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Temporary radio installations

Jimmy asks: If I accidentally touch a CB radio antenna, or if it is touching anything else, will it blow a fuse or break anything?

I will be putting in a CB transceiver in my car, but since it is just for temporary use, I will have the antenna inside the car. I know it won’t have much range, but it might touch something and I want to know if that might be a problem.

By the way, what does it mean when someone says to ‘key the mike’ on a two-way radio, such as a CB or an FRS radio?




One Response to “Temporary radio installations”

  1. Admin says:

    A poorly-made ‘temporary’ installation, such as you describe, is NOT a good idea because changing SWR or too-high SWR can damage your transceiver. It can burn out the final RF transistors inside the CB radio’s transmitter circuit. And also, even if the radio survives, all that the radiated RF energy inside the vehicle won’t be doing you very much good either!

    I urge you to at least get yourself a magnetic mount antenna for your CB transceiver, and place the magnetic base slap bang in the center of your car’s roof. That way you will send and receive a decent signal, and won’t be radiating yourself. You can get power for your CB from the car’s cigarette lighter socket. To prevent scratching the car’s paintwork, you can place a piece of clean and thin cotton rag or a cut piece of plastic bag between your antenna magnetic base and the car’s metal.

    Of course, you could avoid the whole problem by using a pair of FRS walkie-talkies. They use UHF frequencies and are lower-powered than a CB. But for car-to-car contacts while you re driving, like in a convoy, they should be fine. They are also very convenient and low-key.

    Oh yes… your final question. Keying a mike just means pressing the transmit button, the PTT or push-to-talk switch on the side of a walkie talkie or on a transceiver’s microphone. Some folks I know, refer to it as ‘Pressing the tit’. (I am sure you needed to know that! lol.)


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