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Mr. Big

Two-meter vs. CB

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OK, I'll begin by saying that I fully expect genuine hams to flame me, but I've just got to ask. I'd like to stick a mobile unit in the car. I'm open to passing the tech. exam before beginning, but I wonder what the advantages of, say, a 2-meter rig are. I know I can get to repeaters with one, but I'm concerned that there might not be that much traffic in my area (near Monterey Bay CA). I'm also aware of the superior signal quality

 

If I want to know about traffic conditions up ahead, that kind of thing, wouldn't I be better off with AM? Better informed opinions welcomed and appreciated.

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If all you are looking for is smokey reports, stick with CB.

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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Mr. Big,

 

I'm currently waiting for a test day to take my Technician's and try the Code. While waiting I decided to get my old cheapo CB hooked up.

 

I have learned that there are too many CB'ers with foot warmers (linear amps) trying to make up for the fact they can't get much distance with the legal 4 watts. If you are talking about real barefoot 4 watt max CB, then you have 40 channels and a lot of Semi-truck drivers to chat with. Your range is about 5 miles. Oh yeah, and they let you use very nasty language without repercussion.

 

If you get your Tech licence (Element 2) and a 2 meter mobile rig set up properly, you can find out what is going on in the next couple of counties (or state) without much of a problem. Oh yeah, and going over 4 watts is LEGAL on 2 meter. My own 2m mobile rig is 5w45w.

 

(I love Mike's answer, I chuckle as I type)

And no license requirement for the K and X band scanners!

 

OddTodd

 

Cadence

(OddTodd and CheleBell)

FRS2,12GMRS22(WPXD965)

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Thanks for the opinions so far, guys. I'd heard CB gets pretty salty. Actually, what I'm really trying to ask is how much traffic I'd encounter on two-meter? I'd like to find someone at the other end when I key up.

 

I'm going to try to get together with a ham friend to see if he might let me listen in, which is probably what I should've done in the first place.

 

Thanks again for the help.

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Mr.Big,

Hope that my comments were not offensive, it was meant as light humor.

 

Please check out the other threads on this forum, like National Geocaching Frequency and the most recent What Do You Use, pt.2 .

 

There seems to be a lot of activity on 2 meter here in Eastern WA, less as you travel away from the main metro areas.

 

Question for you, does your job or interest take you on long road trips or are you primarily running around in town?

 

OddTodd

 

Cadence

(OddTodd and CheleBell)

FRS2,12GMRS22(WPXD965)

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No offense taken, and Mike's post made me smile, too. I love that guy's sense of humor.

 

I work 27 miles from home, but the commute is the extent of my travel. It'd just be kind of fun to see what's out there instead of talking back to the radio like I do now. The deejays never answer me back -- yet!

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Hey Mr. Big Well I dont know what county your in but i bet in Calif. there are a bunch of two meter repeaters and some are sponsored by local Ham clubs, if you check into it. Yes there will be a bunch of activity probally all the time and yes there is probally some closed repaeters out there and that means you cant acces them. They are private and yes we have a few over here were I live, but more open ones than closed. You will be surprised how many folks get on at differnt times of the day.That's when you can general know who's on and on what repeater. Yes you may be able to work a bunch of differnt Repeaters in a 20-50 miles area Radius with a good 5/8 wave antenna and a good 50 watt 2 mtr Raido. Also if you really want to know whats going on get you tech licnese and updgrade to General and put a HF 100 watt or 200 watt HF Radio in your car/truck. You can have a ball working the world. Not Just 50 miles away. But yes 2 mtrs is the way to go and you will stay u to date and keep others update on hwy conditons and weather. We had bad Weather here last evening and about 10 of us were on 2mtrs reporting to each other and getting the word out South of here about the storms passing our area. Good luck Mr. Big and I hope you decide to go the 2mtr way and not the 4 watt way.

Happy Hunting

Continouswave

WV5V

Mississippi

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2 meter pros:

-requires licence

-well channelized frequencies and sections

-talk to other licenced hams

-enough frequencies to talk privately

-can use repeaters

-selectable power output

 

2 meter cons:

-requires licence

-expensive equipment

 

CB pros:

-cheap equipment

-simple operation (pick a channel and talk)

 

CB cons:

-too much trash talk/unprofessional conversation

-limited to 40 channels

-limited to only 4 watts

-simplex only

 

Whenever I hear of CB I always think of the 'Dukes of Hazard' because they all had CB base and mobile radios and used it frequently in every episode.

 

_____________________________________________________________________

Please visit the Ham Radio Forums at www.ham-radio.ca. Thank you.

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a couple more 2-meter pros...

 

- access to repeater "nets" that allow you to talk across extreme distances.

 

- access to "auto patch" that allows you to make non-comercial phone calls from your 2-meter radio.

 

also .. I guess most 2M rigs nowdays also cover 70CM .. so you get two radios in one.

 

and one final tidbit. Radios like the ADI AT-600 have expanded receiver capability which can allow you to monitor fire / police / NOAA broadcasts

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I recently visited my son in Monterey (actually, he lives in Seaside), and I took my dual-band HT with me on the trip, pre-programmed with all the 2m and 70cm (144 MHz and 440Mhz) repeaters in that area. I went to visit with my son and his family, so I didn't take many opportunities to use my HT. I wish I could give you a reasonable report on Amateur VHF/UHF activity around Monterey, but I can't, sorry.

 

I would recommend, though, that if you decide to go the Ham route, get dual-band radio(s). I understand that there's a lot of UHF activity in California, much more than where I live, and I wouldn't even consider buying a general purpose non-HF rig that didn't cover both 2m and 70cm.

 

Good luck, whichever way you choose.

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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quote:
Whenever I hear of CB I always think of the 'Dukes of Hazard' because they all had CB base and mobile radios and used it frequently in every episode.

 

There are a number of TV shows where the characters and the police all use CB radio to communicate. How they all just happened to coincidently be on the same channel, I’ll never know.... icon_rolleyes.gif

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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This has all been great -- very helpful. I think I'll check the library at lunch today and see if the latest copy of Now You're Talking is in. Dual band mobile looks like the way to go (not that I need another hobby)...

 

Thanks again.

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There are a number of TV shows where the characters and the police all use CB radio to communicate. How they all just happened to coincidently be on the same channel, I’ll never know.... icon_rolleyes.gif

 

breaker - breaker

That be the big channel 9 - good buddy

3s and 8s - catch ya on the flip-flop

 

>Personally Responsible for the Recovery of .00244% of the Benchmark Database!<--watch this number!

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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Big:

No offense taken, and Mike's post made me smile, too. I love that guy's sense of humor.


 

Humor... I was as serious as a heart attack!

 

The sad truth of it is that if you do travel a lot, and are a strange callsign in the area, you will find that the locals often will not respond to your call. Or maybe they just heard about me?!?!

 

Mostly, you will find more people to talk to on CB. That you may not wish to associate with the majority of them is another story.

 

Traffic reports are not a normal occurance on 2m. If there is a huge accdident on the interstate, someone may -MAY- give an advisory. Never say never, but I doubt you will hear someone telling you there is a cop with a radar at the junstion of 10 and 30.

 

So my answer was short, but accurate. That you also found it humorous was a bonus.

 

I am in the middle of my annual EPA certifications, which is why that post was short and to the point. And now, back to work. It will all be over by next Friday. If I do good, they will leave me alone for another year.

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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Mr. Big,

 

I work up in Santa Cruz, and live in Watsonville. There are many repeaters in the area, and quite a bit of traffic. 2 meters is by far the best in the area. There is traffic on 70cm, but no where near the level on 2m.

I know of several repeaters down in Monterey, and have no problem reaching them from SC or Watsontown. There are more than a couple up on the Santa Cruz mountains that cover not only the Monterey bay area, but down into the San Francisco Bay area. Repeater coverage is excellent all the way down the Salinas Valley. Only area really lacking coverage is down HWY 1 after you leave Carmel.

 

CB is pretty usless in the area. I took mine out of my truck several years ago. What was on there was mostly vulgar language and people just making noise and talking to no one in particular. CB can be useful if you make the drive over HWY 17 into the bay area, but other than that, nothing useful.

 

You have to go out, you don't have to come back.

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Mike,

 

What's the EPA required certification for?

 

I know the Dane Doots are nasty, but THAT Bad? icon_biggrin.gif

 

T.

 

Cadence

(OddTodd and CheleBell)

FRS2,12GMRS22(WPXD965)

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quote:
Originally posted by Cadence (OddTodd & CheleBell):

Mike,

 

What's the EPA required certification for?

 

I know the Dane Doots are nasty, but THAT Bad? icon_biggrin.gif

 

T.

 

Cadence

(OddTodd and CheleBell)

FRS2,12GMRS22(WPXD965)


 

I work for El Paso Electric Co. I am an electronics specialist, certified in industrial electronics, and EPA cretified for Pollution Monitoring. Basically, I maintain the systems that monitor and report the levels of pollutants we output as a function of generating power. All 9 of my systems must be inspected and tested at least once a year by an independant tester, under the watchful eye of an EPA representative. If I do well, they leave me alone for a year. If I do not so well, they will be back in 6 months. If I do real poorly, I probably lose my job, and the offending system is shut down till it is corrected. They pay me a small fortune, so I strive to give them the best possible scores. My personal goal is to keep my system test results better than the national average. I am graded in 3 areas. Relative Accuracy Test Audits, Total system avilability, and cost of operation. If all goes real well, I even get a bonus. I would do my best anyway, because that is how I do things.

 

The EPA isn't interested in dog doots (yet). Lets not tell them about it....

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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quote:
Originally posted by Desert_Warrior:

 

The sad truth of it is that if you do travel a lot, and are a strange callsign in the area, you will find that the locals often will not respond to your call. Or maybe they just heard about me?!?!

 


 

Maybe it IS just you, Mike! Or maybe folks in Texas are just like that.

 

California has about 15% of the licensed hams in the US, numerous repeaters, and generally someone listening anywhere you happen to be in the state. I haven't had any trouble raising a fellow ham for local information, road/traffic conditions, etc.

 

I live in southern California, but regularly talk to hams up north. Usually very helpful and friendly, with the usual ten-percenters.

 

Incidently, you might want to look into the 222MHz band. There are a number of repeaters, including some linked systems. One in particular, the CONDOR system links from the border with Mexico to the bay area, central California, and over to Las Vegas.

 

I have even actually talked to fellow geocachers on 2 meters, and have noticed a significant number of 'cachers in this area are either hams or planning on getting a license.

 

CB around here is pretty much a wasteland. 2 meters is much more useful, in my experience.

 

Dave_W6DPS

 

My two cents worth, refunds available on request. (US funds only)

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I commute Gilroy to palo alto daily. I have both a dual-band HAM and CB in the car. If something is really backed up, the "trucker channel" (17 around here) is the place to go for information. If you want someone to chat with as you drive, either of the HAM bands is a good place. There are a couple of repeaters that become active during commute times. Traffic reports may be part of these and questions about traffic conditions are surely a common part of the conversations. You just have to break into the conversation and introduce yourself and then you're part of the gang.

Also, there is a CB'er group here that commutes from los banos to san jose area. They operate on a channel (one) separate from the truckers and will run off anyone who uses foul language. Generally a fun and informative group. Perhaps you could help to start such a CB commuter group in your own area.

When you get your license, give me a call.

-K6RI

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A commentfrom Colorado. I've been a ham for about two years now. I have a cb and a Icom 2m in my Jeep, The cb is for trips with my four wheel drive club(not many hams in the club). The 2m is for emergencys and general chatting. Here in the Denver area nothing but idiots on the cb. For me the choice is clear the 2m.

KC0MGP

shawn

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Mr. Big,

I sincerely hope that, by this time, you've joing our Amateur Radio fraternity. You will find that the amount of traffic on 2 meters depends largely on the area you visit and the repeater you select. Some repeaters are extemely busy, others are seemingly orphans which receive very little traffic. But if you use a repeater directory to set up your rig prior to any trip you take you'll be able to select from a variety of repeaters along your route and, generally speaking, make a contact. Just remember to bury the CB jargon. Ham radio has its own "language" and applying CB jargon to a Ham radio discussion will often get you little more than atmospheric noise (assuming you have the squelch circuits nulled) in response to your calls.

 

"Today's truth remains valid only as long as it withstands the test of tomorrow's discoveries" - George Hicks

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Texas DOn't you mean BAHA Oklahoma, Go Sooners!!!!

quote:
Originally posted by El Oso - N5CTI:

I recently visited my son in Monterey (actually, he lives in Seaside), and I took my dual-band HT with me on the trip, pre-programmed with all the 2m and 70cm (144 MHz and 440Mhz) repeaters in that area. I went to visit with my son and his family, so I didn't take many opportunities to use my HT. I wish I could give you a reasonable report on Amateur VHF/UHF activity around Monterey, but I can't, sorry.

 

I _would_ recommend, though, that if you decide to go the Ham route, get dual-band radio(s). I understand that there's a lot of UHF activity in California, much more than where I live, and I wouldn't even consider buying a general purpose non-HF rig that didn't cover both 2m and 70cm.

 

Good luck, whichever way you choose.

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."


 

Rich Conn

kd5jxu@arrl.net

145.130 -

146.500 simplex

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quote:
Originally posted by Berry Patch:

A commentfrom Colorado. I've been a ham for about two years now. I have a cb and a Icom 2m in my Jeep, The cb is for trips with my four wheel drive club(not many hams in the club). The 2m is for emergencys and general chatting. Here in the Denver area nothing but idiots on the cb. For me the choice is clear the 2m.

KC0MGP

shawn


 

Shawn, are you active on the ILJ Forums (based in CO)? There are a few of us hams on there, and a few geocachers as well.

 

I second the recommendation for a dual or multiple band radio. My wife and I each have a Kenwood TM-741A tri-bander in our Jeeps (also use Yaesu VX-7R's for portable operation) and they are a really versatile way to go. The TM-742AD is the newer version and has been out for about ten years or so. Another possibility you may want to consider is the Yaesu FT-8900R, which covers four bands and (unlike the Kenwoods we have) is PC programmable.

 

On my motorcycle, there is a factory-installed CB radio. While riding, I listen occasionally, and the stuff on there is mostly useless, boring chatter, along with the goofy stuff (beeps and other noises on each transmission) and obscenities.

 

If it does not already appear obvious, my preference is Amateur Radio icon_cool.gif .

 

73,

 

Jerry W2TXB

 

I Roger your vector, Victor...... Over.

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Jerry, as the owner of an FT-8900, let me tweak your recommendation a little. It's a fine FM rig, but unless you know for an absolute, chicken-fried fact that you need 6 and/or 10 meters, get the FT-8800 instead. It's the same radio, minus those two bands. I've found them to be quite useless, to be honest.

 

And Rich, go ahead, cackle on. I'm used to that Sooner jealousy thing. icon_razz.gif

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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