Italy KL203P: Plug and Play?

Discussion in 'CB Radio Forum' started by madmoneymike5, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. madmoneymike5

    madmoneymike5 Medium Load Member

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    Alright. Ok. My curiosity is peaked.

    Considering an amp for my Cobra 29 LX. I want to extend my transmit range a few extra miles. Don't give a #### about skipping across the country.

    Any chance an Italy KL203P will suffice for my purposes? Is it plug and play or do I absolutely have to risk it with a Golden Screwdriver?
     
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  3. drivingmissdaisy

    drivingmissdaisy Medium Load Member

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    No its PNP. It won't do much for you over stock wattage but if you wish to do that, go for it. Just make sure the antenna is good.
     
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  4. madmoneymike5

    madmoneymike5 Medium Load Member

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    How much is "not much?" If I could add just 2 to 4 miles to my transmit range, I'd be happy. At the same time, I don't want to sound like I'm eating the mic for a snack.
     
  5. drivingmissdaisy

    drivingmissdaisy Medium Load Member

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    It all depends on so many things.

    If you have a quiet night with good propagation, you can chat 15 miles with stock wattage. If you're in a noisy area with a lot of electrical noise like a big city, you may not get 2 miles with 150 watts. If you have a crappy antenna you could get less than a mile with 300 watts. But what you have to remember is "range" would depend not only on YOUR power but the person you're talking to. If you transmit and people can hear you 20 miles away but you can't hear them reply, you'll never know what kind of range you're really getting. The 203 is a good little amp but it's not going to make up for a bad installation. And the CB band really doesn't seem to benefit from small increases in power. Range doesn't seem to really go up much until you're pushing almost a kilowatt. That's ridiculous.

    Range is more a factor of noise, altitude, antenna quality, etc than just sheer power. For example, when I started driving I had a 20 year old Uniden 5 something. It's like the size of a small tablet. 4 watts. I was talking to a driver one evening who told me he had some amp installed, not sure which one. He said he was doing 100 watts. Ok. Cool. We talked until he took an exit. As we got further apart he kept talking. Eventually I couldn't hear him anymore yet when I asked if he could still hear me I managed to hear a very scratchy "loud and clear" before I lost him completely.

    So a well installed radio and antenna installed by a Ham radio operator with 15 years of radio installation experience managed better range with less than 5% the power of this other guy who had an amp. Just like sex, it's not all about size, it's about knowing how to use what you've got.

    I have a small amp that pushes very few watts. I only use it because my President offers adjustable power output, so the radio draws less power than it would pushing 4 watts. I push 1 watt into my little amp which only puts out like 15 watts or something. I'm letting the amp do the work to let the radio last longer because it's not working as hard. Just my personal preference and many many people run radios at full 4 watts for decades without issues. But the number one enemy of electronics is heat and things get hotter the more power you push. The heat sink on my amp is the size of the amp. So it's designed to work. My little radio really isn't. I mean 4 watts isn't much but sometimes I get long winded and don't need my radio getting hot and cold over and over again. That's what can crack solder joints.

    But your results may vary. I'm just giving you my experience and opinions.

    You can read this website and learn a lot. There is WAY more to range than just power as you can see.

    CB Antenna Range Approximations
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  6. madmoneymike5

    madmoneymike5 Medium Load Member

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    I've got a 7' skipshooter mounted to the mirror of my Cascadia. SWR on 1 and 40 are 1.2 to 1
    5 depending on if I'm sitting (1.5 with antenna sagging forward) or driving (1.2 with antenna erect due to wind resistance), and flat to 1.1 on 19 while driving. I've read that article and bought all my stuff from them (except antenna). I can hear for 20 miles, especially those pushing power. But on average, most folks only hear me for about 5 or less. I would really like to be able to get out 7 to 10.

    But you're saying that the Italy can be plug and play and I don't necessarily need a "peak and tune" or turn down the wattage inside my virgin radio? Is that right?

    It's "virgin" because no so called tech has been inside it and I'd kinda like to keep it that way because I don't know who to trust or how to know who to trust.
     
  7. skellr

    skellr Road Train Member

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    Yeah, it will be fine.

    As long as you don't have issues with your antenna or coax, and don't tweak the radio. Beware of ice on you antenna in the winter as it will raise you SWR and probably burn up the amp.
     
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  8. skellr

    skellr Road Train Member

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    Not sure why my phone autocorrected 'your' into 'you'.

    I should turn that junk off...
     
  9. Meteorgray

    Meteorgray Medium Load Member

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    That little 203P amp will make a difference.

    The 50W "average" output I measure with mine (PEP is much higher) won't get me in the Super Bowl, but it does make a discernable difference in everyday traffic on the road. Ain't no doubt about it.

    And it is truly P & P:

    It doesn't take a Golden Screwdriver in your radio since it can handle 4W incoming.

    It doesn't take an electrician under the dash since it draws only 10A in full transmit, which any factory cigar lighter outlet can handle.

    It doesn't take a carpenter to fit it in somewhere since it's about the size of a cell phone, only a little thicker.

    And the 203P has a reputation for longevity, reliability and effectiveness among those who partake.

    For less than a hundred bucks, there ain't a better bargain out there for those who want a reasonable "boost" in their everyday RF offerings.
     
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  10. madmoneymike5

    madmoneymike5 Medium Load Member

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    I effing love this. LOL

    Thanks!
     
  11. madmoneymike5

    madmoneymike5 Medium Load Member

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    After I get this thing installed, will I need to redo SWR tuning?

    Any thoughts on this 203P vs the 503? Is the 503 also plug and play?
     
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