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CB's & Expectations

I note the chatter about CB's and SWR....and the comments about 
range of conversation.

As an old CB user with a Cobra 19-channel sideband model (a dandy, 
but a behemoth) in  the attic and a more compact, newer model next to it. 
I have never *consistently* experienced radio range over 5 miles 
plus/minus. Please note that most of my use was in the hilly terrain of 
Washington state, where range is naturally limited.  I have always 
used the good ole Radio Shaft SWR meter to tune the antennas.  I have 
used Radio Shaft gutter mounts, full length metal whips, and 
somewhere I have a 4-foot "Long Ranger" which I used for some years 
on the front lip of the hatch in my 1977 Monza Spyder.  None gave a 
great deal more range than others.  I do find that the magnetic mount 
I sometimes use does not give great range.

In the relative flat-lands of Texas, I would suppose that one could 
get more range, but I also expect that for a standard CB running 
legal output power, transmissions of more than10 miles would be 
unusual.  I'm not saying it does not occur, but conditions seldom 
allowed it in my experience.  Realize that CB transmissions
depend on a number of things:

1)  Ground plane and contact; the best antennas ground to metal, and 
the amount of ground plane biases the sensitivity in a given 
direction.  Ferinstance, if you mount a whip antenna on the rear 
bumper of a pickup, you'll have more range in front than behind.  For 
balanced range, antenna placement near the center of the ground plane 
is best.

2)  Atmospherics.  Radio waves have their own habits, and on some 
days, you will get better range.

3)  Terrain.  If you're among tall hills, you'll be lucky to get 2+ 
miles.  (BTDT in the Washington and Idaho mountains...).  If you're 
in Buddy Hollyville (Lubbock, TX) you may be able to talk a 
loooonnnngggggg way.

4)  Other radio traffic.   The more people cluttering the frequency, 
the higher you have to run your squelch, limiting sensitivity.

I gotta go 10-10 on da side, buddies.

Al Powell, Ph.D.                 Voice:  409/845-2807
107 Reed McDonald Bldg.          Fax:    409/862-1202
College Station, TX 77843