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12v / 24v Autoswitching   |    Advice on Accessories   |    Advice on Buying   |    Advice on Choosing   |    Advice on Installing   |    Base Station CB   |    CB Features and Facilities explained   |    CB For Car Enthusiast Clubs & Groups   |    CB For Caravanners   |    CB For Farms and Businesses   |    CB For Motorhomes & Campers   |    CB Lingo and slanguage   |    Choosing an EC-990 Echo Chamber   |    Groundplane / Earth connection / Artificial Ground   |    Handsfree Legislation   |    History of CB   |    How To Use An SWR Meter   |    Interference   |    PMR446 Licence Free   |    UK and EU bands compared   |   

Range of Hand Held CB's

The range of any CB is affected by what is between you and the person you want to speak to. This particularly applies to hand-held CB's as they have much smaller aerials, so the performance will be that much less.

As a general idea to range...

Hand-held to hand-held in open countryside ½ to 1½ mile, less in wooded or built-up areas.

Hand-held to vehicle mounted CB approx 1-3 miles.

However - when used inside a vehicle on its own aerial, the range of a hand-held CB is dramatically reduced - down to 40-50 yards ! The only real option for using a hand-held inside the vehicle is with an external aerial, mounted on the outside.

Using a Hand Held in a vehicle with an external aerial

You can do this in a couple of ways - either unscrewing the aerial and plugging in an external antenna with an adapter, or by using a battery eliminator which has an external aerial connection built-in.

This item is supplied with the Midland 42, but is unfortunately no longer available for the AH-27.

It slides onto the bottom of the unit, in place of the battery compartment, giving external aerial and 12v cigarette lighter plug power connections, all in one quick & simple action.

Slide the battery compartment back on & it's ready for use as a normal hand-held.

Using an external aerial either in a vehicle or base should make a hand-held unit work just as well as a conventional CB set.

PMR446 versus CB Radio

As with all radio signals, performance is all down to the efficiency of the aerial. The small PMR446 hand-held units work at a frequency where smaller aerials are much more efficient than they are at CB frequencies.

In general the PMR446 units will actually give you more range unit-to-unit than a pair of CB handhelds would. This is despite the fact that their output power is far less than the CB!

The main advantage with CB handhelds is that they can communicate with vehicle and base CB's which increase the usable range greatly by virtue of their more efficient aerials.

The only problems with the PMR446 units are that you cannot connect an external aerial to them, the fact that there are only 8 channels available (don't listen to claims of 300+, there is only 8) and that CB’s and PMR's are incompatible - they cannot talk to each other.

The claims of 300+ channels are people getting confused with "privacy codes" - ways of making the units only hear what you want them to hear!

Shown here is an Alan 441 PMR446 unit...

It is very small and has some very neat features on it!

We already supply various makes of PMR446 and we will be adding these products to this site soon... in the meantime give us a call to discuss whether PMR446 could be a better choice for you

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