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Handheld CB radios

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jakeslim, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    Are handheld CB radios ok for the trail? Anyone use one?
    Pro's con's if you have or do
     
  2. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I don't like them, extreamly limited range. Personally, I think they're a waste of money.
     
  3. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    Been a while since i used 'em, but they were real handy for a couple cross-country runs (vs on a trai). Seems they didn't have a lot of range to them. Depending on your trail use... (close together, either side of an obstacle, etc vs a ridge or two away, out on a fire-wood run, etc) they may be ok.
    Still have 'em around here somewhere. One was a GE... other a Midland (with magnet antena). Think /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gifit was the midland with more range, GE with better ease of use..?
    I miss my memory!
     
  4. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    I have a midland 5watt handheld, it OK for trips where both vehicle are within a mile. Best if used with a regular base CB.
     
  5. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Somewhat of a hijack:

    I've thought about getting a handheld, but I can also get a whole mounted unit for about the same price. My thing is, I'd rather not install a huge whip on my truck...thus my thinking I could go with a handheld. With the mounted units, do you have to have a whip/antenae? Like, if I mount it in my console?
    I'd only probably use it when on the trails, talking to and listening to the group of trucks I'm running with, in front of and behind me.
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Way too big for what they do. Good thing is if you are on the road, you've got a fairly big audience. The FRS/GMRS radios are the way to go. LONG battery life, lots of channels, very common anymore, and CHEAP.

    If I was buying one again, I'd get a GMRS, but as with anything anymore, as soon as you buy something, something better is released. GMRS has longer range capability (up to 10 miles from new ones I've seen IIRC) but you are *supposed* to have an operators license to use them.
     
  7. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Somewhat of a hijack:


    [/ QUOTE ]

    no at all /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif That would have been my exact next question...i hate the big whip antenna's...so 70's
     
  8. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    My brother and i bought two of those handheld radios from somewhere and found out later that they don't actually use a C.B. frequency, they are on their own dedicated freq's. even though they may say like ch 14, it didn't receive on the regular cb. 14. Be aware if you purchase these kind of hand helds and make sure they are actually C.B. radios if that is what you are looking for. OH and yes they did have very limited range, and the batteries didn't last very long either. We did about a two hour drive and the batts were about dead when we got home.
     
  9. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    ok, well for $15 bucks, i thought it would be ok..its says 40 channel and its a GE /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  10. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    hate the big whip antenna's...so 70's

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Well in this case size DOES matter

    A 5 watt handheld and a 5 watt mobil connected to the same antenna should give close to the same results (assuming equal sensitive receivers and similar audio drive circuits).
    What makes the handhelds less efficient is the short antenna that is mounted to them. A 9' whip antenna mounted over a 30' piece of flat metal is considered close to a baseline reference as you can get. Its the shrinking of the antenna and antenna placement that kills performance.

    For basic trail with friends, the handheld is satisfactory if your within about .5-1 miles and not in a canyon or behind a hill.
     
  11. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Somewhat of a hijack:

    I've thought about getting a handheld, but I can also get a whole mounted unit for about the same price. My thing is, I'd rather not install a huge whip on my truck...thus my thinking I could go with a handheld. With the mounted units, do you have to have a whip/antenae? Like, if I mount it in my console?
    I'd only probably use it when on the trails, talking to and listening to the group of trucks I'm running with, in front of and behind me.

    [/ QUOTE ] You have alot of antenna's to choose from. The 102" stainless steel whip will out preform all other antennas avalible, but not the only choice. For trails, you may want to look into a magnet mount K40 or simular antenna.
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I have one that I take along on trips where I know most, if not all of the rigs will have CB's. I use the unit mounted in my truck most of the time, but have found that a handheld CB is a great thing to have when you're spotting someone through a tough spot. Far too often there are lots of spectators offering their "advice", or the rig is at an angle where the driver can't really see the spotter, or the rig is making enough noise that it's hard for the driver to hear the spotter (or all of the above!). Using the handheld makes sure that they can hear what their spotter wants them to know. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    For regular chatting while riding the trail or on the road to and from the trail I think they're almost useless. Since the antenna is inside the vehicle the signal (incoming and outgoing) gets blocked quite a bit by the body. They use 8 AA batteries and eat them like candy. There are cigarette lighter adapters for them, but usually induce so much interference as to render the radio useless with the engine running. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  13. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    My thing is, I'd rather not install a huge whip on my truck

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I've got a ball mount on my K5. It will accept either my 102 inch stainless whip, 5 foot fiberglass whip, or 2 foot fiberglass whip. Since the tuning mechanism is in the antenna and not in the mount, I can swap them at will without needing to mess with the SWR meter. Each one gets set one time. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Some organized runs won't even allow an antenna longer than 4 feet or so. The long steel whips can really get flying around as a rig bounces over a trail. Let someone whack you with one and you'll understand the danger. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     

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