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  • What kind of radio (CB) do you use?

    What kind of cb/walkie-talkie/miscelleneous radio do you use? We just picked up a hand held unit the other day. Why? Because at $44 its dirt cheap, no antennas to mount, no extra hardware to buy, and we can bring from vehicle to vehicle as we need it. Haven't had to use it yet, so I'm not sure how well it works. Though I'm sure it'll be more than adequate for trail use. What is your preference in radios and how do they stack up?
    It's not the size of your tire, it's how you place it!

    '98 wrangler 4" superlift rockrunner kit, adjustable trackbar, 33's, rear EZlocker,
    and Kargomaster rack.

  • #2
    I've owned 2 CBs from Radio Shack. Both have performed well. Both have listed for less than $50. A good Firestik or Wilson 4' antenna is about $25. A bit of coax and your set.

    The hand held will not have any range. You will miss more than you will hear.

    Rick knows a good CB shop up there, maybe he can chime in.
    Last edited by blkTJ; 10-26-03, 11:22 PM.
    myJeeprocks.com

    "in the end... the rocks always win."

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    • #3
      Brian is right about the range of the hand held CB's. They will work better if you can add a external antenna, but otherwise they dont' do so well.

      Keep in mind that CB's are limited to a maximum of 4 watts legally. Pretty much any CB you buy will transmit at 4 watts, so all the difference is in the antenna. 1/4 wave is the way to go. It will out perform any other readily available antenna out there. The downside is that they are friggin long, and can swing around on the trail and hit people, so you really should find a way to tie it down to avoid injuries. Some clubs will not let you run with them because of the potential for injury.

      Personally, I run a cobra CB (dont recall the model #), and a 1/4 wave stainless antenna. Works great, within the confines of the CB. In addition, I run a Icom v-8000 2-meter radio. That one will reach out and touch someone. It transmitts at (up to) 75 watts. You need a FCC license to run it, but after you do, you will not want to go back to CB's. The 2-meter band is not nearly as popular as the CB, and you have a ton of frequencies (channels) to choose from. It is not uncommon for one of the groups I run with to do a 3 or 4 day trip with out hearing anyone except those in our group. We can also spread the group out over miles and miles, and still have crystal clear communication (that means no one has to eat any dust, and each of us can wander off to check something out if we want, and not have to worry about getting seperated from the group). It is not uncommon to pick up a repeater and talk with someone a hundred miles away (I had a conversation with someone in San Diego, while I was sitting in front of my garage in San Pedro). I'm tellin 'ya, 2 meter is the way to go.

      Another example of 2-meter usefullness.....during our last Death Valley trip...one of the families left a day early (his family wanted warm soft beds to sleep in), so we were able to get ahold of someone he knew up in Cerro Gordo, while we were still driving around in Death Valley, they were able to make dinner and lodging arrangements before they headed up there. A CB never would have (legally) been able to accomplish that.
      Last edited by goodtimes; 10-27-03, 12:03 AM.
      olllllllo <--- If you can read that, roll me over!

      Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.

      KG6OWO

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      • #4
        Originally posted by blkTJ
        I've owned 2 CBs from Radio Shack. Both have performed well. Both have listed for less than $50. A good Firestik or Wilson 4' antenna is about $25. A bit of coax and your set.

        The hand held will not have any range. You will miss more than you will hear.

        Rick knows a good CB shop up there, maybe he can chime in.
        Thanks Brian. But we already know to buy the CB from Radio Shack. It's just that WE don't have the money to burn for a CB, antenna, and wiring if needed and then mount it. I (Sandra) have had CBs before and I'm trying not to sound rude. But when you don't have the money you settle for second best. And for trail wise we don't need a whole lot of range to begin with, right? The CBs that my family had were with wide range that's because we used them to talk to Truckers to find out travel info. And I totally agree with you that the CBs from Radio Shack are excellent! My family owned 3, but no longer have them. Anyways, we only bought what we could afford right now. Anyone else have opinions on hand held CBs? This is our first hand held CB.
        1993 Wrangler Black, 4" ProComp Lift, 33s.
        Glad to be back in California!

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        • #5
          Brian, does the 2-meter transmitt and recieve CB bands as well? Or is this an alternative radio option that everyone would have to purchase?
          myJeeprocks.com

          "in the end... the rocks always win."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by king4wd2
            Thanks Brian. But we already know to buy the CB from Radio Shack. It's just that WE don't have the money to burn for a CB, antenna, and wiring if needed and then mount it. I (Sandra) have had CBs before and I'm trying not to sound rude. But when you don't have the money you settle for second best. And for trail wise we don't need a whole lot of range to begin with, right? The CBs that my family had were with wide range that's because we used them to talk to Truckers to find out travel info. And I totally agree with you that the CBs from Radio Shack are excellent! My family owned 3, but no longer have them. Anyways, we only bought what we could afford right now. Anyone else have opinions on hand held CBs? This is our first hand held CB.
            look up.
            myJeeprocks.com

            "in the end... the rocks always win."

            Comment


            • #7
              Brian, the CB and 2 meter do not transmit on the same bands. You will only be able to talk to other people with a 2 meter tuned to the same freq. Just like with a CB....you can only talk with other people with a CB tuned to the same channel.

              Even if it could, you would lose much of the advantage of the 2 meter. The lack of power from a CB is what creates the lack of transmission distance. So yes, you would need more than one (preferrably the whole group) to be running the 2-meter for it to be usefull.
              olllllllo <--- If you can read that, roll me over!

              Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.

              KG6OWO

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by goodtimes
                Brian is right about the range of the hand held CB's. They will work better if you can add a external antenna, but otherwise they dont' do so well.
                But is the hand held good for a range of 15 Jeeps? That is our main question. You say it doesn't do well, but no one has said what the main range is. On our hand held it says 5miles, is it that or less? Will it work for 2miles? That's all we got it for. Thanks.
                1993 Wrangler Black, 4" ProComp Lift, 33s.
                Glad to be back in California!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by goodtimes
                  Brian, the CB and 2 meter do not transmit on the same bands. You will only be able to talk to other people with a 2 meter tuned to the same freq. Just like with a CB....you can only talk with other people with a CB tuned to the same channel.

                  Even if it could, you would lose much of the advantage of the 2 meter. The lack of power from a CB is what creates the lack of transmission distance. So yes, you would need more than one (preferrably the whole group) to be running the 2-meter for it to be usefull.
                  understood. that's what i figured. now, if we could just talk everyone in the 4x4 world to ditch their CBs we'd be in buisness.
                  myJeeprocks.com

                  "in the end... the rocks always win."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by king4wd2
                    But is the hand held good for a range of 15 Jeeps? That is our main question. You say it doesn't do well, but no one has said what the main range is. On our hand held it says 5miles, is it that or less? Will it work for 2miles? That's all we got it for. Thanks.
                    100 yds?

                    all joking aside. I used to have a glass mounted CB antenna. It didn't have a ground plain and didn't transmit or recieve worth a darn.
                    myJeeprocks.com

                    "in the end... the rocks always win."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by king4wd2
                      .... It's just that WE don't have the money to burn for a CB, antenna, and wiring if needed and then mount it. ....

                      And for trail wise we don't need a whole lot of range to begin with, right? ....
                      Of course you don't have any money...you have a jeep!

                      On the trail you don't need much distance.....but it comes in real handy when guiding (or being guided) to a trail, or when you are having trouble (flat tire, etc) on the way to the trail...you can let people know where you are, and that they should wait a few extra minutes for you. With the hand helds, you can usually attach a external antenna to them. That is something you might consider down the road when you have a few extra bucks around.
                      olllllllo <--- If you can read that, roll me over!

                      Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.

                      KG6OWO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blkTJ
                        [B]100 yds?
                        If you are LUCKY! With a open top it will be better, but even then, you probably won't be able to talk to anyone more than 50 yards out. One of the SoCal guys I used to run around with (some of you know him...Paul, the guy with the little brown blazer--who recently bought a YJ) used a hand held....we had a hard time talking to him, so we just talked about him instead ( :lol: ). Once he added the external antenna, it was much better.

                        Originally posted by blkTJ
                        understood. that's what i figured. now, if we could just talk everyone in the 4x4 world to ditch their CBs we'd be in buisness.
                        Yup, that is the problem. But people are coming around. A year ago, the group I mentioned earlier only had 2 or 3 2-meter's among the whole group. Now there are about 20 of us with them. We have done trips where we never even turned the CB's on, we ran strictly 2 meters.
                        olllllllo <--- If you can read that, roll me over!

                        Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.

                        KG6OWO

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by goodtimes
                          Of course you don't have any money...you have a jeep!
                          True! Marvin the Jeep is ours lock, stock and barrel The Dodge Neon R/T however, is what we're still paying for

                          Originally posted by goodtimes but it comes in real handy when guiding (or being guided) to a trail, or when you are having trouble (flat tire, etc) on the way to the trail...you can let people know where you are, and that they should wait a few extra minutes for you.
                          Knock on wood, we've never experienced that yet, except for being stuck on a rock on the front differential. They told us to honk the horn then if we had problems. That was when we first got the Jeep and took it to the 1998 Jeep Jamboreee in Big Bear.

                          Originally posted by goodtimes If you are LUCKY! With a open top it will be better, but even then, you probably won't be able to talk to anyone more than 50 yards out. One of the SoCal guys I used to run around with (some of you know him...Paul, the guy with the little brown blazer--who recently bought a YJ) used a hand held....we had a hard time talking to him, so we just talked about him instead ( :lol: ). Once he added the external antenna, it was much better.
                          Okay that totally confused me. With the top down it will be better, but only 50 yards? If you're lucky? Then again, I'm might sound a bit sexist, but this woman is usually confused Usually I'm the one that's suppose to confuse Tom (king4wd), or at least, that's my job as his wife!
                          1993 Wrangler Black, 4" ProComp Lift, 33s.
                          Glad to be back in California!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Handhelds stink

                            I have a couple of handhelds from RatShack I picked up on a clearance sale lark. They are OK for about 100 meters or so, outside of the vehicle.

                            Once you are inside the tub of your Jeep, forget it. You might be able to get across 50 meters. Even worse, you won't be able to hear what others are transmitting on account of the crappy rubber ducky "antenna".

                            The fact of the matter is that CB's are pretty much all the same now electronically. The big performance improvement is in the antenna. You won't be able to hear much without a tall, tuned antenna, even if you have a "foot-warmer".

                            As hams say, "You can't work, what you can't receive."

                            Listen to the very fine advice above and shell out the 30 bucks for an inexpensive external whip with a BNC adapter for your handheld.

                            Heck if you want one for free, just PM me as I have a RS 21-972 lying around.

                            It needs a new run of coax as the insulation is worn through. That might cost you ~$10 for a short run of RG58 plus a couple of bucks for the BNC or PL connector, whichever you decide to terminate it with.
                            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
                            2003 TJ Rubicon: 4.5" OME coils; RE SF2; NthDegree TT/oilpan skid/shock shifters; FXD rock rails; Anti-Rock; 5150'

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                            • #15
                              My big concern is theft. In my neighborhood you leave nothing in the vehicle you can't afford to replace. I wish they would come up with a detachable face CB like my CD player. I also have to be able to disconnect the antenna. I am just waiting for the day my radio antenna gets yanked off. (The one on my 280Z got used as a crack pipe. Found it laying on the ground next to the car.)

                              The other thing is where do you mount it? Jeeps have strange flat dashes. Not like the New Beetle where you have enough room for an entire home entertainment center. Seriously...you can plop your laptop up there and watch movies.

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