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Thread: How the hell do I know it's working

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    How the hell do I know it's working

    I have just finished installing my CB. I have a Uniden 520XL. It would seem that I can't hear anyone talking on the CB. I guess they are a thing of the past for truckers etc. I want to make sure that the radio is working before the first trail ride of the season but I can't seem to find anyone to test with. Any suggestions as to how I can tell if this thing is working or not?

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    Drive on a 400 series Hwy. Channel 6. You should certainly hear some jabber.

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    I am by no means a cb expert and have very little experience with cb's, but it have been looking into one for my comanche. From the reading I've been doing you need to have the antenna tuned. This could be your problem. Maybe someone on here has a SWR meter and could help you get your setup tuned and working as it should or you could go to a truck stop with a cb shop and get it tuned there.

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    a 1:1 match is ideal, but so long as your swr is below 2:1 you'll get by. Even if the match is pretty far out tho, you should at least hear something, would be hard to get an ots antenna that far out of band you'd hear nothing. From 40m to 10m sure (huge difference), but you're prob. not getting out beyond 12-10m.
    Ya, chatter ain't what it use to be...are you hearing anything on ch 6 AM midday? The Super Bowl always has some big powered stations firing off at the gums.
    If you ever get out Hamilton way give me a shout, I have a handy little swr tester (259b). Is the antenna grounded well? Is the stinger nice and clear of the body?

    An option would be to stop in at Radio World or Durham Radio and see if they'll run it for you.
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    ^ what he said.
    you should be able to hear stuff with a very poorly tuned antenna. just don't try to transmit without tuning first. you can damage the radio if the swr is way out

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    also, make sure squelch is full ccw, and rf (incoming gain) is turned full cw

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    How the hell do I know it's working

    To test and talk to truckers, get on the highway or close to it. Turn to channel 19.

    Say "Breaker One Nine"
    Someone will answer "Go ahead breaker"
    Say "I'm testing my CB, how do you read me"
    They'll probably say "loud and clear, or not so good, etc"
    Say "What's your 20"
    He'll tell you his location and you'll get an estimate of how far you're transmitting.
    Say thanks.
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    ^ That's what I did, over.

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    Thanks guys. I do have an SWR meter and I have tuned the antenna. I will be "fine tuning" it this weekend and I will have to give it a go on the 400 series highways. I'll keep ya posted. Any other suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

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    Make sure you do what whiplash said for your test. You will hear constant static, but when someone close broadcasts, you will hear them loud and clear. After you are satisfied, turn your rf down to about 30%. Then turn up the squelch until the static disappears. Remember that cb is only good for about 5km, probably more like 1 km in a Jeep. Trucks with dual antennas well reach further than you.... You might hear them when they can't hear you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLLLO View Post
    Any other suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    i'm assuming the antenna is on the back of the jeep in your avatar?? either bumper mounted or maybe on a bracket 1/2 way up? 3 or 4 foot Firestik?? if so face your ass end in the direction you want to communicate with. Most of your signal is being generated from the bottom portion of the antenna, so anywhere the jeep is blocking it you'll have lesser performance. Great for trail chatter where everyone is close by, not so go for any distances. What i have seen is some guys running them hood area or even swapping out to a am/fm/cb stinger.

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    How the hell do I know it's working

    While you're at it, look up the laws on CBs and distracted driving. I know there was a limited time exemption on them, but how do they treat non-commercial users?

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    "Radio check.... one.... two.... three.... four.... Anyone copy?" will also get a response.
    And "Thanks driver!" at the end of the transmission is an acceptable sign-off

    *side note* IMO- I find some truckers are reluctant to interact with "4-wheelers" unless you sound kinda like a trucker. My wife & daughter nearly pee themselves when they hear me on the CB.
    I know this sounds ridiculous & it's hard to explain in text, but there's a certain "trucker accent" that seems to get immediate response when asking about detour routes or wait times on the hwy. NOT having an echo-mic is a dead give away too.
    Last edited by JeepJunky; 04-25-2014 at 10:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepJunky View Post
    "Radio check.... one.... two.... three.... four.... Anyone copy?" will also get a response.
    And "Thanks driver!" at the end of the transmission is an acceptable sign-off

    *side note* IMO- I find some truckers are reluctant to interact with "4-wheelers" unless you sound kinda like a trucker. My wife & daughter nearly pee themselves when they hear me on the CB.
    I know this sounds ridiculous & it's hard to explain in text, but there's a certain "trucker accent" that seems to get immediate response when asking about detour routes or wait times on the hwy. NOT having an echo-mic is a dead give away too.

    It also helps if you say "east bound and down" and reference your basset hound fred - you can also refer to yourself as the Snowman.
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    LMAO pnut!

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    Thanks to all who replied. I tuned the antenna with my SWR and got it down to 1.4:1. Ended up having to chop about 2 1/2" off of the antenna but it was well worth it. The CB performed beautifully on the trails this past weekend. No static. Clean sound. And no times where someone could not hear me. Thanks for all your help and advice. You guys are rock solid.

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