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Old 08-19-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
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CB radio use for emergency

Does anyone have any knowledge of using a hand held CB radio for emergency when out of cell phone range or would it much better to have a EPIRB/ACR?
Thanks for any advice. Rand

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Old 08-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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I have a hand-held CB unit stored in the MH, batteries isolated for storage. The MH has a roof mounted antenna with the connection on the floor near the left foot. We used in on a Mexican Track Tour, the range was basically line of sight not more than a couple of miles.
In an emergency, either out of cell range or if cell system was down, a CB might be useful for reaching truckers, ranchers who were using emergency frequencies, or even distant areas on the "skip."
Therefore: I keep it in the MH. Probably not to be used until we take another caravan.
Happy Trails.

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Old 08-19-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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A handheld CB is probably good for a couple miles max. I am a HAM so I have a HF rig along with a VHF and UHF and can use VHF and UHF repeaters.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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I have used CB handhelds and they are only good for ~1/2 mile. Virtually worthless.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
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For this situation we use the SPOT satellite messenger which can send your coordinates to a monitoring service that in turn calls the appropriate authorities nearest you. It has a second function that contacts your roadside service company. It can also send a "we're OK" email and/or text to friends or family.

Cheap insurance.

Www.findmespot.com I think.
Bill Burgner, '05 Journey, 350 CAT
'05 Wrangler LJR, Blue Ox Aventa, Air Force One
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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CB radio ER use

Sounds like buying a EPIRB/ACR sat. transmitter will be the better choice.
Thanks for the input. Rand
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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We go off-roading often out of range of cell phones. CB is good only for short range comms to other off-roaders in the group. We always like to have at least one vehicle in the group with 2 meter ham radio for calling for help in an emergency situation.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bearrand View Post
Does anyone have any knowledge of using a hand held CB radio for emergency when out of cell phone range or would it much better to have a EPIRB/ACR?
Thanks for any advice. Rand
A CB handheld has very limited range, as has been pointed out. Googling EPIRB/ACR transmitters, the cheapest I see is about $500, many around $1000. They only send a location signal and emergency responders are notified. If you only have a flat tire or out of fuel, it might be an expensive experience! (I know the Coast Guard fine is up to $10,000 for a false alarm)
For $500 you could have a bang up CB that would have a 10 mile range or more, according to conditions and terrain. Getting a short wave radio and license might also be a good alternative.

When we experienced a flat in a no signal area of Wyoming, we just unhitched to towed and drove 30 miles till we got a cell signal.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:01 PM   #9
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I have a top of the COBRA line tuned to chan 19, a vintage Realistic (Radio Shack) on 13, a hand held Midland on ... OFF, and have never used any of them for emergency.

I grab the 100' wire and find a place for the other end of it and use the Kenwood TS-2000 ham rid.. Way better communications.

That said the CB's do serve a purpose as they have been known to alert me to problems before they become major issues. That vintage Realistic, back when it was not so vintage, alerted me to a road that was blocked by an overturned seim, It was too late to take an alt-route but thanks to the info I slowed,, big time... When I got to the 4 car accident that happened at the back of the back up.... I was not part of it.

So having a nice BIG maxi van (Capacity 12, 13 if someone sits on Somtow's lap) (long story) (That is S.P. Somtow, you can google him) (That young lady was VERY happy).

Back to story: I sheltered the players in the crash thill the police arrived to do the report, sheltered the deputy, and took them home.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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I think they're a good idea, especially on the highway. Per above, they're not going to save you in some isolated location, but they've helped us a lot on the road when truckers are talking about what's ahead or what just fell off our rig!

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