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Can a Citizens Band Network Be Practical?

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posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 09:03 PM

originally posted by: VictorVonDoom

originally posted by: VoidHawk

originally posted by: VictorVonDoom

Anyway, the two biggest drawbacks to CB that I can think of are limited range and the inability to leave a message. Unless you are both at your radios, you can't communicate.

Not a CB'r but know a little about radio and digital stuff. Assuming a reasonable signal to noise was available, would it not be possible using a laptop, to rig something up with an old modem? Send on one channel and recieve on another? That way you COULD leave messages.

Great idea! Track down some acoustic modems, a little Visual Basic programming, and you're in business!

After really digging into the FCC rules for the VHF Multi-Use Radio Service (license free), I've discovered that the MURS allows digital communications and there are modems made for radio use on those frequencies.

Here are the FCC rules for MURS.

§ 95.1307 Permissible communications. (a) MURS stations may transmit voice or data signals as permitted in this subpart. (b) A MURS station may transmit any emission type listed in § 95.631(j) of this chapter. (c) MURS frequencies may be used for remote control and telemetering functions. MURS transmitters may not be operated in the continuous carrier transmit mode.

§95.1311 Repeater operations and signal boosters prohibited. MURS stations are prohibited from operating as a repeater station or as a signal booster. This prohibition includes store-and-forward packet operation.

§ 95.1315 Antenna height restriction. The highest point of any MURS antenna must no be more than 18.3 meters (60 feet) above the ground or 6.10 meters (20 feet) above the highest point of the structure on which it is mounted.

No MURS unit, under any condition of modulation, shall exceed 2 Watts transmitter power output. The usual range of communications between MURS devices is less than a few miles; connecting the unit to an external antenna can extend the range to ten miles or more. You cannot make telephone calls with a MURS device.

You could make a Private Radio Network (wireless LAN) with users ten or more miles apart from each other. Such a network could get pretty complicated, but limited to the bandwidth available in a a radio modem. Here is the specs for the Raveon's RV-M7-VM data radio modem.

RF power is programmable from 1/2 to 2 watts RF output.
Compatible with MODBUS and DNP-3.
5 channel memories pre-programmed to the MURS channels. These may not be reprogrammed.
Wide(25kHz) or narrow(12.5kHz) bandwidth may be selected on a channel-by chanel basis.
Maximum over-the-air data rate of 19200 bps in 25kHz, 9600 bps in a 12.5kHz channel.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 09:23 PM
I'm not technically inclined..but I remember the 10-4 good ole's day. Can you give a CB or commuincation for idiots recommendation? Anytime I hear wireless LAN...I think...that's #'s going own when the SHTF. I am interested in the hardware needed to connect and communicate if there is not Internet. What specific box do I need? What kind of hardware do I need? I just need to know what needs to be in the house to hear and speak back. And what kinds of antennas I might need to put up. Explain this like you were telling our 10 year old. Thanks.

posted on Oct, 27 2014 @ 12:23 AM
a reply to: Losonczy

Have a look at a website I put up to help organize a local CB network during a SHTF scenario.

The first page has links to interesting articles.

On the 2nd page, the information page, toward the bottom, there are answers for many of your questions.

The last page is contact information.

posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 12:23 AM
You know, it can take awhile for me to get it while I'm getting at it. I think I may have stumbled into what I have been thinking all along in regards to unlicensed radio frequencies.

My initial thoughts were to have an "ad hoc", grass roots, unlicensed, civilian, 2-way network for use when the normal channels of communication have gone south. A simple, inexpensive system, or model, for the average citizen prepper or survivalist to use when normal communications are disrupted or compromised. However, in my mind was the thought that this was also a way for anti-establishment types to subvert the system within the bounds of authority.

As it currently stands, I believe I have developed the guidelines for a legal, license free network that could provide voice and digital communications in a total blackout, SHTF scenario, using the set-up I describe at the MCBRN website . . .

A single base set-up (as described) can cover a ten plus square mile area for voice and digital wireless communications and have links to stations up to 30 miles away.

The thing is, no one has obeyed the rules for CBs since the mid 1970s. The FCC even relaxed the rules on amateur radio licenses (no Morse code now). There is a spirit of rebellion against the FCC and that is the underlying current. Those airwaves are owned by the people, not the government, but you wouldn't be able to tell that to the licensed ham operators and members of clubs like React or the Amateur Radio Public Service Corps.

It's those guys, those ham radio snobs that will try to tell you that you're re-inventing the wheel, tell you to just fill out the dumbed down FCC test, get legal, and join their clubs that are all buddy buddy with FEMA and NSA. The same guys that will call the FCC and whine about some station transmitting without official call letters.

We need to exercise our right to use the unlicensed airwaves, like it was written into the bill of rights, or we will lose them. If we don't use those frequencies, then one day the FCC will be handing you a fine for $10,000 dollars for using a CB, just like they do today for the unsanctioned use of other frequencies.

All this came to light recently when I scanned the VHF and UHF bands while in Ann Arbor near Detroit. I took notes on call signs, repeater frequencies, and frequencies that were being used. When I checked all that out online, I could only verify 3 NOAA weather stations (one in Canada) and none of the other frequencies or call signs. One repeater was very active and that frequency, and the call signs of the users, had no licenses in FCC records that I could find.

That brings me back to the rebellion that started in the mid 1970s. Have a look at these articles on the history of pirate radio broadcasts.

edit on 1-11-2014 by MichiganSwampBuck because: typo

posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 09:38 AM
As a short follow-up to my last post above.

I have heard people say something like, "You have the right to free speech, but no right to be heard." But I don't really go with the idea that you can have all the free speech you want as long as you scream it into your pillow in your bedroom late at night with the door closed where no one will ever hear it.

Sure, you can stand on a soapbox and spout any non-sense you want in a "free speech zone", or in your closet, where it's safe and easy for people to preserve their right to not have to listen to you. But fundamentally we have the right to communication and that includes the methods commonly used to communicate like talking in person, printing signs, distributing publications, street performances, publicly displayed artworks, and other traditional methods of speech used before the advent of today's technology.

So, given our accepted methods of communications have evolved since the Bill of Rights was written, we should have the right to freely communicate using present day tech like TV and radio to broadcast to the public at large. Heck, they don't even allow the use of P.A. systems in public without strict regulations and restrictions. Try shouting from the roof tops and see how long it takes for the cops to come and shut down that broadcast. At least, like the free speech zones, a broadcast in any communications media can be ignored by not tuning in to it.

posted on Nov, 19 2014 @ 04:49 PM
Here is a couple points I'd like to bring up and hopefully put some life back in this thread.

I've been scanning the frequencies of the local first responder, EMS, county and city police for a while now. I can't hear the state police as they are on a frequency I don't monitor and are digitally encrypted. Anyway, I've hear a lot of emergency responses everyday for the small population of my rural community. This has lead to to the consider the following possibilities occurring during a widespread crisis.

My main thought was that in a crisis the official networks will be too busy to give anyone much personal attention. They might help verify the safety of loved ones in a disaster area if possible, or direct you to further help if you needed it, but that would be about it.

Therefore, because the unlicensed radio frequencies are not supported as emergency communication modes by civil authorities, it is perfect for dealing with personal issues outside of licensed operators and government authorities. The unlicensed radios are good for local communications when keeping track of your personal situation in an emergency or crisis.

Another consideration is that a situation could arise where you don't want your communications monitored by the authorities. Today, every standard form of communication is being monitored in this surveillance age. However, concerning the CB and other unlicensed frequencies, the FCC only investigates when someone complains about excessive power interfering with TVs and radios, etc. It is doubtful that the FCC or the police monitor it without good reason and no one would waste any time or resources to do so on a continual basis (unlike other forms of communications).

posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 11:00 AM
I've added a lot more information to my CB network website. I have developed guidelines for a network that covers voice and data on all the license free frequencies. It is a lot of information for a 3 page website, but I'd like some more input on how its stands right now.

You can find the site by Googling MCBRN or "Michigan CB Radio Network".

I think that I have covered most of the bases on this one, of course, I have more information that I'm keeping for folks that join me in this venture. Some of that pushes the envelope, so I'm keeping that info exclusive.

Thanks for the replies in advance.

posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 11:12 AM
Not inclined to pour through the entire thread but by now I'm sure someone has suggested that rather than using the duct-tape-and-baling-wire approach (CB) why not bite the bullet and get a HAM license? The morse code requirement is gone for the novice and tech class licenses and that allows you a decent selection of HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies, a much broader selection of equipment and digital equipment that is the real deal. Anyone with even a modest amount of smarts can learn the questions for the tests in a week (there are several free online tutorial and test prep sites) and you can take both the novice and tech tests in one sitting. Why screw around with toys when you can easily get the kind of equipment that will do what you're trying to do out-of-the-box? Hit the ARRL website for more info.

posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 12:13 PM
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

I had a CB in my car as well, eventually I moved it over to my motorcycle. This was of course before i left the U.S., now I use a pair of legs as transportation and don't feel like making bracket holes in them to mount one!

I think they're still a good investment and would definitely get one again should my two legs turn into two or four wheels in the future. (Which they eventually will.)

posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 02:24 PM
a reply to: jtma508

I appreciate your reply, but I've covered that pretty well on the website. I've got more to say about that, but I think that was covered in this thread already.

Certainly there are pros and cons to both the licensed and unlicensed approach, but to be truly accessible to everyone, and to keep your private information off the FCC list of amateur operator licenses, unlicensed is the way to go in my opinion.

ETA: Yes, if you have some knowledge in this area, the test wouldn't be too hard, I'm sure. I've been considering it myself, but I conclude that licensed operation is not necessary for my purposes for survival prepping. Also, there is no need for a license to monitor the chatter on the other bands.

Another thing, I think if you have the knowledge and skill to put together a well matched high gain antenna with duct tape and bailing wire, you are a resourceful genius.

edit on 31-12-2014 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments

edit on 31-12-2014 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Typo

edit on 31-12-2014 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comment

posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 02:31 PM
a reply to: Auricom

Back in the 70's, I hooked up my CB to my bicycle and powered it with two 6Volt lantern batteries and used a cheap clip on antenna. I probably could have done just as well with a hand held CB, but it didn't look as cool as one on my bicycle.

posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 08:18 PM
I know it isn't the end of the world yet, but if I had to rely on the local repeater today, I would have been SOL.

The only one I could possibly use in my area (provided I was licensed to use it) has been malfunctioning all day. But my CB is working just fine. The control operator should be on that, but I image the high winds we are experiencing has something to do with it, or the IRA repeater guys are at a new year's party, or they just don't have the funds or means to fix it right away.

So unless I wanted to talk to some distant station on the HF band, shortwave would be little use to me. If I had to use the VHF or UHF band to talk locally for help, there isn't anyone near by who could. However, I can still talk to the truck drivers on the nearest interstate and truck stop though.

Food for thought when there isn't any other communications available.

posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 08:08 AM
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck I like your idea. But I do have a question concerning it. Since SSB do have a limited amount of power. Does the distant it can transmit be impaired? I would guess you could not talk more than 8-10 miles away from your location.

posted on Jan, 2 2015 @ 09:23 AM

Can a Citizens Band Network Be Practical?

I would think so, if a SHTF scenario happened a CB could be used for local info sending and receiving. For longer range others can setup a kind of smoke signal to relay messages and info from base to base. Terrain and line of site given of course.

posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 12:22 PM

originally posted by: hillbilly4rent

Can a Citizens Band Network Be Practical?

I would think so, if a SHTF scenario happened a CB could be used for local info sending and receiving. For longer range others can setup a kind of smoke signal to relay messages and info from base to base. Terrain and line of site given of course.

Here in the UK, and Europe wide, we can now legally operate packet radio and slow scan TV on channel 25 on mid-band. AM/SSB/VSB is still illegal though in the UK. Max power on FM is still only 4W but use of high gain GP aerials is now legal so an emergency network could be practical... Just

posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 06:35 PM
a reply to: Ceeker63

Single Side Bands are allowed 12 watts output, 3 times more than AM CB radios, so you could do much better than the 10 or so miles I could get on AM in the city. I had a ground plane antenna some 30 or so feet from the ground on the peak of a roof on a 2 story house, that gave me a little over 10 miles base to mobile, in city terrain and in all directions.

Now, if you wanted to know some techniques for transmitting over 400 miles on legal wattage, I know those too, however, the FCC allows only for up to 155 miles.

The early moon missions only used one watt to talk to the moon, so high wattage isn't really necessary, esp. when you antenna is as high up as legally possible, like on a skyscraper or top of a mountain. But like I said, there are other techniques as well that don't depend on such high antennas.

posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 06:38 PM
a reply to: Mikeapollo

When I was looking in to CB clubs online, I notice that the UK uses them, that kind of surprised me. Thanks for more info on that from the other side of the pond.

posted on Jan, 3 2015 @ 06:44 PM

originally posted by: hillbilly4rent

Can a Citizens Band Network Be Practical?

I would think so, if a SHTF scenario happened a CB could be used for local info sending and receiving. For longer range others can setup a kind of smoke signal to relay messages and info from base to base. Terrain and line of site given of course.

Think of how far you could send wireless CW (Morse code) if you used a laser light rather than smoke signals? How about ultrasonic audio tones? Smoke would attract a lot of attention, need a burn permit too I'd imagine.

posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:12 AM
Nothing gives your location away better than a big tower and antenna.
Come get me. I have power enough to waste on trivial things!

posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 12:51 PM
a reply to: samkent

That's a really good point, there are websites with tips on hiding antennas.

However, Uncle Charlie is really good at finding you through triangulation and their plain white van with the dish and other nifty antennas on it.

ETA: I thought I'd point out that you don't need to buy a 60' tower, a tree will work and it is legal to mount your antenna on a tree. If you know what you're doing, you can build your own antenna from parts of old CB or TV antennas. The coax would be the important expense if you know what you're doing when building one. In fact I suggest that people learn how to design and build an antenna for every scenario.
edit on 4-1-2015 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments

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