Odd ball question about a CB Radio and batteries. - HobbyTalk
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Seventy7's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Jersey
Posts: 350
Odd ball question about a CB Radio and batteries.

Quick rundown: I am an LTL truck driver and use a CB in my truck for a good part of the day. I also happen to live about 6 miles from the terminal I work out of. I enjoy the unit I have in my truck so much I thought I'd get a small handheld unit, beef it up with a telescoping antenna and see if I could actually hear what was going on with the night crew, weekend guys etc...

I bought a Cobra 38 which got great reviews. Plugged it into the 12v of my car, pulled out the antenna and drove around for about 20 miles total with nothing but white noise. Really disappointed and couldn't figure it out. I drove with it down to my gym where a major highway runs through and couldn't pick up ANYTHING..played with squelch, channels, weather band etc etc..nothing.

Just for kicks I decided I'd give it one last shot and filled it up with 9 fresh AA batteries, turned it on (from inside my house where I'm not in a very open space) and proceeded to hear more radio chat than I ever did..I put it on scan and I was picking up trucks out in Long Island which is a good 60+ miles from me here in NJ. Not only was a receiving strong signals but apparently transmitting them as well.

I thought maybe I was lucky or running some kind of "skip" (they say on a clear day with good frequencies you can transmit pretty far)...but with the batteries in it continued every time I turned on the unit for days until they died.

So my question after all of that is: Why is having the 9 Duracell batteries allowing this radio to function perfectly but when the batteries are out and it's running off of the power from my car--it works like total crap???

I don't know how many electronic savy guys we have on here but a little insight would be much appreciated. Thanks
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 19
I've never had any luck with a handheld inside a vehicle. you need to get the antenna outside of the vehicle. Your house is built of wood, so your signal is getting in and out. You car is shielding the signal.

Using the 12v accessory plug is usually ok, but it is very possible to get some engine noise from it. I would try a different power source, or at least a better ground. It's always best to go right to the battery with a 7a fuse in series with the positive, then I usually ground it to a seat post.

Also in the tri-state area you'll do alot better at night with a cb. There is just too much talk during the day on the cb band it's a wonder sometimes getting out a mile without being stepped on.
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