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What type of communication radio is best?

Mr. Bills

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Any real reason to use a CB for day to day driving?
Not really. A CB is still the most common offroad communications tool and is required equipment in many jeep clubs and at many organized offroad events, but not particularly useful on the highway or in "regular" life.

Keep the items in your Amazon shopping cart (or at least keep the items on your wish list). Then if you ever find the need to have a CB you can get what you need quickly.
 
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Serbonze

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Any real reason to use a CB for day to day driving? I see the off road uses, but honestly get out less frequently that I'd like. I pretty well enjoy the TJ over these past 20 years without one. If I'd use it/enjoy it for my frequent long mountain drives or even around town, I'd go for it (everything I need is loaded up in the Amazon cart waiting for a 'click' !)
For me, no. That’s why I’m perfectly happy with my little Midland handheld.
 
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CodaMan

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Any real reason to use a CB for day to day driving? I see the off road uses, but honestly get out less frequently that I'd like. I pretty well enjoy the TJ over these past 20 years without one. If I'd use it/enjoy it for my frequent long mountain drives or even around town, I'd go for it (everything I need is loaded up in the Amazon cart waiting for a 'click' !)
I have found that not many people use CB radios anymore except for the trails. When I installed mine I went on the air for a radio check and it took about 3 weeks for someone to respond. In those 3 weeks I never heard any radio chatter, so mine is off when I DD and the mic is locked up.
 

moab

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I can't leave radios in my Jeep. As I live in LA. And I have a soft top. What are the best recommendations for a handheld CB and HAM? I don't offroad. But have some cross country highway trips and trips way up into the mountains on logging roads. I would want it for emergencies only. I have GMRS handhelds for comms between parties in the same convoy if you will. And am an avid scanner. I own several.

Question: If the truckers no longer use CB. What do they use? I travelled across the entire US one summer as a teenager with an uncle that was a truck driver. It was an instrumental tool for truckers to communicate with each other anonymously. Like cops or weather or whether scales were open or cars broken down ahead or other hazards etc. etc. Alot between oncoming trucker traffic on the highways. Just curious. As oncoming truckers can't possibly have each others cells. I would think in a big city or even rural highways you'd still hear chatter that was valuable. Or do they just rely on the internet now and don't talk to one another?
 

Mr. Bills

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For CB:

(1) Cobra 75 WX ST "all in mic" CB so you can unplug the hand unit and take it inside (or the Midland 75-822), but I like the Cobra better).

(2) Cobra HH50 WX ST - true handheld - with or without a mag mount antenna.

For Ham 2m/70cm:

(1) Handheld from one of the "Big 3" - Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom

(2) Inexpensive Chinese Baofeng UV-5RA, available on Amazon for about $25-30. (There is also a UV-8 but I don't know much about them)

Either option can be coupled with a mag mount antenna or just use the "rubber duck" antenna but accept less range.
 
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reddvltj

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Challis, ID
I can't leave radios in my Jeep. As I live in LA. And I have a soft top. What are the best recommendations for a handheld CB and HAM? I don't offroad. But have some cross country highway trips and trips way up into the mountains on logging roads. I would want it for emergencies only. I have GMRS handhelds for comms between parties in the same convoy if you will. And am an avid scanner. I own several.

Question: If the truckers no longer use CB. What do they use? I travelled across the entire US one summer as a teenager with an uncle that was a truck driver. It was an instrumental tool for truckers to communicate with each other anonymously. Like cops or weather or whether scales were open or cars broken down ahead or other hazards etc. etc. Alot between oncoming trucker traffic on the highways. Just curious. As oncoming truckers can't possibly have each others cells. I would think in a big city or even rural highways you'd still hear chatter that was valuable. Or do they just rely on the internet now and don't talk to one another?
CB use within the trucking industry is still the main form of communication between drivers. And you are correct, you will hear much more traffic in and around major truck stops along the interstates. While new technologies have made keeping up to date on weather weather and traffic conditions, their most reliable form of communication while on the road is still a CB.
 

moab

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Use your cell phone. If you ain't on a trail in the middle of nowhere or spotting your buddy on a run you don't need a radio.
There's no cell service where I go in the WA. Thus the interest in ham or cb. or both.

Glad to hear truckers are still using cb.
 
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Hound Dog

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I still have a Galaxy 88 turned over to CB frequencies plus many more. Don't have my Boomer 600 any more though. I miss it. I could get across the state with it most days.

Most important thing to any radio is tuning the antenna though like Jerry pointed out. The wave has to meet the tip of the antenna just right to transmit optimally and reach out there. Big watts help too and it's nice to tic off the hammies. :rolleyes:
 
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moab

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For CB:

(1) Cobra 75 WX ST "all in mic" CB so you can unplug the hand unit and take it inside (or the Midland 75-822), but I like the Cobra better).

(2) Cobra HH50 WX ST - true handheld - with or without a mag mount antenna.

For Ham 2m/70cm:

(1) Handheld from one of the "Big 3" - Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom

(2) Inexpensive Chinese Baofeng UV-5RA, available on Amazon for about $25-30. (There is also a UV-8 but I don't know much about them)

Either option can be coupled with a mag mount antenna or just use the "rubber duck" antenna but accept less range.
Thank you writing all that out. I also have tuned antennas for various freqs for my scanners that might work.

What kind of distance in the mountains can you expect from say a Baofung? With or without a high gain antenna?
 

pagrey

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Thank you writing all that out. I also have tuned antennas for various freqs for my scanners that might work.

What kind of distance in the mountains can you expect from say a Baofung? With or without a high gain antenna?
In the mountains with difficult terrain you might be lucky to get 2 miles if that. On a hilltop line of sight 50 miles easy. CB or lower frequencies travel further in general. Ham has the advantage that you can use repeaters and effectively communicate any distance if you can hit the local tower. Bang for your buck it is plain impossible to beat the UV-5R and an amateur radio licence. For emergencies you can talk to the plane or helicopter that is looking for you with a UV-5R breaking some rules. A CB is totally useless.
 

AustinJeepTJ

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I have a Cobra 75 WX ST with a 4ft firestik and the passenger side Terraflex taillight mount. I use it mostly on the trails but like to check the weather and marine reports. There is usually a bit of shipping lane chatter from smaller vessels early in the morning. Out by Reiter Foothills ORV in Washington, a lot of those roads are pretty narrow and still see a lot of logging truck action, same with the quarry out by Granite falls, so I'll monitor CB5 and CB7 when I am out there. The chatter is kinda fun. I have had some radio in my car since I was a teenager, so, I am pretty used to it but there aren't near the number of folks chatting as there were.

Most of the time I sit on CB4 for a variety of reasons or listen to CB9/19.
 

DWR

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I have a Cobra 75 WX ST with a 4ft firestik and the passenger side Terraflex taillight mount. I use it mostly on the trails but like to check the weather and marine reports. There is usually a bit of shipping lane chatter from smaller vessels early in the morning. Out by Reiter Foothills ORV in Washington, a lot of those roads are pretty narrow and still see a lot of logging truck action, same with the quarry out by Granite falls, so I'll monitor CB5 and CB7 when I am out there. The chatter is kinda fun. I have had some radio in my car since I was a teenager, so, I am pretty used to it but there aren't near the number of folks chatting as there were.

Most of the time I sit on CB4 for a variety of reasons or listen to CB9/19.
With your mounting location and 4ft antenna does your antenna bang against your top a lot/catch a lot of tree limbs while offroading? Do you run a spring? I just setup my cb (first radio ever) with a Terraflex taillight mount, 4ft firestik, and spring and I’m now worried that I went too long...
 

AustinJeepTJ

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With your mounting location and 4ft antenna does your antenna bang against your top a lot/catch a lot of tree limbs while offroading? Do you run a spring? I just setup my cb (first radio ever) with a Terraflex taillight mount, 4ft firestik, and spring and I’m now worried that I went too long...
I am running a spring. I haven't had issues with too many tree limbs or banging. I suppose it happens on occasion.

I do run into issues in parking garages, though. 😉 A two or even three foot antenna would have probably been more practical.
 

Mr. Bills

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A 4' antenna is only too long if it becomes a problem. For some it isn't, for some it is.

I used a 4' Firestik II antenna with heavy duty spring for awhile but switched to a more flexible 4' Firestik Firefly and no spring. No problems so far.

I use Breedlove all brass quick disconnects, and routinely switch out the four footer for a 2' Firestik II in town so I can get into my garage and public parking structures.

I estimate that I use the 2' antenna 60-70% of the time because I don't always remember to switch before a long trip. Its usually the difference in range that reminds me.
 
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rasband

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I’ve been running a 4’ for the last year, it would bang on the hard top on occasion. That’s an easy fix with a tennis or racquet ball. However I now hit my garage after a recent lift - so I’ll be switching to a 3’ or move it to be on my front bumper for a better ground plain.
 
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