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 Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver

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Scan125
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PostSubject: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeWed Jan 15, 2020 7:07 pm

Would be interested in views and especially experience of using a traditional HF transceiver (many models can be opened up/extended) vs a top of the range CB rig with legal AM,FM,SSB and UK/CEPT/US support.

Let me just address one issue about transceivers not being CE/CB approved kit. I understand this and the purposes of the approved rigs for CB use is that there is very little opportunity for people to go off channel, use illegal powers, etc.

On the other side of the coin a professional HF rig operated on frequency, within power limits, etc. probably has better (often oven controlled oscillators) frequency accuracy and stability. Also additional functions like IF SHIFT and RIT to pull in those DX stations.

Advantages of pucker CB rigs is that no tuning is required, just mode and channel selection. Also the CB rigs will show channel info and often augmented information such a "Calling Channel" etc.

Regarding legality then this can/could become an interesting debate which I will not enter.

This is a pure rig to rig technical discussion.
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Northern Crusader
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeThu Jan 16, 2020 6:15 pm

OK as much as I disagree with it and haven't used a HF rig on CB for well over a decade.....

For someone who was planning to run a linear and a pre-amp the 100W HF rigs do offer the advantage of having it all in one box.

The HF rig walks all over a CB only really in one area, dealing with interference. When it comes to receiver sensitivity there's nothing in it, both can hear well below the noise floor on the quietest places on earth. Where the HF gear wins is in selectivity. They're much less likely to suffer from interference from adjacent channels. Whereas CB specs are based on 60dB at 10kHz selectivity my Icom 7300 (which is not widebanded) has 97dB at 2kHz so at a fifth of the spacing from a strong signal than a CB it can hear a weak signal next to a strong one that that is a four thousand times weaker than a CB would be able to. Now this doesn't make a lot of difference on legal channels but in the freeband area where people are running on both 5s and 0s then it can. Another area they win in is DSP for noise reduction as well as having a notch filter which can be handy to block out a hetrodyne tone. Also the Noise Blanker is more configurable so you can enable it but vary it depending on the pulse noise received whereas a CB one is fixed. Final area some of them win in is having a built in ATU which can help increase the bandwidth of a narrow banded CB antenna.

You mention IF shift and RIT but that exists on CBs in the form of the clarifier. Most HF rigs being used on CB don't come with TXCOs and many are more off frequency than a CB drifts by. My TS480 was off by almost 250Hz on 10m, something that very few CBs would drift by and pretty much most CBs which had never been golden screwdrivered would never be.
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeThu Jan 16, 2020 6:58 pm

Thanks for that informative response.

I only asked this question as I have a personal dilemma to solve with the following history.

1) I have an old Maxon CEPT only rig. Was great when I used it a few years ago

2) I have an Alinco DX-R8 receiver and have developed the DriveR8 for this rig. In addition thanks to SR8 and SR9 users I support the Alinco SR8/SR9 Transceivers. These rigs are perfectly power limited when correctly set) for CB use.

So I have a choice of getting a pucker CB rig OR and SR9 which I can constrain to CB requirements and have full PC programming ability over. The SR9 also opens up the legal Amateur usage.

As a program developer having the relevant kit is paramount otherwise you have to rely on others.

All difficult decisions to make for CB.
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26TC62
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeThu Jan 16, 2020 8:42 pm

I have a President Grant, a Uniden 400 FM mids rig, an Amstrad 901 UK FM and a Harvard 404 homebase (which is a 901 board). I've also got a Yaesu 891, which is the rig I use all the time as I only operate portable at the moment.

Even using the CB rigs, these days I would run them with an amp, because pretty much everyone else is, or is running a 100W rig; and people are far enough apart these days that you might sometimes struggle to make a QSO on 4W. I always used to run an amp in the 80s and 90s when chasing DX, so I have no problem doing it now. So TX wise, the options are all much the same except that I can't get down below the "Low" band on the Grant whereas on the 891 I can go all the way down.

On FM, I haven't had a chance to do a side-by-side test of the 891 v the 901 on receive. The 891 is not designed for 10kHz spacing, so if you have anyone on the next channel, you will get splatter even if they are not that strong. I expect for FM use a well-aligned CB and amp will turn out to be a better bet than most amateur rigs.

On SSB, I would take the 891 over any CB box because of the flexibility. That said, a lot of the "new" multimodes can do 5kHz steps and even finer tuning, which is necessary, as well as RIT/clarifier. There are still plenty of people running with traditional multimodes, and working plenty of DX. It is still the same old story - every radio is only as good as the aerial it is hooked up to and the guy driving it.
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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Jan 17, 2020 8:18 am

Surely asking for technical rig to rig comparisons is opening a similar can of worms to the so called legal argument?
It's all going to be another point of view thing.....probably argued about just as much.

As far as radio contact, for me the important thing is, "I can hear you, can you hear me?". The rest is superfluous.

I certainly couldn't tell what sort of antenna you're using, I'd have to ask or you'd tell me. I'd have to second guess what sort of rig you're using, maybe with the 5s and 0s argument, or the so called 'quality' of your transmission, none of it with any certainty.
You could be sat in front of your rig butt naked apart from a deer antler head dress....I wouldn't know and ultimately it wouldn't matter.

Is this a personal dilemma for converting a radio for self use? Or is this a 'research' event for your driveR8 software?
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26TC62
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Jan 17, 2020 10:15 am

And I guess the other relevant point for people who have a multimode already but not an amateur rig is, is it worth the money to "upgrade". You can pick up second-hand ham rigs for a couple of hundred quid, but you have no warranty on anything from Ebay about alignment and so on. My 891 was £600, and I'm lucky enough to be able to spend that sort of money every now and again on my hobby. But if all you can afford is a Cobra and maybe a bit of spend to maintain it, you can still work plenty of DX.
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Scan125
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Jan 17, 2020 3:44 pm

Victor wrote:
Is this a personal dilemma for converting a radio for self use? Or is this a 'research' event for your driveR8 software?


Fair question, but first .....

I'm quite capable of technical specs, electronics, etc. after a lifetime as a professional electrical and electronics engineer. As you say one can get into all sorts of discussions.

There is and always will be fundamental usage, experience and preferences of driving different vehicles as any car driver will tell you.

In this discussion I was interested in the fundamental usage, experience, preferences etc. of using a top quality HF Transceiver as a CB rig vs a top quality CB rig.

The dilemma/choice I face in going to Multimode CB from CEPT FM only is that I could just go and purchase the "bees knees" of CB rigs with good antenna etc..

That said I have a large investment of time in my software which is all free and generates much needed money for the DEBRA charity. So a potential logical choice is to get an Alinco SR9, program it to be legally compliant with the CB regs but it won't have to CE Approval. Also solves the hardware problem for further SR8/SR9 software support. Also allows for future amateur HF use.

On the other hand trying to use an HF rig for multimode CB use could actually prove to be not as good as using a pucker CB rig and one could readily get fed up.
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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Jan 17, 2020 4:17 pm

No worries, all good stuff.

There was no doubting your technical abilities or understanding of such things, pretty much a prerequisite for the sort of work you've achieved with your software. Also congratulations to you on your work and donations towards such a charity, very commendable. (Didn't take long to find your software page).

It's just another opinion after all. My personal view is that it doesn't really matter what equipment you're using but I also understand that for others it's very important to them.

I'd say go for it, you never know where it could lead.

There does seem to be for some a weirdly 'moral', 'ethical' and even legal weighted argument against open-banded HF rigs and again, I do not understand the argument.


Whatever you do, I wish you all the best with it.
Victor
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Scan125
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Jan 17, 2020 5:23 pm

Victor wrote:
No worries, all good stuff.
There does seem to be for some a weirdly 'moral', 'ethical' and even legal weighted argument against open-banded HF rigs and again, I do not understand the argument.

Yes an I try to avoid the arguments and "guide".  "Guide/Point Out" the legalities of doing X vs Y vs Z is all any of us are really entitled to do.  I'm also involved in car forums and in those I often point out to people various legal implications of doing mods not disclosed to your insurance company.  Insurance companies unlike Ofcom will be looking for ANY excuse to not pay out.  There are extremes.  For example putting some go faster strips on your car IS a modification.  Why, because it increases the risk that your car is going to be a good joy ride target, could make some jealous and get your keyed, etc.  Technically they can void any claim but this would be petty but legal.  At the other extreme you lose control of your car due to massive power increases then they will get really shitty and report you for being technically uninsured.  Now the boys in blue get involved as well.

So we should all "guide" and not deliberately "misguide".

When we come to more mundane stuff and legalities then we have to bear in mind we have all knowingly broken a speed limit in our lives.  

An then we have the "fair play" rules often linked to/around the legal rules.

Example using a 1KW burner on CB in a DX contest is not playing fair.  I can't stop it, you can't and unless there is a financial/other prize that we could have won had they not used a burner or illegal equipment then it is too much agro to get caught up in.

Back to HF Transceiver operated on freq, at correct power on CB freqs is illegal but only in as much as it does not have the CE Approval but in all other respects is potentially more frequency and modulation stable etc. than the cheapest of so called Approved cheap/crappy rigs that somehow get approved.  And if the approval is fake/fraudulent then the rig operator has some form of defence in that they did not knowingly operate illegally.  

I'm lucky enough to be able to afford to go and buy an HF Transceiver and a top quality multi-mode CB rig and automatic antenna tuner so costs and possibly legalities I can justify/accommodate.

But my gut feel is that a top notch multi-mode CB rig (properly tuned/set-up as I gather not all rigs of same make and model perform identically and at their best) is from an operational point of view going to be more cost effective and more easily operable than an HF Transceiver.  On the other hand my my software will in effect make an Alinco SR9 just as easy to use as traditional CB rig and possible give some added operational benefits of being able to "shift" to accommodate off alignment stations, operate from computer and audio record and tag contacts in real time, plus it's logging functions make the SR9 a tempting and interesting but technically illegal option.

Would be interesting to know how many Amateur License holders illegally go out of band with their HF kit.  They have the kit to do it (venture to CB channels) or do they go buy a pucker CB rig.

Of course there is always "Network Radio" where as long as it connects you can use what ever you like Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Jan 17, 2020 7:03 pm

As far as I'm aware if it hasn't been credited with the CE approval it's not legal to use full stop.

However plenty do use HF sets and I've never heard of anyone having any problems from the authorities.

My HF set is wide banded but to be honest I prefer to use my Grant 2 for 11 meters I don't know why it just feels more like C.B. I have though used my HF set on 11 meters many many times.

73's Gary.

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Scan125
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Jan 17, 2020 7:29 pm

GaryWilson wrote:
As far as I'm aware if it hasn't been credited with the CE approval it's not legal to use full stop.

However plenty do use HF sets and I've never heard of anyone having any problems from the authorities.

My HF set is wide banded but to be honest I prefer to use my Grant 2 for 11 meters I don't know why it just feels more like C.B. I have though used my HF set on 11 meters many many times.

73's Gary.


Thanks Gary for the response.

Legal is and always be a "Full Stop" and "Ignorance of the law" is no defence. Full Stop.

I really appreciate your comment of your wide banded HF set vs your Grant 2. And I note you have used your HF rig many times on 11m so this begs the question other than "I don't know why it just feels more like C.B." what real operational advantages/disadvantages have you assimilated on the HF rig vs CB rig?

Based on my past professional registration and law abiding required life then my answer to my question is "only a pucker CB rig" is the answer. But that is, as many regulations can dictate, a convenient and cheap answer to .......
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeSat Jan 18, 2020 7:30 am

To be honest I don't really think there's much difference.

Obviously the HF set has a DSP better noise blanker and filtering on receive 100w out the back of the box etc but the Grant 2 does what it's supposed to do very well.

I'm with Vic on this I think, if I can hear them and they can hear me then happy days. I will say that the G2 is a very well made C.B. and knocks spots off of my my CRE8900 10/11 meter rig in terms of build quality so unless I'm going to frequencies the G2 can't do I'll always use the G2 for UKFM and the Mids.

I'm sure that as with everything in life the more you pay the better the product will be but as I've said before I've settled in to using the right radio for the right bands they just seem to work better where they're are designed to work.

73's Gary.

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Scan125
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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeSat Jan 18, 2020 11:33 am

Yes always valid "the right tool for the right job".

I had to ask/explore and from an operational point of view a dedicated CB rig really does make sense for pure CB multi-mode use. Cheaper than a transceiver and leaves money over to spend on a decent antenna set-up.

In addition a CB rig is going to be much better for mobile use compared to an SR9 or other HF rigs more suited to base station / shack use.

Thanks to all for all your comments / info.

We can let this thread rest in peace now.

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PostSubject: Re: Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver   Pucker CB Rig vs HF Transceiver Icon_minitimeSun Jan 19, 2020 9:58 am

If all you're going to do is sit on 11m band then several hundred quid spent on a HF set is a lot of money to have just to use on a channelised band and if you think that the DSP of the HF rig will reduce noise you get and allow you to work weaker stations then sad to say that it won't unless you're investing several grand in a SDR that supports diversity receive and running two antennas. RF being spewed out by electrical devices on the frequency you're listening to is RF no different than the wanted signals and if that noise is stronger than the signals you're trying to listen to then no amount of DSP will improve that.

If your sole interest is 11m and maybe even 10m then better buying a multimode "export" type CB.
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