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Looking for 50miles in a CB / SSB/ Export?

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Old 02-04-2011, 07:40 PM
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Question Looking for 50miles in a CB / SSB/ Export?

OK guys,

I'm sure i'm gonna get a lot of flack for this newbie post

I grew up with CB's in the 70's and had them in my car till the mid 80s.

Now, I'm looking to get back in the game. Although i have an iphone and hi speed internet i know for a fact, that i am a flick of a switch away from being cut off should anything happen. So i have begun my research to relearn what i once used all the time.

I am looking for a reliable way to keep in touch with family that live about 60 miles away as the crow flies. Obviously standard 4 or 5 watt cbs won't cut it. So what i've gleamed from surfing the web, is that it seems to me that 'export cb' or export ssb in 10 or 11 meter is the tool that will get me that greatest distance. cbradiomagazine.com was touting a Magnum 350 that would put out 70 watts. How far will that transmit without a skip, i couldn't find out.

So I am asking you pros, without too much ribbing me ... what you would theoretically suggest as a cb radio system for two people who live about 60 miles away on relatively flat terrain. Some minor hills the terrain doesn't vary more than a couple hundred feet.

I see a lot of talk about the "export radios", but can't seem to get an idea how many miles one could get out of them. Also what is the best range one could hope for without a skip in a truck or car?

I don't think i want to get into the HAM radio with FCC licensing. I just would like to be able to have a link and communicate if the SHTF.

Any insight on radios, antennas, or amps would be helpful.

Now again, i've been out of this for quite a while so i'm starting from scratch.

All suggestions are of course theoretical as i fully understand that some of these options may not be legal if they were to be used in the once free USA.
Thanks for your hypothetical advice


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Old 02-04-2011, 09:08 PM
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About 2 months ago I got back into CB for the same reasons, however with some encouragement of a member on the board, I am taking it a couple steps farther. I will be taking my Technician and General Ham License on February 14th. It isn't that hard. I have been using: HamTestOnline™ - Ham Radio Exam Courses

I don't think you will be able to get to 50 miles in a mobile unless you are running power and the other person has a beam antenna. And from home I think you would make the trip if one of you has a beam antenna and some good wattage. I may be wrong and if I am, I'm sure someone here will set me straight.

As far as radios go, there are exports that put out 200 watts or so, seem like that is what you would need. Something like the RCI-2970N2. There are others out there too, maybe someone else will chime in here.
Grant XL Peaked and tuned, a Magnum Omega Force, ICOM IC-751A, SP-20, Dentron MT-3000A, Astron VS-35M, Sirio Gain Master and 80 meter dipole are in the air!

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by saveamerica1 View Post
OK guys,

All suggestions are of course theoretical as i fully understand that some of these options may not be legal if they were to be used in the once free USA.
Thanks for your hypothetical advice

I assume that you're referring to the free status of the USA before the Pilgrims got here.

Get your ham license. No mobile CB or Export is going to get you 50 miles between mobile stations unless one of them is sitting on a mountain top.

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:29 AM
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Hi guy, Yeah 60 miles is going to be a stretch for a mobile. Might happen. Radio alone probably won't quite do it and the high power mobiles are very pricey.

Consider the "medium power" (25-35 watts) mobiles and an amp in the 500 watt range. And I think it's going to take SSB for you too.

Can't go wrong with a Texas Star amp and you can buy them new. A TS 500 or 667V would be good choices.

For shortened antenna I would recommend a Wilson 5000 or if can go longer a good ol' 102" stainless steel whip.

Like Big Bob suggested.... ham radio would solve your problem instantly....but this will require one or more family members on the other end also becoming hams. But they've made it SO easy. No morse code anymore.

Good luck!
Welcome to the WWRF. Plenty of Free Parking and with 5,000 posts you get egg roll

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Old 02-05-2011, 05:59 AM
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Legality aside, there are no mobile radios that can reliably give you 50 - 60 miles of range at 11 meters without taking propagation into account. That 'reliable range' is affected by the transmitted power and by directional antennas, but 'Momma Nature' is the primary controller with 'her' propagation (skip), there's just no way around 'her'. That doesn't mean that it's not possible, but it certainly does mean that reliability is going to be a 'crap-shoot'/chancy/"don't count on it"!
Ham radio does offer more reliability for that sort of range because of the availability of more bands of use. The lower HF bands give you a more likely chance of communications over a 50 - 60 mile range. And the VHF/UHF repeaters also can do that sort of range under some conditions (mainly if there are any around and possibly 'linked'). Tossing a mobile into that mix can be a problem because of a mobile antenna's capabilities/limitations.
The 'catch' is that idea of "reliability" and the particular circumstances you have. Wish it weren't that way, but it is...
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:39 AM
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Ther is no way you will be able to when the skip starts up again soon.MY advice is get a mag257hp and a 102inch whip...You will get a little height out of them,and a mag257hp and a good antenna for the house.Good luck,your best bet is get you tech lic and use a repeater,that will get your milage...73s de JW
73 to all my friends,and you too Mr Berry unit 512 hope you reall like my Siltronix 1011d you never paid for.n0zna

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Old 02-05-2011, 01:15 PM
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As I read your post you are talking about base to base between you and family that lives 50-60 miles away.
If at least one of you has a beam antenna and the other has a good omni with average conditons you would be able to communicate very well.
If the skip was running hot and heavy as it used to years ago unless you both have good beams (at least 4 element) then you would have trouble.

What I would suggest is that you both have a good SSB type radio and as a minimum 3 element beams and then you would have no trouble talking unless there was local interference at either end of the qso. The SSB signal punches through much better than normal am modulation.

I have talked from mobile to base using SSB over 50 miles many times with perfect comms. Using AM 30 miles is at the edge from mobile to base. Both these cases using omni for base. Using a beam will extend both ranges but more so the SSB.

Years ago had a friend that lived 112 miles from me and I had stacked 3s and he had moonraker 6. We could talk just fine unless there was someone very close by running power and bleeding over anytime day or night. We were also both using Cobra 148s on SSB. I was in the mobile one night going back home from his place and we talked until I was over 75 miles away.

Anyway that is what I have done real world using the CB radio that the FCC says is a CB radio. If you get those so called CB radios that are really amature radios that have been modified then you will of course have more power getting to the antenna but it is hard to beat the receiver that is in the cobra 148 on SSB.
Radio, still the most fun way to communicate.

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Old 02-05-2011, 02:05 PM
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In regards to the last post, just so long as the one beam is a vertical beam - it should work out fine.
Better still - to have two beam antennas.
Just so long as they are both vertical or both horizontal - or both are dual polarity.
But radiohobby is quite right; one beam will do in a pinch . . .

Just remember, that a beam antenna's 'polarization' is important. If you use a horizontal beam trying to talk to a vertical antenna; they have wave cancellations and the signal gets reduced on receive and transmit. You don't want that to happen. Even a three element beam can be made to work horizontal or vertical. Antenna height is very important for the vertical; not so much for the beam. But it helps to put them both as high as you can SAFELY install them. Watch out for power wires!!!
BASE: Kenwood TS-2000, GAP Titan DX, Diamond X50A, Sirio SY27-4, and IMAX 2000.
MOBILE: Galaxy DX99V w/RF Limited CR-577 mic, Sirio Z-180. Yaesu FT-8800R & Diamond NR-770.

Last edited by Robb; 02-05-2011 at 05:49 PM.

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