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Amateur "HAM" Radio Radio Amateurs, Morse Code, Transmitter Tubes, Vintage Equipment, Antennas

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I’m an old CBer


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  #41  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:06:53 PM
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

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Originally Posted by Bob Willman View Post
I thought that the lack of respect and the language may have been a factor in the decline. For a period of time it was not pleasant to listen especially if the family members were present.
You've got that right! For a time, especially so if you hung out on channel 19, they would fill your ears with words that you didn't need to hear. Also, they would make stupid noises just to screw up the channel, gain attention to themselves, and create a repulsive mess. I never did appreciate the need for echo boxes that added more distortion to the S/N ratio. You must admit, anything could happen on CB Radio. I never heard any of that crap on ham radio and if it did happen, we were pretty much self policing. In the QST magazine, there was a monthly column called Happenings where you could read about the fines levied against extremely wayward individuals.

I think it was a different level of respect for the privilege of operating the Amateur Radio frequencies. A ham worked to learn Morse code and the rules, paid good money for equipment and treated it accordingly. Yet another simpleton with a $20 radio could go on 11 meters and let it all hang out. That reputation may have been the demise of the Citizen's Band. Actually, now that a lot of requirements have been lifted from the ham bands, it may be a free for all there as well. I haven't been on since the code requirement was lifted. Cell phones and internet have replaced it, however I do have equipment for that "rainy" day.
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  #42  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:26:57 PM
Jet Provost Jet Provost is offline
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

I may be selling a vintage Yaesu station I have? Pretty close to mint. Bought off ebay 2 1/2 years ago. Still in the shipping boxes. All matched equipment. Think I paid $1600.
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  #43  
Old 05-10-2019, 01:21:16 PM
Power Power is offline
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

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Originally Posted by Harry View Post
You've got that right! For a time, especially so if you hung out on channel 19, they would fill your ears with words that you didn't need to hear. Also, they would make stupid noises just to screw up the channel, gain attention to themselves, and create a repulsive mess. I never did appreciate the need for echo boxes that added more distortion to the S/N ratio. You must admit, anything could happen on CB Radio. I never heard any of that crap on ham radio and if it did happen, we were pretty much self policing. In the QST magazine, there was a monthly column called Happenings where you could read about the fines levied against extremely wayward individuals.

I think it was a different level of respect for the privilege of operating the Amateur Radio frequencies. A ham worked to learn Morse code and the rules, paid good money for equipment and treated it accordingly. Yet another simpleton with a $20 radio could go on 11 meters and let it all hang out. That reputation may have been the demise of the Citizen's Band. Actually, now that a lot of requirements have been lifted from the ham bands, it may be a free for all there as well. I haven't been on since the code requirement was lifted. Cell phones and internet have replaced it, however I do have equipment for that "rainy" day.
Harry, I can tell you from our recent 2000 mile trips, still a lot of words & noises you don't want to hear & a few echo boxes. Gets real colorful rite quick when one trucker thinks another one cut him off or did not show proper respect.

Most units seem to have way more than 4 watts allowed.

Last year, we had something unbelievable happen. Someone, I think a truck near me, came in so loud that even with volume down he was too loud. Turned radio off and still heard him! I was driving and told wife to quick disconnect antenna cable. She disconnected power cord instead.
We still heard him- faintly!!!!

That over powered transmitter took out the squelch circuit on my radio. Now you hear the hissing and noise all the time, making radio useless. I have a schematic, and pretty good idea what was destroyed, but no longer do board level repairs. Parts way too small. Need tweezers and a real steady hand.
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  #44  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:49:22 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

The unfortunate reality, is that CB suffers issues that are clearly unrecoverable:

1) It's use doesn't require any substantial investment in learning of radio science

2) Equipment, both legitemate, and illegitemate, is marketed very specifically to a market that lacks scientific understanding

When an individual knows basically nothing of how radio energy is transmitted, propogates, and is recieved, and nothing of how modulation and modes work, they rely on basic, but typically irrelevant ratings and pie-in-the-sky advertising by unscrupulous individuals all-too-willing to lie.

Case in point, a local individual a decade or so ago had a van equipped with a so-called '10kw linear', and a whip antenna cobbled from several pieces he acquired at a truckstop. To make this run, he had three 100A 12v alternators and 2 12v batteries. While his '100-pill' linear may have actually been capable of carrying enough current to equivocate 10kw, that would have been somewhere in the range of 757A... if all he was doing was keying the microphone, and adding no modulation.

His 'boast' was nothing more than a desire to attract attention, and be respected as a wizard... by people who were clearly only slightly more ignorant than he.

Yes, the Amateur community knew all about him. Many of us tried to sit down with him and convince him to become a HAM, where he could legally learn and experiment, but he dismissed it. We tried to explain that his system was not performing as he thought... showed him spectrograph shots from our service monitors... it was very clear that MOST of his transmission energy was WELL out of the 27mhz band... his primary emmission was actually occurring up in the mid 80mhz range, but also 108, and 135mhz.
We also advised him that he wasn't 'breaking a law' as much as he was violating an international treaty... but that all fell on deaf ears, too.

it's unfortunate that people get this way... they construct their own reality around bragging rights, and never genuinely learn.

CB is Citizen's Band... a simple radio service using Amplitude Modulation and 5w or less of carrier, to provide inexpensive local general purpose public communication. It's limited to the vicinity of 27mhz, as that frequency range was not allocated to other critical services in the US's HEMISPHERE, and at that power level, would not cause interference to other areas of the world that use 27mhz for other functions.

It was enhanced to allow SSB later on, and while the box on the radio advertises 'higher power', it's actually not 'higher'... it's just that the carrier and the unused sideband is suppressed, so the transmission energy is focused on carrying the message, not wasting it elsewhere. While many think the advantage to an SSB CB is 'higher power', it's not... it's a SUPERIOR RECIEVER. Typical CBs are very poorly made. An AM diode detector is easy to make with just two components, SSB reception requires either a Beat Frequency Oscillator and a filter chain, or a Product Detector... the latter being a very much better solution, but a bit more expensive to incorporate into a CB.

Yes, I own a CB, with SSB. It's basically never on, and for all the reasons stated above... it's generally not a 'polite' span of airways, and it's clearly flooded with people who are incredibly proud of knowing practically nothing of electronics and RF physics. The best use for a CB, is when I arrive at the quarry or scrap yard with my dump trailer... turn it on, tell 'em how many tons, or what product, get my directions, and pull forward.

Ham Radio, however, is for people who want to learn about electronics, physics, and how electromagnetic energy is generated, 'sent' and recieved. It's for people who aren't satisfied with 6kw out of two $20 fiberglass antennas on their mirrors, proud to being able to 'talk out' past the 210-mile 'limit'.

When one takes initiative, the HAM radio realm offers the ability to learn-while-doing, to LEGALLY contact ANY OTHER HAM in the world, at any time, on a HUGE choice of bands from extremely low, all the way up into microwave frequencies, using not just factory-bought-and-made, but built completely-from-scratch-in-your-basement.

The big difference is understanding, and responsibility. One service has and requires it, the other has none.
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  #45  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:45:27 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

With all due respect to the previous post, I learned a great deal from the CB hobby prior to getting a ham license. RF is RF whether it is on CB or one of the similar ham bands. There are "know it alls" in every walk of life - you just have to figure out which ones really do know it and which ones only think that they do.
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  #46  
Old 05-24-2019, 04:14:30 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

I think dkamp summed it up well, however. You CAN learn a lot from the CB hobby, most who would take the time, would soon move on to the ham hobby, as it allows much more to learn and do.
Yawhoo's are what killed the CB. I had one in the truck for years because I hauled wide, heavy long and tall, and need to talk to the escort vehicles (on lightly used channels). I kept one in one truck for the weather band radio it contained but have none in my current trucks.
When I was young, I had an interest in Ham, but life and other things took over, but had several friends in the hobby. I was always interested in what projects they took on next.
Only need to look around a truckstop, to find the trucks that have "bull horned" ( angled forward) CB antenna to find the ones who know nothing about RF but think they are the "big radio" in the stop!
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  #47  
Old 05-24-2019, 08:55:16 PM
Power Power is offline
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornbinder89 View Post
I think dkamp summed it up well, however. You CAN learn a lot from the CB hobby, most who would take the time, would soon move on to the ham hobby, as it allows much more to learn and do.
Yawhoo's are what killed the CB. I had one in the truck for years because I hauled wide, heavy long and tall, and need to talk to the escort vehicles (on lightly used channels). I kept one in one truck for the weather band radio it contained but have none in my current trucks.
When I was young, I had an interest in Ham, but life and other things took over, but had several friends in the hobby. I was always interested in what projects they took on next.
Only need to look around a truckstop, to find the trucks that have "bull horned" ( angled forward) CB antenna to find the ones who know nothing about RF but think they are the "big radio" in the stop!
Well, I have both - OLD CB license and amateur extra license. Sitting still, antennas on my cars & SUV lean forward just enough so when going 70 MPH the are about vertical to vehicle body.

As I posted before, I find CB useful. Enough truckers still have them that you can get useful highway information, and sometimes some entertaining banter. Most of them are good folks.

All my CB radios are stock 4 watts, which is more than sufficient with a good antenna. Not interested in distance. If I can see the vehicle I am talking to, I cut power to 2 watts. If within a few hundred feet, 1 watt. No reason to be blasting all over and maybe step on someone a few miles away. No one complains they can't hear me, and when I cut power, some also cut theirs.

I am primarily interested in reception a few miles in front of us on the highway we are on, so mount antenna towards rear. Trunk lid on car or way back on SUV roof make antenna forward biased, but leaves enough so if necessary, I can warn people behind me. I found rear bumper mount too inefficient.

I keep the squelch high to block out traffic from other areas. On the open road, we may not hear anything for hours. I never do a "radio check". When we start, a quick keying of mike and watching power meter go up to just a bit below 4 watts lets me know transceiver is operating.
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  #48  
Old 05-25-2019, 05:02:23 AM
Glenn Ayers Glenn Ayers is offline
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

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Originally Posted by cornbinder89 View Post
Only need to look around a truckstop, to find the trucks that have "bull horned" ( angled forward) CB antenna to find the ones who know nothing about RF but think they are the "big radio" in the stop!
I'm gonna bet that those same trucks also have 8" diameter, twin chrome, straight thru, coal stove pipes, sticking up to 13-6

Also betting that their personal pick-up truck is a Dodge .... Jacked up ... Coal stove pipe or two, sticking up thru the bed ... with the "Tow Mirrors" all folded out to maximum width .. and BLUE headlights & fog lights.




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  #49  
Old 05-27-2019, 05:28:26 PM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

Don't forget the 'jewels' hanging from the trailer hitch.
Actually, this is more for the guys who 'wanna bee' a big-truck driver. The 'real' truck drivers are the ones that'd rather be in a car... enjoying a smooth, comfortable, quiet ride home to visit their families.

IMO, the 'cb' industry is just-as-much to blame. Look at the radio equipment. Internally... from an electronics standpoint... they're technologic junk. The reciever is the absolute minimum necessary for a signal to come in, and the transmit section is the least amount necessary to send anything 'out'. They've spent most of the development money on making the display do amber, blue, AND red, and invested most of their (practically nonexistant) R&D on gimmicks that do NOTHING of communications value.

Just imagine What IF:

A CB radio had the RX RF stages of an average ham MOBILE HF... a DSP with adaptive notch... a proper product detector that'd be equally at home in recieving all modes... an audio stage that has real bandpass control, and a transmitter dedicated to TX (not using the AF circuit as the modulator)...

And...

The ability to recieve ALL NOAA VHF channels... and a module that'd run whatever FRS/GMRS/MURS license-free... with PL/CTCSS programmable so that escort cars and oversize loads have easy communication without trash noise...

How about... digital... with 'standard' talkgroups... and the ability to create 'custom' talkgroups... Totally nix the foul language for those that choose a talkgroup (because, by nature of the mode, there HAS to be ID...)

How about incorporating into it a simple X/K/KA band reciever that, when safety vehicles are off the side of the road, they turn on a radar gun or beacon that broadcasts a safety message like "Accident ahead, slow and merge left" (because radar is line of sight, and very directional)...

Oh, and while they're at it, make it compact. it doesn't take a suitcase to handle 4w... much less all the other things I've noted above. Biggest thing on it would be the display and mebbie four knobs... or make it so the display will remote mount about 12ft from the main unit. If they wanna run a big dorky microphone, that's fine, but there's no need to populate the dashboard with a toaster-oven.

If the 'industry' would offer features greater than chrome, glitz, and gimmickry, the 'service' would certainly regain it's honor. there's plenty of times (going to the scrapyard, or quarry, or landfill, or compost facility) where it'd be nice to be able to dial up a comm channel and get directions, but not enough value to warrant dedicating the space in my truck. My Icom dual-bander hides under the seat, and the handset is in the console...
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:24:45 AM
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Default Re: I知 an old CBer

Dang! All this talk about big foot linyeer seat warmers n what not makes me itch for the good old days when ya could look forward to upgrading from a 23 Channel rig to one of them thar modern new fangled 40 channel rigs!

What are they "talkin" bout up there? I'm missing out! Gotta git me one now! I know Street Rod Magician and Otis T Fudpucker be trashing me on channel 24. I can hear um bleedin down!

I got my heart set on the best rig available. It's got 40 channels, Delta Tune and RF Gain! Yup! Gonna git me a brand spankin new Kraco CB Super De Luxe! Yessereee! Oh boy! I'll be the first to spit on that shiny new mic! And that big round illuminated "what am I hittin ya at" meter is the cat's meow!

Wanna see it? OK, here's a peek...don't tell anyone I showed it to ya....
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