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Author Topic: MY CB GO BOX  (Read 2184 times)

NF822WNY

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MY CB GO BOX
« on: September 11, 2017, 02:43:07 PM »
Hello all,
This is my first post and I hope I do not offend anyone but I am a CB'er  :)  Someday eventually I will get licensed and go spend all my extra money on "real" radios but for now CB's suit my needs.  That being said, i do like all the fun Ham's have with their projects.  So I started my own.  A CB go box! Before you all say it, I already have a handheld and a radio in my truck, this is just a fun project and would like to have a base station that i can pack up on a moments notice...I'm kind of a prepper ;) 

I have my radio, speaker, emergency amplifier, swr meter and PA hooked up so far.  I will be installing a second antenna hook up to go to a dipole or eventually a mobile omni-directional antenna (Field Day style)  Photo attached upon approval.

I need some advise for my final components:

1. Battery (thinking a bioenno 30 or 40 amp hour LiFePo4 with a AC smart charger, should give me ample talk time)
2. Rigrunner (I think i have narrowed this down to the RR-4004U-C)
2. Charge controller (for using a solar panel for charging purposes, but not sure if this depends on which panels are used)
3. Battery Meter (I would like to be able to monitor output as well as battery life)
4. Solar Panel (I would like a fold able or roll up solar panel that will travel well, not sure what size i will need)

Once i have these components I plan on Anderson Power Poling all power connections etc. 

I look forward to any feedback!

 

cockpitbob

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 07:42:47 PM »
Hi NF822WNY (wow, that's a mouthful)
Welcome to the forum! 

I don't think anyone here is going to give you a hard time about CB.  Most of have a CB in a box somewhere, just in case the SHTF.  There's probably more CBs out there than ham rigs, so lots of information will be flowing out on 11meters.

I'll ask the standard Radioprepper's question.  How much current does the rig draw in receive?  Batteries are expensive and heavy so I don't go overboard on the size. I figure 12-20hours of listening is a big enough battery.

I'm not much help on your questions.  I just have a little advice on the Charge Controller.  You only need one rated for the amps the solar panel will be putting out, plus some margin.  For power supplies and similar things, I try to buy one that is rated for at least 30% more than I need.  That is, if the radio draws 8A in Tx, I'll probably get a 12A power supply so it's only at 67% max.  As far as brands go, I don't have any advice.

Again, welcome aboard.  That's a fun project you have going there.

NF822WNY

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 08:27:48 PM »
Thank you Cockpitbob for your response...  My rig uses about 2A on AM and 4 on SSb...If connected to the amp it draws an additional 10...I figured a 40ah Lifepo4 would let me run about 10 hours stock and close to 3 if full powered.  I think that is a pretty good. 

Thanks for the input on the solar charge controller and panel...at least i have an idea of the size i need to look for. 

I have a pretty good idea that the rig runner RR-4004U-C will work for my power distribution needs, plus its got 2 usb ports that will be handy..

My main question would be on a battery meter...i have read a lot into Ares and Races go box rigs and they have small voltage meters but haven't seen any with a meter that shows voltage and reads the batteries capacity...that would be ideal so i can switch between power levels.

 

cockpitbob

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 09:28:13 PM »
2A and 2A.  I trust that's during Tx, not Rx.  Even so, that's a lot for a 4W CB radio, unless that includes the cough emergency cough amp.  My 100W, all mode, all band ham rig (FT-857) draws about 0.7A during receive.  Receive current is the one I pay attention to since I tend to be listening 90% of the time.

A battery capacity meter would be nice to have.  Much better than just Volts.  I just took a quick look and they exist but I have no idea which ones are good.

NF822WNY

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 11:02:28 PM »
Yes those numbers are all via tx not rx...i figure if i plan for tx i will have plenty of capacity.  So 40 ah may be agressive but the capacity will be there if needed, also taking into account if said "amp" were being used.  I dont run a lot of power, id prefer to have a better antenna setup.

gil

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 02:44:38 PM »
Hello and welcome aboard :-)

This site, as much as it may seem like it, is not a ham radio forum, but a radio prepping forum. Of course CBers are welcome, I was one, and CB is a great tool.

I would suggest going as light as practical on the battery and use the amp only in case of extreme necessity. Usually when 11m is closed it doesn't matter how much power you have. For local comms
 it might help, but I'd rather bet on a good antenna, half-wave end-fed, easy since it will be only around 5.5m long!

Gil

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« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 02:46:47 PM by gil »

NF822WNY

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 03:35:58 PM »
Thanks Gil!, love your videos by the way!  Thank you for the antenna advise, I have a couple of ideas and will be using this project to further my expedient antenna ideas.  More to post once i get this project into the field.
 

gil

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 03:52:47 PM »
You're welcome. BTW I highly recommend the Solarcon Imax 2000, great antenna for CB!

Gil.

NF822WNY

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 09:22:12 AM »
Well my go box is complete.  I went with a 40ah Bioenno LiFePo4 battery and a rigrunner 4004USB for my power distribution.  I bought the AC charger for the battery and will work on the solar components at another date.  The whole box in total weighs about 20lbs so i wont be climbing any mountains with it but it is totally self contained in the box with enough room for my dipole antenna and some coax.  It seems to fit the bill as my portable base station.   Initial tests with this rig were done with my base antenna, A-99, and i got good local contacts coming through loud and clear. 

cockpitbob

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 02:18:48 PM »
Very nicely done!

gil

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 02:46:36 PM »
Looks good!

I wish more people would think of portable operations instead of staying in the shack!
Now we need videos of you operating it in the field  ;)

Gil.

NF822WNY

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 08:06:53 AM »
I will have to video this at some point.  I took this out in the back yard last night for a test with the dipole.  I wish I could say i was pleased.  I set up with an inverted v formation on the dipole, center was about 15-20 feet up.  I turned on the radio and got really great receive but i couldn't get anyone to hear me.  I conducted a test with my mobile unit in my truck and i was getting signal but i couldn't get the locals to copy back.  I did switch up directions on the dipole to see if that could help (N to S then E to W).  I am not sure if height was the issue, have many trees in my back yard but none are great for a dipole.  At this point i don't know if i want to scratch the idea of a dipole and switch to a dedicated omni or what to do...I guess i was due for a strike out...Everything radio i have worked on in the last few months has gone flawless. 

gil

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 12:11:24 PM »
Most CB antennas are verticals. You are using a horizontally polarised antenna... There is about a 20db loss for cross-polarization.... That might explain...
Gil

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NF822WNY

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 04:02:09 PM »
Gil,
Been looking into this all day reading info on antenna set ups etc.  I think you are right, i am going to re test with with a vertical or slope and see if i get better results.  I will keep you posted! :)

NF822WNY

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Re: MY CB GO BOX
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2017, 03:55:48 PM »
I am now into the market for a solar panel to recharge and run my Go Box with a 40 amp hour Bioenno LiFepo4.  What are some suggestions for panel?