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Communications: CB's, Walkie Talkies, etc

 
Old 07-11-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Communications: CB's, Walkie Talkies, etc

I think we need a thread on the differences between CB's, Walkie Talkies, and any other communication devices (other than cell phones) for use on the trail.

- What are the different types of CB's and Walkie Talkies and their advantages/disadvantages? (handheld, mounted within the vehicle, needs separate device to fine tune it, range, quality of voice, size, trail jibber jabber, etc)

- Can you communicate between the different types of devices and how to do so?

- Range differences between the various types of devices.

- Why you should/shouldn't have one of these?

- How NOAA radio works and what devices it is compatible with?

- Typical protocol for talking on these devices...on trail with buddies versus on the road with truckers and general public?

- Places to mount the different types of devices (or maybe just links to the multiple other threads on this subject).
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:58 AM
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My club uses CB's so as the club goes, I go. Rember the rule never wheel alone.

I have a hand held that has poor range so I need to get something better, but I have not figured out a good place to put it when wheeling.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:01 PM
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I love my Arizona Rocky Road antenna mounts and radio mount -- no drilling required. The club I'm in, CBs are mandatory and ham radios are encouraged. CBs have pretty limited range, they're great for trail communication but don't count on it for getting help in an emergency. Ham radios are great for communication over a wide area. No license needed for CB, but for ham you do need to pass a test and pay a small fee. But they publish all the questions, along with the correct answers, to help you pass the course, and the fee is only enough to reimburse the test-givers for their actual costs, typically about $5 or so.

As far as CBs go, when I did my research, it was pretty much a choice between the handheld Cobra 75 WX ST or one of the Uniden models. I went for the Uniden 510, it's the lowest end Uniden, less than $50, so if it gets stolen out of the Jeep, who cares. I got mine from Walcott CB.

Be sure to tune your CB antenna or you will destroy your radio when you transmit. Google "cb antenna tuning".
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:29 PM
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Unfortunately communication between a CB and an FRS radio is impossible. However "some" CB's (Export Radio's) can communicate with "some" HAM bands. Specificaly 10 and 12 meters. However most people who are new to HAM only utilize the 2m band which is pretty far up there in the MHz range.

Range is determined by antenna height, frequency, and power. The higher in the Mhz range you go the more line of sight dependent your signal is. The least performing setup in regards to range is probably a hand held FRS radio, followed closely by a hand held CB. The hand held CB is held back by its little "rubber ducky" antenna. The best performer could be a 2m radio, however you would need to be in range of a repeater to get the most benefit. CB falls in between, a best case mobile to mobile scenario will net you about 15 miles of range on decent equipment. This last weekend on the Texas PINS trip I spoke with someone at mile marker 10 while I was at 25 and had a very good signal on him. Of course we were both on the beach with nothing between us but air. Personally I think everyone wheeling should at least have a CB. A step above that would be a sideband capable CB.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:58 AM
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most everybody around here uses CB radios of some sort or an other. RubyDoo has a simple uniden radio with a radio shack stainless steel whip antenia and also carries a portable CB as well.
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:24 AM
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cb seems to be the way to go, almost evereybody has one, they're cheap ,and they work good in close range.
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:39 AM
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Personally I have a CB, however if you get a pair of walkie-talkies, you always have to remember spare batteries, the CB works off you rig... Besides, CB can generally, depending on the area reach emergency personel also where a walkie talkie usually only has a few channels....
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:48 AM
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To summarize...I'm reading that a CB is the best bang for the buck as far as general communication on the trail. The bigger the antenna the better as far as range.

Can some handhelds be connected to a vehicle mounted antenna?

------------------------------

I have a Cobra built RadioShack CB with all the bells and whistles. Some of those options are: internal tuner device, NOAA weather radio reception, output for a speaker for 'PA' (Public Address) mode, etc.

Tuning is critical for CB's and can cause damage to the electronics if not tuned within a tolerable range. Some of the fancier CB's contain their own tuning meters, so it may be beneficial to spend a little more to spend less on a tuning device (unless you can borrow one).

Antennas are also very important. Some of the better antennas have a "tunable tip" that can help dial in better performance (and price is only a couple dollars more). Since CB communication is "line of sight", the taller the antenna, the longer the range. Keep the hieght of the antenna tip in mind when mounting the antenna.

Mounting an antenna is easy, but consider several things. 1) How high will the tip be? Higher is better for communication, but too high can begin to hit stuff on the trail, AND may also require you to remove it to park in a garage, 2) Where is the best location? Rear of vehicle is typical. I prefer the center of the vehicle somewhere on the tire carrier as it seems to help raise the tip and keep it away from brush on the sides of the vehicle. Rear bumper corners are also common, but consider the brush.

Where to mount the CB itself? There are many locations within the vehicle. Do you want it hidden, out of site, easy to reach, etc. There are many threads here with pictures and directions for mounting. I placed mine below the glovebox which seems to be a common place. I wanted it within reach, but not blocking the already limited view thru the windshield. For the handset, I used a bracket that mounts next to the radio. I also chose to wire a power on/off switch prior to the CB for added protection.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:43 PM
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You "can" use a linear to push the range of the CB much much further. I have a 250 Watt. This enables you to talk for a 30+ mile range.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bofer84 View Post
You "can" use a linear to push the range of the CB much much further. I have a 250 Watt. This enables you to talk for a 30+ mile range.
What is a "linear"?
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