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Old 02-15-2011, 05:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Smokyroo View Post
Bikendan,
I have a basic understanding of radio theory and from what I understand while CB radio is useful for communicating short distances, it has limitations due to the power they legally can transmit, the types of antennas used and the nature of the CB band itself. As I recall CB uses amplitude modulation (AM) to change the frequency and ham rigs, like the 2 meter band use frequency modulation (FM single side band)...AM is more of a line of sight radio wave and can be obstructed by buildings, tunnels, mountains and so forth more easily the radio waves transmitted using FM. Do I have this correct Kbrown?

When we traveled across the US and Canada as kids /teenagers my dad had a 2 meter rig in the car and we had access in areas where CB would have failed.

If you want safety, ham radio is more reliable than CB. If you want traffic and road info, I would suggest a Garmin GPS unit with an XM subscription you can add road and traffic data for the interstate and many federal highways real time on maps.
Pretty close on all of the above. When using 2 meter ham (VHF) the most common mode is FM- wide. There other modes including AM, Single Side Band (upper side band used in 2 meter), and digital modes such as packet. With technology what it is, with smart phones, GPS with traffic, etc... getting reliable traffic info has not been a problem... "there's an app for that" ! You can't usually get immediate traffic from ham radio, but sometimes you can, if there is another ham in the area. I used to drive trucks (one of my many past job experiences) and always had a CB. I put one in service a couple years ago and was throughly disgusted by what I heard and promptly removed it. I understand the wanting to know about traffic ahead or an idiot behind me but here is my thinking. If there is traffic ahead and I am going to re-route, I have my GPS to tell me where to go. If I don't have a GPS, I will probably sit in the traffic because a map does not give enough information to pull from my route towing the TT. Times when I have re-routed, the time lost would have been less if I would have dealt with the traffic. I am on holiday, I am really not in a hurry. As far as what is happening behind me, as long as I am not causing the impatience, they can do as they wish. I travel at 65 MPH on the interstate in a 70 MPH zone. I stay to the right except to pass. I do MY best to be courteous.
As far as an alternate means of communications, other than my personal communicator (aka cell phone), I would much rather have an amateur radio hands down! You sure can't beat it when traveling in a group and you loose site of one of your buddies, you have the range with the ham radio. The current motto for ham radio is "When all else fails, Amateur radio works". Trust me, after the last hurricane we went through there were no phones, no internet, no landlines, but we could get help. I provided communications for our town, hospital, nursing homes, and shelter for 3 days. It just happened that way. It's always your choice. The offer is always there; if someone would like more info on how to get your license, a contact in your area or anything else I can help with, let me know.

One last thing: most al HF amateur radios have the ability to receive all frequencies between about 1.8 MHz and 60 Mhz so if you want to listen to CH 19 on CB you can, you just can't LEGALLY transmit using your amateur radio on the CB band (please, if you are a ham, you know what that last statement meant and it is a subject I wish not to open ).

Kirk
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:00 PM   #22
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I understand the wanting to know about traffic ahead or an idiot behind me but here is my thinking. If there is traffic ahead and I am going to re-route, I have my GPS to tell me where to go. If I don't have a GPS, I will probably sit in the traffic because a map does not give enough information to pull from my route towing the TT. Times when I have re-routed, the time lost would have been less if I would have dealt with the traffic.
In the case of an accident ahead, then the CB allows me to get off of the road well ahead of the accident....once you tied up in traffic, you are usually there for the duration. I agree that maps are pretty useless in this case. But, usually there is a trucker that is knowledgeable enough concerning the local roads, and we get a "convoy" going on the back roads to bypass the accident.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:15 PM   #23
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In the case of an accident ahead, then the CB allows me to get off of the road well ahead of the accident....once you tied up in traffic, you are usually there for the duration. I agree that maps are pretty useless in this case. But, usually there is a trucker that is knowledgeable enough concerning the local roads, and we get a "convoy" going on the back roads to bypass the accident.
Won't argue your point, that's for sure. I definitely understand. I just can't justify all the swearing and carrying on that goes along with the CB for the few times it might save me some time. I still have one on the shelf and I won't part with it, you never know when it might be needed, but I won't be putting in my TV anytime soon.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:43 PM   #24
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Here is a QSL card confirming contact that I made with the International Space Station using my 2 meter radio in the house. No amps, special antennas, just a plain old off the shelf radio and antenna. I spoke with Commander Doug Wheelock for about a minute. Many others were trying as well. Talking to the ISS is something you definitely can't do with a CB and they sure won't be able to help you with traffic !!

It really is a fun hobby. It is what you make of it.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:09 PM   #25
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Seriously considering this unit for the truck:

https://cobra.com/detail/index.cfm?nPID=74

Remote mount, weather radio and cb. Easily hidden from "prying eyes".

I have limited space, and this in nice a small.

Not looking for anything fancy, just some weather radio and trucker road info as we go.

Chuck in a good antenna, tune the swr and call it a day....

Opinions?
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:38 PM   #26
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If it were me, for that amount of money, I would look closer at the 25 LTD or 25 WX NW ST or 29 LTD or 29 NW LTD Classic. But that's just me. That radio you listed just doesn't look like much of a quality product, therefore untrusted by me. But...that's just me. I know several truck stops like the Pilot Flying J, TA Travelcenters of America, and the like carry these everyday for a pretty good price. They also carry accessories, antennas, any anything else you might need to connect it. I bet my bottom dollar that the sound quality will be better, once your antenna is tuned the sound quality going out would be better, and the unit itself would last longer. I know my suggestions are a bit bigger and not as easy to hide, but in the end, you didn't throw your hard earned money away.

I guess i've just been bitten more than once by buying the "other" option, only to find out that it was junk and have to return it later. Think about it this way...drop $85-$125 on the one you listed, something goes wrong and it doesn't last your entire trip, only to have to spend another $100+ for one of the models i suggested somewhere down the road...install it...time factor...all of that. Or just buy it once, install it once, and be on your way. Just a suggestion, I don't promote any particular device, but if cobra was my only choice...those options would be the top 4 I would buy.

Background: I've been a hobbyist of CB's for many years...before I was even able to drive and I've owned Cobras, Midlands, and Unidens. The 16 year old Midland I have now has exceeded my expectations and I continue to enjoy the hobby. Just remember that your antenna and SWR reading is AS IMPORANT (if not more) as the radio you buy. Good luck and .

Edit: Found a photo.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:55 PM   #27
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Just thought of something else. If you do go with the model you provide the link to, you might consider opting for one of the external speakers to connect to it. That external speaker will probably be easier to hear than the mic/speaker combo thing.

Joe
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:13 PM   #28
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Problem is, I can find a place to hang the all in the mic one, but I literally have no where to put a traditional box type CB.

My truck has a fair bit of electronics under the dash already;



A traditional "box" would have to mount under the seats or something similar. Then I'm blind to what channel it's on, or even if it's on....
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:23 PM   #29
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My '04.5 had a console on the floor that was similar to yours and I was able to stand the radio up (speaker out) and mounted it to the side of it. It was just below my knee, far enough away as to not hinder where my leg and foot was placed while driving. It may not work on yours, but just throwing that out there for the fun of it.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:28 PM   #30
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My '04.5 had a console on the floor that was similar to yours and I was able to stand the radio up (speaker out) and mounted it to the side of it. It was just below my knee, far enough away as to not hinder where my leg and foot was placed while driving. It may not work on yours, but just throwing that out there for the fun of it.
I'm not a fan of that look.

If I can't make it look "integrated" (IE: OEM) it's not going in....
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