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  #1  
Old 04-28-2018, 03:58 PM
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Do people still use CB radios?

It's been a long time since I had a CB radio. Are they still used much? I don't hear much about them these days.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:23 PM
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Truck stops still seem to be well stocked with new CB rigs, and Zenithfan1 told me an amusing story of a trip where he was drafting semi-trucks to save gas and they got pissed and all at once changed their driving style to make drafting them not worth while...God only knows if anyone else is still using them.

I've got an old ciglighter emergency CB with a magnetic bassed antenna...Maybe I should try it out on my trip to the ETF next week.
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Old 04-28-2018, 10:21 PM
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I still see and hear them used up here from time to time. Usually it's people asking what the Coq is doing after a storm. Can confirm the truck stops still have one or two on the shelf at any given time.
I know a few people who experiment on the band from time to time. So long as you keep away from 1, 9 and 19 nobody out these parts are going to call you in.
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:16 PM
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I've tried to get into them over the years but never found it worthwhile. I had a 40 channel digital Johnson & when I sold the van I just let the new owner keep it. The only time it was ever a benefit: learning about a long traffic jam up ahead, and being able to figure out which exit to take. I think it might have worked out twice. I never did have any conversation with anyone, just listened in.

I used to subscribe to Popular Communications (wonder if it's still around?) and the guy who wrote their CB column was always facing an uphill battle. He suggested folks periodically announce on ch.9 that they were monitoring it, in case anybody needed help, and that would therefore encourage people to use it. I tried that once & promptly received a frantic reply from some guy on the night staff at the local power plant who was also monitoring it. He was so garbled that I couldn't understand him, and he couldn't hear what I was saying, either! He was just sure that somebody badly needed his help-poor guy! Probably had that radio sitting there quiet 24/7 for years, caps dried out so you couldn't hold a conversation. I tried to explain that I was just monitoring it, too. I didn't bother anymore after that!
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:26 AM
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Do they still do the old Breaker One Nine for eastbound travel and Breaker One Seven for southbound chatter?
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:27 AM
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I've had this one since before the big "CB craze" of the 1970s and every so often I turn it on , mostly nothing except the truck guys on 19 . Over the years I've pretty much gotten rid of all of my CB radio equipment but I've always kept this one because nothing CB wise sounds as good as a good tube CB with a D-104 . Kinda like "Bell Bottoms" , it may make a comeback someday ...

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Old 04-29-2018, 11:54 AM
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I see a LOT of CB's for sale locally on CL and Offerup. What would be a good one to get if I want to see what's what's on the breaker breaker, come on?
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:59 AM
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I had a factory-installed one in my '77 Thunderbird, (and still have a portable on the shelf), but I found it was useless for my commute to work because of all the inane chatter interspersed with practically no traffic/accident reports. I was in a carpool with CB users, and the greatest information exchanged between them and other fellow emplyees was when there was a pretty woman standing at a bus stop somewhere along the route.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombie1210 View Post
I see a LOT of CB's for sale locally on CL and Offerup. What would be a good one to get if I want to see what's what's on the breaker breaker, come on?
I think activity varies by region and time of day , and pretty much since the 1970s , now that Burt Reynolds & "Smokey & the Bandit" have faded into history , no one really uses the "Breaker Breaker" lingo anymore , at least what I hear the few times I actually turn it on .

Now , if you want to give a listen , a lot of "shortwave" radios of the 70s and 80s had the 11 meter (27MHZ) CB band included in their frequency ranges . If you want to try to talk back to those you hear any "Cobra" CB you find will do the job provided it's actually in operable condition . Of course you'll need a proper CB antenna , don't bother with "1/4 wave" , anything "1/2 wave" or above will do .

If you want to buy what was arguably the best CB radio , the "Browning Golden Eagle" was THE rig to have back when the cellphone hadn't yet replaced the CB (I got $500 for mine when I sold it 25 years ago )
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:21 PM
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No speed trap reports? That's what I remember finding most useful.

Brings to mind a story...

I was traveling with some friends, heading east on I-90 out of Seattle, going to Montana. We used the CB to chat between vehicles about where and when to make pit stops. No cell phones back then.

There is a section that's pretty much out in the desert, amongst the tumbleweeds. I managed to get myself pulled over for doing about 7mph over the limit, and was having a conversation with the officer talking to me through my window. The CB was still on, and my buddy in the other car who was behind me by a mile or so, comes on and says "Watch your speed, the cop who runs this stretch is a REAL A-HOLE. ". It came through LOUD and CLEAR. Ooops.

I remember looking at the cop's face. He seemed less than pleased at first. Then he gave me a goofy grin and said "I can be, but just slow down and be on your way". He handed me my license and that was it.

That's my funny CB story.
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Old 04-29-2018, 01:49 PM
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Cool that the cop had a sense of humor !

I'm going strictly from (faded) memory here so take it for what it's worth ;

Even before cellphones put the final nail in CB's coffin , there was an incidence of very heavy "sunspot activity" that made the CB almost useless . I think I recall sunspots going in a cycle , like they get bad every 11 years or something like that and that some cycles are less disruptive than others . I recall seeing the entire 27MHZ band being completely swamped (signal meter pinned on 10) with "space noise" and at that time just about all the hardcore CBers I knew hung up the mic or began running illegal power amplifiers to cut through the noise . After the bad sunspot cycle died down , some people still ran their kickers the space noise was replaced by "Mr. super Ego with a mic at 1000 watts* and it was then (early/mid 1980s maybe) that I hung up the mic for good . Since your thread has got me curious I guess I'll have to put up an antenna and see what the good ol 11 meter band is up to .

* FCC maximum allowed CB power is 4 watts for AM , and if I recall correctly around 11 watts for sideband .
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:26 PM
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I remember some VERY loud guys with southern drawls. Walked all over everybody, and were really annoying. And while traveling, you'd go through towns and then the kids would be all over the place with stupid blabber. And then there was the truck stop hookers in the evenings, setting up their clients. All of this was the last time I owned a CB radio....in the 70's.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:57 PM
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High sunspot activity increases "skip", in C.B. parlance, in other words long distance propagation. We are approaching a solar minimum and so the skip is crap. It is a real low minimum and the next peak is supposed to be pretty low. Propagation in general sucks and will do so for years at this point.

Around here in the sticks there is very little C.B. activity. A few loggers and truck drivers but you could go weeks hearing nothing. Plenty of ham activity though.
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:01 AM
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I had a CB radio back in the late '60s- '70s, before I got my amateur radio license. Not a full-power set, just a 100-mw walkie-talkie on channel 7 (a Lafayette Radio HA-470), and later channel 14 (several small W/Ts, one of which I swear must have had a regenerative receiver section; no kidding, that thing was as broad as a barn as far as selectivity went!). My dad had one (a full-power 5-watt mobile rig) in his car as well. However, shortly after I moved to my current residence, I tuned across what was the Citizens Band on my Icom IC-725 ham rig. I never heard such nonsense in my life! Nothing like the Citizens Band I had known and used 25 years earlier.

I think (in fact, I am all but sure) the Citizens Band started to go downhill as soon as the FCC ceased issuance of CB licenses. The band is now just an unholy mess, and getting worse with each passing day. When the last CB license expired, there went the neighborhood, as the expression goes. The once-orderly, organized, civilized Citizens Band then turned into an unregulated mess, the "Wild West" of the RF spectrum.

Do I miss CB? Absolutely not. Amateur radio is several cuts above CB, and always will be; one reason for this, of course, is that amateur stations must be licensed by the FCC. I will admit, however, to having had a CB radio alongside my ham rig in the '80s, but I did not advertise that fact on the amateur bands because of what some amateurs of that time might have said had I so much as mentioned CB on an amateur frequency. I know better than to even so much as suggest CB on the one 2m repeater I can use in this area, or when I am in contact with someone over Echolink; if I did, I could start one heck of an argument, or worse.
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Old 05-05-2018, 03:06 AM
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Actually before the license was no longer required it was a mess , every once in a while things can get messy on 80 meters , I've listened and heard it and others told me about it too.
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