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Crude frequency alignment of SSB using only a second radio....

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by 144inBama, Dec 30, 2020.

  1. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    Here's a CB channel chart with frequencies.



    [​IMG]
     

  2. 144inBama

    144inBama Electricity doesn't kill you, ignorance does.

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    I get that but I'm going by the alignment guide....which it's possible I'm reading wrong.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    Ahhhh - gotcha :) You're talking about during alignment giving it the 1khz tone.
     
  4. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

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    It just may be the "Error" seen in the Frequency Counter - including leads and all other stuff combined.

    The bigger picture is to know that you sound good - on frequency - to them - that is far more important than any frequency counter. You let them be their "center slot" even though you may have to tweak yours to obtain theirs - don't worry about it - focus more on having a conversation - it will get easier with time and number of "contacts" made.

    Its' just better to relax and let experience take the lead in this - don't focus so much on "frequency", QSO's are more of the operator your want to contact - not being on their "center-slot" - wait until winter really hits, you'll know all about drifting then....:mad:

    Relax Luke - you'll be ok, you'll do fine.

    [​IMG]
    Let the Force flow thru you -
    Soon, you'll be blowing away the competition​

    ...Figuratively speaking - of course...
     
    Shadetree Mechanic and 144inBama like this.
  5. 144inBama

    144inBama Electricity doesn't kill you, ignorance does.

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    Well using the slow gate setting, which has a 6 digit display, to make adjustments, I'm dead nuts on all frequencies AM, USB, LSB. Just got a radio check on AM 19 and was told by 3 hands she was clear as a bell. Just waiting for some skip so I can find out if the LSB adjustment went as good.
     
    Shadetree Mechanic and cralt like this.
  6. 144inBama

    144inBama Electricity doesn't kill you, ignorance does.

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    I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the words of wisdom
     
    cralt likes this.
  7. cralt

    cralt Well-Known Member

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    At 6 digit you start getting down the road that will start to make you question your counter. You may find with SSB that your radio reads 27.3850 but everyone sounds good when you go to 27.3852... Are they off? Is my counter off? Na it MUST be them! :confused: Just ask anyone when someone makes the comment about someone being off frequency :unsure: :LOL:
     
    144inBama likes this.
  8. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    If you already have a frequency counter just pick up a BNC to test lead set - they are like $10. Once you have that you can do the alignment using the test points inside the radio and get everything lined up spot on without any guessing.

    Once you learn to do that you can do it on pretty much any radio in a very short period of time. Then your friends will be lined up to have you align their radios :)

    Funny story on this topic - there was a group of 3-4 SSB regulars in an area when I first moved there and I was the new guy and had a brand new RCI-2950 and they mostly had older radios and every time I went to talk to them they were all off freq to me, they all told me my new radio had a problem and must be off. A couple of days later DX rolled in and everyone I heard and talked to was on freq and those 3-4 guys were off and telling other people they were off. Turned out the other guys had set their radios to the guy with the big radio but his radio was off so they all ended up off :)
     
    Grizz420, tecnicoloco, NZ8N and 2 others like this.
  9. 144inBama

    144inBama Electricity doesn't kill you, ignorance does.

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    I've seen that done with test equipment at work....we now have a calibrated meter to check everything else with...after I showed them that little paragraph in our ISO certs..LOL
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  10. Low_Boy

    Low_Boy Sr. Member

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    Zero beat?
     
  11. 144inBama

    144inBama Electricity doesn't kill you, ignorance does.

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    I had to google that.....looks like it mainly applies to CW comms?
     
  12. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

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    Heterodyne - when both signal frequencies are the same - you're "zero beat" - one continuous sound, tone or in SSB case, a "Zero beat" means you sound like you're on "AM" - meaning your SSB TX frequency can be tuned "dead nuts on" - SEE: Squirrels, Dogs, SSB Operators
     
    Low_Boy likes this.
  13. RADIOOMAN

    RADIOOMAN Active Member

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    If you are careful and listen for the zero beat between the rx radio audio output and the audio generator (you will need to make the audio generator audible in some fashion) you can get within a few cycles of the tx radio's frequency
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  14. cralt

    cralt Well-Known Member

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    Normally zero beating is useful if you had a known standard you could calibrate to like WWV on 5,10,15mhz. But you can't get there with a CB. If you wanted to zero beat the radio to another radio you could try doing it this way.

    Put you "reference" radio in AM and make it dead key with no audio. Maybe jump the PTT line on the mic jack. You want it just transmitting a dead carrier.
    Put your to be-tuned-radio on LSB. Use no antenna or lower the gain on the RX radio so your S-meter isn't pegged.
    Now start tuning your radio to the transmitting radio's signal SLOWLY.
    When you get close you will see the S-METER start jumping(beating) up and down quickly. As you get closer it will slow it's jumping. When you get dead on it will be still or ZERO BEATS :D
    When you tune past that you will see it start to jump again.
     
  15. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    Actually you can set up a radio using a test tone against another radio. I do it this way for my CB's with SSB. You can get these for under 40 bucks and it accepts nearly every type of audio cable. It has a test tone selectable at 1 kHz and 440 Hz and level control accessible thru any output jack. I still check it afterwards using voice and it seems to be right on.

    [​IMG]

    Problem is, How do you know for sure the other radio is spot on within a few Hz's?


    These days I have Ham radio's and I occasionally check and adjust it (zero beat) against the strongest WWV signal broadcasted on 2.5,5,10,15,20, and now 25 MHz on CW mode with the break-in set to off. The break in setting on CW determines how you want to listen to your CW signal against the RX signal or turn your transmitted CW signal off to practice. The off setting lets you hear your CW tone at the same time as the WWV tone which makes checking and adjusting easy! Simply use a shorted out cable or jack if you don't have a CW keyer, most use a 1/4 or 1/8 inch TS jack. This is how many of us Hams check are radio's.

    Just like tuning a guitar, I lower the pitch of the signal on the radio I'm adjusting then bring it up till there is no warble. My Icom 7000 easily adjusts this in the menu setting and VFO without opening the radio. Other radio's have their own unique way to adjust this.
    If your ears are still good, you can easily adjust a radio so close to being spot on to where maybe only a dogs hearing may notice it!

    So, being I'm sure my Ham radio's are zero beated to WWV, I can now use a test tone thru my CB radio's mic to check SSB for both TX and RX using the test tone on each radio appropriately.

    Point here is your reference radio HAS to be on target. You can do it properly with external freq counters if you know how to use them or if you know someone that uses Ham radio's for SSB, use theirs as a reference but I would check it first against WWV.

    Maybe another reason to get a Ham rig especially if you enjoy SSB?
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.

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