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  #1  
Old 09-18-2014, 08:00 PM
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Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

Looking at installing a UHF Radio, looking for some recommendations on what Radio/Antenna is going to be the best and where others have mounted theirs.

From the little reading I have done, the ICOM IC440N seems to be getting some decent praise and with everything on the Mic, it should be easily concealed although it does seem a bit pricey?

Next is the Antenna - do I really need a long 6' thing or will one of the little stubby ones do the job almost as good?

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Old 09-18-2014, 08:23 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

mate im pretty fussy and like things hidden but practical, mounted the remote head in the centre console, mike only comes out when i need to use it, speaker mounted under passenger seat, high gain elevated feed aerial on the rear out of site, short stumpy on for around town and entering and exiting my garage longer high gain stored in the boot goes on when on longer trips with mates.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:25 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

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Old 09-18-2014, 08:26 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicjak View Post
mate im pretty fussy and like things hidden but practical, mounted the remote head in the centre console, mike only comes out when i need to use it, speaker mounted under passenger seat, high gain elevated feed aerial on the rear out of site, short stumpy on for around town and entering and exiting my garage longer high gain stored in the boot goes on when on longer trips with mates.

Have mounted the unit same center console but used a GME glass stick on antenna nice and neat.


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Old 09-18-2014, 08:51 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicjak View Post
high gain elevated feed aerial on the rear out of site, short stumpy on for around town and entering and exiting my garage longer high gain stored in the boot goes on when on longer trips with mates.
Thats still a big Antenna there nicjak, I was really hoping to get away with something a lot smaller if possible?
I realize the smaller the antenna the less range you will get.

Was even tossing up about just getting a hand held, now drilling, no mounting and no wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwdjeep View Post
Have mounted the unit same center console but used a GME glass stick on antenna nice and neat.
fwdjeep, I assume you mean something like the rear demister on rear screen which is beaded onto the glass which would be great if it got reasonable reception, or is it a little whip like the ones that come with the mobile phone car kits?
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:21 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

i guess depends on what you class as big lol, i think its big if its in your face on the side of the bonnet. personally if i was to go through glass you might as well have a handheld. i guess it comes down to the distances you want to cover with having one, then that will determine the aerial size needed.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:19 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

There's a difference in price between a 5W handheld and a basic in car unit. The smaller handhelds are often quite useless, irrespective of brand. A group full of these makes for a miserable day...

Nothing is going to beat an in-car unit with a properly selected and configured antenna. Generally speaking, a 5W handheld will still not quite match an in-car radio paired with a tiny little antenna... but a decent one will get close. Obviously portability is a benefit to the handheld, but batteries and handling the thing can be a PITA too.

For what it's worth, I used to have a bullbar mounted ~500mm wire whip on a very small SO259 ground plane. Visually it was very low impact. I never experienced a situation where someone in the group with an impressively oversized stick managed to get through to someone that I couldn't. Antenna gain is a topic itself.

Anecdotally, I've experienced several very "thin" sounding Icoms... I wondered if perhaps they are bandwidth limited for use in noisy commercial environments? Dunno... just an observation based on listening to around 10 different radios a day, most days.

Front or rear... whatever floats your boat... but if you're mounting it close to the turret then you should elevate the antenna. The long silver ground plane on Nikjac's Grand is more about elevation than superior ground plane performance. It raises the radiation pattern above the roof line. They are also suitable for elevating a front bumper height mount to clear the bonnet.

Regarding brands; GME has Australian ownership... they offer products with excellent performance... and as such deserve a very close look when purchasing.

Cheers,
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:32 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

nice explanation steve i totally agree ive been around uhf's for 20+ yrs and you cant beat a GME. always fitted them to my trucks.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:33 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

Pretty much agree with what Barboots wrote. Performance is mainly due the the antenna setup, so requires the most consideration. Fixed radios often have more power output than handhelds.
Handhelds are usually limited to under a klm unless clear line of sight, so unless travelling in convoy, forget them.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:47 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicjak View Post
i guess depends on what you class as big lol, i think its big if its in your face on the side of the bonnet. personally if i was to go through glass you might as well have a handheld. i guess it comes down to the distances you want to cover with having one, then that will determine the aerial size needed.
At this point in time it would just be to communicate with others while out on the trails

Unfortunately there would always be that worst case scenario where I get stuck and need to call someone to help.
Considering I wont be doing anything to serious off road by myself, the possibility of that is greatly reduced, but one can never totally eliminate the possibility of mechanical/electrical failure that may leave you stranded somewhere even on the bitumen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barboots View Post
There's a difference in price between a 5W handheld and a basic in car unit. The smaller handhelds are often quite useless, irrespective of brand. A group full of these makes for a miserable day...

Nothing is going to beat an in-car unit with a properly selected and configured antenna. Generally speaking, a 5W handheld will still not quite match an in-car radio paired with a tiny little antenna... but a decent one will get close. Obviously portability is a benefit to the handheld, but batteries and handling the thing can be a PITA too.

For what it's worth, I used to have a bullbar mounted ~500mm wire whip on a very small SO259 ground plane. Visually it was very low impact. I never experienced a situation where someone in the group with an impressively oversized stick managed to get through to someone that I couldn't. Antenna gain is a topic itself.

Anecdotally, I've experienced several very "thin" sounding Icoms... I wondered if perhaps they are bandwidth limited for use in noisy commercial environments? Dunno... just an observation based on listening to around 10 different radios a day, most days.

Front or rear... whatever floats your boat... but if you're mounting it close to the turret then you should elevate the antenna. The long silver ground plane on Nikjac's Grand is more about elevation than superior ground plane performance. It raises the radiation pattern above the roof line. They are also suitable for elevating a front bumper height mount to clear the bonnet.

Regarding brands; GME has Australian ownership... they offer products with excellent performance... and as such deserve a very close look when purchasing.

Cheers,
Steve
Thanks Steve, I will forget about the hand held options
So something like the UHF 477 MHz CB Radios | GME would be a better choice than the ICOM IC440N that I was first mentioning

Thinking that if I narrow the choices down on the actual unit, I can then concentrate on what antenna to match it to and where to mount it
Without a bullbar (which I am also still trying to decide on) I think that Nicjak's location is pretty good
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:51 PM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

Having had a GME TX4200 for out of vehicle use, I can vouch for the very respectable performance of a quality 5W handheld. I'm still deciding on whether to fit an in car GME, or buy their current TX6200...

... or just ignore everyone else ;-)
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:09 AM
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Re: Recommendations for a UHF CB Radio

ive always kept a cheap set of handhelds in the glovebox, handy for when others dont have them, and the kids used to carry them around camp sites for security reasons
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