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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to pick up a CB radio in the near future and possibly a scanner as well. What I'm having trouble deciding on for both is whether to get the hand-held walkie-talkie style or the base/mobile (car) radio/scanner.

I bought a shortwave radio and have been disappointed with the reception in the apartment. I tied a speaker wire to a block of wood and through it on the roof, then ran the wire into the apartment (I live in a city and we can't have antennas on the roof). OTOH, I haven't yet brought the shortwave radio into a park or rural area to try it out there.

I mention my experience with shortwave because I wonder if I will not get anything on the CB and scanner in the apartment.

Do the walkie talkie type CBs and scanners have a jack where an external antenna can be plugged in? If so I would be able to use an antenna on my car, I guess. Also, I could put an antenna on my balcony for short periods while using the CB/scanner. I'm guessing there are brackets to put a walkie-talkie shaped CB/scanner in a vehicle.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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A CB isn't going to do much good in a city. Range is already limited to about 4 miles on a clear level of sight. However, I have in fact held CB conversations as much as 600 miles but that is purely due to atmospheric skip and you might see that a couple of times a year and I was sitting on a hilltop miles outside of the closest town.

What you're going to see in a city is a lot of signal scatter due to buildings and obstructions, especially if you can't have an antenna on the roof. I have a Cobra 29 LTD in my truck and I drive through New Orleans every other month. It gets turned off at the city limits. Between normal station traffic and interference from the automatic doors on every building you have to crank the squelch up so high you might as well just roll the window down and yell.

So far I haven't found a suitable handheld CB. Mobes are limited to 4 watts, hand-helds are too, but transmitting on 4 watts fed by a handful of AA batteries does not last long. Most handhelds have a HI-LO setting, but just like the squelch on the mobile, you might as well roll the window down and scream.

Also, CB lost its popularity to cell phones. Besides getting on CH19 and harassing truckers on the interstate you're going to be pretty lonely unless you have some buddies in a 4x4 club within range.

Stick to your Baofeng, at least you can tune that in to local police, fire, ems, marine, and airport frequencies. JUST DONT KEY UP. Besides, HAMs have repeaters, get the freqs and codes and you can hear a lot more.
 

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I don’t really know who you are going to talk to on a cb radio
are trucker still using them?
In the 80 90s we talked on them around camp , but I think that was left over from the 70s
All the old guy are gone now and I guess I’m the old guy now.
I’m going to try the cb and see if any one is out there , I have a hand set that mounts to a car with a antenna some where ?
i Don’t really have cell service ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
...Stick to your Baofeng, at least you can tune that in to local police, fire, ems, marine, and airport frequencies. JUST DONT KEY UP. Besides, HAMs have repeaters, get the freqs and codes and you can hear a lot more.
I think those Baofeng radios for under a hundred bucks are for ham. I think a scanner that receives more go for a few or several hundred dollars, which include analog, digital, and trunked systems.

I know about not keying up with those Baofeng radios. I'd imagine that rule would go out the window if SHTF.

Thank you for your generous post.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don’t really know who you are going to talk to on a cb radio
are trucker still using them?
In the 80 90s we talked on them around camp , but I think that was left over from the 70s
All the old guy are gone now and I guess I’m the old guy now.
I’m going to try the cb and see if any one is out there , I have a hand set that mounts to a car with a antenna some where ?
i Don’t really have cell service ?
I thought truckers still use them. How do you talk to a bunch of people you don't know with a cell phone?
 

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I'm looking to pick up a CB radio in the near future and possibly a scanner as well. What I'm having trouble deciding on for both is whether to get the hand-held walkie-talkie style or the base/mobile (car) radio/scanner.

I bought a shortwave radio and have been disappointed with the reception in the apartment. I tied a speaker wire to a block of wood and through it on the roof, then ran the wire into the apartment (I live in a city and we can't have antennas on the roof). OTOH, I haven't yet brought the shortwave radio into a park or rural area to try it out there.

I mention my experience with shortwave because I wonder if I will not get anything on the CB and scanner in the apartment.

Do the walkie talkie type CBs and scanners have a jack where an external antenna can be plugged in? If so I would be able to use an antenna on my car, I guess. Also, I could put an antenna on my balcony for short periods while using the CB/scanner. I'm guessing there are brackets to put a walkie-talkie shaped CB/scanner in a vehicle.

Any advice would be appreciated.
A handheld CB with an external magnetic antenna...

 

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I never reall thought about that , I know it started to get very quiet and I gave up on it at some point , I’m going to break it out and try it .
I think if shtf it could get very popular again .
 

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Scanner is as good as the antenna. My husband had a cheap scanner but it was on a 60 foot antenna with a beam or omni. It did QUITE well.
 

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Get a mobile CB, with the power source.
ignore what you hear from some of these people that tell you to rely on your cell phone instead of alternate communications. They don't know what they're talking about. When SHTF they will be waiting in line at the mcdonald's drive through with the lights off, wondering why the line isn't moving. :)
Try to get a sideband radio. Learn to talk on it and to listen.
Sure, you won't get much, but you are looking for that one voice that you can talk to. Avoid 19. Thats the idle chat channel.
What you are hoping for, is when SHTF, you will be good on it. And as you pass by that closed mcdonalds, and see all thos cars waiting in line, you can tell your friends, 100's of miles away, what you are seeing as you bug out of town. Because you got warned soon enough to take action. Yep, from your CB.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the referral.


I never reall thought about that , I know it started to get very quiet and I gave up on it at some point , I’m going to break it out and try it .
I think if shtf it could get very popular again .
I say it pays to keep it rather than sell it. You never know...


Get a mobile CB, with the power source.
ignore what you hear from some of these people that tell you to rely on your cell phone instead of alternate communications. They don't know what they're talking about. When SHTF they will be waiting in line at the mcdonald's drive through with the lights off, wondering why the line isn't moving. :)
Try to get a sideband radio. Learn to talk on it and to listen.
Sure, you won't get much, but you are looking for that one voice that you can talk to. Avoid 19. Thats the idle chat channel.
What you are hoping for, is when SHTF, you will be good on it. And as you pass by that closed mcdonalds, and see all thos cars waiting in line, you can tell your friends, 100's of miles away, what you are seeing as you bug out of town. Because you got warned soon enough to take action. Yep, from your CB.
Thanks for your generous post. I guess with the power source a person can plug it a socket inside a house. I was thinking: What if the electric goes down? There are large batteries with electrical sockets on them for a few hundred bucks in addition to generators. There's also the car/truck, of course.

That hypothetical about McDonald's can literally happen. Some people are yoyos. One fellow wrote how a family was being helped leave an area, and either the parents or the kids got all cranky when they couldn't take certain things with them.

I would definitely get a SSB CB. I guess with power down everywhere, a SSB CB can go further than people think.
 

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I much prefer Amature radio, a much better class of people generally.
With CB radio there is no accountability and few people that use it are reliable.
With Amatur radio, you must earn your license privilege and follow respectful rules.
A lot of what you learn in amateur radio is antenna configuration being half the radio.
whether you use CB or amateur bands.
Amature radio Repeaters work much like cell sites allowing one to talk for hundreds of miles, CB do not have such privilege.
In bade weather hams usually share to their friends what road conditions are like in a given area, very reliable information. CB not so much.
Lastly , If you have encountered an emergency in your travels and wish to call the authorities and you say that you are a licensed Amature the authorities will take you seriously, but a CBer is rarely taken seriously.
 

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With CB having a good antenna with low-loss feedline makes a big difference. Do not use the skinny RG58 cable which normally comes with CBs, instead use at least RG8X or better LMR240. When I used CB alot I used a Uniden President radio with Hustler 102-inch whip and Motorola ball mount high on the truck cab and an Antron 99 vertical with the radial kit on the house. Truth be told in those outlaw days the rig at home was a Yaesu FT111ee which put out 200 watts on the old 11-meter ham band. Then I found Jesus and got right with our Lord and the FCC, got licensed and sent that radio to a medical mission in South America.

These days I have a General license and use 2-meters for local and regional communications. With a Cushcraft 1/2-wave vertical (Ringo Ranger) elevated 30 feet above ground and fed with Times Microwave LMR400 cable I can work 20 miles FM simplex easily with 50 watts.

Using a commercial-grade Sinclair full-wavelength, double-driven element horizontally polartized yagi on SSB with the same power about 200 miles. The smaller ten-element UHF log periodic is used for 9600 baud data and has a working range of about 50 miles with 25 watts on 460 Mhz.
AntennaInstall7Nov2020.jpg
 

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These days I have a General license and use 2-meters for local and regional communications. With a Cushcraft 1/2-wave vertical (Ringo Ranger) elevated 30 feet above ground and fed with Times Microwave LMR400 cable I can work 20 miles FM simplex easily with 50 watts.
View attachment 349964
The Ringo Ranger is the one on the top. My buddy has one. We can easily talk simplex on 5 watts 40 miles over the mountain. I have a Diamond X200A on the house and a Cushcraft 13B2 at the ham shack. I also run LMR400. I kinda live on the side of a mountain at 6,000 feet so there's that. My other friend who lives in the Salt Lake Valley can't get out worth a damn on 2m simplex so he switched to 40m. Inverted V over a big tree.
 

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One point I made to a friend of mine the other day.

Having any form of communication is better than none.

CB, GMSR, HAM, 2M, or even a crystal radio is better than nothing. Though vulnerable to the whims of politicos and the muscle of LE, a comm. system is a key item to have for the purpose of staying informed.
 

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More thoughts...
On the Uniden handheld, its hard to tell if the magnet mount antenna has a regular CB antenna connector (PL-259) or just uses the "rubber duck" BNC mount. The issue is the ability to attach a better antenna to the unit. The Midland 75-822 Handheld does have a PL-259 connector.

Midland 75-822

That said, I rigged up a mobile Cobra 148 mobile style CB to a 12V 7AH battery and a Solar Panel, and used a Li'l Wilson Magnet Mount Antenna and it seemed to work OK from my backyard. I got a return on my call for a radio check from about 4 or so miles away. See this thread:

Proof of Concept CB and Solar Panel

You would be able to hook up the Midland to the Li'l Will antenna, I don't know about the Uniden. Of course you could also just buy a mobile and try something similar to what I did if you choose to go with CB.

Otherwise HAM is the way to go. If you have a Technician License, then look for a 2M or 70CM repeater and a network, like the Saltgrass Network. If you have a General License, then the world is yours depending on your equipment and budget.
 
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