Is it wise to buy a CB

Started by Pensioner Prepper, October 07, 2019, 06:38:09 AM

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Pensioner Prepper

Firstly I am a big fan of CB but, always a but, not necessarily a fan of CB radios. Why, well generaly speaking when compared to Ham radio equipment a CB radio can be found wanting. I will give you an example. I have a President Grant 2 CB radio which I was using to have an interesting conversation with a fellow prepper on USB. Sudenly my noise floor went from 0 to over 9 making further communication impossible. In the UK we have 80 CB channels to play with and have FM AM USB and LSB. The noise was over the whole 80 channels and over all modes. This persisted until daylight the next day when 0 noise level returned.

This was the clue as I was operating from a commercial caravan site. For the benifit of the residents the site owners have installed outside lights which are triggered to come on depending on light levels.
Right all well and good. The next night I switched on the CB and waited for the lights to come on.

You have guess it, lights on noise level 9 unusable. Then I had a thought, would this affect my Ham equipment. Pulling out my trusty FT - 897 and tuning to the same CB channel and using the same antenna the 897 was quite as the proverbial church mouse.

What does this tell you about shielding in CB equipment. I do have a few other CBs to try but I strongly suspect they will yield similar results.

My conclusion is that a case may be made that it is perhaps better to buy a ham HF set, have it opened up, which I feel all prepper radios should be and use that in preference to a dedicated CB set.

I know there are legal considerations but after all we are Preppers.


Certainly... More a filtering issue than shielding, but the result is the same... I'd say it it wise to own a CB if you have an amateur radio capable of transmitting on CB frequencies... You know what I mean...


Pensioner Prepper

Indeed yes I do know what you mean.

I have to mention that in the Uk that the Radio powers that be tend to leve you alone. The big no no would be if your signal was interfering with commercial or emergency frequencies, then expect the big stick and rightly so.

That said I am surprised at the number of Uk YouTube videos whose authors are showing that they clarely do break every rule in the book. Can't say that I would publicly like to take that chance.


Indeed... I personally avoid getting outside of the law, except when it's really stupid and useless... There is a time to say enough... That said, we have enough frequencies available that there is no real need to use others... I do understand CBers extending their band a little... Like you said, as long as they know where not to go. The problem is the use of cheap amps on the wrong assumption that more power will give you more range... Sometimes yes, but usually not much...


Tom Line

Got my CB for 10$ at a yard sale. Only way it felt worth it. Had to fix a cold solder crack and it works fine.
A few truckers still use them but I avoid the interstate and the few locals who use it are in their own world but not offensive.
The "SUPERBOWL" is on channel 6 (US) and is interesting urban guys using illegal power chattering non stop without anyone else talking to them.
Not the friendly helpful tool it once was. Takes a high antenna to be useful at only 4 watts legal anyway.


It certainly isn't what it used to be... A half-wave end-fed wire with a 49:1 transformer would be the best antenna for CB IMHO. Height is your friend for local comms...

Tom Line

I hooked my cb up to an end fed 40 and was happily surprised when it seemed to work pretty good.

Quote from: gil on December 26, 2019, 09:05:46 AMIt certainly isn't what it used to be... A half-wave end-fed wire with a 49:1 transformer would be the best antenna for CB IMHO. Height is your friend for local comms...


"Is it wise to buy a CB"

Definitely yes!
They are cheap to get and make you a easy communication backup.
A brand new set radio and magnet car antenna is unter 100 $ or €.
That is what i have in my car EDC:

A set like this will give you a good chance to get help everywere.
Together with a car battery you are totally independent.
In a shtf case it could be more helpful than a HAM setup.

Interesting Fact:
Here in Germany they fear a power blackout.
We had some issues in the past. (long story)
Now they want the Radioamateurs for backup.
The main job will be the connection between the citizens and the authorities.
But also the monitoring of the CB frequencies is being considered.
Thats because CB is still wide spreaded.