Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am looking to get a CB installed next week.

I was recommended a Uniden Bearcat PC78XLPLUS. It looks cool and all but I think for my needs the cheaper Uniden PRO520XL would probably do fine. The only thing I don't like about the 520 is the microphone it comes with. It looks small and cheap. I could get it and buy a mic upgrade for about $30. But that's about the difference in price between these 2 CBs. So I think if the microphone is a real issue, I should just get the Bearcat.

Of course Im not going to be on it a lot so I don't know if I'm overblowing the value of a better mic or even if there is any problem with the default mic on the PRO520XL. For $30 I may just go for the Bearcat...idk.


Any thoughts or suggestions is welcome. Thanks!
 

·
Mostly old school..!
Joined
·
12,149 Posts
A lot of us on here use the Uniden 520XL, and they work very well. The mic doesn't seem small to me, and is well made. For a $50 radio, I'm quite happy with it. Very clear speaker, and seems to both receive and transmit well. I like that the physical size of the radio is small also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A lot of us on here use the Uniden 520XL, and they work very well. The mic doesn't seem small to me, and is well made. For a $50 radio, I'm quite happy with it. Very clear speaker, and seems to both receive and transmit well. I like that the physical size of the radio is small also.
Thanks for the info. I was only going off the visual appearance in the ad for it and haven't seen one in person so its good to hear that there is no issue with the mic on the 520. Also thanks for the feedback on your experience with it. I'll probably get this one and save a few bucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
any radio will do they are only putting out like 8 watts stock, I run a cobra led in my semi truck and its peaked and tuned and I am very happy with it. ebay has modified radios for good prices

dont bother upgrading the mic its really not worth it. I am not a fan of uniden mic's but thats not the audio its the feel of it. I would recommend installing it and taking it to a cb radio pro and having it peaked and tuned.

I have less than 200 in my setup and it has bluetooth, color change, and it puts out about 80 watts on a bench.
 

·
Mostly old school..!
Joined
·
12,149 Posts
I have the 510. I bought an external speaker, but after installing the radio I found I don't need it. Seems plenty loud enough.
X2, on my 520. The only time I really use the CB is when we're off road, and we're going so slow and close enough together that long distance communication and Jeep/wind noise are not issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
Make sure you keep an eye out for specials. I bought a Uniden Bearcat 880 directly from Uniden. I happened to be in the market at the same time that they were having a massive sale. The unit normally goes for $150, but I paid about $90.

I bought the supplies through Right Channel Radios.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
The pro 510/520XLs are excellent small radios. Well built and with a tune job have a great sound.

However I would either leave the stock mic or spend a few extra dollars and go with a roadking 56 or an Astatic noise canceling mic. Each of these should run you about $50-$60 and are a dramatic improvement in sound and quality, though are really not necessary for your purposes.

The other mics you'll see offered are internally the same as your stock mic, or power mics that can only serve to introduce noise into your transmissions. Do not buy a cheap power mic! They are often sold under the guise that they will make your voice louder on the radio. The only way to achieve this is to have your radio tuned.

Pro 510/520 tune job should run about $15/$25 and is well worth the money. For this radio it really only involves breaking the limiter circuit and turning up the dead key. You can probably find a YouTube video to do this yourself for free if you're adventurous.
 

·
Knows a couple things...
Joined
·
50,152 Posts
X2 recommending the Uniden Pro520XL which is darned near bulletproof, and its speaker is more than adequate so there's no real need for an aux speaker. And standard AM CBs can only legally put out 4 watts, not the 8 watts mentioned above. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
By the way, when you say this:

Hi, I am looking to get a CB installed next week.
Do you mean you're going to pay someone to install it? They're very easy to install yourself -- and that's coming from someone that doesn't normally have a lot of time on his hands!

Shameless self-promotion: this is how I mounted the unit in my TJ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Jerry is correct.

A legal unmodified CB has no more than 4 watts dead key with no more than 40% modulation. A peak and tune will up the dead key to around 6-8 watts and remove the modulation limiter for a total of around 20 or so watts.

This is not something that the FCC investigates or prosecutes anymore. The manufacture of linear power amps is a different story however......... Trust me I know.

This sounds like a lot more than the allowed 4 watts but really doesn't make much of a difference in performance. It just sounds better/louder.

The 510/520 doesn't really benefit from receive tuning.
 

·
Knows a couple things...
Joined
·
50,152 Posts
Not many modern CB radios can be "peaked and tuned", and it's simply not needed for offroading needs. Not to mention it takes a significant boost in transmitter power to be noticeable at the other end. Boosting a transmitter's power 2X provides a 3 dB boost which is right at the minimum level to be noticeable at the receive end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Once again you are correct, and for the purposes of off-roading even a small handheld walkie talkie type radio is often enough for the short distances involved.

The biggest difference is in the sound of the radio. If you listen to them side by side or with a talkback installed the difference is quit clear. When you start talking on an unmodified CB the first syllable you speak will be loud then you can hear the limiter kick in and hush the radio back.

Newer radios like the bearcat 880/980 do not benefit as much from a peak and tune as the older designs like the 510/520 pc66/76s do.
 

·
Knows a couple things...
Joined
·
50,152 Posts
The biggest difference is in the sound of the radio. If you listen to them side by side or with a talkback installed the difference is quit clear. When you start talking on an unmodified CB the first syllable you speak will be loud then you can hear the limiter kick in and hush the radio back.
I've been installing, using, and listening to CBs for many years and never noticed that at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Like I said no real improvement in transmit range at such low power levels, maybe another mile at best but a definite improvement in sound quality. Especially in voices that don't carry so well. Think of it like putting your hand in front of your mouth then removing it. The limiting circuit works by clipping the modulation.

My best advice would be to find a CB shop in your area and go listen as they peak and tune a radio. The difference in volume and clarity can be quite dramatic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
Thanks for posting that "how-to" Jeffrey... very clean setup. Have added this to my list of must dos.
Thanks! I wish I could've done a better job on the step-by-step photos, but I really didn't know if it would turn out so I wanted to plow through it first.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can do anything to clarify the instructions.

Chickenstrip: your avatar photo reminds me of "The Captioned Adventures of George Washington."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,487 Posts
Casting one more vote for the 510/520 and its OEM mic.

I am running a Uniden PRO510XL in my Wrangler. I bought this exact CB all the way back in 1992, and installed it in the car I owned at that time. Since then, it has moved from vehicle to vehicle; in addition to my non-4WD cars, it has seen use in my '88 Jeep Cherokee as well as four different Wranglers. It continues to work flawlessly year in and year out... and I'm still using the original mic. Look carefully and you can see it tucked up there between the extra roll cage bars:



I could not recommend a CB radio more highly than this one.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top