It’s Not Easy Selecting One —
Unless You’ve Got The Facts In Advance!
One of the most often asked questions we received is “Which is the best CB set in the market?” That’s like asking, “Which is the very best car in the market?” If you are only going to drive at 25MPH to and from the neighborhood shopping center then you can pick up a second (or third) hand putt-putt special with the bumpers dragging on the blacktop and, for your needs, it might well be the very best car in the market. On the other hand, if you like to make like Dan Gurney at traffic lights, then perhaps nothing less than raked “Funny car” is the very best car on the market. If you want class, with steady, trouble-free operation over the years, then maybe a Bentley is the best thing on wheels for you. This for you is the key here- and so it is with CB Rigs.
There is no very best rig in the market and the only people you can hear making such statements these days are people who luckily purchased a CB set which happens to suit their needs- for them it is the set around. For you, it may be too much or too little set. You are the one who must decide what your needs are and then start eliminating those sets which are not directly suited to your needs and budgets. While there is no denying that some rigs are inherent of better overall quality than others, you will find that the vast majority of CB rigs are well designed, well built, and well suited to a particular communication need.
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Today’s CB transceivers are a far cry from the early efforts which were produced 10 years ago. When the CB channels were first made available to the public. One reason is that manufacturers have advanced their technical capabilities and can now use highly efficient tubes, or sophisticated solid-state devices. Things like Nuvistors weren’t even invented when CB sets first came out. Designers have added refinement to CB sets which clip, compress, and amplify and otherwise soup up the human voice. So that you get the maximum possible range. They have frequency synthesizing circuits which permit operations on all CB channels with a minimum of components, which keeps the price down.
They have come up with the receivers capable of pulling in the most feeble signal while filtering out even the strongest signals on adjacent channels. They have, in other words, learned the secrets of pampering incoming and outgoing radio signals to make them behave properly under the most adverse conditions. With the possible average of 100,000 CB transceivers yacking it up on each of CB’s 2 channels equipment of lesser stature just wouldn’t function.
A popular noise limiter in CB units is the so-called series-gate circuit, an old standby but which nevertheless does a most effective job. One minor difference in various sets in whether or not you can switch the noise limiter in and out of the receiver circuit, or whether it is always functioning. Don’t reject a set if you can’t switch on the noise limiter; it’s probably an automatic type that adjusts itself according to signal conditions.
One innovation on the CB scene is the noise silencer circuit, which is an advanced and sophisticated type of noise limiter. Its specialty is crushing impulse type noises, such as are created by motors. Since it isn’t completely effective on continuous-type noise, it is usually supplemented by a second limiter. A switch allows you select standard noise limiting or a noise silencer.
Sensitivity is the ability of the CB rig to pick up weak stations. Since the sensitivity circuits are the first things which the incoming signal encounters in your rig, they are commonly known as the front end.
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Better-made (and usually high priced) gear has a stage or two of radio-frequency (RF) amplification on the front end to give incoming signals a little more ZIP! The current rage is for Nuvistors to perform this task. Nuvistors are tiny metal tubes which give high amplification with little of the internal noise commonly associated with standard radio tubes. As a matter of fact, there are number of tubes which are better than Nuvisitors for the front end. But Nuvisitors have caught the public’s fancy.
Sensitivity ratings are given in microvolts on a CB spec sheet, and the lower the rating figure, the more sensitive the receiver
Many CB users keep informed by monitoring their local public safety agencies- Police, Fire, Sheriff, Highway Patrol, etc.
Are you a fully informed citizen? When you become active in CB you’ll find that a great many CB operators have availed themselves of a so-called “Monitor receiver” or “Converter” to enable them to keep track of their community in action.
Many do this in conjunction with their own auxiliary police or volunteer fire activities, some do it just because they like to be well-informed citizens and know what’s happening in their localities. Contrary to many rumors on the subject, there is no federal regulation which prohibits you from listening to these stations providing the contents of any transmissions picked up are not revealed or made use of. (Some states and local governments have regulations which apply to such equipment in cars.)
Equipment is plentiful and can be had for prices ranging from less than $20 for hand-held units to super deluxe professional gear running into hundreds of dollars. Several excellent base station types’ receivers are available at price ranging from $50 to $150.
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Three bands are now used by public safety agencies-the so-called Low Band (30 to 50 mc/s), the high band (150 to 175 mc/s), and UHF (in the 450 mc/s region). While some agencies operate on several channels, usually these are all located in only one of these bands. When ordering a receiver for these services, it will be necessary for you to know which band you want because most monitor receivers operate on only one of the bands. If you are ordering a fixed frequency (Crystal controlled) receiver or converter you will need to know the specific frequency or frequencies (Stated in mc/s) that you intend monitoring. This information is readily available in the direction published by communication research bureau. The will send you a complete catalog of their various publications if you send them a stamped, self- addressed, #10 (business letter sized) envelope. Their directories each list of hundreds of police, fire and other emergency radio service call signs and dispatcher frequencies.
So at last, you have bought the CB radio from the CB radio shop. Nice, Looks good, shiny and we also know that you cannot wait to mount it in your vehicle right? Continue reading
General Class Ham Radio instructional video, introduces Section 6.1 in the ARRL General Class License Manual. The section is extremely short – meaning too short. So I do the opposite. Here’s 20 minutes of introduction that will help you truly understand what’s going on. With this background, the rest of Section 6 will be a breeze! You can see this video in context by going to ke0og.net/general, which has an introductory video as well as links to all of the General Class instructional videos. Continue reading
Here’s your video introduction to Ham Radio General Class Lesson 6.2, Dipoles, Ground-planes, and Random Wires from the ARRL License Manual. Continue reading