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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/17/2002 2:19:15 PM EST
Primarily for emergency use. 1.)Anyone know what kind of REAL WORLD transmission/receiption range I should expect from a mobile CB Radio? 2.) Suggestions on (highest wattage) brand and model? 3.) Useful accessories? Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 2:37:16 PM EST
[url]http://www.walcottcb.com[/url] Hang out with some Truckers !!
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 2:40:39 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 2:45:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/17/2002 2:46:19 PM EST by marvl]
[url]http://home.att.net/~wizardoz/cbmw/fccrules.html[/url] Max power is 4 watts output AM or 12 watts P.E.P. SSB. Virtually any base station will give you the max. C.B. is intended for local communications only, say 5-10 mile radius. However, during daylight hours the radio signals can bounce off of the ionosphere and communications are possible several thousand miles away. Strictly speaking, this is a violation of the rules for this service. If you want reliable worldwide communications, get a General Class Amateur Radio License ("HAM" license). You'll be entitled to use 1 kilowatt of output power on a wide range of frequencies. Unfortunately, test is required for this license.
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 2:57:19 PM EST
CB frequencies (27MHz area) are good for extended range communication and are often better than VHF communication radios in hilly country, etc. Many police depts/ highway patrols monitor CB channels 9 and 19 unless there's way too much chatter (unfortunately often the case). When I was a kid, I was in eastern Oregon with a 1-watt walkie talkie and I was talking to Las Vegas. [I was on a metallic roof - great ground plane!] But that's "skip" conditions. CB's performance is a bit limited by FCC restriction on AM or SSB use only - it'd be real nice if they allowed FM for its quietness & better squelch action, resistance to fading, etc. SSB is sometimes better for weak signal work than AM but for emergency use you're often better off on plain AM to guarantee that you can talk to everyone. You're limited to 4 watts output (which means about 7 watts DC input to final amplifier transistors). DON'T BUY a 'peaked & tweaked' radio from a specialty shop. Most CB tweak guys don't know what they're doing and crank things up so much that a distorted signal results. An extra watt or two of power is not gonna help that much (doubling the output power only produces 3db increase - less than 1/2 of one "S" unit on your signal strength meter (if calibrated accurately). Want more output? Get good quality coax cable and a big antenna. Ensure good grounding. Take power directly from battery - use two fuses, one on red, one on black power line. Those quarter-wave 104" ball-mount whips are pretty good, Firestiks are not to bad either. AVOID the fancy power microphones, etc. - often useless: on many radios w/"MIC GAIN" controls the mic gain has to be backed off to halfway or less, which means that a power mic is gonna WAY overdo things. I'd stick with a Uniden or Midland CB. They seem to have overall good reputations, QC, etc. Radio Shack may be a valid choice too because their radios are pretty good and there's always a Radio Snack store around for warranty, etc. [I have heard they've helped out travellers on warranty issues with radio swaps.] But if your antenna is set up OK you really shouldn't have any issues. Bill Wiese San Mateo, CA
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 3:18:30 PM EST
CB is pretty mickeymouse. Truckers, trailer trash and Mexicans comming in on skip is all you will hear. Get a cellphone or study for your ham license. ***Any cellphone will work on 911, even if you don't have an active account.*** Ham radio is the ultimate emergency communication, but you need an FCC license. I have an advanced license, With my ICOM-706MKIIG in my truck I can talk to locals on VHF/UHF repeaters, or go to HF (shortwave) and talk to guys accross the country, or even Overseas.
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 4:15:31 PM EST
amateur radio (AKA, HAM radio) is great [:)] there are a bunch of us here. For what you are wanting to do, CB will do just fine. ditto the don't get one thats been tweaked. you're asking for FCC trouble along with making alot of people po'd at you for causing interference. and as always with any transmitting device, the better the antenna, the better the performance (and cost of an antenna IS not always a reflection of its quality)
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 6:04:12 PM EST
I'm just regurgitating previous posts but - CB(Citizen Band) radios ARE good for what they were designed for, but that is limited. Normal use range is highly dependent on where you use it. A mobile-to-mobile link about 1 to 5 miles. A mobile to base link about 5 to 10 miles. A base to base link with good antennas 10 to 30 miles. Skip is technically not legal and iffy at best anyway. FCC allows 5 watts into the final power amp, however most power amps are only 85 to 90 percent efficent so your output power to the antenna will usually be less than 5 watts. DO NOT even consider a tweaked unit or a linear amp(kicker) unless you eventually want "Big Brother" down on you. If you are interested in LR Comm absolutely check into Ham Radio.
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 6:57:38 PM EST
I have serious doubts that CB would even be usable in most emergencies of any significance. Just try to image 30 percent of a city's entire population simultaneously trying to make phone calls on just 48 phone lines, and you get the picture. And most of those people will be complete idiots when it comes to providing assistance or useful information. Save your money and get a 2 meter ham transceiver instead. For well under $200, you'll get a radio that doubles as an excellent general-coverage scanner in peaceful times (you don't need a ham license to listen!), and will easily cover the entire county in SHTF situations (in which case it probably won't matter that you don't have a ham license). Better still, most of the hams you'll be listening to (and maybe talking to) will have accurate, up-to-the-minute info and advice. [img]http://www.texastowers.com/images/ic2100h.gif[/img] Icom IC-2100 [img]http://www.texastowers.com/images/tm261.gif[/img] Kenwood TM-261A [img]http://www.texastowers.com/images/ft1500m.gif[/img] Yeasu FT1500M [url=http://www.texastowers.com]www.TexasTowers.com[/url]
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 7:09:33 PM EST
i still have three from years ago when cb was hot. they are all 23 channel, mobile. a browing sst, a tram diamond 60 and a cobra ( can't remember the model and am not going downstairs to look, but it was a top of the line). the tram and cobra are ssb with all the factory goodies. don't use them much any more but occasionally. on the regular channels, any of them will talk 10/15 miles in any reasonable terrain absent heavy sunspot activity. superior receive sensitivity. in ssb typically, 30/50 miles is not problem in reasonable terrain. use single, tuned, 5' fiberglass "firestick" antenna. i have a couple turner power mike's, but they really don't add anything to the factory mikes. i've been told these are radios that make excellent short wave radios by switching around some crystals. mcole
Link Posted: 7/17/2002 8:40:20 PM EST
I had many a fun night in my teens and 20's playing on the CB. T-Hunting some foul mouthed fool only to find a skinny kid shocked to see us standing on his lawn. Talking to Australia from my car driving while driving around Los Angeles. Insult contests to all hours. A community of fellow radio lovers. The fun old days. Long gone now. After the communications revolution nobody with any sense has stayed on CB. Ham, cell and FRS are where the people are. CB is dead. With nobody sober to talk to it's all but useless in an emergency.
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 6:08:41 AM EST
Thanks for all the great info guys.[beer]
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 6:41:11 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 7:09:00 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 8:10:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2002 8:14:34 AM EST by Energizer]
You don't really need a ham license to use a ham radio, or any radio, in an emergency. I believe the rules for emergency use apply, and they have to yeild their conversations to ANY emergency. If its life and death, who cares?-- use it. Buy a ham radio, and keep it for any emergency that may arise. By the way, if the SHTF, who's going to enforce it then??? (edited to add: I see Skibane has this view as well)
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 8:12:13 AM EST
Originally Posted By Derek45: ***Any cellphone will work on 911, even if you don't have an active account.***
View Quote
Not true in all areas, but I have used old cell phones in the past for this same reason, and have reported many many accidents to 911 with it. Some systems will think you are roaming, but cannot get your information, so they will allow credit card or collect calls... [:)]
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 7:02:47 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/18/2002 7:52:48 PM EST
Dang it, [b]Garand_Shooter[/b], now you've gone and taken all the fun out of this thread by mentioning LEARNING! See, the idea is to get [b]Gunner1X[/b] to buy the radio, and let curiosity take over. Soon, he'll figure out how to use the scanner function to listen to fire department dispatchers and aircraft traffic. Right after that, he'll be putting his favorite frequencies in the memory channels. One day he'll be listening to a ham storm spotter net that he'd like to join, BUT HE CAN'T CAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE THAT LICENSE! Pretty soon, he's figuring out how he can get the license. Next thing you know, he's BECOME ONE OF US. Was some learning involved? Maybe. But it doesn't have to seem like learning if you approach it with the right attitude. [b]Gunner1X[/b], go ahead and get yourself a ham radio. Heck, even if you never turn the thing on, it'll still look a heck of a lot cooler in your car than most CB rigs.
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 10:57:59 AM EST
CB for emergency communications will be iffy. 2 Meter Ham will be much better. See Skibane's post above with the pics of the 2 Meter radios. These are VHF frequency radios, the 2 Meter ham band is 144-148 Mhz. Most police, fire, and ambulance use some frequencies around 155 Mhz. These radios will receive (not xmit) on the police freqs. You can get a good mobile setup for less than $200. The "entry" license for hams is called a "technician class" or "tech." You have to take a written test (35 questions or so) but no morse code test. Radio shack has a study guide put out by the ARRL - it has all questions and answer pool that they pull the test from. There are "repeaters" on the 2 meter ham band that "repeat" your signal over a much larger area than your radio can reach. 100 mile diameter is not uncommon for repeater coverage. Most areas of the US are covered by at least one repeater, and probably most of them have battery backup. The 10 Meter ham band is just above frequency of the CB band. However, with the 10 Meter ham band you can legally use 200 watts and talk over the entire US and even overseas when the band conditions are right. You will need to learn morse code and take a test to upgrade your license for 10 meters. Now if you are travelling and don't have a Ham ticket, CB will be better than nothing. Gunner1X, This may relate to your question more than the ham stuff above: [red][size=4] REACT monitors Channel 9: [url]http://www.reactintl.org/[/url][/red][/size=4] Personally I don't fool much with the CB, but I have a Tech Ham license, and hope to upgrade to HF and get a 10 meter rig. Blackie
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 5:01:17 PM EST
What do you guys think of GMRS?
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