Need a recommendation on a CB

#23
j
The Cobra 75WXST is nice in that it takes up almost no room, all the components except the power supply are crammed into the handset. I run it next to my Kenwood TM281A 2 meter unit that I tore apart and crammed into the overhead console.
 
#24
Midland 75-822

Mobile unit plugs into a hard mounted antenna / power supply or uses its own small antenna / battery pack.

Versatile, easy to use, less than $100.
I've had several of these. Great units. I keep a battery pack and spare antenna in the truck. As someone mentioned, it's handy for spotting especially when not everyone may have a HAM. I also keep a spare 2m HT in the truck.
 

smlobx

Adventurist
#25
I guess what I'm having a hard time trying to understand is that most of the comments in this thread (and others) regarding the use of HAM comms refer to communicating with others in a group ride etc. On the few group rides I've been on (and I admit that's not necessarily my thing) the necessary range is usually a mile or less, something a FRS / CB could easily handle.

The other aspect of switching to HAM is that other than a very small group of people you will not be able to readily communicate with the rest of the world. I understand that it can be a fascinating hobby ( I built a home for a retired Exxon/Mobil executive and the whole process was designed around building the best antenna platform we could on top of a mountain).

Most of my overlanding trips are just my wife and myself trying to get off the beaten track and explore new areas. If something were to happen that required help (either medical or mechanical) I'm not aware of any medical, law enforcement or mechanical shop that monitors HAM comms (or any other for that matter). We are currently using a cell with We Boost and an InReach. We are also considering a SAT phone as well as a CB as I understand that most people on the Haul Road in Alaska use one and that is in our plan for 2019.

As another point of information we willl be going overlanding in Africa next year for about a month and the group (yes a group for safety reasons) will be using VHF and SAT phones. I guess it just depends on where you're running....

Is my thinking off base? Please help me understand...thanks!
 

Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
#27
I guess what I'm having a hard time trying to understand is that most of the comments in this thread (and others) regarding the use of HAM comms refer to communicating with others in a group ride etc. On the few group rides I've been on (and I admit that's not necessarily my thing) the necessary range is usually a mile or less, something a FRS / CB could easily handle.

The other aspect of switching to HAM is that other than a very small group of people you will not be able to readily communicate with the rest of the world. I understand that it can be a fascinating hobby ( I built a home for a retired Exxon/Mobil executive and the whole process was designed around building the best antenna platform we could on top of a mountain).

Most of my overlanding trips are just my wife and myself trying to get off the beaten track and explore new areas. If something were to happen that required help (either medical or mechanical) I'm not aware of any medical, law enforcement or mechanical shop that monitors HAM comms (or any other for that matter). We are currently using a cell with We Boost and an InReach. We are also considering a SAT phone as well as a CB as I understand that most people on the Haul Road in Alaska use one and that is in our plan for 2019.

As another point of information we willl be going overlanding in Africa next year for about a month and the group (yes a group for safety reasons) will be using VHF and SAT phones. I guess it just depends on where you're running....

Is my thinking off base? Please help me understand...thanks!
CB just sucks.

That said, it really has to do with power, range and clarity of comms. Mobile 2M aka HAM requires no fiddling with an SWR meter or antenna in my experience. Plug and play, crystal clear communications over very long range, even if line of sight is not good (unlike CB). Convoy stretched out over several miles or have two groups? Try that with CB and you'll see why it's obsolete. The only reason truckers use it is because its cheap and "no license" required.

As far as being the only one on the net, that's probably more applicable to CB comms in the backcountry than HAM (especially out west). And a good HAM radio dialed to the right freq can certainly get you help. I have zero faith in a CB radio if I need help... I may as well be using a soup can with string at that point.

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The InReach on the other hand is GREAT. That's the way to go if you need help or to message folks.
 
#28
Mobile 2M aka HAM requires no fiddling with an SWR meter or antenna in my experience.
Always a good idea check the SWR on a newly installed HAM setup or when changing antenna placement/style. Too high an SWR will cause abnormal heat buildup inside the radio as RF energy is reflected back into the radio. This heat can cause damage to transistors and power regulating components. I have a 2M radio on my work bench right now that was fried this way.
 

Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
#29
Always a good idea check the SWR on a newly installed HAM setup or when changing antenna placement/style. Too high an SWR will cause abnormal heat buildup inside the radio as RF energy is reflected back into the radio. This heat can cause damage to transistors and power regulating components. I have a 2M radio on my work bench right now that was fried this way.
I’ve never had an issue. But EVERY CB antenna I ever had was fickle.
 
#30
Have to admit, I have the Cobra CB as pictured above, with a FIRE STICK antenna. It works great after tuning with an SWR meter ! But, as Dave, says
CB isn't all that great for trail comms. Some groups still use CB but seems only OK for a line of 15 vehicles. Yes, truckers use CB , just guessing in the open flat highway with big antennas and maybe a linear amp pushing a couple 100 watts, sure they can have clear comms too. so one plus for HAM radio. By the way not much works out of canyons with hi walls. JMHO.
 
#31
I guess what I'm having a hard time trying to understand is that most of the comments in this thread (and others) regarding the use of HAM comms refer to communicating with others in a group ride etc. On the few group rides I've been on (and I admit that's not necessarily my thing) the necessary range is usually a mile or less, something a FRS / CB could easily handle.

The other aspect of switching to HAM is that other than a very small group of people you will not be able to readily communicate with the rest of the world. I understand that it can be a fascinating hobby ( I built a home for a retired Exxon/Mobil executive and the whole process was designed around building the best antenna platform we could on top of a mountain).

Most of my overlanding trips are just my wife and myself trying to get off the beaten track and explore new areas. If something were to happen that required help (either medical or mechanical) I'm not aware of any medical, law enforcement or mechanical shop that monitors HAM comms (or any other for that matter). We are currently using a cell with We Boost and an InReach. We are also considering a SAT phone as well as a CB as I understand that most people on the Haul Road in Alaska use one and that is in our plan for 2019.

As another point of information we willl be going overlanding in Africa next year for about a month and the group (yes a group for safety reasons) will be using VHF and SAT phones. I guess it just depends on where you're running....

Is my thinking off base? Please help me understand...thanks!
I think youre onto something. I have a dual band HAM in my rig. I find it very entertaining on road trips to listen in on whatever the chatter is in whatever neck of the woods I am traipsing through. On some days, I may get to listen to a guy in South Wales explain tractor restoration to a guy from Romania(as I barrel down an Alabama interstate) ...and on some days in some places...radio silence.

I had my HAM radio modified to operate on gmrs/frs frequencies and bought an antenna for that but havent mounted it yet. I was on a group trip recently that used gmrs comms and the pair of hand helds worked great for that. There was 21 vehicles. I was near the leader and had great comms with the last vehicle in the mountains of Tennessee even at a couple miles.

I did a 21 day, solo, 6800 mile trip earlier this year. I had spotty cell service much of the time. Didnt always hear chatter on the HAM. Never even powered on the gmrs units. I had a Garmin inreach on hand for any emergency.

I think for pure emergency the garmin or sat phone would be the best bet. For entertainment HAM cannot be beat. GMRS is excellent for group comms. I have no desire for CB. If i were to join up with a group that required it I would probably go handheld with a mag mount whip.
 

mep1811

Adventurist
#32
I run a CB, GMRS and ham. I use all remote mounted radios. CB Uniden CMX760, GMRS Midland MXT275 and Ham a Yaesu FT-7900R.

I still have a Cobra 75WX. I switched to the Uniden as the mike was smaller and the guts are in the back and less likely t get damaged as opposed to the Cobra. I use the Cobra in my other cars on road trips .

I like listening to the truckers on the highway and have been saved being stuck in traffic by being warned of an accidents and being able to bypass it. Non remote CB radios are so cheap they are almost free.
 

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