Have you made up your mind yet
OK, you have finally decided that a CB radio is the right choice for you. You have looked at all the different models that are available, and are now shopping around for CB radios on sale. You are also watching which on-line sites have the best warranty so that if your radio breaks you can get it fixed.
their are SO many choices of CB radios on sale
When deciding on which CB radio is right for you, their are a lot of choices you have to make. Some of these include the size of the area you want to install the radio in, the ease of use and the layout of the dials and features. You will also want to consider whether to get an entry level CB radio like the Uniden PRO-505XL series of radios that can be purchased under $40 dollars, or to just GO FOR IT and purchase a full blown CB radio like a Cobra 148GTL.
what sort of range will I have ?
If you live in an area that has lots of hills and trees, keep in mind that this decreases the range that an entry level AM CB radio will communicate. If you have a CB base station with a large antenna high up in the air and only want to communicate with a mobile station then most entry level radios will work nicely for you. If you want to communicate mobile to mobile then you may have to consider high power top end radios and SSB.
Most of the entry level CB radios only include AM, which is fine in a 5 to 10 mile radius depending on the location and antennas, but if you need farther ranges then you may have to consider a CB radio that includes SSB.
Antenna antenna’s antennae
One other area you will have to cover is the type of antenna that will be used. If you buy a high end radio spending upwards of 400 dollars and then skimp on the antenna system you will not see very good performance from your investment at all. On the other hand if you buy a bottom end entry level radio and spend more on the antenna system you will see excellent results. Some of the top antennas for mobile use are full size 1/4 wave antenna’s. Do not buy into the hype that a 4 foot tall antenna is going to be a great performer. The more aluminum you have in the air the better.
What other features do I need ?
If you have an unlimited amount of money (Who doesn’t, right ?) then you have a LOT of other features and choices to choose from. Some of these include Bluetooth technology and scan features.
Blue tooth is a great safety feature to have in a mobile radio setup when you need to communicate while driving. It is also a great workaround for those states that have outlawed CB radio use in a vehicle.
Blue tooth will connect to almost any existing bluetooth device that you use with a cell phone. it allows you to talk and receive hands free so that you can maintain control of your vehicle.
The scan feature that is built into some of the top end radios allows you to scan all 40 CB radio channels and stops on a channel when it detects any activity, allowing you to listen. When the squelch is turned up just above the noise level a top end radio will scan through the channels quietly. This is great when on the road for long periods of time and are looking for activity or local information, making it much easier than spinning the channel knob around manually, which can be dangerous.
A word about “Export” Radios.
As CB radio’s become popular once again, a new market has emerged exporting Ham radio equipment and labeling them as CB Radios. These radios boast more power and extra channel capabilities. Make NO mistake about them though, they are Illegal to use and operate in the United States.
These radios can be easily identified on the market. If a CB has a frequency display on the front, then more than likely it is an export radio.
Export radios are not type accepted by the F.C.C (Federal Communications Commission) and illegal to use in the U.S. on the CB Radio channels. They CAN be used by Amateur Radio Operators on the ham bands.
The final choice is yours.
SO, hopefully this short article has helped you decide on what type of CB radio that is right for you. Remember to make a list of what features you may need and the distance that you need for communications.
- Is this going to be a new hobby, or just a tool.
- Will you be communicating with random people to make new friends or with your group.
- What is your price range.
And remember that CB radio can be a gateway for a fun and exciting hobby, and many times people move onto other radio services like Amateur Radio, which opens up the World of communications.
And most important, have FUN.