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Planning to convert a mobile CB into a monster base station.

Discussion in 'CB Radio Modifications' started by mr_fx, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. mr_fx

    mr_fx Sr. Member

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    I have been looking at some older radios like the DAK radios and others, but they are just some expensive and somewhat lacking in features. I mean a guy could buy a mobile radio, an amp and a 2 pill for the cost of something like that.

    Well this got me thinking, what if I fabricated up my own chassis? I could use what ever radio I wanted,and even cram in a small amp and large power supply into the radio, maybe even a frequency counter... Plus I have this old indication that lights up and says 'ON AIR'

    I was thinking that I could put all the mic inputs on the back of the radio and set it up to be keyed by a separate little box.

    I would also be going wideband on the audio

    I have narrowed it down to a few radios I might use for this little idea. - Cobra 148 GTL (side mic)
    - Galaxy DX 88HL
    - Galaxy DX 99V
    - President HR2510
    Might even consider using my Roadpro Titan II 485 (single final version of the Magnum 257)

    As for an amp I have a PA section from and Atlas 350 XL ( 2sc2290 x 4) that would certainly put a little fire in the wire. I also have a Palomar TX-150 (MRF455 x 2) or maybe I will use an RM Italy kl-203 or KL-503. I have even considered the PA section from an RCI 2970 (or better yet a 2970n2)

    I also might tie in a Texas Ranger FC 390 6 digit frequency counter



    as for the power supply I figured that a Mega Watt 36 amp unit sure would be hard to beat for $65 shipped

    and last but not least a nice well thought out aluminum front panel with no wires in the front NONE

    anyone like the idea? anything I should add to it? waste of time?
     
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  2. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    Q: What single thing is the core of a monster base station?

    A: A monster antenna.

    You have said nothing about the most important part - IMO . . .
     
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  3. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Supporting Member

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    An Imax 2000 fed with mountain wire? sounds like a good match.
     
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  4. mr_fx

    mr_fx Sr. Member

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    very true but that's another project entirely isn't it?
     
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  5. you may find this thread very helpful

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    Starburst really put a lot of thought in it and it is very impressive !!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. mr_fx

    mr_fx Sr. Member

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    did not have an account, but he has a youtube channel, very cool
     
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  7. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    That will depend on how one defines a 'monster station' - doesn't it?

    I don't have a monster. Yet, with as little as 80 watts, clean transmit audio, and a four element beam have talked around the world. Imagine my surprise when a station in Moscow, Russia remarked on how loud and clear my station was.
    He asked me just how I did it.
    I replied: "I don't know what you mean, it must be the skip conditions - it is just a simple station".
    He was running over a thousand watts; and I ran only eighty.

    I will disagree with those that say that high quality audio is of no real benefit - especially when talking skip. My experience and opinion is completely opposite of that. That is how I define a 'monster station'. 'Monster high quality audio' is the way to make it happen; and then make sure the rest of the equipment has been thought out well. Over-modulation for any station should be a non-starter. Clean audio is better in every respect.

    When talking skip across the US daily, I use no more than 50 watts.
    People telling me that I am 'blowing smoke' and 'in their driveway'.

    I don't do the AM thing; just side band. AM has the same needs. The real results are the perceptions of others, and this can be fairly inconsistent too. If you want to be the most bodacious station in your town; then put a vertical antenna up higher than anybody else has. But if you mean skip; then a beam is really top dog - no doubt about it!

    I would think that 500 watts of AB1 power and the squeaky clean audio will work too. But the antenna is what will make the largest difference - always. A four element quad beam will always make even a small amount of power sound like one is using a linear.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
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  8. wavrider

    wavrider W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    The antenna is 95% of the station.

    Of course there are always those who will slap a vertical in the air and try to squeeze every last watt out of a radio and amplifier so they can look at the watt meter and know they are "Blowing smoke" irregardless of what they actually sound like when transmitting.



     
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  9. 9C1Driver

    9C1Driver Well-Known Member

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    Not really. You could spend alot of time and money on the radio and amp. If your base antenna is say 15 feet off the ground some guy at 110 feet with a 20 dollar Cobra 25 into a Mod V will cut your lips off. Then you will be back here wondering why.
     
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  10. mr_fx

    mr_fx Sr. Member

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    right around 45ft here
     
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  11. wavrider

    wavrider W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Let's make this simple and easy.

    The ANTENNA is the most important piece of any station. No exception.

    If you can get a yagi say four element at around 70 feet with a 12 watt radio you will be doing the same as another station with a vertical and roughly 50 watts.

    From 20 meters and up the gain is from the antenna. Invest in tower and yagi, rotor etc, etc. You will not regret it and it will last you many decades if installed and maintained.

    I have heard ops running a few thousand $$ radios into a G5RV. The first thing that I think of is why?

    An old hybrid ts 820 into a triband antennae at 70 "' will out perform his few thousand$$ radio into a G5RV. Just common sense.
     
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  12. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Supporting Member

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    All of my antennas are simple wires except for my Imax.

    I don't need to talk to every single station on the planet.
     
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  13. mr_fx

    mr_fx Sr. Member

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    :pop: I totally agree, Hell I run a 102 whip on my Jeep, I used to run a 4 foot Firestik Firefly. I know an antenna can make or break you but again. they are not the same project. I am currently planning to a 4, 5 or 6 element beam, tuned for 27.555MHz, then I will maybe run a tuner for 10 meters, or maybe not.

    I plan to mount the beam on a guy wired (6) at around 50-60 foot:wub:


    But this is just going to be my big dog, woof woof bow bow CB'er rig. ^can not stand it^

    The Yeasu FT-890/AT will be my HAM Bone HF rig. I plan to start HF with my A99 (w/ homemade GPK), the beam that I am building and a loop antenna, I figure that way I can cover 160-10, ESP if I add a tuner into the mix.

    Later I plan to eventually pick up an old sweep tune AB amp with 4 or more tubes, kinda thinking about a D&A Phantom as they are AB and can be had surprisingly cheap

    Converting a mobile to a base station is more about art and fabrication, and attention to detail. If I wanted I could just buy something like a Galaxy Saturn Turbo and add a frequency counter to that and be done with it... but where is the fun in that? :thumbdown:
     
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  14. GnG8d

    GnG8d Well-Known Member

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    Converting a mobile to a base station is nothing more than buying a power supply. You need an antenna, my 4 element quad @ 70' was the best investment I ever made.

    BTW, I programmed CNC machines for 20 years, I could make you a cabinet from billet stock to fit a radio in, with full 3d surfacing if you wanted, but whats the point?
     
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  15. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Supporting Member

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    What will this monster base station be called?

    How soon will it be on the air?

    Will it have a distinguishing roger beep?
     
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