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Author Topic: The CB "explosion". Why?  (Read 33418 times)
KB2FCV
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« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2015, 02:26:35 PM »

My dad had one of those GE HELP CB's in his car.

Yep! My father had one of those also.. I remember it well. He kept it in the trunk just in case. I think we would hook it up and listen to the truckers on trips.

I got started in ham radio first, but in high school many of my friends had CB's in their cars so I added one so I could keep in touch. I had a realistic something or other. I also had a handheld 40 channel. I mostly kept in touch with them the few years they had radios in their cars (during high school and when everyone was back from college). It was nice to have on the highways as you would know the second a police car tire hit the pavement as well as where they all were hiding. Nowadays I could care less where they are as I tend to hang out in the middle or right lane just going with the flow.

I haven't used a CB in probably 15-20 years. Once in a rare while out of sheer boredom I may take a spin of my vfo down there just to see if I hear anything.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2015, 08:02:39 PM »

Boy what a collection of re-collections from CB's past.  I was involved in CB when my dad bought me a single channel Lafayette HA-85 walkie-Talkie in 1963.  One walkie takie because the idea was that soon I would find others on the air and make additonal radio friends beyond my immediate area and school.  Sure enough I started to find other's on the air with walkies and base stations.  It was great standing on my roof (13th story) with 100 milliwatts and making contacts a mile and further.  Ultimately I saved up enough money and bought a Lafayette HE-20d with a big five watts! My dad applied for the license since I was under 18.  I mounted a 102" steel whip on the Aluminum railing on the roof and ran 30 feet of coax to my bedroom window on the 12th floor.  The height of the antenna on the roof of our moderate high rise building and no obstructions afforded me contacts with guys 20 and 30 miles away.  It was truly exciting.  I had maps on the wall and everytime I made a distant contact I plotted the distance from my location to theirs. And of course sometimes the forbidden fruit would pour in, DX from down south or out west.  It was too tempting not to make those contacts.  As I entered college CB became less important to me and I sold the HE-20d, D-104, and antenna in 1972.  CB had been a great experience and I met many nice people through it, including a girlfriend who happened to be  the sister of one of my new radio buddies.  But that was a time ago and people seemed to be different back then.  I occasionally tune to the CB frequencies today and am disgusted with the absolute stupidity and junk that permeates those frequencies.  This is around the New York/New Jersey metro area so it may be different in your local areas.
    Was on CB around the same time as a kid, but over in the Bronx!  Started with a 100 mw WT and then moved UP to a Comstat 25.  We had Lafayette Radio and GEM electronics in the area on Fordham Road, so loads of local kids got CB sets throughout the '60s.  When I got my Comstat, there were so many stations around that I just needed to throw a wire out the window and I was able to make numerous contacts within a 10 block radius!  We even had Tony's pizzeria on Williamsbridge Road, with a CB in the back room and a "Super Magnum" on his roof!  Those really were the days.
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K4PIH
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« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2015, 09:22:33 PM »

It was the original cell phone. I had a room full and had one of the Johnson Messengers that looked like a telephone in the car. Way cool. Finally got into SSB  on channels 16 & 17 about mid 70's. Had a 200 watt Hygain tube type linear and a 1/4 wave ground plane about 50th up. My neighbor bought his 2 little brats a pair of those cheap 1 channel walkie talkies with a Morse code button on the front. They used to play in their backyard and always ask me "can you hears us now" and just send random beeps. Used to bleed into my base station because they were only 20 feet away. Finally got tired of their QRM  and fired up the linear and smoked the front ends on those cheap little wt's. Their dad thought his kids broke them and threw them in the trash. Ah the sweet sounds delicious of silence.
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K4ISR
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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2015, 10:16:29 AM »

Why do any of these communication methods "explode"?
Telegraph allowed for text messages to be sent long distances faster than ever before.
Telephone allowed for direct voice contact across much of the nation at the time.
Early ham radio allowed for vocal transmissions without wires.
CB allowed for license free communication without any need for wires.
The internet allowed for mass amounts of information to propagate in almost real time (which was later coupled with wifi for around the home wireless internet access).
Pagers allowed for text messaging wirelessly.
Cell phones allowed for people to communicate vocally without wires (which was later coupled with the pager-like text messages, and later internet access for multi-purpose devices).

Each and every time it was a very purpose oriented, but if you notice, there was a wired version that came along first and as it became more popular and widely used, someone found a way to make it "wireless". Only when a cheaper option available to everyone (without a license or some expensive equipment) did it really take off and "explode" in use, at least until something else came along to replace it. Telephone helped replace telegraph, broadband internet replaced dialup, cell phones are replacing landline phones, vinyl records lead to 8 tracks lead to cassettes lead to CDs lead to digital (mp3s), and so on. There are still small portions of the population that still use telegraph (aka CW), dialup internet, "dumb" cell phones for calls only, and various older music media, but those are the exception instead of the norm.

This revival in ham radio is allowing newer younger people to see it with new eyes, and they're helping to create all kinds of new modes and methods of communication, like digital modes (DRM, Dstar, C4FM/Fusion), IRLP, PSK, Echolink and so on (yes some of these are a bit older but they were still created by younger hams using new methods at the time).
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de K4ISR
N1NQC
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« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2015, 02:55:55 PM »

Hey MJR and All,

Actually some of the REALLY old  single channel (ch 14/ 27.125Mhz) HT's (Juliette brand, Sears, Radio Shack La Fayette,etc) had "decent enough" receivers to be heard over a "reasonable"
 range  ( "100's" of ft , maybe better). The REAL downturn came later on  and ESPECIALLY when "kiddie" HT's were moved to 49 Mhz.

My buddy( a radio tech) picked up some of the ULTRA cheapest  49 Mhz HT's imaginable. They are much,much  smaller than a pack of cigarettes and take  a stack of hearing aid batteries.They literally have a range of around 25 ft, a  normal conversation voice level goes much  further. They are a REAL howl ! As a joke I once  put one out on my ham flea market table and listed it for $250.00. THAT started LOTS of interesting conversations.


BTW, I used to LOVE  La Fayette and ALL of their stuff . In THOSE days Radio Shack had a BAD cheap  rep compared to them.


K
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 02:58:16 PM by N1NQC » Logged
WI8P
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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2015, 03:18:25 PM »

Although no where as popular as it once was, CB isn't dead.  I travel quite a bit and have almost always had a CB in my truck (we have a 5th wheel).  It comes in handy when encountering traffic jams to determine whether we want to wait them out, take a different route or pull off for a bite to eat.  No speeding, so bear reports aren't needed.  Grin
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KF5KXT
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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2015, 08:10:02 PM »

Think another factor at least in today's market is the price margin between CB and ham radio. I can testify that after finally getting my ham radio license I realized how expensive the radios are and that for a while kept me away from amateur radio even after obtaining the license. But I then learned how cheap CB radio is and got myself a CB radio.

The way I look at it, CB is like the little brother of Amateur radio. For that reason I highly doubt CB radio will die or become obsolete. Amateur radio is when you're looking for more out of the 2 way communication. A bit like cars, unless the parents are filthy rich your first car wasn't a Lamborghini. At least CB is a small sample of the word of 2 way radio.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2015, 08:27:06 PM »

8P:  I'm now too old to travel but when I found it necessary to drive to IL to see my family, (750mi/14hrs) I used to take my 2m/440 rig, programmed with all of the repeater freqs along the way. This was after spending bucks on a CD that planned the trip but also gave me a list of repeater freqs along the way.

After three round trips and managing to make approximately 4 or 5 contacts total, I put a CB back in the car.  I still didn't make any QSO type contacts but at least I had information on road and traffic condx ahead of me.

I also found right away that truckers these days (among other things) keeps the CB squelch very tight to eliminate the constant background noise.  So the only truckers you can talk to are right on top of you.  But...... ya ain't alone!
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N9ZHW
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« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2015, 07:15:45 AM »

C.B. in some areas has become too dangerous. With all the nuts out there today, with all the language (most of which shouldn't be heard in a barn or in a pool hall -let alone over public airwaves), the people who think THEY own the airspace and the willingness of people to track someone they don't like on the radio down & do who knows what....
There was a guy a few years ago (they called him [he called himself?] The Weasel). He'd go to no end making heck on the CB everyday: cracking jokes, walking over people, playing taped songs of "Barney the dinosaur", "Sesame Street", etc. all day long, and that ain't HALF of it. Although he never did anything illegal/dangerous (as far as interfering with any emergency traffic, etc.) from what I heard there were a handful of people that banded together and damaged his vehicle on a couple of occasions. 1 guy went so far as to leave threatening messages on his machine and rattled off information about his house, address, etc. over the air (so obviously stalking charges could've entered the picture).
Like, they should've known better (at least 2 involved were amateur operators!) than to take the law into their own hands and just let the FCC handle it.
Anywho, this isn't the only case of other CB'ers taking matters into their own hands. If CB has ANY chance of becoming "civilized" again, Charlie is going to have to start enforcing the regulations again.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 07:19:05 AM by N9ZHW » Logged
KF5KXT
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« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2015, 12:55:31 PM »

Spoke to a local CB and amateur radio dealer and shared similar stories. One of a CBer who would randomly tune into different channels and use every 4 letter word. One day he made a threat to someone saying he was going to kick somebody's you know what. That night the party on the other end paid the antagonist a visit with a pickup truck and took out the side of the house.

I chose to use the same on the air courtesy as in any 2 way transmission. I don't see why some people take a thrill at bullying others or abusing the radio rights.
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N9ZHW
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« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2015, 04:12:59 PM »

Why people see this as something THEY  have to "take care of" by taking matters into their own hands through brute force, illegal behavior, etc. instead of going the proper way & letting the FCC handle it is what I don't understand. The guy I refer to wasn't threatening or coercing anyone -it was the people who were after him. From what I understand several hundred dollars of damage to his vehicle was done.
Like, why do people go to such measures today? There have been people (not HALF as intense as the one I refer to) that have had their towers/antennas ripped down, coax on towers cut, you name it. To me it seems stupid, to put it bluntly, people would go to such an extreme. That's what takes the fun out of radio today. Heck, I've heard stories of people getting SHOT for this stuff!
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ONAIR
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« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2015, 08:14:30 PM »

Why people see this as something THEY  have to "take care of" by taking matters into their own hands through brute force, illegal behavior, etc. instead of going the proper way & letting the FCC handle it is what I don't understand. The guy I refer to wasn't threatening or coercing anyone -it was the people who were after him. From what I understand several hundred dollars of damage to his vehicle was done.
Like, why do people go to such measures today? There have been people (not HALF as intense as the one I refer to) that have had their towers/antennas ripped down, coax on towers cut, you name it. To me it seems stupid, to put it bluntly, people would go to such an extreme. That's what takes the fun out of radio today. Heck, I've heard stories of people getting SHOT for this stuff!   
     Back in the day, there were a lot of CB "vigilantes" cutting people's coax and even ripping down antennas.  We had a guy near the Grand Concourse in Bronx called "Big Sickle" who used to preach hour long sermons, calling just about everyone on the air "communists" and "homosexuals"!  One summer night a group of fed up CBers went up to this guys roof, pulled down his antenna, yanked his coax, and actually pulled both his microphone and radio right out of his window!!  Needless to say, he was off the air for quite a while.
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K5TED
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« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2015, 09:08:36 PM »

Why people see this as something THEY  have to "take care of" by taking matters into their own hands through brute force, illegal behavior, etc. instead of going the proper way & letting the FCC handle it is what I don't understand. The guy I refer to wasn't threatening or coercing anyone -it was the people who were after him. From what I understand several hundred dollars of damage to his vehicle was done.
Like, why do people go to such measures today? There have been people (not HALF as intense as the one I refer to) that have had their towers/antennas ripped down, coax on towers cut, you name it. To me it seems stupid, to put it bluntly, people would go to such an extreme. That's what takes the fun out of radio today. Heck, I've heard stories of people getting SHOT for this stuff!   
     Back in the day, there were a lot of CB "vigilantes" cutting people's coax and even ripping down antennas.  We had a guy near the Grand Concourse in Bronx called "Big Sickle" who used to preach hour long sermons, calling just about everyone on the air "communists" and "homosexuals"!  One summer night a group of fed up CBers went up to this guys roof, pulled down his antenna, yanked his coax, and actually pulled both his microphone and radio right out of his window!!  Needless to say, he was off the air for quite a while.

In just about any hobby besides oregami and golf you might find pockets of poo-flinging, inbred morons. The thing with CB, like ham radio, is that for some it becomes the nightly ritual and center field for the only level of social interaction enjoyed by these adherents. It is the outlet and stage for all the rage and despair that afflicts them.

You won't likely find a lot of CB communities harboring this sort of behavior in higher income areas, since these citizens usually satisfy their aberrant fixations and tantrums with more worldly appliances such as implants, wood lathes, therapy, and gazebos. Granted, there may be the occasional incident between an 'upscale' individual and one of the unwashed, but it can probably be subsequently demonstrated to have been a case of legacy trash vs. 'noveau civilized' still suffering from genetic breakthrough stupidity.

The same stuff goes on today on CB as yesterday. Nothing has changed. The same type of folks go for the same type of pastime and fall into the same traps, but now they can text as well. Praise the lard. There's a Galaxy DX-2517 with Super Swing Mod waiting in the wings for their earned income credit tax 'refund' check.
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N8YX
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« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2015, 11:38:18 AM »

Those of us who use CH36-40 (SSB modes) and operate motorcycle mobile while out and about with the various touring clubs rarely  -if ever - have to deal with the type of idiot who camps on a channel and makes life miserable for its other inhabitants.
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WA2ISE
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« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2015, 01:20:54 PM »



My buddy( a radio tech) picked up some of the ULTRA cheapest  49 Mhz HT's imaginable. They are much,much  smaller than a pack of cigarettes and take  a stack of hearing aid batteries.They literally have a range of around 25 ft

BTW, I used to LOVE  La Fayette and ALL of their stuff . In THOSE days Radio Shack had a BAD cheap  rep compared to them

I moved a few of these toys to 6M mainly for giggles. 
as I picked up these oddball crystals for real cheap...

Yeah, I also remember Radio Shack's stuff as real crap, too...
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