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Mobile CB in the house

ivarr

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
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53
Location
massachusetts
just won a radio shack cb on ebay. ( never had one, but these are seemingly very weird times )
will end up in the jeep at some point, but what do i need to use it in the house for now?
heavy duty regulated power supply seems to be right, but i don't know how many amp's i need. look to range a quite a lot.
 

TJ Jim

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Feb 12, 2021
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Tennessee
Best I remember they usually have a two amp fuse in the fuse holder if it’s still attached. I’d start there.
 
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ivarr

ivarr

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Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
53
Location
massachusetts
You'll need a CB home base antenna as well. Jerry's quite competent in communications, maybe he'll throw out some reccomendations for you.

great.

now wondering if maybe i should have gotten this instead ???
seems kind of like a cb with sort of ham radio mixed in.
i really don't know anything about this stuff.

 

Gilaguy23

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Sep 21, 2021
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A'holeville
Dont expect miracles distance wise with a basic CB. If your doing it for home to boonie wheeling trips in case of a injury or?? Id invest in a sat phone. Thats what our SAR uses as cell service and terrain severly limit range on a CB. Sats arent cheap but whats a life worth ya know.
 
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ivarr

ivarr

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Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
53
Location
massachusetts
Dont expect miracles distance wise with a basic CB. If your doing it for home to boonie wheeling trips in case of a injury or?? Id invest in a sat phone. Thats what our SAR uses as cell service and terrain severly limit range on a CB. Sats arent cheap but whats a life worth ya know.

opposite actually, thinking about cells and satellites being down so looking at analog communication
 

Ray

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Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
70
Location
Keeter Texas
Get you a switching dc power supply and do a little studying / take the ham test. You will be surprised how interesting it can be + a good hobby to go along with Jeeping .
 
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ivarr

ivarr

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
53
Location
massachusetts
You'll need a CB home base antenna as well. Jerry's quite competent in communications, maybe he'll throw out some reccomendations for you.

ok, admittedly should have actually read all the forum descriptions with more attention. maybe a mod could move it to the winch and stuff forum.

thanks man.
 

pagrey

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Apr 10, 2018
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Los Angeles, CA, USA
I just put my CB on a power supply and it draws 0.6A when it's transmitting. Since all CB radios are limited to about the same power levels and really don't vary too much I'd feel 100% comfortable running it on any cheap 12V 1A power block I found at Goodwill. Any modern computer or electronic power supply is generally going to be more than clean enough for a CB. Personally I'd just get the biggest block at a second hand store that said 12-15V on it or Amazon some cheap brick. For home use a 102" metal rod/antenna with good lightning protection, you don't need a commercial antenna. CB is easy stuff.
 
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Dr. Internet

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Feb 4, 2020
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235
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San Antonio
If I were you, I'd sell it on ebay or craigslist. CB is pretty much useless, except in a group within a short range. You won't be talking to South America on CB. If you want to get into radio communications, get your ham license and buy a real radio. Put up a proper antenna and go to it. Also, the language on CB, especially near urban areas, is unacceptable and disgusting. Used to be an innocuous way to speak to fellow travelers on the road or get help. Now, you are much better off with a cell phone. Just my $0.02
 

Dr. Internet

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Feb 4, 2020
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San Antonio
Try it with a CB. You are correct, it is not possible to speak to the guy driving in the other direction, but almost all states now have traffic hot lines you can call, and all states I drive in have hot lines for the State Police (like 55#) if you need help.
Something else I have seen is a piece of paper taped to the side or rear window with the driver's phone number written on it for those who want to talk. (Hands free, please.)
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
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Apr 2, 2020
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8,926
Location
Merritt Island, Fl
Cell phones are point-to-point comms devices, its pretty hard to talk to folks "in the wild". Used to LOVE talking on the CB on road trips - now its pretty silent except for the multi-killowatt guys on 6. But they're fine for trail use.
 

KingCarGuyZ

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Feb 26, 2020
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Dallas, TX
To power the CB in the house you'll need a 12V PS (power supply) most of these are actually closer to 13.8V, thats fine. for a CB, legally, you should only be pushing 4 watts, so you only need a couple of amps of PS, 5 would be plenty, 10-overkill, but wouldn't hurt anything. Much less power at play than the 88 amper I have in my ham-shack, it powers multiple 50watt radios and 1-2 100 watt ones, I still have overhead if I need it.

If you just want to test the radio, any old PS or 12V battery will be fine, if you actually want it to be good you will eventually need to go to a "linear PS" as apposed to the cheaper switching style. The linear ones make less RF noise that is picked up as static by the radio (because we are working with an HF band here, CB's are much more sensitive to powerline noise than GMRS/FRS which is UHF).

OBV you will need an antenna and what not, but thats a whole other post
 
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pagrey

TJ Guru
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Apr 10, 2018
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7,726
Location
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Part of the fun of CB is you can talk cross country when the conditions are good. With communication so easy and inexpensive these days I think the fun factor is gone for most people doing it that way.
 
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KingCarGuyZ

TJ Addict
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Feb 26, 2020
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Dallas, TX
I will say, having CB, Ham, and GMRS CB is definitely the most dead, however it is an old standard. Almost every off-roader I have ever run across has a set of FRS walkie talkies in hand, this commonality is closely followed by CB radio, GMRS and lastly Ham - not to may of us.

If you're just doing line of sight stuff, stick with FRS, its stupid easy, sounds pretty decent and you will be happy enough. This is by far the simplest option, anything mire will have you dealing with external antennas, SWR, ground planes and more. It is worth mentioning in the external antenna world that every thing works, just somethings work much, much better :)

If your trying to talk to truckers, turn the air purple and have the most accurate traffic updates - CB is your friend. it does have a little of the spontaneous "talking to a stranger" fun, but not near as much as Ham, most of the channels other than 19 are dead quiet but with the rise of the solar cycle you might see a little pickup in long distance propagation. I do feel compelled to mention that the FCC finds it illegal to carry on a CB contact with anyone you discover to be more than 250miles from your location, but if we are being honest - no one cares.

GRMS is great for trail comms, you can get some pretty decent range out of them and being that they are up near 460Mhz they suffer less from local noise and sunspot band conditions. in short, your gonna find it much better suited to use as trail comms than CB, they will sound clearer, have shorter antennas and reach plenty far for anything you are going to do on the trails, you do have to pay the $75 license, they do seem to actually check.

Lastly is Ham radio, undoubtably the best of all worlds considering you have access to all kinds of different frequencies and can fine tune your equipment to work exactly how you want it. Ham does have way more people available for "spontaneous contact" and is the only one I would bother to put up at house (unless you have really active GMRS near you, even then I probably wouldn't bother). All that being said, if you don't already want to get into the hobby that is radio, I wouldn't trouble yourself. I mean the tests arn't hard and it "can be cheaper" than GMRS/CB. In all honesty, I love my radios, use them every night - but if you just need trail comms, go FRS/GMRS and be done with it, its a great balance between ease of use and quality for communication for trail comms.
 
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