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Ryan_V

C.B. radio range

16 posts in this topic

I'm going to install a cb radio I had when I was in high school (don't ask how long ago that was) in my fish house on mille lacs. what is the range of a typical cb?? would it reach the other side of the lake where my bro-in-law will be???

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In a mobile unit they usually get 2 to 5 miles depending on conditions. With a good setup you may get better and I would say on a lake you should get better range because you dont have interference in the way. On a fish house you should be able to increase the wattage and use a long antenna which would also help.

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Unless your house is metal you may have problems with transmitting range and possibly even blow the output transistors.

Most CB antennas rely on the metal body and chassis of the vehicle to act as a ground plane. I've seen recommendations that say the minimum area should be 9 square feet for ground plane.

There are antennas made for no ground plane installations but allegedly they don't work quite as well (~15% less effective) as a good ground plane installation, but that's far better than a "normal" antenna without a ground plane.

As with any antenna installation, height is your friend because it increases both transmit and receive capability.

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I assume that you will be properly licensed by the FCC? I believe CB radios do require licensing.

Bob

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cb radios have long since done away with fcc liscensing yes it diud used to be required but i think that was done in about 76. and i know that now adays that some of the frs and gmrs radios are suppose to be liscensed. at a cost of 15 bucks a year but i dont know of anyone who as actually sent in their money to "uncle charlie" (FCC) the ground plane thing has a premise as well and is important in range of signal but you could get away from it by putting a base station antennea on your shack instead mounted on say a 5 or 10 foot pole. ... paul

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Quote:

I assume that you will be properly licensed by the FCC? I believe CB radios do require licensing.Bob


Negative there good buddy....FCC did away with 'em yrs ago...KXT 4256 10-10 and on the side...lol

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I stand corrected. I didn't know for sure but thought it would be good to bring it up, just in case.

You are also correct that GMRS radios do require licensing but FRS radios do not.

By the way. Because there are so many that probably don't get properly licensed does that make it okay? Absolutely not. It is precisely this attitude that makes it necessary for us to carry uninsured motorist liability protection for our automobiles.

Bob

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A CB using a mobile antenna probably wouldnt get out to far. The legal power limits are 4 watts AM, 12 watts SSB. A 12V powered base CB using an base antenna (Antron 18') and on sideband would probably get across the lake. And if the skip is rolling you could get across the state!

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Just a side note.

I have to laugh when I see the advertising on the FRS two-way radio packages suggesting their product has up to an 8-mile range, 10-mile range, etc. In reality, FRS radio is by law limited to transmit no more than 1/2w of power and I believe there are limitations regarding the antennae as well.

The advertising is deceiving because they may have done an experiment in an open area from atop high buildings or hills, on a clear day, etc., and managed to communicate, which is very possible. Basically, if you can see each other without obstruction there’s a good chance you can talk but reality is they are only effective to about 2 miles with any reliability.

The last pair I bought cost me $17.00 and they are every bit as powerful as the $50 models. The basic difference is more in the features, material, and workmanship than in the power output.

Bob

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The advertising is somewhat misleading. On the FRS only radios, the wattage is low as you said. But most of the radios advertising the longer distances are combination FRS and GMRS. On the GMRS frequencies several brands have an output of up to 4 watts. They do have a somewhat longer range but I have had 3 different sets by different manufacturers and none come even close to what they say they will. Usually less than half of the advertised maximum distance at best even under perfect conditions.

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Quote:

A CB using a mobile antenna probably wouldnt get out to far. The legal power limits are 4 watts AM, 12 watts SSB. A 12V powered base CB using an base antenna (Antron 18') and on sideband would probably get across the lake. And if the skip is rolling you could get across the state!


Do SSB require a liecience? I was under the impression that they required it but as long as you arent doing anything bad you probably wouldnt get caught because they dont really enforce it.

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Quote:

Quote:

A CB using a mobile antenna probably wouldnt get out to far. The legal power limits are 4 watts AM, 12 watts SSB. A 12V powered base CB using an base antenna (Antron 18') and on sideband would probably get across the lake. And if the skip is rolling you could get across the state!


Do SSB require a liecience? I was under the impression that they required it but as long as you arent doing anything bad you probably wouldnt get caught because they dont really enforce it.


Probably not if the CB radio does not require a license, but not sure.

If you are going SSB then you need SSB radios on each end and that will be some cost as that typically does not come in the entry level CB radios. If you have a good cell phone plan (and assuming you get coverage) you could probably pay for quite a few call for the cost of two SSB radios, two antennas, two power supplies, etc...

Since you are on the water, perhaps a couple of marine radios would be a better choice, but then techinically I think you are supposed to be licensed - again, not sure though.

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You don't need a license to operate SSB on the CB channels. Be aware though that many CB radio's also have 10meter band capability. To operate on 10 meter you will need a HAM license (and one that requires code knowledge). As for marine radio you don't need a license for your non-comercial boat. You do need a license to operate a marine radio onshore though so you would need to communicate with people who are on the water.

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I will attempt to stay on topic:

First, give the radio a try, my radio is like the one you’re describing, 23 channels! It probably was used by Henry Ford. I tried the auto antenna but it did not work then I bought a 8ft marine C.B. antenna, the person I was talking to uses a antenna that is for a motor home, truck drivers use the same ones. That worked, it is the “no ground plane” that Whoaru99 is describing. His ice shack is 5 miles from me and that is not a issue. In the summer the range can be 30 miles or more. If you do have to get a antenna do not get a cheap one from R.S.

I am sure Smokey nor the Bandit ever had a license for a C.B. and neither did CW McCall.

Uh, Breaker One-Nine, this here's the Rubber Duck

You got a copy on me Pig-Pen? C'mon

Uh, yeah 10-4 Pig Pen, fer sure, fer sure

By golly it's clean clear to Flag-Town, C'mon

Uh, yeah, that's a big 10-4 Pig-Pen,

Yeah, we definitely got us the front door good buddy,

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy

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There are no CB radios that can be used on the 10 meter band. Well, no LEGAL ones anyway per the FCC. There are illegal mods that can be done to them. Most modders use 10 meter amature radios and modify them to use on the CB bands to get more power.

SSB (single side band) is just another mode like AM or FM. Sideband does not use a carrier and allows more power. You would need two radios both with SSB capability inorder to use SSB. There are only a couple handheld CBs I can think of that have SSB.

Marine VHF may be the way to go. Though to operate as a base on land you need a license.

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I'll keep it simple and short.

I run a 40 channel cobra CB. I have an Aluminum shack with a standard 4" whip purchased at a truck stop.

I can talk and recieve clearly across the ice for many miles. Easily from my truck to shack, truck in Garrison, shack on 8 Mile flat.

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  • Posts

    • fins_n'_feathers
      any  reports from today? we pounded through the washing machine waves all day and got nothing! Lead core,jigging, spinners haha! Ended up getting all our keepers within a mile of home when it was all over! Who else was out there? Am I the only one that did poor today?
    • proguide
      Cool nights and only a few warming hours each day have water temps coming down into the 50s this week.  This is actually pretty normal for the last week of September so there is nothing to odd here. 
        The catfish have slowed down over the past few days with this cool off.  They are still around to catch.  They are hanging near structure, usually on the drop off to the channel right next to it.  They are also on the softer side of the current in holes.  It seems that longer sit times are in order this week to allow the fish to come out, find and decide to eat the bait.
        Sucker seems to be the bait of choice right now.  Frogs just have not been getting any attention.
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