on: May 11, 2007, 06:44:20 AM »
Hey everyone, i recently installed a cb radio in my 1990 camaro and i had a question about it since i know some of you have a cb in your trans am.  I can hear everyone crystal clear but when i talk to other people they can only hear a few words i say. Anyone know what could be wrong? Thanks.

Offline AmFan

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2007, 07:09:04 AM »
It has been a long time since I had a CB radio.  But I do remember having to set the antenna depth to get the best send/receive signal.  The guy that I bought it from had a scanner-like tool that would plug into the CB to gauge the signal strength.  He would then loosen the antenna from the mount and slightly move it up or down.  When the best send/receive signal was achieved he would tighten it down.  The other thing to check would be the MIC itself, it may be bad thus leading to you only being heard sporadically.

Hope this helps.

tom
1978 Trans Am
Bought April 2001
Restoration: 2001 - 2004
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Offline Gold78Spc

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2007, 08:39:07 AM »
Well being a former trucker I know a few things about CB's, and could offer a few suggestions.  First make sure you have it grounded good.  Next your coax is critical.  Most CB shops recommend an 18' coax.  Something to do with wavelength.  If its old, get a new one.  Many truckers will replace thiers every year or so especially if it is routed anywhere where there is a sharper bend (like routed through a door seam or trunk seam where it gets a small kink in it everytime the door or trunk is closed). The coax can break there and manytimes this can cause the exact problem you just described. Then do what AmFan suggested.  That is called matching your SWR.  SWR meters can usually be purchased at CB shops and truckstops for around 10 - 15$.  Of course for around the same price, maybe less a CB shop will probably do it for you.  It is also possible the people you ar trying to talk to are just too far away.  Stock "out of the box" CB's are regulated by the FCC to a maximum of 4 watts output which won't get you very far.  If its a decent CB you can take it to a CB shop and the will "kick it up" to where it will send at about 30 watts. This dramatically increases your range.  Of course if you do this you may also have to replace your mic.  A lot of times once you kick em up you need an noise cancelling astetic mic. With a typical mic you can hold it about 2 to 4 inches from your mouth and talk and people can hear you just fine which is ok with a stock radio because its not putting out a lot of power.  An astetic mic has a little guard if you will on the face of the mic that you actually need to touch your lip to when you talk.  Its kinda weird and I had a tough time getting used to it.  The reason is is that the mic does not pic up much sound that is more than an inch or so from it (unless the sound is super loud) because if it did no one could stand to listen to you because of all the background noise you would be sending.  When I first got my really really nice $300 radio (kicked up of course) I thought it was crap cause no one could hear me talking.  I found out that that was the reason.  So anyways maybe I said something that will or won't help you.  Don't be afraid to head to a truckstop CB shop to get some help.  If I may ask what equipment are you using? Brand of CB, style of mic, coax, and antenna.  Knowing that may give me another idea or two.
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Offline eroc022

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2007, 09:14:07 AM »
meet gold78spc....our very own cb shop restoration mechanic......!!!!!
Eroc
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Offline rkellerjr

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2007, 10:50:25 AM »
Wow Brian, I'll be calling you when I get around to putting mine in!!
Rich

Offline Phoenix200

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2007, 11:58:31 PM »
thanks for all the suggestions everyone, its a radioshack 40 channel cb and i have a magnetic whip antenna.  The person i was talking to was only down the road and he still couldnt hear me.  I also noticed that as i start or come to a stop i can hear the movement of the antenna on the cb.  I tried adjusting it but it would get better then worse again.

Offline Tbird

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2007, 12:39:56 AM »
thanks for all the suggestions everyone, its a radioshack 40 channel cb and i have a magnetic whip antenna.  The person i was talking to was only down the road and he still couldnt hear me.  I also noticed that as i start or come to a stop i can hear the movement of the antenna on the cb.  I tried adjusting it but it would get better then worse again.
Is the antenna from Radiosnack? Chances are it is crap, get a Wilson 1000 or K40 and have it set for your radio. What model is the radio? Not all radios are created equal. This is what I use in my truck.


Offline Gold78Spc

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2007, 07:37:01 AM »
Looks like that cb has a built in swr.  you would have to consult the manual as to how to use it.  Engine noise could indicate a bad ground.  That appears to be a good enough radio to have a cb shop up the power on it.  some magnetic antennas are good and others not so good.  I like the Wilson products.  I believe they do make a 1000 with a magnet mount.  I would focus first on making sure its grounded good.  Sounds like that may be your problem.  Magnet mount antennas don't really help this problem because a lot of times antennas are grounded also and you can't do that with a magnet mount.
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99 Diamondback 18 Spd
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Offline Tin Indians Rule

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2007, 01:18:13 AM »
thanks for all the suggestions everyone, its a radioshack 40 channel cb and i have a magnetic whip antenna.  The person i was talking to was only down the road and he still couldnt hear me.  I also noticed that as i start or come to a stop i can hear the movement of the antenna on the cb.  I tried adjusting it but it would get better then worse again.

Is it possible that he had his squelch turned up really high? Or his RF gain turned down really low? Either way would limit his ability "copy" what you're saying.  Take it to a truck stop and invest 30 bucks in a "peak and tune" it'll be the best money you ever spent. Another nice item to have installed is a "talkback". It's a pretty cheap item that allows you to hear your transmission very low over you own speaker as you transmit allowing you to know if you're radio is "putting out"  Pound for pound you can't hardly beat a Cobra Classic peaked and tuned with a talk back running a Road King Mic. There are more expensive radios out there like Galaxy, Connex, Etc put for less than 100 bucks you'll be knocking the tops outta pine trees if you set that little Cobra up right.
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Offline Tin Indians Rule

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Re: CB radio
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 01:20:06 AM »
PS Most all original equipent mics are notorius for breaking the internal wires in the cord near where the plug goes into the radio. Be sure the cord is good before you start overhaulin you radio.
What's she wearing now? Come on!
1976 Black 455 4 speed (current project)
1976 White 400 Auto (original)
F-body stuff stashed everywhere.
Always buying/selling/trading  just ask!