They are all about the same, they all just make noise and you can't hear anyone unless they are very close, (I use ham or business band) but if you want one with the bells and whistles, get the cobra 148 gtl they have been around for years and are the best they also have side band if you want to try that (lot of work) or you can pick up any 50$ CB and talk away. The most importain thing is the anttena, mount it high and get a good ground to it but be sure not to short it out.
I had a Ranger RCI 2950, and did the modifications to it to get more power and to get the CB freqs. It was a great radio also.
And I know this isn't the place for it, But since you guys are on this subject, if you're interested I have a Texas Star 350 Linear amp that pushes about 400 - 450 watts. That will get you talking some distance for sure. I would let it go for about $200 obo...
If you are going to spend a lot of $ to go farther with a CB radio, I would recommend using that money for a quality ham radio. Popular to what people think, you do not have to be a ham radio operator to use one. However, I would suggest becoming one to further your knowledge of radio usage. The main reason I became one was to use the radio out at the desert races and to make phone calls from BFE. Yes, I said phone calls. Cheaper than a cell phone too. Ham radios are much cleaner reception, they have thousands of frequencies (CB's have 40 excluding sidebands), and they outdistance CB's by far. Check out www.electronictimes.com</A> for info on radios and ohv events.
Bajawaldo is right spend your money on ham instead of CB , I spent $160 on a kenwood had it "modified" and can get everything and trasmit everything . You can't talk to the Weatherman on a CB you'll have more fun at a race with ham ! Both Electronic Times and Solder Joint are great places , the staff at both stores have been really friendly , Ham Radio outlet is a nice store too , the old guys in there know their stuff .
Just wanna Ditto Scott's comment about SoldierJoint. They have great sevice and fair prices. What you get is a little more difficult to learn how to use but once you do (read the book) it's awsome! Remember if you go there to let them know it's for off-road racing because they have to "mod" the radio to transmit on those freq. ($20.00 extra)
Bajaboy said it. The Kenwood 261A is the unit. Snip one wire and you've got 2 meter AND Business band (for $165). ICOM and Yaesu sell units for similar prices with similar features for about the same price +/- $10. Far better than CB.
BTW: I went through the Ham Radio Outlet catalog looking for a radio that would do CB and BB. To get all that reception, you have to buy one of those monster AM-VHF rigs for large $$$. Ham Radio Outlet is a good place (so is the Solder Joint). Just don't start talkin' BB with HRO. They get real nervous when you modify your radio. They call it "off-band". Why? I don't know. I only use my stuff at races. Got cell phone for in-town.
Ive recently bought some radio stuff from HRO,
They are reluctant to sell ham equipment to unlicensed racing & support folks, but
seem look the other way & sell it anyway
261a kenwood, its a 50watt radio its got bout a 20 to 30 mile
range depending on the terrain (mountains)
they are about $160.00 plus about 60.00 for an antenna, coil & mag mount
(the antenna needs to be cut & matched to the radio)
this radio is not rugged enough to put in a off-road race car, but makes
a great chase radio
Business band is around 150 to 153 mhz(most racers use these)
these channels are in use in taxi cabs, hotels & such
Im told if you conflict with someone else on these bands, be polite
& find another channel, most of us are using these things illegally
so it makes sense to yield on the business channels
(ive had conflicts in the Vegas area, a lot of casinos& taxies
use these channels)
Another good radio is Alinco DJ195 handheld , about $200.00, 5watts, 5mi range
It also needs a wire clipped to run on BB(even simpler to do than the 261a, both
radios need to be regenerated or reset after cutting wire)
I thought the same thing about the TM261a, but the Dixon Bros. have been running one in their 7s truck for....not sure how long, 2 seasons??...and last I heard haven't had any trouble with it. I wish I could say the same for our PCI radios....