Author Topic: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]  (Read 3473 times)

Offline kid_couteau

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CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« on: January 03, 2018, 10:11:43 AM »
Hi All

I was thinking of getting a CB rig to add to my comms just so I would have the added ability.

But CB is only allowed 4 watts? 12 watts for unmodulated so I am assuming SSB.

Ok now I dont want trouble but why would anyone do CB with HAM available? Ok so you have to take a test. Big deal the tech is not that hard if you know anything about electronics and you get so much more power for distance.

Side note: for you CB guys what do you like for a rig?

Thanks all
Kid Couteau
BTW the Kid thing is just a nic-name. Im actually 48 yrs old  ;D

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 10:42:57 AM »
Hi All

I was thinking of getting a CB rig to add to my comms just so I would have the added ability.

But CB is only allowed 4 watts? 12 watts for unmodulated so I am assuming SSB.

Ok now I dont want trouble but why would anyone do CB with HAM available? Ok so you have to take a test. Big deal the tech is not that hard if you know anything about electronics and you get so much more power for distance.

Side note: for you CB guys what do you like for a rig?

Thanks all
Kid Couteau
BTW the Kid thing is just a nic-name. Im actually 48 yrs old  ;D

If you already have an all band/mode HF amateur transceiver, you can likely receive the CB band(s), including SSB.  Likewise many traditional analog police scanners can receive CB.  I'm talking the < $50 kind.

For me, I have multiple ways to monitor CB should I ever care to.  There theoretically could be some intelligence value there, but I think there's a better chance of me being heard using one of the amateur bands. I suppose if your region has an active CB user community that could change things..

Offline Carl

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 10:53:02 AM »
  CB has many users as it is lower cost local communications and POWER adds little to Ham radio (about 2 "S" units on receive) .
I only trust a few that I know on CB band but it is a usable band for car to car 10-20 miles and car to home 25 miles and more ,depending on home antenna design and height. New mobile radios are available for less that $40 and the power level adds very little though SSB will double the rangs and maybe more for $150 or so each radio.

CB can have great usefulness and while many Ham's say nasty things about CB...most started with CB radio and many,like me, still find CB useful as a local intercom with friends who are unlicensed .

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 11:53:05 AM »
CB = 1 of the Best Tools in Tool Box Most Hams Never Admit to Owning.

I'm a SSB fan. I'm also a Galaxy 959 Fan...have one on the shelf in the box ready to go if needed.

Offline DonC

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 12:54:28 PM »
Simply echoing everyone, I have a few CB rigs as well. Obviously, location plays into that. As here in SW Oklahoma, regular mobile rigs under $50 are used for local 4x4 clubs. Most truckers use some sort of SSB rig.

I grew up in an area and an era where CB was widely and heavily used. I've had the same handle since I was 3yrs old. I used to climb up on my Dad's lap and talk on his radio and drink his coffee. He didn't use anything but an old SBE Sidebander II and a really good antenna at about 50ft. But he talked to people from all over, (that could hear him and vis versa).

I maintain a few setups just in case. I see no disadvantage to maintaining one.

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 01:53:42 PM »
What are the rules for CB antennas? Like can you make your own dipole so you can really tune it in?

Offline Cedar

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 02:06:38 PM »
I use both. The CB let's me know if I need to hug the edge on the logging roads I often travel. Before I had one, I have been run off the road twice by loggers. One was nice and pulled me out with a chain. They run on CB, and it is usually posted what channel they are running on at the start of the road. I have not heard them here in the states, but where I was in Canada, I would call out "fourteen hundred road mile 8 empty pickup" if I was heading away from town into the bush on the 1400 road 8 miles in, as then the big trucks would be aware I was out there as well. Saying "fourteen hundred road full pickup" meant you were headed ng back towards town

CBs are cheap to get, and well worth the price if not getting run over by 80,000 pounds or pushed off the road.

Cedar

Offline Carl

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 02:12:35 PM »
What are the rules for CB antennas? Like can you make your own dipole so you can really tune it in?

As I recall:

Radio must be crystal controlled frequency and only 40 channels with upper and lower sideband (if SSB radio)
Antenna can be 20 feet above nearby obstruction (buildings ,trees etc.
Build your own...you bet!!  ( I would opt for an inverted "V" as it can have both vertical and horizontal polarization so talk to mobiles and talkies is more effective  because wrong polarity can cost 20 to 28 DB (3 to 5 "S" units)

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 02:19:15 PM »
I got a feeling my wife is not going to be impressed with the back yard come summer.

I dont suppose they make a super double pit bull Zepp that can tune in CB as well as HAM HF?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 02:24:20 PM »
I use both. The CB let's me know if I need to hug the edge on the logging roads I often travel. Before I had one, I have been run off the road twice by loggers. One was nice and pulled me out with a chain. They run on CB, and it is usually posted what channel they are running on at the start of the road. I have not heard them here in the states, but where I was in Canada, I would call out "fourteen hundred road mile 8 empty pickup" if I was heading away from town into the bush on the 1400 road 8 miles in, as then the big trucks would be aware I was out there as well. Saying "fourteen hundred road full pickup" meant you were headed ng back towards town

CBs are cheap to get, and well worth the price if not getting run over by 80,000 pounds or pushed off the road.

Cedar

In Canada they'd use "miles" as a distance unit?

Your use case reminds me of Marine VHF channel 16.

Offline Carl

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 02:26:01 PM »
  I just use my 10 meter antenna or my ANTRON 99 Vertical...Plenty of antenna plans for 'do it yourself' CB antennas that perform well.

Offline Cedar

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 02:38:28 PM »
In Canada they'd use "miles" as a distance unit

Actually they do on the bush roads.. at least up where I was. Highways were kilometers.

Cedar

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2018, 05:54:46 PM »
I'm a fan of CB, even though I hardly use it anymore.  Carl puts it best right here:
... many,like me, still find CB useful as a local intercom with friends who are unlicensed .
This is very useful to have in a disaster situation, like a hurricane.  You asked about gear, there are lots of $40 AM-only CBs that'll do fine.  I've got a couple of Cobra 128's, no longer made, for doing SSB also.  Some of my favorites though are Midland's 75-785 walkie-talkies.  They're still around $35 on Amazon and run on AA batteries.  They come with a crappy but functional rubber ducky antenna, but that's on a BNC connector.  Take it off and put it on a base antenna and it performs like any other CB.  Anyway, with just the rubber ducky antenna, my base antenna can reach them across town, making 75-785's great to hand to friends in need.

...Plenty of antenna plans for 'do it yourself' CB antennas that perform well.
Here's one: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=46816.0  :)
It works well if you have a handy tree to hang it from.  The A99 antenna Carl mentioned works great for CB -- it's plug-and-play -- but it'll tune ham bands from 17 to 6 meters too.

CB = 1 of the Best Tools in Tool Box Most Hams Never Admit to Owning.
Yes, this, exactly.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 08:47:38 PM »
I've acquired a few CB rigs, mostly because:

A: they're cheap
B: most 4x4/offroad clubs require or recommend them for events...very few will have VHF/UHF
C: every 18 wheeler on the road has one and it's probably only turned off when they're sleeping

I see quite a few vehicles on the road with CB antennas..and very few with anything that resembles a VHF/UHF antenna. My cell phone doesn't work everywhere, and it's also voice/text only(no data). If I need to get in touch with someone, there's no guarantee my cell phone or my expensive VHF/UHF rig are going to do it, so the $100 or so for a used CB + antenna is a small investment for more options. If if it never gets used for anything else, listening on a road trip could save you getting stuck in a traffic jam or help avoid junk in the road.

Here's a question: How many hams actually monitor the VHF or UHF calling frequencies? I will confess that I rarely ever set the VFO to 146.52, and I don't think I've ever checked on the 70cm frequency.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 09:34:47 PM »
On road trips I'm pretty good about monitoring 146.520
For one thing my local repeaters are out of range.  I've made a handful of interesting QSOs this way, including one from an airborne plane.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2018, 10:05:17 PM »
C: every 18 wheeler on the road has one and it's probably only turned off when they're sleeping

... If if it never gets used for anything else, listening on a road trip could save you getting stuck in a traffic jam or help avoid junk in the road.

Ooh, ooh, one more: I throw that Midland 75-785 handheld in the car when going on a road trip.  With that crappy duck antenna it doesn't get far, but when traffic backs up (usually at the Mobile I-10 tunnel...  >:() I can pull it out and hear what the truckers are saying.

And no, I'm not too good about monitoring 146.52 either.

Offline Soladaddy

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 09:12:30 AM »
I look at "what radio service to use" type questions with the question of; who do you want to talk to? I toss in a 30 year old Cobra 19 CB for long road trips as there is good traffic info especially in the boonies. Sometimes the trucker chatter is entertaining. CB is more active on the road than 2 meters, but I still monitor 520 most of the time. The Cobra 19 is still in truck 6 months after the last road trip. Thinking about replacing it with a Cobra 29. Then again I'm toying with the idea of a GMRS setup for family mobile use. Can see a mobile antenna farm in the future.

Offline Cedar

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 12:12:47 PM »
Sometimes the trucker chatter is entertaining.


Lol... No.kidding. at 2am, as a woman, just say a single word, any word, and then hear all the banter to try to get you to speak again. They often get creative...

But yeah, traffic and road conditions reports are good. I don't often drive at night, it's better for everyone that way, but road conditions at any time are good.

Cedar

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 01:29:56 PM »
For normal circumstances, this is a great app for traffic and road conditions:

https://www.waze.com/


Offline mootz

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2018, 08:40:02 PM »
Cedar- now that's funny... but has to be true. I'd like to hear that banter.... (laughing)

Offline machinisttx

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2018, 06:55:41 PM »
For normal circumstances, this is a great app for traffic and road conditions:

https://www.waze.com/

Data required? Can't find that info on the google play store. Now that I've thought about it...I know quite a few people who don't have data service on their cell phones.

CH19 would have been handy tonight... Highway was shut down, all traffic diverted to the access road...which was then shut down to one lane so the wrecker could get to the ONE car. No cars on the highway, wrecked car was beside the access road, good 100 feet from the highway. No way to get to the car from the highway. Miles of traffic backed up for no reason.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2018, 08:00:54 AM »
For normal circumstances, this is a great app for traffic and road conditions:

https://www.waze.com/

Yes, emphasis on the "normal."  I use a couple of mapping & traffic apps on my iPhone and they're great.  And now you can hear the "but" coming... wait for it...

When traffic's backed up for miles on an outback stretch of I-10 between Mobile and Pensacola, forget data, the cell net is slammed.  At least, it's impossible to load up a map.  Texts seem to get through OK, but that's orders of magnitude less data.  Maybe the situation will improve with time and more infrastructure.  In the meantime, Ch 19 is the best and surest source of information.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2018, 08:26:22 AM »
Data required? Can't find that info on the google play store. Now that I've thought about it...I know quite a few people who don't have data service on their cell phones.

I take a fairly hardline on technology neophytes.  It's anyone's choice to use or not use any device or service, but don't ask for sympathy.  Having a smart phone with a data plan is like the library of congress in your pocket.  I'm not suggesting we bet our lives on it, but it's a tremendous resource to have available.

I'm a board member at a regional gun range, and a large amount of the members are 70+ years old, many refuse to use email, pay dues in cash, etc.  Why we allow them to continue their quaint ways, the rest of us can make online range reservations, sign up for training or competition events from smart phones.  The oldsters grumble, but us youngsters (I'm 41) are living better because of technology.

Offline Carl

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2018, 09:09:24 AM »
  Whipper Snappers!

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2018, 09:56:32 AM »
48 years old here  ;D

Offline Soladaddy

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2018, 01:28:37 PM »
I take a fairly hardline on technology neophytes.  It's anyone's choice to use or not use any device or service, but don't ask for sympathy.  Having a smart phone with a data plan is like the library of congress in your pocket.  I'm not suggesting we bet our lives on it, but it's a tremendous resource to have available.

I'm a board member at a regional gun range, and a large amount of the members are 70+ years old, many refuse to use email, pay dues in cash, etc.  Why we allow them to continue their quaint ways, the rest of us can make online range reservations, sign up for training or competition events from smart phones.  The oldsters grumble, but us youngsters (I'm 41) are living better because of technology.

My Dad made it to 80 last year and he was quite content to have avoided the internet; no computer, tablet, smart phone or email address. He did have a burner phone for travel after my sister insisted and set it up for him. When he wanted to make a call, he would pull it out of the glove box, turn it on, make the call, hang up, turn if off and put it back in the glove box. It was a portable pay phone.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2018, 06:21:30 PM »
I take a fairly hardline on technology neophytes.  It's anyone's choice to use or not use any device or service, but don't ask for sympathy.  Having a smart phone with a data plan is like the library of congress in your pocket.  I'm not suggesting we bet our lives on it, but it's a tremendous resource to have available.

I'm a board member at a regional gun range, and a large amount of the members are 70+ years old, many refuse to use email, pay dues in cash, etc.  Why we allow them to continue their quaint ways, the rest of us can make online range reservations, sign up for training or competition events from smart phones.  The oldsters grumble, but us youngsters (I'm 41) are living better because of technology.

I pay $100 per year for a cell phone....a $100 card is 1,000 minutes and doesn't expire for a year. A month or so ago I got a notice on my phone that my minutes were about to expire. I still had $33 worth of minutes left. Now, why would I pay $600+ a year for something I use that little? I have a phone because I might need it for an emergency, not to have my life revolve around it. Data on my phone is a luxury I don't require.

Offline Carl

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2018, 06:31:22 PM »
  When I drove truck for a living,I carried a NET10 phone...10 cents a minute...$20 a month (paid for 200 minutes)and minutes rolled over as long as you paid each month.
But all is became was a remote control for a girlfriend who felt I should answer every time she called ,day and night...I got rid of my problem as I just gave the phone to a guy I worked with at the terminal...he made me take the girl back but I felt so free without my leash ,I just kept it that way.

Offline wiseguy

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2018, 07:47:28 AM »
I was thinking of getting a CB rig to add to my comms just so I would have the added ability.

I am a newbie here, so hold back the flames please. :-) 

If you are looking to add ability for emergencies and you already own a Ham HF radio, look to see if your radio supports a MARS modification.  Some HF Ham radios can be modified to add frequencies that are outside the normal frequency ranges.  Remember the frequencies used here in the United States are different than the ones used in other countries.  The manufactures use things like extra diodes or open connections (that can be soldered) to prevent transmissions on bands outside the ones legal in the United States.  In an emergency, you are given allowances to use any method to get a signal out.  There is no restriction from monitoring.

Here is one modification for the Yaesu 857d for example.  http://ku4by.com/yaesu-857d-mars-mod/

Just a thought.

73

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: CB vs HAM [OK please play nice]
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2018, 07:55:24 AM »
I have read about these mods you can do but I think I will just keep a Baofeng around as most of them allow it already.
I really dont want to mess with an expensive radio in this way. Not telling others to not do it, I just choose not to.
 :D