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CB Radio OK Nowadays?

FiveFilter

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Jan 1, 2016
Messages
214
The CB radios pop up like flowers in the Spring when a wreck blocks miles of traffic on the Interstate and the truckers want to know what's happenin' and what lane they need to be in and where's the best go-around.
 

bill4long

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I'm not sure about "often", but it's still out there...
At least five channels occupied locally where I live (Indianapolis) right now on a Sunday afternoon. And a guy blasting in on channel 38 LSB from Tampa Florida. During weekdays there are a few channels where local truckers talk all day. Plus the usuals on channel 6.
 

PaulMcLean39

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Jul 31, 2020
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2
In my opinion, many people nowadays use cb radio, but much less than before. My father still has Citizen Band Radio. He talked through this radio with my mother and with his friends. In general, in my opinion CB Radio is a very cool thing for drivers. But smartphones and tablets can very easily replace them, so most likely people do not even consider buying such radios. Maybe people just don't know what CB Radio is and why it's so cool. Perhaps if people learn better what CB radio is and what can be done with it, then cb radio will gain popularity again and will be just as useful again. Or maybe CB Radio needs to add new features to compete with modern devices.
 

slowmover

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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
Factory installations vary. But they all share being damned poor (with an exception for large cars).

— I’ve been in that type. There’s a splitter (diplexer?) to share with the AM/FM/Weather in-dash radio. Sometimes in the overhead, sometimes down below. One bypasses it and adds a separate AM/FM antenna & coax.

— I’m currently in a 579 Peterbilt with A-pillar cophase cab mounts. The harness is dedicated. (It also failed with a badly crimped connector. Had to use a fish tape to get in a new one).

There’s no excuse for the crap install we are given. No RF/CMC amelioration, no dedicated circuit to battery & frame, etc.

The single improvement the past twenty years is a cheesy speaker in the overhead (as the radio is now inside a console overhead.

15A fused, but the wiring is too light given total length of circuit.

The total amount of noise to overcome PAST the poor antenna mounts (efficiency) isn’t excusable.

.
 

slowmover

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Fort Worth
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.
Had the same idea and just today received the same unit as I was leaving to get loaded.

Q: Where have you mounted:

1). Receiver;

2). Which of several dual band Comets? (And, where/how);

3). and how did you run the coax?

I bought an MFJ-310 to try out. (What doesn’t work in big truck I also have pickup & travel trailer to equip).

Thx
 
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slowmover

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The topic question comes up often on RV and other forums.

This basic rig:

- Uniden 980 AM/SSB.
(Don’t buy less performance)
- RM Italy KL203 amp.
- West Mountain Radio ClearSpeech DSP Speaker.
(The above doesn’t need 20A total)
— Breedlove NMO with Larsen 49’

— installation according to

www.K0BG.com

— Power mic or Gearkeeper hanger or whatever else. (Etc.)

That’s the Big Radio (with the small ampere draw). Hear, and Be Heard.

No techs needed. DIY.

Lacking DSP is like having Squelch turned to 8/10s all day. The receivers are better than you think. You can hear around the noise.

The above is $500 or so. Done right (passenger vehicle) it’ll hear farther and out-talk nearly everyone (roof center mount).

On the Interstates, many truckers have radios on. All day. Mines on 11-12 hours daily, 300+ days per year.

My WM DSP speaker has way over a quarter-million miles (including off-road oilfield). Wouldn’t consider owning a rig without it.

If it’s too quiet on the road . . . say something.

.
 
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MeddleMan

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Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
244
Location
Mokane, MO
Had the same idea and just today received the same unit as I was leaving to get loaded.

Q: Where have you mounted:

1). Receiver;

2). Which of several dual band Comets? (And, where/how);

3). and how did you run the coax?

I bought an MFJ-310 to try out. (What doesn’t work in big truck I also have pickup & travel trailer to equip).

Thx
Comet CA-2x4sr, HRO, Newnan, Ga. Just run the tiny coax through the door. The uhf lip mount is Browning. Coax came with pl259 adapter. SMA is connector on coax. I banded a Wilson ext speaker on the Uniden, good weight. And banded an Yaesu 2800A to my RS trunk tracker, also a good weight. I use the fold out feet on both receivers to help keep all on the dash top. Can't drill holes or run screws. Spend part of my day resetting units in place after big bumps. Probably will replace all with a Powerwerx dual band I have and just strap it in overhead with Cobra 29 Chrome. Just to clear off the dash. Gotta stay under the six inch rule, otherwise nobody cares what I'm doing.
 

MeddleMan

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Feb 22, 2009
Messages
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Location
Mokane, MO
Comet CA-2x4sr, HRO, Newnan, Ga. Just run the tiny coax through the door. The uhf lip mount is Browning. Coax came with pl259 adapter. SMA is connector on coax. I banded a Wilson ext speaker on the Uniden, good weight. And banded an Yaesu 2800A to my RS trunk tracker, also a good weight. I use the fold out feet on both receivers to help keep all on the dash top. Can't drill holes or run screws. Spend part of my day resetting units in place after big bumps. Probably will replace all with a Powerwerx dual band I have and just strap it in overhead with Cobra 29 Chrome. Just to clear off the dash. Gotta stay under the six inch rule, otherwise nobody cares what I'm doing.
Edit: antennas are mounted atop each door.
 

FiveFilter

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Jan 1, 2016
Messages
214
Slowmover, where the heck you been?

You're one of the guys who use the same moniker on several venues, and I've been missing you on RV Airstream and Truckers CB channels. That is, IF you're the genuine Slowmover on those channels.

I was afraid the ChinaVirus got you.
 

slowmover

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Messages
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Fort Worth
[/B]
Slowmover, where the heck you been?

You're one of the guys who use the same moniker on several venues, and I've been missing you on RV Airstream and Truckers CB channels. That is, IF you're the genuine Slowmover on those channels.

I was afraid the ChinaVirus got you.
Nice to be remembered. Thx

Got the boot from several. Tired of lying and calling it such. And using ridicule of those ostensibly “smart” on another (even though the subject becomes life or death in a split second).

Forums become echo chambers, it’s understandable. But when a forum rule is, “be nice”, countering baked-in stupidity becomes a dead-end. “Nice” is a lie.

Unlike some, anything I’ve written I’ll say the same in person. I’m can be worse, then. It’s not unfriendliness vs. popularity.

Ever heard of those who loaded a very high-pressure rifle round of the wrong caliber? Had the receiver blow up in their face? Same thing. Only it may not blow up the first time.

How many times would you wish to see the results?

Radio (for me) doesn’t have that concern (not that it is without dangers). It’s mainly new to me despite a few decades of CB use.

“CB Radio” is a term people “think” they understand. And don’t. From arrogant HAMS to Joe Schmo, all have bought into an opinion formed by Hollywood and TV.

— The 55-mph speed limit didn’t go away overnight. (1974-?)

— Cell phones don’t really show up until the late 1980s.

— Automakers were offering optional integrated CB radios into the mid-late 1980s.

There wasn’t a reason for it to have died so quickly EXCEPT negative portrayals.

Excuses offered don’t fit a pattern where abuse could have been countered effectively.

The salient point then and now is that CB taught millions that a tool (alone) counters official propaganda. No corporate intercessor in bed with government (evil twins) to separate, filter or end conversations.

The funniest objection is wirdy dirds. “I’m offended”. From fat-assed people who go out in public wearing underwear and are tattooed like a convict lifer. (With Crocs on, of course). That’s real offense.

Or one could see as an effective way to have filtered out the weak sisters. The mask-wearers. Too lazy to research a topic, much less be offended by a direct & indirect attack on their rights as Americans (due process of law where none has been passed). Don’t let vocabulary alone be a trigger.

“Nice” doesn’t get the power back on.

CB Radio is what your neighborhood is likeliest to have. There’s already some bare understanding.

Getting folks to see to it that gear (lasting a decade or more) is installed in all family cars and at home seems basic. Like a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm.

I’ve been calling it the switch from CB Radio to 11-Meter Radio. Sideband offers greater possibilities. Calling for better installations. Better tools today. DSP high among those.

That other radio-types may appear better in some instances isn’t disregarded. It’s that CB is default.

I’d no more leave home without a CB than without spare eyeglasses. And don’t. My experience is 100’s of thousands of miles in every condition imaginable. Not a week has passed it hasn’t been worth every effort.

It’s no feat to extrapolate this to the societal breakdown underway. No one (like a truck driver) wants to go down a road from which he can’t exit.

There’s much that happens never reported locally much less nationally.

A decent base station and decent mobile installations are not prohibitive. Cost, or time, or mental effort. A backup to xtra-fragile net & cell.

Where the base and the mobile have done even a little work to figure out ranges, is a good ending on a start.

I haven’t worked it up yet, but the housewives and daily 0800 koffee klatsch on CH-XX is the ideal backbone for familiarity. Family use. (Again, “abuse” has to be seen thru and corrected). Weather, gardening, bird sightings, what plumber, etc. However they’d like it to be.

My experience here is the Campground Radio from the 1960s -1980s in travel trailers. Most every campground had this channel and time posted. One participated or just listened. Events and sightings. Weather warnings. Trips to town. Propane delivery truck times. Etc.

Effectively, judgment about CB is based on Trucker-19. Blaming those guys is a cop-out.

It’ll take some Johnny Appleseed work to ask existing organizations for a chance to speak and offer services, or just walking neighborhood and asking neighbors. Church members. Etc.

I travel weeks on end, and realized I have truck driver friends who are still stuck in 1976. Of five I’ve met out on the road with two carrying extra gear of mine to improve their rigs. The next is a far younger man with family farm his every paycheck underwrites. Parents nearby. Once I get a firmer grasp what his truck could use, I’ll be mailing 1 or 2 radios plus all sorts of miscellaneous for that vehicle and two homes. Not everything. I don’t have that. But custom power cables and bookmarked info links plus my own experience (am more than a year into equipping my son with a full gift of home & car installations. The whole she-bang). If anyone can get neighbors and friends to make CB the fun and utility it’s meant to have in an area, it’s this admirable young man & his family.

Most anything at all will work if at least one person agrees to be on the air on CH-XX at YY:YY Standard Time daily. A month? 13-weeks rotation?

CB Radio is just a little doorbell.

.
 
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FiveFilter

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Jan 1, 2016
Messages
214
Slowmover, I'm glad you're still "on the road." Keep on truckin' with that CB in hand!

About that topic, the CB radio has too much competition from satellites and the Internet to get back the level of popularity it had in the last half of the 20th Century. But it's still extremely useful to many folks every day, and a lot of CB radios are made and sold each year as a result.

The usefulness of short-range 11 meter radio remains as strong as ever to pro truckers, who often depend on it for immediate local information about troubles just around the bend or just over the hill that can prevent them from tragedy. Many examples out there about that.

In fact, I can't imagine a more useful tool to a trucker under a lot of circumstances. And that's why so many truckers continue to install CB equipment on their rigs at their own expense year in and year out.
 

slowmover

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(I’m going to borrow that response to write this:)

That’s the TV-sanctioned plus general purpose explanation of CB. For one channel out of 120. The false dichotomy of “them” versus “us” in play. It’s not a description, however.

As it sure leaves the utility of Citizen Radio off the table.

No other radio requires an installation very much in excess of what an 11-Meter Radio requires (for best performance). So make the installation — mobile or base — worthy of the next level of radios. There’s almost no change.

Mentally, treat it like it’s potential, and reap the benefits. Next to no one does as a matter of discussion online. (Received opinion). But those who do the work talk internationally, not just nationally. Mobile and base.

Google Maps and WAZE just send one the same route as all the clown cars. Their usefulness is in that prediction-set. Not in route substitutes. (This is the same group literally too stupid to read a map and chart a course using a Road Atlas).

Besides,

“Apps” aren’t yours any more than the Cell/Net system itself. Always a corporate intercessor. Not interested in your welfare (the opposite, in fact). Not trustworthy (as we’ve seen with support of CV19 lies & giant donations to “peaceful protesters”). This isn’t conjecture. Just take a look at their tax-avoidance schemes.


Citizen Band is, Who is my neighbor?, writ large. Ownership, of the means. The price of a hot rod cell phone covers it. And the gear lasts over a decade. Complaints about silence (are funny). What’s your part?

I recently drove the breadth of both Mississippi and Louisiana talking with another driver on AM-19. Nothing exclusive. Nothing that barred others. Just a thread that filed the silences. More than a dozen others joined in at one time or another, from either direction of travel.

Cognizance that distant listeners may miss the TX of other radios just means formatting ones words to include context & subject.

Other radio-types may have greater performance for given duties. But none have the wealth of people available near & far, on a constant basis.

Being self-sufficient is part of being American. Ones travels in the family Conestoga. The analogy today in learning what routes thru Injun Country, or what river fords (from others who are alike to one) is in ones heritage. Spiritual or literal. The names of things change. The challenges don’t.

No smoke alarm? No fire extinguisher? What good the lie of Alexa? The siren that is Siri? You aren’t ever their master. (Again, quite the opposite).

Assuming services are always available out on the highway isn’t at all smart. They weren’t from my first trips to each coast in 1962. Sufficiency is assured upon departure.

“Belief” (unexamined assumptions) that ones regional commuter miles translate to knowing how to drive on the highway go hand-in-hand together and are lead by Ignorance.

1). Electric power will never go out.
2). Cell/Net service will never be interrupted.

There will be jam of massive proportions at some point. As with every evacuation of the coastal regions in a hurricane. Too many people incapable of taking care of themselves.

The number of cars on the Interstate today — nationwide — has no precedent. Nor an explanation. They are not, “just going about their business”, as these millions appear to have no job and are in nice cars 150-miles or more away from metro regional centers. No more clunkers out on the road.

How to best navigate (lowest risk to family) isn’t a hypothetical question. Any more than is getting out of a house on fire. Exiting a crashed airliner. They just sit there. Waiting to be told what to do when but a few seconds to act is all they have.

During times of societal stress, a neighborhood already comfortable in using Citizens Radio is the one which will better weather adversity. Take advantage of opportunity. Not be strangers though but a few doors apart.

In the meantime, the pleasures of company are undisputed. No man an island. Some of the bar-none funniest things I’ve heard in this lifetime came across that Radio.

Alone, isolated, & vulnerable = low chance of surviving genuine difficulty.

Those who can band together have a chance. Lower costs and lower risks are perceived utility. Real.

But what price those uplifting moments in the words of a fellow?

.
 
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KD8DVR

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Apr 11, 2004
Messages
1,162
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Do people still use CB often?
In my area, not much. Most truck drivers no longer use them and locals have gone away. The band has mostly been taken over by illegal amplifier jockeys who want to talk long distance and wipe out the locals trying to talk. It's a sad state of affairs. If you were to get one, don't spend too much. My President Andy USA suits me just fine.
 
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