Why have we abandoned the CB?

Deacon

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I also had a CB for my car’s in-dash radio. On an ‘83 Benz 240D, it was AM / FM / CB with a cassette tape player. The thing was the schitz because you could set it to music and when the CB broke squelch it would mute the music.
They had given him a 1979 Mercury Grand Marquis, which he gave to us when he received a newer vehicle. It had a CB/am/FM stereo. Like mentioned above, when a strong enough signal was received, it would mute the stereo until the signal was weak enough.
I had never heard of such a thing before this thread, and that is a frickin cool idea! OEM, no less.
 

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I had never heard of such a thing before this thread, and that is a frickin cool idea! OEM, no less.
Truly a shame it went away. The biggest thing that seems to be killing off CB seems to be that people don't want to buy the parts and set it up and then tune it.

I really wonder what I can do to foster greater adoption of the CB radio in our community. I have a cross country drive coming up, hopefully I can get a save off of it, or give an assist, and document the experiences here.
 

mikeoxlong

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Our neighbours had a GM product, Delta88?, back in the 70’s and it had a Delhi AM/FM/CB radio.
 

Ultrafudd

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Oh, they made ‘em. Livin’ the dream in the 70’s:
1634015419373.jpeg
 

kwthom

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I really wonder what I can do to foster greater adoption of the CB radio in our community. I have a cross country drive coming up, hopefully I can get a save off of it, or give an assist, and document the experiences here.
Let's have a look from a different perspective...

In 1976, US population was around 220 million. See page 4 of this document for a whole bunch of data points:


Imports of CB radios were valued at $839 million in 1976, up from $251 million in 1975; imports have declined in the past year but have increased their market share to 91 percent. During January-September 1977, Japan had 81 percent of the import market while Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong represented 9 percent, 4 percent, and 2 percent, respectively. These nations account for 96 percent of the CB radios imported and sold in the domestic market.

A pretty basic radio in 1976 (I had two of them...) were in $150 or $200 range. There are places on-line that feature Radio Shack catalogs of the era that will give a pretty good idea of the range of costs.

At $500 each (just for fun...) that's 1.678 million CB's - just in 1976.

Antennas? They were pricey as well, In fact, many learned that the *good* antennas even make average radios work better. Some of the antennas for base stations easily doubled the cost of the system.

That gadget in your hand (or on your desktop) is tens of thousands of times more capable.
 

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That gadget in your hand (or on your desktop) is tens of thousands of times more capable.

It's not though - not in this regard. This is the core of my argument for why we should be better promoting and adopting CB radios.

An unmarked car is creeping up behind your in traffic. He had his radar off, so you didn't see him until he was right off your corner. Thankfully, you were flowing with traffic, so he moves on. How do you effectively let people ahead of you know he's coming? You don't have their numbers. He's moving so you can't put it on Waze. His radar is off so nobody will detect him. On a crowded interstate, an unmarked car - especially a non SUV - can move through traffic pretty quick and sneak up on you.

This is an area where I feel the CB absolutely shines - and we don't have anything to replace it with.
 

kwthom

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Well, I'm old enough to remember the 1970's and 1980's use of CB radio, and even then, it just wasn't that good.

It takes too much for many drivers to do exactly what you described. They barely are able to operate a cell phone hands free these days.
 

Nerd

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Well, I'm old enough to remember the 1970's and 1980's use of CB radio, and even then, it just wasn't that good.

It takes too much for many drivers to do exactly what you described. They barely are able to operate a cell phone hands free these days.

Yes - BUT - we, are not most drivers. We're a community of gear nerds and car enthusiasts who sink untold thousands into our vehicles. I know, realistically, I can't get joe driver to pick up a CB. But maybe I can get more of us (RD.Forum) to stop giving up it.

I plan to really test my CB on the upcoming trip. Long term, I also plan to get a GMRS radio setup on my vehicle so I can further test out the viability of that platform as a CB alternative.

In my mind, being able to crowd source reports of police in motion is a totally unaddressed (save for the CB) obstacle in counter measures. We have a specific system designed to counter virtually everything except instant on radar, and cops in motion with their radar off.
 

erickonphoenix

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I had a Uniden CB in the GTO in 2006 and even then most of the conversations were in Spanish. The HAM is a little better but you won't get much service out of it as a CM unless you're rolling with a group and want to communicate car to car.
 

Nerd

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I had a Uniden CB in the GTO in 2006 and even then most of the conversations were in Spanish. The HAM is a little better but you won't get much service out of it as a CM unless you're rolling with a group and want to communicate car to car.
Ham is tough cause it actually requires studying to get a license so fewer people are into it, and then even fewer are using it in the way CBs were once used. Cool stuff though. I have my technician license
 

erickonphoenix

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Ham is tough cause it actually requires studying to get a license so fewer people are into it, and then even fewer are using it in the way CBs were once used. Cool stuff though. I have my technician license
yeah, same here. I just got it so I could legally communicate at the camp sites with other members of our group. My buddy Kasy is really into it, he's got a tower in his back yard but he lives way out in the country so he's got the room for it.

I've got an Icom 5100 I used for a little while but never unpacked it when I moved. I may get a directional antenna and see if I can catch the med center repeater but living in a high rise it's always a challenge getting heard.
 

crazyVOLVOrob

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Ran a CB on my Volvo a bunch back in the day but I stopped once I got a smart phone with Waze. There is a uniden scanner/cb combo that looks good but I rather spend money towards a laser jammer than put money to a CB at this time.
 

Nerd

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Ran a CB on my Volvo a bunch back in the day but I stopped once I got a smart phone with Waze. There is a uniden scanner/cb combo that looks good but I rather spend money towards a laser jammer than put money to a CB at this time.
I get that but I also think jammers are highly case sensitive. Where I drive, I have yet to encounter laser anywhere where I'd actually be exceeding PSL. I've only been lasered in ritzy residential areas so far. All my highways appear to be Ka band.

I plan to add a scanner for me and image stabilized binos for my copilot as soon as the budget allows. At the end of the day though - at least for me - alerts of a cop sneaking up behind me with his radar off - or of one lurking in the right lane at 65mph - would be way more valuable than a laser jammer.
 
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kwthom

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<...>I plan to really test my CB on the upcoming trip. Long term, I also plan to get a GMRS radio setup on my vehicle so I can further test out the viability of that platform as a CB alternative.<...>
Please let us know in this thread your thoughts after you've been on the road for a week or two with the CB.

As mentioned, I have a CB on my motorcycle. Unless your Spanish language skills are more than passable, there's just not much out here in the Southwestern US. Thirty or more years ago, it was different; you may have been more successful.

My wife and I returned from a 7000+ mile trek to the northeast and back in July. The CB only was on a handful of times during the three week period while we were on the road. The RD, OTOH, was on anytime the bike was on.

Luck to ya!
 

Nerd

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Please let us know in this thread your thoughts after you've been on the road for a week or two with the CB.

As mentioned, I have a CB on my motorcycle. Unless your Spanish language skills are more than passable, there's just not much out here in the Southwestern US. Thirty or more years ago, it was different; you may have been more successful.

My wife and I returned from a 7000+ mile trek to the northeast and back in July. The CB only was on a handful of times during the three week period while we were on the road. The RD, OTOH, was on anytime the bike was on.

Luck to ya!
Will do! I'm excited. It'll be a nice test run since my latest adjustments to my equipment.
 

Exadata

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Yes - BUT - we, are not most drivers. We're a community of gear nerds and car enthusiasts who sink untold thousands into our vehicles. I know, realistically, I can't get joe driver to pick up a CB. But maybe I can get more of us (RD.Forum) to stop giving up it.

I plan to really test my CB on the upcoming trip. Long term, I also plan to get a GMRS radio setup on my vehicle so I can further test out the viability of that platform as a CB alternative.

In my mind, being able to crowd source reports of police in motion is a totally unaddressed (save for the CB) obstacle in counter measures. We have a specific system designed to counter virtually everything except instant on radar, and cops in motion with their radar off.
Just an FYI, you need to ask for bear reports if you are in the middle of nowhere (away from metro areas) as Waze won't be reliable. Truckers usually don't report bear traps and that's why you need to ask as they are more concerned with state DOT, weigh stations being open or closed, and traffic. It might get boring asking for bear reports (both traveling and stationary bears) with no response but, just keep at it every 15 miles or so (once again, when out in the middle of nowhere and Waze isn't reliable).
 

Nerd

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Just an FYI, you need to ask for bear reports if you are in the middle of nowhere (away from metro areas) as Waze won't be reliable. Truckers usually don't report bear traps and that's why you need to ask as they are more concerned with state DOT, weigh stations being open or closed, and traffic. It might get boring asking for bear reports (both traveling and stationary bears) with no response but, just keep at it every 15 miles or so (once again, when out in the middle of nowhere and Waze isn't reliable).

The majority of the trip, I'd approximate 70% by mileage will be on East/West interstates with probably another 20% on North/South Interstates and then 10% being city and county roads.

I do plan to periodically request Bear reports just to see what, (if anything) I get back. I also intend to broadcast my own bear reports unprompted when an unmarked unit passes by me. I'll wait until he's past me just in case we've got "a bear with ears," ;) and then I'll key the mic with "one bear, moving [direction] on [road] at [mile marker]. I have two goals.

1. I want to see if I can get a bear report that wasn't listed on Waze and not detected by my radar. Each time I'm able to accomplish this, I will count it as a point towards my theory. If I get a report of a bear that's either on my radar or on Waze, it doesn't count.

2. I want to see if I get any positive feedback for my own, unsolicited bear reports. So if somebody replies to my report with any positive acknowledgement, that'll be a point towards my theory. But it HAS to be acknowledged.

Obviously this won't be really scientific because I have no way of even knowing how many people are hearing me, but it'll be a fun little game.
 

Exadata

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The majority of the trip, I'd approximate 70% by mileage will be on East/West interstates with probably another 20% on North/South Interstates and then 10% being city and county roads.

I do plan to periodically request Bear reports just to see what, (if anything) I get back. I also intend to broadcast my own bear reports unprompted when an unmarked unit passes by me. I'll wait until he's past me just in case we've got "a bear with ears," ;) and then I'll key the mic with "one bear, moving [direction] on [road] at [mile marker]. I have two goals.

1. I want to see if I can get a bear report that wasn't listed on Waze and not detected by my radar. Each time I'm able to accomplish this, I will count it as a point towards my theory. If I get a report of a bear that's either on my radar or on Waze, it doesn't count.

2. I want to see if I get any positive feedback for my own, unsolicited bear reports. So if somebody replies to my report with any positive acknowledgement, that'll be a point towards my theory. But it HAS to be acknowledged.

Obviously this won't be really scientific because I have no way of even knowing how many people are hearing me, but it'll be a fun little game.
I also always report bear traps (multiple times) with pretty much no responses so, hopefully you do better but, don't get your hopes up and just figure you helped someone out. Anyway, it will be interesting to hear your findings! :)
 

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