CB Radio Checklist | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

CB Radio Checklist

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Am I blowing it?

  • Totally blew it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Somewhat blew it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Nah, nailed it

    Votes: 4 100.0%

  • Total voters
    4

Nick Carenza

Rank I
Member

Member I

233
San Diego, California
First Name
Nicholas
Last Name
Carenza
Member #

18402

Hey guys, just about to pull the trigger on an amazon order to get started with cb and wanted to run it by the helpful folks here first just to make sure I'm not blowing it.

Radio:
Cobra 18WXSTII CB Radio - 40 Channel, Sound Tracker, NOAA Weather Channels, Dual Watch, Instant 9

Coax + Stud (thanks @Prerunner1982):
Firestik Fire-flex Cable Assembly W/low-profile Fire-ring and Stud

Antenna Spring:
Firestik SS-3H Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Antenna Spring

Antenna:
FireStik FS-4BK 4 (r) Ii Fs Series Tunable Tip Cb Antenna - 900 Watts Black

SWR Meter (thanks @94Cruiser):
SWR METER for CB Radio Antennas with 3' Jumper cable - Workman SWR2T & CX-3-PL-PL

Thanks!
 
Last edited:
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Kent R

Executive Director
Staff member
Expedition
Moderator
Member
Supporter

Pioneer I

5,063
El Dorado, Ca
First Name
Kent
Last Name
Reynolds
Member #

1632

Ham Callsign
K6KNT
Service Branch
Retired Firefighter
You haven't blown it at all! It is important to have a good assortment of comms. CB is ok, GMRS is good and Ham is great. I have all three just incase.
 
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Nick Carenza

Rank I
Member

Member I

233
San Diego, California
First Name
Nicholas
Last Name
Carenza
Member #

18402

You haven't blown it at all! It is important to have a good assortment of comms. CB is ok, GMRS is good and Ham is great. I have all three just incase.
I do plan on getting all 3. I just wanted to start with the simplest so I can start getting out with groups ya know.
 
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TerryD

Rank VI
Member

Member III

3,402
Covington, Virginia, USA
First Name
Terry
Last Name
R
Member #

3710

Ham Callsign
KT4OZ
You need coax with the PL259 on both ends instead of the ring type. Otherwise you're ok.

My 18 wouldn't work in SoundTracker mode unless SWR was nearly perfect. That may have been fixed in the last 10 years, but just a friendly heads up. It was so sensitive that I never could use it until I ditched those fiberglass antennas and went with a 102" whip on a 6" stud and good a nice flat 1.2-1-1.2:1 across the band.
 
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Flipper

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,865
Florida
First Name
John
Last Name
F
Member #

5021

I have 2 of the Cobra 18s one mounted in my truck and the other set up for portable use with a mag mount antenna that we use when we rent Jeeps when we go to Colorado, the reason I went with the 18 was I needed a unit with a front panel speaker for a flush mount installation. After having them for several years now I can say Im not really impressed with the units. They both recieve rather poorly. I can pull in weather channels loud and clear on my Kenwood 2M and my Icom Marine VHF that the cobra cant. The antennas are all mounted at the same height. The mic is BIG, cheap feeling and clunky. The sound tracker hardly does anything at all, probably 2%. The features I like about the unit is it is black instead of the usual chrome and silver faceplate, the front loaded speaker and the scan feature although in the scan mode you cannot select specific channels to scan it is all channels or nothing. It does get the job done especially when on the road traveling to monitor road conditions or local info. I would probably give them a C rating. Hope this helps with your decision.
 

Prerunner1982

US Southwest Region Member Rep
Member

Member III

3,372
Navina, Oklahoma
First Name
Jon
Last Name
B
Member #

16274

Nick, I see you added the antenna stud... however you added the one for coax with a PL-259 instead of the firering. You will either need a different antenna stud or a different coax.

Firering stud.

If you are willing to spend $26 on a firering coax you could get quality coax at custom lengths with PL-259s at both ends for about the same price.
https://usacoax.com/

Either way should work fine though.
 
Last edited:

TerryD

Rank VI
Member

Member III

3,402
Covington, Virginia, USA
First Name
Terry
Last Name
R
Member #

3710

Ham Callsign
KT4OZ
They both recieve rather poorly. I can pull in weather channels loud and clear on my Kenwood 2M and my Icom Marine VHF that the cobra cant.
Part of that is the fact that your CB antennas are resonant at 27MHz where WX channels are in the 162MHz area. The CB antenna just won't receive them nearly as well and the FM circuit for demodulating them was an accessory and probably not a major design element.

They work good enough for what they are IMHO. I will be looking into the 75 myself when I decide to install a CB in the Xterra.
 

Flipper

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,865
Florida
First Name
John
Last Name
F
Member #

5021

Part of that is the fact that your CB antennas are resonant at 27MHz where WX channels are in the 162MHz area. The CB antenna just won't receive them nearly as well and the FM circuit for demodulating them was an accessory and probably not a major design element.

They work good enough for what they are IMHO. I will be looking into the 75 myself when I decide to install a CB in the Xterra.
Thanks for the Info!
 
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whitneysc

Rank III
Member

Member III

835
Northern Virginia
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Whitney
Member #

15344

Service Branch
USMC
From personal experience I would recommend that you buy the cable without the connectors in order to run the lines where you need to in the vehicle without having to drill extremely large holes and then solder the connector on when you get it to the right length
 
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Inthewoods

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,883
Visalia, CA, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Garcia
Member #

8199

I am running a CB that is that is bumped up. I've talk to the CB shop in Los Angeles at the I-10 and the I-15 truck stop and me in Wyoming on the I-80. In New Mexico talking to Texas all in skip land tho. I'm only pushing 400 watts but thinking of going to a ham radio. How many watts in a CB makes it better or close to a ham radio?
 

Prerunner1982

US Southwest Region Member Rep
Member

Member III

3,372
Navina, Oklahoma
First Name
Jon
Last Name
B
Member #

16274

I am running a CB that is that is bumped up. I've talk to the CB shop in Los Angeles at the I-10 and the I-15 truck stop and me in Wyoming on the I-80. In New Mexico talking to Texas all in skip land tho. I'm only pushing 400 watts but thinking of going to a ham radio. How many watts in a CB makes it better or close to a ham radio?
It's not so much the wattage but the fact ham is frequency agile. I only run 100 watts on my HF radio but can talk all over the world, 10 meters (close to CB, 11 meters) may not be working, but 6m, 15m 20m or 40m might be.
 

TerryD

Rank VI
Member

Member III

3,402
Covington, Virginia, USA
First Name
Terry
Last Name
R
Member #

3710

Ham Callsign
KT4OZ
For best results, any of your contact points need to be sanded clean of paint so it's bare metal to bare metal. You can put a light coat of copper anti-seize the to help prevent rust. You also should put a ground strap (1/2" wide tinned copper braid) between the tailgate and the body.

Just because you have good DC continuity doesn't mean you have a good low impedance path for RF.
 
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Captain Chaos

Rank VI
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Traveler III

3,402
No
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No
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No
For best results, any of your contact points need to be sanded clean of paint so it's bare metal to bare metal. You can put a light coat of copper anti-seize the to help prevent rust. You also should put a ground strap (1/2" wide tinned copper braid) between the tailgate and the body.

Just because you have good DC continuity doesn't mean you have a good low impedance path for RF.
I never thought about using copper anti-seize on a ground. Thanks for that!
 
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Inthewoods

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,883
Visalia, CA, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Garcia
Member #

8199

Prerunner1982, Thanks for the info. 400 watts is good for reaching way out but I have to turn it down when others are close by so I guess it does me no good on trails. I'll start looking into a good Ham radio and use the CB as a back up.