Anybody here use a CB, FM or HAM radio?

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posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


The new English, German, French instruction, more convenient and more humanized. BaoFeng? I would go with a more recognized name.




posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by groingrinder
 


Maybe, but over 150 reviews, and a 4 star rating is pretty impressive, along with the comments.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 12:09 PM
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I have a CB, and a HAM. I made my own Antenna. I really dont use it that much at all, But if the SHTF, then it would be a real benefit to having one



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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A poster mentioned earlier about setting-up 'CB Groups' in order to relay messages a greater distance. In the world of amateur/HAM radio these already exist. Called Nets they come in all flavors from informal 'rag-chewing' to public service Nets like MARS and the Hurricane Watch Net (there are many, many more). These are scheduled for specific times on specific frequencies with contingencies to move to different bands during unfavorable band conditions. Specific procedures have been pre-established for routing/relaying messages (traffic). In a SHTF scenario the Ham community would sprout messaging networks all over the place. If you've equipped yourself, familiarized yourself with the protocols (no biggie), and written down all the necessary frequencies ahead of a SHTF you'll be communicating in no time.

Here's a taste of what goes on across the bands:

HWN

Keep in mind also, in addition to voice and the dreaded Morse Code modes there are highly efficient digital modes that allow for modest file transfers, email, basic video, and 'texting'.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 12:58 PM
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reply to post by jtma508
 


I'm thinking that in a SHTF scenario, the ham community would really be the only means of communicating long distance. It may even turn into a valuable commodity, with people bartering to send a message to another ham station, that then posts messages on a bulletin board, etc.

With this affordable mobile option though, it opens up even more possibilities, such as communications with group members scrounging for supplies in the field, etc.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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Yes, yes….. And yes…To CB, VHF/UHF FM, and ham.

For short range communications, the two biggest issues is your terrain, and the antenna you are using.

If you are in a hilly terrain, and you are at the bottom of a valley, you won’t get out to local people no mater what antenna, or how much power you use. Beyond that… one of the biggest mistakes mobile operators make is the antenna they use, and it’s placement. Base loaded antennas are absolute junk. Stick with a center loaded, or top loaded antenna. Do not put the antenna on the bumper. It has to be above the top of the car. You put it on the top, even if it means using a smaller antenna. That is because the bulk of the radiated energy comes from the bottom couple feet of the antenna. The top mainly serves as loading to maintain resonance.

In base station installations, you need to select the height of the antenna to put the signal where you want it. The primary radiated signal and the ground reflection will form an interference pattern and cause dead spots/peaks in the radiation pattern. Putting an antenna higher is not always better. Moving an antenna eight feet higher may destroy your ability to talk to local people, but vastly improve your ability to operate skywave. Using an antenna that has the same polarization (vertical/horizontal) as the antenna you are talking to will give you better communications than using one that doesn’t match. A horizontal beam will not always give you the best reception. Depending on the person you are talking to, you may get a stronger signal from a omni directional vertical dipole.

If you have poor soil conditions, then ground reflection will have less of an effect on signal at any appreciable distance.

The lower the frequency the better the ground wave signal will follow and bend with the terrain. The lower the frequency, the less it will be absorbed by ground clutter and vegetation. 144mhz is better than 440mhz. 28mhz is better than 144mhz. 7mhz is better than 28mhz

At 7mhz, and below, ground mounted verticals are king.

If you live in mountainous regions, you want to stick to the lower frequencies for better propagation over the hill tops. CB, or MURS, over FRS/GMRS. If you have the two side by side, running the same wattage, you will notice the difference.

Power is not the biggest factor at HF, Receiver noise floor on each end will have a bigger effect. And the same with propagation. If there is an S9 noise floor on each end, then you are going to have to have great propagation, and power to make the contact. If noise floor is running S1 or less, then you can make contact with even marginal propagation and almost no power.

You can easily work anyplace in the world with 5 to 15 watts when the person on the receiving end does not have a ton of noise washing out his receiver. Same with you hearing other people in the world. I have heard people running a single watt from Australia on several bands.

On VHF, and UHF, you will not notice any major improvement in coverage once you get past 15 to 25 watts. 100W or greater is a waste of time on those frequencies unless you are running EME (earth moon earth). The only thing limiting your communications range at that point is antenna placement, antenna type, receiver sensitivity, and ground terrain.

When you live in a mountainous terrain, then you ether live at the top of the hill, or you just get use to poor local reception and stick with sky wave propagation.
edit on 9-8-2013 by Mr Tranny because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 01:59 PM
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Sometimes short range is better. There are times where you don't want to be overheard.

Handhelds have antennas that are less than optimum. Better antennas are sometimes available. If you can get the antenna higher better still.

Frequency is also a factor in range. Higher frequency gives shorter range. The VHF/UHF radios are limited to line of sight ranges. Shortwave frequencies give greater range but require bigger/longer antennas.

In a SHTF situation licenses won't mean anything.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 02:23 PM
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reply to post by Magister
 


True, but I'd rather be familiar with the nuances of using it prior to any SHTF need. The handheld can be hooked into a different antenna (possibly even the existing CB one I have). Here in FL, it's pretty flat, so terrain isn't a big deal. I should be able to run a base antenna up pretty high at the home base too. Most of what I hear from folks is pretty technical so far, so I just have to learn more about it (such as wattage, frequencies, etc.).



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 02:24 PM
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I have a couple of cb's,and a few handheld camp radios.Granted,range is an issue,but then again,they will be harder to detect.We used single sideband radios for our off road race cars,you could get 30-40 miles on a good day



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


It's gotten really quiet lately, but they're still good for exactly that use. We find or about traffic, bears, accidents, etc. If you take it to a good CB shop (you'll find them near various truck stops, usually bigger ones like Ta/Petro stops, you can get it tweaked and if you have a good one eke out a little more range.

And if you ever make West Memphis, Arkansas prepare to laugh. The drivers give the cops so much crap as the cops get on the radio trying to rope drivers into drug deals.
edit on 8/9/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Previous Owner was a trucker, so pretty sure he tweaked it out...hehe...
I just need to figure it out, as it has been quite a few years since I used one... At least until going the portable ham route.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 03:32 PM
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Antennas MUST be matched to the frequency transmitted by the radio. At best you risk reduced signal output. At worse you risk damage to the transmitter. Receiving is not as critical.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
Most of what I hear from folks is pretty technical so far, so I just have to learn more about it


IT’s all in the details. As they say, the devil is in the details. Money does not guaranty anything. Antennas made with scrap wire will often outperform factory antennas that say they can do everything.

The only way you can become familiar with it to the point that results are repeatable is by using the equipment in the real world. Experiment. Make antennas of different types and se how good they work.. Try different factory equipment (antennas/radios)when ever you can. Try different frequencies across known terrain.

I had a person that was complaining about the CB in his pickup. He had one of those fancy name brand base loaded antennas, and a poorly built amp. But he could only get about a mile from me before he could not hear my base station any more. Normally I can talk to mobiles with a good antenna about 15 miles away running a fully legal base station. But at a mile range, he could no long hear me. When he turn his amp “ON” then I could no longer hear him besides for some unintelligible static.

He cam back to my place. I checked the CB into a dummy load. And checked it’s receive with a signal generator. It was fine. The amplifier’s “pill” had melted it’s self. (normal with poorly constructed amplifiers). I threw the amp in the parts bin, along with the base loaded antenna that he had. I grabbed an old 5 dollar center loaded mag mount that I had laying around and slapped it on the roof of the truck.. Hooked it to the CB. Checked it for SWR, and told him to give this a try.

He headed out, and at the five mile mark, he could we could still hear each other loud and clear. He said, “I think this is going to work.”

For simple antennas (dipole, longwire, yagi) the simple truth is there is no such thing as a “quiet” antenna that “rejects noise”. You can have a directional antenna that has a directive lobe that you can point away from a noise source. Or you can pick a polarity (vertical/horizontal) that is different from the polarity of the primary noise source in your area. But when the noise and the desired signal is in the same direction, then the only antenna that does not pick up the noise, is an antenna that does not receive… anything, signal or otherwise. The antenna that lets you hear the ambient noise, and other person, the strongest, is the one that will allow you to transmit the strongest signal to that person (assuming a proper impedance match).

The best antenna is one that is cut for that band. Trying to use an antenna on a band it wasn’t designed for without the proper matching equipment and the knowledge to use it is just wasting your time, and probably will also damage your radio equipment.

As I said, all in the details. The more details you learn, the more proficient you will be.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by Magister
Antennas MUST be matched to the frequency transmitted by the radio. At best you risk reduced signal output. At worse you risk damage to the transmitter. Receiving is not as critical.


Yes yes yes yes… AND YES!!!!!!! I should mention that anyone not familiar with antennas and wanting to get heavily into radio should really get the ARRL antenna book. It’s worth the money. $50 from ARRL book store, and $30 from the walmart book store.

www.arrl.org...

www.walmart.com...



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok

Never put ham frequency power into a CB antenna... it's like connecting a 60 watt light bulb to a car battery or a car headlight to a wall outlet. Best case is it will barely work or not work at all... worst case it burns out the outputs in your transmitter.

A Ham license is intended to make sure the operator is up to date on all the technical specifications. You don't have to be an electrical engineer, but you do have to know about radios and transmission. That's why its a good idea to get a Ham radio license even if you don't think it will be required should you ever use the radio. If you can pass the test, you'll have all the answers to your questions on which antenna will perform to what level.

I think there are websites that purportedly train you to be able to pass the licensing... no links, but I have heard they are out there.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I picked up a baofeng uv5r on amazon for about 50 bucks, not a bad radio for the money.

As I understand you don't need a license to listen or talk in simplex modes on say walkie talkie channels, the range is pretty good and if you hit the repeaters you can listen to folks all over the area. If range is what your looking for you can always get one of those wires and tie it up a tree or whatever.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I'm an extra class ham radio operator. As such, I feel a little biased in saying this...

Check out ham radio! You'll find it to be much more useful than cb radio if you want longer distance communications. You'll also find a great group of folks who have a willingness to share their knowledge on the subject. Many people are put off by the license requirement, but if you study and want to learn how radio works then you'll have no problem getting licensed!

I use mine for travel, for fun with friends, and to talk to people literally around the world. It's a great hobby that might just be your key to surviving something one day. I actually used my radio to call for assistance when I broke down and didn't have cellular coverage. Good thing I had that radio in the car!

Really though, I'd say checking around for a ham radio club near where you love and stopping by to meet some people. If you would've been asking this a few weekS ago I would have suggested finding an arrl field day site nearby!



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by txinfidel
 


You don't need a license to listen, but it's always a good idea to stay off of the ham bands unless you're licensed. Most of us can track someone down within a very short period of time with direction finding equipment. We often have games called fox hunts based off the idea. That's a good way to have an action filed against you with the FCC. But, if you got a license you could use that little radio to talk to the ham folks you hear! The tech course is a breeze and you'll be able to use both the 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands that radio is capable of transmitting on.




posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by Gazrok

Never put ham frequency power into a CB antenna... it's like connecting a 60 watt light bulb to a car battery or a car headlight to a wall outlet. Best case is it will barely work or not work at all... worst case it burns out the outputs in your transmitter.

Um… Not exactly… Depends on the ham band you want to use it on, power, and antenna type.

Pretty much any CB antenna can be used on the 10 meter ham band to some extent. Base loaded and cheap center loaded mag mount mobile antennas can be reasonably used to power levels of 15 to 25W SSB on 10 meters.

Top loaded semi truck antennas can usually be used at power levels of 100W or higher without corona discharge problems.

Center fed 1/2 wave base antennas, and ground planes that use solid metal elements without any loading coils, or fragile matching equipment in the base can almost always be used to full legal limit on 10 meters. Even the hated A99 has been used may many ham on 10M at several hundred to a full KW without problems. The only breakdown point on some of the cheaper ones would possibly be the feed point insulator. But I seriously doubt you will ever have problems with one running 100W.

Now if you are wanting to use one on other ham bands without properly modifying it to do so, then yes, you will have problems. Just like trying to use any other antenna on a band it isn’t designed for. That isn’t a problem with the antenna, it’s the problem with the operator using equipment far outside its design range. If you use an antenna tuner to force feed it at full power, then you may get breakdown of the feed point insulator from the high drive voltages.

For center fed antennas, If you cut the power back when using a tuner on lower bands then you will have no problems. End fed half wave CB antennas will have to have the feedpoint matching network bypassed to be used on multiple bands with a tuner. But after you do that, then the only thing limiting power will be the voltage handling capability of the coax you have driving it.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I think there are websites that purportedly train you to be able to pass the licensing... no links, but I have heard they are out there.


Just do a google search, the sights are not exactly hidden.
QRZ even has online practice test.

www.qrz.com...



posted on Aug, 10 2013 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by Mr Tranny

My analogy was meant to be simplified... I have worked with electronics for over 30 years now. Putting a CB antenna on a ham radio is a mismatch of impedance, as putting a headlight in a power socket is a mismatch of voltage (and type of current flow). Both mismatches create excessive power use in the circuit and lead to system failure.

The surest way to keep someone from learning something is to make it seem complex at first glance.

Thanks for the links. I never found time to get into ham radio personally, but I do think it is the best idea for the OPs purposes.

TheRedneck



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