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CBs in Mexican cabs

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kc2kth

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So my wife and I returned from a cruise with a stop in Cozumel recently. While there I noticed a lot of impressive (i.e. big) antennas mounted on cabs either to the bumper or through the front grill. Some had large air wound coils, something that could handle some serious power. After seeing a couple dozen of these I got a glance in one of the cabs and saw a Cobra 29 sized radio on the dash.

For those who don't know Cozumel is a mostly undeveloped island off the coast of mainland Mexico. Most of the island has no infrastructure - no electric, limited if any cell and internet service. However there are a couple of roads that cross or circle the island. Along these are beaches, homes, etc.

I bet I witnessed the source of a lot of the noise we've been hearing in the states for years, channel 6 if I recall correctly. Now that I've seen this it occurs to me that the reason these guys are running all of this power and why they have these fancy antennna setups on cabs is to provide radio coverage across the entire island, or as close as they can get. There is nothing else for them to use - no commercial mobile radio service they can subscribe to, too many dead spots for cell service, and the rough terrain means they need all of the antenna and power that they can get to stay in contact.
 

TheSpaceMann

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So my wife and I returned from a cruise with a stop in Cozumel recently. While there I noticed a lot of impressive (i.e. big) antennas mounted on cabs either to the bumper or through the front grill. Some had large air wound coils, something that could handle some serious power. After seeing a couple dozen of these I got a glance in one of the cabs and saw a Cobra 29 sized radio on the dash.

For those who don't know Cozumel is a mostly undeveloped island off the coast of mainland Mexico. Most of the island has no infrastructure - no electric, limited if any cell and internet service. However there are a couple of roads that cross or circle the island. Along these are beaches, homes, etc.

I bet I witnessed the source of a lot of the noise we've been hearing in the states for years, channel 6 if I recall correctly. Now that I've seen this it occurs to me that the reason these guys are running all of this power and why they have these fancy antennna setups on cabs is to provide radio coverage across the entire island, or as close as they can get. There is nothing else for them to use - no commercial mobile radio service they can subscribe to, too many dead spots for cell service, and the rough terrain means they need all of the antenna and power that they can get to stay in contact.
Well there are definitely areas of Mexico (Central and South America as well) where 11 meter radio activity is quite common. I know a ham aircraft pilot who flies across Mexico and South America often, and he hears a lot of 11 meter activity while flying over over those regions. I believe CBs are still frequently used in many locations where the cell phone service is scarce.
 

FiveFilter

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Without the convenience of repeaters, is the 11 meter radio as far-reaching and efficient as one can get in such situations with commonly available equipment? Better than higher frequencies?
 

jonwienke

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Yes, and yes, at least for base/mobile comms. You don't need a perfect line of sight.
 

Your_account

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Her in Europe we hear often Russian Taxi Companys. The send with an huge output power.
 

KD0PEZ

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So my wife and I returned from a cruise with a stop in Cozumel recently. While there I noticed a lot of impressive (i.e. big) antennas mounted on cabs either to the bumper or through the front grill. Some had large air wound coils, something that could handle some serious power. After seeing a couple dozen of these I got a glance in one of the cabs and saw a Cobra 29 sized radio on the dash.

I bet I witnessed the source of a lot of the noise we've been hearing in the states for years, channel 6 if I recall correctly. Now that I've seen this it occurs to me that the reason these guys are running all of this power and why they have these fancy antennna setups on cabs is to provide radio coverage across the entire island, or as close as they can get. There is nothing else for them to use - no commercial mobile radio service they can subscribe to, too many dead spots for cell service, and the rough terrain means they need all of the antenna and power that they can get to stay in contact.
During DX, channels 3, 5 and 9 seem to be overran with Spanish speaking users, often with roger beeps. I've "heard" it was a taxi cab company. Perhaps this is what we've been hearing all this time.
 

TheSpaceMann

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During DX, channels 3, 5 and 9 seem to be overran with Spanish speaking users, often with roger beeps. I've "heard" it was a taxi cab company. Perhaps this is what we've been hearing all this time.
I believe it's taxi companies as well other businesses. You can often hear other users in the mix, such as individuals who are basically just chit chatting with each other! When the band is open, even stations using just 5 watts can produce signals that can be heard at a significant distance.
 

bassman21

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Yes CB and 30s MHz is very common in Mexico. I've notice the common use of roger beeps and other sounds on those Spanish radios too, some very annoying.
 
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