Originally Posted by Air Randy
CB's don't suck, they work exactly like an inexpensive 5 watt radio in low band frequencies are expected to work.
Sorry, but yeah they do suck comparatively. I was talking to Tallahassee, FL, on 5W just this afternoon on 20m (I was at 14.395MHz on SSB) using a Hamstick vertical (this is roughly the same height as a 5/8 wavelength bottom loaded CB antenna). I was also able to hear (but not work) Chicago, North Carolina and San Diego.
The mount for this antenna is about 2 feet to the right of the CB mount on my ARB. The QSO was friendly, to the point and very nicely free of cursing or talk of big breasts.
Edit: thinking about what I said. To be fair 20m propagation is different than 11m (or ham 10m & 12m for that matter) and the guy was running a beam and I assume quite a bit more power (it was a brief contact and I was mobile). So not apples to apples. Also my radio wasn't $50, but it's amazing what 20 years of development gets ya in a radio. If you break it down, it was about $40 per band of TX coverage... That thing, though, has a very sensitive front and most CBs just don't. They are cheap, but the MFJ single band 10 W SSB & CW radios that are common in QRP DXpeditions and SOTA aren't too expensive.
FWIW, I run a Uniden PC55, which is the pre-runner to the 520. Essentially the same guts. No complaints, works for what it is.