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Old 10-30-2012, 09:36 PM
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xihatethiscity xihatethiscity is offline
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Default Im new to CB radios a little help please!



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So I'm new to CB radios and HAM radios so i'm not sure what I need. But here is what I looking to do.

On the receiving end:

I want something which allows me to listen scan channels to listen to possible police, trucker, and other channels. For accident reports and possible updates that i might need in case TV, and Cellphones aren't working.

On the sending end:

I would like to be able to communicate back on the given channels.

I also need to be able to power it in my house and I want to get an adapter for my car/truck.

Can something like this do it?



Or this handheld




Sorry for knowing nothing but I need to start somewhere also I'm not looking to spend a lot of money I'm kinda of on a budget. Thanks guys!
Old 10-30-2012, 09:48 PM
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Get yourself a K40 antenna for starters. I do NOT have first hand experience with any of the radios you have listed, however the Uniden seems to get good reviews on Amazon. I think either of the Uniden radios would work fine for limited range communications. If you could spend a little more I would steer you towards a Cobra 29 LTD. They are a great radio for the money. You may also want to research "Export" radios like the Galaxy or better yet a Magnum S-9. They may appeal to those looking to "get out a little further."
Old 10-30-2012, 09:49 PM
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Will the above radios let me talk back and forth?
Old 10-30-2012, 09:58 PM
Ethereal Killer Ethereal Killer is offline
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you can do all the listening you need for a little bit of money with a decent scanner.

when it comes to talking back on the various freq's the required antennas and radios and technical knowledge will take a lifetime to master and a solid year of study and practice and thousands of dollars to do even passably.

A CB will let you talk and listen to CB channels. who will be on those channels is anyones guess, but it's a pretty good guess that it wont be who you want when you need.
Old 10-30-2012, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal Killer View Post
you can do all the listening you need for a little bit of money with a decent scanner.

when it comes to talking back on the various freq's the required antennas and radios and technical knowledge will take a lifetime to master and a solid year of study and practice and thousands of dollars to do even passably.

A CB will let you talk and listen to CB channels. who will be on those channels is anyones guess, but it's a pretty good guess that it wont be who you want when you need.
Thanks!

I mostly just want to listen to reports when SHTF. and In the case i have to transmit in the case of an emergency. Not a certain person. So i should be able to do that with those above correct?
Old 10-30-2012, 11:10 PM
64duracraft 64duracraft is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xihatethiscity View Post
So I'm new to CB radios and HAM radios so i'm not sure what I need. But here is what I looking to do.

On the receiving end:

I want something which allows me to listen scan channels to listen to possible police, trucker, and other channels. For accident reports and possible updates that i might need in case TV, and Cellphones aren't working.

You can't scan with those and you probably know you can't listen to police on them, they're CB's. So mostly truck drivers, but don't discount what you can gain from listening to truckers.

On the sending end:

I would like to be able to communicate back on the given channels.

I also need to be able to power it in my house and I want to get an adapter for my car/truck.

Adapter? As in cig. lighter adapter? Sure. They already run off 12V. You'll need an adapter for the house though, unless you plan on powering it off a car battery, which wouldn't be a bad plan considering. You can't plug those into a wall socket.

Sorry for knowing nothing but I need to start somewhere also I'm not looking to spend a lot of money I'm kinda of on a budget. Thanks guys!
To run one of the first two in the house you'll need something like:

Just an example. I'd look for something that does at least 5 amps. 3A with a 5A surge would be about as low as I'd go.

If you can, put an actual base station antenna on the house. With CB power levels the antenna becomes key. Something like:
or even better (5/8 wave):

Getting spendy? Heh, you don't have any coax, a tripod and those radios are AM only so SSB would be a nice upgrade...

Cheapest route? Well, you NEED the power supply if you want to run it indoors (no, none of the wall worts you have put out enough current). You could get away with a 9' stainless steel whip mounted on your rain gutter. Look around a bit and you might find a whip with coax, spring and ball all included. Mount the radio close to a window under the whip mount and you're done.

The difference? AM only with a 9' whip on the rain gutter is probably good for 5 miles to a mobile, maybe a little more or less depending on terrain and the radio on the other end. SSB with a 5/8 wave 30' in the air would probably do at least 15 miles, of course the radio on the other end is going to have to be a SSB radio too. SSB radios have an AM mode too. I really wouldn't go that route if I were you. Spend the money on an antenna, that will, BY FAR, have the most improvement/dollars spent. In fact, if it were me, I'd go cheap on everything I could and then throw the rest of the budget into a nice 5/8 wave antenna, can't stress that enough (talking base antenna).

Oh, I'll second the suggestion of the K40 for a vehicle.
Old 10-30-2012, 11:37 PM
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Listen up there CB Newbie, You can buy a CB cheap on Craigslist. It might already have the cigarette lighter adapter wired on it. Then you can plug the CB into one of many battery back up/ car jumpstarter power supplies sold at many stores which all have the cigarette inlet. You can buy a cheap but quality antenna, car antenna's rely on the metal of the car roof to reflect the signal so keep that in mind if you dont have a metal ground plane you'l want a non ground plane antenna. If you find a cheap handheld it wont do very well.
The other item should be a police scanner, radio shack or Craigslist. There are always a few "local guys" that can program your local police/fire codes onto them.
I have several Cb's & power supplies and in my opinion they are important prep items.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:20 AM
Ethereal Killer Ethereal Killer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xihatethiscity View Post
Thanks!

I mostly just want to listen to reports when SHTF. and In the case i have to transmit in the case of an emergency. Not a certain person. So i should be able to do that with those above correct?
yeah, kinda. CB is funny and range is sporadic so it's a real hit and miss with who and where you will get to.

If you wanna transmit you really need to get into Ham radio. there really is no cheap solution to transmit via regular radio and get anywhere beyond more than about a couple miles without special antennas.

Honestly one of the easiest and most effective means of emergency communications right now that covers the globe is the InReach communicator by delorme. It's affordable, secure and reliable and anyone with a cell phone or email can get your messages or send you messages.
Old 10-31-2012, 01:07 AM
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I power my mobile radio off of wall current as a base station radio by plugging it into this 6 amp ac to dc power converter: https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#q...w=1068&bih=580

An inexpensive but excellent DIY base station antenna can be made from a 102" stainless steel whip antenna, an antenna stud mount, some coax, and common materials available at big box building supply retailers.

This is mine:
The secret to best performance is a perfectly tuned low loss antenna with a good ground plane. Either a factory or custom made ground plane or... on a vehicle, a well placed antenna on a good mount. A 5"+ magnet mount performs better than smaller magnet mount bases because of it's surface contact area. Here's a great article explaining magnet mount performance issues: http://www.cosjwt.com/index.php?a=3

Here's a video about tuning a great mobile antenna:
This tuning technique can be used on most any CB antenna that can be tuned.

Most stock CB radios offer about the same transmit performance. Some are better at hearing weak signals or cancelling RF noise so you can hear the weak signals better. Using a power mic with any cb radio will improve the clarity of modulation and make your transmission easier to hear. Radios with side band frequencies are allowed to use more transmit power on sideband frequencies.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:11 AM
Oldvernie Oldvernie is offline
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I've got one of the Midland hand held units, I use it for talking to trucks while I'm out of mine. It'll do for a couple hundred yards, but not much more. (I was listening with my Cobra 29 that my son bought me.)

Most off problem seemed to be the little rubber whip that's so much more handy than a 1/4 length Firestick...
Old 11-01-2012, 12:40 AM
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Find you a CB on Craigslist for cheap. The older Cobras are your best best. They were built tougher and can be found cheap. Get a K40 or Wilson antenna or a long steel whip if it fits your vehicle (not as discreet but absolutely the best).

But, buy this handheld first. Like NOW!
Ham, NOAA weather, FM. Low power consumption, etc..
I've tried to find time to post this but it just hasn't happened. Maybe someone else has.
I’ve ordered this radio.
These are really hot sellers right now because they offer a cheap way to get into ham radio. The next closest radios are the Japanese versions at about $75 - $100 more. It’s thought that China is underpricing these to break into the Japanese market.
Unbelievable that you can get into Ham for under $50.00!
During disasters you can talk on certain ham channels without a license. You can always listen!
Ham is always the cutting edge for news reports when disasters strike or when other communications break down.
It should work well for my Ham, NOAA weather, and FM frequencies.
I’ll let you know how it does when it gets here from China.
I got the hand mike and a programming cable along with the radio here.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=180968799053
Here is the original radio itself with the same features just different case design. It can be ordered cheaper here. This is a great deal at $45.00, and $21 cheaper than my total order. This is the very cheapest deal.
I liked the face on the one I ordered a little better and it was the cheapest way for me to get the mike and cable with it.
This is a link to the same radio but with the latest software version (they can all be updated with a special USB cable).
This one is probably my recommendation.
http://www.radioshop888.com/radiosho....php?id=104357
Here is a Yahoo group that covers this radio real well.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baofeng_uv5r/messages
Lots of old time Ham operators using them with satisfaction.

Study for your Ham test online here.
http://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/try-it.htm

Last edited by RealMan; 11-01-2012 at 12:52 AM.. Reason: Add links.
Old 11-01-2012, 12:39 PM
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if you intend to listen to the police you will need a scanner that is capable of p25. and these are not cheap. all the police and gov etc. are going to change over to p25. used p25 scanner can run as much as $600.00
Old 11-01-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equinelover View Post
if you intend to listen to the police you will need a scanner that is capable of p25. and these are not cheap. all the police and gov etc. are going to change over to p25. used p25 scanner can run as much as $600.00
I skipped the scanner. I think the Gov would go onto frequencies typical scanners cannot get should the SHTF. And if they do.. wasted resources.

As for CB/SSB..look to RM-Italy. So glad I did. Added to my Galaxy DX2547 and my 2 DX959's they shout distances.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:26 AM
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if they have p25 i would assume that they would use the issued frequencies that they are issued and just switch to encrypted. should that frequency have a lot of traffic or unable to respond to their repeaters system then i would assume then they would change frequencies. most p25 scanners will put up a "enc" and mute the noise. if i may add to what you said.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:01 PM
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I was thinking the same thing. Switching to another mode or adding encryption would be the easiest method of obscuring those communications.

The radio in a police car, for example, isn't frequency agile, or multi-band capable (usually) so it wouldn't be a simple matter of picking a frequency in another chunk of the spectrum. They'd have to replace radios. Even then, unless ya start getting up into the microwave world (which isn't often practical for mobile comms) it would be hard to escape the all-hearing ear of most modern day scanners. They cover a LOT of the spectrum.
Old 11-10-2012, 08:03 AM
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your cheapest and quickest route is a mobile ( car) CB set . + GMRS+FRS radios .

police freq are almost all going to encoded freq comms. so not really worth the $
a scanner can be handy as you can hear HAM radios witch would be the most likely candidate for comms in SHTF . CB ( in canada) has channel 9 dedicated as emergency channel and most modern rigs can auto switch to that channel ( and also monitor if anything there )

to emit on HAM radio freq you need a licence ( exept life and death and even then ...)
the basic isnt that hard just need a litle electronics and radio basics .

as a perk most ham licences allow for more power ( =distance) at the antenna .
if you get a technical licence you can make your own antennas ( much much better than some commercial ones sometimes ) .


edit: as for comment on the ppl of CB they may not be police or ambulance but they can report in , and even assist in some cases. most of them are good ppl , maybe not the best you can find but still good ppl.
Old 11-10-2012, 08:16 AM
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One of my brothers got one several years ago, and found it to be nearly useless. He doesn't know anyone else that's into CB's ( and I sure ain't getting one) and all the traffic he picks up are rude,illiterate idiots that talk in some cryptic,retard language, and are openly hostile to anyone attempting to talk to them. It's actually very funny. I've seen him try to break in just to get a radio check, and they keep ignoring him ( all the while chattering in that high-speed,hillbilly trucker babble) till finally one of the guys will say to his buddy," hold on a second, I got some some F-ing A-hole trying to break in", then my brother will get, "hey BOY !! What the hell you want? Shut up and get off the F-ing radio !!!" Seriously, it's absolutely hysterical !!
IMO, unless you have nearby family/freinds with the same system, you're better off just keeping up with news from the outside with a decent AM/FM/short wave radio.
Old 11-10-2012, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealMan View Post
During disasters you can talk on certain ham channels without a license.
Please explain this. I can only think of 2 instances where this is true. A life/death situation and TEOTWAWKI.
What frequencies become "open" during a disaster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by |eric| View Post
to emit on HAM radio freq you need a licence ( exept life and death and even then ...)
the basic isnt that hard just need a litle electronics and radio basics .

as a perk most ham licences allow for more power ( =distance) at the antenna .
if you get a technical licence you can make your own antennas ( much much better than some commercial ones sometimes ) .
In a true emergency anyone can use any frequency available to protect life or limb.
Also, I don't know of any license needed to make your own antennas. You would only be able to use it for CB but you can make a dipole, j-pole or a directional yagi beam. A beam would increase range and minimize your transmitting "footprint".
Old 11-10-2012, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDBushcraft View Post
In a true emergency anyone can use any frequency available to protect life or limb.
Legally, that is not actually the case in the US. In practice, as long as you don't cause interference you might escape prosecution or conviction on the grounds that you were more or less in compliance with the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law and on the grounds that you bent the law to the minimum extent necessary under extenuating circumstances. Licensed ham's and licensed users of certain other 2--way radio services are explicitly allowed to bend the rules for distress calls using "any means at its disposal" if absolutely necessary (i.e. other methods do not work). While the "any means" clauses appear in the regulations for a number of different radio services in the US, as well as Canadian, international, and other countries regulations, they are, in each case, limited in scope and not a blanket authorization for unlicensed users to transmit even distress calls on any radio service nor are these provisions found in the regulations for any unlicensed service in the US. In international regulations "any means" applies to mobile and mobile earth (satellite) stations (not land stations unless responding to a distress call). In maritime radio law, there are restritions on who may authorize a distress call:

In international law
Quote:
The distress call and message shall be sent only on the
authority of the master or person responsible for the ship, aircraft
or other vehicle carrying the mobile station or ship earth station.
In US maritime law:
Quote:
A mobile station in distress may use any means at its disposal to attract attention, make known its position, and obtain help. A distress call and message, however, must be transmitted only on the authority of the master or person responsible for the mobile station. No person shall knowingly transmit, or cause to be transmitted, any false or fraudulent signal of distress or related communication.
Note that in US law, there is no "any means" loophole for LMRS(business/fire/police/rescue/event staff) which is licensed to a group, not individuals, and usually minimal radio training), CB,FRS,GMRS, MURS, WiFi, etc. Ham radio, aircraft, and maritime radio do have loopholes. Although users of small recreational boats are permitted to operate a radio (VHF only, territorial waters only) without a license and would technically appear to be covered under the any means loophole for maritime users, this generally seems to reflect an intent that only individually licensed and adequately trained operators are covered by "any means" clauses.

The ARRL has unequivocally stated, in reference to emergency communication on ham bands, that "unlicensed operation with no licensed control operator is never permitted by anyone at any time". Without a license, you do not meet the definition of an amateur station to which the loophole applies. Thus, the "any means" loophole appears to apply only to licensed operators not the amateur bands or equipment.

In order to be a legitimate distress call, there must be an immediate threat to life or property; other emergency communications needs are not covered.

Movie examples: Perfect Storm: passenger/crew of mistral issues mayday over captain's objection. Hanna Bowden relays a mayday for andrea gail without actually having received one, assuming that loss of contact under the circumstances was evidence of peril. Contact: Daughter of ham radio operator issues mayday when dad has heart attack. The two maydays appear to be in violation of the law but sufficiently justified. The mayday relay may appear to be a fraudulent mayday but "mayday relay" is actually more or less the correct terminology under section VIII of internatonal regs and US 47CFR80.324 for issuing a mayday on behalf of another vessel when there is sufficient evidence the other boat is in peril even if an actual distress call was not received.

Penalties for unlicensed operation include $10,000 fine (per event), 1 year in jail, and/or confiscation of equipment.

In past disasters, it has been seen that in populated areas unlicensed radio services can become unusable due to unprofessional operators clogging the airwaves and unwittingly or maliciously interfering with priority communications. This is also reason to expect that in a disaster, for licensed radio services, including ham radio, that contrary to some peoples opinion, the rules will not only still apply but will be enforced much more vigorously.

OP: legal CB radios only transmit on CB band. they normally only receive CB and in some cases weather band. "export" CB radios, high power mods, linear amplifiers, or freebanded CB radios are not legal to operate in the US. As others have stated, most fire/police have moved to analog trunked radios or p25 digital trunked radios or are likely to do so in the near future and require an expensive p25/trunking capable scanner or a computer with p25 software and compatible receiver to receive and special radios and an organizational license to transmit. In many US states, possession of a scanner which can receive police frequencies is illegal when portable or mobile; in some cases only while committing a crime (6 states) but in others regardless of criminal activity (5 states). In addition to state laws, there may be local laws. Licensed ham radio operators (in some states novice licenses not included) with ham radio transceivers are usually exempt. SSB is a desirable feature on a CB, for better range and less bandwidth usage, but radios with that capability generally cost over $100 and SSB is not used on emergency channel 9.
Old 11-10-2012, 06:28 PM
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Since I am not a ship at sea nor am I in internation waters or air space I'll skip the examples.

Take a look at Part 97

97.403 Safety of life and protection of property.-
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radio communication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.

97.405 Station in distress.-
(a) No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station in distress of any means at its disposal to attract attention, make known its condition and location, and obtain assistance.

(b) No provision of these rules prevents the use by a station, in the exceptional circumstances described in paragraph (a), of any means of radio communications at its disposal to assist a station in distress.

"Any means". That places no limits on what can be done. My ststion is licensed. The person operating it in the advent of my impending death may not be.

What is being said is, if two people are camping and one cuts a major artery in their leg with a chainsaw and is bleeding to death, the partner is free to use the 2 way radio they found earlier on the trail to call for help. He doesn't have to consider if he is in a code only portion of the band. He doesn't have to worry about causing interference with someone's television reception... None of that. He can pick up the radio and call for help.
If the person knew code he could make a big old messy spark gap transmitter and splatter a distress call all over the RF spectrum.
I don't know of anyone suggesting that if there is a tornado or other regional disaster that all licensing goes out the window and it is a free for all.
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