When I used to operate my Cobra Citizen's Band Ultra-Deluxe Base Station Rig, I became increasingly irritated within a matter of minutes as I simply could not make those long-range DX contacts at all. #Some 16 years prior, I feverishly spent 600 dollars on this highly touted Ultra-Deluxe model Citizenís Band transceiver after a good deal of looking around at my first Hamvention held in a barn-fashioned building just outside Grandforks, North Dakota. #After all, I felt my first Amateur Citizenís Band Radio should be the type transceiver that a novice to the world of worldwide communications be allowed to grow into as my skills and aptitudes improved. #As an aside, I neglected to purchase the coaxial cable while in bucolic Grandforks, and stopped by a conveniently located Radio Shack and bought their very best thin black cabling. I know what the reader is likely thinking and I must agree that the Hamvention in Grandforks, N.D. was and remains obviously somewhat smaller and thus, hardly what the Dayton Hamvention reportedly is. #However, I was a bit more naÔve in those days and lacked the purchasing savvy, good judgment and common sense that one acquires with experience.
After 15 years of nightly attempts to make DX contacts on each and every one of the 40 channels afforded me while using the Cobra Ultra-Deluxe CB Radio, I finally and fully became a wildly loose cannon. #It occurred to me that irrespective of the quality of coaxial cable I used, that my reasoned experiential data of, at that time, 15 years proved irrefutably that it was time to employ my D-104 battery driven dynamic microphone in a more cathartic, therapeutically resourceful manner in opposition to the Cobra CB Amateur Radio. #While ferocious and recalcitrant behaviors have never been my bailiwick or inclination, within a matter of seconds I felt my persistently growing lunacy, driven by 15 years of frustration, begin to rue its ugly head. With my D-104 in hand and the Ultra-Deluxe CB Amateur Radio delicately positioned on my workbench (with unbridled passion), I delightfully proceeded to pummel the once proud Cobra into a hideous heap of almost disturbing ruin. #
Needless to say, the next day I removed my fatherís dusty but always dutiful Icom Amateur Radio from the guestroom closet -- placing it in the exact spot where the Ultra-Deluxe CB once, and in retrospect, simply served as nothing more than a rather large power consuming paper weight. #Although I didnít find the Icom Radio as aesthetically appealing as the once austere Cobra Ultra-Deluxe, I was impressed with the foresight of the Icom engineers by including the advanced feature of being able to tune into the restricted 40 channel Citizenís Band frequencies especially allocated to only U.S. Citizens or reciprocating foreign pontificators. #As an aside, my father was an avid reader and hence, I learned most of my extensive Amateur CD Radio knowledge from listening to him as he forced my kid brother and me to become well-read and current on all of the latest technical advances.
As a historical bit of trivia, the FCC would eventually reduce the standards of Amateur Citizenís Band Operations by allowing anyone who could pass some test to enter into the world of both Amateur and Citizenís Band radio. #To the extent I was a rather seasoned operator, no one ever asked me to take the test as I feel certain that the FCC officials knew that a beginnerís exam was clearly beneath my technical wherewithal and proven proficiencies.
At any rate, please pardon the momentary subject change thatís subject to change as the reader perhaps has already discerned. #Within two hours of tenacious ALL-BAND amateur radio antenna assembly, the faithful Icom powered up and performed flawlessly as I worked all continents within the time constraints of that very same day. #Each operator I talked to on that memorable day invariably asked for my assigned call sign. #As frustrating as it was, I knew that they were unaware of my previous Citizenís Band experience and thus, no remedial call sign was required of me. #Those guys sure were a determined bunch, as I bet each of them asked me what my QTH was a dozen times per each contact. #Of course anyone with any sense and that could pick up on my ease and verve as I fluently spoke, surely wouldnít have asked about my Qualifying Technical Heritage (QTH) I had been granted by virtue of my fatherís glory days as an Amateur Citizen Operator. #
Back to the topic at hand however, I have found that the same Tandy Corporation coax that for 15 years had unwittingly never been attached to the Citizen's Band Radio, for whatever reason, now seems to work extremely well with my Citizenís Band Icom Frequency Allocated Amateur Radio. # #
To make a long story even painfully longer, I can only posit what this authorís professional yet amateur radio related opinion and advice would be to the perplexed reader in search of the best coax for his given situation. #Succinctly and without question, the RG-58 A/U is the best choice notwithstanding one capriciously decides in favor of the purchase of RG-8/X which is also the best choice based purely on factual consistencies in both types of coax and too, a unconscionable degree of conjecture. #But, in due course the assessment must be made by the individual who will be making the informed choice. #If after all of this data, the temporarily confounded coaxial cable consumer still finds it difficult in making a choice, I'd just take a leap of faith and purchase a mom-sized roll of the thin black coax that can be purchased at the nearest Radio Shack; kith and kin to the Tandy Corporation's coaxial cable. #Either way, you really can't lose as Tandy's coax is tantamount to the Radio Shack brand. #The word ďTandyĒ has always unnerved me, and I sure wish the marketing team would consider changing the Corporationís name. #Anyway, I'm reasonably certain that the Tandy coax is of lesser quality than RG-58 A/U, but possibly better than RG-8/X which is comparable to the thin black coax, again, found at your local Radio Shack dealer. #I hope my knowledge has proven helpful as the search continues for both coaxial cabling and Amateur CB Radio generalities in general. What?
Best wishes and perhaps Iíll catch you on the flip-flop as when mobile, I generally hang out on frequency 19. #Hopefully most readers are up to speed with their Kingís English while operating on the advanced Citizenís Band frequencies. #Channel 19 has always been a favorite of mine for some reason! #
Ned and the First Reader
I'm confused!! have the Amateur Radio and CB service been combined ahead of schedule ?? Or is this just another rule change to create the Amateur Citizens Band Radio Service ?? #
Nope.... Thats just what Radio Shack coax will do to you
Now, Radio Shack RG58/U isn't all that bad! I have used thousands of feet of the stuff. It is much cheaper than Andrew Radiax and does just as good, if not better, job as "leaky line" when trying to get r.f. coverage in buildings, warehouses, elevator shafts, and the like.
In one Dallas, Texas, major hospital the paging transmitter was located on the roof of the building. It did a fair job over the city of Dallas, but almost 50 percent of the building was in the "cone of silence" from the antenna. I built a little phasing harness out of RG59/U and split the signal between the antenna and several hundred feet of Radio Shack RG58/U dropped down the elevator shaft and then run horizontally along the sub-basement ceiling. The coverage went from about 50 percent of the building to over 99.9 percent of the building! Total cost of the coax was about $20. To have used Radiax would have been a couple of thousand dollars!
Installed many hundreds of feet of the coax with 900 MHz Part 15 spread spectrum systems to cover large warehouses. It works great! It is the lack of shield that makes it so good. This, along with the line losses (attenuation) meant that I could put a 47 ohm 1 watt resistor at the far end of the coax just to give some sort of load. I could have used a 51 ohm resistor, but I already had plenty of the 47 ohm ones and would have had to buy the 51 ohm ones! I used to buy the Radio Shack RG58/U in 1000 foot spools. To get any RG58/U from any other source would mean that the shield would be too good to use as a "leaky line".
Thus, one shouldn't criticize Radio Shack coaxial cable! It definitely has its uses. Also, when 500 feet is attached to a CB ground plane the SWR as read at the transmit end usually goes to almost 1:1. Of course this is due to the attenuation of the cable and not due to any match at the antenna end!
Then, again, there were the "skip" eliminators that someone was selling like "hot cakes" to the CB operators several years back. They were nothing more than 20 dB attenuators! Sure eliminated the skip in most cases!
OK, OK, I see where this topic was headed, now. I have to say, I was a bit lost in the beginning. About an hour later it sunk in.
A tribute to George Orwell, I see. Well then.
I guess that you have to consider the furthest extremes before reality can be seen.
KI4BOO # # # # # # NCI-5243
--... ...-- # #-.- .. ....- -... --- ---
"Happiness is a warm gun." -John Lennon
That is what I meant. Radio Shack coax is so leaky that you get too much RF exposure
On the other hand, do you remember the Radio Shack "magic" mini 8 coax from the 70s? The ARRL lab did a review of it and confirmed the low attenuation numbers claimed by Radio Shack. The review even went on to say that as far as loss was concerned, it was identical to RG-8, and that it was indeed magic.
Actually, the RG8/X or "mini-RG8" that Radio Shack sells is still pretty good. It has a decent shield and works about the same as RG213/U. But, for any other coax that Radio Shack sells it is pretty much "junk" except when you need to use it instead of Andrew Radiax!
Leaky line "antennas" are very common in the commercial two-way radio industry. They do an excellent job of filling in areas that cannot be readily accessed by "normal" antennas.
Look up the Andrew Corporation Radiax. It basically is Heliax with large areas cut from the shield which allows the feed line to act as an antenna.
Radiax is used within buildings, tunnels, and the like where the location is shielded from signals from the normal antenna. There are literally tens of thousands of leaky lines installed around the world.
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (K3UD @ Oct. 20 2003,18:10)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Nope.... Thats just what Radio Shack coax will do to you #
You mean - Radio Shack sells coax? Now that's funny......