Saturday, July 26, 2014

Some Ideas On Mounting Your Base CB Antenna

  Sometimes it can be a difficult choice as to where to mount your CB Base Antenna. If your living at home your parents may not want you to put holes in the roof to mount a tripod. If you can is the roof strong enough to hold a good deal of weight. When I first started out I had a long piece of fence railing wall mounted up the side of my mothers house with a half wave antenna mounted on it. Later on I advanced to a star duster antenna and wanted to put it up higher. I mounted it on a longer pipe wall mounted to the garage and had a bunch of guy wires. I would let it over with a boat winch. Unfortunately the wire was too soft, stretched and the antenna came crashing to the roof. My next antenna was a full 5/8 wave antenna by stinger. I used a 5 foot tripod on the house roof with was pretty flat. I sealed everything and never had a problem, but that was a big antenna.
  Later on I bought a PDL II Beam Antenna and mounted that on a 40 foot Antenna Tower in the back yard. It was cemented and was able to tilt over on to the roof. I also had it wall mounted to the garage. There were also plenty of guy wires as well. The best part was tipping to lay on the roof for repairs. We tied a heavy duty rope to the tower and to the bumper of my friends car. Fortunately we lived behind the school field. so my friend drove his car out there and slowly backed up to lower it and then forward to raise it. I did eventually change to a big stick antenna in place of the 5/8 wave antenna.
  Well where I live in my own house I do not have a big backyard. I wall mounted a metal push up mast to the back of my shed at about 19 feet tall. I have my IMAX 2000 mounted to it, so the tip of the antenna is at 43 feet. I am getting some good distance out of it. From time to time I wish I had not sold the 40 foot tower. Oh well we all make decisions in life,but it is better to just move forward.
  So there you have it for mounting antenna ideas. You can wall mount a push up mast. There are some of those that are 50 foot tall. Just make sure you have the space and be aware of your surroundings. No one needs to be electrocuted. The other option is mounting on some kind of a tower installation. One other method is if you have a good size chimney you can mount an antenna on that with special straps. There is also the 3 foot or 5 foot tripod on the roof with guy wires. There are also some heavy duty tripod like towers by glenn martin. My advise it to look at your property, weigh in all the choices, check your budget and make your final decision. Always be safe.
  Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How About Building A 11 Meter Moxon Antenna For CB Radio Band

  I am building a Moxon antenna for the 17 meter band for Ham Radio. I figured why not design a Moxon antenna for the CB Radio Band. I prefer to try and use some crappie fishing poles. You can purchase these fiberglass poles at a pretty cheap price. They generally are around 16 feet long and telescope. That way you can remove the sections from the narrower end that you do not need. In my design I am using a heavy duty plastic cutting board that I bought from Target. It was not too expensive and is big enough to hold the crappie fiberglass poles with U-Clamps. There are quite a few different crappie fishing poles to choose from and they come in different telescoping lengths. If you like you could cut some grey uv pvc conduit to go over the pole to protect it from the U-Clamp. Do not tighten the U-Clamps too tight, just so they are snug. This be the X type pattern on the cutting board.
  If you are thinking of building a Moxon antenna for the cb radio or if you are a Ham Radio Operator you can check out his link for a lot of useful information. Here is the link http://www.moxonantennaproject.com/links.htm . This was one of the websites on the internet where I found good useful information and good ideas. There are also quite a few good Moxon antenna calculators on the internet to design a Moxon antenna for a given band and frequency. The one I use is called Moxgen, because it gives all the dimensions and it is very easy to use.
Here is a picture of the Moxgen Calculator
    You can use the Moxgen Moxon calculator and print out your design with EZNEC antenna building program. The Moxon antenna is basically a two element beam antenna. Here is a link to the EZNEC program where you can download a demo version free. The demo version gives plenty of design for quite a few elements. Here is a link to the program http://www.eznec.com/ .

11x17 inch Cutting Board Made of high-density polyethylene
 

16 Foot Wonderpole for spreaders
  You can buy antenna wire from ebay or one of the Ham Radio dealers on the internet. My favorite places to buy Ham related supplies are DX Engineering , Universal Radio and Ham Radio Outlet. My advise is to buy the antenna wire because it will hold up in the weather. You use 14 awg wire, but I don't know how well it will hold up in certain weather conditions. Click on the link for Antenna Wire. Basically the designing of the support for the antenna and the antenna design itself is all up to you. Other parts such as the u-clamps can be bought locally at lowes or home depot or you can buy the off the internet through ebay or amazon.
  Thank You for reading and have fun building from Dan KC2YTI.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What Is Your Favorite Mobile CB Antenna

  I have had quite a few different Mobile CB Antennas over the years. When I had my Chevy S10 Pickup with the light bar on top I had two four foot K40 Fiberglass Antennas. They did a really good job and they seemed to tune the swr really easy. You would just slide the tuning sleeve up or down until you had the lowest swr reading. It seemed to transmit very well to the front and very well toward the back of the truck. I always loved that set up. Needless to say I had to sell the truck and always missed it.
  One of my other favorite Mobile CB Antennas was the K40 Steel whip Antenna. I loved it because I could easily twist the bottom and remove the antenna when at home or the store. It was very easy to tune the antenna and achieve a very low swr reading. I knew other people that ran some power years ago into them and never had a problem. Just to get it straight I do not approve of running illegal power. I always stayed with the 4 watts am and 12 watts on ssb. I never had any problem with my signal getting out. I had that antenna mounted on the trunk lid of my 1970 Nova and then on the corner of my 1979 Chevy Monza years ago. It was awesome with my President mobile radio as well as others I owned way back when.
  One of the other antennas I used to use were some Radio Shack magnet mount antennas. The magnet mount made it very easy to move the antenna around the vehicle. This way I could experiment with different locations to determine where I had the lowest swr reading. I could also determine where I had the best transmit and receive. I did find that when the antenna was mounted on the trunk lid I did get more distance ahead of me. That was my goal back then, because I could find out what was happening ahead of me.
  I had other friends that were using the Wilson antennas. In some ways they were similar to the k40 steel whip antennas. I know that all the reviews I have read have all had good things to say about them. I think that the next antenna I buy will be a Wilson cb antenna. I am going to need a big enough vehicle so I have room to mount my Ham Radio antenna on as well. I did experiment a few times when I had the pick up truck with a 102 inch fiberglass whip antenna. It did a nice job, but I just preferred the k40 antenna. I have also tried a few different antennas that I bought from some local cd radio stores a long time ago. One of them was a very short antenna that just was not impressive. I also had one of the mirror mount trucker antennas that I had on light bar on the truck as well as some other vehicles. It was not bad either and the swr reading was always low.
  Finally all I can say is that as far as cb antennas go I will most likely stay with either the K40 Antenna or go with one of the Wilson Antennas.
  I would just like to say Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.    

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How About A Nice Beam Antenna For Your CB Base Station

  Everybody always wants to talk as far as you can. Station to Station in line of sight communication is limited to about 10 to 30 miles on average for base to base communications. If you are communicating from a mobile radio in a car to a base station then you are at about maybe 5 to 10 miles. By using the beam antenna you may get some further distance, but remember there may be a lot of obstacles in the way that may interfere with your signal. The only other way of reaching a further distance is by shooting some dx communication. In other words the signal will go up to the ionosphere layer of air at a certain angle and then bounce back down at that certain angle. Just remember by the rules of the FCC you are limited to talk to someone at a distance of 155.3 Miles away. My advise is if you want to talk longer distances get into Ham radio. That is what I did and I love it. Here is a link to the website with all the rules from the FCC http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div6&view=text&node=47:5.0.1.1.5.4&idno=47 .

§95.413   (CB Rule 13) What communications are prohibited?

(a) You must not use a CB station—
(1) In connection with any activity which is against federal, state or local law;
(2) To transmit obscence, indecent or profane words, language or meaning;
(3) To interfere intentionally with the communications of another CB station;
(4) To transmit one-way communications, except for emergency communications, traveler assistance, brief tests (radio checks), or voice paging;
(5) To advertise or solicit the sale of any goods or services;
(6) To transmit music, whistling, sound effects or any material to amuse or entertain;
(7) To transmit any sound effect solely to attract attention;
(8) To transmit the word “MAYDAY” or any other international distress signal, except when your station is located in a ship, aircraft or other vehicle which is threatened by grave and imminent danger and your are requesting immediate assistance;
(9) To communicate with, or attempt to communicate with, any CB station more than 250 kilometers (155.3 miles) away

  Now the best way to do this legally and stay within the distance limit is by using a beam antenna. The CB Radio Beam Antenna is a directional antenna that must be turned by antenna rotor. Although I have known some ingenious people that turned the mast by hand, which can be a tough job and may have to be the Hulk or the Big Show on WWE to turn it. One fellow did rig up what looked like a bicycle crank and a long bicycle chain and gears to actually turn the antenna. He did this from inside his house, requiring holes in the walls. I do not think my wife would appreciate me doing that.
  Okay back to the beam antenna. There many different types of beam antennas. You basically have two to eight elements or more. Some beam antennas are quite large and require a very good support system such as a antenna tower. When I was younger I did not have a lot of space, so I bought a 40 foot tower and made it so it could tilt over on the roof. I then installed a two element PDL II beam antenna on it with a good antenna rotor. This was not a huge beam antenna, but it did a good job. Just remember the more elements, the larger the antenna and the more the multiplication factor you will have. Some large beam antennas can be 40 foot long and have a 50X multiplication factor. In other words it will multiply your 4 watt input 50x to equal about 200 watts output on the AM frequencies. On sideband which is about 12 watts it seems like 600 watts. If you have the room and the money I say go for it.
  Just remember no matter what you decide to put up always look out for electrical wires. Metal that come in contact with the power lines equals certain disaster and can lead to death. I have read many horror stories  where someone was badly burned or was killed. I have even had my share of bad experiences. So you just always have to be aware of your surroundings and think of what can go wrong. Just remember Murphy s Law, if it can go wrong it will go wrong.
  Well that's all for now so Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.   

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mobile CB Radios Are Still Going Strong

You don't see too many CB Radio Base Station being made these days, but mobile CB Radios are still being made. One option is to use the mobile radio as your base station. If you are looking for a mobile cb radio for your vehicle you will have quite a few choices. Some of the radios are fairly simple with a volume, squelch, channel selector and maybe an rf gain control. If you want something with more gadgets then you will want a cb radio with the added features of an swr meter, noise blanker, anl noise limiter, anf limiter as well as rf gain and other features. These are usually the cb radios with the single sideband capability. I have noticed that a lot of radios these days have the weather channel feature. All cb radios should have the channel 9 switch for emergencies.
 

  • Large, easy-to-read meter with scales for power output, modulation, SWR and incoming signal
  • Five-digit frequency counter with large yellow digits , two-digit channel display with larger yellow digits, variable power output control, variable talkback circuit with on/off switch
  • Automatic SWR circuit and an SWR alert LED, Roger Beep with on/off switch
  • Variable dimmer control with push switch to turn off the meter lamp and display digits, 3-position tone switch for receive
  • Proprietary Galaxy Noise Filter (GNF) Circuit reduces noise to aid in the recovery of weak SSB signals
    Some of the best brands I have seen are the Galaxy, Cobra, Uniden and Connex as well as Midland. The Cobra and Midland CB Radios have been around for quite a few years. I remember them from back in the 70s when CB Radio was really popular. I myself have always liked the Cobra CB Radios. I especially like the Cobra 148 GTL SSB Radio. It has all the different features I like in a radio. They have been around a long time and so deserve it. As far as a little newer radio I like the Galaxy CB Radios. They have some other features that I find attractive. I like the SWR Meter that they have in the radio. The meter is a good size and makes it easier to read. Some of the models also come with a frequency counter. That way if you are on sideband you can adjust the clarifier so you will know when you are on frequency. I have also been looking at some of the Uniden CB Radios. They have some features that make them up to today's standards in modern technology.
 
  • 40 AM Channel and 80 SSB Channels
  • 4 Watts AM, 12 Watts Power SSB is the maximum allowed by law
  • SWR Antenna Calibration for maximum performance
  • 3 Position Tone Control allows fine tuning of audio levels
  • 9 Foot Microphone Cord to easily reach any area within the vehicle
  Yes the CB Radio can be a very fun experience for young children as well as older folks. It can be the first step into the world of communication. It can lead a person into the world of Ham radio. My advise for anyone is to respect the Radio, FCC and all your fellow Radio Operators. The CB Radio can be an awesome help in an emergency situation. When I was young you had to have a CB Radio License , but that was done away with quite a few years ago. I do believe it should be similar to the way Ham Radio is as far a taking a simple course free of charge to earn your license. A lot of Ham Radio Operators do not like the CB Radio due to the kayos that seems to be out there. Yes there is a blatant carelessness of following the rules. Some people are using way above the amount of power that is allowed. I feel that this should be changed by the FCC to allow at least 100 Watts AM and Maybe 250 Watts Sideband, but that is just my feeling.
 Well I would just like to say Thank You For Reading and Have a Nice Day from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SWR Meters For CB Radio

  There are so many different SWR Meters  available it can be hard to choose. You will have some that will cover CB Radio and others that will cover the various Ham Radio Bands. I have an old Lafayette SWR Power Meter for mobile radios and it still works very nice. I bought that back in 1977 if I remember right. I also have some different Radio Shack SWR Meters that look a little cheap, but do a nice job. My favorite SWR Meter for the 27Mhz band is made by Astatic and is a PDC 600. It has separate meters for the SWR, Modulation and Power. It has always done a nice job all these years. I bought that when I had my PDL II on my 40 foot tower back in the 70s. I always like it because it could read power up to 1000 watts. Of course I never had anything to run that much power and as you should know the legal limit of power according to the FCC is 4 watts AM and 12 Watts SSB. I did know some people years ago that were running 500 watts and more. I myself never needed that kind of power. I found it much more exciting to contact someone with 4 watts and let my antenna do the work.
  There are quite a few different SWR Meter Manufacturers for CB Radio. Most of them will work on 10 meters as well as 11 meters. Some of the popular brands are Astatic, Workman, Redman and Dosy. You can always use a SWR Meter made more for Ham Radio. Just make sure that it will work on the 27Mhz frequency. You will find that some of them can be a little expensive, but will do an excellent job. The other option is to buy something in the used category. Just remember to check out the seller so you don't get stuck with a boat anchor. In the Ham Radio category check out MFJ, Diamond, Daiwai, Jetstream as well as others. I run one of the MFJ large cross needle SWR Power Meters for my Ham radio Equipment and it functions very good.
  The letters SWR are for standing wave ratio. This is match between your antenna and coax cable. I would advise to keep the SWR 1.5 and below. The SWR meter also measures the reflected signal. In other words it measure the signal going out the antenna and what is reflected back down the antenna. If the SWR reading is too high a large signal will come back down the cable and into your radio. This can destroy the transmit and receive, resulting in the radio needing to be repaired. This can be very expensive by today's standards. So it is better to be safe than sorry.
  So I would advise to buy a good SWR Meter so you can always keep an eye on the reading and keep you equipment in good shape. Remember to check out the SWR Meters in the CB Radio variety as well as the Ham Radio variety.
  Thank You for reading and Have A Nice Day from Dan KC2YTI 73s.    

CB Radio Beam Antennas

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