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  1. Default Cobra 19 Ultra III

    Anyone every have any experience with this model of CB?

    I just purchased a pair of these and installed one in my 87 BII and one in my buddy's 86 BII! We wanted a reliable source of comm during a weekend wheeling trip! I've always thought CB's were good for that!

    Unfortunately we learned that unless we were within 75 yards or less of each other the Radios were useless! And thats with a clear line of sight!

    Have I installed these incorrectly? Is this particular model that short ranged?

    I was alway given the impression that CB's had at least a few miles range!

    Hope I found the right spot for this ?... I did a search and found alot of info from Roadtrip America about CB's...

    Thanks in advance!

    Cheers

    Nemisus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default That is a surprising price for a 40-channel unit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemisus View Post
    Unfortunately we learned that unless we were within 75 yards or less of each other the Radios were useless! And thats with a clear line of sight!
    One kind of antenna are you using? And where did you mount the antenna. And did you have the antenna tuned to the radios? Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! It is amazing that one can buy a 40-channel transceiver for only $35.00 these days.

    Assuming that the antenna is properly tuned, you ought to have line-of-sight -- which is usually about 10-15 miles.

    Mark

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    what kind of antenna are you using? And where did you mount the antenna. And did you have the antenna tuned to the radios? Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! It is amazing that one can buy a 40-channel transceiver for only $35.00 these days.

    Assuming that the antenna is properly tuned, you ought to have line-of-sight -- which is usually about 10-15 miles.

    Mark

    Thanks for the welcome! Neat place!

    My antenna of choice is a 5/8 wave CB Firestik: Model KW3!

    After posting this I did a little research... until now I had know idea these needed tuning! So thats a big no on the tuning part!

    As for the mounting location... back passenger quarter panel! I'm using an aftermarke bumper with tire-carrier so the stock tire-carrier mounting location seemed adequate enough!... Another mistake I believe I've made is making the Antenna mounting bracket out of aluminum...? So I'm sure I've got NO counterpoise!

    I'm also using a cheapo 20' coax from Radio shack... which I've also learned might be too long and of poor quality!

    The Radio seems nice for what it its... just not worth anything if the max range is 75 yards with clear line of sight!

    How do I go about getting the Radio and Antenna tuned? Any ideas on where I can get a SWR meter?

    I'm sure with the proper tuning and mounting points I'll find my self not so disappointed!

    Thanks for the response! Its very much appreciated!

    Cheers

    Nemisus

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Any CB shop can do it

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemisus View Post
    After posting this I did a little research... until now I had know idea these needed tuning! So thats a big no on the tuning part!
    Here is a brief overview about CBs you might find helpful and here are some great CB resources.
    As for the mounting location... back passenger quarter panel!
    You need as much ground plane as you can get -- which is why roof-top mounts work better.
    I'm also using a cheapo 20' coax from Radio shack... which I've also learned might be too long and of poor quality!
    The coax quality is probably fine, but you want the shortest possible run -- and the coax needs to be tuned to the radio as well.
    The Radio seems nice for what it its... just not worth anything if the max range is 75 yards with clear line of sight!
    I am sure it will work fine.
    How do I go about getting the Radio and Antenna tuned? Any ideas on where I can get a SWR meter?
    Fry's carries the meters -- but you really don't need one. Look up CB in your local yellow pages -- I am sure there is a store nearby. Or a truck stop!

    Here is an article that Chuck Kopelson wrote
    -- that is a great overview about CB's and might be helpful to you as well.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-06-2007 at 09:51 PM. Reason: link to Chuck's Intro to CB Radios article

  5. Default

    Thanks alot Mark!

    This is all great info! I would have ever imagined there to be this much to CB! I can now see why some make a hobby out of it!

    Thanks again for the the links and info!

    Cheers

    Nem

  6. Default

    I've had the best luck with this radio. I had to buy a radioshack SWR meter and a 102" whip antenna to get the radio working perfectly(1.5 SWR). I have the HG A1500 antenna and it isn't really the best for this radio (even though Cobra recommends it). Now all I have to do is find a non destructive way to mount the 102" antenna to my car. LOL

    I have to wonder though, with CB technology being as old as it is, why has nobody made an easy to understand (non laborious reading) tutorial about this technology. There are lots of resources on the web, I know, but I feel like it's overloading sometimes and it loses me in its directive. I'm a hands on AV learner and I wish somebody would make a simple step-by-step presentation that serves as a back bone for the more complex issues without putting me to sleep. LOL

    Well, this is my first post, I hope to hear from you soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default We've tried to solve that issue....

    Quote Originally Posted by Down_South View Post
    I have to wonder though, with CB technology being as old as it is, why has nobody made an easy to understand (non laborious reading) tutorial about this technology.
    We commissioned a series of articles attempting to do just that.... One or more of these might be helpful (I don't have any suggestions for the antenna mounting issue on your car though):

    1. This first one, is one I wrote, that is an overview of the technology...

    2. " CB Radios: The Ideal Traveling Companion" by Andrew Youderian is another overview one...

    3. "How to Pick a CB Radio" by Andrew Youderian

    4. " How to Choose and Mount a CB Radio Antenna" by Andrew Youderian

    5. "Tuning Your CB Radio Antenna" by Andrew Youderian

    And here is a thread with some mounting tips...

    Hope you find the preceding tutorials helpful -- And if you still have some questions -- I'm sure Andrew can help you out -- his contact information is each of those articles.... And welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!

    Mark

  8. Default

    Thanks for the info. How do you crimp coax once its cut to the proper length? is it like crimping TV coax?

    I'm going to run a few questions over the guys at Toyota and see if they have any mounting ideas for my antenna. There are a few bolts under the bumper that might work, but we'll see.

    Thanks for the help and I'll keep you posted.

  9. Default How did everything turn out?

    Did you have to tune your cobra 19 for it to work with the whip antanna?
    I have the same setup and I can't get it to work.

  10. Default Re: Cobra 19 Ultra III

    Well, I will say that I purchased one of these at Walmart, and then tried it out.

    I have had Cobra transceivers many times throughout my lifetime, and always was happy and satisfied with them, until now.
    I had, for example, 23 channel AM Cobra transceivers, the models I have forgotten, and I also had a Cobra 138 I think it was, a 23-channel with AM, USB and LSB, and also had 2 40-channel Cobra 148's, 1 was a GTL and the other was a GTL-ST, which had Sound Tracker, which helped with background noise when skip is coming in from other states, etc.

    Well, first of all, with the Cobra 19 Ultra III, people told me that my audio level was very low or very quiet, so I turned it up to the maximum level inside of the transceiver, secondly, people told me that I was off frequency, operating between channels, so I made a few attempts to tune the transmit frequency, and to get it as close to where the transmit frequency was supposed to be, but people still tell me that my audio is low, and that it still isn't exactly right on frequency, so I am unhappy about this model of Cobra, and unless you know what you are doing, or unless you want to take the chance, even if you mess things up, I wouldn't recommend going into the transceiver to do these adjustments, and technically, unless you are a licensed technician, it may be against the law to even do adjustments, and it would void the warranty too, if you do it during the warranty. So I was thinking either about sending it to someone to have it worked on, or just maybe try buying another one, if I decide to take a chance on getting the same model, but if it's going to cost me 50 dollars to fix, then I would rather buy a different one instead, and that was why I worked on it myself to try and get it to work better or work right.

    I am now using an Uniden Pro 510XL, that a guy gave to me, in trade for something that I had.

    The Uniden works great.

    So, as far as the performance goes, reading a couple more of your messages, yes, you should get at least 4 or 5 miles to another mobile station, if you are using it in a vehicle, but, it also depends upon what type of antenna you are using, as if you are using one of those magnetic mount antennas, then it needs to be placed on either the middle of the roof, like on a car, which is the most desirable location, but it will also work in the middle of the trunk of the car, but then the signals, the transmitted signals, and the received signals will be affected a little bit, as having it on the trunk, it will cause the signals to be slightly directional, instead of equal in all directions, meaning omni-directional (all directions being equal), as far as distance goes.

    Also, if you have the antenna mounted on a mobile home, or camper, or some place like that, if the vertical part of the antenna is too close to other metal, like a camper top for example, then that will reduce the range quite a bit, because metal will block the signals, so if you have the antenna on top of a pick up truck roof, but you have a camper mounted in the box of the pickup, and if the overhang in the front of the camper top is near the antenna, then you won't get as much range to the rear of the vehicle, as the metal of the camper top will block the signals, and if it is close enough to the antenna, it may even affect the standing wave ratio, or SWR, of the antenna, and yes, the antenna should be tuned to a SWR of 1.5 or less, 1:1 is perfect, but 1.2 or 1.3 will work OK, and the antenna will work better the lower you get with the SWR, but the antenna will work OK when the SWR is anything 1.5:1 or lower, and you won't tell much difference between the way the antenna works when the SWR is 1.5 or less, or lower, it is just that it is easier on the transceiver's finals when the SWR is lower, and if the SWR is 2.1 or worse, then you are losing at least 1/2 of your power, and it puts a strain on the final transistor(s), and they may even fail and need replacing, if the SWR is bad, and if the SWR is bad, you won't get much range either, so the performance will suffer.

    On my Wilson 1000 antenna, the way that you tune it, you take the vertical whip and raise it up a little bit, and then tighten the Allen screw, however, if the SWR gets worse, then the whip needs shortening a little bit, like an 1/8th of an inch for example, or maybe 1/4 of an inch, as mobile antennas are usually, not always, but usually, sold with the whip being slightly long, that way you can cut it down to tune it to where you want it to be, and most people will tune it around the middle of the band, meaning around Channel 20 or so.

    I used to have a different antenna that had tuning rings on it, and those you just needed to turn up or down, in the threads, to find where the antenna works the best, then tighten the second ring against the first ring, so that the rings won't move, and I had those on my Antron A-99 base station antenna, and the newer version of it, the Solarcon A-99 base station antenna, which has those tuning rings...and the rings are approximately in the middle of the threads, or just slightly below the center of the threads.

    If your mobile antenna doesn't have a magnetic base, then you would need to mount it to metal, as I have 1 antenna that has a trunk mount on it, so I needed to place that at the front and middle, of the trunk lid, and I needed to tighten 2 Allen screws to anchor it against the trunk lid, and the antenna mount had a place for the coax feedline to wrap around the edge of the trunk lid, and with that antenna, I needed to make sure that it had good contact with the trunk lid, and there was one car that I had years ago, where I actually needed to run a piece of flat Copper strap, between the trunk lid and the car body, as it wasn't getting a good ground between the trunk lid and the car body, plus my old Ford station wagon's exhaust system needed grounding to the car body too, because the exhaust pipe used rubber mounts and the length of the exhaust pipe was almost the same length as the wave length of CB Radio, and the exhaust system was acting like an antenna, causing a lot of static noise on the CB, so to quiet that down, I needed to run a ground strap between the exhaust pipe and the car body.

    Anyway, this is the first time that I was unhappy with Cobra, but I am not even using it anymore, because of the low audio, and because it transmitted off frequency, or between 2 channels, instead of on the channel or frequency.

    I was thinking of trying a power mike on it, or a different mike of some type, but am using the Uniden right now, but only to talk to a friend who still uses it, as I am a licensed Ham Radio operator, and am mostly there, and those get more range than CB Radios, other than on what they call 10 Meters, which is only about 1 MHz from CB, which they refer to as 11 Meters, and 10 Meter Ham works just like 11 Meter CB Radio, but, on Ham Radio, you can put out more power, legally, than you can on CB Radio, so it is sort of more preferable to use Ham Radio, but of course, Ham Radio requires taking tests to get licensed, but they have made getting your license easier, as you used to have to learn Morse Code, and they no longer require that.

    Anyway, make sure the antenna's SWR is tuned, to 1.5 or less, and also make note of where you mount it, if on a vehicle, try to keep it away from any metal around the vertical whip part of the antenna, and also make sure that the coax is not loose where it goes into the CB...Also, if you park behind a building that has metal siding, that will reduce your signal in the direction of the other side of the building.

    Well I hope that helps you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemisus View Post
    Anyone every have any experience with this model of CB?

    I just purchased a pair of these and installed one in my 87 BII and one in my buddy's 86 BII! We wanted a reliable source of comm during a weekend wheeling trip! I've always thought CB's were good for that!

    Unfortunately we learned that unless we were within 75 yards or less of each other the Radios were useless! And thats with a clear line of sight!

    Have I installed these incorrectly? Is this particular model that short ranged?

    I was alway given the impression that CB's had at least a few miles range!

    Hope I found the right spot for this ?... I did a search and found alot of info from Roadtrip America about CB's...

    Thanks in advance!

    Cheers

    Nemisus

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