One of the lasting memories for me about the heyday of CB Radio when I was a young kid was the feeling of camaraderie from other people who you met both on the radio and face to face as part of the hobby. Even back in the eighties I have memories of people only too willing to help each other out, offer advice and tips to those who had questions and the exchange of equipment and other bits and pieces that went on as part of the hobby.
When I got back into CB Radio a few years ago, I quickly started to realise that the same was still true today. Before I bought any equipment I posted a number questions on the Charlie Tango forum and got a vast number of responses from other people on the forum offering thier advice, tips and experience in helping get set up again.
Even after I managed to get all the bits I needed and foolishly managed to blow up my first rig, it was someone else on YouTube who came back to me via messages to offer his help to me and let me know that he had spoken to a couple of his Radio buddies about getting hold of a replacement radio for me and was prepared to send it on to me completely free of charge which at the time completely blew me away.
It is rare these days that you come across other people that are prepared to spare thier time to help others out and rarer still that you would find people who would offer you either their time or something that they own without expecting anything back in return.
It seems to me that there is something to do with CB Radio that attracts the kind of person who has just this kind of character and more recently I’ve been surprised by a gift that was offered to me by another member of the Charlie Tango community.
To explain more, I got a message on Facebook earlier this week from a guy called Stuart who has the call sign CTX1837 who completely out of the blue contacted me to let me know that he had built a T2LT and was contacting me to ask for my address so he could send it on to me.
Now Stuart has his own YouTube channel and has been working to get more subscribers on his channel and one of the things he does to do this is offer giveaways on his channel from time to time.
Since he knows his away around a bit of coax his giveaways normally take the shape of his own T2LT antennas which he constructs himself and offers to his subscribers. Well, he decided that even though I am already a subscriber to his channel and he knew from my own YouTube videos that I’m planning more trips out this summer to do a bit of portable CB Radio activations that he would me one of his handcrafted antennas, completely free of charge as a special gift to me since he already knows that I would make good use of it.
So, after chatting over Facebook for a while, I passed my address to him and a few days later his package arrived and I am now the proud owner of one of his hand-built T2LT Antennas.
Now, that is pretty amazing in itself but the other thing about this gift Stuart sent me is that it is so much better than the T2LT I normally use when I’m out running portable. First of its built from high quality Coax, and its built to a higher than average specification.
As an example, on the antenna that i normally use, the ballen or choke as its known is made out of several turns of the cable. This has to be exactly the right size and the length of the cable used to create has to be a specific length. So my own aerial is just a series of loops whereas Stuart has taken the time to build a proper form, to make sure that the choke itself keeps its proper size and dimensions.
Not only that but usually the tail end of the antenna then needs an additional length coax connected to it via adaptor to then connect it to your radio. Now this works fine in a lot of cases but does mean that when two lengths of cable are connected a certain amount of power or RF can be lost through the join so instead just leaving a short tail to allow another feeder cable to be attached Stuart has left an additional length of cable underneath the choke which means you can connect the whole length of the antenna straight into your radio which obviously means much less risk of any loss of power.
As I say the whole aerial is well built and expertly constructed and I’m forward to getting out soon, getting it up on my mast and give it a good try. In fact I’ve got a trip planned tomorrow so I’m itching to get up in the air and give it a try!
So Stuart, thank much for doing this for me and thank you for putting much effort into building and sending on to me.
Now in return I’ve put a link to Stuarts channel in my YouTube video and I’m sure he would appreciate if you all to head over there and subscribe. Hes got a bunch of great videos on his channel so there’s a lot of great CB Radio activity on his channel to enjoy.
Here’s a link to his YouTube channel :-https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbAArPIYbACBye2miqkrg3g
If you are unfamilar with a T2Lt, basically it is just a length of standard coax but has to be designed to specific measurements in order that it wil work on specfic frequencies and obviously what are interested in is the 27Mhz range also known as 11 Meters and should also work on the 10 Meter band.
As i say it needs to be designed with specific dimensions in mind and I’m going to put a link to another video that will take you through the correct sizes and show you someone building a T2LT but as you can see part of the antenna itself is left shielded whilst the upper section has had the coax shielding stripped back to expose the dialetc or the core of the coax which means it is then able to emit your radio signal in the same way that a standard half wave or other type of solid CB Radio Antenna works.
Lastly, at the very tip of the antenna there is a fold, which you can move to enable the length of the antenna to either lengthen or shorten as yoou might need to to achieve the right amount of SWR.
These types of antenna are ideal for Portable CB Radio use since they pack down so small and are completely flexible and yet when attached to a mast will give the same kind of reception as much larger CB Radio antenna so you see a lot of these used by Portable CB Radio users as well Radio HAMS on other frequencies.
I’m really looking forward to getting this up on my mast and giving it its try out so I’m keen to get out there tomorrow and get cracking
As I said, please go and subscribe to Stuart’s YouTube Channel at:-