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All quiet but booming????

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Scipio Kid
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All quiet but booming????

Post by Scipio Kid » Friday, 15 September 2017, 22:50 PM

O.K. I got a conundrum here for anyone, everyone to explain. My question is Radio? Antenna? Conditions?

Since getting back into CB, I've acquired and used a variety of radios. I usually have one in whatever vehicle I'm driving. I change out the one in the pickup I use the most to test different radios and features etc. Our business takes us all over the place so having CB's in the vehicles makes sense as well as helping when we have multiple vehicles on the same job, or in the same area or caravaning down the highway.

Back in the 80's, we had 5 vehicles crossing the desert from Wendover to Salt Lake on I-80. It was a dark, moonless night, in the middle of nowhere and we were telling tales back and forth on the CB's when suddenly, the right duallys on the lead truck broke loose. One came crashing back under my rig. I felt it hit the tranny under me and then smack the diffs and bounce around under the trailer. Then it flew out behind me and hit the front of my Brother's rig. He saw it coming and veered right, deflecting the wheel and tire right into the front grill of a small Toyota pickup who'd just pulled out to pass him. In a few seconds the trip went from a nice ride to total mayhem. The lead truck, a 1-ton crane rig pulling a trailer with 3 tons of drill pipe, lost control and spilled its load all over the highway, blocking the right lane and part of the left. I got off the road but my brother and the Toyota tangled and blocked the left lane behind me. The ability to quickly communicate with all our drivers and with others, including the Highway Patrol, got traffic stopped and vehicles and people off the road before the situation got worse. The CB radios saved lives that night and were a lot more efficient and effective than cell phones. Ours didn't work out there and I'm not sure there's coverage out there even today.

That's one example of why I like having a CB with me. I'm sure most of you have similar tales to tell. I like having a couple of extra radios set up with lighter plugs and magnet mount antennas so I can quickly throw a radio in any vehicle for any reason. Last week, I had to run a rig out to a site 70 miles south and asked my wife to follow me in my Daughter's little Honda. Now I guess we could have talked back and forth on our cell phones all the way down there but who does that? It took 3 minutes to set up the radio and we were off, and had a great time bucket mouthing all the way there! We hadn't done that since high school.

Anyway, back to my original mystery; I've used the same Honda to run down there for the past three days. (My daughter is in Texas and using her 42 MPG Honda beats my 17 MPG Powerstroke when all I need to do is get me there and back). The radios I use for temporary rigs are all Cobras or Galaxies with SWR meters and lights so I can make sure I don't have a bum match and don't have to take time setting up with an external SWR meter. I get about a 2:1 match with an old Realistic magnet mount antenna, which isn't great but it works and won't hurt the radio. The mystery is in the performance of the radio. Last week I picked up a Cobra 29 NW identical to the one I've been running in my pickup for a few weeks, except mine's tweaked with talkback, echo and such. The new one came from a retired trucker, was in excellent shape and even had a Freightliner sticker and part number on it. The first thing I noticed early Wednesday, was how quiet the radio was. I had the squelch all the way down and all I could hear was ignition noise. Flipped on the ANL and it was all-quiet, even with the volume up and I didn't even use the NB function. Immediately, I assumed there was a problem with the radio. It's never that quiet out there. I checked the meter, all the way to the left, SWR right on 2:1, so I called for a radio check and got a reply that sounded like it came from the back seat and was real loud since I'd left the volume way up. The guy said I was boomin' in on him too and he was 6 miles away. All the way to the jobsite it was like that, clear, loud communications and talking for miles with almost no static or background noise. The jobsite is 8 miles from I-15 but I can jaw with the truckers there like they're next door. Now I figured it was some atmospheric thing keeping the noise down but it's continued now for 3 days. I've been down there all day every day so I haven't had the chance to use a different radio or antenna or vehicle but it seems great and weird. Today it rained hard all the way down and the SWR went up to almost 3:1. But the performance was surprisingly the same.

I have a near perfect antenna match in my pickup with a radio that's a lot better than stock, but the performance of the setup in the Honda the last 3 days is far better than what I'm used to in the truck.

So, what is it? A better radio? A better antenna? or simply better conditions for 3 days running?

What do you all think?
Happy Trails




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battyice
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Re: All quiet but booming????

Post by battyice » Saturday, 16 September 2017, 10:54 AM

Sounds like that Cobra is really well tuned.

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Re: All quiet but booming????

Post by MDYoungblood » Saturday, 16 September 2017, 11:38 AM

I'm going with conditions.

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Re: All quiet but booming????

Post by Trapper444 » Wednesday, 08 November 2017, 9:52 AM

I don't know why but great story, great post. Thanks

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Re: All quiet but booming????

Post by 295 antenna » Wednesday, 08 November 2017, 9:56 AM

im going with conditions
great post also thanks
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