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Discussion Starter #1
I searched the threads but didn't find my answer, so hopefully someone can help me.

What are the major difference between mobile and hand-held CB's? Are there any hand-helds that have sufficient power and range?

I am looking for something that is possible to use at home/car but is suitable for my BOB/web gear.

In the case that hand-held CB's are really not worth it compared to HAM radios's I will just wait b/c I will taking the first HAM exam in Jan. So I am still interested in a moible CB unit in this case.

Lastly, I do not want to waste money one a name brand or looks or anything just for the sake of it, however if the features have value to them I want to get the best I can.
 

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I'm the boogey man.......
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I'll try to make this easy.

The antenna is the difference. A full wave antenna on 11meters (cb) is appx 11 meters long, now the least length of antenna that's worth a crap is a 1/4 wave or 2.75 meters long (but can be shortened with a loading coil but efficiency suffers. Now the antennas on a CB handheld are nothing more than a semi-radiating resistor, they're a joke and only useful for very short distances due to their inefficiency in the transmitting and receiving department.

Ham is the way to go, hands down.

OR try this, no license needed and most surplus VHF radios can easily be programmed to these frequencies and VHF is much better for communications than CB in many ways.

MURS
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I had a feeling the hand-held's would be inadequate.

What is the best place to buy CB's? I still want one b/c there are certain things I am interested in listening to that are on CB.
 

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Several military packs are built to carry a portable radio with antennae in addition to normal gear. Eagle industries makes one.
 

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Are you wanting this for a group to use to communicate with each other or to contact others who you may not know for info?

I wouldn't waste any money on a CB. Get a good HAM radio set up that will let you actually reach out. CB's are only good for line of sight transmission unless your going to boost it and that doesn't mean you will get the results you want.

Also, every idiot with the ability to push a button will be on the CB so the info will be less than reliable.
 
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I'm the boogey man.......
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Radio to radio I can talk half way across this state on VHF HAM frequencies, with a CB I can hardly talk to the edge of town...You tell me what's more useful?
 

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I help enlighten folks
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You could use them for communicating to allies that live pretty close.
 

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Student/Teacher
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Go with what gets the job done for you.
In my area CBs are common and what I am generally after is local info on road conditions, weather, fire etc. Hams are few and basically stationary here and therefore pretty useless for my needs. Area CBers have saved several lives.

In my case I generally do not need comms that reach half way across the state, country, or world. In an emergency I have a small short wave receiver or can hit the local fire hall that operates a ham unit or talk/listen to them on the CB.
 

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Student/Teacher
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I had a feeling the hand-held's would be inadequate.

What is the best place to buy CB's? I still want one b/c there are certain things I am interested in listening to that are on CB.
Here one of the best place to buy from is our local auto parts store they know what the truckers are using(what works) and therefore buy and sell stuff that has a good turn over which keeps the price down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As I said I am going to buy a CB, so any suggestions on unit and antenna are appreciated.

Yes I know Ham is superior in every way. That is, like I already said, I am taking the license exam in beg of Jan. I STILL WANT A CB.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Especially of a good place to bet a good deal on-line.

Thank you
 

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Tein UHF CB has a lot going for it in an emergency and as a comms tool pre and post shtf. An ICOM IC-41S is well worth looking at. We have a pair of these and I highly recommend them. My wife and I work in a built up city area and we can get 3-4km range easily through high rise buildings and even in basement carparks. This model also has a tome squelch which means that if a freq is jammed with people transmittiing, you can program each handset so that you each only hear transmissions from each other and the other transmissions are all squelched out. The ICOMS are very rugged and we've dropped and immersed ours by accident with no probs. The lithium ion battery lasts for an age before needing tio be recharged and you can get a battery pack to take AA's as an alternate (although you wont get full 5W outoput on AA's). The instruction book is also very detailed and easy to follow which is a boon for comms devices. In the bush we get about a 5km range from them.
 

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Gun Guy
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When I was in High School in the mid 90's my friends and I all had CB radios in our cars. I went the cheap route and got a hand held, plugged it into my cigarette lighter and attached a 4 ft (i think) attena that I ran to the back of the car and out my trunk. I got several miles of range out of that. I thought it was pretty nifty at the time, like a cell phone before the days of cell phones :p

This is mostly off topic but hey, I had a story to share dammit!
 

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tinfoil bandana
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Biggest problem I've run into with hand held CB's is noise filtering, unless you get a fairly pricey unit they are almost unusable in a vehicle due to ignition noise.

I have a ton of FRS radios (shop threw them away, useless in an industrial stamping plant) and a few different handheld CB's, (GE, Midland). These rally are good only in the countryside, the GE's are a full 4 watt output (Ha- so they say) and are good for only a few blocks in the city. The FRS are slightly better, but only because they aren't as crowded on the airwaves.

If you want a radio just for listening to the 'sofa king we todd did', then a CB is perfect. It's ok for keeping in touch on a trail in a jeep (my main use) and marginal for traffic conditions due to useless chatter, at least around ant major metro areas.
 

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ozarks hillbilly
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I like your thinking, I know that a HAM can talk to a CB but still, why not buy both, I would suggest truck stops, and radio shack for the equipment. also, If you know any truckers, ask them, they are probally the most knoledgeble group of people on this subject anyway.
 

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ozarks hillbilly
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I have a couple of cheep hand held units that reach about 5 miles, if thats enough for you then go for it, (mine are unidien) if not then explore differient alternitives
 

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Deo VIndice
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You say a handheld..OK...when you BO, I would suggest for it to be of any great use for collecting intel, you plan on traveling near the main roads. Not ON the main roads, maybe 1/4 off the main road or less. That way your chances of reception from OTR drivers is good and you can still travel in concealment and avoid gridlock/incognito, whatever.

I have a pair of GE brand radios, they work pretty good. I got them years ago from a Marlboro promotion. they are about 10 inches tall plus another 8-10" of antenna.
 

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tinfoil bandana
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You say a handheld..OK...when you BO, I would suggest for it to be of any great use for collecting intel, you plan on traveling near the main roads. Not ON the main roads, maybe 1/4 off the main road or less. That way your chances of reception from OTR drivers is good and you can still travel in concealment and avoid gridlock/incognito, whatever.

I have a pair of GE brand radios, they work pretty good. I got them years ago from a Marlboro promotion. they are about 10 inches tall plus another 8-10" of antenna.
Same ones I have, but GM HEI ignition will just wipe out any reception.

Good out in the woods, only problem with them I have is they default to channel 9 when turned off.
 

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CB is a good jungle telegraph and especially useful on the road. Since you're going for your ham ticket, head down to the local truck stop and pick up a basic AM-only Uniden or Cobra and put it in your car with a decent mobile antenna like a K40 or Wilson 1000.
 

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I, have a Cobra 29, and it works fine for me. I, had it peaked, and tuned about 10 or 12 years ago. I, use a cheap Frances antennae, the longest I, can find, and the best coax I, can find. The coax should be 18 foot, and can usually be bought where you get the cb tuned. Try to avoid truckstop coax that is hanging on the wall. It tends to be disappointing.
 

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As I said I am going to buy a CB, so any suggestions on unit and antenna are appreciated.

Yes I know Ham is superior in every way. That is, like I already said, I am taking the license exam in beg of Jan. I STILL WANT A CB.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Especially of a good place to bet a good deal on-line.

Thank you


If you really want a CB, be sure to get one with Single Sideband (SSB) capabilities. When talking to another SSB station, you will get a little more range, and regular AM stations won't be able to monitor you. These SSB units also receive AM. I have a Cobra 148 GTL SSB unit in my HAM shack just for monitoring purposes. Your antenna system is very important!

Good luck on your exam! GP
 
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