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post #1 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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In search of new CB radio

Ok I've had enough of my CB radio, last week in Moab it drove me crazy. I have the Cobra 75 swxt using a firering cable, a 5 foot firestix II antenna mounted on a cooltech license plate mount. For what its worth my SWR is 1.2:1-1.5:1 (channel 1 & channel 40). I also used this same set up last year in Moab and it work good.

My problem is that I could hear everyone but those on my trail. I was even picking up 'skips' from Florida, air traffic control from who knows where, and I think even some traffic from south of the boarder (it was all in Spanish). However, I couldn't hear the jeep 30 feet from me let alone my tailgunner if I turned up the squelch to block out the skip traffic. I tried using my hand held CB which allowed me to hear others in my group ok but lacked the power out put to talk to anyone but the vehicle right behind me, but I didn't get much if any skip traffic on it. I was told that others could hear me ok with the Cobra 75 too so I'm pretty sure its my radio is causing the problem.

What I'm looking for is a CB on the smaller side but with lots of features (squelch, gain, power out put meter, SWR, etc.) Would like to peak & tune it too. I also am think of running a linear. I've used midland & cobra in the past and liked them both brand isn't important but quality is (prefer a major name brand).

Also any suggestions as to a mounting location would be helpful as my current CB is mounted behind the glove box really won't work. I kind of like the idea of mounting it above rear view mirror or sun visor as it is a daily driver/family vehicle. I'm sure the wife doesn't want a radio in her side of the vehicle.

Also if there is a model or brand to stay away from, that information would be helpful in narrowing down my choices too.
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post #2 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 04:02 AM
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After having a Midland 75-822 for a while I was unhappy with it and upgraded to something better for similar reasons, I tried several including the big honkin, fully featured cobra 29 (thanks amazon prime). I settled on the Uniden Pro510 on the rugged ridge mount. no frills. well made metal chassis etc. I got past needing an SWR meter built in since I already have one and usually have it with me on the trail in case someone needs to set their SWR. I also got past needing any controls beyond squelch and volume. so far I am happy with it. I had a good test one day chatting it up with some pilot above me in a small plane with a downward pointing antenna.



I don't think you can get past all those truckers with overclocked, high wattage CBs except change the channel.

Last edited by White13JKUR; 04-12-2015 at 07:24 PM.
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post #3 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 05:11 AM
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i'm running a Uniden Bearcat 980SSB and love it. I also have the Rugged Ridge over the rear view mirror mount and it works great. I have a linear but have not mounted it yet due to finding an acceptable location.

I have it running through a 4ft Firestik mounted to the bolts that held the factory spare tire carrier. I believe I have the PSC antenna mount. it took me a while to find a good ground but right now my SWR's are under 1.

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post #4 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 05:16 AM
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I forgot to mention the the Uniden Bearcat 980SSB is loaded with features. it has the built in SWR meter and also has the ability to diagnostic check itself and your antenna. not to mention it has the side band channels, ability to dim the interface and change colors.

I almost went with that small Cobra POS that is a CB contained all in the mic and glad I didn't. several guys I know run them and they sound like shit and don't talk very far.

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post #5 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White13JKUR;326756

[IMG
http://i1362.photobucket.com/albums/r689/pmbenn/jeep/DSC_0178_zpsgm2wymhy.jpg[/iMG]

I don't think you can get past all those truckers with overclocked, high wattage CBs except change the channel.
It would be nice to just switch channels but when your leading the safari runs they use assigned channels.

Also I agree, I don't NEED all the features but they can be nice to have.
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post #6 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 10:23 PM
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I love my galaxy they come in two sizes and has all the bells and whistles needed and then some.. Upper sideband lower sideband ect.. Better than any cobra imo.
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post #7 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 10:49 PM
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Had smaller midlands and cobras, they all crapped out one way or another. Two cobra 25s died on one trip to moab. There was some redneck wiring as a result. It's complicated.

Got the big honkin 29. Night and day. Orders of magnitude better.

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post #8 of 32 Old 04-12-2015, 11:39 PM
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If you only use the CB on the trails or occasionally to find out why traffic on the highway isn't moving there's no reason IMHO to get a big, fancy, expensive CB. And zero reason for SSB or an (illegal) linear amplifier. If you can't hear your other trail riders there's no point in putting out tons of power, and most people don't run SSB or linears. And a big fancy radio is more likely to attract thieves.

I have the Uniden Pro 520XL, very similar to the 510XL posted above, and mounted in the same location (but just screwed directly to the windshield header trim). I've had it 5 years and it works great; I can hear and understand everyone in my group and everyone can hear me, even groups 20+ rigs long winding through dense tree cover. I like that it's small, unobtrusive, cheap ($40) and works well. You can even have it tuned and peaked for a bit more output power and receive sensitivity, though I've never felt it necessary to get that done.

Once you get a quality radio (not a handheld, and the 75WXST is essentially a corded handheld) the most important things are a good antenna and quality installation. The antenna should be mounted as high as reasonably possible and well grounded (using a braided ground strap if not mounted to the chassis). Use good quality coax and cut-off -- not loop or wrap -- any excess then put on a new connector if needed, and make sure there's no pinches or tight bends in the coax. Make sure the antenna-side of the coax is sealed so moisture can't get in, as that will affect the SWR.

I also have a 2m/70cm handy-talkie that I use on the road when I feel like chatting. Amateur radio is much more civilized than CB, with much better range (at least if you're running legally). But this isn't generally useful on the trails unless there's other hams in the group.

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post #9 of 32 Old 04-13-2015, 11:15 AM
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I have a peaked 520XL from the local CB shop mounted between the visors using http://www.strikeforcezebra.com/cbmount.html. A 4 or 5ft firestick is mounted on the license plate holder.

So far it's working good for me. I'm going to move the antenna off the license plate holder and over to the mount on the Teraflex tire carrier soon.
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-13-2015, 02:46 PM
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Side bands are great for getting away from all the yahoos. There is a lot less background noise on the side band channels. I prefer to run them as long as everyone that is on the run has a cb capable of running side bands.

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post #11 of 32 Old 04-13-2015, 02:51 PM
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here is my Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB. It doesn't hang as low as it appears. That's just the angle of the picture.

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post #12 of 32 Old 04-13-2015, 03:28 PM
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While I did go small on the radio, I did go heavy on the antenna and microphone. I went from a 3' Firestick FieFly to a 4' FS-II. SWR is down to a shade under the 1 mark.

Also picked up an astatic 636l microphone so for clearer communication than the one that comes with the 510. Amazon prime sells them for cheap in bulk package (just the mic in an unmarked plastic bag).

The 75WXST has a beefier outboard power supply so it is a degree better than the midland I was using before. I think the midland will be good as a handlheld that I could hand to a close proximity spotter when needed.

which 29 do you have, Grarly? they are definitely nice. I had the LX and the WX ST on my short list and had a chance to play around with the LX before sending it back to amazon. It didn't suck. It was just more than I need.

edit: and how did you kill the other cobras? did the output transistors die?
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post #13 of 32 Old 04-13-2015, 05:53 PM
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I tell a lie, it's the 25 Ltd classic I have. Still a pretty big box, but most importantly I can hear it even doors off.
Next step up I'll get one with weather radio for sure.

Unspoilt by progress.

Last edited by gnarlyswine; 04-13-2015 at 07:17 PM.
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post #14 of 32 Old 04-19-2015, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CamoCop View Post


here is my Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB. It doesn't hang as low as it appears. That's just the angle of the picture.
Hey I noticed you have a hard top too, do you have any problem getting to the lever to remove the freedom panels?

Also thanks to all who posted replies. I do like the over head mounting point as well as the Uniden brand CB
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post #15 of 32 Old 04-20-2015, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by grumpy5 View Post
Hey I noticed you have a hard top too, do you have any problem getting to the lever to remove the freedom panels?

Also thanks to all who posted replies. I do like the over head mounting point as well as the Uniden brand CB
no problems getting to the Freedom Top lever what so ever. I only leave my mic right there because I still haven't found a place I like to mount the mic holder.

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post #16 of 32 Old 04-20-2015, 02:53 PM
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We use the Cobra 75 WX St its a great radio and they work perfect. Maybe your antenna needs to be tuned?

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post #17 of 32 Old 04-20-2015, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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We use the Cobra 75 WX St its a great radio and they work perfect. Maybe your antenna needs to be tuned?

Jason
I'm pretty sure my antenna is tuned pretty good , SWR is 1.2 on channel 1 and 1.5 on channel 40. Also every one can hear me fine I just can't hear them.

I also know a few people who have the cobra 75 wx st with good luck, but I'm not having any luck with mine.
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post #18 of 32 Old 04-20-2015, 11:23 PM
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no problems getting to the Freedom Top lever what so ever. I only leave my mic right there because I still haven't found a place I like to mount the mic holder.
I have the same radio and there is a set of holes for mounting the mic holder in either the upright or horizontal configuration, already drilled and tapped on the side of the case. Works great and if you want the mic cord out of the way you can just lay it over the top of the radio.

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post #19 of 32 Old 04-21-2015, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy5 View Post
I'm pretty sure my antenna is tuned pretty good , SWR is 1.2 on channel 1 and 1.5 on channel 40. Also every one can hear me fine I just can't hear them.

I also know a few people who have the cobra 75 wx st with good luck, but I'm not having any luck with mine.
Sounds like your unit is defective you can buy them new off of Amazon for pretty cheap.

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post #20 of 32 Old 04-21-2015, 05:11 PM
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The other, unmentioned, problem with the handhelds is that the displays are difficult to read. Definitely a distraction while driving on or off the trail. Probably the meridian that I had was even a little worse than the cobra in this regard.
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-21-2015, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like your unit is defective you can buy them new off of Amazon for pretty cheap.

Jason
Yes you are correct about the price and for the same amount of money I could get a better cb that has a better speaker and one i can add a power Mic to if I wanted.

I'm really over the Cobra 75 wx ts, its time to move on.
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post #22 of 32 Old 04-21-2015, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by grumpy5 View Post
Yes you are correct about the price and for the same amount of money I could get a better cb that has a better speaker and one i can add a power Mic to if I wanted.

I'm really over the Cobra 75 wx ts, its time to move on.
I would recommend that. It is hit and mis with that cb. As many as I have talked to be that love it there has been 9 others that hate it.

I went with a used cobra 29.

It has all the bells and wistles that I thought I wouldn't use. I actually use all of the features and I have grown to love love love it. I am tempted to buy new to replace it but it works.

The radio I would get is one with the weather station report built in. Uniden has it. A friend of mine has that radio.


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post #23 of 32 Old 04-25-2015, 08:07 AM
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Yes you are correct about the price and for the same amount of money I could get a better cb that has a better speaker and one i can add a power Mic to if I wanted.

I'm really over the Cobra 75 wx ts, its time to move on.
several people I ride with have that Cobra 75 wx ts and it is pure junk. they are hard to understand when they transmit and as soon as they get about 1/2 mile away I can't even hear them. everyone says mine on the other hand is the clearest radio they have ever heard. they say it sounds like i'm sitting in their jeep talking to them.

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post #24 of 32 Old 04-25-2015, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by UnlimiDozer View Post
I have the same radio and there is a set of holes for mounting the mic holder in either the upright or horizontal configuration, already drilled and tapped on the side of the case. Works great and if you want the mic cord out of the way you can just lay it over the top of the radio.
thanks for the tip. I did not know this.

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post #25 of 32 Old 04-25-2015, 11:06 PM
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thanks for the tip. I did not know this.
My pleasure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White13JKUR View Post
The other, unmentioned, problem with the handhelds is that the displays are difficult to read. Definitely a distraction while driving on or off the trail. Probably the meridian that I had was even a little worse than the cobra in this regard.
This is exactly why I upgraded from the Midland handheld to the Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB like CamoCop's. Pretty happy with it so far. I also just went ahead and added an Astatic RD104E-4B Road Devil mic from the get-go.

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Last edited by UnlimiDozer; 04-25-2015 at 11:08 PM.
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