View Full Version : Is it configured correctly? Or are there no CB radio users anymore?

09-11-2020, 12:29 AM
The results of my testing is a strange. Keep in mind, I'm relatively new to the CB-radio game after a few decades. "Back in the '80s..." it seemed like everyone was using CBs, what I'm trying to find out is, is my configuration wrong? or is there just no one broadcasting anymore?

Here's my setup:
1. MIDLAND 75-822, bought in 2017.
2. Antenna: Wilson 5000 with a 60" antenna, magnetic mounted to the trunk of a late model Dodge Charger. The Wilson came with a 18' cable out of the box.
3. Tuned now in 2020 with an SWR meter for the Charger.

Here's what I did:
A. I originally tuned it for a Dodge Magnum (moving antenna up and down), and I put it on the Charger trunk without re-tuning it.
B. I used the Charger a few times on CA HWY-5 but failed to pick up any reception except for the occasional channel which seemed very distant and staticky.
C. I recently re-checked it with the SWR meter for the Charger, and it did not need tuning.
D. Parked in the driveway I picked up distant and static shoot-the-wind conversations on channel 19 (which I'm surprised), but nothing else on any other channel. From Riverside, CA.
E. I originally ran the cable along the inside edging trim of the car from the trunk to the front, but there was so much engine noise that I pulled it out. Freeing the cable from center of trunk through interior seating space helped but not completely.
F. Power is plugged into the powered "cigarette" lighter in the front console.

i. is everything working OK, but noone is out there? Shouldn't there be a lot more activity on HWY-5?
ii. is my receiver under-powered?
iii. is there interference with the car body or engine that I should shield?
iv. is the antenna over-powered and I should get a smaller antenna?

Any guidance is helpful, thanks!

09-11-2020, 03:16 AM
Every area is different and there is not the traffic on the CB there use to be. I lived in San Bernardino a couple years so you are in a busy area, seems as if you should have some on the air. How many Radio Checks did you ask for to check your radio? People don't seem to talk to strangers and be ( Ratchet-Jaws ) anymore. When you ask for a radio check sometimes all they will say is ( It's Working ). Your antenna is probably fine just give it more time and trials or have a friend with a radio help you test it. Good luck! PS. Check your RF gain knob if you have one and your squelch control.

09-14-2020, 09:42 AM
Thanks for the tips. I'll try some more attempts and see how it goes.

09-14-2020, 06:29 PM
Sometime truckers on ch 19 will answer you on a radio check, and try your radio at different times of the day. Sometimes you can find people chatting on different channels. I hope you get lucky with some skip!

09-15-2020, 08:02 PM
I see by looking up your radio it is a hand held but more importantly to me has no Single Side Band. I received a Uniden AM only radio and was disappointed as it wasn't like it used to be. Since this cheap radio was a gift it was fine. Then folks started telling me about SSB which I always wanted but couldn't afford as a young man in the 1970s. For me that is where the action is. I have talked all over the country except the west coast as I am on the east coast. But even then skip these days is very spotty. People are more willing to speak to you i find on SSB as many are interested in how far they are reaching ,equipment etc. Going to a high point we increase your chances of contact in your mobile. With no skip while in my mobile I can get over 100 miles to folks when on a high elevation. I don't ever use my AM cb in a car. I do use SSB in my car only. I would recommend SSB if you are serious. I got a used am,ssb radio used for 70 bucks and a small amp new for 50 bucks plus antenna. Your Wilson is good and shouldn't hinder you at all. So it doesn't have to be big bucks. Find a good cb shop in your area. If you want traffic reports and such within a few miles of your car I don't even try. Just my point of view.