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Emergency and Disaster Preparedness (and Official CB Radio Thread)

Discussion in 'All other topics' started by Auslander, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    here's the cobra.

    then there's two unidens:
    here and here
    i don't know the size of the unidens, but in comparison to the mic size, they look close.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2006
  2. krees23

    krees23 Member

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    Thanks for the info. I was looking for ones with SSW functionality. That's seems to be the really limiting factor in finding one with the single DIN form factor.

    I found some good ones in the UK, but they don't ship them to the states.

    I may be too picky with one having SSW capabilities. Is SSB being used much in the CB world?
     
  3. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    to be honest, i would say "no," at least with mobile units. if you had a base station in your house, SSB would be a bit more important. the problem is that you can't use it unless the person on the other end has it as well.

    on the road, when everyone is constantly moving in and out of range (for the most part; not so if you're in a convoy), it doesn't matter whatsoever. if you're in a convoy, typically you're close enough together that it really doesn't matter, either.

    i've used both systems, and saved myself some money and problems by buying a unit without it, as it didn't make any difference on the road.

    *edit*
    if you were going all out with dual fiberglass antennas and an amplifier to get about a 50 mile range, then SSB would be helpful with getting a clear chat with people on the fringe. but you won't be getting those ranges, so it really won't help at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2006
  4. krees23

    krees23 Member

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    Good info. Thanks for the bit about the SSB usefulness. That will simplify things considerably. I am going to go with the clock pod install... It should look pretty cool there.
     
  5. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    sweet. i hope you decide to post pics.

    you've chosen a mounting system and an antenna, and i like both very much. ^.^

    have you picked a radio yet? i'd love to see what you've got planned to stick in there now.
     
  6. krees23

    krees23 Member

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  7. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    that would be awesome in there, but that will be quite a squeeze. be sure to have a couple of backup radios, just in case.

    post pictures as you go! lol, i'm drooling over see pics as the project moves along. that's going to be a really great system in there.
     
  8. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    so, krees, have you ordered your goodies yet? are you going to do the install yourself or have someone else do it?
     
  9. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    [bold]DIY Simple Hidden CB Radio[/bold]


    *note: i did this install several months ago. these are just follow up pictures, as i feel no subaru is complete without a cb radio. :devil:

    how many of you like cb radios? they're cool! free talking on the highways, camping, all outdoorsy activites. pretty nifty, i think. they're still pretty common, mind you.

    most people, like myself, though, don't want a huge ugly box sitting on the dash; nor do we want to drill holes in the bodies of our beautiful subarus. maybe we're afraid of adding yet another temptation to rip off the cars.

    well, there is an answer. let's call it Operation: Stealthy CB Radio.
    [​IMG]

    the first thing to do is get the required materials. i picked up the actual electronics at Radio Shack for less than $100 US, total. the tools i had the garage.

    Required Stuff
    cb radio
    antenna with magnetic base and coaxial cable
    swr meter
    screwdrivers
    drill and bits
    pliers
    wire strippers
    any of your choice of wire connections
    socket set

    [bold]Step 1[/bold]
    unwrap that beautiful antenna and take a look. that should be your most expensive piece of equipment, as if you have a crappy antenna, everything is guaranteed to suck. this guide place it on the trunk deck.
    [​IMG]
    looks pretty snazzy, eh? i think so.

    your trunk should already be empty. that's just common sense. :p
    open the trunk up and run your cable from the antenna on down. the simplest way to run it into the cabin is to press it between the back seat and the sheetmetal of the car.
    [​IMG]

    just pull back the carpet and trim on the side of the trunk and press the coaxial on through.
    [​IMG]

    [bold]Step 2[/bold]
    once you've pressed about a foot in, open up the rear passenger door and slide your hand between the side/floor of the actual seat and the cushion. feel around a bit, there is actually quite a bit of flexible room here. go slow and you'll find the cable pretty quickly. that is the single most laborious part of this project. pat yourself on the back.

    [​IMG]
    say, "hello cable," and smile. now turn it along all the way the glovebox. yes, this is a hint of things to come.

    tuck it along the trim work around the doors and support beam. you won't find any trouble right up to the kickpanel, where a rather large plastic screw holds the trim down. pull it out, run the cable up through and tighten it back down.
    [​IMG]
    leave yourself a little slack for the future.

    [bold]Step 3[/bold]
    to get the cable into the glove box will require some work. you can either pull the glove box all together, or do what i did: use a longass screwdriver to pry between the plastic and create enough of a gap to slip the coax, metal tip and all, up in. which brings me to my next point:

    Disclaimer: Modification of your car involves risks and may void your warranty. I can not be held responsible for the modifications you consciously decide to undertake nor for the results of doing so.

    i didn't say what i did was smart, just that it worked. :run:

    when it's all said and done, the cable will hang like this:
    [​IMG] you *can* zip tie it up, but it's not noticeable unless you're under the dash and the slack is good for moving stuff around.

    [bold]Step 4[/bold]
    here's the best part: radioshack sells the smallest production mobile cb there is. while, with cutting, you can do this same project with damn near any radio, this little thing fits in there perfectly and looks pretty good. it's very easy to find and costs all of $45. great for a beginner and a hideaway radio.

    [​IMG]
    position your radio, test fitting that the box will still close. then you just mark your holes, drill, tighten down the coaxial on the back, and plop it in. easy as can be.

    not half bad, eh?
    [​IMG]
    run the power cable behind the box and down to the floor.

    if you pull back some carpet, you'll notice some tubing going through the firewall. i'm not certain which system it's for, but i believe it's the AC.
    [​IMG]

    getting in closer, you'll see this is the perfect spot if you don't want to put any more than the two small holes in your firewall.
    [​IMG]

    the hardest part to put through is the in-line fuse, but it does go very nicely.
    [​IMG]
    have no fear, just a bit of patience.

    [bold]Step 5[/bold]
    the wires pop right out into the engine bay.
    [​IMG]

    over on the passenger side of the bay, you'll find the best place in the world to place the ground wire.
    [​IMG]
    zip-tying the power cable as you go, work your way along the firewall and around the side to the battery. as you stripped the groundwire before bolting it down, strip about an inch off the power wire, and bolt it down on the positive terminal of your battery.
    [​IMG]

    all that's left is to use the swr meter to tune your setup, which will not be included in this guide, as that's something pretty specific.

    all closed up:
    [​IMG]

    no one in the car can tell you have the radio until the box is opened. as for the rear, when you don't want to use the radio or whenever you don't want people realizing you have one, just toss it in the trunk.
    [​IMG]

    i can provide specific model numbers if anyone wants them; my antenna has stayed on at 105 mph without a problem.

    this is a very simple, fun, useful setup. the whole install doesn't even take over half an hour and it adds a whole new usability to your subie.

    this is my first guide ever, so i apologize in advance for mistakes, especially the horrid quality of the pictures. hey, it's cold out. i'd love to answer any questions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  10. krees23

    krees23 Member

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  11. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    __guided edited to show the three pictures that weren't coming up before__

    yeah, that looks pretty friggin sweet. you'd have to find a cb with the speaker on the front, but i'm sure there's some marine cbs out there made just for it.

    have you ordered the parts or are you changing your mind now? lol, i'm loving your project (as it's less noobish than mine XD ) so keep me updated. ^.^
     
  12. krees23

    krees23 Member

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    I ordered the single din pod to go in the clock pod's place. Once that comes in, I'm going to take it to the local electronics / install establishment to see if anything can be done to it to accomodate the larger than din size radio... it may be a custom install. The guy also has a contact that does custom fiberglass work, so that's an option too.

    One thing that came to me is whether or not there will be enough cooling for the rig in that location.
     
  13. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    active cooling is not much of an issue. as long as air can circulate around/under the CB, it will be fine. in that pod, there will be about an inch on the sides and top, and below there should literally be cubic feet of dash space opened up. plus, if it's too hot outside, you'll probably have your AC on--that pod places the radio just above and between the two main AC tubes in the center of your dash. as long as the sun isn't beating down on it constantly while you're at full power on a very hot day, i'd say you have nothing to worry about.

    *edit*
    horrible frickin' grammar today >.<
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  14. escalante

    escalante Regular member

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    Hehe i just realized what CB radios are. My dad's company uses them a lot. He has about 15 vehicles in total and all of them have one. I also have one here ate home. has like a 20 foot antenna. At the factory theres actually like a mini radio tower.

    He uses it to communicate with the branches of the business.

    Any tips to improve clarity would be much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  15. krees23

    krees23 Member

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    CB transmissions tend to be "line of sight". They don't go through buildings, hills or follow the horizon very well. The only three things that I can think of that would increase clarity would be either increased antenna elevation, go through repeaters (Amateur Radio operators do this alot) or more power.
     
  16. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    he could also upgrade to new radios, given that he didn't cheap out on the antennas. there are radios out there with systems to filter out static and noise, but they're on the more expensive end of the range and if you cheaped out on antennas, it's nothing but a waste of money.
     
  17. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    an addendum to the guide: my cb had an in-line fuse along the power cable. if the radio you choose to use doesn't have this, you can't run a wire straight to the battery as i did--this could lead to a short that might completely demolish your radio. run through your fusebox or ad an in-line fuse instead.
     
  18. Auslander

    Auslander Senior member

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    back from my 23 hour, over 1300 mile trip to pennsylvania and back. the truckers were quite enamored with the cb subie. it saved me from a lot, including weather and over a dozen speeding tickets. twas a great bit of driving, and mount pleasant was ...the best week of my life. ^.^
     
  19. krees23

    krees23 Member

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    Sounds good. My clock pod was shipped yesterday, so I'll probably get it this week sometime... I'll drop it off at the installer to see if it will even be possible. If not, hmmm... I guess I can always put some cool gauges in there and go with the built-in microphone idea... definitely not my favorite option.
     
  20. Polyarny

    Polyarny Regular member

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    mount pleasant... how apt... gald you had a good time furry. talk to you later.
     

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