THOUGHTS ON GETTING BACK INTO CB RADIO

KEATSKI

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
7
Hello,
Was thinking about getting back into the hobby of cb's. Last did this in the 70's, just wondering if there is still an interest out there? According to the Web, it is coming back. Back then the people on the radio were decent and courteous, wondering if that is still the case. Thanks for your time.
 

KB4MSZ

Billy
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Mar 12, 2018
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427
Location
Tampa, Florida
Back then the people on the radio were decent and courteous, wondering if that is still the case.
I can only speak for the activity in my area of course, but I also installed a CB radio in my truck to make my ham system a bit more "complete". What I found on the 11 meter band was a far cry from what we had in the 70's and 80's here in the Tampa Bay area. Back then, everyone knew each other personally and the benefit of having that sort of communication available was really a big advantage in the time before cell phones. Was nice having the "old timers" always available on their base stations if a land line call was needed for some reason or just to chat with on the way home from work.

Now it's mostly people who are trying to "out trash mouth" each other with their language, block any genuine need of the airwaves by passing motorists and the equipment is so saturated with echo boxes and way over driven audio that its hard to even understand a lot of stations. I'm sure there are locations where reasonable operators still get together, and there may be so in my area, but I haven't found any such yet. I hope your situation locally proves to be better if you decide to return to the hobby.
 

KEATSKI

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
7
Thanks for the reply! I was kind of afraid of that. Yes, I agree with you, the comfort of someone monitoring and being a decent human being. A lost quality. Kind of what is going on everywhere. Kind of makes the thought of going to the Amateurs' band more attractive.
 

KC9QFU

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Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
17
I can only speak for the activity in my area of course, but I also installed a CB radio in my truck to make my ham system a bit more "complete". What I found on the 11 meter band was a far cry from what we had in the 70's and 80's here in the Tampa Bay area. Back then, everyone knew each other personally and the benefit of having that sort of communication available was really a big advantage in the time before cell phones. Was nice having the "old timers" always available on their base stations if a land line call was needed for some reason or just to chat with on the way home from work.

Now it's mostly people who are trying to "out trash mouth" each other with their language, block any genuine need of the airwaves by passing motorists and the equipment is so saturated with echo boxes and way over driven audio that its hard to even understand a lot of stations. I'm sure there are locations where reasonable operators still get together, and there may be so in my area, but I haven't found any such yet. I hope your situation locally proves to be better if you decide to return to the hobby.
There is some guy near the airport in Milwaukee/Greenfield where he has Tarzan, among other shows, keyed up all the time...
 

TailGator911

KF4ANC
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Feb 12, 2005
Messages
2,359
Location
Fairborn, OH
We use CB for our Neighborhood Watch here in Fairborn. I have a DX-2547 base station with an Antron 99 (?) vertical antenna on the roof. Performs very well for what I use it for now. Drove 17 yrs for Crete Carrier Corp and my Galaxy(s) were tools of the trade. CB has changed so much over the years. My truck radios are now installed in my Winnebago Via. I still use CB on the road, altho sparingly in some areas. Just not the same anymore, but it will always be a part of my radio arsenal.
 

OpSec

Code 21, Status 7
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Unless you have a known use/need for it, IMO it's not worth it anymore. I have one yet in a vehicle from an old install but it's a ghost town on Ch19 when traveling most of the time and the other channels are full of potty-mouthed BS...or dead air. It seems to be one or the other.

Your mileage may vary.
 

twotoejoe

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Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
198
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Spend a little time studying and get your Ham technician ticket. It's not hard at all. 2 meter ham is like the CB's back in the 70's except the audio is SO much better. 2M radios and antennas are about the same price as CB's.
 

K9DWB

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Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
244
Location
Greencastle, PA, USA
I'm a former truck driver and would echo the sentiment that TailGator911 conveyed. I used CB all 11 years while holding the CDL-A and then when I got out of the truck due to disabling back injuries, I left the CB behind. Since I had to quit driving trucks in the 4th quarter of 2009, I'm sure it's changed some and very likely none for the better. I know it was trending to get worse over those 11 years with foul language, violence threats to some other driver, some that would play weird music to jam the channels, and similar near the end of my time on the CB. Admitted, there were those at that time that were respectful and helpful, and I did have nice conversations with other drivers even up to the end. But it was getting slim pickings at the end as well. I had considered getting a CB again recently, and decided against it, going for my Technician license instead.

I can't tell you what to do, but I think you'll be disappointed if you take up CB.
 

scanmanmi

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Sep 25, 2011
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709
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Central Michigan
Mostly useless today. Like you said we had CBs because we knew people who had them, which let to meeting others who had them. It cost like $.20 / minute to phone outside your prefix.
If you don't have a radio pick up a cheap one just to try it out. If you get more serious I would get one that scans and turn the squelch up high to only pick up locals and stronger stations. Too much junk with the squelch low.
 

Craigmoe

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Aug 21, 2004
Messages
122
Location
S.W. Michigan
Just South of me a ways, there are a few guys on CB that conduct themselves
extremely well, have nice conversations, no profanity or political crap, etc.
Very pleasant to listen to. Heck, much better then a lot of ham conversations
I hear. Citizen Band, like any other medium is what 'you' make it. Your choice.....
 

danesgs

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Joined
May 21, 2008
Messages
268
I still occasionally take a listen to 11 meters but as stated, its not what was being heard in the 1970's. The adage you can't go back sort of applies. Ham radio offers some good talk on 2 meters and certain cliches on 440. I am guessing some of the folks talking trash on CB today are very different "in person" but got caught up in the same way some personalities change behind a keyboard but I am no psych expert. Get a HAM license and talk to some really nice folks on the air. There are "drive time" nets for people going to work, ragchews on 2 meters and such. Its a lot better way to go. Perhaps CB will return to the time when trying to impress the other guy by blasting him/her with 1100 watts of crappy sounding audio will lose appeal and eventually fade...Maybe in the year 2049 or so. Would not hold my breath. "Mission Control here, catch you on the flip side, I'm gone!"
 

Reconrider

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I had a guy here in Connecticut talks to another guy on skip. He couldn’t have been far because I picked him up on my sds100 with stock antenna.
If I remember correctly, he was talking to someone on the east coast. They were talking about how cb used to be different and on perfect conditions you and talk to the other side of the world. It was cool hearing them talking
 

TailGator911

KF4ANC
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Fairborn, OH
Actually, if you are ever in the West Memphis area where I-40 and I-55 intersect, park somewhere in the midst of the Love's, or Pilot, or Flying J truckstops and monitor CB 19/14 for about 20 min. You'll throw your CB radio out the window.
 
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