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Old 08-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #1
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Who still uses a CB and what models do you recommend

Are folks still using CBs in their rigs? Actually using and not just monitoring channels? I'd love to hear about current use stories (not from the 70's ) and any recommendations on small/hidden head unit models. Or should I just get a no code license and a ham 2-meter?

As an aside, there are still a lot of places in the Western US that I find no cell coverage.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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I do not like the "hidden" units because,
-the mic unit is large and heavy
-the mic is a poor quality compromise
-the speaker in the mic is a poor quality and really needs an external speaker to be easily understood.

You are better off getting a basic dash unit and saving the money to put toward a much better antenna.

I carry a unit rolled up in a towel under the back seat and a magnetic mount antenna for the rear occasion that I might need one. To be truthful, mine has not been in operation for about 6 years.

If I want to talk or listen, I use my shortwave radio. Problem is there is not as much activity on VHF or UHF as there was in the past. So I usually listen on the HF bands.

I just got the rig set up in the new truck.

Got any questions on ham radio check the Ham/CB radio section here on iRV2. Also check American Radio Relay League | ARRL - The national association for AMATEUR RADIO.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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I use a Midland Walkie-talkie that seems to work fine. My dash area is huge so I just velcro'd it to the dash within easy reach in case I need to talk. The rubber duck antenna is sufficient for talking to anyone directly in front or behind me to perhaps a quarter mile.
P.S. the unit has a built in weather radio so I kill two birds with one stone.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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We have a Cobra 29 WX NW ST Sound Tracker in our coach. Was using it to monitor Trucker channel 19 for road conditions or problems, but lately, hardly hear any chatter on that channel.

The truckers may be using some other channel or other means of communication. One nice feature on our CB is the automatic emergency weather report channel.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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Hi wanderso,
I use the Cobra all in one unit and a no ground plane Firestik antenna/mount/wire. I also installed an external speaker with a port for a head set. I listen with a one ear headset. My use of the CB is mainly to educate OTR drivers that many motor coach owners are working, just like them.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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My rig had a CB with weather alert radio already installed, I'd not used CB since at least the '90's. A couple of months ago I was driving in very high winds in Eastern Colorado. I had a kayak on the roof of my towed, driving west, so the towed was in deep shadow and hard to see in monitor. A truck pulled up next to me and motioned to turn on CB. I did, and he informed me my kayak was bobbing around and looked like it was about to come off. We stopped and found the nylon strap hold downs had stretched and the kayak was very loose. That one call alone more than covered the cost of a CB.

Most of the time I don't have it on, mostly drivel or obscenity, but when approaching a congested area or backed up traffic, the CB usually informs as to what's up and what lane is open.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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Only time I use CB in the MH is when getting to a 4x4 off-roading campsite to find thr group of folks we are meeting there.

Use CB extensivly in the Jeep for group trail communications.

The inexpensive ~$50 CB units work fine. Don't like the hidden units with radio/mic combined - too heavy in the hand. Antenna and it's installation is most important. Any CB is only as good as how the antenna works - expensive radio with a crap antenna = waste of money.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVJ58 View Post
We have a Cobra 29 WX NW ST Sound Tracker in our coach. Was using it to monitor Trucker channel 19 for road conditions or problems, but lately, hardly hear any chatter on that channel.

The truckers may be using some other channel or other means of communication. One nice feature on our CB is the automatic emergency weather report channel.
Glad to know it's not just me. Have one in the MH and the Jeep and even on scan, almost zip now a days. As noted above have they moved to a 'Ham' type set or Marine FM bands?
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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I bought my first motorhome in 1974. Everyone had a CB at that time. I have had one in all 5 motorhomes since. They are handy for talking to friends, If you are traveling together. They are great for gas or traffic information. I always turn it on when traffic starts backing up, to find out which lane to get in. To me it is worth the money for that reason alone.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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We have a Uniden unit mounted in the Motorhome, have it turned on and tuned to channel 19 when on the road. I can count on one hand the number of time I have actually heard someone using that channel, and don't believe I have actually talked to anyone. I purchased a second hand held unit and use them for parking and manuvering - also works great when I go fishing or hiking and DW needs to get a hold of me...your lunch is ready, beers cold, stuff like that
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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I have one also and it's saved our butts listening to trucker comments.
To get top performance from your CB, you need to "tune" the antenna with an SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) meter. You tune it my small adjustments in length.

I *think* most truckers are modifying their CBs and by-passing the FCCs limit of 5 watt maximum output... There are a few well known brands (see ebay) that are easy to modify, but they tend to sell for over $100. This modification increases the range at which they can be heard, but doesn't do anything for reception.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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I *think* most truckers are modifying their CBs and by-passing the FCCs limit of 5 watt maximum output... There are a few well known brands (see ebay) that are easy to modify, but they tend to sell for over $100. This modification increases the range at which they can be heard, but doesn't do anything for reception.[/QUOTE]

My sentiments exactly! What good is having 1000 watt kicker if you can't hear the other guy you are splashing!
I still have my old Lafayette Comstat 25b base unit with the D104 mic that my dad bought and modified for me way back in 1969 to push about 8 watts out. Believe it or not, it still turns on although I have no idea where to go to get replacement tubes for it... LOL
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:59 PM   #13
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Have a newer all in one in the MH and an OLD radio shack one in the Jeep. Use the one in the MH when traveling with other couples and the one in the Jeep all the time. I got the all in one for the MH and an extra control unit for it thinking I would just use it and switch the Mike/controls back and forth between the MH and Jeep. It turned out that as others have said the all in one is heavy and hard to operate without accidentally changing channels so I have kept the 25 year old one in the Jeep. The only good think about the one in the MH is that is does have the weather radio which came in handy on our trip out West.
David
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #14
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We use Cobra GMRS handhelds when traveling with friends and have been very satisfied with vehicle-to-vehicle performance, so that suits our needs for back-and-forth conversations even without an external antenna. CB is a consideration for other uses such as traffic as mentioned but I'm not surprised that use has fallen way off. We've noticed that GMRS and FRS chanel usage has fallen off a lot as well over the past couple of years as cell coverage has improved.

Getting a no-code 2-Meter HAM rig that can hit repeaters in the event of an emergency where cell coverage is not available or overloaded in a real emergency seems like a good option as well.

Thanks so far for the thoughts. Keep 'em coming!
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