CB Radio and Ham Radio

Kyle

Wheeling
Location
Chesapeake, VA
So I've been wondering. I've heard some stuff about CB Radios and Ham Radios and I just can't figure out the difference between these two radios. In addition I find myself with a larger question....what are they for? What is their purpose. Are you guys yelling at truckers going down the highway or something? Is it worth having one?? Someone enlighten me on radios please lol
 

NismoFire

Titan Swapped / SAS'd
Founding Member
Location
Smyrna, TN
CB stands for Citizen Band...HAM radio requires a license from the FCC to operate. CB does not require a license.


We use CBs mostly on the trails to communicate as we travel. Some of us actually used them on the road. I love getting truck drivers ticked off by telling them how much they suck at driving. Yeah, I'm a CB troll. Hahaha.
 

Airmapper

First Fill-Up (of many)
I run a CB, considered HAM but why go to the expense just to talk to fewer people farther away? Someday I may go HAM, but until then a CB is fun.

CB is pretty active in my area. On my morning commute maybe 4-5 local base stations are active and I occasionally check in and chat with them, really friendly bunch and they all seem glad to have an extra person to talk with now and then. One of them is a friend of the family, so I can always check with him from different spots and check the distance on google maps between where I was and his house. I can talk about 25 miles if conditions are favorable off a 3ft Firestik and a Midland 75.

Rarely I also chat with truckers, if they ask a question and I know, I tell them. Given out directions a few times, and complained about the local gouging on fuel once. There is nonsense on it sometimes, but quite a few decent folks who give out information and help fellow drivers.
 

TheFauxFox

Titan Swapped / SAS'd
Founding Member
Location
Huntsville, AL
I love getting truck drivers ticked off by telling them how much they suck at driving. Yeah, I'm a CB troll. Hahaha.

Not cool. :p

There are also different licenses for HAM users and which one you get depends on what you want/need out of it. There are plenty of study guides online.
 

Kyle

Wheeling
Location
Chesapeake, VA
Ham radio you have to have a license for and CB you do not. Here is a website that hope will explain it for you.

http://www.squidoo.com/CB-Radio-and-Ham-Radio

This was useful. Everyone has had good advice. I think I might buy a cheap CB just to see what I can do with it. I often drive from VA to PA or from VA to GA or and vice versa. I just travel a lot. lol.

My impression of the CB is that it seems to be like a forum...except audio only and on the road. Seems like it might keep things interesting when driving.
 

TheFauxFox

Titan Swapped / SAS'd
Founding Member
Location
Huntsville, AL
This was useful. Everyone has had good advice. I think I might buy a cheap CB just to see what I can do with it. I often drive from VA to PA or from VA to GA or and vice versa. I just travel a lot. lol.

My impression of the CB is that it seems to be like a forum...except audio only and on the road. Seems like it might keep things interesting when driving.

Handy too for weather and traffic should you do the right audio surfing.

I have a few die-hard HAM operator friends who storm chase and run gun drills with them. They swear by them since they know how to program specific frequencies for their purposes.
 

Kyle

Wheeling
Location
Chesapeake, VA
I could definitely use the communication when storm chasing. The Hampton roads area (va) doesn't have a storm chasing group like a lot of the western areas of VA has. It's very unorganized.
 
I use both. Cb is for running with other off-roaders and, if i get lucky, chatting with truckers. Ham i use to honour my father's memory (he started hamming it up in the late 1930's) and eventually i'll grab his callsign, usually i just chat with folks locally or distance through repeaters, and sometimes off-roaders if their group uses amateur radio instead of cb.

I use handheld (walkie talkie lookin things) over mobiles so i can hide them in parking garages or questionable areas in towns. Same reason i use magmount antennae. It's plenty of power, i connect well and clearly, and does what i want and need.

I have a good time when i use either of my set-ups. I find cool folk and idiots on both systems. Cb can be less expensive to get into and doesn't need a license. Ham can be expensive but, if you're interested, let me know and i can help you get in the ham game for about $150 including a 2m/70cm radio, antenna, and speaker/mic. After that, it can get expensive but you can get more powerful equipment but the most important things are to pass the test(s), get radio and GOOD antenna, and a GOOD SWR for your set up. Cheap (as in inexpensive) radio + good antenna and SWR will do you right every time over high fallutin' expen$ive radio + crappy antenna and poor to decent SWR. Best part is that a 2m/70cm handheld system like I run is plug n play. I don't have to dink around with the SWR. Antenna, antenna, antenna, mate.
 

TKDx00

Lockers Installed
Founding Member
OLD MAN time. I've got a President Jackson SSB that can be used for either HAM or CB, Base or Mobile. I run it as a CB (1-40) but actually have access to over 400 freqs. Back in the day of tweeking radios it was boosted from 4 to 15 watts. I plan to get a HAM license so I can be 100% legal.

Ham was popular back in the day because of the fear of communication problems due to lack of power caused by wars. HAM's can reach further than CB's using the skip cause by sun spots and other weather conditions. CB's were designed for more localized communications.
 

KBTerra

Bought an X
Location
Gray, GA
I could definitely use the communication when storm chasing. The Hampton roads area (va) doesn't have a storm chasing group like a lot of the western areas of VA has. It's very unorganized.
My wife and I are Skywarn spotters in central Ga. A Ham radio is what I want to be able to communicate on the Skywarn network and a CB for all other traffic reports coming about the weather. Also it's not a bad idea to have a scanner for law enforcement and or EMA traffic.
 

CHUG

Sliders
Supporting Member
I installed a CB into my X. For added comm's for Search & Rescue needs. With running logging roads, or convoy with friends.. Great way to make the time go fast, yaking at each other. Did have one issue with installing my CB & antenna.
When, Mic was keyed up.. the Receiving end, would get a Loud Squeal ( they got pissy fast) . Drove me nuts, trying to figure out why??. Switched CB's & Antenna's.. Nadda.. Spoke with a electronics's Guru. He said, RF bleeding. Sure enough. Add 6 Ferrite beads to the Coax. All problems went away. But dang tough to install cable with all them beads.. ... So its a loose Cable install.

Just installed New Firestick antenna, to Roof rail. Just need to tune it... That should give me Great Comm's on the trails & Road use..

One thing, in looking for a CB radios.. Make sure it has "NOAA" weather feature... That is one nice thing to have... ( Need to save my Pennies up and Buy me one now)
 
I installed a CB into my X. For added comm's for Search & Rescue needs. With running logging roads, or convoy with friends.. Great way to make the time go fast, yaking at each other. Did have one issue with installing my CB & antenna.
When, Mic was keyed up.. the Receiving end, would get a Loud Squeal ( they got pissy fast) . Drove me nuts, trying to figure out why??. Switched CB's & Antenna's.. Nadda.. Spoke with a electronics's Guru. He said, RF bleeding. Sure enough. Add 6 Ferrite beads to the Coax. All problems went away. But dang tough to install cable with all them beads.. ... So its a loose Cable install.

Just installed New Firestick antenna, to Roof rail. Just need to tune it... That should give me Great Comm's on the trails & Road use..

One thing, in looking for a CB radios.. Make sure it has "NOAA" weather feature... That is one nice thing to have... ( Need to save my Pennies up and Buy me one now)


For size/space and still have needed features, check these out. Both have NOAA. Also, all 2m/70cm ham rigs can dial n program NOAA and some already have it in their rom memory.

http://www.amazon.com/Midland-75-82...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00000K2YR

http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-75WXST-...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00005N5WW

Other small rigs below. Remember, cb has a maximum power output (5 watts) as determined and defined by federal law. It also has a hefty, unpleasant fine for violation plus loss of equipment and sometimes jail time when caught by fox hunters, ham's who practice (and are scary good at) locating both fixed and mobile signal origination points to find transmission locations. Now, as far as I've ever heard of, that only happens (being hunted n caught) if you really screw the pooch and piss people off or interfere with emergency services. You'll be surprised how fast you're caught then. Seriously, don't risk it. It's a different day now and it's not worth a felony charge.

http://www.amazon.com/Midland-1001Z...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00024DIDK

http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-PRO520...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00004VXNI

http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-19DXIV-...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00083KUVS

I researched the hell out of cb's and antennae and came up with my set-up based on these factors: co$t; functionality need over want/drool/brag factor; space since the X has so little extra space; stealth/hide-ability (is that even a word?); replaceability (if it burns out or gets trashed, how much $ to repair/replace it?); and flexibility for multiple roles. I came up with about the same list as i stole these from http://www.squidoo.com/best-cb-radio-for-jeep.

For y'all interested in ham, pm me. If i hear from a few, i'll post some links and recommendations to get into the game inexpen$ively and relatively quickly. While my license is (a) new-ish and (b) only tech, don't let that fool ya. My dad did it my whole life and, he n his friends, taught me as i grew up around them. I just didnt become an engineer or license until after dad's death. I'm no expert but i know some useful stuff. Do we need a cb and a ham section? I'd suggest it that way to keep the seriously stupid which-is-better arguments to a minimum. Thoughts/ideas?

Hope this rant helps.
 

Kyle

Wheeling
Location
Chesapeake, VA
I read a lot of these replies on my cell today at work. Great replies guys! You guys really explained it well. I'm pretty curious in this stuff right now so I think I'm going to get a cheap CB for now and see how I like it. If it's alright perhaps I'll look into Ham but either way the CB will be good for when I start going on trips with others (I'd like to wait for my 2inch spacer lift first).
 

GhostX

Allergic to Pavement<br><img src="http://i164.phot
Location
SoCal
Sorry guys...but CB = children's band.

I have both, and have been a HAM for a few years now...it blows the doors off of CB radio in every way, shape, or form.

Easy to install, no need to tune the antenna, far exceeds in transmission quality and distance, and all you have to do is pass a 35 question exam...with 70%. Who can't do that?

And as far as cost, HAM radio's can now be had for as little as $45...with a good mobile unit costing $120.

Also, check out www.qrz.com for HAM info, and Walcott CB for CB supplies.
 

metzican

Suspension Lift
Location
Lafaytte, la
The reason I got a CB vs a Ham is when traveling off-road most people have a CB so it makes it easy to communicate with the group you are in. I might someday step into the ham world but as of right now I have no interest or need.
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent

That is a GOOD looking radio. If that was out when I bought my Cobra, I probably would have gone that route.

I've got a full blown Cobra 29LX-LE mounted in my center stack. The only time it really sees use is on the trails. Occasionally when caravaning w/ a few friends who have them, they're better than cells for quick communication.

When it comes to being on the trails the radio is crucial. Its a real life saver & time saver. With all the other tech that we have in cars now, its hard to really find a daily use for it as far as I'm concerned.
 

GhostX

Allergic to Pavement<br><img src="http://i164.phot
Location
SoCal
Is there a normal channel that truckers use? I wonder because I don't have a scan button on my CB and don't like manually scanning.

Channel 19 usually.


Sent from Planet Claire using Tapatalk
 

Cameron23

Skid Plates
Founding Member
Location
Kansas
I wanna get a cb but I keep reading about tuning and interference and I want one that won't break off in lower clearance areas. Is it really that complicated to have it working right


Sent from my super secret fall out bunker
 

dhyde79

Titan Swapped / SAS'd
Founding Member
Location
Amarillo, TX
I wanna get a cb but I keep reading about tuning and interference and I want one that won't break off in lower clearance areas. Is it really that complicated to have it working right

Sent from my super secret fall out bunker

But usually isn't
 

GhostX

Allergic to Pavement<br><img src="http://i164.phot
Location
SoCal
SWR is a relatively easy process, the key IMO is the selection of a really good NGP (no ground plane, meaning not having to mount it in the middle of the roof or hood) Firestick antenna.

A good SWR tuning video: SWR Antenna Tuning Video

Or, check out the Firestik II install/tuning video: Firestik II Tunable Tip
 

mudchet

Got Mud?<br><img src="http://i164.photobucket.com/
Founding Member
Location
Brentwood, TN
I wanna get a cb but I keep reading about tuning and interference and I want one that won't break off in lower clearance areas. Is it really that complicated to have it working right


Sent from my super secret fall out bunker

I have a firestik mounted to one of those flexxy spring mounts. I tuned it with an SWR, took 10 minutes. I get good reception and the spring allows me to plow through the underbrush without ripping my antenna off. I have had no problems with reception.
 

dhyde79

Titan Swapped / SAS'd
Founding Member
Location
Amarillo, TX
I have a firestik mounted to one of those flexxy spring mounts. I tuned it with an SWR, took 10 minutes. I get good reception and the spring allows me to plow through the underbrush without ripping my antenna off. I have had no problems with reception.

Careful, when it starts to age, the firestick will eventually crack loose at the base and break loose. Just happened to the neighbor...too many trees hitting it, even on a spring, the antenna still takes some abuse...
 
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dhyde79

Titan Swapped / SAS'd
Founding Member
Location
Amarillo, TX
Hmmm. Ok. I will take a look at the firestik and check for damage. Could you see cracking or any wear on the outside?

Yup, the plastic around the bottom where the stick mounts had cracked, then the adhesive came loose and the wire broke and the antenna fell the hell out.
 

Cameron23

Skid Plates
Founding Member
Location
Kansas
Okay I just picked this up at a garage sale portable cb it was cheap as hell but I don't hear anything and don't know what any knobs mean except volume
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School me


Sent from my super secret fall out bunker
 

Cameron23

Skid Plates
Founding Member
Location
Kansas
Anything else? There is an Antenna plug that doesn't have anything in it on the side


Sent from my super secret fall out bunker
 
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