The CB Radio Answer Man
By A. Mann
Re-printed from National Communications
From time to time we get CB related questions. If you have a question,
send it to this magazine in care of the CB Answer Man. Individual
replies are not possible, but we will do our best to answer them in a
future issue. You can use your name or CB "handle" with your questions.
Q: The Delta Tune knob on my Uniden PC 76 doesn't seem to do anything.
What is it for and where should I set it?..."RATBAG", Hagerstown, MD.
A: Delta Tune is a fine tune control that is the throwback to the old
days of crystal CB sets. People with these sets would sometimes "drift"
off frequency and Delta Tune would help bring back the signal, in the same
way that the old fine tuning ring on non-digital rotary TV sets did. Some
modern CB's like the Uniden PC-76 and the Cobra 29 still have a delta tune
knob. Leave it set to the middle position. Modern digital readout PLL
CB sets don't drift enough for the delta tune to really be needed, and
very few sets still have them.
Q: Hey, Answer Man! If all CB's are limited to 4 watts output by the FCC,
wouldn't a cheap $49 special be just as good as a $200 rig with more bells
and whistles?....."BALLOONATIC", Brooklyn, NY.
A: No. That's like saying "since all car stereos pick up the same FM
stations, won't my $50 stereo work as good for FM as the one my friend paid
a thousand for?" Noise filtering, receive sensitivity, transmit voice
clarity and a host of other things make a more expensive CB noticeably
better than a cheap one.
Q: What type and amp rating of power supply should I use to power my mobile
CB in the house?... "UNIT 34", Kansas City, MO.
A: I would recommend a regulated 12v (13.8 V) DC power supply rated at least
5 amps or more "constant" output for most modern mobile CB radios. While a
cheap radio store 2 or 3 amp supply might power the radio, it may not be
able to allow the radio to reach its peak power output potential, especially
if it is an SSB CB or it has been or will be "tuned up".
Q: Are CB linear amplifiers legal in Kentucky? I got an electrical supply
catalog from Kentucky that has CB amps in it... "SWAMP THING", Baton Rouge,
A: No, CB transmit linear amps ("linears" aren't legal in Kentucky, and
since it's an FCC federal regulation, they ain't legal in "them" 49 other
states either. ANY type of transmit amplifier that will work on a CB radio
can not be legally sold or used in the United States. I guess that hasn't
stopped the catalog place in Kentucky...yet.
Q: What is your opinion of Echo Power mikes?..."HYDROMAN", Miami, FL.
A: CB is a hobby, and I don't have anything against Echo mikes. They
even sound pretty cool when there is just a "hint" of reverb turned on. The
problem is though that many of those that purchase echo mikes turn them up
too high and then it sounds marblemouth bad.
Q: My friend is going to buy a CB and is thinking of getting a 40 channel
"walkie-talkie" type unit using it mobile with a magnetic antenna and
cigarette lighter power cable. What do you think?...."TONY R", Lodi, NJ.
A: A handheld walkie-talkie type CB is a good idea only if his primary
use is walking around outdoors with his handheld and rarely to be used
mobile. Trying to "trick" a walkie-talkie into being a full mobile CB is
usually disappointing. Handheld CB's don't have the noise filtering,
audio output and static reduction circuits, among others, of a good mobile
rig. It will probably sound like someone is "frying bacon" thru the speaker
when the engine is running. Tell him to get a good mobile CB for his car,
and use the handheld for hiking outdoors.
Q: I know someone who has a Ham license and he also has a linear amp on
his 40 channel CB radio. He said he could use it because has an Amateur
license. Is this true?...."CHICKENFOOT" Coatsville, PA.
A: Tell him to put down that crack pipe and brush up on the FCC rules.
There is no license you can have, get or buy in the USA that allows you
to run more than the regular 4 watts AM, 12 watts P.E.P. SSB on CB radio
Q: What is the best type of antenna for my Chevy pickup?...."THE SHADOW",
Q: What would be the best spot on a car to mount a CB antenna?...."DUDE",
A: There will be articles from time to time in this magazine that go into
more detail regarding CB mobile antennas. In simple terms though, the
tallest CB antenna you can deal with mounted as high as possible on the
vehicle will usually give the best results.
Q: Can I add SSB (single side band) to my existing AM 40 channel CB radio?
...."WIREMAN", Youngstown, OH.
Q: Are there any kits available for me to build my own CB transceiver?....
"JAY S", Queens, NY
A: No, and current FCC rules forbid anyone from selling or marketing a CB
transceiver in kit form. This is to assure that all CB's meet the FCC
guidelines for output power, harmonic interference, frequency stability and
other factors which individual kit builders could easily "throw out of
whack" during the construction process.
Q: Can I purchase a combination in-dash AM/FM CB radio with cassette and CB
player built in?....."C Webber"", Oceanside, NY.
A: You could if it were being made, but unfortunately I know of no current
manufacturer producing this type of combination CB radio for the U.S.
market. Combination in-dash AM/FM CB cassette and AM/FM CB 8-track units
were popular in the 1970's and early 1980's. If you can do without the
built in CD player, it may be still possible to track down one of these
old units on the used market.
Q: I am planning on soon getting my Ham Radio license. Will it be legal
for me to convert my 40 ch 27MHz SSB CB radio for use on the nearby 10
meter 28 MHz ham band?...."VAMPIRE", Rome, NY.
A: Yes you can, as long as you no longer use it for CB. Boosting the
power and adding the 10 meter ham frequencies is OK for a licensed ham
operator to do to his/her own equipment, but it does void the FCC specs
and certification for that radio to continue to be used on the Citizen's
Q: I would like to use a magnetic mount CB radio antenna on the roof of my
new car. Is there any danger of them blowing off the roof at highway
speeds? I frequently drive at 70 MPH and above.... "SKEETER", Provo, UT.
A: Gee, I hope you're driving these speeds where it is legal and not
too close to other vehicles. Anyway, there is always a chance of magnet
failure, especially at extreme speeds into gusting winds. Most of the
better made CB antennas should be OK, such as the K-40 and Wilson 1000. In
your case I would stay away from the cheaper and more common $25 - $35
magnetic antennas. There are also large 3 and 4 magnet tripod type "plate"
mobile magnetic mounts you may also want to look into.
The Uniden PC76XL CB Radio
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