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Old 04-19-2015, 07:50 PM   #1
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CB radio for the Interstate

As we recently put 7000 miles on our "ASI", I spent the entire trip looking at the space above the dash which seems perfect for a CB radio. Has anyone installed one? If so, I have some questions. First, is there anything worth listening to (e.g. traffic, accident info, route advice, etc.)? Years ago, one could actually have a group of friends that were met on the radio but I wonder if that environment still exists. Second, was the installation difficult? And third, where did you place the antenna?
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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We don't use our CB radio very much but it's mighty handy when we need it.

WBCCI uses CB channel 14 for communication on caravans and it's both handy and fun. Everything depends on how heavily the channels are used. In heavily populated areas there is so much traffic it's unusable. Out west you often have a channel to yourself and in the absence of interference I have worked 20 miles mobile-to-mobile.

The other place where CB comes in handy is when there's a traffic jam on the highway. Listening to the truckers on channel 19 will give you some real-time information to help you decide to stick it out or find an alternate route.

The best place for your antenna is right in the middle of the roof, where it has a clear line of sight in all directions and the roof makes a good ground plane. I have a 3-foot K40 fiberglass spiral antenna mounted in the middle of the fiberglass cap of our pickup truck tow vehicle. I created a ground plane out of sticky-back copper tape on the inside of the cap and it works fine.

Not being familiar with the Interstate I don't know how you go about mounting an antenna on the roof, but I'm sure there's a way.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:42 PM   #3
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I had a CB for years until the advent of good cellular service. Unless you travel with others, and want to talk to many at one time, I just don't see the need for CB in this day and age. I preface all this with the fact that you have a cellular carrier that has good service on and off the interstates.

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Old 04-19-2015, 08:43 PM   #4
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CBs eere fun.... if you aren't easily offended by bad words, they can provide company on long stretches and road/traffic Intel.

I have installed antennas on fiberglass roofs by building a "ground plane" with aluminum tape... It important for you to have that for decent range. But there are great websites for CBs install and use.

Good luck with decision!
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:56 PM   #5
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As we recently put 7000 miles on our "ASI", I spent the entire trip looking at the space above the dash which seems perfect for a CB radio. Has anyone installed one? If so, I have some questions. First, is there anything worth listening to (e.g. traffic, accident info, route advice, etc.)? Years ago, one could actually have a group of friends that were met on the radio but I wonder if that environment still exists. Second, was the installation difficult? And third, where did you place the antenna?
The slot over the windshield is a 1DIN size; you can find in-dash CB radios in that size, but CBs that are designed for under-dash mounting are all too big to fit that space.

In my opinion, given all of the clutter on the roof of an Interstate, the best place to mount the antenna would be right where the Sirius XM antenna is located; assuming you don't subscribe to Sirius and don't mind losing the Sirius antenna. That way you already have a roof penetration to use, and an easy run from there to the CB radio. Given that the roof on the Interstate is already 9 feet up, you'd want to use a relatively short antenna.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:03 PM   #6
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I use a handheld walkie talkie/CB radio. I don't get the range of a roof mounted antenna unit but it can be useful. Years ago I used the CB radio routinely, not anymore. There are many apps for the cell phone now.
Good luck
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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A fellow over on the Sprinter-Source forum posted pictures of their installation of a CB in the overhead of a Winnebago ERA. He used a Cobra 19 Ultra III.

Go to this page and start reading a post #157

Tips & Tricks for the Winnie ERA - Page 16 - Sprinter-Forum

Also I'm attaching the page from a Sprinter Option Book that shows the connector terminal details.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:45 PM   #8
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Go to a CB shop where truckers go, buy a Ranger or a Northstar "ham" radio and have the shop "convert" it to CB.

It will transmit 45 or 50 watts instead of the 5 watts CBs transmit.

Get a good antenna and you can reach out ten or fifteen miles instead of a couple hundred yards.....

The "ham" radios these shops sell were built knowing they would be changed to CB. Much better quality and reach than the Cobra units they sell at WalMart and truck stops.



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Old 04-20-2015, 10:42 PM   #9
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Hi from AZ. . . no offense to Mr. Morgan, but using 45-50 watt transmitters on The CB channels is against the law. Supposed to be limited to 5 watts output. And with smartphones & a zillion apps, I see no reason to put up with crude language & inane BS that seems pretty constant on CB's. And my GPS unit advises about upcoming traffic problems. just sayin. . . Craig
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:56 PM   #10
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Those conversions are flat out illegal. And are part of the reason CB is such a zoo.

Want high power-get a ham radio license.....and be legal.


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Old 04-21-2015, 07:43 AM   #11
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I know they are illegal....

But still, a 5 watt CB wont reach more than a few hundred yards.....

Now, back before the FCC reduced the wattage from 10 to 5 watts a legal CB was at least practical...

The law has made a legal CB impotent, so, the law created a market for illegal radios.

As far as the trash talk goes, there is some of that no doubt, but at least with a respectable transmitter, a person can step on it.


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Old 04-21-2015, 07:45 AM   #12
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I will be 50 next year, in all of my life I never knew anyone who got in trouble for an illegal CB radio... I am betting that no one on this forum has either.


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Old 04-21-2015, 09:25 AM   #13
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I will be 50 next year, in all of my life I never knew anyone who got in trouble for an illegal CB radio... I am betting that no one on this forum has either.
That's still not an excuse to broadcast at ten times the legal wattage. There may not be as many CBs out there, but drowning out every other conversation within a mile radius is still rude to people with legal CBs who might have something important to say. Just because they're legal and you can't hear them is no reason to force them to hear you.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:29 AM   #14
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All the illegal CB users is one of the reasons I won't use CB again. I've used them a few decades ago and they were useful on several cross-country moves driving two family vehicles.

There is no one enforcing CB users so it's like the Wild Wild West. Ham radio is at least self-policed by other operators.


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