Friday, September 12, 2014

My adventures on the Citizens Band

W7DTG's citizen band adventure's


Being an avid radio operator and a licensed ham has it's disadvantages at times. Take for instance my Uniden Pro505XL that I have been harping about for so long.
The Uniden Pro505XL fits nicely in the Toyota Blender


Being the only licensed ham radio operator in the house, I was looking for a way to communicate with my family while on the road to and from work. Citizens Band to the rescue! I hooked up my Trusty little Pro505XL and Wilson 1000 mag-mount into the Toyota Blender (1989 Toyota Tercel EZ) and a Uniden President Washington base to my 3 element hygain TH3jr beam antenna, and was expecting at least a 5 to 10 mile range. Needles to say I was very disappointed in this setup.

As a side note, why the Toyota Blender ? The Toyota Tercel was an excellent example of economic vehicles produced by Toyota during the 1980's. it is hard to believe that after 300,000 miles the darn thing still runs. So why a Blender. That is the noise it makes when you are going down the highway at 55 MPH. it really DOES sound like a blender crushing ice cubes.

I wish MY Toyota Tercel EZ Blender looked this nice.


An excellent review of the Uniden Pro505XL

On our first attempt at communication, I found that I had a horrific noise when the motor was running. PFFFT! Flipping on the ANL (Automatic Noise Limiter) and NB (Noise Blanker) Got rid of the engine noise just dandy, but also attenuated the incoming signals so badly that I still couldn't hear anything. What the heck is up with that ?

On further inspection, it also turned out the the CB base station had also been modified at some point an now had an open clarifier. UH-OH! That is actually illegal to be used on the CB bands. To make matters worse, the job had been done very poorly and the radio jumped around. With no way to know what frequency I was on, and whether or not I was even close to the right frequency (27.405MHZ CH#40) I pulled the plug on the Washington and put the thing back in the closet. That would also explain why the base station couldn't hear me for more than a mile.

I was finally able to hook up a Cobra 29LTD mobile that worked properly without any modifications and had the base unit back in working order.

Back to the mobile unit, I found that the engine noise was so horrific that I finally had to pull the Uniden Pro505XL out and swap in a Uniden PC78 40 Channel radio. GREAT! The ANL and NB worked like they should, and everything was fine again. I had about a 5 mile radius with the little five watt radio. In this country with lots of hills and trees that I about to be expected. I could at least now warn the family that I was almost home. That is, I COULD until I discovered that the Uniden PC78 had some modifications done to give it talk-back features and a horrific echo that made me sound like I was in a tin can. Back to square one.
The Uniden Pro505XL is under $40 bucks at Amazon.



SO, I am now looking at the Uniden pro505XL again, which I know is a stock radio fully compliant with the F.C.C regulations for use here in the United States.

 I like the small package of the Uniden Pro505XL and it's clean sounding audio. No distortion. No illegal modifications to jeopardize my Amateur Radio License. Just good clean communications for me and the family.

I have run the positive and negative wires directly to the battery hoping to get rid of the enine noise coming from the Toyo-Blender. I am currently looking at different methods to get rid of this interference so that I can hear the base unit.

One method to check where the noise is coming from is to disconnect the antenna to see whether the noise is coming from the antenna system or through the power lines going to the radio. I also have the options of using several filters on the power cables going directly to the battery. One other train of thought is replacing the old spark plug wires to reduce some of the interference. I am open to suggestions at this point.

So what am I missing here ?