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Old 05-25-2008, 09:11 PM   #1
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Handheld CB radio

Is the handheld CB radion useful? We do not have a CB in the truck or the trailer and wondering if one would be useful at Bozman.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:26 PM   #2
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From what I hear, it is something that helps coming in. We are taking ours with us.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
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Airedale, are you using a handheld and does it give you enough range?
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:43 PM   #4
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Yes, we are planning on taking our Handheld, and around that area of Bozeman, it should be just fine!
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaylejoe
Is the handheld CB radion useful? We do not have a CB in the truck or the trailer and wondering if one would be useful at Bozman.
CB RADION?

Sounds dangerous

Michael
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:19 PM   #6
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One of my sons has a hand held CB in his truck. He has a connection where he can connect an external antenna for additional range and clarity. It works for him.
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the imput. Now, I start looking for a good handheld CB.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:05 AM   #8
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Cobra Portable CB

We've used a Cobra brand portable for four years. Our family has used this brand since the CB craze of the late 70s.

Power and performance are good for caravanning, and professional OTR drivers still provide traffic reports when asked. The magnetic antenna easily goes on and off the top of the truck, coax cable thru the window, and the whole setup conceals easily under a seat when not in use.

Only problem we encountered was alternator whine - requiring either an aftermarket noise filter - or the easier solution: running the radio on internal batteries rather than the 12V plug.

Cobra website
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:11 AM   #9
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hand held CB

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
One of my sons has a hand held CB in his truck. He has a connection where he can connect an external antenna for additional range and clarity. It works for him.
The external antenna mentioned above is a huge improvement over the very inadequate antennas the hand helds come with. Look to Wilson for quality Mag mount models. The door gasket generally has enough flex to close on the antenna lead so no modifications are required.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:21 AM   #10
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What kind of range should I expect with the handheld. So far I'm not impressed with it. I get a 5 mile range with a handheld nav/com aviation radio with the antenna which came with the unit. We have 2 cheap Cobra's walkie talkies that have a great range but this CB handheld right now is the pits. I was wanting to use it on the ground in Bozeman but now I have my doubts.
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:56 PM   #11
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CB radio range

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Originally Posted by gaylejoe View Post
What kind of range should I expect with the handheld. So far I'm not impressed with it. I get a 5 mile range with a handheld nav/com aviation radio with the antenna which came with the unit. We have 2 cheap Cobra's walkie talkies that have a great range but this CB handheld right now is the pits. I was wanting to use it on the ground in Bozeman but now I have my doubts.
I only get about 100 yards range with my Radio Shack hand held CB using the little "rubber ducky" antenna that it came with.

CB radio waves are about 11 meters. Typical car roof top external antennas are 1/4 wave length or about 2.25 meters and extend the clear range to a few miles. Range to the rear that is obstructed while towing an Airstream will be a lot less.

FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios might be what you are referring to with your general comment about "Cobra's walkie talkies". They operate with about 0.7 meter wave length so adequate antennas are a lot shorter than what a CB requires.

FRS is limited to about 1/2 watt power but GMRS can go up to about 5 watts making them a much better choice.

In my opinion, a CB radio with an external antenna is the best choice (other than a ham radio ) while driving and a GMRS radio is the best choice when walking.
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #12
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We keep a Cobra HH 38 WX ST in the center console and a Wilson Little Wil mag-mount antenna in the back seat. The antenna connects to the radio with a SO-239 to BNC adapter.



I've never put batteries in the radio, using the lighter plug instead, and never used the rubber ducky antenna. It's worked well for trips over the road.
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:46 PM   #13
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We keep a Cobra HH 38 WX ST in the center console and a Wilson Little Wil mag-mount antenna in the back seat. The antenna connects to the radio with a SO-239 to BNC adapter.



I've never put batteries in the radio, using the lighter plug instead, and never used the rubber ducky antenna. It's worked well for trips over the road.
What do you mean by, "in the back seat"?
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:49 PM   #14
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What do you mean by, "in the back seat"?
We have an extended cab truck. We keep all kinds of stuff on the floor below and in front of the rear seat. The mag mount CB antenna stays there when not in use. So does the mag mount 2m/70cm ham antenna. We use mag mounts because the truck only clears the garage door by less than 3 inches.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:10 PM   #15
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Cobra HH 38 WX ST vs. Cobra RoadTrip ??

Can you tell me what is the real difference between your Cobra HH 38 WX ST and the Cobra RoadTrip CB Radio?
They both have similar basic features, but what about performance?
HH 38 has Ni-Cad batteries & no external antenna included and cost more.
The RoadTrip has AA cells and come with an external antenna.
Camping World sells the RoadTrip, but in your opinion, which is better and for what reasons?
Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #16
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The HH 38 does not come with batteries. You can use alkaline batteries or rechargeable batteries. I have no idea what the difference between the two radios are. However, the antenna on the Road Trip appears to be a rubber ducky on a mag mount and I wanted a much better antenna. The Little Wil has a good reputation from what I read.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaylejoe View Post
Is the handheld CB radion useful? We do not have a CB in the truck or the trailer and wondering if one would be useful at Bozman.
You'll find the CB useful in two instances. When you're driving into the rally to receive directions and ask questions. The range on handheld CB radios is very poor without an antenna on the vehicle. Ditto for the second use which is to listen to the daily announcements from "Wally Byam Control". These are useful updates on the day's activities, changes to the schedule, points of information regarding services, severe weather warnings, etc. Again, without an external antenna outside of your trailer, you may not be able to copy those if you're inside the trailer using the portable radio and the "rubber duckie". If you stepped outside, you'd probably be OK.

I don't know if that helps you in your decision. Think of the limiting factor being mainly the antenna, not what you connect to it!
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:52 PM   #18
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We have an extended cab truck. We keep all kinds of stuff on the floor below and in front of the rear seat. The mag mount CB antenna stays there when not in use. So does the mag mount 2m/70cm ham antenna. We use mag mounts because the truck only clears the garage door by less than 3 inches.
Thanks for the clarification. I'm a noobie with all of this stuff. I thought you somehow used your cb with your antenna riding in the back seat!
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:52 PM   #19
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I'm wondering if a handheld will be useful at Bozeman. From what I'm hearing is the range is only about 100 yds with the rubber antenna. I was hoping to be able to carry it around with me on the grounds and be able to receive information.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I'm wondering if a handheld will be useful at Bozeman. From what I'm hearing is the range is only about 100 yds with the rubber antenna. I was hoping to be able to carry it around with me on the grounds and be able to receive information.
CBs operate on AM (remember AM radio??) and are prone to a lot of static and interference. It would be frustrating to carry around. Maybe listen in the morning to the announcements. Those are sometimes helpful. Otherwise, you won't really need it. They make all the same announcements before the evening programs, too. You'd be fine without a CB at all. Don't sweat it if you don't have one. Just talking to people you'll find out what's going on, too.

Don't get me wrong. A CB can be very useful. I think they're at their best when you're traveling and suddenly traffic stops and you want to find out what's going on. Aside from that I leave mine turned off. At the rally, it can be nice to get directions going in and listening to the morning bulletins. Maybe if there's severe weather and you need to know what to do. By and large, you'd be able to do those things without a CB at all and get along just fine, though.
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