How do you make a CB reach out a looooong way?

I’ve used CB’s way longer than I’ve used HAM radio and I was just wondering what’s the best way to extend the range of a CB radio. I have one of those nice Radio Shack coiled antennas that’s like a 108" coiled antenna and it gets out there pretty well, just wondering if there was anything else I could do.

Why is CB so staticky? My dad says CB used to be crystal clear before all of the radio transmission stuff was put up with all the electrical interference from the electrical grid. I know out in the boonies away from all that the range is way better than in the city so he might have a point.

AM radio (CB) generally has more static than FM radio (some ham bands). CB wasn’t really crystal clear because of this and the fact that the lower radio bands (HF) in AM generally receive “skip” transmissions at certain times,coupled with the fact that a lot of CB operators use linear amplifiers to boost wattage far beyond the FCC posted limit…just makes for quite a mess. get your HAM ticket if you are really interested in radio as it gives you many frequencies to chat on…oh, in regard extending range- get yourself a directional multi-element antenn often used by amateur radio operators.

All effective communications is line of sight.

Reliable reception depends on current weather and solar conditions, along with time of day and time of year.

All AM HF communications is affected by lightning - since there is always a lightning storm somewhere.

A 104 inch whip is a unbalanced load - in order to be effective on 11 meters - you need to get the antenna at least 36’ off the ground and at least a dipole antenna - 1/2 wave length in size… Preferably a beam type antenna.

In the old days - it was a target rich enviroment - where everyone had one and everyone used one. Hence your basic communications was not 1000’s of miles but just a couple of miles.

Rag chewers, old washer women, little kids - all polluted the airwaves.

The radio equipment was basically crystal controlled and 23 channels.

As long as everyone was on a equal playing field, everyone using a legal 4 watt AM / 12 watt PEP SSB transceiver - it was possible to carry on global communications on a almost daily basis back around 1966…

It was nothing to talk to someone in Australia in the morning or someone in California or Oregon in the afternoon. England was only 3000 miles away, and it wasn’t hard to talk across the pond.

As more and more units were produced, and people made a living souping them up, it became harder and harder to talk.
About 1972 - I can remember when the first Yaesu FT 101’s came out.

Soon after, the death knoll rang for 11 meters…

When a person could use 25 watts AM or 100 watts SSB and could modify or buy a used tube type 1000 watt amplifier - it became such a power struggle that most people like me just gave up and turned it off by 1980.

When the cheap Japanese stuff came out in 1973 - the quality equipment all dissappeared and the companies went out of buisness.
Regency, Browning, Tram, Pace - nothing but a memory…

How can you make it reach out?

Find yourself a Long John Beam antenna - it made a 12 watt signal appear as a couple of hundred watts perceived to the other persons receive.
And, it listens better then a vertical or a dipole antenna - because it has rejection in one or more directions.

Second antenna is a PDL or a Moon Raker IV

Third choice antenna would be a dual 6 Hy Gain antenna…

Using really good coax - LMR 400 or Belden 9913 is a must!

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CB radios do not incorporate any type of filtering , which is what is used in Amateur Radio equipment to notch out the noise and the unwanted signals.

If you stop and think about the quality involved…
A Regency Range Gain II cost around $265 in 1966 - how much would it cost today?

When you can buy a Cobra 29 for $100 and the basic board is used in all their radios - what kind of quality are you getting?

In 1976 the price of a new mobile CB radio went the whole way down to $39.00 - how can you fix a CB radio and charge a guy a liveable wage when the radio costs less then what it costs to fix it?

The intelligence level went down so low that the Amateur Radio community refused to help the new CB radio people that came along.
The new CB radio people that came along - thought that they knew it all - and you couldn’t help them anyways.

The best way to extend the range of your CB, or any radio, is raise the antenna higher. Of course you will need a good quality antenna and Coax. For mobile operations the Wilson 5000 is probably the best.

For Base operations the Sirio 827 is currently the best omnidirectional base station antenna made and it’s broad-banded so it’s tunable for 10 & 12 Meters as well.

Hi… i would also go with longer antenna but lean the antenna about 20 deg forward…Its not gonna affect any setting but it will allow for a longer antenna but keep in mind as well…You will have to set swr again with longer ant…Short ones dont like to tune well in cb band…
Make sure all connections are clean and as ridgeline said,one coax for one antenna…Leave the other for the stereo alone.

prototype pcb

Very simply, you do something illegal. Most of the distance/range stuff you hear about is pure BS anyway. Range is dependent on band conditions and propagation which you have no control of.

The Moonraker, StarDuster & the Sigma Vector 4000 are all aluminium, omnidirectional & better antennas at Tx/Dx and gain.
Sirio do make some good antennas, but the 827 definitely ain’t the best of them

The best omni CB Base Antenna ever made was the Super Penetrater 500 Gold .64 wave. However it is no longer made. Neither is Radio Shack’s Crossbow .64 Wave, the Moonraker, or StarDuster. I have never heard of the Sigma Vector 4000, so I don’t know anything about it.

What I was saying is the Sirio 827 is CURRENTLY the best Omni CB Base Antenna being made, but you have to make sure you are getting the import version from Italy, NOT the copy from Amazon.

A 4w radio is a 4w radio, and your antenna is the most important part of your set up (in my opinion), it also depends on what band Am/Fm and where you live, buildings are terrible for blocking signals, and with a 102’ whip type antenna, you’re probably not going to get further than 10/15klm.
I’m in England and on 11m I use Fm, which is set at a different 27mhz frequency, my radio is a 10m HF I had added 11&12m (extra channels), it also has Am & SSB, CW I don’t use but that’s more code.
My radio is variable RF of 0.5w-30w Am/Fm 40w(pep) Ssb, I have never used it passed 15w, as I use an amplifier, most people do here on 11m.
The antenna again depends on where it’s located, home or car/truck, if at home you will need a larger antenna, they’re not expensive, and with some spare coax cable (1plug attached 1 end) or electrical wire, you could easily make 1 yourself, or just buy a ½wave antenna with new coax.
I didn’t chat about the Amp’s, but a quick Hf Amp cb radio on YouTube will explain better than me, but using mine I have just 2 blind spots in 50/60miles on UK40Fm, when propergation is good good (3 times last year) I’ve made contact with US,Canada,S America, Africa, but if just good I got all Europe, so I keep an eye on any sun activity, SolarHam I follow.
So with the right radio & set up be that home or mobile, you can get much further than you think, it just depends on how serious you are about coming back, you won’t regret putting some $$$'s into it, and personally I’d rather have 1 then not!!