CB Radios? Y or N

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Just Lou

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Q - In this age of instant communication, cell phones, Blackberries, etc...? ?Do you folks still carry, and use, CB Radios?

I have a handheld unit, with a window attached external antenna, that I'll probably carry along but would consider a permanent installation if it is deemed useful and/or necessary.

lou? ?
 

Tom

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Our coach came equipped with a built-in CB but, due to the fact that there's mostly garbage on the air, I no longer bother to turn it on. It's not an option I would have chosen or will choose in the future. Others have different experiences with and opinions of CB.
 

Carl L

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CB does have some uses.  Mostly in caravaning -- especially offroad.  The vehicle mount units are cheap and no license is required.  The truckers still use it to some extent on the road.  The garbage traffic is still there but all traffic has fallen off. 

FRS and GMRS have taken over much of the role of the old CB.  FRS (family radio service) has a range of about one mile
with cell phone sized units.  It requires no license.  They can encode their transmissions to be readable only by a simlarly coded unit (you agree on the encryption).    Some FRS units are capable of GMRS (General mobile) operations.  GMRS has a range of 5-25 miles and requires a license --- $80 for five years.   
 

Bob Zambenini

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OnaQuest said:
Q - In this age of instant communication, cell phones, Blackberries, etc...  Do you folks still carry, and use, CB Radios?

I have always had one, but don't use it as much nowadays. Once I got Pressure Pro Tire Monitoring I have not been turning it on. But before, I felt it was a safety plus where a tucker could warn me if he saw me driving with a toad tire flat.

But, it has been a great help over the years in cases where traffic came to a screeching halt and the truckers chatter quickly let you know what is going on up there, which lanes are open, etc.

Also, I have made calls of truckers coming toward me, for weather reports like when I am coming into some of the mountain passes.

I have used in cases where I wanted to talk to a trucker. Like coming through a big city,  I have asked a certain one if he was going on through and if he said yes I just followed his lane changes.

In Oakland a couple of years ago a trucker was 'trapped' in a right lane that was ending and I slowed down and told him on CB when to move on left when I got up behind him. He was most grateful  and wanted directions down to 101 once we got moving. After a ways we passed him and I can still see the look on his face as he was waving and giving me  a thumbs up. Good to be able to help those guys as some of them have a down opinion of RVers.

My classic, was several years ago coming west out of Indianapolis I-70 was suddenly closed due to tanker truck fire. I came out of the rest area bathroom and all these truckers had maps out trying to figure out what to do. I explained I grew up near here and was going to take 231 north to 36 west via Greencastle and Rockville and south on 41 to Terre Haute.  They were listening very carefully and asked a couple of questions on clearances and turns.  So we pulled out and I had a little following of 6 or 8. As we went along I gave them a few tips on CB like how we would make a left and right around the courthouse square in Greencastle. One guy looked at  his truckers atlas and called up that  there was a 12 ft underpass on 41 north of Terre Haute. I assured him that was taken out years ago and he would have no problem.

Anyway, as I don't use it as often anymore, I would always have one.

Bob
 

John From Detroit

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I carry far too many radios.... In a couple of days I'll be hitting the road with a CB tuned to chan 19 so I can evesdrop on the truckers and find out what's going on further down the road (more on this later) and a dual band Ham transcever (2mtr 70cm) which scans programed memories (as I usually configure it) and a 2nd ham radio (2mtr only) tuned to 146.52Mhz (Simplex calling frequency) This one set to low power with a very poor antenna, Idea is to talk to folks who can see me or I can see.

When I leave California I'll add a 2nd CB tuned to chan 13 (It is in the rig, but no antanna yet, the antenna is also in the rig, but at the moment I'm not sure where)  I'll also have 2 cell phones (Mine/wifes) and five family radio service radios (2 of which doulble as GMRS and ... Get this... ARE LICENSED!!!!!) (If I get caught running unlicsensed I canloose my ham ticket you see)

The ham radios are for general chat,,, I've often carried on some fairly long conservations with folks many milies away via 2mtr.... I'm kind of new to 70cm though.

The 2nd ham rig is basically to listen for someone calling who is close enough to notice I'm a ham

The 2nd cb tuned to chan 13 (RV-ers) is for local chat as we move from event to event, It will have a rather poor antenna.

The primary (Chan 19) cb is for listening to truckers... So, for example... When traffic backed up on my last trip of the season.. I knew why without doing a personal investigation (Someone parked their car under a semi... at 70mph, not the best of ideas)

On another occasion as I came back home from a Christmas dinner at my parents I was listening and heard of an overturned SEMI on black ice a couple miles in front of me.. So I started backing it down, knowing I was about to have an encounter of the traffic jam type.  Sure enough.. Just as I reached the traffic jam spot there was a 4 car serious damage accident (no injuries but two of the cars had to be dollied out, and totaled out) I got to take everyone home since it was way too busy and way too far, for the sheriff to do it (not so far for me)

Heck, paid for my gas they did.  (the people in the accidents)

So I've been very glad I had that chan-19 receiver in the ride.

I also have a dual band Ham rig and a single CB in the car (Toad)

Now, do understand I don't spend a lot of time talking on these radios unless I'm very secure traffic wise, When one needs to pay full attention to the driving one puts DOWN the microphones.

And also understand I've had 2-way radios in the car almost as long as I've had a car to have 2-way radios in (I got my ham ticket less than a year after my driver's license.

Also understand that on ham radio we don't talk about business, ever (not allowed)
 

Ron from Big D

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John:

    When the group gets together in the desert to go off-roading, we use FRS Radios.  FM units with about a mile or so range.  They are much clearer than the CB units.

 

John From Detroit

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There are other advantages to FRS as well... As I said, I have three FRS and 2 FRS/GMRS radios I'll have with me, one is pre-set to chan-1, two can be set to any of the 14 FRS channels, none of those have tone squelch The remaining 2 are higher GMRS powered, 22 chan with tone squelch (CTSS) and the license will be in the rig

I use the FRS/GMRS between my wife and myself since she refuses to take a test or learn how to operate a larger radio.

Very handy radios

Just not much use when I'm going down the highway and want to listen in on the truckers
 

Jackliz

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OnaQuest said:
Q - In this age of instant communication, cell phones, Blackberries, etc...  Do you folks still carry, and use, CB Radios?
lou 

Absolutely. We have one in our bus. If you get in a traffic jam on the highway and truckers are in the vicinity, they are a good source of information as to what is going on. We tune in to Channel 19.

TODAY IS JACK"S LAST WORKING DAY!!!!!!!!!!
 

John From Detroit

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PennyPA said:
John, what kind of test is for the GMRS radios?

Oh, they ask questions like:

Name:_____
Address:______
Credit card________ (master card, visa, AMEX, etc)
Card number_________
Expiration___________
Name on card________

(actually that is not 100% accurate,,, I already have an account with the FCC which made it easier for me)

I think it's either 75 or 80 bucks for the license, good for 10 years.

You don't want to know the cost of getting caught w/o the license
 

Ron from Big D

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John In Detroit said:
There are other advantages to FRS as well... As I said, I have three FRS and 2 FRS/GMRS radios I'll have with me, one is pre-set to chan-1, two can be set to any of the 14 FRS channels, none of those have tone squelch The remaining 2 are higher GMRS powered, 22 chan with tone squelch (CTSS) and the license will be in the rig

I use the FRS/GMRS between my wife and myself since she refuses to take a test or learn how to operate a larger radio.

Very handy radios

Just not much use when I'm going down the highway and want to listen in on the truckers

    But, much better when traveling with a small group of vehicles.  Little or no garbage.  :'(

 

PennyPA

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I use the FRS/GMRS between my wife and myself since she refuses to take a test or learn how to operate a larger radio

So what test is John talking of here?  The larger radios...are they like the ones we use on an accident scene...the portables....handhelds....about 8 or 10" tall x 2" wide x 1" deep....Motorola?
 

Just Lou

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OK... you guys lost me a couple of mega-hertz, two decibels and half-a-bandwidth ago.? I can't talk tech talk....

My original question was.....? ? to CB, or not to CB..???? Sounded simple at the time.? ?Duh.!!..

I've gathered, from all the responses, that I may need a CB for weather and traffic reports from passing truckers, one or more 2mtr/70cm dual frequency compatible transceivers with 22 channel tone squelch and a high gain antenna if I want to talk to John, or a FRS/GMRS radio to talk with John's wife and the rest of y'all.
?
I assume I can still use LY&T (that's Local Yell &Tell) to talk to my own wife, as long as she is within 1.5 MH distance, (that's One and a Half Motorhomes) and she is tuned to either channel 13 or 19 on the Citizens Band and has the squelch set somewhere below the threshold of pain, and providing that I observe all the requirements for a combination fishing, dog, radio and bloviating license.?

If you happen to see an old '97 Bounder along the highway with a drooping antenna, simply wave or toot the horn.? I probably don't have the radio on anyway.

Hope I didn't offend anyone with my off the wall attempt at humor. lou? ?
 

John From Detroit

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Well, for the ham stuff you have to have a license.

To answer your basic quesiton  CB Y/N.  I vote Y, as I said, it can be very helpful to listen in to the truckers who are down-stream.. You can often find out about a problem before it becomes a problem

Likewise if you join up with some friends.. As I plan on doing in a couple of weeks.  A CB can be a great "intercom" from rig to rig.

FRS/GMRS radios are useful as well. but are far more personal (IE: Husband to wife when parked, or parking)

Interesting fact:  GMRS is what CB was intended as... A local point-to-point radio service used mainly for business, be it personal (As in "Ok, you are back far enough") or corporate (Judy, Clean up in isle 3) (The place my wife used to work use GMRS radios for just that kind of thing)
 

waterdog

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We vote YES on the use of CB's.    They are extremely useful in many different situations and a lot handier than dealing with the little walkie-talkie things, which are a real pain with batteries, short ranges, interference, and general misuse in any large metro area.  Get a mounted unit, not a portable.  You will use it a lot with friends, convoys, truckers, motorists.  You can also use it in camp with your neighbors.
 

Just Lou

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I'm convinced.? I'll install a good quality CB before I leave on the big trip.

I'll admit ignorance on the FRS/GMRS radios.? I just always assumed they were dumbed down low power CB,s that I saw people carrying and using to communicate around camp grounds and fishing holes.  I'll check those out also.

I learn something every time I log onto this forum.

Lou
 

PennyPA

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However, the FMS radios with a range of 5 miles or less ARE useful when convoying with a group or when you're backing into a campsite.  Other half can give directions without shouting all over the campground. 

So, how about a CB AND an FMS?
 

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