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Discussion in 'CB and Export Equipment and Accessories' started by 9Lives, Oct 21, 2012.
Not really...the dead key can be turned down to match the amp internally, the variable just makes it easier to do, but I find it also makes it easy to bump the power up and overdrive the amp if you not paying attention (read: don't have a meter in line).
My first Cobra 29 didn't have a variable, I just had the DK turned down and matched for the amp I was running...did the same for a Uniden Grant because I didn't want to hack it up to add a variable.
Ouch, a 12 watt dead key? Most Cobra 29's work best with a variable range of say 1-6 watts. Whatever tech set that up for 12 watts on Hi did not know what he was doing.
A variable dead key lets you set the carrier for several different amplifiers with ease. Most small 2 pill amps only need 1-2 watts, beyond that all you are doing is overdriving the amp and making extra heat inside the amp.
A simple way to see what your amp needs is first find out what the max peak wattage is for your amp. I am talking real honest watts here. Once you know this it's simple, you are looking for a 1 to 4 carrier to peak ratio.
With say a Texas Star 350 you put the amp on Hi and have the radio variable power all the way down. Have your watt meter in-line and key the mic, since the TS350 does around 300 watts PEP you want to get the amp to dead key 70-80 watts out. So if your at say 40 watts you slowly turn the variable on the radio up while keyed and watch the dead key out from the amp rise. When you get to 70 watts you stop.
If you want to run alittle light go 50-60 watts out, if you want more carrier to drop a bigger hammer if there is alot of noise then bump it up to 80-90 watts. Again, this example is for a TS350 amp.
Keep in mind that voltage varies with temperature in newer vehicles...if its warm out, run a little on the low side. A TS350 has two 2879s IIRC...mine needs about 1 watt to get a 50 watt carrier from the amp. The TS don't get the wattage out that a class C amp will...mine does between 200 and 225 PEP.