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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of us who use the CB, what kind of range are you guys & gals get?

I just made a disastrous trip and had very short range- only a hundred feet or so.My family had a handheld in the car as we traveled together. I was not happy at all so I put up a magnetic mount external antenna. There was virtually no difference between the antennas.

So, I contacted a trucker I was driving right next to, and I lost her a few hundred feet away. Is this normal?

How do I fix this? I should be able to reach out about 5 miles on the interstate.

Before I left on this trip, I checked with a local CB shop and was able to talk several miles away. I was also about to talked to another driver 3-4 miles away when my bike was parked in my hangar.
 

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have you had your antanae tuned? many do not know that antanae need to be tuned whitch increases performance. i bought a swr meter at fry,s electronics for about 10.00. i used to tune radio antanae years ago when i worked for radio shack but i am rusty and will need to do research before i try again.
 

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Check that your squelch is adjusted. Turn the right hand knob on your CB counterclockwise until you get static and then rotate clockwise just enough to stop the static.
 

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Are you having more difficulties with transmissions or reception? If it's transmission checking the VSWR of your antenna and cable is worth checking first. Much beyond that you'd need an oscilloscope to check the modulation level. If it's the receiver make sure you have your squelch set as low as possible without breaking into static or background noise as already mentioned. It's also possible the headset in your helmet isn't working as well as it could, if possible try to test it with another.
Most of the 1500s I've ridden on or with had a range of nearly a mile which is pretty decent with such a short antenna and not real groundplane. The 1800's CBs seem to be shorter range than the 1500s as a rule.
 

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I regularly chat with an old friend on his base radio as I commute on the 1500 -- On quiet days we have no problems at all (10+ miles at both ends of the trip).

On the not-so-quiet days, he can't find my signal in all the noise (even as close as 5 miles)...

Consider the ambient noise in your evaluation of range as well. In line with what gford posts above, look at the squelch's knob position once you've quieted the static... On the noisy days, my squelch can be above mid-way to get things to quiet down, leaving bike-to-bike range at about a mile or less. On the quiet days, 3 or 4 miles bike-to-bike and 10+ bike-to-base can be done without effort.

Reaching a bit outside of the CB stuff, the noise levels increase with congestion (either local or DX), which is influenced heavily by the solar cycle (like an 11-year cycle of sunspot/flare/magnetic stuff) due to the wavelength of CB (11 meters 26.965-27.40Mhz). 2013 should be the peak year for the current cycle, meaning that we've got a few noisy days ahead of us...
 

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CB operations on a Goldwing are poor at best, this is due to the bike not having the ground plane needed for the frequencies that the CB uses. These antennas are what is called "counterpoised" antennas and required a 1/4 wave ground plane to operate as designed. One way around this is to go to a "Non-ground plane" antenna design, the only problem with this is, where to put the extra coax.
 

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I get "Line-of-Sight" distance on mine, of up to ~1 mile between two GL1500's
 

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I've had anything from half a mile up to five miles out of mine. It's inconsistent and can't really be relied on.
 

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Piaggio MP3, was 02 GL1800
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Mine is much the same, "line of sight" is okay.

Usually ride within a 1/2 mile of my co-rider anyway, so it is not much of a problem for me.
 

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I have had similar problems with mine, it definitely receives from far greater distances than it transmits, and I have noticed the 1800 to be even worse, adjusting the squelch down to increase sensitivity will help with receiving but when u pull into a gas station it will pick up all sorts of interference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: I was talking to a trucker on the interstate yesterday and was checking my distance with him. I was almost 2 miles away before we broke up.

So, at least that time I had maybe a mile and half of wall to wall behind and in front of the trucker.
 
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