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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't gotten to "test" out my CB/antenna range yet. Hoping to eventually find someone with some time to chat while I drive further away. Anyway, with a Bearcat 880 and 4' Firestik I was hoping to get a good 5,6,7 mile range. Is that a realistic goal ? Mostly installed the CB for the weather function but it'd be fun to talk while cruising on trips. Thanks for any insight guys !!
 

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I haven't gotten to "test" out my CB/antenna range yet. Hoping to eventually find someone with some time to chat while I drive further away. Anyway, with a Bearcat 880 and 4' Firestik I was hoping to get a good 5,6,7 mile range. Is that a realistic goal ? Mostly installed the CB for the weather function but it'd be fun to talk while cruising on trips. Thanks for any insight guys !!
Most likely not... When I had mine perfectly tuned, I only had about 1 mile or slightly more. I have helped install about 5 more and all of them went less than a mile.
 

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Even the cb in my big trk only reaches a mile or two. That's in somewhat flat ground with no buildings or anything around.
 

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It depends on a lot of things. Do you have the Fire fly or Fire stick II antenna? Big difference between the two. Plus the type of cable you run between the antenna and CB plays a role too.

The one guy in our club got the 4' Fire Stick II with some of those monster like cables between his antenna and his CB and he can here truckers on the interstate about 5 miles away when we wheel on our local trails.
 

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The most important things are tuning, and antenna placement.

If you are looking at placing the antenna on the back of the Jeep, you should only expect a mile or so of range. If you want more than that, then you need to optimize the placement. The best place for the antenna (range-wise) is in the middle of the hood. On one of the front fenders also seems to be better than placing it on the back.

Something like this.
Jeep CB Antenna Fender Mount 2007+ | Right Channel Radios

or this.
http://www.rightchannelradios.com/firestik-ngp-antenna-side-mount-kit-right-channel-radios.html


I currently run a magnetic mount which does pretty well on the hood. I just take it off when I'm not off-road.
http://www.rightchannelradios.com/wilson-little-wil-cb-antenna-36.html

Mike
 

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For all practical purpose, CB is a line-of-sight communication. If you are parked on a mountain top with unobstructed view all around, you can easily talk 20, 30 miles or even more. But in a city, or in a valley, you will be lucky if you can contact anybody beyond 1 mile. For maximum range, you should put the antenna as high as possible on your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you guys. I took the Jeep to work for the 1st time today (48-49 mile trip each way, Youngstown OH area to Pittsburgh Int airport). Within 5 mins on the road I heard about an accident/traffic back up the usual way I go so I detoured around. On the way home I talked to someone I'd say was at least a couple miles away (mile markers and exit info exchanged). I have a Firestik II mounted on the license plate bracket. I will check more once I get a buddy to stay stationary while I move out. Once again I appreciate the help/info !!!
 

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I can hear truckers at a big rest stop maybe 4 straight line miles, but they don't hear me. That's with a Cobra 29 LTD and a 4 foot Firestik mounted as high as possible on the tailgate. And they are crystal clear at that distance. Some days I pick up a guy broadcasting out of his house, again he can't hear me but I can hear him clear as day. And from where he said he is it was about 6 miles away.
 

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If you want more range you need to have it tune buy a Cb shop they can more than likely turn the power of the radio up to help
 

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If you want more range you need to have it tune buy a Cb shop they can more than likely turn the power of the radio up to help
Modulation, you mean.
 

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Modulation, you mean.
No, turning the modulation up will make people not understand anything you say.

I can hear truckers at a big rest stop maybe 4 straight line miles, but they don't hear me. That's with a Cobra 29 LTD and a 4 foot Firestik mounted as high as possible on the tailgate. And they are crystal clear at that distance. Some days I pick up a guy broadcasting out of his house, again he can't hear me but I can hear him clear as day. And from where he said he is it was about 6 miles away.
You need to make sure your antenna is grounded, and tune your antenna/radio. I could do it for you if you lived near me and show you how to do it in the future. Basically, you put your cb in "CAL" mode, and turn the SWR dial until it's on the CAL mark on the meter. Then put it in SWR mode and key up on 40, 1, and 19. On most antennas you have to clip the wire sticking out the top of the antenna (under the rubber cap), and you'll lower your SWR and....


But before you do any of that, make sure your antenna is grounded properly. The tailgate is NOT properly grounded from the factory. You need to get some grounding strap and bolt one end to the tub and one end to the tailgate.
 

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A lot also depends on atmospheric conditions and of course the terrain. Back in the day, when you could hear someone else talking but you couldn't communicate with them it was called, "skip" So...Like it's been said, sometimes 5-10 miles other times maybe 1/2 mile. We also used SSB radios which help a lot with distance but, both parties had to have SSB radios.
 

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Also make sure your CB is directly plugged into the battery.

I've received communications on the CB via skip via a lightning storm from over 2000 miles away. The storm had so much lightning that there was constantly lightning in the sky and apparently my radio was able to use the lightning as an antenna?

hell i have FM on my CB.
 

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No, turning the modulation up will make people not understand anything you say.


You need to make sure your antenna is grounded, and tune your antenna/radio. I could do it for you if you lived near me and show you how to do it in the future. Basically, you put your cb in "CAL" mode, and turn the SWR dial until it's on the CAL mark on the meter. Then put it in SWR mode and key up on 40, 1, and 19. On most antennas you have to clip the wire sticking out the top of the antenna (under the rubber cap), and you'll lower your SWR and....


But before you do any of that, make sure your antenna is grounded properly. The tailgate is NOT properly grounded from the factory. You need to get some grounding strap and bolt one end to the tub and one end to the tailgate.
If it is up too high, yes. But he was thinking of just "cranking up the wattage" with the turn of a pot, or so I assume.
 
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