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New guy here. Like to know how to get my feet wet.

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by Radio Face, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Radio Face

    Radio Face Active Member

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    I will try to keep this short. I just got into the CB thing at 48 years old! A friend of mine hooked me up with a radio and now I have three and a base antenna.
    My question to is to some of you seasoned veterans of all things electronic. I have always been fascinated with electronics but they baffle me. How did you guys get proficient at picking up the repair and modification of radios and other electronics. I would love to learn about this stuff but most of the technical stuff I try to read just leaves me scratching my head. LOL
    Is there a method of picking this stuff up with out having a degree in mathematics and electrical engineering? Is it one of those thing were you just look at it enough and you suddenly see it. Like one of those picture that you stare at. LOL. Thanks for the help in advance from a new old guy that may be to old to learn.


     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.

  2. sonoma

    sonoma Sr. Member

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    back in the early 70's I would buy a radio kit or a strobe light kit etc from Radio Shack and put them together. that was my start then started reading electronic books and took a 2 year electronics class in the early 80's for my job.
    some people can pick up radio repairs very easy and some I know of on the forums have been trying for years and still can not work on a radio. doing mods to a cobra 25 or 29 is easy since there is all kinds of mods on the web with pictures that show you how to do them will get you started.
     
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  3. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Sr. Member

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    I can't speak for the seasoned vets, only what I have found. I wanted to know everything and be a master tech. That wasn't much fun when I set the bar that high, it was just frustrating. Instead I just did little repairs and modifications and learned a little about that circuit. As you learn parts of the puzzle things start making more sense.

    Remember to take it one step at a time and have fun.
     
    Radio Face likes this.
  4. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    Walk out into the river....

    Most anything from amateur radio is a better reference than anything you hear on a, or about the CB radio. I come from military, commercial, maritime and broadcast radio. There were odd tales and voodoo beliefs from each and every aspect of my experience. However the truth is in numbers. The reality is not what you hear or even what you see, it's what you can document and prove. Most of radio technology is science. The opinion part comes in when it gets to be Cobra or Uniden, Kenwood or Yaesu, Wilma or Betty, Ginger or Maryanne.

    A recent thread here was "stupid things heard at a CB shop". I could write a small essay on " stupid things I've heard on the ham bands".

    So ya pays yer money and takes yer chances.

    welcome and don't mind the animals
     
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  5. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    And don't feed them either!
     
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  6. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    You have come to the right place. I have learned a ton in the short time I have been here.
     
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  7. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    This book is a well-written intro to the technical side. Emphasis is on practical aspects, no more math than necessary.

    http://cbcintl.com/segbook.htm

    Well worth the price if you're curious about what's inside the radio.

    73
     
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  8. LeapFrog

    LeapFrog Wielding Hanlon's Razor

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    let me preface this by saying I certainly am NOT a seasoned veterans of all things electronic!


    I think the best thing for an absolute beginner, is to pick up some DIY electronics kits (to practice soldering), or buy old and broken hardware to learn on; after a while things become apparent, & "pop out, at you".

    If you don't have one, get yourself a digital multi-meter (Volt/Ohm) and become familiar with taking measurements.

    https://www.livescience.com/53875-resistors-capacitors-inductors.html
    Basic intro to:
    Inductance
    capacitance
    resistance

    Some of the best advice I got on here was to learn how to read schematics, I still laugh when one of my (Ham) friends cannot understand how I can rewire an entire radio from only a schematic, if need be.
    He thinks I'd need another radio (of the same model) to copy, lol (he would, & I have in the past, but not anymore).

    Learning the theory of how basic components work, will help you gain a limited foundation of understanding. You don't need an engineering or mathematics degree to fix old busted up electronics..

    I found this online:
    The response:
    The above quote is something that requires a lil' education to understand and put into practice, I could find the formulae online, but using them effectively would be a challenge. ;-)
    This is like reading Mandarin to me, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
    I'm just a guy spraying dirty controls with some cleaner, kind of like a monkey going through the motions..
    & I'm okay with that, limitations are important to understand.

    My point is, take your time and don't be too harsh on yourself if things don't click immediately. Eventually you start to realize things, I've burned/ruined a few CB sets to get to the point where i'm at today, but I don't make the same mistakes I used to anymore. So in a way I've learned what NOT to do, haha.

    If you think of a radio like an automobile, and break it down into sections; this can help you diagnose a problem, one section at a time. See what all is working correctly first, and then try and locate the failure.


    It is one thing to google "clip D9, spread L10", and a totally different thing to create your own circuit modifications by studying the schematic. We need more people in the latter category, so... welcome!

    Eventually things click, like if I lower resistance here, then X happens, or X increases/decreases because of the change, but you won't need advanced knowledge to get there, just time and practice; practice everyday, push yourself to read and the pieces start to fall into place, if I have a hard time grasping something I research it until it clicks, or I reach out to someone and ask for clarification/explanation. Sometimes, often times.. It is the real-world examples that set off a light bulb for me.

    I second the recommendation for a book by Lou Franklin, from what I gather the book "Understanding & Repairing CB radios" goes into more depth than the "Screwdrivers Expert Guide".
    Honestly I should have made it a point to get one of his books, one day I will.

    You could buy
    The Art Of Electronics by Paul Horowitz, a lot to read though and radio is not really the main focus.

    I don't believe you are too old to learn, mankind is a creature of habit and building new habits or routines can be a challenge, but doable; you have to set yourself a certain amount of time for study, and be 'religious' about it, even if you are just ripping into an old radio.. Do it everyday, and things will happen right before your eyes, realizations..

    Just confirm your understanding against another person's, to be certain you are not learning the "wrong way" or believing in something incomplete/incorrect as fact.

    "You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another".

    73
     
    #8 LeapFrog, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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  9. sunbulls

    sunbulls Sr. Member

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    One source that I really like to view on occasion is MikesRadioRepair on Youtube. He has over 400 teaching type videos. Most of them are easy for the novice to understand as he often gets repetitive. In his repetitive process he explains solutions in several different ways so that novices and advanced techs alike can gain valuable tips or other information. Take what you can from those videos, but remember, there’s no better teacher than hands on experience, especially those learning mistakes made along the way.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mikesradiorepair
     
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  10. Radio Face

    Radio Face Active Member

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    Wow. Thanks for all the info/pointers. You guys are very helpful. I guess I will have to buy up some broke radios and dive in. Also, I will order that book.
     
  11. Radio Face

    Radio Face Active Member

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    No worries on feeding the animals. I'm not a "cage rattler"!
     
  12. BBB

    BBB Well-Known Member

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    Check out "Mr Carlson's Lab" on Utube. (y) Watch him fix some stuff. Canada, America's hat.
     
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