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New Base Set-up...Suggestions

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by Doodad, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    Well...Where do I start?

    Never had a base and I'm in the process of acquiring all associated equipment/accessories. All of my radio enjoyment has come from mobile units running up and down the road in my diesel wagon(18 wheeler). Looking for LARGE and QUALITY audio. Ill list what I currently have/want and you folks can hopefully let me know what I need.




    Radio: Using a Galaxy 33 until funds become available for dedicated base unit
    Power: Iota 90 amp power supply
    Amps: Choice of 2 Worldwide 2x4(2290,2879) or Elkin 12 tube w/ spare set of new tubes
    Tower: 55" free standing on the ground waiting to be cleaned/painted/raised
    Coax: 100' unknown mfg. Diameter as large as little finger. Checked good with meter. Came w/tower
    Antenna: Plan on Maco 5000.. Waiting on tower cleanup B4 purchase. Not interested in beams. Surrounded by contacts and beams would look like a helicopter trying to keep up.

    Well that's about it. Look this over and fire away. Open at this point to any suggestions from folks that have been at this for a while. Don't be bashful. I have thick skin and not easily offended. (y)



    Thanks all,
    Dan
     
    #1
  2. Chop

    Chop Active Member

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    hell, other than an antenna, i'd say your ready to talk. you've made a good choice on the maco v5000. i have one and it talks great.
     
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  3. loosecannon

    loosecannon break on through

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    everything you have there sounds great, except for the 2x4 amps.

    the 2x4 amp as a design is just a bad idea to my mind.

    its all about pushing transistors up into their saturation points and fooling wattmeters in my opinion.

    you probably wouldnt have noticed in the mobile, but at home, those amps will most likely cause interference to your TV, computer, phone, or any number of things around your, or your neighbors house.

    run the tube amp and you will always be happy.

    im not sure about the drive for that amp, but i think it should be a low drive amp meaning that you should drive it with 2.5 to 3 watts deadkey, and no more than around 20 watts PEP. (swing)

    ive read that the 12 tube elkin will do about 800 watts, and that they were built for big modulation, not big power numbers on the meter.
    a guy named ray in NC built them back in the day and apparently he will still work on them. no idea how to contact him though.

    make sure you read this, so you know how to TUNE and LOAD that amp, so you dont have to replace the tubes prematurely.

    so, use your base station, or the 33, connected to the amp, and the amp to your wattmeter/SWR meter, then out to the antenna.

    i would buy my own coax, as old stuff tends to have problems with water egress and other maladies.

    get some belden 9913, or LMR400, or at least some new RG8u coax with ends put on the right way. (solder in all four holes on the PL259 connectors!)
    length doesnt matter, just use enough to get from the radio room to the antenna and you will be fine.

    inspect the coax you have and make the call yourself.
    just remember how much it will suck if you have to replace it after you get everything up in the air!

    good luck,
    LC
     
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  4. unit_399

    unit_399 EL CAPO

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    Doodad -

    If you're getting ready to put a base station together, the most important thing is the antenna. All the power in the world won't do you any good if your antenna isn't right. Go to this site: WWW.signalengineering.com/ultimate to see how to properly install and ground your antenna. Then buy some new HIGH QUALITY coax. Use the stuff that came with the tower for jumpers. If you have a transistor amp, I would suggest using it over the tube amp. Tubes tend to degrade over time, and require replacement for mucho dinero. Transistors, on the other hand, last forever if you treat them right. As time goes by, you will learn, and get to know what is the best equipment for you and your situation. But right now, what you have is a great start, and you will have a good STRONG station to begin with. Just take your time putting everything together and don't cut corners. Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing RIGHT (the first time). When you get it all set up, try to hook up with me on 26.955. Good luck.

    - 399
    http://members.aolcom/jjs399/index,html
     
    #4
  5. 74IN

    74IN Well-Known Member

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    I have to say , no need to go overboard on coax.

    Line loss at 27Mhz isn't much.

    I use my LMR 400 for VHF/UHF where it's needed.
     
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  6. 74IN

    74IN Well-Known Member

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    The 2X4 is not a good idea, a 1X4 is better.
     
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  7. KJ4BAE

    KJ4BAE Member

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    I DISAGREE SOME WHAT WITH 74IN ON THE COAX. IN MY OPINION HIGH QUALITY COAX IS VERY IMPORTANT IN A BASE STATION. USE THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN. I WISH YOU GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STATION. BTW THE MACO V-5000 IS A FINE ANTENNA.
     
    #7
  8. KingCobra_CDX882

    KingCobra_CDX882 W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    too a point i agree one should get the best coax they can afford
    but given you have antenna not too far away
    likely LMR400 will do fine for 11 meters

    i do however have issue with that garbage power supply
    best give it up
    i may be able to find a reasonable use for it
     
    #8
  9. 74IN

    74IN Well-Known Member

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    Loss from 100' of LMR 400=.633db @ 27mhz

    Loss from 100' of RG8X= 1.552 db @ 27 mhz.

    .919 db difference. Loss of about 17W out of 100W difference.
     
    #9
  10. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    Just a few thoughts, most of them already covered in the other posts.

    Cleaning up that tower before putting it up is a very good idea. Pay attention to using the correct hardware, it really does make a difference in longevity. Painting. Most steel towers are galvanized, remember that when painting it. Some paint brands don't like galvanized bases. After a few months/years, it starts to look like a snake shedding it's skin. Even if the thing is supposed to be 'fee-standing', a guy or two makes for good insurance (might even use that guy for an antenna). That chunk of concrete holding any tower should be large. The manufacturer's recommendations are for the least that's required! More is better, to some ridiculous extent.

    Used coax. There's usually only two reasons why someone gets rid of coax. They think somethings wrong with it, or it's just too much trouble to save for whatever reason. I've found that with my luck, used coax isn't the best deal around. Only good way of testing it is by seeing what/how it does/works. An ohm meter can't tell you much about coax other than if it's shorted (usually a connector). And without getting into an argument about it, unless you're dealing with VHF or above, the typical RG-8/RG-213 type stuff is really as good as it needs to be. The hardline and 'semi-hardline' types of coax ar definite over-kill on HF. There will always be losses no matter what kind of coax you use, just a fact of life and not that big'a deal, really, or maybe I should say practically.

    Amplifiers. Try things 'barefoot' first, you might be surprised. The typical 'CB' amplifier, transistor or tube, is not the best you can do. The 'best' will always cost more than you'd expect, and is usually a bargain as far as longevity is concerned. Output power works on a logarithmic scale, it ain't linear. Meaning after about 200 - 500 watts, the next really noticable power level is three or four times as much power output. I honestly wouldn't suggest 'going there', but that's up to you. High power is a loser's game to start with. Just as an off the wall suggestion, check on replacing that tube amplifier's tubes before you decide to get one. It may not be as easy or cheap as you might think. One ROT (rule of thumb) is the least number of tubes, the better! Any more than maybe two, and it's a job keeping the thing going, for a number of reasons.

    I can't say anything about an 'Iota' brand power supply, but I can about the 'size'. Larger amounts of available current is very nice! Never know what you may need a few extra amps for. Not having enough is a P.I.T.A.! (Not to mention that a few extra plug-in-strips full of 'wall-warts' is so nice to look at. ;))

    And the most important thing that I've learned over the years is that nothing ever stays the same for long extended periods of time. Meaning that sooner or latter I/you will just have to try something 'new', or different, or just because I/you can! That 'new'/different thingy is almost always "better" than what you had before, so there is no "best" way of doing anything. Sort of. And those 'improvements' are always better, I have never made a mistake! (And I've promised myself I'll never do it again, either!)
    Have fun, that's the whole reason for this mess. Ain't it?
    - 'Doc
     
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