1. How much can you afford. This is usually the question. Sold on average as a dollar a watt. Not always true. But one thing you can bank on. If its cheap, its talks and performs cheap. Cheap wattage is lower power than advertised and sound like you are driving it to hard (scratchy). Buy power based on your hook up potential and real world stats. Once you get at 100 watts, it takes a lot to really notice the power increase. Don't be a a bucket mount. A old saying for someone that runs a lot of power and is talking farther than they can hear. Average size sold is 100-350 watt size.
2. This term is related to the amount of input the amp will handle. Rule is if your radio dead keys more than10 watts use a high drive. This keeps you from overdriving the amp. Remember that a lot of 10 meter radios have a HIGH & LOW switch on the face some variable control. This allows you to turn down the dead key on the radio and use a standard drive. The amp is a standard drive type unless it is marked as a HDRIVE or high drive.
3. Of course you know you should be using a coil style antenna i.e.. (Wilson 2000 trucker) with your 10 meter radio. A good rule is to make sure your antenna is rated above the power the amp is expected to transmit. NOTE: A 1000 watt antenna will not out talk a 5000 watt version with the same power unless its build to be more efficient from the beginning.
4. The amps come with a short length of wire for power. Some have more than one length of same gauge wire.. You have to feed the beast if you want the full potential from your amp. Don't try to save money hear. Size the wire one size above the supplied gauge that comes with the amp. If you have to run more than15ft length again go to the next gauge size up. Fuse the wire within 6 inches of the battery hook up. Size the fuse according to the wire you used. You can find several charts on the web to gauge this. Remember this fuse has nothing to do with the amp fuse. It is in place to protect the wire itself in case there is a short in the wire. The bigger the wire and amp the more this means a lot. Running a large 4 gauge wire from the battery to the amp through the truck without a fuse close to the battery is bad. If there is a short after the battery some where in the wire you can expect to buy a new truck because you just toasted this one. A word about GROUND wire. Can ground to the closest metal or run it back to the battery same as power wire. This is a judgment call for you. Works either way but one is a lot cheaper if you are using a big amp. Ground wire should be same size if run back to the battery. A short run to ground can be same size shown on the amp if you only need a few feet. The ground issue can fall in the area for noise on transmit. Certain cases have proven that running the wire back to the battery will stop transmit noise if it occurs. Not proven for sure. My suggestion is go for the short distance good ground and hope for no noise. If noise occurs then you might try the battery run.
5. The wire that connects to the back of the radio is called the jumper. Short answer here. Apply this rule because there are no proven rules. 3ft jumper used small size coax and anything more than 3 ft use the larger coax and keep the lengths in 3 ft segments.
6. Variable applies to the power output adjustment. Like a high and low switch except on a twist knob. I have found that you wind up leaving it in one position. If you have to adjust this regularly you are the exception here. This will allow you to get the most power out of your amp adjusting the variable power control to the best position that sounds the best to the party you are talking to. Find that sweet spot and leave it.
7. Referring the amp draw the amplifier uses. This is very important to follow if you are hooking up to a shared circuit fused on the truck. Pay attention the the amp rating. Remove the fuse on the back and examine the size. If you notice a fuse bigger than 10 amps you will need to hook the amp to the battery. The binding post are usually fused and rated at 15-20 amps. Rule fuse bigger than 10 amps hooks to battery.
8. Cool colors. Quick reference for button function. If you are colored blind unread this part.
9. Your amp need room the cool itself. A amp that is talked on a lot runs hotter. Those heat sinks on the bottom are there for a reason and not just something for you to scratch yourself on. Give the amp its own space. Remember if you are placing in on the floor that the surface below it does not produce heat as well, like above muffler or transmission.
10. Yes and no. Not sold legally that way but adjustment can be made on your part to make it work.
Final word here would be to not purchase a bigger amp than you would need. The biggest sellers are less than 500 watt versions. Larger than 500 watt is usually for skip reasons or ego. More than 500 watts under most conditions is enough to insure you want talk farther than you can hear. "Extended exposure to a amp causes one to develop a large head, known as the big head"..
1. How much power 2. HI Drive or Low Drive 3. Antenna 4. Power Hook Up 5. What's up with a Jumper 6. Variable 7. What about those A's 8. Why the colored pushbuttons 9. Heat it up 10. Will this amp work on CB Band
TRUCKER-READY 10 METER RADIOS / AMPS
If your 10 meter is not as strong as you need, you can add a 10 meter amp to increase its power. Simple series hookup with standard coax input and output to antenna. There are five things you need to know before you purchase your amp.