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Old 09-26-2011, 03:37 AM   #1
ezfriday
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Best CB Radio

I'm comparing CB Radios and would like to see what JK owners have to say about them. Are you happy with the model you have ... Had any troubles...
Antenna advice?

I've noticed that if you type in Jeep JK CB Radio package into the Yahoo search engine some pretty nice and affordable packages show up.

Cobra 29LX
(this model looks to be very functional... CB World offers a "Tunable Tip" antenna with this package that sounds pretty good)


Cobra 75 WX ST Compact remote mount:
(Concerned about range and functional or dis-functional aspects with all the controls on the handset... also the handset gets 90% of the abuse so will it hold up)



Advice on these models or input on other models appreciated...
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:04 AM   #2
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It all depends if you want more power or want to save space. The 29 is a great radio and can be tuned and peaked and get really good power but is a big radio and you will have limited spots to install on JK. The 75 great radio. Stock power. Talks pretty good for trail use. Very easy to mount and is small enough to stay out of the way. I run a heavy modified cobra 25 which is a little smaller than the 29 and have great power.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:22 AM   #3
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Don't know much about the cb's you mentioned or cb's in general. I asked around alot before I bought and ended up with a uniden 510. I tuned it with a swr meter and get decent range considering it is for offroad use only. I love the speaker, it is very loud compared to other stock cb's, also very clear. I checked the pwr output and am only getting 2.5 watts. The legal limit is 4. It is my understanding that most stock cb's will be a little under 4 because the manufacturer does not want to have an inspector find one a little over and then have their whole run inspected. I was also told that the antenna and antenna placement were far more important than which brand or model cb you have. I prefered one that was very small. If you are using yours for hwy and want to be able to talk long distances, find one with the options you want and then have it peaked and tuned. You can also buy an amp for it.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:28 AM   #4
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Check not the midland 822 . I love mine since you can use it as a handheld too. Also it all fits in the center console. I get about 7 miles out of it hooked to my 3ft firestick which is plenty. Plus you can plug it into the aux output of the stereo for added volume like when you are top off door off.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:38 AM   #5
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I installed a Uniden 520 Pro XL and a 4' Solarcon top-loaded antenna (kind truckers use on their mirrors). CB is mounted in the console and I installed a West Marine 3" waterproof remote speaker to the right of the steering column...tuned it up and works great. I am getting about 6 miles of max range (with obstructions).



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Old 09-26-2011, 08:53 AM   #6
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I have a Uniden 520xl, mounts just right of the console and doesn't get into anyone's way. Had a couple Cobra 19s, they worked fine until they didn't. Had 2 go bad in a year and a half. Cobra 29 is kinda the old reliable but big.

Get an adjustable antenna. Tuning in the SWR is much easier.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:15 AM   #7
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Seeing as it hasn't really been discussed yet, but you asked, both radios in stock form have the same power. Assuming you run the same antenna they will have identical range. All radios are limited in their power output by the FCC.

It is true you can "tune" the 29 to put out more power, but it is illegal. However, I've never heard of anyone ever actually getting in trouble for it and basically every trucker has theirs tuned, but it doesn't change the fact that it is illegal. The 75 can't be tuned in the same manner.

Besides the radio, everything else is the same. You would mount the antenna and everything in the same manner. I'd recommend a Wilson Flex antenna because they are good antennas with the ability to flex as the name implies. No springs needed. Even with a spring mount, I've still broken antennas before. Also, pretty much every name brand antenna is tunable. Many people don't tune them for whatever reason, but consider it a requirement to do so. Your CB will work far better and you won't piss off others on the trails.

Regarding "tuning" a CB to push more power, it's kind of a waste unless everyone else you wheel with has theirs modded too. You have the ability with more power to send your signal a greater range so more people can hear you, but if theirs is stock, you can't hear them so what's the point? With a tuned (antenna tuned, not modded) 75, I can generally get a good mile of range with other tuned CBs in the woods in semi-hilly terrain. On the highway on flat ground, I can go much further. If you really want or need more range than that then go HAM as it's far better, and with a large repeater network that can pretty much allow you to talk wherever you need. "Tuned" CBs is just annoying when you hear some guy who is blowing everyone else out because he has more power and can't hear others talking.

As for your choice of CBs, pick whatever one fits your needs with options and mounting choices.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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Cobra 29 if you have the space for a full-featured radio, or Uniden Pro if you don't. Those two radios are classic, tried-and-true, well performing Jeeping radios.

Do a search on Cobra 75 on this board. They are crap. Don't last long and die fast in dusty conditions. The mic and speaker suck and range seems much less than any other radio. I bought into the 75 cool-aid in the JK-forum back in 2008, and went through 2 of them fast. Everyone over there switched to something else within a year or so. Cobra 29s will outlast the Jeep, if you have space for it.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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In my Dodge I run a peaked and tuned Uniden 68 which is on par with the Cobra 29. Its range is unreal sometimes.... As mentioned before output power is limited by the FCC. However sometimes where radios lack is their ability to "hear". You can have great output power but if the radio cant hear...it is useless. Even if you don't want your output power cranked up it might not be a bad idea to have some one peak and tune the receive circuit in the radio. Both the Uniden 510 (going in our JK in the near future) and the 520 are tunable by someone that knows there stuff and are compact enough to mount in the JK. I have seen one in a friends buggy take abuse that I would have thought would kill anything and the only thing I have ever had to do to it was replace a diode on the incoming power circuit due to a short from a deep water crossing.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
Cobra 29 if you have the space for a full-featured radio, or Uniden Pro if you don't. Those two radios are classic, tried-and-true, well performing Jeeping radios.

Do a search on Cobra 75 on this board. They are crap. Don't last long and die fast in dusty conditions. The mic and speaker suck and range seems much less than any other radio. I bought into the 75 cool-aid in the JK-forum back in 2008, and went through 2 of them fast. Everyone over there switched to something else within a year or so. Cobra 29s will outlast the Jeep, if you have space for it.
X2

Saying all radios have the same power is not necissarily true. Having a radio peaked and tuned makes a ton of difference in range. "Peaked" means having it tuned to the legal max and tuned is the SWR. Having a radio putting out 2.5 watts compaired to one putting out the full 4 is huge. Some do turn it up more but on a radio with Dynamic and Gain controlls in can be adjusted so that you won't be "blowing everyone else out." If you have someone in your group doing that tell them to adjust thier radio until it's acceptable.

As far as an antenna that is tunable I guess what I should have said is one with screw type adjuster that allows adjustment in both directions. If you have a tunable that requires cutting or grinding you lose most of the ability to adjust a high channel 1 reading. Sure you can get it dialed in without but if you ever move the antenna or add a bumper or something that can affect the SWR your options are limited on adjustment.

As far as having the only radio with a longer range goes, imagine being the last rig with a CB in a line of Jeeps, you have trouble, fall behind and you are out of thier range but they can still hear you.
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Last edited by jrider; 09-26-2011 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:39 AM   #11
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My Cobra 25 is pushing almost 40 watts on the swing using a 3' stainless whip style antenna. It talks very strong and I can hear very well. If you want even more power you can by a linear amp and push as much as you want but for local wheeling you don't need crazy power. If your an open road trucker then I would say jack it up. Also a lot of the bigger radios like a 29 are repairable if they break unlike the smaller radios.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:02 AM   #12
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I run a Uniden 520 Pro XL. I think it is the smallest CB you'll be able to find. Looks good hanging from my overhead console. I have a 2 foot fire stick w/tuning tip mounted to the tire carrier.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:01 AM   #13
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I love my Cobra 75 WX ST and Liberty Antenna with Custom Mount. Over 4 years old and still works great!




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Old 09-29-2011, 06:48 AM   #14
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I am using a Midland 1001Z with a Radio Shack 3' mini whip. Cheap, talks decent, small so it fits in the jeep.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:05 PM   #15
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any of you guys have pics of your mounting locations? i am going to get a cb soon, l just can't decide which. i was wanting the cobra 75 til i read this thread, now i'm looking cobra 29 or uniden 720...decisions decisions
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:21 PM   #16
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bump to the Uniden PRO538. Its small and works great on the trails. I have mine in the glovebox of the JK.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:31 PM   #17
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Another happy Uniden 520xl owner here. Mounted over the rear-view mirror on the windshield frame trim. I selected it because of the size and ability to "peak" it for higher output power. But so far the performance works just fine on the roads and the trails, so I'm still running normal "legal" output power.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandy50 View Post
any of you guys have pics of your mounting locations? i am going to get a cb soon, l just can't decide which. i was wanting the cobra 75 til i read this thread, now i'm looking cobra 29 or uniden 720...decisions decisions
29 50th anv.

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:22 PM   #19
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From the bit of research I've done on the 75 they seem to work well if you don't take your doors and roof off. It seems it is hard to hear out of it without an auxillary speaker if the doors/roof are off. As mentioned they don't like the dusty conditions, again if doors/roof are off. I always have my doors/roof on so I'm going to run one due to the compact size.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:31 AM   #20
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29 50th anv.

i'm kinda liking this spot as it seems most out of the way but easy to get to, did you make a bracket?
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:39 PM   #21
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The cobra 75 sucks. It's transmit/recieve capability blows, like most cobra radios. It's only claim to fame is it's ease of installation, which people love for Jeeps.

The uniden 510/520 is the BEST radio you can get for audio quality and transmit/recieve....but I don't like it because it doesn't have weatherband features.

I'm running a radioshack branded radio that is very similar to the uniden, but it has weatherband and SAME alert feature. Getting caught in severe weather in a wrangler sucks.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:51 PM   #22
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^^^Know the model number to this?


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Old 12-28-2011, 01:02 PM   #23
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Cobra Roadtrip Handheld FTW.

Didn't want to worry with wiring anything up, and it's only about $75.

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:09 PM   #24
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I run a Cobra 29 and love it. Sure its a full size radio, but if you take the time to plan where to mount it and make sure it works where its mounted then its not a big deal. I mouned mine on the side of the center console on the passenger side as far down as I could and still have room to access the back of it for the antenna cable and its not in the way at all and I have had people in the passenger seat and it never get in their way. Just got to be a little creative in the mounting and your fine. And as far as the SWR tuning if you can and there is a CB shop in your area that has the laptop based tuning program use that, pay the 10-15 dollars and be glad you did. I did that and I could not be happier. I get about 15miles out of mine on the higway and around 5 in the woods, and I am under the FCC 4 watt regulation. (3.95 roughly)
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:37 PM   #25
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Good to see a lot of love for the Uniden XL series. I have the 520. I like and do notice the RF gain feature that comes with the 520. One day I'll use it's PA feature to scare mallrats or something too. The speaker is great! Even where I mounted it. I'm 6ft, 190lb simple mount and it doesn't get in my way there. Most of my crew runs the Cobra 75, and personally, I hate the speaker and the comfort of the unit in your hand.



As said above, tunable attennas ftw. I have a 3ft firestix on the top of my tire carrrier. If mounting lower, get a 4 or 5 ft version.
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