Non argumentative question: Are CBs necessary with today's technology?

JohnnyE

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Love my CB gear. Been a CB, RD and Scanner enthusiast since 1975. Never gets old to me. Also have a Uniden 510xl CB Radio, two spare antennas, lil Wil and a K40 but my main setup is listed below.

Cobra 25 LTD
Texas Star 250 watt linear
Wilson 1000 antenna
Now I'm curious whether my 40 year old original K40 antenna with magnet mount is obsolete. It's served me well for millions of miles, but if there's newer, meaningfully better tech, I may be in need of an upgrade.
 

GTO_04

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Now I'm curious whether my 40 year old original K40 antenna with magnet mount is obsolete. It's served me well for millions of miles, but if there's newer, meaningfully better tech, I may be in need of an upgrade.

Not nedessarily because of new tech, but I would be a little bit concerned if your antenna is truly that old. It may have corrosion issues and degraded coax connections. Take it out and use it and see if the reception is still good.



GTO_04
 
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gonefirefighting

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The transceiver will not be obsolete but your cables and antenna connections do suffer over time. slap an SWR on it and see what you get.
 

LinuxD

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I still run a CB made in 1983 in my truck along with my new fangled DMR/FM VHF/UHF ham gear,and a DMR hotspot,waze and RD. I use the CB mostly while traveling the interstate to get reports directly about the road I am on. You wanna hear 19 come alive and realize how many truckers still have them,let there be a traffic tie up. Also hear about wrecks and what not from trucks going the other way. Just another tool while driving.
 

gonefirefighting

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I am a huge fan of the Anderson Power Poles. They prevent improper connections when used properly plus allow you to have a power source safely immediately available to plug into by having all leads coming from a power supply or battery with female red leads and all equipment needing power with male red leads. This way sources can always be safely available without accidents and equipment will never have power applied to it with improperly reversed leads. The RigRunner makes a great power distribution system for multiple equipment use or multiple radios and amps.

.


Helpful tip, when I crimp my power poles I use 2 pieces of heat shrink to weatherproof the connection if used in the engine compartment or exposed areas


113158
 

LinuxD

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I use these T style connectors. Impossible to reverse connections and all my gear uses the same connectors. A lot of ham radio gear comes with these:
113161


And these terminal blocks/bus bars mounted on a piece of lexan to insulate them from the truck body and the lexan is then bolted to the metal in the engine bay, one for positive leads and one for negative, one wire for each coming from battery makes connecting/disconnecting equipment a breeze. :

113160
 
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Transporter

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I use these T style connectors. Impossible to reverse connections and all my gear uses the same connectors. A lot of ham radio gear comes with these:
View attachment 113161

And these terminal blocks/bus bars mounted on a piece of lexan to insulate them from the truck body and the lexan is then bolted to the metal in the engine bay, one for positive leads and one for negative, one wire for each coming from battery makes connecting/disconnecting equipment a breeze. :

View attachment 113160


I do the same thing with Power Poles, all my radios and regular electronics gear have the same size Power Poles and all my amps and battery charger equipment have the same size large Power Poles. That is the whole idea behind Anderson Power Poles, they are keyed so it is impossible to ground a hot lead. More importantly, current is not limited by the tiny spades of the T connectors nor from using the super poor connections of eyelets. Most Ham radio equipment needs free flowing current and that is what Power Poles are designed for.

I need 50 amps in CW and 65 amps for full swing in SSB/AM, can’t get that with a T connector.
.
 

LinuxD

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I do the same thing with Power Poles, all my radios and regular electronics gear have the same size Power Poles and all my amps and battery charger equipment have the same size large Power Poles. That is the whole idea behind Anderson Power Poles, they are keyed so it is impossible to ground a hot lead. More importantly, current is not limited by the tiny spades of the T connectors nor from using the super poor connections of eyelets. Most Ham radio equipment needs free flowing current and that is what Power Poles are designed for.

I need 50 amps in CW and 65 amps for full swing in SSB/AM, can’t get that with a T connector.
.
I'm not pulling that kind of amps with my gear, If I go above 15 amps with anything then I start wiring it myself to how ever it needs be done, being an electrician I am pretty adept at figuring that out, and have access to whatever I need to do it and everything always gets over built.
 

JohnnyE

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Not nedessarily because of new tech, but I would be a little bit concerned if your antenna is truly that old. It may have corrosion issues and degraded coax connections. Take it out and use it and see if the reception is still good.



GTO_04
The transceiver will not be obsolete but your cables and antenna connections do suffer over time. slap an SWR on it and see what you get.
Happily the connections between the RG-58 and PL-259 are soldered, and the fittings are bright. I tuned the stick for mid-band, and on channel 19 the SWR meter barely kicks off of 1:1. Reception is just fine. I guess I'm GTG. Sadly, the powered mic on my 1976 vintage Motorola MOCAT 4020 died, a known weak link, so the radio's been replaced by a new Cobra.

Now, for the record, I'm not a complete fossil. The Uniden R1 and ALP system keep me current.
 

XDA

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I had my drivers license when Nixon lowered the national speed limit to the double nickel. Very soon after, the CB craze started. I put one in my car, as did all my buddies. CB was big, they were both effective and fun. No cells back then, they were also useful for communication with friends. Everybody had one.
Then, ESCORT came out, before that RDs were point blank back ups for your CB. Next, the national speed limit increased to 65 mph, which still sucked, but you could drive 70 without getting ticketed. The fad part of CB died. Eventually, speed limits recovered. We actually have some stretches here in Texas with an 85 mph limit. CB is mostly dead.
I never quit having one. I'm running a rebuilt 1980s vintage Cobra 148GTL with a late model Wilson 1000 antenna and a Road Devil mike.
My experience is, today you cannot just turn one on and get Smokey reports, but if you are very tenacious, and know how to sound like a trucker, you can get truckers to talk to you. CB works sort of OK for Smokey Reports, but it really shines in traffic problems.
I wish more people had them.

73's to all of you!
 

jimbob5280

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You can have the best of both worlds actually. If you decide to get your ham license you can get a modded 10-meter radio that will also work in the CB frequencies. They aren't that expensive but the build time is several weeks as lester does a great jobs in the mods dept.

I had this radio built for my jeep as I am always out in the sticks wheeling and logging roads in which trucks still use CB to notify of road traffic in tight spaces and the 10 meters can really get out.

View attachment 112966
I like this but out of my league for now fancy for sure
 

Freebird

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I am a OTR driver. My experience with CB radios dates back to 1980. Truckers still monitor the CB, but use it in bad weather and California where the speed limit is 55 for trucks. We keep it on but squelched down to low radious so we can hear someone talking to us, but squelch out the ground noise. You don't have to sound like a trucker, just ask us what you want. We are still just as helpful as we have always been. Drive safe.
 

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I had my drivers license when Nixon lowered the national speed limit to the double nickel. Very soon after, the CB craze started. I put one in my car, as did all my buddies. CB was big, they were both effective and fun. No cells back then, they were also useful for communication with friends. Everybody had one.
Then, ESCORT came out, before that RDs were point blank back ups for your CB. Next, the national speed limit increased to 65 mph, which still sucked, but you could drive 70 without getting ticketed. The fad part of CB died. Eventually, speed limits recovered. We actually have some stretches here in Texas with an 85 mph limit. CB is mostly dead.
I never quit having one. I'm running a rebuilt 1980s vintage Cobra 148GTL with a late model Wilson 1000 antenna and a Road Devil mike.
My experience is, today you cannot just turn one on and get Smokey reports, but if you are very tenacious, and know how to sound like a trucker, you can get truckers to talk to you. CB works sort of OK for Smokey Reports, but it really shines in traffic problems.
I wish more people had them.

73's to all of you!


Have to agree, I use an Astatic D-104 power mic, have the slightest amount of echo, plus have some additional fire in my wire after the radio so transmissions from my Wilson 1000 sound like they are coming from a fellow OTR Driver. I usually don't have to ask twice plus I try to call an OTR Driver I actual saw going the opposite way.

I really wish more personal vehicles had CBs. CBs still work well for Lidar and rolling I/O, we could really use it and I am always wondering how we could bring about a revival. Sure today everybody is distracted with texting and constant phone calls plus all the other new tech gadgets in newer vehicles.

I had a trucker ask me as I was flying past him if I was the one he had been hearing, I said probably. He asked why I still used a CB with all the other gizmos available today to regular drivers? I told him it was just one more tool in my "Don't get a ticket" toolbox along with the builtin police scanner in my hybrid CB.

I do understand why many OTR Drivers don't bother anymore because of DOT regulations for CDL drivers (can't speed, can't have an RD, can't driver for more then X, can't, can't can't), the higher speed limits, company installed governors on their trucks, plus GPS tracking and reporting systems.
.
 

blah

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I don't run a cb as a CM. I run one as a way to communicate with people that I am driving with. It's just easier and quicker to tell people if we are pulling over for gas stops. I would love to switch over to ham radios but honestly to lazy to take the test.
 

pgsurface

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There is still a lot of CB use in rural areas where I am, as not having cell service (yes, in 2019) is still a common occurrence. I have switched all my gear to magnetic mount antennas, or trunk lip antennas where the antenna can actually be removed from the base.. I mainly use my CB when on long trips, at which point I will re-attach the antenna.

Still a lot of use on I-70, 64, 77 and 79 near me.

All four vehicles have Unidens and Lil Wils/K40 antennas.. my oldest car is the exception, as it has a trunk lip Wilson on it.
 

jimbob5280

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There is still a lot of CB use in rural areas where I am, as not having cell service (yes, in 2019) is still a common occurrence. I have switched all my gear to magnetic mount antennas, or trunk lip antennas where the antenna can actually be removed from the base.. I mainly use my CB when on long trips, at which point I will re-attach the antenna.

Still a lot of use on I-70, 64, 77 and 79 near me.

All four vehicles have Unidens and Lil Wils/K40 antennas.. my oldest car is the exception, as it has a trunk lip Wilson on it.
Thank you going to pull through trigger on something this week
Post automatically merged:
I don't run a cb as a CM. I run one as a way to communicate with people that I am driving with. It's just easier and quicker to tell people if we are pulling over for gas stops. I would love to switch over to ham radios but honestly to lazy to take the test.
I just ordered the book today on Amazon
 

jimbob5280

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Welcome to the forum! I recommend you do both. It's always nice to be certified in something that you are very interested in, but you can start with a CB for now.

There's a few setups you can do for a CB but with an RV I'm not exactly sure what would be the best antenna setup. As for the radio you can get this budget one (which I have) the Uniden 520 PRO XL and if you want something fancier you can get the 800/900 series Uniden CB

520xl


880

900
ok ready to pull the trigger on the Uniden-PRO520XL-40-Channel-Compact-Emergency but i need a antenna kit

basic until i figure out how everything works. I also do not want a giant antenna because I drive a 2014 Ford Fusion

Amazon.com: Cobra HGA 1500 Hga1500 36 Inch Magnetic Mount CB Antenna Heavy Duty Magnet, for use In Cars, SUVs Recreational Vehicles 300 Watt Power Handling Capability: Electronics


I ordered my HAM test book its on the way :

ORDER PLACED
March 26, 2019
ORDER #
Order Details Invoice
Arriving tomorrow by 8 PM
Track package

The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual Spiral
ARRL Inc
Sold by: Amazon.com Services, Inc
$29.66
Post automatically merged:
Now I'm curious whether my 40 year old original K40 antenna with magnet mount is obsolete. It's served me well for millions of miles, but if there's newer, meaningfully better tech, I may be in need of an upgrade.
I WAS BORN IN 1971 SO I WILL HAVE TO FOLLOW YOU YOU HAVE WISDOM :)
 
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V1Jake

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Congrats on getting the HAM book to get licensed. For the mag antennas Wilson's are the best. I can read up on the one you linked. 36" is as short as I'd go for a CB rig. That antenna size is usually for dual band ham frequencies.
 

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