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Thread: amp questions

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    Bobtail Member
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    amp questions

    Hey I'm new to all this, been using cb's at work for years, nothing special, hooked em up and talked never even checking the swr. Recently bought a new galaxy 33hp2 and started getting into it alot more, getting swr right and it talks great, very pleased with the radio. So me and a friend are also in a 4x4 club, so I switch radio from a company truck to my 4x4. Anyway we get the idea to get some small amps. We both get the midnight special 250, thinking as good as our radios talk now, the lil amps will really give us quite a bit more distance. The problem is, we can't tell a difference with em on or off, we've actually talked farther, and clearer barefooted. The radios have a low-med-high switch, and when reading up on the radio before I bought it, it said the low was good for amps, so that's what I been running it on, but I have switched the radio on high just to see a difference if any, of coarse no difference. Anyone have some suggestions? I'd take all yall have, thanks


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    Road Train Member
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    How far away were you from the other guy?

    All an amp does is throws the signal out further. It doesn't make you louder.

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    Bobtail Member
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    13 miles or so, sometimes we can talk good barefoot, squelch all the way so we can pull each other in, sometimes it's good and clear, sometimes can't hear one another, I guess depends on weather and stuff. But we was figuring with the little amps we should be able talk good all the time? that's why we got the amp to get more distance, but that was another question I had after we been dealing with all this.....do ya get em for distance? Clarity maybe? or just to walk over people? Like I said, I'm new to all this, so sorry if some of the questions are pretty stupid.

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    People add amps for a multitude of reasons....most of the time it's to extend their range.

    All too often though, the ones who are trying to extend their range, are not running an ideal antenna for CB to begin with when they could be. For example, I don't know how many times I've heard someone say "I need an amp to talk 10 miles ahead of me" when you look at their antenna and find they have a crappy 3 foot fiberglass whip....yet if they'd change to a 5 ft steel whip, while still not as good as the best CB antenna (102 whip...albeit too tall for most) will allow one to talk and hear farther than a 3 foot or even a 4 foot fiberglass whip.

    The amps illegally used on CB do not add clarity at all. in fact, more often than not they add distortion, because they usually don't have any type of filtering in them.

    And yes amps are also used to "cut the lips off" of others.

    When you're at 13 miles, do you watch your S meter between when your buddy has his amp on and when he has it off? You should see your needle jump about 1 S unit difference from him turning it on from off. That's probably about as much difference as you're going to be able to tell. Although he might sound a little louder, or maybe not.

    And yes propagational conditions play a role as to how well you're going to hear him at 13 miles

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    Bobtail Member
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    Well I will say we don't have the best antennas one can have, I have a browning about a 3 ft steel whip mounted thru the roof on my pickup, we tuned it and all. I would just think one could tell quite a bit of a difference with the amp on? I mean you know your cruising along your jabbering with someone, got the squelch set to where u don't hear everything (up? Down? Not sure which is which?) but when your buddy keys up you hear him good. Then you start losing him, reach over flip the amp on and boom your talking again. That's what I was thinking, am I way off on that issue?

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    "Don Cheto" Big Duker's Avatar
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    I have a 33hp. Good radio. Get with someone who is trained and get your antenna situation fixed. Always the most important part of any properly working radio. Amps are like race cars. The more power you want the more you need to be willing to spend to make them work properly. HP costs money.

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    Bobtail Member
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    Yeah everything I've read and heard I understand that the antenna makes a radio. The guy I bought the antenna from said that antenna would do what we was looking for, we even talked about the little amps. Now I'm not saying he didn't just wanna make a sale, I'm sure you know what I mean, lol. But I am very impressed with the setup barefoot, for what what we do anyway.

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    Bobtail Member
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    So just a ballpark figure, with everything right, and we're talking good and clear 6-7 miles, when you flip the amp on what kind of distance should a guy expect it to add to that?

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    Road Train Member EZ Money's Avatar
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    It would be a good idea to have the radio set for the amp by a CB tech....
    On low power you still may be over driving the amp. Most of those type amps like about a 1 to 2 watt dead key for input.
    Reading the specs on that radio the low power setting is .5 watts from the factory.
    Did you have the radio peaked and tuned? That could be the problem.
    You need the low setting to be between 1 to 2 watts.
    Last edited by EZ Money; 04.06.2013 at 09.25 AM.

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    You maybe able to flip the switch and reach out and touch someone with the amp on but you can only receive so far.. My opinion would be to get you a better antenna also and make sure everything is set up to match when you start playing with and adding amps into your set up. There is a lot more than just flipping the switch. Gets very expensive learning things by just flipping a switch. A little amp like you are talking can't take much drive into so you maybe flipping the switch already and your amp is not working specially if you flipped your radio on High once and keyed up as I thought I read where you tried that also. Anything over a 3 watt dead key it's a matter of time before that amp is toast. Before I would even key that radio with a amp in line I would make sure you know your swr's and what your radio is dead keying at before hooking up your amp..

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