HAMs: A CB question


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HAMs: A CB question

Post by WingAdmin »



Here's a problem I came across a couple of years ago that I never solved. Are you a HAM? Or have some technical knowledge about radios? I am a licensed HAM, but I'm stumped on this.

So here's the situation: I was out for a ride with friends. I'm on my GL1500, another friend on his 2005 GL1800, and two others on non-Goldwings, each with a J&M CB. The GL1500 and GL1800 both had Honda OEM CB's.

All of us could talk to each other with no problems - with one exception: When the GL1800 owner transmitted, I couldn't hear him on my GL1500 CB. It would break squelch, the carrier was strong, and if I turned the volume up REALLY high, I could barely make out his voice. It was almost like he had modulation gain turned almost all the way down (if there was such an adjustment on a Goldwing CB). Except: The two riders with J&M CB's could hear him perfectly. And when I transmitted, he could hear me perfectly.

So the problem was that when he transmitted, everyone could hear him perfectly except me. I have never experienced this before on my bike's CB with anyone else, including other GL1800's.

We tried several different channels all the way up and down the band, and it was the same on every channel. It didn't matter if he was right next to me or a half mile down the road.

Perplexed, a few days later I brought over an SWR meter and frequency counter and hooked them up to his bike. SWR was nominal, and the carrier frequency his CB was putting out was dead on, for every channel.

So not knowing what else to try, I gave up. I was thinking about it the other day, and realized it still bothers me that I never figured out the cause.

Anyone have any insight they might want to offer?


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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by AZgl1800 »

my first suspicion is the Rf front end is de-sensing.

Every CB radio I have seen, is subject to that problem, and that includes all of the Honda CB radios.

if you are within 20 feet roughly, it unsquelches but no audio is recovered.

Back off, give more separation between the bikes.

Good receiver design goes a long way to solve this problem, but it is still there..
the higher end Yaesu and iCom and Kenwood brands can operate side by side during Field Day without de-sensing.

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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by ka4yqi »

Scott, see if he has another mic setup. My friend have a problem with his and it was kinda like that. His mic was his problem, for some reason it was not enough drive for it for a couple of us to hear him good.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by MikeB »

Scott, as I read about your dilema my first was there was receiver blocking. Something that is caused by the receiver automatic gain control (AGC) not doing its job. We had that situation with the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom UHF radios. All it took was to properly adjust the receiver AGC to prevent the blocking. I have seen this happen with our Gold Wing CB radios too. Usually, increasing disatnce between the transmitter and receiver of the Honda CB's would help greatly.

But, as I read your post I see that you did increase separation between your receiver and his transmitter and it didn't help. Still, the sypmptoms scream AGC problems. I do not know what kind of distance you got between you two but It would be nice to know. How did it work as you got a few blocks of separation? Did the performance improve?
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by tamathumper »

Are you both corded, or Bluetooth?

If corded, switch mics - does the problem still occur? Does it follow the mic?

On its surface it doesn't explain why you're the only one not hearing only one of a population of transmitters, but it's easy to do and it will help to rule something out.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by WingAdmin »

AZgl1800 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:23 pm my first suspicion is the Rf front end is de-sensing.

Every CB radio I have seen, is subject to that problem, and that includes all of the Honda CB radios.

if you are within 20 feet roughly, it unsquelches but no audio is recovered.

Back off, give more separation between the bikes.

Good receiver design goes a long way to solve this problem, but it is still there..
the higher end Yaesu and iCom and Kenwood brands can operate side by side during Field Day without de-sensing.

my avocation was Communications from 1958-2010
That was my first thought, which is why I had him ride away for a bit. But even at a range of a half mile or more, the same thing was happening. I could get him to ride away until the carrier signal itself started to break up, but the audio modulation was still just barely detectable.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by MikeB »

WingAdmin wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:52 pm So not knowing what else to try, I gave up. I was thinking about it the other day, and realized it still bothers me that I never figured out the cause.

Anyone have any insight they might want to offer?
Did you try connecting an RF Signal generator to your radio to see if your receiver was on freq and what the bandpass was?
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by Solo So Long »

Idea 1: Bandwidth. He's too wide or too narrow, your radio is set the opposite way.

Idea 2: Verify that his carrier is dead on, and that your receiver is dead on.

It would have been nice to try it with several other Wing factory radios. The other brands have other characteristics.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by WingAdmin »

Solo So Long wrote: Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:07 am Idea 1: Bandwidth. He's too wide or too narrow, your radio is set the opposite way.

Idea 2: Verify that his carrier is dead on, and that your receiver is dead on.

It would have been nice to try it with several other Wing factory radios. The other brands have other characteristics.
Idea 1 - could be. Idea 2, I did put a frequency counter on both his and my radios, and they are dead on.

I should mention that we both have talked with other Wing CBs many times for many years, with no problems, ever. It's only between our two radios that we experienced the problem!
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by Solo So Long »

CB radios are sloppy. Heathkits were higher quality than some of the CBs I ever looked into -- and that was back in the 1970s, when the top brands were still top brands (Pace, EF Johnson, Radio Shack, Teaberry, Lafayette, etc). There is a lot of overlap in tolerances between the brands. That means that you could be enough out of alignment that you can't hear some radios that are out at the other end of the tolerances, but still be able to talk to thousands of other radios.

What you might do is find out what the specific model of each of the radios is, and check with a CB shop (usually at or around truck stops) to see if the guy there has the documentation or can deal with this.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by detdrbuzzard »

most time its simply that you are to close. many moons back i was at the park with a bunch of friends when it started raining. some jumped in my van and some were in other vans and PU trucks. we all had CB radios and started talking. like you i could hear them but the guy i was talking to was 35 miles away, i was over shooting my guys
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by WingAdmin »

detdrbuzzard wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 7:04 am most time its simply that you are to close. many moons back i was at the park with a bunch of friends when it started raining. some jumped in my van and some were in other vans and PU trucks. we all had CB radios and started talking. like you i could hear them but the guy i was talking to was 35 miles away, i was over shooting my guys
Thought of that at first as well, but had him ride a mile down the road, and it never improved.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by chaen »

Hey everyone, Greetings From Thailand!
I have not seen an answer to a question, so I'm going to pop it out there. Has anyone found a decent VHF radio that could be mounted on the goldwing without any clutter? I'm in Thailand, and I would like to install a VHF radio, but I just don't know where to start. 2001's don't have a whole lot of space, and everyone is using a walkie talkie, but I wanted a more settle approach. I would like something I could mount within the bike and use it. So before I dig too hard, I thought I would ask everyone, have you done this? any chance you could post your install, so I have an idea of how you did it? CB's are not popular in Thailand, so I dont use my cb. I'm pretty sure someone has had a chance to do this. Thought I would send this message out. Thanks in advance! :D
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by DaveO430 »

chaen wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:15 pm Hey everyone, Greetings From Thailand!
I have not seen an answer to a question, so I'm going to pop it out there. Has anyone found a decent VHF radio that could be mounted on the goldwing without any clutter? I'm in Thailand, and I would like to install a VHF radio, but I just don't know where to start. 2001's don't have a whole lot of space, and everyone is using a walkie talkie, but I wanted a more settle approach. I would like something I could mount within the bike and use it. So before I dig too hard, I thought I would ask everyone, have you done this? any chance you could post your install, so I have an idea of how you did it? CB's are not popular in Thailand, so I dont use my cb. I'm pretty sure someone has had a chance to do this. Thought I would send this message out. Thanks in advance! :D
1st,
this is AZgl1800 at my friend's home in Amity, AR....
stopped here to get my 1800's clutch system repaired, and Dave fixed it in about 350 miliSeconds.....
ummm, he is fast, but not that fast ha ha ha

Have you looked at some of the mini transceivers?
I own an Icom 706 MK2 which I really like, and there are newer ones that are half that size now.
They could be tucked into one of the fairing pockets almost, or just use a RAM mount to attach it to one of the handgrips.

the little Baofungs talkies are an option, but too fiddly to mess with on a bike IMO....
but, if you are only using it for intercom between bikes, they would work fine and about USA $55 each.


might be an idea for you.

de K5AWO
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by kwthom »

WingAdmin wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:45 pm
detdrbuzzard wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 7:04 am most time its simply that you are to close. <...>
Thought of that at first as well, but had him ride a mile down the road, and it never improved.
Then all it can be is a bandpass-related discrepancy between your two radios.

Actually, he could hear you fine, right?

If yes, then it's either his radio's transmit bandwidth (not freq, as you said, it's on freq) or your receiver bandwidth that's off - and not by much.

Go thru your receiver alignment, confirm it's good. If so, then other radio needs xmtr side realigned. The other radios in the group had sufficient bandwidth to demodulate his/your signals.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by WingAdmin »

kwthom wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:41 am
WingAdmin wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:45 pm
detdrbuzzard wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 7:04 am most time its simply that you are to close. <...>
Thought of that at first as well, but had him ride a mile down the road, and it never improved.
Then all it can be is a bandpass-related discrepancy between your two radios.

Actually, he could hear you fine, right?

If yes, then it's either his radio's transmit bandwidth (not freq, as you said, it's on freq) or your receiver bandwidth that's off - and not by much.

Go thru your receiver alignment, confirm it's good. If so, then other radio needs xmtr side realigned. The other radios in the group had sufficient bandwidth to demodulate his/your signals.
Yeah, I suspect you're right. I've now got an SDR that can show actual bandwidth graphically, I'll have to give that a try.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by kwthom »

WingAdmin wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 8:52 am
kwthom wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:41 am
WingAdmin wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:45 pm

Thought of that at first as well, but had him ride a mile down the road, and it never improved.
Then all it can be is a bandpass-related discrepancy between your two radios.

Actually, he could hear you fine, right?

If yes, then it's either his radio's transmit bandwidth (not freq, as you said, it's on freq) or your receiver bandwidth that's off - and not by much.

Go thru your receiver alignment, confirm it's good. If so, then other radio needs xmtr side realigned. The other radios in the group had sufficient bandwidth to demodulate his/your signals.
Yeah, I suspect you're right. I've now got an SDR that can show actual bandwidth graphically, I'll have to give that a try.
As I alluded, if all three heard you okay, your TX side is okay. You need an RF generator to go thru the RX side of your radio.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by chaen »

DaveO430 wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:00 am
chaen wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:15 pm Hey everyone, Greetings From Thailand!
I have not seen an answer to a question, so I'm going to pop it out there. Has anyone found a decent VHF radio that could be mounted on the goldwing without any clutter? I'm in Thailand, and I would like to install a VHF radio, but I just don't know where to start. 2001's don't have a whole lot of space, and everyone is using a walkie talkie, but I wanted a more settle approach. I would like something I could mount within the bike and use it. So before I dig too hard, I thought I would ask everyone, have you done this? any chance you could post your install, so I have an idea of how you did it? CB's are not popular in Thailand, so I dont use my cb. I'm pretty sure someone has had a chance to do this. Thought I would send this message out. Thanks in advance! :D
1st,
this is AZgl1800 at my friend's home in Amity, AR....
stopped here to get my 1800's clutch system repaired, and Dave fixed it in about 350 miliSeconds.....
ummm, he is fast, but not that fast ha ha ha

Have you looked at some of the mini transceivers?
I own an Icom 706 MK2 which I really like, and there are newer ones that are half that size now.
They could be tucked into one of the fairing pockets almost, or just use a RAM mount to attach it to one of the handgrips.

the little Baofungs talkies are an option, but too fiddly to mess with on a bike IMO....
but, if you are only using it for intercom between bikes, they would work fine and about USA $55 each.


might be an idea for you.

de K5AWO
K5AWO,
thanks for some ideas. your right the little baofangs can be a pest. my use is to communicate with the local PD and highway patrol, as I'm also on the Police Commissioners advisor board. so sometimes during trips I wanted to use something rather than a xts5000. I was looking on ebay for the vhf motorola police bike radios, that have a split head from the main unit. but again, haven't seen anyone with an install. the MK2 is interesting and also the Yaesu ft-818 would be ideal but I'm worried about the weather. I will do more research and let everyone know how it comes out. If you or anyone gets any bright ideas, please let me know.
happy riding and "73's"
Chaen
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by kwthom »

chaen wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:42 pm I will do more research and let everyone know how it comes out. If you or anyone gets any bright ideas, please let me know.
Suggest contacting these folks...

https://marc-hq.org/

...Combining Motorcycles with Ham Radio.

Good luck!
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by chaen »

Thank you! awesome information.
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Re: HAMs: A CB question

Post by Solo So Long »

chaen wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:42 pm my use is to communicate with the local PD and highway patrol, as I'm also on the Police Commissioners advisor board. so sometimes during trips I wanted to use something rather than a xts5000. I was looking on ebay for the vhf motorola police bike radios, that have a split head from the main unit. but again, haven't seen anyone with an install.
Which band(s) are you after?

With a motor, the worst problem has always been water getting into things.

Yaesu made a really great radio with a waterproof control head (FTM-10 series), but discontinued them -- so now they cost more used than they did when new!

Motorola (aka Ma Batwings) is the standard, but there are several other companies who make quality commo for copcycles. Being in Thailand, you actually have an advantage, in that you are closer to the sources of most of these, and you might contact their offices. You also have the advantage of not having to have American or European agency approval, so there may be models available there which we can't get here.

Not all that long ago, the US FCC mandated "narrowbanding" of just about everyone other than hams and aviation. This means that there is a MASSIVE amount of used gear on the market at lower prices. The only issue with Motorola is that you need the programming cable and software for each model. The nice thing is that they don't enforce copyright on the software for radios that they have ended support for, and this includes such things as the ASTRO Saber and ASTRO Spectra (not just the analog-only versions), so the software can be readily found.

For what you are doing, I wouldn't even consider Baofeng, Wouxon, etc. Look for the top names, they cost more but are many times more worth it.


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