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CB Radio OK Nowadays?

crayon

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While the tractors come pre-wired for CB, and have dual antennas mounted to the outside mirrors, only one is wired to where the radio is mounted in the headliner.
Interesting that you only wire up one antenna. I have never taken the time to substantiate this but, somewhere along the way in a technical conversation, it was mentioned that dual CB antenna's squishes the radiation pattern so that is more elongated forward and aft. Is this correct?

I've always viewed dual CB antennas as overkill personally and have an internal over-the-top roll of the eyes when I see strange mounting choices.

:D
 

TailGator911

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In my trucking career I've seen lots of 'overkill' when it comes to CB antennas. My setup was basic and simple - a peaked and tuned Galaxy and a Firestik on my driver's side mirror. That's it. Served me well.
 

FiveFilter

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Messages
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Interesting that you only wire up one antenna. I have never taken the time to substantiate this but, somewhere along the way in a technical conversation, it was mentioned that dual CB antenna's squishes the radiation pattern so that is more elongated forward and aft. Is this correct?

I've always viewed dual CB antennas as overkill personally and have an internal over-the-top roll of the eyes when I see strange mounting choices.

:D
Yeah, I've read that many/most dual antennas on vehicles are biased front/rear, which is good for straight roads but not so much when it gets curvy or you want to access stations to the sides. I've been told this directionality results from the fact that vehicles are not wide enough to space the antennas far enough apart for best results. I.E., they are installed too close together to take full advantage of having two. So, many folks don't bother with dual antennas, not only for this reason but because they are more difficult to install and tune.

Many big truck antennas that come from the factory are said to be wired in such a way that the CB coaxes are wired into some type of junction box that contains the antenna wiring connections to the AM/FM broadcast radios and maybe even Sirius radios. Such configurations that run various coaxes in close proximity can create problems.
 

Starion

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Dec 19, 2002
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156
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West Alexandria, VA
I just found this subforum. Once in a while I hear something on CB channel 19 because I am near I-395 in Northern Virginia. I don't hear anything else besides the occasional trucker or two. I was thinking of buying a cheap CB radio but I hear almost no activity.
 

PACNWDude

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Oct 15, 2012
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In the case of the semi-tractors I deal with, they only come with one antenna wired to the radio. The other one is only for looks, to make it look balanced with two antennas. I used to see this on large ships as well. I only wire up one antenna when doing an install myself.
 

brickson98

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Oct 28, 2019
Messages
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Location
Wisconsin
Got a good group of locals here, most of them with base stations and mobile setups. I have both as well. There's one guy who's a jerk that chimes in every once in awhile, but he mostly sticks to freebanding. North of me there's a bunch of idiots in that big city, but it's definitely active and full of good people in my area.

If you have existing equipment, I'd say go ahead and hook it up and see what you hear. If you don't, I'd buy a cheap radio and just listen for a bit to make sure there's activity in your area before you start spending money on nicer equipment again.
 

217

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North Carolina
I've been told this directionality results from the fact that vehicles are not wide enough to space the antennas far enough apart for best results. I.E., they are installed too close together to take full advantage of having two. So, many folks don't bother with dual antennas, not only for this reason but because they are more difficult to install and tune.
While you won't be taking full advantage of having two antennas on a vehicle that offers around quarter wave spacing, a decrease of signal on the side lobes would be preferred driving long straight highways.
 

FiveFilter

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Wow prcguy, that's really impressive! The ole 11 meters can haul the goods when given a chance.
 

krokus

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I was using CB pretty heavily over the last few days on a camping trip. I put up an old aluminum 5/8 base antenna at my camp site and got about 125mi distance to another base station over two mountain ranges back to my home town. This was not skip.
What type on antenna at the other end? SSB or AM?
 

prcguy

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AM mode. I had an old Radio Shack 19ft 10in 5/8 wave ground plane 15ft off the ground and I think the other antenna was an IMAX2000 not much higher. I've also used an old 3 piece Shakespeare fiberglass Bigstick antenna last time I did this. Power levels will not be discussed. However, the other party had an S7 signal on two different radios I had with me and I've heard him on many camping outings in the same area with a big signal. I was not heard that well and it was probably from local noise on the other guys end.

I was able to barely contact the same guy in the Los Angeles harbor area from Death Valley, CA, which is around 200mi. We could only make out a few words on that contact and a guy in Washington or Oregon was relaying info for us.

What type on antenna at the other end? SSB or AM?
 
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millrad

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238
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Connecticut
Locals here in CT still use CH38 LSB for BS chatting. Mosts of these guys are also hams, who can really let their hair down on 11 meters without worrying about language, venting their hatred for state politicians, democrats and liberals, and bragging about their huge arsenals of guns. It's also a skip shooter's channel when the band is open. Love the jargon: "Givin' you the wave from the Buckeye state." When there's skip on 38, it usually means 10 meters is also open.
 

bill4long

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Locals here in CT still use CH38 LSB for BS chatting. Mosts of these guys are also hams, who can really let their hair down on 11 meters without worrying about language, venting their hatred for state politicians, democrats and liberals, and bragging about their huge arsenals of guns. It's also a skip shooter's channel when the band is open. Love the jargon: "Givin' you the wave from the Buckeye state." When there's skip on 38, it usually means 10 meters is also open.
Good to know there's some good folks on CB these days.
 

ThomasB3131

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Feb 23, 2018
Messages
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Locals here in CT still use CH38 LSB for BS chatting. Mosts of these guys are also hams, who can really let their hair down on 11 meters without worrying about language, venting their hatred for state politicians, democrats and liberals, and bragging about their huge arsenals of guns. It's also a skip shooter's channel when the band is open. Love the jargon: "Givin' you the wave from the Buckeye state." When there's skip on 38, it usually means 10 meters is also open.
Good to know there's some good folks on CB these days.
Kinda sounds like 80 meters almost every night :LOL::LOL::LOL:
 

GlobalNorth

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During the spring and summer months, Jeep owners at Jeep Jamborees have and use CB to coordinate their events and excursions. Wrangler, and CJ owners love the Cobra 75 for the small size or the Uniden 510 for those who prefer a more traditional rig. The Jeep antenna of choice is the Firestik.
 

iMONITOR

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There is less traffic, and newer radios are built a lot cheaper and less robust than their older counterparts, but they are still in use.
I agree you really can't squeeze more out of the newer CB's, but I think the newer technology helps in making reception more sensitive and cleaner than a lot of the vintage gear still in use. Uniden's Bearcat 880 and 980 (SSB) radios are pretty good barefoot right out of the box.

I also think CB use is more popular in areas that are more wide open and less populated. This not only contributes to greater range and less interference, but also the usefulness/necessity of using CB.

You still need to exercise caution and common sense when using CB when seeking advice/assistance as there are a lot of evil people out there with ill intentions.
 
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bobruzzo

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I remember my CB days. I had moved to a coastal location right next to a defunct Naval Air base/Industrial park. Naturally I set up my scanners. I was with my Dad one day and we were cleaning out the trunk of his car. I pulled out a CB radio.....this was 1987. He gave it to me. So I took it home and it sat in my shack for a while before I decided what to do with it. Don't remember what kind of CB it was. So I got a small Radio Shck power supply....those old "Micronta's" and I needed an antenna so I bought this big vertical called a "Magnum" something-or-other....Can't remember if it was an Antenna Specialists brand....So I mounted it up on roof of house somehow maybe chimney mount. So back then I worked 2nd shift and there was a group of CBers I would talk with ever morning. I kinda liked it but soon realized an AM mode only radio would get old quick. So I went thru a few AM/SSB base stations....I think one was a President Washington that was all hacked up by some idiot. It did work, had all those "extra channels" and supposedly put out 15-20 watts. So I ended up taking it to the shop to this guy everybody recommended at the time. He went thru that radio and did a nice job tuning it back the right way. So soon after I got the bug and snuck over to Jacks in Westport Mass to buy a Galaxy base station! It was $400 or some ungodly amount. I figured it was money I earned from my part time job so it was ok to buy it. But I knew wife would squawk.....but I figured when it is on the shelf with all my other junk she will never notice. Next day she walks in my room and points to it and says "whats that?" Hahahahahaha. So I had fun with this radio and made a lot of friends. We moved to a different place and I ended up getting tired of all the big mouths on the radio.....I sold everything then decided to study for my novice ham license which I got in June 1989. Had MUCH more fun with that! But I still enjoyed my brief time with the CB.
 

MeddleMan

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Feb 22, 2009
Messages
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Mokane, MO
I see where you can program scanner to listen to CB radio on scanner can you program in USB AND LSB ALSO

I employ a BC355N mobile scanner. I've locked out everything other than the CB band (and occasionally scan with close call for anything wireless) in the big truck. Some channels are busy during the day. Mostly, in metropolitan areas, channels are busy. I monitor the railroads with another scanner, they're busy there, too. Used to listen to airlines before the thing. Anyway, lots of various traffic according to where I am. Conversations, oversize loads, caravans and convoys, dumpbuggies, etc. GMRS seems to be busy. Plug in a good radio (BC335N hears better on a Comet dual band expanded antenna) and good antenna system and listen.
 
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