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The Information Below will help clear up any Questions you may have on CB Radio, reception, models mods & More.
SECTION 1 - MODES, FEATURES & RANGEWHAT IS SIDEBAND or "SSB"?
A - "SideBand" (SSB) is a mode capability found in higher-end CB Radios. You will have access to the Upper & Lower Sideband Modes (USB, LSB), on each of the 40 channels, in addition to the "Regular" (AM) mode, using the "Am/USB/LSB switch. When switched over to a sideband, each receive signal must be "fine tuned" in with the clarifier or voice lock control found on the SSB CB radio, otherwise people will sound garbled or distorted. Keep in mind that when switched to a sideband, you can only communicate with other CBers that have that same SSB capability as well. You can usually expect an increase in range, & less noise on SSB, than on the "standard" AM 40 channels.
WHAT IS THE "TALKBACK" FEATURE?
A - If your CB has TalkBack, this is a feature that lets you hear or "Monitor" yourself thru the CB Radio's speaker while you are transmitting. It can be useful to check the sound of power & Echo type mikes. If turned up too high, you will get a feedback squeel, however. There are also external TalkBack Speakers that can give some CB's this feature when this type external speaker is plugged in.
WHAT RANGE WILL A CB RADIO GIVE ME?
A - "Generally Speaking", range for a mobile CB Radio could be anywhere from 1 or 2 miles, to even 20 to 25 Miles or more, depending on the terrain, type of antennas used, & other factors. The "typical" range to expect from a mobile CB, with a good antenna, is about 2 to 5 miles, but you will actually get both more & less than this, in certian areas & terrain, & as you drive around. Home Base Station CB setups, with larger building roof mounted Base antennas, will usually give more range than the ground level mobile units do, & the small handheld "walkie-Talkie styles will usually give much less.WHAT DO THE RF & MIKE GAIN CONTROLS DO?
A - Mike Gain (also called "DynaMike" & XTRATALK" on some CB's), is your microphone's transmit "volume control", & can be lowered to reduce backround noise, or if your voice is really loud. The RF Gain control can be thought of as a "Receive Distance Control", & by turning it down, you can reduce the radio's sensitvity to distant chatter, noise & signals that are too weak to reach. The Better CB's will usually have both of these controls. WHY DOES THERE SEEM TO BE MORE STATIC ON CB CHANNELS THAN WHAT I HEAR ON OTHER TYPES OF RADIOS?
A - Just like you car Stereo's AM/FM Bands, where the "AM" has more interference & static than the "FM", Most CB channels are transmitted & received using a similar "AM" type of transmission mode. Other two-way Radios like FRS, GMRS, Amateur, Police scanners ect all may receive in an "FM" mode, and there are new CB models with FM mode also. Again, with CB, just as switching to "AM" on your car stereo, you will notice more static than when on FM. Look for CB Radios that include a Noise Blanker ("NB") switch, which helps minimize some of this noise better than standard CB's that have no noise filters, or just an "ANL" switch.WHAT IS THE FREQUENCY DISPLAY OR FREQUENCY COUNTER, & WHAT DOES IT DO?
A - On some CB Radios, such as the Uniden 880, 980, & the Galaxy DX-959, DX-929, DX-939 & DX-979F, there is either a built-in, or add-on Optional, 5 or 6 digit frequency counter display. This will show you the actual RF Frequency of the CB channel you are tuned to (ie.. 27.4050 Mhz is CB channel 40), Here is a Table of all 40 US / Canada CB channels, & their actual Frequencies:
IS THERE A CB MADE WITH A BUILT-IN POLICE RADIO SCANNER or FRS TRANCEIVER?
|1) 26.965 MHz
||9) 27.065 MHz
||17) 27.165 MHz
||25) 27.245 MHz
||33) 27.335 MHz
|2) 26.975 MHz
||10) 27.075 MHz
||18) 27.175 MHz
||26) 27.265 MHz
||34) 27.345 MHz
|3) 26.985 MHz
||11) 27.085 MHz
||19) 27.185 MHz
||27) 27.275 MHz
||35) 27.355 MHz
|4) 27.005 MHz
||12) 27.105 MHz
||20) 27.205 MHz
||28) 27.285 MHz
||36) 27.365 MHz
|5) 27.015 MHz
||13) 27.115 MHz
||21) 27.215 MHz
||29) 27.295 MHz
||37) 27.375 MHz
|6) 27.025 MHz
||14) 27.125 MHz
||22) 27.225 MHz
||30) 27.305 MHz
||38) 27.385 MHz
|7) 27.035 MHz
||15) 27.135 MHz
||23) 27.255 MHz
||31) 27.315 MHz
||39) 27.395 MHz
|8) 27.055 MHz
||16) 27.155 MHz
||24) 27.235 MHz
||32) 27.325 MHz
||40) 27.405 MHz
A - Yes, The Uniden BearTracker 885 has a Digital APCO Police Scanner and full 40ch CB Radio Transceiver in 1 unit. There are no CB Radios with other transmit capabilities services, however.WHAT IS THE BEST ANTENNA FOR MY MOBILE CB RADIO?
A - This is tough to answer, & there are many variables, but here are some good general guidelines & "Rules of Thumb" to follow. First, The Taller the antenna, the better it will work. Mount your antenna as high as possible on the vehicle, & try to get at least 50% of it over the roofline. Usually, all else being equal, the Tallest, longest antenna you are comfortable with, mounted as high as possible, will give the best performance. For Example, mounting a new 4 foot CB antenna in the same spot where you were using a 2 foot, will usually give better results. It wouldn't really matter what "brand name", color, or style the 2 ft antenna was. Mounting Height on the vehicle, & the antenna length should be more important than other considerations. Keep in mind that, generally, CB antennas that are less than 3 feet tall, those that "stick to the glass", & the AM/FM/CB "combo" antennas & adaptors usually do not give the best performance, they are bought & sold mainly for "convienience" & "cosmetic" reasons.WHY DO I SEEM TO SOMETIMES LOSE A PERSON'S SIGNAL QUICKLY WHEN DRIVING MOBILE?
A - This is a common question. Remember, in some types of terrain and/or driving speeds, you can lose another CBer's signal rather quickly. For example, two Vehicles traveling about 60MPH, going in opposite directions, become a mile apart every thirty seconds! There are easily many situations where that would be enough to easily lose each other within a minute or two, depending upon terrain, antennas ect....
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