Handheld CB

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Marsha/CA

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Thought perhaps someone out there would be interested in what we did with our handheld CB Radio unit. 

Just recently we were traveling with 2 other RVs to AZ.  We found that our handheld unit would not always pick up the converstion from the other coachs even in close proximity.  At Flying J, they had a conversion cable that allowed us to remove the antenna from the handheld unit and connect right to our coach's "on the roof antenna".  It worked great!  The only problem is that it uses the rechargeable battery quickly, so now we need a DC adaptor to plug in and keep the CB charged as we drive.

Marsha~
 

Ron

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We have a handheld CB that came with a cord to connect to the cigarette lighter outlet if needed.  Also have a antenna we can put on the roof of the Cherokee.  In the MH we have a CB installed permanently.  However, we hardly ever use the CB/s anymore when off roading or traveling with others we usually use FRS radios. 
 

Marsha/CA

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Ron,

We have hand held walkie/talkies too.  However the other group we were traveling with didn't, so we were relying on the CBs.  I actually prefer the walkie/talkies they are quieter. ;D

Marsha~
 

Phil

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MarshaLassen/CA said:
At Flying J, they had a conversion cable that allowed us to remove the antenna from the handheld unit and connect right to our coach's "on the roof antenna".  It worked great! 

Marsha,

The external antenna adapter is a good idea for both handheld radios and cell phones.  :)

Phil
 

Tom

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Marsha

I'm having a tough time understanding how you use the adapter. Do you have to be in or near your coach for it to work? Does it plug into the base station in your coach, or does it plug into the end of the roof antenna cable?

TIA
 

Ron

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MarshaLassen/CA said:
Ron,

We have hand held walkie/talkies too.? However the other group we were traveling with didn't, so we were relying on the CBs.? I actually prefer the walkie/talkies they are quieter. ;D

Marsha~

We have experienced similar situation in the past.  Glad the FRS and GMRS radios are more popular now.
 

Steve CDN

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Tom,

I suspect the adapter Marsha is using is an RF amplifier. She says it is installed in line with the external antenna and uses a rechargeable battery, all of which point to an RF (Radio Frequency) amplifier.

As you know, CB operates on a frequency which is subject to very poor propagation in cycles related to sunspots.  The result during these periods of poor propagation is difficulty to hear another signal, even if it is very close to your receiver.  By amplifying incoming signals on the antenna, there is a better chance to hear a nearby signal.  RF amplifiers increase atmospheric noise as well as generate their own noise in addition to amplifying the incoming signal.

For those interested, FRS radios use a different method of radio transmission referred to as FM or Frequency Modulation, like that used on FM radios for music.  These radios do not produce the atmospheric noise associated with CB and are more reliable for consistent reception of the other person's radio than is CB for short range communication.
 

Marsha/CA

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Didn't mean to confuse anyone.  Our hand held CB radio is made by Radio Shack.  It has a rechargeable battery inside the CB radio, nothing is external.  You use the CB,  the battery runs down, then you have to plug it into DC in order to recharge the hand held unit.

The adapter we bought is a cord that has a connection on either end.  One end screws right into the the hand held radio, after you remove the small antenna that the CB comes with.  The other end of the connection screws into the line from the roof antenna located in/around the dash where you would mount a permanent CB radio.  The hand held unit is then using the permanent roof CB antenna as it's own antenna instead of the little one that came with the unit.  What we found is,  that configuration really uses the internal battery of hand held CB.  Radio Shack sells an AC charger that will charge the internal battery while in use.

Does that help?  Sorry for the confusion.

Marsha~
 

Marsha/CA

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Phil,

I didn't know there was an adapter that would fit on the cell phones so that you could use the roof antennas...I'll have to look for that one. :eek:

Marsha~
 

Phil

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MarshaLassen/CA said:
I didn't know there was an adapter that would fit on the cell phones so that you could use the roof antennas...I'll have to look for that one.

Marsha,

When I was looking for a new cell phone I made sure the one I got had a jack for an external antenna.  The antenna sales guy had several adapters, one of which fit my Motorola cell phone.  The adapter cable then fit the plug on the rooftop cell antenna.

Phil
 

Steve CDN

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I misunderstood the configuration of your antenna connector.  It would appear to be an adapter that allows connection of whatever combination of male/female connectors on your radio.  I don't think connecting the external antenna would have a significant effect on the radio's battery life, except that by having a stronger more reliable signal from the other party with whom you are in contact, you are spending more time talking to them using your transmitter.

The transmitter uses more battery power than the receiver, so by talking more than just listening, the battery life would be shorter.
 

Marsha/CA

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Steve,

The adapter does indeed use more battery.  With the original antenna, the hand held CB could last nearly 6 hours or more.  With the adapter to the roof antenna, it lasts about 2 hours.  My thinking is that it is able to pick up more "chatter" therefore goes out of "standby" mode using up the battery.  On our trial run with the new antenna configuration we were traveling alone...not talking to anyone, just picking up other's conversations.

Tim (husband) thought perhaps the roof antenna was stronger therefore using more battery.

Marsha~
 
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