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Author Topic: How much CB is still out there?  (Read 15173 times)
KK4IKO
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Posts: 67




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« on: October 17, 2012, 10:23:35 AM »

I realize this is a ham site, but since many of you are still active on CB as well, I was wondering about something.

I'm running VHF in my regular ham mobile unit.  I would like to have some form of external communications on my new car as well, and was thinking about using the perfectly good CB setup I had in one of my company cars.  Tiny radio, mag mount antenna, so I don't have to drill any holes.

My question is this...is there enough CB still out there to make the setup worthwhile, or should I give it to some teenager for his car?

Bruce, KK4IKO, formerly KBO02454 on CB
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N6AJR
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 11:16:09 AM »

I know a lot of hams who run a CB in the car as an extra band.  The rf does not know if its electrons are being used on a ham band or cb....Smiley  Its just a nother band you can operate on.  perhaps a small screwdrive antenna will work for both varaitions of rf.  73  tom N6AJR,   ex KWX6565
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AA4PB
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 12:59:58 PM »

The rf does not know if its electrons are being used on a ham band or cb....Smiley 

Some of the CB operators apparently don't know either  Grin
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 03:23:20 PM »

highway contractors basically all bring their CB rigs and bolt 'em whatever truck they're using.  keeps use of the (squEEP!) Sprint phones down so the batteries last all day.
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AB1JX
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 09:36:15 PM »

I've done some frequency surveys (logging activity levels at different frequencies 20 - 70 MHz) for radio astronomy purposes, and most of the time I hear at least some traffic there.  Sometimes not, and sometimes it doesn't sound local.  If you were trying to raise someone there in an emergency you might have about a 50% chance. For non-emergency ragchewing who knows.  I'd keep it and maybe put it on 10 meters, especially if it does SSB. See Ken's Electronics http://www.kenselectronics.com/lists/cbxtal.htm for crystals that will move synthesized CBs to 10 meters with a little retuning.  I've never bought from them, I just had it bookmarked.

 Alan, ab1jx
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K8AXW
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 05:25:06 PM »

Bruce:  When traveling (14 hours) from WV to IL I used to mount my 2m/440 rig in the car for communications out and back.....both for company and perhaps emergency use.

I found after several trips that it was worthless.  I even bought the ARRL repeater finder software which allowed me to map repeaters along the routes I traveled.  I could hit almost every repeater I mapped but was able to get replies only on one.  That was Evansville, IN. 

I was given a CB , bought a mag mount antenna and installed it in the car.  I was able to keep track of road/traffic conditions all along the way from truckers. 

As an aside:  Many truckers now use FRS and if they have a CB in the truck they keep the squelch in 100% so that they hear only signals within a mile or so.

Hope this helps.

Al - K8AXW
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W0BTU
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 02:35:43 PM »

Listening on CB is a good way to tell if 10 meters is open.
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KE5ICG
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 02:57:27 PM »

Mike -- W0BTU is correct.  CB is a great way to tell if 10 will be open.  I'll put my little Sears RoadTalker on channel 6 or 14 and keep the volume down.  The radio is connected to a walmart magmount near a window in the shack.  When the heterodyne starts whining, you just know ten will be sounding good soon.

Good Dx and 73 -- Ray
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K1WJ
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 03:15:45 PM »

Every truck driver has a cb, for going cross country - you will here alot more activity vs. 2m. 73 K1WJ David
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KK4IKO
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 04:08:58 PM »

Thanks guys.  I guess I won't be giving away the CB anytime soon. 

We make an annual summer vacation trip from NC to upstate NY (800 miles), and being able to check on things along the way, especially construction tie ups in Pennsylvania, would be helpful. 

I agree about the 2m activity, especially in the middle of a work day...I too use the repeater software and only made a couple of connections on our trip this year, and both were guys traveling to or from work (early and late).  Mamma won't let me put anything in her new car that requires hole drilling, or extensive work, and besides, she would like a CB because she knows how to use one.

73

Bruce, KK4IKO 
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W0BTU
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 04:25:08 PM »

Mike -- W0BTU is correct.  CB is a great way to tell if 10 will be open.  I'll put my little Sears RoadTalker on channel 6 or 14 and keep the volume down. 

I have one CB channel programmed into one of the memories on my Icom IC-765. But lately, I've just been using dxmaps.com to check 10 meter propagation:
http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/map.php?Lan=E&Frec=28&ML=M&Map=NA&DXC=N&HF=S&GL=N

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K1CJS
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 09:23:32 AM »

Quite a few truck drivers still keep their CB rigs on to help pass the time of day and to provide a little company to themselves on the road.  Mostly, however, the CB has become a tool for them when picking up or delivering, since there are quite a few businesses that have a CB set up for their dock area, to let incoming t-t rigs know where to back into or where to park to wait.

Cb isn't what it was in the 70s and the 80s, thank God!  It's cleaner now (although not as clean as some may want it to be) and the rabble-rousers have left the band for the most part.
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K1DA
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 09:25:52 AM »

  I have heard about the move to FRS by the trucking industry but don't seem to hear anything in southern New England.  I'd like to put the channels used into a scanner and use the activity to get some insight on UHF simplex propagation.  Is there a "channel 19" on FRS?
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K0JEG
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 05:20:45 PM »

  I have heard about the move to FRS by the trucking industry but don't seem to hear anything in southern New England.  I'd like to put the channels used into a scanner and use the activity to get some insight on UHF simplex propagation.  Is there a "channel 19" on FRS?

FRS radios aren't all that fun to listen to, at least as I've heard them. Of course I lived near a ski resort at the time. Basically, I  heard 3 things: a lot of kids who should have their mouths washed out with soap (because cussin' into a radio is fun), boring "what do you want for dinner" conversations and key-down because you are sitting on the radio background noise.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 03:50:36 AM »

Trucking isn't moving to FRS.  FRS range is barely 1/10 mile.  They may be using them for delivery at loading docks, but for general use, no.
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