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Can you connect a handheld to a regular CB?

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Ravenkeeper

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So just got a handheld CB in Colorado and i was wondering if I could connect to the truckers when I’m driving down the highway?
Your transmission range is more limited, but you'll still pick everything up. I ran with my handheld, in my Neon, when I drove it down from Mountain Home AFB, ID to San Diego, and I used a "rubber ducky" antenna, on top. My CB was in our Grand Cherokee, which was already down for Christmas, then I flew back to ID to go finish outprocessing from MHAFB.
 

TailGator911

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I used to carry a Cobra HH50 hand held CB sometimes when I was away from my big truck, like if I had to do something while waiting for my dock number to be called when I was loading at a consignee somewhere. Good for short distance, line of sight, but that's about it. I keep it in my emergency bag in the RV now. But, for using as your primary CB on the road? I wouldn't recommend it. I had to use it once on a 1500 mi trip in a brand new issued truck because I didn't have a drill needed to install my main CB. I about threw the damn thing out the window a few times. Life is so much easier with a Firestik. ;)
 

QHaba

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I used to carry a Cobra HH50 hand held CB sometimes when I was away from my big truck, like if I had to do something while waiting for my dock number to be called when I was loading at a consignee somewhere. Good for short distance, line of sight, but that's about it. I keep it in my emergency bag in the RV now. But, for using as your primary CB on the road? I wouldn't recommend it. I had to use it once on a 1500 mi trip in a brand new issued truck because I didn't have a drill needed to install my main CB. I about threw the damn thing out the window a few times. Life is so much easier with a Firestik. ;)
I would be using a regular CB but it’s my parents vehicle so they don’t want me doing anything crazy to it.
 

TailGator911

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I would be using a regular CB but it’s my parents vehicle so they don’t want me doing anything crazy to it.
I think I speak for almost everyone here when I say please do not do anything crazy to Mom and Dad's car!

Words to live by! ;)
 

KK4JUG

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Your portable CB is going to chew up batteries if you transmit, You'll likely receive OK but you'll have trouble transmitting because the signal will have trouble escaping the metal jail of a vehicle.
 

wtp

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some trucker only talk to other truckers.
they usually know the other guy's voice.
and many truckers keep the squelch all the way up because they just want to listen to close stuff.
they are not trying to talk to another country.
and yes, some talk to anybody.
 

217

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Twenty five years ago I called out on 19 that there was a female driver pulled over and her trailer brakes wear on fire. No less than 5 trucks pulled over to help. Last week I tried to warn a driver his trailer tire was out of air. He never heard me. Why? Because the new generation of OTR drivers don't even own a CB.
 

frankdrebbin

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Years ago when I drove, my truck and another one with a lowboy hauling a CAT came upon the opposite sides of a bridge at the same time. When his rear trailer tires hit I heard a whoosh of air and the rear outside left dual on his trailer came off and flew up into the air and I thought for sure it was going to land right on the top of my cab. I saw it in the mirror bounce on the road behind me. I grabbed the mic and hollered at him that he lost a wheel, but never heard a peep back.
 

mmckenna

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I would be using a regular CB but it’s my parents vehicle so they don’t want me doing anything crazy to it.
OK, so I think this is what you are saying:
You have a 'regular' CB in your vehicle. You want to know if you can use a hand held CB in your parents vehicle so you can talk along the road?

The issue with using a hand held CB inside a vehicle is that the metal body, and often the metal film tinted glass, acts like a Faraday cage and the RF energy can't get out of the vehicle very well. That means your hand held CB would suffer from very short range (receive and transmit).

If you can:
Use an external mag mount antenna, that'll greatly increase the range by putting the antenna outside the Faraday cage.
Use a cigarette lighter plug to power the hand held CB, if you don't, you'll need to bring spare batteries.
 

QHaba

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OK, so I think this is what you are saying:
You have a 'regular' CB in your vehicle. You want to know if you can use a hand held CB in your parents vehicle so you can talk along the road?

The issue with using a hand held CB inside a vehicle is that the metal body, and often the metal film tinted glass, acts like a Faraday cage and the RF energy can't get out of the vehicle very well. That means your hand held CB would suffer from very short range (receive and transmit).

If you can:
Use an external mag mount antenna, that'll greatly increase the range by putting the antenna outside the Faraday cage.
Use a cigarette lighter plug to power the hand held CB, if you don't, you'll need to bring spare batteries.
Sort of, I have a handheld, and I wanted to listen, and talk to truckers, and other drivers on the road. I'll try the mag mount. Thanks!
 

mmckenna

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Sort of, I have a handheld, and I wanted to listen, and talk to truckers, and other drivers on the road. I'll try the mag mount. Thanks!
OK, got it.

Yeah, as it is CB can be pretty sparsely used. Some areas have traffic, most don't. If you want to hear anything, you need to get the antenna outside the car.
 

mmckenna

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What!?! Did I just see @mmckenna recommend a mag mount?!? :p
Yeah, ya' caught me.

Honestly, mag mounts have their place. And no, it's not the trash can. They are a good option for very short term (days) installs. In QHaba's instance, I doubt his parents are going to let him drill a hole in their car (but they should).

I do own three mag mounts:
2 are stuck to a tool cabinet in my garage. Both are NMO, one is Larsen, one is Laird. The Larsen has a PL259 connector on the end, and I purchased it back in the early 90's for putting a temporary CB antenna (NMO-27) on my truck when I was transferred to Seattle.
The other one has a mini-UHF connector on it. Left over from a temporary install at work when we still ran Motorola radios.
The third one resides stuck on the inside of the service body on my work truck. I use it for temporary testing of locations for permanent antenna installs.

Everything else meets with the 3/4" hole saw and Mr. Milwaukee.
 

KK4JUG

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Yeah, ya' caught me.

Honestly, mag mounts have their place. And no, it's not the trash can. They are a good option for very short term (days) installs. In QHaba's instance, I doubt his parents are going to let him drill a hole in their car (but they should).
My CB antenna is a mag mount. I use it so infrequently so that's the best solution.

I have a Cobra "everything in the mic" CB and it's somewhere in the back. Realizing air traffic is so sparse, it's a last resort solution on the road.
 
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