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Old 02-27-2016, 08:41 PM   #21
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Often when we go camping, there are three or four us going at the same time. We usually meet up and all travel together to our destination. We all bought Uniden handheld CB's on Amazon for less than $50 bucks. Has a 'rubber duckie' antenna and plugs in to the cigarette lighter socket for power. No wires to run, no clutter when you're not using it. Just throw it in the glove box or console till next time.

We typically use a non standard channel (like 3 or 8) and we can all stay in touch going down the road. Being handheld, it does shorten the coverage area a bit but it works well up to about a half mile radius.

If one of us sees traffic backing up, we'll switch to 19 to monitor the problem. Saved us a couple times. It's also great to have another couple set of eyes monitoring lights, tires, road hazards, bathroom breaks and etc. and be able to report quickly to everyone in our group.

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Old 02-27-2016, 08:45 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kawacycle2 View Post
I remember camping when I was a kid in my parents MH and loved listening to all the chatter as we were driving.

I'm picking up my first trailer on Monday and was thinking, should I install a CB radio in my truck??

Do people still chat or monitor them now days?
Waze is a much more useful app than a CB these days. For traffic issues, speed traps, and disabled vehicles without all of the trucker trash talk. I have a cb but rarely turn it on anymore.

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Old 02-27-2016, 08:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
Magnet antennas aren't worth the effort.

I respectfully disagree 100% on this one. Some of the best working antennas ever made are magnet mounts (K-40, Wilson 1000, etc.)....they are very large magnet mounts however. Almost all of the small antennas are not worth the effort (whether magnet mount or not). One other advantage to mag mounting is that you can place the antenna near the center of the vehicle to get a better transmit/receive pattern.

Whatever you get for an antenna, check/set your SWR to get maximum transmit/receive as well as longevity from your radios RF amp. This is far more important than how good of a radio you buy. Some antennas do not have adjustments for "tuning"...personally, I would avoid them.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:17 PM   #24
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I have used the thru the window(glass) mount for years. Only goes a couple miles transmit/reception but that is ok for me.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:07 AM   #25
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GreenImp Yep.. Poor SWR can drop the signal by 1/2 or even more and CAN damage the transceiver.

Thru the glass units on CB frequencies drop the signal by at least 3db (1/2 or more). However assuming proper SWR they are fine.

The problem with SWR tuning is that USUALLY there is no method with the transceiver alone to measure and adjust. To be sure, you have to get a piece of test gear, or have a shop check it for you. Due to all of the places an antenna can be mounted, the type and size of vehicle, etc. Buying off the shelf and mounting is just a crap shoot as far as SWR goes.

The good side. The 4W output (usually less) and relatively robust output transistor(s) means you will get typical crummy performance but won't hurt anything . (and for $49 who cares?)

If you want it for communications with your traveling mates, get a pair or more of "Family Radio" units (FRS). Transmit range is 3 to 10 times more. NO NOISE at all. No wiring, no external antenna. (Plus it is great for backing into spots, trailer hookup etc. Your helper uses one to talk to you.) FRS is one of the first things I got for my RV.

Several smart phone aps are available for traffic, weather, even speed traps. CB is mostly for entertainment (if that entertains you.)

Ham radio is obviously the cream of the crop, but licensing and lack of use for highway communications, (except for between hams) makes it somewhat not useful.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:24 AM   #26
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CB Use

If you are traveling with someone, they are very useful. But stay away from Chan. 19. If traveling in a larger group, such a tour group to Alaska, they are a requirement. Very easy to communicate with a group. Everyone in our RV club has one and they are used both on the road and while camped.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:28 AM   #27
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I always use it when on the interstates. It's saved my azz several times by listening to the trucker chatter as to 'what lane to get in' when construction shrinks them down or an accident or what detour route to take when avoiding traffic jams. When some idiot 10 states away tries to melt my antenna with his linear amplifier or the vulgar banter sets in I'll squelch it out.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:33 AM   #28
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Not with kids in vehicle

After 35 years of trucking I can handle the racket but when I have the grandkids in the truck, it gets turned off. They don't need to hear the kind of crap coming thru the speaker. And it's not just the truckers even tho they are a whole new breed from when I drove--we'll leave that alone
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:42 AM   #29
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Still have a SWM from days back....Isn't antenna reception determined by ground plane? And length of ant....
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:46 AM   #30
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Anybody know what frequencies CB operate on? I have 2 hand-helds that covers both the VHF: 136MHz-174MHz and UHF: 400MHz-480MHz ranges plus the commercial FM range. It's great for the NOAA weather stations, too (when in an area where they broadcast), and they can be used as personal walkie-talkies w/o a FCC license.

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