Originally Posted by Mike1995
All vertical antenna'* radiate the same patteren no matter what the length. As far as manufacturers go, an antenna is an antenna. Only difference might be the quality of parts used. All vertical antenna'* have 0dBi of gain. Which also means 0dBi of output. 4 watts out of the radio,= 4 watts out the antenna. Beams and colinears(sp) are different.
Radio'* are no different either. Other than the parts used, it makes no difference. Bells and whistles are just annoyances. Anything more than a 40 channel with WX is a waste of money. If it can transmit more than 4 watts AM. Its ILLEGAL. FCC may not be listening to you, but if you are close to a ham operator, and continue to annoy him, he may turn you in with sufficient evidence to warrant a visit from Uncle Charlie.
I'd beg to differ on the "antenna is an antenna" part. There are lots of different designs of coils used in various antennas. Base load, center load, top load, thickness of the material that makes up the coil, plating on the coil (silver on Wilsons). Having your coil supported by a few points is better than having it wrapped around a piece of fiberglass or plastic. The less coil you have, and the more straight mast you have, the better. Keeping the coil further away from the ground plane (your vehicle) is better, too. And various vertical antennas have different a mounts of gain. Yes, even vertical antennas. They may only be 1.5dB, but, there is some gain there. (qsl.net makes references to antenna gain in some of their articles). The effective range of a taller antenna will be better than a short antenna. So, yea, spending more on well-designed and tuned antenna will pay off.
Now, radios. Yea, They're all capped at 100% modulation and 4watts by the FCC. But, you can always tweak a little more audio and wattage out of them. I wouldn't worry about trying to get that extra watt of carrier out of your CB, rather, help the audio section. Most radios can have their audio limited tuned to provide louder audio modulation. Everything in moderation, though. Cheap radios will start to clip/distort rather easily, as they're really not designed to do more than FCC specs. A Cobra 29 or Uniden PC76 will be able to modulate louder than a cheapo $30 walmart whatever brand radio before distortion sets in. Keeping the audio limiter in tact is the best idea, and just adjusting it to start cutting back the audio at a higher level is ideal. This way, you won't have that "brutha in the 'burban" sound to yer audio. (Oh man, channel 26 around Rochester, NY has a bunch of people that push out thousdands of watts of power, with audio that sounds like fuzz, and probably has more flat peaks than transitions on a silly scope.)
uh... I think that'* enuf posting at work for now...