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I would probably guess that CB radios are still used by a lot of Truckers today ,but what about the regular folks out there ? When i was a kid my grandparents used Cb radios like we use Cell phones today. My Grandfather had a cb radio in his jeep and my grandmother had a base setup in the kitchen.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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There are tons of CB radios still being sold in the US and worldwide.

I think what may have led to the decline in activity was that there was a peak during the oil crisis when everyone bought one. Also Home Owners Associations don't permit outside antennas so you won't see many house antennas in suburbia. Everyone now has cellphones so they have a false sense of security in that they dont need a CB. But they will when SHTF.

That said, a CB with AM/SSB capability is an essential piece of gear to have if you are a prepper. Installing a hidden antenna at home if you are in an HOA is not that difficult. If you want a mobile installation, a LARSEN NMO-27 is a perfect antenna for most vehicles. If you have a newer jeep with plastic roof, you need to be creative. Every antenna needs a counterpoise. This means an RF ground return for the radiating element. I suggest an ARRL handbook and ARRL antenna book for research. Many of the "CB" sites have poor information.
 

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Wannabe Mountain Hermit
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I have 1. Truckers definitely still use them They are still an essential piece of equipment for drivers. My dad had 1 all of my growing up years and told me to always have 1 in case I was stranded on the side of the road and I did when I drove truck for 10 years. I wouldn't be without it.
 

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There are tons of CB radios still being sold in the US and worldwide.

I think what may have led to the decline in activity was that there was a peak during the oil crisis when everyone bought one. Also Home Owners Associations don't permit outside antennas so you won't see many house antennas in suburbia. Everyone now has cellphones so they have a false sense of security in that they dont need a CB. But they will when SHTF.

That said, a CB with AM/SSB capability is an essential piece of gear to have if you are a prepper. Installing a hidden antenna at home if you are in an HOA is not that difficult. If you want a mobile installation, a LARSEN NMO-27 is a perfect antenna for most vehicles. If you have a newer jeep with plastic roof, you need to be creative. Every antenna needs a counterpoise. This means an RF ground return for the radiating element. I suggest an ARRL handbook and ARRL antenna book for research. Many of the "CB" sites have poor information.
A half wave dipole hidden in the attic, for those that can't erect one outside. Or even hidden along side the gutters. Half wave dipoles, cut to frequency, are one of the greatest antennae out there.

Two thumbs up on the ARRL antenna book. Lots of ideas.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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"TURGID FLUX"
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I lost count of how many people thought the marine vhf radios we sold..(boating store).were CBs....
I am sure the coast guard was annoyed as heck about them using channel 16.
 

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I have a small collection of CB’s… One in the truck, the house, the garage and a couple spare on the shelf. Five years ago you could find them in yard sales for a couple dollars, but over the past year even old worn out ones have started to draw $25-$30. I wouldn’t buy another used one unless I knew the seller well and they agreed to take it back if it didn’t work properly. I also wouldn’t buy one that did not have Single Sideband.

I’d recommend to anyone interested in CB’s to locate people in your area that already use them… see what kind of local community there is. It’s no use having one if there’s nobody to talk to or no one that shares your interests. There are plenty of people talking on CB’s, but it can be pretty tribal and tough to break into an established group. I stick with family and few friends.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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I sold one a few years ago that I wish I had held onto. A Realistic TRC-465 AM/SSB . A very easy to operate radio and well made.

The problem with buying used CB radios, especially the ones popular with truckers is that they may have been "peaked and tweaked" which is a totally unnecessary operation performed by people with marginal knowledge about electronics. The same folks modify the radios with a "myriad of features" "Rodger beeps, echos" and so forth.

But a garage sale find might be OK if you know what you are looking at and can peek inside.

I will predict this, when the SHTF and the internet and cellphones go down, the popularity will pick up and it may be a good community communication mode.

As far as family, I recommend some quality GMRS radios. Surplus public safety grade radios Like Motorola or Kenwood. I am using some Motorolas that are Part 95 certified and by some bureaucratic mixup are also DES-XL 56 bit encrypted. No Midland or BaoFeng please. There is a difference.
 
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As far as family, I recommend some quality GMRS radios. Surplus public safety grade radios Like Motorola or Kenwood. I am using some Motorolas that are Part 95 certified and by some bureaucratic mixup are also DES-XL 56 bit encrypted. No Midland or BaoFeng please. There is a difference.
Agreed. Some of the GMRS radios can serve well as e-comms. I put a little bit of effort out and got a HAM Tech License and it has been well worth the study time. I put a 30 watt 2 meter amp and antenna in my commuter vehicle. I can plug a hand-held unit into it. That way I have a portable pocket radio for a bug-out / get-home bag that can double as a higher wattage mobile setup. The down side is that not many of my family members are interested in getting their license. I can't help but think a time will come when they will wished they had.
 

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Herself and the grand daughter have recently accepted using the handy talkies in FRS around the house.

We have poor cell reception, even with SMS...I fell off a ladder, breaking 6 ribs. Called the boss lady, call wouldn't go through. Sent text message. No response. Was finally able to get up and get in the house, took shower, changed clothes and tried to breath. The text message arrived 45 minutes after I fell...

So, the ladies have realized that using a handy talky around the place is a much more reliable way to communicate with each other. Now, if I could just get her to get her tech license so she could use the local repeater with the VHF rigs....
 
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I mostly use Ham stuff, but I do have a CB for “poops and giggles.”
We also have one in the Kenworth at work, and we yack at the guys going up and down I-90 all day.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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How are the hand held cb radios that use AA batteries ?
In a pinch better than nothing, but not much better. If you want a CB to stash in your car, the GE Emergency HELP radio might do on an interstate to hail a trucker. But it is going to be as effective as waving your hands,
 
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"TURGID FLUX"
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Get your ham radio license as high as you can go. I've been an Extra Class for almost 20 years now. Extra Class gives you access to all the amateur radio bands out there.
When I was stationed up in Fairbanks, I went out and strung up a wire dipole I made myself and I was able to make contact with a group of amateurs in Italy.. You're probably thinking "Well, what good is that?" Well, it gives you a LOT more frequencies you can listen to and see what's happening in the whole world.

As for the HOA Restrictions, I don't think they can tell you that you can't have an amateur radio antenna on your property. Might want to check on that.

I've got an ICOM 706 HF rig in my pickup ,a 2 meter rig in my Jeep and one in my Camper. I also picked up two of those Chinese handheld (Baofengs) and had a guy in the local club program them with over 200 "channels" if you want to call them that. Basically, they're all 2 meter repeaters and depending where you're at, you can get on a local repeater and boost your signal strength and listening ability quite a bit.

The last time I had my CB turned on was on a trip from Vancouver, WA to Yosemite National Park. I heard a couple of "good ole boys" and all they were talking about was how they had modified their radios, antennas, and amplifiers so they can talk over everyone else.

A handheld Baofeng will reach out and connect with other amateurs for sometimes several hundred miles.. There are 2 meter networks out here in the Western US where one repeater will talk to another repeater and so on... Being in Vancouver, WA, I can key up and call CW on a 5 watt dual band handheld and get a response from Arizona, Nevada, California. All it takes is a No-Code Tech license to use a 2 meter rig.
 

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A handheld Baofeng will reach out and connect with other amateurs for sometimes several hundred miles.. There are 2 meter networks out here in the Western US where one repeater will talk to another repeater and so on... Being in Vancouver, WA, I can key up and call CW on a 5 watt dual band handheld and get a response from Arizona, Nevada, California. All it takes is a No-Code Tech license to use a 2 meter rig.
What repeater are you hitting? I'm 60 miles north and travel that way sometimes. Would love to be able to stretch the 2 meter that far. In the local AO, I can hit Bawfaw and Cap Forest easy, and on a good can even get Aberdeen...
 
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