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NovicePrepper

Help me choose the better CB Radio for my SUV?

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I have been looking for a cheap yet effective CB Radio to mount into my M1009. I have never owned a CB Radio, but I realize it is necessary.

 

Which would be better:

 

http://www.rightchannelradios.com/midland-1001lwx-cb-radio.html

 

This one is about 10-20 bucks cheaper, and has the NOAA channel. Although, wouldn't NOAA go off air/loop warning broadcasts and become useless in a legitimate end of the world SHTF scenario?

 

http://www.rightchannelradios.com/uniden-pickup-truck-cb-package.html

 

I would buy this with the 4' Antennae and the 520 Radio option.

 

Although, I think the antenna might be a pain to install. Is the antenna really necessary? Will the above first CB Radio I chose work without it's own antennae?

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You always need a vehicle mounted antenna, though you can get a standard magnetic one that just sticks to the roof of your vehicle if you want. FireStik makes excellent economy antennae.

 

You really don't need an expensive CB, either of those would work fine, though I'm partial to the Midland. I owned a Uniden super compact (the earlier version of the one you show) and it performed as well as any other CB I ever owned, once I paired it with a decent antenna. Anything nasty enough to knock out the NOAA channel(s) is probably gonna whack your CB too (or encourage you to avoid using it for safety and security reasons).

 

I drove an 18 wheeler for 9 years, and the CB is a useful (but not essential) tool. It's not as helpful as it was back in the 70s-80s, now that you have GPS/smartphones/satphones/Qualcomm units. Too many idiots, kids, and scumbags polluting it most of the time. It *is* useful for getting traffic info (road blockages, etc) before you run into it, but that entails having the thing on all the time and paying attention to it - and all of the garbage/spam on it.

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You always need a vehicle mounted antenna, though you can get a standard magnetic one that just sticks to the roof of your vehicle if you want. FireStik makes excellent economy antennae.

 

You really don't need an expensive CB, either of those would work fine, though I'm partial to the Midland. I owned a Uniden super compact (the earlier version of the one you show) and it performed as well as any other CB I ever owned, once I paired it with a decent antenna. Anything nasty enough to knock out the NOAA channel(s) is probably gonna whack your CB too (or encourage you to avoid using it for safety and security reasons).

 

I drove an 18 wheeler for 9 years, and the CB is a useful (but not essential) tool. It's not as helpful as it was back in the 70s-80s, now that you have GPS/smartphones/satphones/Qualcomm units. Too many idiots, kids, and scumbags polluting it most of the time. It *is* useful for getting traffic info (road blockages, etc) before you run into it, but that entails having the thing on all the time and paying attention to it - and all of the garbage/spam on it.

 

 

Thank you, very informative post!

 

I think the kit with the antenna might be better for me.

 

I will still purchase a CB though, as Satphones are expensive and would be less common in a SHTF scenario. I think more people would be using CB/Ham radios in a catastrophe, right?

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Novice,

Survivalcyclist is correct. You MUST have an antenna, operating without one can damage the transmitter. Also, the better the antenna, the better the set works. You might find the weather channel useful, especially if it has an alert function but I don't know.

I also note that these are AM radios. The more modern/expensive rigs usually have SSB for better communications in noisy environments. Communicating with between an AM and a SSB rig can be difficult.

 

minor dissertation - skip if not needed:

AM means Amplitude Modulation. The voice is used to change the peaks of the radio wave (the amplitude) and that change is detected at the receiver. In SSB (Single Side Band) the center and one side of the radio wave is suppressed. Instead of taking upwards of 5 KHz bandwidth, it only takes about 2.8 KHz to convey the sound. The receiver then puts back in the missing parts so you, the human, can understand it. An AM only receiver is not built to restore those parts.

end dissertation.

 

Get what you think you might need but decide on the mission first. A SSB radio is more flexible but the AM is cheaper and easier to use. In either case, the better the antenna, the better the radio will work.

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I think more people would be using CB/Ham radios in a catastrophe, right?

Quite likely, depending on the exact scenario. I've seen the CB used for good and bad, both. Just remember that anything you say on a CB is public information, they are NOT secure communications. People can and will use the CB to commit fraud/crime, long before SHTF, so just be aware of the limitations.

 

Also it's worth mentioning that at night, and under certain ideal weather conditions, you can get phenomenal range from a CB. But that cuts both ways - how much range do you really need? It really doesn't do me much good to hear about the traffic and weather of a place I won't reach for another four hours. Likewise, I don't really want bad guys listening in on my conversation from a hundred miles away and deciding I'm worth a visit.

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A citizen band radio isn't really a great thing to have. Short of truck drivers, not many people use them anymore so obviously whoever you're wanting to communicate with will need them as well. The range isn't that great either. There are a few ways to tweak that. If I remember correctly, they're only about four watts or so in output. That's not a lot. Antenna properties, reflective base, and the right weather conditions will improve that. Some might add amplifiers and echoboxes (which are annoying as all get out), but if you have the time and a little more money a HAM might be the way to go for you. You'll need a license to use it, but you'll have virtually unlimited access to the radio world. That's on my to do list, btw.

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