CB Radio's

Michael Shively

It seems that so many people in here are ham operators...but i know some of us are not....just wanted to know if any body still runs CB Radios anymore (i do) and if so, what channel do you talk on? I usually just find a channel that no one is on, but when other storm chasers that have CB's are in the area, it would be nice to be able to talk to them. Or at least thats what i think :)
 
I still use a CB radio. Although I recently obtained my HAM license, I'll still take the CB along with my HAM radio. The CB also has WX on it.
I find CB useful for communicating in chaser groups (mainly line of sight). It is cheap and easy.

Bill Hark
 
I used to use CB for chaser "caravaning", but since the FRS radios came out they work SOOOO much better for that. I still keep a CB primarily because you can get some pretty good reports as to hail size etc from those trucks you just saw come through that storm. I know on at least one occasion I caught a quick tornado I almost missed because I was repositioning and I hear the truck drivers talk about it.
 
well at least im not the only one out there that has a CB....I just like to have cross-communication with other chasers....but havent ran into any that even has one anymore....it would be nice if we were all on the same channel
 
When mine is on it's generally on 23. Prefered method is HAM, second prefered is FRS (I carry a couple of them in case I run into someone that doesn't have radio comm), and last would be CB. CB tends to get really noisy once a storm nearby gets electrically active.
 
I dont really know a whole lot about the FRS....is it like a CB?
 
I still carry a CB with me, and use it to varying degrees. Ham is much superior, but CB still has use. Listening to traffic and weather reports from truckers is the biggie. For general discussion, talking to others on a storm (or for sky reports prior to initation), and caravanning, it's a no brainer though, go with the ham. Quite a few still don't have licenses yet though, so CB can be used in that case. I prefer CB to FRS, assuming one has a good antenna and rig. FRS is cleaner as far noise and profanity (generally) though (but range is only about 2 miles).

Scott
 
Originally posted by Michael Shively
I dont really know a whole lot about the FRS....is it like a CB?

A FRS is a radio service that operates on 14 UHF frequencies. You do not need an FCC license to transmit on those but you need one to operate a GMRS (General mobile radio service).

FRS has uses but you must be about 2 miles to be able to talk to your group. I had not used an FRS for weather events. I use ham radio to contact my county Skywarn system and sometimes my Nextel direct-connect to contact my weather group members for storm reports and activity.
 
I dabbled with CB's briefly in 1998 and found that you need a serious antenna to get them transmitting right. Average run-of-the-mill handhelds inside of a car (Faraday caged?) won't even transmit 200 ft line of sight. I returned the radios I had bought as I wasn't about to sink more money into antennas. Those big pickups with dual 10-foot antennas have the right idea.

On cross-country Interstate trips it's always a lot of fun to listen in on CB radio. I plop the VHF magnetic antenna on the roof (works adequately), hook it up to my Yaesu handheld, rebroadcast it to our FM car radio via a $30 CD gizmo for better sound quality, and listen in. There's an awful lot of crap on the airwaves but sometimes you hear some good conversations that fill the empty hours. The speed trap reports are fantastic and right on the mark. I do find that there seems to be better activity on the long-haul east-west routes... I-35 is kind of dead by contrast.

I'd say it has almost zero use for chasing though unless you're doing a car-to-car thing with good antennas, or are needing advisories/entertainment while on the major trucking routes.

Tim
 
I have enough hillbilly family background to have seen a lot of CBs. I sometimes will add CB Chan 19 to my scanner list of rural police, etc freqs when chasing obscure areas. Sometimes a truckdriver will share a valueable piece of information about what's ahead, such as which lane the wreck is in that's causing the traffic jam. Of course, this use is limited to the interstates highways before you start the real chase day.

I've been told by a few chasers that CB radio, like 146.55MHz ham, can be useful if you are chasing alone and need help staying awake on the long drive to where you are going to sleep that night. Afterall, the highways are full of truck drivers hopefully sharing the same goals to get there safely.

I still haven't used FRS radios for chasing yet. I really try to stick to ham and encourage people to be licensed. It's so much better that way.
 
I have both ham and CB, i use the CB waaaay more often than the ham on a regular daily basis. However, chasing, i always use the HAM. Whoever was talking about big pickups with dual 10 footers, that would be me :D. Actually, i have 1 102" on the back bumper. 1 antenna on a small truck is better than 2, pickups arent big enough to run co-phase antennas effeciently (2 antennas). I did run dual 7 foot firesticks off the back bumper when i had my grand cherokee though.
 
Originally posted by Ben Engle
I have both ham and CB, i use the CB waaaay more often than the ham on a regular daily basis. However, chasing, i always use the HAM. Whoever was talking about big pickups with dual 10 footers, that would be me :D. Actually, i have 1 102\" on the back bumper. 1 antenna on a small truck is better than 2, pickups arent big enough to run co-phase antennas effeciently (2 antennas). I did run dual 7 foot firesticks off the back bumper when i had my grand cherokee though.

I remember my very first "chase vehicle", an old 1979 Chev PU, with 2 of those "10 footers" mounted on either side of the bed just behind the cab. One night out in the boonies, lightning struck the right side one, melted it halfway down, fried every single electrical wire in the truck leaving us stranded in a heavy electrical storm. Lightning exited the truck via the rear wheel effectively blowing a hole in the tire the size of a softball.

That was the last time I ever had one of those antennas! :shock:
 
I use a CB while chasing and keep it on Ch.19. When in caravans I use both that as well as a 1.5 mile range wireless handheld.
 
I have a CB with a good antenna (this time of year it's a pain taking these things off and putting them back on). Have a scanner to listen in to the group and just got FRS/GRMS ... really like that idea. What channel do chasers usually use for the FRS - or is there one that works best -
 
well i think for the time being....i will use ch 19 when i am chasing....hope to talk to some of you this spring....if channel gets to crowded...we can always go to a different channel.:)




MIKE
 
I use a cb for everyday use and plan to chase with it this year. My buddy and I usually get good range from ours so we use them to communicate with each other. Usually we are on channel 7. Sure beats wasting cell phone minuest like we used to. We get about 10 miles on them so we can cover a good area with two chase vehicles.
 
Granted I am biased, but I would like to see everyone on here get their ham licenses. As far as the cost for ham radio $130.00 for a 50 watt mobile is cheaper that most good cbs, and you get over ten times the power output, I have cbs but not a one has been turned since I got my license, if any one is interested, they are for sale, pm me of email me for more info.
 
I still have a CB in my chase vehicle, but only as a means of communication with people that I convoy with who are not hams. The rest of the time, I don't even turn it on.
 
I used a CB a lot before obtaining my HAM license.. now the CB is seldom used for much more than an extra WX radio and sometimes car-to-car communication outside of HAM (March 27 prime example of crowded HAM bands). They do prove useful as many have mentioned w/ truckers and speed traps. Someone up there said they work best on E/W routes.. I agree... I-70 gets much more traffic on CB channels than I-25 or I-35. Useful tool none-the-less and I always make sure to have it working before I leave. Oh yeah, can't forget the added antenna to the roof, too! :lol:
 
CB

I use a Ranger RCI 2950DX CB/Ham Radio covers 26-32MHz so im all good for CB and once i get my General class license i can do 10/12 meters as well. best of both worlds plus for CB its more powerful than a traditional 4watt cb radio i can do 10watt AM and 25 watt on Side band. but the radio is very tweekable and easy to work on if ur a novice to doiung that sort of thing.
Radio modes are AM,USB,LSB,CW,FM
CW- is so u can hook up a morse code keyer to it
USB/LSB- are the side bands
FM is a very good band to have so clear sounding its the only CB radio i know of that has FM in it.

http://www.rangerusa.com/rci-29dx.html

http://www.rfwiz.com/RCI-2950_RCI-2970.htm
 
Here in the region of Montreal (Canada) we have a small Association of Storm Chasers and we sometimes chase in group.

The other day we were 3 cars and we communicate with CB's and we find that it works really fine! I personnaly use an Uniden Pro538W and a Wilson "Lil Wil" antenna! The other day I was communicating with a guy that was over 10 miles away, that's pretty good! I don't think you can do that witha FRS !?!?
 
I have not used a CB in years, for some reason around the Grand Rapids area, it was annoying to listen to. From illegal base stations kicking out way too much power, to people playing music and sound bytes from porno movies, to people cussing, etc. It was hard to get reports from truckers on the road with traffic and weather reports. I just stop using the CB and sold it. Maybe things have change for the better in the Grand Rapids area for CB's.

Mike
http://mgweather.com
 
CB's

I have a number of radios in the car, including a CB. I usually have it on ch. 19 and run the audio through a DSP unit. The truckers are often a good source of info as they are spread all over.

I use a single whip with a decent loading coil mounted to my roof rack, coverage varies but I can usually get 10x the distance of an FRS out of it.
 
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