CB Radio

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chuckwalla
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:25 pm

CB Radio

Post by chuckwalla »

Does anyone use CB radio in their cars?
I've never owned one, but I thought it might be something fun to play with on long road trips.
I'm wondering if it's useful at all, or is all you hear a bunch of truckers talking trash?

The Uniden 885 CB/Scanner combo seemed intriguing. Any recommendations and tips for a newbie?
123
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Re: CB Radio

Post by 123 »

Breaker

A starter guide to CB slang: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_CB_slang

10-7
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lthenderson
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Re: CB Radio

Post by lthenderson »

We used them for maybe two decades of my life, including in recreational vehicles. They went pretty much obsolete when 2-way radios became more affordable. Even before then, listening to them in a car while on a road trip quickly got old. Adjusting the squelch to hear a conversation plainly that was 99.9% of the time non-entertaining got old. Mostly what we heard was just garbled words through static. But the one exciting argument that I heard between two truckers getting ready to fight over an engagement ring at the next exit is something I remember some 40 years later. Me personally, I would not buy one and spend the saved money on a audio books. Way more entertaining and easier to install.
shunkman
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Re: CB Radio

Post by shunkman »

Today CB radio seems to stand for Cussing Band. Waze now provides most of the road information I need while traveling.
bob60014
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Re: CB Radio

Post by bob60014 »

Even the truckers aren't using it much anymore. Cell phones and the Waze map app have killed c.b. You will hear long distance communication (skip) if the conditions are right, but for everyday talking locally, good luck. FWIW, activity will depend on your location.

As far as the scanner, be aware of this from the manual .."unable to receive encrypted or some proprietary types of digital systems". More and more public safety and other agencies have already gone or will be going this route. You won't be able to hear much.
Last edited by bob60014 on Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: CB Radio

Post by UpperNwGuy »

This thread reminds me of the 1960s and 1970s. Who would want to listen to CB radio in the age of mobile phones?
open_circuit
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Re: CB Radio

Post by open_circuit »

I use CB and GMRS in the back country to communicate while out of cell range. CB is rapidly decreasing in popularity within my social circle. Hand-held GMRS radios work pretty well for the distances we need and because the wavelength is so much shorter than CB the handhelds work inside a vehicle reasonably well. If you're going to install a fixed mount radio GMRS / FRS is probably going to be more useful in general.
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David Jay
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Re: CB Radio

Post by David Jay »

No, it won’t be “fun to play with”. Don’t bother.
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Topic Author
chuckwalla
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:25 pm

Re: CB Radio

Post by chuckwalla »

Ok, sounds like the consensus is that it's an old, dying relic that doesn't serve much purpose any more. Thanks for the inputs.
iamlucky13
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Re: CB Radio

Post by iamlucky13 »

I suppose one potential appeal to CB is that it is not infrastructure dependent. In the event of a major disaster, if the phone lines, internet, and mobile phone towers were down, CB could be a way to contact others in your area.

Range is limited, but a lot better than FRS band.

It could be handy for a few people here and there to have sets, but not a tool that offers much benefit for the average person to own. A basic emergency radio to receive AM/FM and weather broadcasts would suffice for most people who want to maintain some means of receiving information via more basic and longer range infrastructure.

People I know who have amateur radio licenses often cite the same concern as one among typically multiple motivations - they have a way to receive information, call for help, or coordinate resources if everything else goes down.
criticalmass
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Re: CB Radio

Post by criticalmass »

Consider getting an amateur radio license instead of CB radio. The Amateur Technician exam is very easy if you know some basics about radios, or can memorize some study information. Using VHF/UHF amateur bands, with very common repeaters in most metro areas, you can then chat with other amateurs in your area. This is very popular while driving around and/or during rush hour. There are some basic rules about conversation topics (no discussing commerce, pricing) and cussing is prohibited. Operators must identify with their government issued call signs. It's a lot of fun, depending on who else you are talking with. Amateur radios for these bands are inexpensive.

A scanner will allow you to listen in, with no license required.

Other amateur licenses offer access to the shortwave long range bands, which isn't as practical in a car.
chedv
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Re: CB Radio

Post by chedv »

I’ll agree and disagree with some of the above comments. I’m debating buying one for our class B travel van. I’m a farmer and haul grain locally (70 mile radius from home) and use a CB frequently. I use it more for listening instead of the random chat that does occur. Yes, lots of cussing and vulgar conversations. Almost all of the communication is local. Very few of the nationwide trucks (Walmart, etc) talk on the CB. But, the communication is instant/direct. I don’t have to look at my phone. (Illegal while driving) or search for information for local conditions.

Remember last year there was a huge pile up in Texas due to black ice? I believe if you had a cb, you may have been warned ahead of time with the conditions and may have been able to avert a disaster. One example I can think of where a CB could have been life saving.
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David Jay
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Re: CB Radio

Post by David Jay »

chedv wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:40 amRemember last year there was a huge pile up in Texas due to black ice? I believe if you had a cb, you may have been warned ahead of time with the conditions and may have been able to avert a disaster.
Waze will also provide instant updates.
It's not an engineering problem - Hersh Shefrin | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius
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Nestegg_User
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Re: CB Radio

Post by Nestegg_User »

I'm guessing that many of the newer posters don't remember when you actually needed an FCC license for CB radios (not a real problem... no test, cost was only five bucks)... it was supposed to be kept with the unit ("Uncle Charlie" could technically stop you and require you to show... and if not there could pull your device)
[ BTW... still have the copy of the license although I haven't used CB in ages. There were areas nearby where there is NO cell coverage ...zip..nada... need to have the copper for both home and business in the very rural area. ]
backpacker61
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Re: CB Radio

Post by backpacker61 »

I would either get GMRS or amateur radio.

Though both require licenses; GMRS is currently $70 for 10 years, but is planned to drop to $35 for 10 years. Amateur licenses are currently free, but will increase to $35 for 10 years also.

The amateur license requires passing an exam, though it's no longer particularly difficult and hasn't required passing a morse code examination in several years. I passed both sending and receiving morse examination elements back in the day.

GMRS is increasing in popularity among off-road vehicle enthusiasts.
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shunkman
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Re: CB Radio

Post by shunkman »

Nestegg_User wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:40 pm I'm guessing that many of the newer posters don't remember when you actually needed an FCC license for CB radios (not a real problem... no test, cost was only five bucks)... it was supposed to be kept with the unit ("Uncle Charlie" could technically stop you and require you to show... and if not there could pull your device)
[ BTW... still have the copy of the license although I haven't used CB in ages. There were areas nearby where there is NO cell coverage ...zip..nada... need to have the copper for both home and business in the very rural area. ]
I had the CB license too. Back in those days you rarely heard profanity used on CBs because of the perceived threat that the FCC would catch you by using their triangulation devices and then revoke your license. Those were innocent times.
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