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Thread: CB Radio Observation

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    Default CB Radio Observation



    As many of you know I became a Ham Operator about a year and a half ago. During that time I have been to three hamfests: No Co Amateur Radio Club’s, Longmont Amateur Radio Club’s, and this am Boulder Amateur Radio Club’s. As far as Ham gear goes they have been a bust. Very old gear with rediculous prices.

    That said I have noticed at each a lot of CB gear going for cheap. Today I saw several newer midlands for apprx $20. If someone is interested in getting a CB on the cheap this may be a good route to explore.

    Just an FYI. Most fests cost a $5 entrance fee. Next one I am aware of will be in Loveland I believe late Jan or early Feb. There are numerous other clubs Denver, Castle Rock, Co Springs and most have their own fests.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Nice to know. How about antennas - ample choices or scarce?

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Haven’t noticed any antenna. Lots of cable and fittings though.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Tom previously posted:
    "As many of you know I became a Ham Operator about a year and a half ago."

    Tom, have you been using the ham radio out on trail runs? If so, is it on 'simplex?'
    ___________
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    dr350jja previously posted:
    "Tom, have you been using the ham radio out on trail runs? If so, is it on 'simplex?'"

    Yes I use it on the trail. Mine mobile is a quad band. 2, 6, 10 meter plus 70 cm. I only use 2 meter and 70 cm on the trail due to my quad band antenna height. I can monitor two bands at the same time. I have one band scanning all my programmed 2 and 70 cm repeaters. I use the 2 meter national calling frequency(simplex) for rig to rig comms on the other band.

    Also on occasion have sota comms while on the trail. SOTA is a ham activity and stands for summits on the air. For instance I spoke with someone on the summit of Longs peak a few weeks ago while on the trail. Those typically are 2 meter simplex.

    Also have spoken several times while on the trail with a guy 70 miles east of dia.

    Last year I had comms via a repeater on squaw pass while I was on the ridge above Bonanza SW of Salida. That with a $30 Baofeng.

    Mobile radio is a Yaesu 8900R. Does up to 50 watts transmission. Have only ever needed 5 watts though.


    If you are interested I can share how you can get into ham legally for only the cost of the Baofeng or other radio. There are free training and exam sessions available and free apps for your phone or tablet with all the actual exam questions.
    For my tecnicians license I just used one of the free apps for apprx an hour a day for three weeks and aced the exam.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Another ham here. I went to the BARCfest today in Longmont and didn’t buy anything.

    Sadly, hamfests have been steadily declining for at least the last 10 years. Online selling has really changed the dynamics just as it has in other markets for used items. Also, Asian manufacturing has reduced the cost of brand new items to the point that used ones are often not worthwhile, such as mobile antennas or throw-away radios like Baofeng.

    Many used items including transceivers are available from individual sellers on QRZ or, if you’re lucky, on Craigslist locally. And of course there is eBay. As usual, caveat emptor.

    BTW, new items can be purchased from HRO, DX Engineering, and many others. HRO has physical stores and one in south Denver so you can try a radio before you buy. HRO also handles good condition used equipment. I believe that Universal Radio might still handle good used equipment as well.

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Tom previously posted:
    "If you are interested I can share how you can get into ham legally for only the cost of the Baofeng or other radio."

    I got a ham license 8 years ago, after I joined FR4x4, with the idea we would use them for trail comms. But that never happened. Most I've used it for was to participate in some on-air nets. None of the groups I was wheeling with ever made the switch to ham radio. (still using CB) I use the Yaesu VX-6R Dual-Band HT.
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    Jim
    KD0MGU

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    Tom (October 8th, 2018)

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    I have a cheap HAM for emergencies but have never used it. For the trail a CB is fine, you're talking to people you can see so reception is usually fine with any setup, even the little family band walkie talkies can work.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Paul previously posted:
    "I have a cheap HAM for emergencies but have never used it. For the trail a CB is fine, you're talking to people you can see so reception is usually fine with any setup, even the little family band walkie talkies can work."

    You’d be suprised Paul at how much clearer and good mobile ham radio is over any cb I have ever heard. The guy I mentioned 70 miles east of dia was like he was standing next to me.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Got my license a little over a year ago. My club uses HAM when we split into two or more groups on the trail but mostly use CB.

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    I'm a HAM as well (KD0VQN) - I'd be interested in getting comms going with y'all from here in the Springs. I agree the quality is head and shoulders above CB

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    I also have an amateur radio operator license, and a handheld radio. Everyone bring yours along the next time we go out!

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Tom previously posted:
    "You’d be suprised Paul at how much clearer and good mobile ham radio is over any cb I have ever heard. The guy I mentioned 70 miles east of dia was like he was standing next to me."

    Agreed, I just meant that noone uses them, and there is no real point to having a more capable radio when you're talking to people so close you can see them. They're cool "kit", cool hobby, and for sure they're better performance than a CB, but on most trail runs the CB is fine and much more common.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    My interest in HAM is for longer range for emergency use when out solo. We'll see what progresses...

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Max previously posted:
    "I also have an amateur radio operator license, and a handheld radio. Everyone bring yours along the next time we go out!"

    Question. Is it a ham license or a gmrs license. Both are amateur radio licenses but one is not allowed to transmit on each others frequencies.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Actually the Amateur Radio Service (ham radio) is quite different from GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service). They are governed by completely different sections of the FCC regulations and are for different purposes. GMRS radios are not allowed to be modified, including the antenna, and they must be type accepted by the FCC to be sold or used. You are not allowed to make your own GMRS transmitter, or use an amplifier. They are very limited in power output and to a few specific frequency channels.

    FRS (Family Radio Service) shares some channels with GMRS but is restricted to even less power output. CB (Citizen’s Band) is limited to other specific channels and has very limited power output. Radios for these also must be type accepted and can’t legally be modified. No technical knowledge is needed to use any of these, or to get a license in the case of GMRS.

    On the other hand, hams can make their own transmitter or modify any radio for use in the many ham radio bands as long as certain technical requirements are met. Hams are also allowed to make and use amplifiers, and to use and make any sort of antenna they want. Hams can generally transmit up to 1500 Watts, and on any frequency in their bands. They can also transmit several different voice modes, many digital data modes, television, and of course the old Morse Code.

    This freedom is different than any other radio service in the US. Accordingly, in order to get one of the three classes of ham license, one must pass written tests of technical knowledge about radio and electronics and the FCC regulations. The purpose of the service is basically to allow for experimentation, training of people in radio and electronics, and provide emergency communications when called upon.

    (edited to fix paragraph spacing)

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Nice info - Thanks!

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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    Max previously posted:

    Good info but ARRL is the most expensive route to get your license I know of.

    Just an fyi.
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    Default Re: CB Radio Observation



    newracer previously posted:
    "Got my license a little over a year ago. My club uses HAM when we split into two or more groups on the trail but mostly use CB."

    Hmmm, did not know you where a ham.
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