What about CB radios?

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Trevillian, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    I agree with @Button Pusher. Also, one the relationship hams have with the FCC is not adversarial like gun owners with the ATF. Another thing is that your call sign is very useful for recording and logging contact with other stations world wide because it’s a unique identifier.
     
  2. Alpha007

    Alpha007 Member

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    You can take chances if you like, but these powers that be do not play games.
    It's like "Be Licensed or Be Gone".
    But it is a different world that of Ham or Amateur Radio!
     
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  3. DesignMine

    DesignMine Shirts*Decals*Hats Charter Life Member Sponsor

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    I have a General Lee converted to CB if anyone is interested. I haven't used it in 4 or so years (used it in my pickup on road trips) $100.
     
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  4. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    It’s often times relatively easy to identify a non licensed operator trying to use the ham bands. There are certain, tells, that will usually trip them up. When this occurs, most licensed operators simply won’t talk to them. However, there are also volunteer lurkers who function as the enforcers. If they should hear an unlicensed or other inappropriate operator, from what I’ve been told, they can make a phone call and have a satellite system locate the operator very quickly, given the frequency and general location. Maybe it’s a lie d deigned to scare people straight, maybe it’s not, but the fine, if caught, is typically a minimum of $10,000 and ineligibility to ever be licensed.
     
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  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Get over it, snowflake. Charter Life Member

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    I mean 1,000 don't-touch-the-antenna Watts. Unless, of course, you LIKE getting RF burns.

    I mean 1,000 light-up-a-four-foot-fluorescent-light-tube-and-keep-it-lit-as-you-walk-across-the-street Watts.

    I mean 1,000 listen-to-your-engine-RPM-drop-when-you-key-the-mike Watts.

    I mean 1,000 ear-splitting-bleed-over-into-the-loud-stereo-in-the-car-next-to-you-at-the-stoplight Watts.

    I mean 1,000 find-every-touch-lamp-in-the-neighborhood Watts.

    I mean 1,000 open-the-neighbor's-garage-door-without-a-remote Watts.

    I mean 1,000 I-own-the-airwaves-you-abusive-teenage-idiot Watts.

    I mean 1,000 I-like-replacing-my-battery-and-alternator-every-3-months Watts.
     
  6. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    A ham operator told me a story of having a squirrel on his bird feeder that ran near his antenna. He decided to teach the squirrel a lesson, cranked his radio up to 100 watts and keyed down on the microphone. He said that squirrel's tail shot out straight and the thing went bug eyed. The next day the squirrel was on the ground looking up at the feeder and chattering madly at it.
     
  7. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    The FCC can locate your signal easily, they can confiscate equipment and fine offenders.

    If I'm putting out a poor quality signal, somebody will try to let me know about it, we all make mistakes, it is the malicious operation the FCC is concerned about.
     
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  8. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Get over it, snowflake. Charter Life Member

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    We all know the government can locate the source of a signal quite easily. That's a given.

    The question is what prompts them to do so in the first place?

    Given that it takes time an resources to locate, confiscate, and charge/arrest people AND to prosecute them in court, I submit that they don't do so UNLESS there is a compelling reason to do so.

    In other words, the equipment being operated is interfering with other equipment in the area OR the violator is reported by other amateur operators.

    Tons of people all across the country, for example, violate the power limits on transmission all the time by running linear amps on CB radios or 10 meter band radios whose frequency range includes the CB channels. Some of them with some pretty impressive linear amp output capacities. But the government isn't investing the time, money, and resources in tracking all these people down all the time and prosecuting them. If they stick their heads up above the crowd by obvious illicit actions (like radio interference, communicating threats, being reported by others, etc.) THEN they'll take action if they judge the need to be great enough.

    A bunch of good ole boys running 100 Watt linear amps on their CB radios out in the country simply aren't on the radar, as an example.

    Do some google searches and look at what the people who DO get caught are doing:

    http://www.w5yi.org/ama_news_article.php?id=502
    Jamming police radio

    http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-issues-warnings-for-amateur-radio-infractions-unlicensed-operations
    Reported for operating outside amateur bands licensed for

    https://www.tvtechnology.com/news/ham-operator-gets-22000-fine-for-hogging-frequency
    “intentionally causing interference to other amateur radio operators and failing to provide station identification,”

    https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-investigation-leads-arrest-unlicensed-amateur-radio-operator
    operating an unlicensed radio station on amateur radio frequencies and for intentionally causing interference to licensed amateur radio stations

    http://www.scrrba.org/Enforcement/ARRL_Gerritsen.htm
    felony charge of malicious interference with a communications system operated by the United States and a misdemeanor count of transmitting radio signals without a license


    This is not to say, of course, that NOBODY get's warned/fined/arrested for the relatively minor infractions of, say, just operating without a license and not otherwise bothering anybody. I'm sure it does happen...I just believe these people are a tiny fraction of the ones the government does take action on.

    We see this behavior all the time with respect to other law enforcement issues, and it's no different here.


    Does this mean I advocate people broadcasting on amateur bands without a license? Not at all. It's just a perspective look at the risk of getting caught.
     
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  9. Trevillian

    Trevillian Trigger Trash Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I now have a Wilson “lil wil” and a cobra 27 classic:cool: in a few weeks when I get time to figure it out. I’ll be lurking the cb waves just as I do the forums. :p
     
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  10. InvisibleOne

    InvisibleOne a.k.a. LoboLoco Life Member

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    If you listen to both CB and Ham you will notice a distinct difference in the language used, and the cooperation of the users.
    It's good to be able to listen to both. There's a few other frequencies I'd like to monitor, too.
     
  11. JohnFreeman

    JohnFreeman The bane of my existence Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    CFF member: " Millineals are too lazy to work for anything!"

    Also CFF member: " I want my ham privs without having to work"
     
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  12. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    What priveledges? Either I am free, and I can use any part of the electromagnetic spectrum I please, or I am not free and I must beg permission from the King's agents to transmit data through the air.

    Who said I wanted to use ham frequencies? I find the attitude of the collective with respect to licensing amusing.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Well-Known Member

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    But no matter how much you spend you are still going to have the Fed lodged where the sun don't shine.
     
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  14. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    I am one of the more liberty minded, keep the government out of my business type people here. Please let that be the backdrop to my response to your comment.
    The electromagnetic / radio spectrum is a limited resource with many users all wanting to do various things. The list includes: commercial radio, TV both local and satellite, cell phones, nautical and aeronautical traffic control, public (safety) responders, CB radios, various commercial radios, and others. There are only a few ways to put a signal on the air: modulating the phase, frequency, and or amplitude of the wave. Yes, there are other tricks, such as encrypted digital and what not, but these are still abstractions on the basic premise of a modulated sine wave being transmitted through the air. At the receiving end, most of these signals are very weak. It really does not take much of a competing signal to thoroughly kill reception. In fact, this is quite common with ham radio, especially on FM repeaters where when two or more people within about 100 miles of each other transmit on the same frequency it results in what is called capture effect and the result is often times a bunch of buzzing noise. The point is that from a technical standpoint, it is NOT hard to wreak major havoc with other radio systems and prevent them from working. As the saying goes, your rights end where others begin and causing intention interference on these others systems is most certainly a violation of other's rights and possibly their (and your) safety.

    With respect to Ham radio, ham operators have a tremendous amount of freedom in terms of their ability to use certain portions of the EM spectrum. They have a wide range of options ranging from (recent added medium and low frequency segments) all the way up to the microwave spectrum with portions across the range. They are allowed to transmit with large amounts of power, relatively speaking. Most commercial interpersonal radios, such as CB and GPRS are limited to 2 to 5 watts on VHF/UHF whereas ham operators can use 200 watts and they can use up to 1500 watts on most of the HF bands. There are some segments that are limited but these are also in space that is shared with other users. Hams are frequently granted permission to try experimental features, modes of operation, and frequency use and to talk to just about every country on the planet and in many cases to even operate your radio station within foreign countries. It's done with pretty much a gentleman's agreement that they will not knowingly or intentionally hinder others.

    The licensing is effectively free (small charge to cover the out of pocket costs of the volunteers). The licensing is very simplistic and covers topics of basic safety and how to operate a radio without interfering with others. The material is freely available to anyone who wants it. While the licenses are issued by the FCC the process is governed by board of amateur operators, not the government, and the testing is likewise administered by volunteer ham operators. Enforcement of the bands is also largely done by volunteers, not the government. Your government 'ticket' is also a station identifier and pretty much every transmitter in just about every country on the planet uses this system by agreement.

    So yes, the license is a permission slip by the government to transmit on the airwaves. It is about as hands off from the official channels as you can get while still orchestrating a sand box for everyone to play in.

    Edit to add: it is because ham operators take their responsibility so seriously and self police against bad actors that they are afforded the operating privileges they have.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  15. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Member Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah but what's your range handheld to handheld (or at least portable unit) without repeaters?
     
  16. DRFury

    DRFury Active Member

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    I can hit the repeaters in Raleigh from my car in Moore county. 40-50 miles line of sight. Portable to portable is mostly limited by line of sight. Depends on how high you can get an antenna.
     
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  17. BowWow

    BowWow Happy to be here

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    I have a General Lee radio with a little Dave Made linear and a K40 antenna..... I can talk.
     
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  18. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    I estimate the simplex , mobile to mobile range to be 10 to 30 miles depending on terrain and other obstacles based on experience,
     
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  19. Qball

    Qball Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Easy answer to the OP's original question: You can't talk to astronauts on the space shuttle with a CB. Oh wait....... Can you guys talk to the astronauts up on the ISS? Very cool if you can. I remember Ham operators could sometimes hook up with the shuttle folks at times.:)
     
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  20. Trevillian

    Trevillian Trigger Trash Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Anyone willing to lend/rent a meter for tuning?

    I’m on the cb air waves now! But I’m ocd about things that I want to work. I hear talk from way out further than anticipated but I need to perfect and tune the signal as the static and knowing it’s not perfected gives me a headache lol
     
  21. BowWow

    BowWow Happy to be here

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    I got a SWR meter for less than $30?.....on ebay. Its been while bit i cant imagine them being too expensive.
     
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  22. Trevillian

    Trevillian Trigger Trash Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I’m not even buying Tulammo 7.62x39 to feed my favorite rifle at the moment. So a one time use $30 expense for a hobby I may enjoy is a no go for the moment :)
     
  23. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Member Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Those far away transmissions will pretty much always be random, you can't depend on repeatedly establishing communications with that area. Those signals are skipping across atmospheric conditions that are constantly changing. You can hear someone from Georgia one night but don't count on ever hearing them again.
     
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  24. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Super Moderator Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Years ago I would talk to a guy in Antwerp Belgium most Sunday mornings. That was with legal wattage on a SSB radio (with a not-so legal VFO) and going flat-side on a PDL II directional beam.

    I had QSL cards from him and many other locations state side and world wide.

    I still have another 23 channel SSB legal radio plus a taboo Siltronix 1011 tube fired radio (100 watt transmit) that covers the 10 and 11 meter bands...no antennas though.

    I think at times about getting back LEGALLY into it and setting everything up but don't know if it would be as much fun these days.
     
  25. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    CB, at least SSB, runs on the 11 meter band. Under the right conditions that band will go along way, but it's fickle and very dependent upon the E layer of the ionosphere.
     
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  26. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I feel like this is headed for BOS territory.
     
  27. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Well-Known Member

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    Now people want a bill of sale just to talk about radios?

    *Throws keyboard out window*
     
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  28. JohnFreeman

    JohnFreeman The bane of my existence Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    On all frequencies at once....
     
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  29. JohnFreeman

    JohnFreeman The bane of my existence Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Antenna antenna antenna....

    With supplied little dummy antenna... maybe several miles.
    With homemade 19" whip 10 mi l es.
    With droopy Ground Plane wire 19" added to above. .... 15 miles
    With $5home made 3 el beam ....30 miles+
     
  30. JohnFreeman

    JohnFreeman The bane of my existence Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    If we talked to you we'd have to kill you.
     
  31. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Well-Known Member

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    Oh goody, I do love an exciting day!
     
  32. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    When your hobby involves air traffic safety and international treaties, some involvement by Uncle is going to be a given. I gave you the technical answer as to why and explained that how it's is pretty damn minimal. The relationship between hams and the FCC is very different than gun owners and the ATF.

    Using the BOS analogy, ham radio is pretty close to how we would like private sales to operate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  33. Trevillian

    Trevillian Trigger Trash Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Anyway......:D


    So the external speaker on my “free to me” cobra 25 is shot. Plus I think it’s got a few other issues. Not to mention it’s size gets it awfully close to the shifter in my desired mounting spot.. plus the chrome face gets glare which I despise.

    Think I’m going to buy a new radio. Are the major brands Cobra, Uniden, Midland sort of like glock, Springfield, S&W? As in depending on who you ask two out three are absolute trash.

    Or in the cb world is one truly better? At least in the $100ish max range. I’m looking hard at a Cobra III at the moment.
     
  34. DRFury

    DRFury Active Member

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    Cobra always seems to come in higher in the reviews/recommendations. The other two seem to be a toss up.
     
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  35. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Super Moderator Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Do any of you 11 meter CB guys do SSB or mainly just AM?

    I hung a not so high half wave dipole today and was able to work some DX with legal output to Florida and Belize on 37 lsb.

    Dipole sucked on AM. Like SSB better anyway.
    Just wondering.
     
  36. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    With SSB can put all the power into the signal, giving you better performance.
     
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  37. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Super Moderator Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    For Certain!

    The 1/2 wave dipole antenna I mentioned is horizontal, not vertical.
     
  38. DC Bigdaddy

    DC Bigdaddy Fat and Happy Supporting Member

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    There's the General Lee or General AP Hill for the northern folks for standard CB Radios, but those are NOT $100

    These radios have 120 or 160 channels, shoot, they might have more. I took my out of my truck 11 or 12 years ago and it's just sitting in the building.

    also, if you buy them from the right people, they'll be turned up to the max. We used them deer dog hunting. you could talk several miles during the day and many more in the evening.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  39. DC Bigdaddy

    DC Bigdaddy Fat and Happy Supporting Member

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    I have a question. If I wanted to take my standard cb that I have and a steel whip antenna and set it up in my shop, what would I have to do? Thanks,
     
  40. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Super Moderator Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    You would need a power supply for the radio of course. Steel whip inside the shop or outside?