I plugged in my Galaxy 979-DX this morning into my PAR antenna, and boy am I glad I got my Ham ticket! It isn't the CB of my youth anymore, that's for sure. I listened to 38-LSB and everyone is talking over everyone else.. I heard a few quys calling DX properly, but otherwise, it's just a bunch of yelling. That was nothing however compared to channel 6-AM! I can't even understand those guys, as if they spoke a foreign language. They all seem to be running dirty amps in the hundreds of Watts. There is pretty much nothing on channel 19, and I am only a few miles from the highway.
In the 80s everyone was civil and polite. You never heard anyone cut off someone else. Sure, there were jerks, like on Ham radio today, but it was the exception. Every single trucker had a CB and used it. You could find out road conditions ahead at the press of your PTT button. I had neighboors with base stations.You could ask to borrow some salt, walk over to their place and end up having coffee and cake.. You get the picture.. I am sure it is still possible in some places, but things have definitely changed. Blame cell phones, the Internet and GPS maybe, but there is a behavioral problem there as well.
Gee, am I turning into an old guy? Get out of my lawn! :o
I will not sell my CB though because is is an important prepping item and I would definitely take it along any road trip. Let's face it, there are many more CB radios out there than Ham radios. It would be an invaluable tool in information gathering after the SHTF. My next car will have both a Ham and CB rig. The Galaxy will go back in it's box. I still need to EMP-proof it. I have two base antennas plus my PAR for it, so I am all set. A note on the LNR Precision (ex PAR) 40/20/10m end-fed: It works fine on CB and for me, even on 15 and 12m. I know it works great because I reached Estonia (5200 miles) on 40m using only 1.3W; highly recommended!
Long distance communications via CB are possible but not easy and very much affected by solar weather. I would not rely on it for anything further than fifteen miles or so. Locally, you can always find someone listening. If you want reliability, 20 and 40m are the main games in town.
To anyone getting into Ham radio, don't throw away your old CB. As is today, the Citizen Band is limited and sort of a post-apocalyptic social wasteland, but it has it's uses, given the sheer number of radios floating around. It isn'y enough by itself but still indispensible. Don't get an illegal "export" radio, especially if you have a Ham license, because you could lose it. Don't get a CB amp either because they are very crappy and will transmit harmonics all over the place. Fines for running such equipment are not something you want to pay, believe me. It is much cheaper to get your Ham license ($14!). You can find HF Ham radios that cost no more new than high-end CB radios, and they will be of better quality.
I think everyone should have a CB radio with SSB, a 2m handheld, a few FRS radios and an HF rig that can also listen to short-wave.. I do wish all preppers learned Morse code, but that is another story..
Ya'll have a great week-end :)
I'm sure 11 meter CB has some redeeming value...... I'm just not sure what that might be. 😎 b)
I have talked to some of my neighbors. They all have CB radio equipment, but do not use it any more. Well... the phone and power lines go down enough in this area that I am trying to get the neighbors on a net using their old CB transcievers. I may be the one installing antenni etc, if I want to get this project on the air. My neighbors are 5 to 8 miles around me. It would be a cheap radio system I think and useful in times of wx emergencies especially. Well thats my plan anywayz. Cell phones are spotty and useless at times out in this part of Minnesota. I don't have the money to put all my neighbors 2 meters rigs or similar communications gear. I have CB in my vehicle for channel 19. I like the road reports, especially accident information it provides. Channel 19 is silent most of the time even with Interstate 35 close by. When the sunspots act up channel 19 is pure agony though. I may try to buy as many old CB rigs (CHEAP OR DONATED I HOPE) and repair them so I can hand them out in the SHTF mode if people need one. Garage sales have these transceivers often. I think rural areas like here will have to have, at the very least, a common communications mode so they can hang together for protection. Hang together or hang seperately as they say.
Some 2m handhelds only cost $40. Like the Baofeng UV-5R. The difficulty would be to convince people to get the license. Even though it is very easy, some might not want to bother. So, if they already have a CB, it might be a viable option. Wire antennas are cheap to make. I do have a Solarcon Imax2000 and that is a good antenna for $100.
Welcome to the forum :)
I've been toying with the idea of getting another CB, but I keep vacillating between "that's a great idea" and "why the hell would I do that?" The last CB I had was in a '79 GMC, a big old Cobra unit that was really nice to operate. When I first got the truck, I was on it all the time. By the time the truck was ready for the scrapyard, I hardly ever turned it on anymore, as it was just a wasteland of sociopaths and miscreants. I finally gave up when the girls at the nudie bar up by the truckstop on I-80 took over channel 15 to use for, ahem, "advertising." Lately, though, I've been thinking it would be good to have for prepping purposes. No way am I going to hack up my Jeep to install one, but one of the smaller units like the Cobra 75 WX ST might be OK.
I recently used a portable unit with a mag mount antenna on a long trip. I heard a couple truckers along the way, but not much else. I just left it on 19, so I guess I need to check some of the other frequencies. At least I know the radio works.
I was tempted at a recent Hamfest where there were a few on tables for $10, but passed. Next time I may pick up a couple just to tuck away.