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Old 08-06-2014, 05:25 PM   #1
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arlington heights , Illinois
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CB radios for AI

I am thinking about installing a CB radio in my 2013 interstate. Does anyone have any experience with them? I am thinking about the compartment just above the rear view mirror for the unit. In another post, someone said that there is power in there. Does anyone have advice on the brand, antenna position, etc?

Paul & Doris
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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How long has it been since you listened in on CB radio? I got rid of my CB many years ago when the commonly used language became so strong that neither my wife or I could tolerate it. Most of the traffic was from truck stop prostitutes very graphicly trolling for business. I don't know what CB is like now in this age where most of the legitimate traffic is in the realm of cell phones and in cab computers but you might want to check the CB channels out before investing.

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Old 08-06-2014, 08:36 PM   #3
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There are some great CB websites. Here is one.

This is not an endorsement.

There are more but, you can get a handheld, add an external
Or short whip Antenna and "talk" to others within 1/8 to 1/4 mile. If the chatter and communication is not too offensive you can install a permanent mount antenna and radio.

If you get a standard 40 channel radi you will be able to determine if this is useful.

If you want car to car discrete comm then a GMRS unit will better suit as it has less chatter and noise.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:48 PM   #4
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I see two reasons to want a CB radio in your Interstate. First, if you participate in WBCCI caravans, they use CB channel 14 for intra-caravan communication. Second, when you are driving down the highway and see traffic coming to a stop ahead, it's handy to put the CB on channel 19 and listen to the trucker chatter to find out what's going on. Other than that, I leave mine turned off.

I can tell you my own experience. My CB radio is a Cobra 29 LT "Classic" which, as the name implies, has been around roughly forever. It has a good reputation and can be had for less than $100. One advantage of the 29 is that it has a built-in SWR bridge so you can do a quick check on your antenna and feedline without any external equipment.

The antenna is the most important part of the system, really. If you are willing to do it, the best position for the antenna is smack dab in the middle of the roof, so the roof serves as a ground plane.

I cheated; I use a K-40 3 foot Superflex fiberglass whip (normal-mode helix in case there are any antenna engineers out there) mounted in the middle of the fiberglass cap on our Chevy K-1500. I constructed an artificial ground plane on the inside of the cap using sticky-back copper tape, soldered together at intersections and bonded to the rest of the truck at the ends.

This combination has worked very well; I once worked 20 miles mobile-to-mobile with another caravanner on channel 14 in the very sparsely populated west. In more congested areas--like around Chicago--you won't be able to work more than a mile simply because there are so many stations using the channel.

The antenna installation does need to be set up by somebody who knows what they are doing and preferably has a separate instrument known as an "antenna analyzer".

Personally, I wouldn't waste my time with a hand held unit; the tiny "rubber ducky" antennas are practically worthless at 27 MHz and you'll be lucky to get a quarter mile range, as cwf said.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:25 AM   #5
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Do many or any also have the weather band? I agree with the language issue but, in case of traffic or other issues one could use a small single ear headphone.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:57 AM   #6
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Metairie , Louisiana
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If you want to mount one in the blank in the overhead, you need a 1-DIN sized in-dash CB. That limits your options.

I didn't bother. I have a handheld Cobra CB with weather radio, and a magnet-mount external antenna to give it extra range and reception. Since I haven't participated in a WBCCI caravan, the main reason I need or want a CB radio is for hurricane evacuations. For that purpose, a handheld is fine. Perhaps better, in fact, since if I have to dismount the vehicle, such as to change a flat tire or add fuel from a 5-gallon can, I can clip it to my belt and take it with me.

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