HOW ANTENNAS WORK IN GENERAL, ANY ANTENNA, A LESSON IN THE SHOCKWAVE ALSO AND HOW THEY WORK.
Article from May 1, 2017 Archived.
The following is about antennas in general. This includes omni's and yagi's. This is just going to be a simple description that hopefully everyone can understand. I'm not going to get into Lambda and any difficult calculations here. I'm just going to keep it simple.
"An antenna LENGTH is based on its FREQUENCY." Read it again! Get this in your brain! The frequency determines the length! This is physics and not theory. This is a fact!
A full wave signal at 11-meters is 36'. Therefore, a half-wave signal would be 18' approximately. This is just the approximate size of the radiated electromagnetic signal. A 5/8 wave would be (36 x .625) 22.5'. And for those with a .64 hard-on, it would be (36' x .640) 23'.
Now lets talk about this 5/8 vs .64 bullshit...I mean, STUFF for a minute. Back in 1934 (or so) a couple of broadcast engineers were trying to maximize their antenna pattern (gain) for their AM broadcast station. Through much experimentation, they found that if you extended the radiator to .64 wavelength, you could maximize your gain from a ground mounted monopole antenna. Remember, for the AM broadcast band, the tower IS the antenna. Its mounted on the ground and ground radials are buried and shoot out from the base. This is the important part...if the antenna went longer than .64 wavelength, the whole pattern would implode and all the gain would go away! Its like blowing up a balloon and then it pops! This is why you don't see 3/4 wave and full wave monopole antennas! So, .64 is the magic number for maximum gain of a ground mounted monopole!
As you remember, the length of the antenna is based on the frequency and as the frequency goes up or down, the length goes down or up respectively. When I say length, I'm speaking of the ELECTRICAL LENGTH of the radiator or antenna. The antenna gets shorter as you go up in frequency (or longer as you go down in frequency). So lets say I had a perfect .64 wave antenna on channel 6. When I went to channel 40, my antenna would be ELECTRICALLY LONGER than .64 wave and my signal would implode because as I go up in frequency, my antenna needs to get shorter to remain at .64 wave. If you don't understand this, ask me and I'll try to explain it better.
So lets say I had a perfect .64 wave on channel 40. On channel 6 I would only have a 5/8 (.625) wave antenna. On 26.915 I'd have something between a 1/2 wave and a 5/8 wave. You see, the frequency changed, but the electrical length of the antenna did not! With the antenna staying at the same length, as I went down in frequency the electrical length of the antenna effectively got shorter.
So what's the difference between 5/8 (.625) wave and .640 wave. The answer is .015 wave or 6". Its not even worth arguing about. If you set your antenna for 5/8 wave on channel 20, it will be .64 wave on 27.555 (approx) or less than 5/8 wave on channel 6. Whoop-di-do! When people start frothing at the mouth about their .64 wave antenna being better than a 5/8 (.625) wave antenna, I roll my eyes and ask, ".64 at what frequency?" All I get is deer-in-the-headlights because they have no idea what I just asked!
If you want to be a hard ass, then pick your highest frequency you run, and using a field strength meter, adjust your antenna until you get maximum field strength at that frequency. If you go longer and you see the field strength go down, that's your signal imploding! Make it shorter until you get a maximum reading. Now you have a .64 wave at THAT FREQUENCY ONLY! As you go down the channels, the antenna will be electrically shorter than .64, but at least your signal will not be imploding! So can we finally put all this .64 bullshit to rest please?!
So lets talk about antennas! Since we know that the frequency determines the length of the signal and therefore the length of the antenna, lets talk about the physical antenna elements. A piece of wire or tubing will have a specific electrical length based on it's diameter. I'm going to illustrate this by using round numbers to make it easier to understand. Don't come back to me later and say my measurements are wrong; I know they are wrong! This is for illustration only!
A 12-gauge wire for 11 meters is physically 18' long for an electrical half-wave. A 1/2" metal tube would be 17' 6" to be the same electrical length as the 12-gauge wire. A 1" metal tube would only be 17' long. So all three elements have the same "electrical length", but their physical length is different because of their different diameters. This is important to understand when we build antennas using different size tubing. We call these "STEPS"!
So Jay makes the I-10K and his bottom tube 1.25" diameter at 6' long. That first tube has a specific electrical length. Then he slips in a 1.125", then a 1", etc. When he is done, he will have taken the electrical lengths of each "step" until he has an electrical 5/8 wave at 27.205 MHz.
Now here comes Chris. He doesn't want to use 6' tubes because it costs more to ship, so he uses 4' tubes. In order to compensate for the shorter tubes, he decides to go with a 1.5" bottom tube, followed by a 1.375", and a 1.25" and then a 1.125", and then a 1", etc. When he is done, he will also have an electrical 5/8 wave antenna at 27.205 MHz. Since Chris used larger tubes, his antenna will be PHYSICALLY shorter than the I-10K. His steps at 4' are also shorter than 6' steps of the I-10K. BUT ELECTRICALLY, BOTH ANTENNAS ARE IDENTICAL!
Is this clear? The next time I hear some numb-nuts say a Maco V58 is not really a 5/8 wave because its only 21 feet long, I'm going to shoot him! The goal here is the ELECTRICAL LENGTH, not the physical length! If I used 3" tubing all the way up, it might only be 15' long to be the same electrical length of the 18' 12-gauge wire! The antenna designer figured out how long the antenna needs to be to be a 5/8 wave for 11 meters. They took into consideration the diameters of their tubing and their lengths.
When all of this is done, a 5/8 is a 5/8 is a 5/8...electrically speaking. This means the Maco works just as well as the Shockwave or the I-10K ELECTRICALLY!
So what makes the Shockwave or the I-10K better than the Maco? For one, the feedpoint is better and has less loss than the Maco. More signal into the main radiator, the better it will get out. The Shockwave/I-10K both use an elevated feed system (just like the Avanti Sigma 5/8). The Maco and the Super Penetrator do not. There is a capacitive component in the base of these antennas and in order to be resonant, inductance is added to counter act the capacitance. This equals loss. The Shockwave and the I-10K do not suffer from this. So, while a 5/8 is a 5/8 is a 5/8, the more efficient antenna gets more signal in the air.
Now lets talk about the Shockwave specifically. It doesn't come with a manual (which bothers me so I'm writing one). However, through exhaustive testing, Chris and crew determined the proper length of the antenna and made marks. They set all the overlaps at 6" and tuned the tip to get an electrical 5/8 wave on channel 20 (assuming). They could have set them at 7" which would have only made the tip longer. Avanti set their overlaps at 4", which made their tip shorter. The reason for the 6" is purely mechanical. 6" is stronger than 4". If you want, you can set yours at 8", but you will have to experiment with a field strength meter to get the tip right. It will be longer than the original marks.
I know the testing Jay did on the I-10K and I KNOW the calculations he gives in his manual are good for his antenna. Unfortunately, since the Shockwave uses different diameters and lengths of tubing, those calculations are useless for the Shockwave. Is this starting to make sense now?!
I'm not sure how Chris got his lengths or if they are even right because I don't know what he did. All I can do is take his word for it until I get a chance to take a field strength meter and test it myself. With Jay's antenna, I can calculate 5/8 wave, .64 wave, .605 wave, etc. I can't do this with the Shockwave. All I got is those damn marks.
Trombones! What do they do and how do they do it? The trombone system was not invented by Jay and he would be the first person to tell you that. What Jay did was per-fect it! Since you can only tune antennas in 1/4 wave increments, we need another 1/8 wave to get the antenna to 3/4 wave (5/8 + 1/8 = 6/8 or 3/4). But wait, if we go past .64 wave, our signal implodes! This is why the vertical element is electrically 5/8 long and the top trombone is horizontal and out of phase of the main radiator. Brilliant! The top trombone fine tunes your frequency without changing your main radiator! Push it in and it gets electrically shorter, or better on higher frequencies. If you are using your analyzer, look at the "X= " change as you push and pull the trombone in and out. Use the dial to find where X=0. If that reading is on too high of a frequency, pull the trombone out and check again. Don't worry about your SWR at this point. Just get X=0 on your desired frequency. For me its 27.205. Now, adjust your bottom trombone until you get R=50. Your SWR is now perfect! But go back and check for X again as it has moved. Just go back and forth adjusting the top then the bottom trombone until you get X=0 and R=50 on your desired frequency. DONE!
Everything else with these antennas is mechanical. Make the ground plane elements all the same size. What's important on these antennas is the EXPOSED LENGTHS! The overlap is not seen by the signal. If all the tubes are 4' and we want 6" overlap, make the exposed lengths 42" If one tube is 1/8" shorter because of the saw blade thickness, then make your overlap 5 7/8" instead of 6". Make your exposed lengths the same! This is more important on the ground radials since there are 4 matching elements. Its not the end of the world if you are off a 1/8" so don't go bat shit crazy trying to get it perfect,
I got more to say on the subject but I'll save it.
YOUR COMMENTS TO OUR WEBSITE E-MAIL REGARDING OUR ARTICLE ON THE SHOCKWAVE
You have to decide if the price is worth it. It is a very high quality antenna but has a large price tag. It will work a lot better than an a99 but so will a penetrator or 5/8 maco.
These aluminum antennas aren't plug and play like an a99. You have to assemble and tune them correctly then seal off coax connections to keep moisture out. I know people that have went back to an a99 from a maco because they couldn't get it tuned or had swr issues when it was raining.
When I switched from an imax to a maco v5000 I noticed a big difference in RX and TX. When I switched to the shockwave there may have been some small improvement but the best part is I don't have to worry about the antenna failing if I put some watts through it. Dallas Texas
I would do the P-500 and be happy once tuned and sealed.
They are built like a tank 543. Seen a couple photos of them and man, they are HD that's for sure. The ones I have seen pbotos of with an analyzer at the feedpoint showed tuned where they were marked for 11m at around 27.205 or so I think it was. Showed very good R and X values as well as good vswr. This was just 10ft off the ground as well from what I read and saw in the photos. If I were in the market for a new antenna (vertical), that would be one at the top of the list. It is very well constructed, and rated for very high winds. Sweet antennas!! But they aren't cheap. But then again good aluminum and time to build them like they are built takes time and that equals money. The antennas are worth the money if you plan on running power or have bad weather areas with high winds and such. Anyway, just my 1 penny worth. Have a good day.
The above comments and many more were sent to our e-mail address at, [email protected] But we simply don't have the space to post all.
Our Final Word:
The Shockwave antenna is no doubt a quality antenna when it comes to durability and heavy duty craftsmanship. But that doesn't make it necessarily a good, or bad, antenna. The guy above was right in saying the expense of high-grade aluminum has exponentially risen. I will also say it is good anytime a new product hits the market in this hobby. It creates a lot of back and forth chatter, either good or bad, but any conversation is good for the market and good for this hobby we care about. On the other hand, the expense is something that one has to quantify personally. Is it worth the extra money or not? I did recently see a video of a vendor for the Shockwave on a You Tube video stating "But is the Maco 5/8 going to last you 20-25 years?" I'd say the answer to that is WILL ANY GROUND PLANE OR BEAM MAKE IT THAT LONG? To say you know it will last that long is impossible. I have an Antron 99 that is 23 years old, and I think it's only because it is a completely vertical antenna with no ground radials and, oh yeah, a lot of luck. I also didn't have $300.00 in it to cry over if it failed. To say you know it WILL last that long simply isn't true. I have yet to have any other antenna in my 46 years of being on radio that lasted 23 years other than this A99 in the backyard.
So, you can buy the Maco or the Shockwave or the this or that, you can save money or splurge. That decision is up to you. The only thing about the Shockwave that bothers me is the price. The majority of radio folks simply cannot afford it. I could have this antenna, fortunately, but simply can't justify $ 300 + for any antenna other than beams. Certainly not a ground plane. That's one person's opinion. In my younger years I'd have probably bought one of these expensive antennas simply because I had things to learn, had not grown up, and had a family, which makes that 300 + bucks look good in the budget. But when you're young you don't have your priorities straight. I know that a lot of the people I hear on these antennas, this applies to you also, but not everyone. And I hope who reads this that you're grown up enough to hear another opinion, like mine, and not be offended. It is not a shot at anyone, it is opinions on an antenna and that only.
As far as the success or popularity of this Shockwave antenna, as with any newer product in this business, it's a wait and see game. Remember when the A99 hit the market? For what the A99 was, it is now tried and true and no doubt worth the $39.99 it cost back then, now upwards and close to $85.00. But you kind of know what you're getting. You probably also remember the ridiculous statements by Antron of 9.9 DB GAIN. What a straight-up lie that was. I think we knew better than that when we bought one even then.
But, you will know in a couple of years what the Shockwave is by its reputation, too. It is, however, eye candy to the radio operator just by its mere mass and presentation. If it performs as good as it looks, then enough said. However, I think it still has stiff competition with the amount of old antennas that's been on the market for years, which also don't cost almost 300 dollars and up.
Anyway, hope to hear whatever you're running on the air next time.
Happy DXing, 73's
Compiled by HODCBR April 11, 2017
If you wish to comment on this article: [email protected]
Solarcon I-MAX 2000 CB/Ham Radio Base Station Vertical Antenna - 24'
Solarcon IMAX-2000 24' Omni-Directional Fiberglass Base Station Antenna - 5000 Watts. Handles 5000 Watts. Full 5/8 Wave Antenna. 24 Antenna in Three 8 Easy to Assemble Sections. 5.1dBI Gain. Heavy Duty Mounting Plate withstands Greater Wind Loads. SWR Tuning. Broad Bandwidth that Covers Far Above and Below the Traditional CB Channels. DC Grounded. Insulated up to 14 500 Volts. Can be Used for Export Commercial and 10 Meter Ham.
We will have a verdict on the IMAX 2000 soon.
The IMAX 2000 has been given way too much credit being a great antenna. I frankly think they fall far short of the introductions many have given to this particular 5/8 wave. It has been my experience that the IMAX is almost impossible to obtain desired VSWR levels. Still working on it so more updates later on this one. 6/1/2017
Update: The IMAX is working better since a better ground was put in place. However, this radio does not like a lot of power. I also have the VSWR to 1:3 to 1:5 across the band. I can run 60W DK and swing to 130 W all day long, but anything more than that and I'm having to back off after about 20 minutes or less due to garbling. I think it is still going to come down off my tower/pole combo and up with the old A99 that can take the power. Also, there are certain people I cannot hear that I hear on my Antron, which is very confusing. 7/3/2017
Ok, I give up on the IMAX and its brand new coax and great grounding system. It is a moody antenna for sure.
I don't like moody antennas. Great SWR and all, the A99 will replace it as it has given zero trouble for the last 23 years. If it breaks, I'll just get another one. An good antenna you should never have to even check it unless it's after a storm. Just put it up and forget it.
So IMAX, Thumbs Down. 7/24/2017
10/9/2017 After having a flare-up of Rheumatoid arthritis, I thought I'd get back to my IMAX problems. I noticed that this antenna should be at least 1 from any metal objects. Since I live in a mobile home, this may be the problem. The SWR is nearing 2.5 when raining, another problem. Check back to see what results I get.
THIS REVIEW PROVIDED COURTESY OF TECH 833 FROM COPPER ELECTRONICS
THE INTERCEPTOR BASE ANTENNA I-10K
Originally posted by Heart of Dixie
CB Radio Club 7/14/2012
Since I work in the commercial radio field, I am accustomed to using very high quality components in radio systems. When I am asked to review CB antennas, I always wonder why many are built with such a light-duty purpose in mind. On hilltop commercial radio sites, antennas must work reliably and consistently through 100 MPH+ winds, ice, rain, high heat, etc. Most of the manufacturers of commercial antennas do an exceptional job of designing with this in mind and their products last for years and years without a second thought. The LAST thing the local police dept. wants is for their repeater station antenna to fail in the middle of a rainstorm, right?
CBers living in windy, snowy or icy winter areas, know that antenna replacement and staying off the air until winter is over has been looked at as ‘part of the territory’. Copper Electronics sells a lot more base station antennas in the winter than any other time of year, likely due to storm damage. All of the commercial quality antennas I have installed skate through the seasons without a second’s thought. The I-10K is the closest thing I have ever seen to a ‘install it and forget it’ commercial quality antenna for the CB band.
The I-10K is a commercial quality 5/8 wave ground plane style antenna made by Jay in the Mojave that is designed primarily for 10 and 11 meters but can also be retuned for frequencies from HF high band through VHF lowband. The I-10K resembles the Maco V-5/8 (also available at Copper Electronics). Both the I-10K and the Maco V-5/8 are aluminum 5/8 wave antennas with four ¼ wave aluminum ground planes, and both perform about the same. Both use an external aluminum matching system that can handle lots of power. You have to look closer at the I-10K to see the other differences like an extremely overbuilt aluminum radiator and a strip aluminum capacitive top-hat. The first thing you notice when you get the I-10K box is that it is really heavy! There aren’t just a few pieces of cheap aluminum in the box, there’s a large quantity of thick-wall aluminum material weighing down the box. According to Jay, the I-10K uses aircraft grade aluminum for its entire construction. Aircraft aluminum is a stiffer alloy that has very little bending give and is also slightly heavier than your typical aluminum stock. The I-10K gains even more strength by utilizing double wall tubing in stress points, double wall tubing in the base and at each of the joints in the vertical element. The resulting aluminum radiating element is very, very stiff and does not sway much at all. I should note, all this tubing and added material provides extra strength, but that also means extra construction time and effort, especially compared to the popular A99 and Imax antennas. The I-10K requires some nominal assembly effort. The only part of the I-10K assembly that I would describe as ‘difficult’ is the matching section. The ground planes and radiator go together very easily despite being very parts intensive. The ‘trombone tuning’ takes a little trial and error. I found it easier to slide all the pieces together without fasteners and clamps first to make sure I got things right. Then, I added the clamps and fasteners later. The I-10K instructions are very clear and well illustrated with digital photos and detailed drawings. I had very little trouble figuring it out. Even the double wall sections are very clearly detailed in instruction sheet drawings and should not be a problem to assembled.
Some tower models are like huge Mecharno sets that can be put together one piece at a time making them the perfect choice when space is at a premium.
Any tower is going to need a good base with the ideal situation being a solid area of concrete that tower can be set directly into or bolted on. This can either be a suitable flat roof that will handle the weight or by laying down a concrete base on available ground.
Even though the tower and antennas combined weight will be kept to a minimum by the use of lightweight materials try to economize on the base and the first heavy winds will happily turn the whole setup into scrap metal very quickly.
Using Amateur Beams
HF beam antennas designed for amateur radio enthusiasts will work at CB frequencies but do require some additional equipment to function properly. Because amateur HF antennas are wide band they will need to be used via a antenna tuner to get the best possible match to your CB radio and help keep that dreaded SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) at a reasonable level and give maximum RF power transfer.
The other problem with using a full HF beam is there is a lot of extra material in the construction of the beam that a typical CB user will never need, this adds to the cost not only of the antenna itself but might push the rotator needed into a higher weight class which is also going to seriously push the price of installing a directional system higher again.
Whole directional setups including antenna, rotator and tower can often by purchased at good prices if you have or can arrange a method of transporting it.
The Price of Serious CB use
A quality constructed basic two element CB radio quad can be bought new for under 300 USD but that is the quad alone without a rotor or the other bits and pieces needed when installing a new antenna system. The same quality higher gain 8 element beast isn’t going to leave you much change from 1000 USD and that’s before you even start mixing concrete for the tower, throw in everything else you need including the time needed to get the whole system up and running and its going to take one dedicated CB radio user to justify it all.
WHY MOSFET's FAIL
There are quite a few possible causes for device failures, here are a few of the most important reasons:
MOSFETs have very little tolerance to over-voltage. Damage to devices may result even if the voltage rating is exceeded for as little as a few nanoseconds. MOSFET devices should be rated conservatively for the anticipated voltage levels and careful attention should be paid to suppressing any voltage spikes or ringing.
High average current causes considerable thermal dissipation in MOSFET devices even though the on-resistance is relatively low. If the current is very high and heatsinking is poor, the device can be destroyed by excessive temperature rise.
MOSFET devices can be paralleled directly to share high load currents.
Massive current overload, even for short duration, can cause progressive damage to the device with little noticeable temperature rise prior to failure.
If the control signals to two opposing MOSFETs overlap, a situation can occur where both MOSFETs are switched on together. This effectively short-circuits the supply and is known as a shoot-through condition. If this occurs, the supply decoupling capacitor is discharged rapidly through both devices every time a switching transition occurs. This results in very short but incredibly intense current pulses through both switching devices.
The chances of shoot-through occurring are minimised by allowing a dead time between switching transitions, during which neither MOSFET is turned on. This allows time for one device to turn off before the opposite device is turned on.
When switching current through any inductive load (such as a Tesla Coil) a back EMF is produced when the current is turned off. It is essential to provide a path for this current to free-wheel in the time when the switching device is not conducting the load current.
This current is usually directed through a free-wheel diode connected anti-parallel with the switching device. When a MOSFET is employed as the switching device, the designer gets the free-wheel diode "for free" in the form of the MOSFETs intrinsic body diode. This solves one problem, but creates a whole new one...
A high Q resonant circuit such as a Tesla Coil is capable of storing considerable energy in its inductance and self capacitance. Under certain tuning conditions, this causes the current to "free-wheel" through the internal body diodes of the MOSFET device. This behaviour is not a problem in itself, but a problem arises due to the slow turn-off (or reverse recovery) of the internal body diode.
MOSFET body diodes generally have a long reverse recovery time compared to the performance of the MOSFET itself. This problem is usually eased by the addition of a high speed (fast recovery) diode. This ensures that the MOSFET body diode is never driven into conduction. The free-wheel current is handled by the fast recovery diode which presents less of a "shoot-through" problem.
If the MOSFET gate is driven with too high a voltage, then the gate oxide insulation can be punctured rendering the device useless. Gate-source voltages in excess of +/- 15 volts are likely to cause damage to the gate insulation and lead to failure. Care should be taken to ensure that the gate drive signal is free from any narrow voltage spikes that could exceed the maximum allowable gate voltage.
MOSFET devices are only capable of switching large amounts of power because they are designed to dissipate minimal power when they are turned on. It is the responsibility of the designer to ensure that the MOSFET device is turned hard on to minimize dissipation during conduction. If the device is not fully turned on then the device will have a high resistance during conduction and will dissipate considerable power as heat. A gate voltage of between 10 and 15 volts ensures full turn-on with most MOSFET devices.
Little energy is dissipated during the steady on and off states, but considerable energy is dissipated during the times of a transition. Therefore it is desirable to switch between states as quickly as possible to minimise power dissipation during switching. Since the MOSFET gate appears capacitive, it requires considerable current pulses in order to charge and discharge the gate in a few tens of nano-seconds. Peak gate currents can be as high as 1 amp.
MOSFETs are capable of switching large amounts of current in incredibly short times. Their inputs are also relatively high impedance, which can lead to stability problems. Under certain conditions high voltage MOSFET devices can oscillate at very high frequencies due to stray inductance and capacitance in the surrounding circuit. (Frequencies usually in the low MHz.) This behaviour is highly undesirable since it occurs due to linear operation, and represents a high dissipation condition.
Spurious oscillation can be prevented by minimising stray inductance and capacitance around the MOSFETs. A low impedance gate-drive circuit should also be used to prevent stray signals from coupling to the gate of the device.
MOSFET devices have considerable "Miller capacitance" between their gate and drain terminals. In low voltage or slow switching applications this gate-drain capacitance is rarely a concern, however it can cause problems when high voltages are switched quickly.
A potential problem occurs when the drain voltage of the bottom device rises very quickly due to turn on of the top MOSFET. This high rate of rise of voltage couples capacitively to the gate of the MOSFET via the Miller capacitance. This can cause the gate voltage of the MOSFET to rise resulting in turn on of this device as well ! A shoot-through condition exists and MOSFET failure is certain if not immediate.
The Miller effect can be minimized by using a low impedance gate drive which clamps the gate voltage to 0 volts when in the off state. This reduces the effect of any spikes coupled from the drain. Further protection can be gained by applying a negative voltage to the gate during the off state. eg. applying -10 volts to the gate would require over 12 volts of noise in order to risk turning on a MOSFET that is meant to be turned off ! Rapid switching of large currents can cause voltage dips and transient spikes on the power supply rails. If one or more supply rails are common to the power and control electronics, then interference can be conducted to the control circuitry.
Good decoupling, and star-point earthing are techniques which should be employed to reduce the effects of conducted interference. The author has also found transformer coupling to drive the MOSFETs very effective at preventing electrical noise from being conducted back to the controller. ******* Antistatic handling precautions should be used to prevent gate oxide damage when installing MOSFET or IGBT devices. But are very reliable once they are soldered in place.
SAY GOODBYE TO THE CB BASE STATION RADIO
Back in the glory days of CB radio, when there were many millions of people using the radio daily, the radio companies were coming out with new base radio models every year. The Uniden Madison, Cobra 2000 GTL, Uniden Washington, and CPI CP2000 are just a few of those great models that were popular in the 80's and 90's and are still used across the United States today.
Fast forward to 2017 and the CB hobby is still going fairly strong, but the manufacturers have placed almost all of their emphasis on mobile radios. Base radios are expensive and with a smaller market of consumers the manufacturers are trying to play it safe. The result is that there are very few CB base station radios being sold and for SSB your choices get narrowed even further.
While there were some recent attempts by a couple of companies to make SSB base stations (Cobra 2010 GTL and the Cherokee CBS-1000) both radios weren't great performers and left hobbyists asking for something better. After all the dust had settled there were only two SSB base stations left on the market: the Ranger TR-696F and the Galaxy DX 2547 (above). While the radios may look different, they are in fact very similar internally. These days the TR-696F is virtually impossible to find so the final chapter in CB base radios will likely be written by the above Galaxy DX 2547.
Not sure many of you radio geeks have noticed or not, but the Base Station CB Radios are becoming extinct. It has been now 7 years since the above Galaxy 2547 was in manufacturing. So what do you do if you want a base? Your best bet is to check all local radio repair shops. Many times they will have several radios for sale as is. Estate Sales are usually filled with very old stuff, but nothing doable towards any type of modifications and you'd be lucky it even works. Then there's always E-Bay. However, radios such as Tram and Browning models are going to set you back more than you probably want to pay, at least most times, and even then there is something defective and you'll have to immediately pay for repairs. Which for Tram and Browning Eagles is very expensive. Many of your newer CB'ers are oblivious to what a Tram or Browning Eagle is anyway. You radio veterans are the ones that would hover around those radios,but even the older radio geeks have stuck with a little newer radio than those. Back to buying one of the scarce base stations, someone will most always be selling out of the hobby or need the money, and this is your best bet. Someone needing some cash will be selling a radio that is more than likely top shelf, a radio that is ready to plug and play. You can talk to the one that is selling the radio and probably get a good deal on top of that! But these radios won't last forever so if you're going to grab one, don't wait years and years to do so because they just won't be there. Like the D-104, there are only a few out there left but the price just keeps going up year after year. if you do get your hands on a good radio, keep it. And as always,take care of it.
Posted 1/25/17 Heart of Dixie CB
DON'T LAUGH, YOUR HOBBY COULD BE MAKING YOU SICK?
Hey You! 2,000 to 15,000 Watt Amplifier Guys.
Read This. It may save your life.
If you are a serious CB radio guy or gal, then please read this information on the dangers of RF and its effects on your body.
This is by far one of the most important articles we've posted on the Heart of Dixie Website. I've been doing CB radio since I was ten years of age, starting in 1969. We never ran any power back then due to the FCC strict polices that were not just a threat, like they are now, but penalties were actually carried out. But the power being used today on CB radios is "off the hook" to use a phrase someone else made popular. However, RF power is a dangerous thing and, if not tempered correctly, can kill the radio operator or make your family very sick. Please read the article below and take it seriously.
Courtesy Kollman Radio:
I have for many years preached on what RF energy will do to you. This all came about when CB'ers were stopping by the old shop showing off the multi-alternator systems, feeding their dual amps in the back of their Suburban’s. The scary output was 5,000 watts or MORE!
The antenna of course was either behind their head or on top of the vehicle. Which is a moot point considering anywhere on the car is too close! Forget the legalities for a second. I have been at this since I was ten years old, in 1969. I don’t consider it an accident that so many of the operators I used to look up to, at that time, have died of cancer or tumors. I am not a doctor and don’t play one at all. Yet I still see and talk to those who are not paying any attention.
There are stations in neighborhoods that are operating at 10,000 watts or MORE. One in particular with their kids sleeping in the attic under the antenna! Okay so they didn't know you can’t feel it. Somewhere, sometime the light should go on in their head that the antenna is glowing! What about our neighbors, aren't they glowing too?
This is serious! and since the season is on the way for mobile radio competitions it needs to be brought up. Saturating your body with extreme RF (radiation) has to be thought out. There is no filter for that.
RF exposure is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly. The FCC has numerous articles and literature regarding the dangers of RF to not only the operator, but also people implanted with pacemakers and defibrillators, etc. Please take the time to keep your radio in perspective. There is nothing more important than your family, and I'd imagine you're pretty important to them also.
(Provided as a Service to the Radio Public) Also Courtesy to Kollman Radio.
WHAT'S THE FCC BEEN UP TO AROUND THE COUNTRY?
FCC Proposes to Fine CBer $14,000 for Not Permitting Station Inspection
The FCC continued this month to demonstrate that it's serious about enforcing its rules and regulations, proposing to fine a Florida Citizens Band operator $14,000 for failing to allow FCC agents inspect his station. The Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Tommie Salter of Jacksonville on August 22. The Commission alleged that Salter earlier this year denied permission for agents from the FCC's Tampa Office to check out his station in the wake of renewed complaints of interference to a neighbor's "home electronic equipment." On March 21, the agents monitored radio transmissions on 27.245 MHz and used radio direction-finding techniques to track the signal's source to Salter's residence.
"The agents told Mr Salter about the radio interference complaint from a neighbor and asked if they could inspect his CB radio station," the FCC NAL recounted. "Mr Salter denied the agents' request. The agents verbally warned Mr Salter that refusing to allow an inspection of his CB radio station violated the [Communications] Act and the [FCC] rules and could result in a forfeiture action, but he again denied the request."
The FCC's Forfeiture Policy Statement and its rules set a base forfeiture amount of $7000 for failure to permit inspection. Salter had previously received a Notice of Violation for refusing an inspection request in 2004, the NAL noted, and he also had been fined for operating with a non-certificated transmitter during restricted hours the Commission had imposed following similar interference complaints.
"Misconduct of this type is serious, exhibits contempt for the Commission's authority, and threatens to compromise the Commission's ability to fully investigate violations of its rules," the FCC said in making an "upward adjustment" of $7000 in the proposed forfeiture. In a footnote, the FCC pointed out that its agents do not have to obtain a search warrant prior to requesting a station inspection.
Salter has 30 days to pay the fine or to seek reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
In July the FCC proposed substantial fines for two radio amateurs, alleging deliberate interference with other Amateur Radio communications and failure to properly identify.
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NEW! GIZMOTCHY PRODUCTS INTRODUCES
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LAFAYETTE (RANGE BOOST) DESK MICROPHONE RESTORATION
BELOW: After Fully Chromed Restoration
Slinger - Pennsylvania
Thanks for sharing the process with us.
One man's trash is another man's treasure