CB radios

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Reinhold
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CB radios

Postby Reinhold » Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:14 am

Are they still popular on the road? What are the advantages of installing one in the "expedition vehicle" for the big trip? Do they still use all that slang and hard to understand lingo or am I still living in the 70's?
Thanks
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Erebus
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Re: CB radios

Postby Erebus » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:43 am

I find they are much more used in the US than in Canada. Lots of truckers have gone to VHF commercial band radios (in the 154MHz range), but many still have CB.

Especially for an "expedition vehicle" I would put one in. Many off-roaders run on CB channel 4 (what else!), so it doesn't hurt to have one too.

The lingo isn't bad, you can be as "lingoistic" as you want, but if you call in plain language, most decent CBers will answer in plain language.

I used CB for years back in the late 70s, and still have it. Very handy for asking for directions, restaurant tips, etc. on a trip.

Since the mid 90s it was not usually installed in the mothership (my previous vehicle), but it was carried in the vehicle. The Delica is in the process of being equipped with radios, right now only my ham dual-bander is in, and it is somewhat jury-rigged. One step at a time. But the CB will have a location, just not sure where, or if I'll replace it with a smaller unit. My old Radio Shack has a PA function that I've used numerous times in the past.
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Reinhold
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Re: CB radios

Postby Reinhold » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:07 pm

Thanks Ruminante,
What are the advantages of the ham v.s. CB. ....better range?
What equipment is required for a mobile Ham radio setup? I just picture the whole back of the van loaded with radio equipment and a spinning dish on the roof. :shock:

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Erebus
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Re: CB radios

Postby Erebus » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:29 pm

Ham has WAY more range than CB. CB is restricted to 5 watts output, VHF (aka 2m) ham is up to 50 watts. So right there you get 10 times the range (roughly).

In the 2m and 440 cm bands, many ham clubs put up repeaters*, so you get way more range.

For example, if you know Calgary area at all, one of the primary repeaters is on the top of Nose Hill in the centre of town. As a result, with the mobile radio in the car, you can talk to anyone roughly in the area of Banff Park gates in the west to Bassano in the east, Nanton in the south to Airdrie in the north (Nose Hill shadows it to the N and NW).

Also, repeaters can and are often linked. The Foothills Amateur Radio Society has linked repeaters, so that from Calgary all the way down to the Crowsnest Pass and Lethbridge is all connected.

Furthermore, the repeaters can and are linked to the Internet, called IRLP. With that, you can link a repeater to any other IRLP repeater in the world. So if a ham in Bristol was with Mystery Machine, I could sit in my back yard with a little handheld radio, and talk to Bruce.

Can't do that kinda stuff with CB. (Ignoring illegal high-power amps)

And using the High Frequency bands (HF), you can talk directly around the world.

Of course, all of this needs:
a) a licence, which requires some knowledge and passing a test. Not too hard if you are electronically minded.
b) money
c) knowledge of how all these systems work, and the frequencies they work on.

With CB on the highway, turn it to Ch 19 and you are done.

In the Edmonton area, the Strathcona Radio Volunteers are a ham and CB club that do lots of cool stuff. Their website isn't much, but contact James, I'm sure he'll give you more "scoop", and help you with getting a licence if you go that route.

Reinhold wrote:What equipment is required for a mobile Ham radio setup? I just picture the whole back of the van loaded with radio equipment and a spinning dish on the roof.

Need? I started with a handheld radio plugged into cigarette lighter outlet.
Ended up with ... check page 2 of this thread on volkswagons to see where I ended up -- not that it looked like that all the time.

* repeater: a radio that is mounted on a high spot (mountain top, communications tower, highrise, etc.). It listens to one frequency, and re-transmits immediately everything it hears. Everyone listens on the repeater's frequency, but when you transmit you use the frequency the repeater is listening to. That way everyone is hearing from you, but via the transmitter located on the high point. Sounds complicated, but the radios are designed to do this automatically, so it isn't that bad.
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GREENME@U
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Re: CB radios

Postby GREENME@U » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:48 pm

:-D cool i did not even think of this..maybe because im 21 lol ive had a bran new cb radio siting in its box. I can use it now haha ive only had it for 6 years,thks for tellin me! i think its cromed out!
CHEERS
Marty :o :shock: :? 8-)

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Re: CB radios

Postby GREENME@U » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:22 pm

8-) Ello i installed my CB radio today,just got to put in the antenna ill post pics as i get closer! :-D :M :M

westbound nate
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Re: CB radios

Postby westbound nate » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:10 pm

Had a CB in my old Van, and it came in really handy when I was on the Alaska Highway, where there was no cell phone reception, and witnessed a horrific car accident.

A Jerry can bungeed to the back of an RV flew off, and got stuck under the front tire of a speeding sports car.

The RV drivers didn't even notice the tumbling car behind them, and kept going.

It was early in the morning, and no one was out on the roads to help out.

I stopped, and ran down to the car, but it was too late. the driver was a mess, and the car was on fire. then big fire.

so i got on the CB, got a trucker headed the opposite direction.

he had a satellite phone and got the emergency team in.

no one else passed me on the highway until the ambulance arrived.


No doubt that the CB COULD have saved a life in a similar situation.

So now i pickup CB radios whenever i see them in thrift shops and try to convince my vehicle driving friends to install them.

Infact, if ANYONE here needs help installing one, or needs one, PM me, and I'd be happy to help.

My van has one, it's mounted in the secondary stereo spot.


It's also useful off road, and to just laugh at the ridiculous conversations some truckers have.
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mrraulduke
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Re: CB radios

Postby mrraulduke » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:19 pm

any tips for someone just starting out with CB radios?
I want to install one in my L400, but i have no idea on what sort of antenna, ect.
Just looking for a cheapie unit ( a few Uniden pro 510xls on craigslist ect )

Thanks in advance

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Re: CB radios

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:24 pm

There's a place in North Burnaby called "Burnaby Radio". They are primarily for HAM radio operators but they do have CB stuff. The length of the aerial is relative to the frequency you are operating at. If you happen to find yourself in the Lower Mainland then stop in as they are very informative.

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RadarGrrl
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Re: CB radios

Postby RadarGrrl » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:24 pm

I just gotta pop in here and stick in a clarification. It was mentioned that amateur radio operators transmit at 50 watts, compared to the four (not five) watts available to a CBer. However, this is not at all the case. The Radio Amateur with a Basic qualification is restricted to 250 watts, while the holder of an Advanced ticket can transmit at 1000 watts.

I think where the confusion arises is the availability of radios. Most rigs out there for 2m are 50W transceivers, but it's possible to get some that are more powerful. A quick glance at the Radioworld.ca website turns up two VHF rigs that will do more than that. Also, linear amplifiers are available as well, which can kick up the power where needed. But it's not about power. The experienced Ham will only use as much power as needed to communicate.

Having said all this, I still keep an 11m rig...sorry...CB...around, a little Realistic handheld, similar to this Midland, which I can hook up to a mobile antenna for better range on the road, for events such as what was described on the Alaska highway. Communicating with truckers can be useful.

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