The Big dummys guide to C.B. radio

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Basic Ham radio equipment is not guaranteed to pick up all of your local emergency services. Some police and fire departments have moved to digital and encrypted systems. Look up your local emergency services frequencies on RadioReference.

A lot of Hams are preppers. But there are videos showing you how to do this on YouTube. This is the major place where Ham loses vs the other radio formats. All of the other types of radio are designed to be turnkey. But there are tradeoffs. When we balance out the pros and cons of each, most survival experts believe the pros of Ham outweigh the extra steps. For example, many turnkey radios are prohibited by law from having removable antennas.

And so on. Ham requires at least a basic license and test that might take you days, including study time. More advanced Ham licenses require more studying. Learning and using the equipment is also harder in Ham than the others. Ham is not nearly as expensive as it used to be. But because the equipment is more powerful and flexible, the costs are generally higher. Although, there are plenty of DIY and used options. In short, Ham radio beats the other types. In that case, East was flat but West had deep mountains. Powered base stations with fixed antennas on your chimney will perform better than a battery-powered handheld unit with a whip antenna.

Since most people want to keep things simple, we tried to evaluate the average practical ranges you could dependably achieve in a mix of common scenarios and environments. In general, flat rural areas have the best range. The more terrain and structures there are in the way, the shorter the range. The same radio might get 10 miles in the country, 5 miles in the suburbs, and miles in the city.

CB Radio For Dummies | WorldwideDX Radio Forum

They are plain lying. Those are the theoretical maximums if you were standing at the highest point in the region, at night, with flat terrain, no buildings, perfect weather, and a blessing from the Radio Gods. CB usually has a range of miles.

So we think it gets impractical to reach those ranges compared to more modern tech like Ham. GMRS users usually report practical ranges of 0. In clear line of sight situations you might get up to 2 miles. A handheld unit might only get a few miles in some circumstances, while a base station on HF bands can bounce off the atmosphere to talk around the globe.

UHF, such as the popular 70 cm band, is generally considered line of sight.

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VHF, including the popular 2 m band, is generally limited by the horizon which may be truncated by buildings etc. HF is where Ham gets really stretchy. Anyone can buy Ham radio equipment and listen to whatever signals they can receive. Then, in an emergency, perhaps you could figure out how to transmit or get lucky. No test required. Anyone can transmit on amateur Ham radio without a license in a bona fide emergency. Even though Ham is getting easier to learn, you do still need to learn. For example, knowing how to access a local signal repeater so you can extend your range from 2 miles to 50 miles could be the key to saving your life.

Since you are not truly prepared until you practice with your gear, we recommend getting at least the most basic license level so you can get to know your radio and how to use it.

You might be able to pick up FM and emergency channels, get lucky by contacting someone else, or run into a group of experienced Hams that can add you to their network. Each of these licenses lasts 10 years and require a test.

When And Why Did CBs Become Popular?

The major difference between levels is how many frequencies you have access to. The entry-level Technician license gives you access to amateur bands above 30 MHz, including the popular 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands. The General license gets you into the lower frequency, longer wavelength High Frequency bands that are better for long distance. Volunteer Examiners VE administer the test, and they appreciate the courtesy of a heads up that you plan to attend.

The Big Dummy's Guide to C.B. Radio

The VE will grade your test on site. If you pass, they mail your info to the FCC. Many preppers want to maintain some privacy, so they set up a P. Box or some other address before they apply for a license. Most people going for the Technician entry-level license want to get ready for the test as quickly as possible.

The World of CB Radio

The FCC releases current versions of the test question pools. If you like to learn in-person, ARRL has a list of local classes. Hams even have a special name for passionate advocates that enjoy teaching newbies: Elmers. Try finding an Elmer to be your mentor via EHam. Because different sections of the spectrum work well for different jobs like transmitting TV shows versus cooking food , and to keep the airwaves more organized, governments create and manage blocks of frequencies for different purposes. Blocks are reserved for satellites, emergency services, military, commercial aircraft, CIA mind control devices , commercial radio stations, mobile phones, and so on.

AM stations are always between and KHz. But not all frequencies are created equal. Although SWR of 3. In situations like these, the mounting location can make it hard or impossible to tune your antenna. If you've followed all the previously discussed troubleshooting advice to no avail, and your mounting location is similar to one mentioned above, we'd recommend moving your antenna to a different location on the vehicle. Verified purchase: Yes Condition: Pre-owned.

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