Push buggy mounted CB.

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Southerncomfort, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    I have googled till my head hurts. Lol
    I use a CB at camp and who ever leaves out takes the mobile, well we all know they suck. Short range, 9 AA alkaline don't last long.
    So I want to get another Cobra Ultra III, a 10-12 ah battery and have it so it can be carried on a 3 wheeled push buggy or pack frame like a ManPack radio or even a simple shoulder strap pack.
    Problem I'm having is antenna setup.
    I see FireStick has a no groundplane setup but has a dang 17' cable.. isn't it bad to coil it to fit in a pack ? How about a directional ?

    I would just get a cable and antenna for the mobile but by the time you add said cable and antenna, plus in SHTF you would end up on a 12v battery anyways why not build a ManPack radio ? And I don't care about HAM I just need to talk to me and mine.

    Ideas ?
     
  2. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Ideas...

    Why not gmrs? How much range do you need?
     
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  3. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    I would like an honest 2 miles. I live in North Florida so not much as in hills, but a good bit of planted pine trees to deal with.
    GMRS needs to be over 5w and big antenna to be better than what I'm talking about right ? Or no ?
     
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  4. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    Welp. After sooo much GoogleFu i have settled on just getting a pair of Baofeng UV-5R with the big 3800 mah batteries.
    Now to start coming up with a coax and either a Yagi or Dipole made from an old set of TV rabbit ear antenna on a handle.

    Would this work ? AT19-C-300x300.jpg
     
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  5. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    If the main requirement is to have the mobile units have contact with your base camp and vise versa a simple car top uni directional mag mount antenna put on a 12 " diameter or square metal plate (the ground plane) atop a couple 10 ft. length electrical conduit pipe for mast at camp will give range of at least 2 miles especially on flat ground between mobile and base units. This is standard camp set up in the Maine woods and no problem with having contacts with other units within 10-15 mile radius and of course unlimited range via relays. I say a 20-24 ft. mast is good enough (higher the better) but most camps including mine just have the mag mount sitting on top of the gas refrigerator which acts as the ground plane. A simple option between 2 mobile hand held CBs is also the mag mount antenna (about 2.5 ft. length) and 2 or 3 ft. of connecting coax sitting on top of a sheet of tin foil or the engine of a 4 wheeler or snowmobile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
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  6. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    That's awesome, thanks.
     
  7. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    Portable to portable for 2 miles is going to be tough. If you're wanting to build a dipole/Yagi, remember that they are directional. If you want the base camp to reach the portables? What @Seacapt. said.

    CB antennas are difficult to be working well as a portable antenna. The frequency is different, and the antenna lengths are different. There are shorties for vehicles, but they are depending on the mass of vehicle metal for a ground plane (a part of an antenna) You know those big 109 inch whips on vehicles for CB? That's a 1/4 wave on CB. A quarter wave on VHF (the Baofengs) is more like 19 inches. Shorter yet, for UHF. A quarter wave is a convenient multiple, that works well for antennas.

    Even if you don't care about ham, the Baofengs will let you at least listen to them. If you're concerned about SHTF, you would want to be able to at least listen. Plus you can get local public safety, fire, weather.

    Also, if you are home-brewing antennas, just because you can hear on them, doesn't mean that you can transmit on them. If it's not right, you can burn up the transmitting portion of the radio. Some modern ones shut themselves down, for self-preservation.
     
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  8. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    I ended up ordering a pair of Baofeng UV-5R with 3800mah batteries. Will try them out just to check range, see if a Yagi is needed or not and just listen from that point on. Yes I know any transmission is a no no, I will keep it very short and on a megahertz with no traffic.
    If I see we want to use them for more than emergency/shtf I will get a basic license .
     
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  9. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    Plus has anyone even tried the rabbit ears as an antenna ? It's an adjustable dipole correct ?
     
  10. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    I haven't tried it, but I've made a lot of dipoles, and welding-rod quarter-waves. I see people online are doing it with rabbit ears. I wouldn't recommend it for a first antenna for a couple of reasons. There is a measurement of feedline and antennas called impedance. Tv antennas with twinlead are usually 300 ohm impedance, the ones with coax will be 75 ohm impedance. Your Baofengs want to see 50 ohms. Are you good at soldering? Baofengs use a special connector (SMA female) that television antennas won't have. If you are home-brewing antennas, it's safest to have a VHF-UHF SWR meter (not a CB one), or you could damage the radio. The dipole should be pointed up and down, not sideways.

    But there are ton of good, easy antennas you can make. Look through these results for a J-pole antenna. This is well-established enough, you could probably make that without having to have an SWR meter. The Baofeng is a dual-band radio, it has both VHF and UHF bands. Any simple antenna that you make will only be good for one or the other.

    The very simplest dipole? Carefully cut away an inch or two or the outer jacket of coax 2 foot up from an end, until you see the braid (don't cut the braid). With a pencil (or pointy object), separate the braid, you can see the center conductor (it has insulation on it). Carefully pull the center out of the little separation you made in the braid. Stretch out the braid, cut both pieces (braid and center conductor) to 19 or 20 inches, and tape to a stick. Instant dipole. That's an approximate length for VHF. It'll work better if you can bring the rest of the coax out at 90 degrees to the dipole elements for a foot or two. If it was horizontal, it would look like a T. It'll work better vertical. This is not good for a semi-permanent outside antenna, because it will soak up rain, and not work.

    Here's a good one, built directly on an S0-239 jack. You'll need a pretty good-sized soldering iron to solder onto the flange.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  11. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    Yeah I solder alot.. all the way up to silver solder with a torch..
    Thanks for the info, I thought any meter would work if the it had the right connectors ?
    And I find it more imperative for the two radios to have the same setup, so if it only works best on one frequency that's ok, but to com with others building a full sized dipole and string it up would be easy enough and I can go ahead and have one made up and stored away..
    I'll look for a meter now.
    Also extra batteries and connections for the solar system for recharging.
    Maybe even a one of the laminated cards with the different frequencies to connect with others in bad times.
     
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  12. Jean

    Jean Guide

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    You can experiment with various long wire approaches, Google 'field expediant antennas'
     
  13. Chazzle

    Chazzle Sapere aude Supporter

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    just mount a CB mobile whip to the pack frame, use 26AWG wire to build a counterpoise ground radial that is no more than 1/4 wavelength, I'd say about 100 inches.
    Chazz
     
  14. Southerncomfort

    Southerncomfort Tracker

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    Baofengs are getting 1.5 miles in a combo of wooded/neighborhood with the rubber duck.. should get 2 miles after I swap out to a better antenna.

    Want to make a bigger base antenna like I did for my TV, vertical dipole, that or a J-pole..
    Just need to find the cable to connect it with.
    Thanks guys.
     
  15. oathkeeper762

    oathkeeper762 Bushbum & PT Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    From someone who’s already been down this road, if you decide on the Beofeng, find you the best replacement rubber ducky antenna you can locate. They are relatively inexpensive. You can go on the radio forums and see what the latest and greatest happens to be. I have a collection that I have acquired over the years, but the one I am using now is no longer in production. The standard antenna that comes with the radio is decent but at 2 miles and broken terrain you need all the help you can get for reliable reception. If you find that you are still hit and miss, then the N9tax J-pole antenna works better than anything else i’ve tried in the field. It does requires setup, toss a line over a limb and pull the antenna up, but with practice it’s a 3 min process or less. It rolls up to a very small size and is light in weight as well. We have found it makes a big difference in marginal areas.

    Our group has a system for checkins when we’re out in the field. If I find myself unable to reach anyone with the attached antenna, I fall back to the N9tax system. Regardless of what you use, 2-3 miles in broken terrain from my field experience is about max range for a frs/gmrs type radio. If you want those crazy advertised distances, you’d have to be in open country and have the benefit of elevation to compensate for the earth’s curvature to make it happen.

    If you decide on the Beofeng, even though you said you’re not interested, think about getting your Ham license. It opens a world of options for you. YMMV.
     
  16. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Scout

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    Not sure where you are in North Florida but there are a lot of repeaters here for Ham radio. With the UV 5r and the correct frequency you may only need a better antenna on the radio. I think that for the money they are excellent radios. I did buy a AA battery compatible radio for times where recharging isn’t possible. Many miles are easy to accomplish with repeater use. I would consider using a cheap mobile radio as a base station and probably staying on the 2 meter band. Licensing sounds hard but I used the free online stuff for about two weeks and passed on the Technician and General Exams at once. You don’t have to know Morse code anymore. I only paid 20 bucks for both tests combined. I did not join a club or anything but there are several out there. Please don’t be one of those unlicensed, nuisance folks that there are so many of out there, even testing them is illegal although I understand making sure the solution is viable before investing time. I have up cb because of all the nuts and profanity out there, same went for gmrs but it was not nearly as bad. Here are some links to help you out.

    http://arrl-nfl.org/?page_id=1829

    https://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/index.php?state_id=12

    https://www.eham.net/exams/

    http://www.n9tax.com/slim jim info.html
     

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