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Old 06-13-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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Question about CB radios

We just bought a CB radio and power it by plugging the thing into the cigarette lighter hole. How are you people getting rid of the hum and bizz on your CBs? If we squelch it all the way down, we don't hear anything. And voices we do pick up are distorted. One trucker said our "Modulation" was weak. What is Modulation? It's a Cobra we bought at Radio Shack. Any ideas - thoughts?

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Old 06-13-2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert, but they sell inline filters to go in the power cord. You are better off to hard wire it to the fuse panel. If your going to use it a lot and you got a high dollar radio, go to a truck stop that has a CB shop. Let them wire it correctly. Just don't let them take advantage of your wallet. Cheap radio, hard wire it to the fuse panel with inline filters and be done.

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Old 06-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #3
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The best thing to do is wire the radio direct to the battery in the RV. They do make line filters for the power feed.

Modulation is how strong your voice appears to sound on the radio. A stock unit is usually set for lower modulation, so you may need to hold the microphone closer to your mouth and/or speak louder.

What are you using for an antenna and where is it located. Have you had the antenna tuned (SWR set). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_wave_ratio
This is basically setting the antenna for the proper length so that is resonant at the transmission frequency.

You are generally better off spending the $$$ on the antenna and getting a less costly plain Jane radio.

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Old 06-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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As suggested, run power to the battery if possible. Depending on where your antenna is mounted you could be getting radio signals into the power line. If the noise is only with the engine running and sounds like whine it is alternator noise and running power to the battery is the best start. If still whining you can buy a whine filter at radio shack.

Modulation is voice level. The mic should be about an inch from your lips and make sure you are talking into the front of the mic, not like I see on some television shows.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:25 AM   #5
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Good advice above on power and antenna tuning. My problem is that I need to learn Spanish to use my CB. Never too old to learn something new.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:35 AM   #6
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Place a ferrite choke around the 12v wire. Place it close to the radio.

A ferrite is that small black bump on your laptop power cord. Get one that opens in half and is made to snap over the cable.

Snap Choke Core - RadioShack.com

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Old 06-14-2013, 09:00 AM   #7
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Hi and thanks for all the great advice. We're going to look into the ferrite choke and hooking it directly to the battery. Where do you get antennas tuned? The antenna was left by the last person who owned the Class-C.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #8
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As stated, antennea quality and location on the vehicle are critical to good transmission. Not so important if you just want to listen. It is possible to damage your radio if the SWR ( standing wave ratio ) is way out of tune. Major truck stops that are busy sometimes have a CB shop on or near it.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:11 PM   #9
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Hi RanCarr,
Most truck stops have a CB company associated with the truck stop.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:49 AM   #10
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Adjusting the SWR is not very difficult. There are meters out there that run about $20 or so. The typical antenna has a section above the coil that can be raised or lowered slightly to tune the antenna. Some folks use a rubber flexible antenna that can't be tuned.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:15 AM   #11
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Also,,, if they say your "modulation" is off, as in maybe too quiet while you are talking, turn your "Mic Gain" up, if you have one... Most do. I use a cb 5 nights a week, and will be putting one of my spares in our mh soon. My company, as a lot, have a different channel to run on rather than 19, so we can talk . It would be nice to be traveling with another rv'r and be able to chat. Just chose your own channel.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:43 AM   #12
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I think the noise that you are hearing is normal. You have to turn the squelch knob until the noise goes away. Then another CBer has to be close enough to you with a strong enough signal to brake your squelch setting then you will hear them clearly.

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