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Why is there NOT a VHF or UHF CB in America , and Why is CB not Digital ?

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N4GIX

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Why in gods name would anyone want crappy digital quality audio over the fidelity of AM or SSB? there's nothing one can do to improve digital audio other than use a better modulation.
I have no idea what you are basing your opinion on, but DMR digital decoding is much more robust than either NXDN or P25 II. Honestly, it is either full quieting or simply not there at all once reaching the end of the rubber band (so-called digital cliff), whereas FM ranges anywhere from full quieting or the noise floor eventually swamps out the audio entirely,
 

mmckenna

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Why in gods name would anyone want crappy digital quality audio over the fidelity of AM or SSB? there's nothing one can do to improve digital audio other than use a better modulation.
Yeah, not sure what you are basing this on.

I run an NXDN trunked system at work.
I have an 800MHz NXDN radio in my work truck connected to an external speaker.
I have the same model radio in VHF connected the same way.
Our dispatchers can talk to me on NXDN and Analog. From the same console, same microphone.
When they talk to me on NXDN, the audio quality is better than 12.5KHz analog FM. There's more audio bandwidth in properly set up digital.

Key phrase is "properly set up", it took some experimenting to get it all sounding good.
 

buddrousa

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I know 99% of CBers tinker modify and push as much power and modulation as they can dumb luck into their radio and UHF FM would be no different. Case in point are the GM300 Family Service Repeaters at 100 watts and 200 feet on BD420 antennas. The only way to keep them out would be to use a epoxy like MA-COM did in the old sat days.
 

Citywide173

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I think Amatuers/FCC should create a new Service - Digital CB by taking the FRS/GMRS spectrum
So you want to take the GMRS/FRS spectrum away from licensed operators who paid for their licenses (and renewals) and may have several thousands of dollars tied up in equipment (repeaters ain't cheap) and just give it to the amateurs? I'm licensed in both, but quite frankly, I don't want my investment to be useless. My license covers my family and my repeater covers the area that my family is most often in. Steal someone else's spectrum.
 

buddrousa

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In case someone did not know the AMATEUR OPERATORS already have a UHF FM BAND get licensed and use it. Or is what you are looking for is something to get wild and willie on like the 27Mhz AM band?
 

Token

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I could see FM on CB, and allow 25 watts. Of course it would have to be on something like channels 25 to 40 only since those seem to be the least used.
No repeaters, simplex only.

That could possibly revive the CB band somewhat. The FCC could charge a small fee $10 for 5 years (if they so desired), and the manufacturers would be busy cranking out these new units. It would not be that difficult to implement, but the license has to be minimal, and equipment can't be more than 1 1/2 times what it is now to make this succeed.
Never gonna happen, for a couple of reasons.

The FCC killed off the CB license in the past, converting the service to license by rule, because in the end no one bothered to actually get the license. Originally to use the CB you had to file for a license, pay a small fee, and the FCC sent you a license with your official callsign. There was no test, just fill out a simple form. The fee started at $10, increased to $20 at its peak cost, and was reduced to $4 before being abolished. The form was originally 2 pages, but was reduced to half a page in the end. Despite being $4, half a page, and the forms and regulations included with every new CB sold, most people still did not bother.

Next, the consumer mind set regarding price of equipment. Many people, unless tied to brand loyalty, will chose the least expensive "model", even when the price point is only a few percent different. When people go into WalMart and see 4 sets of FRS radios on the rack two things drive their decision making processes, the biggest "numbers" on the package (such as max range, even when that range is BS) and, primarily, price. Most people (not talking enthusiast here, just the average user) are not going to pay 50% more just because the package says "encrypted", "secure", or "digital". Many FRS radios already say things like "secure" or "private" on them now because they have CTSS and consumers have no idea how that works.

Average users drive the success of a service, not enthusiast. While some people, such as some found in these forums, might have a real interest in new formats / modes, the "average" user drives a market. And the average user is just not going to understand how and when a digital mode can improve his communications or security, or when an analog mode might have an advantage. Looking at standard CBs today, by far most sold are AM only (for example, out local WalMart has no SSB CBs in stock, but 3 different AM only models on hand), despite the advantages of SSB and the fact there is no disadvantage, other than price, to having an AM/SSB CB.

T!
 

NC1

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Never gonna happen T!
Agreed, it's never going to happen, but just throwing out a scenario where in theory it might build up to something.

I remember the old days of CB, I still have my license around here somewhere. The truckers could be heard going up and down the highway at the edge of town, a group of us in town would chat on occasion until the wee hours of the morning, and of course we had the jammers trying to interfere every now and then but we were all located in close proximity so their efforts were futile.

With the right marketing, CB could be reinvented if FM and more power were featured. It could be more popular than you think, all it might take is late night infomercials and facebook ads. ;)
 

DeepBlue

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I will only add that "digital modes" does not always mean digital voice. You could easily add FT-8, JT65, PSK, etc to CBs via the mic jack and a rigblaster-like setup and use SSB on radios already being manufactured as SSB capable. Same as we Amateurs do on HF now. Just setting a few parameters straight. Digital modes can be done, just not digital voice, easily. Now saying that, AOR did make a digital voice system that encoded standard voice for digital HF voice modes as well as data. It was outrageously expensive and likely sold very few units.

For ref: AOR ARD9800 Digital Voice Image Interface ARD-9800

Sean
 

NC1

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I will only add that "digital modes" does not always mean digital voice.
The problem being that anybody using analog hears nothing but noise, and that channel is now useless to anybody and everybody else for as long as the signal can carry. Maybe channel 40 could be used for that, but I bet you would be hearing it up and down all 40 anyway.
 

DeepBlue

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The problem being that anybody using analog hears nothing but noise, and that channel is now useless to anybody and everybody else for as long as the signal can carry. Maybe channel 40 could be used for that, but I bet you would be hearing it up and down all 40 anyway.
The same could be said for idiots running 1000 watts (illegally) to talk to the guy down the street. That channel is lost for who knows how far away from that location to 2 people. I tried to explain to my father, an OTR driver once that running illegal power hurt everyone. He didn't understand it. If the guy 1 mile up the road from me is running 1000 watts, I may need 2000 watts to get a signal past him up the road a ways. It's a folly meant for failure.

On digital modes tying up channel space, not exactly true. For digital voice yes but, you can have a great many PSK31, FT-8, FT-4, RTTY etc conversations going on in a single channel space. Those signal go much farther too. Look at systems like WSPR. Thousands of miles per watt output. Digital might help impose some self control as well as add much needed technical skills to the crop of users. Perhaps then we could put myths of over 100% modulation and cranking 7 watt PA finals to 45 watts, etc.

S
 

NC1

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True, except that condition already exists so...S.
But it's at least not to the degree that adding PSK31, FT-8, FT-4, RTTY etc. would attract.

The inquisitive human nature being what it is, I guarantee that a good chunk of people already using those on other services would jump on CB, if for nothing else than the novelty of it and/or to see how well it works. A good portion of those could very well be parked there regularly if they so desire. That would be a bigger mess, and we don't need that.
 

W5lz

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If you take a good look at it, CB radio hasn't changed (except in minor ways) over the last 40 years. I very much doubt if it ever will either. As it is now, it's a perversion of it's original intent. It's also the closest you will ever see to being unregulated in the US. Why no digital, FM, or any other mode you can think of? Because manufacturers don't want to pay fines either! And those manufacturers are much easier to find than individuals.
It depends on the part of the country you are in, but in this part, CB radio is a waste of time. Nothing there except 'skip' mostly. If that's what you desire then knock your self out with it. Sorry, it's just a joke anymore...
 

Ensnared

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We really don't know how well digital CB would go over until the fat lady sings. I have often wondered the same question, why? If people were to act out, like they do daily, it would indeed be in digital mode. Big deal. If you don't like or cannot handle the idiots that are inherent in most CB communications, I suggest that you don't listen. I think it is a great idea.
 
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