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Old 11-23-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,503,657 times
Reputation: 3751

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A general "catch-up" post:

(1) Cell phones are only good if you want to talk (a) with a specific person, and (b) know their cell phone number. There are NO "community discussions" on cell phones. So, unless you wish a 1-on-1 communication with a specific person whose phone number you know, you're up an unsanitary tributary while lacking the proper means of propulsion. I've had this discussion (argument?) with my wife on several occasions.

(2) The 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit (Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed) had an awful lot to do with the over-popularity of Citizen's Band.

(3) The Federal Communications Commission, aka FCC, aka Uncle Charley, finally gave up on trying to police the Citizen's Band frequencies. Not only did they stop requiring a license; they "abandoned" the frequencies entirely. That's why the dramatic increase in very-high-powered, "sloppy" base stations (some would "bleed" five channels up and down, not to mention what they'd do to television reception), AND the horrid increase in foul language.

(4) I find it faintly amusing that Union Oil Company's most recent ads include a few that are based around "Talk Like a Trucker". Ya see, I knew and was fluent in the lingo for a very long time before it became popular. A typical personal sign-off went something like,

Y'all keep it 'tween the ditches with the shiny side up and the rubber side down. Keep on smilin' 'cause it drives yer enemies crazy tryin' ta figure out whatcha been up to! The First and Original Witch Doctor-- he's clean, and he's gone, and he thanks ya!

Goin' 10-7 at the home '20, y'all:

-- Nighteyes

Last edited by Nighteyes; 11-23-2011 at 01:40 PM..
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,767 posts, read 14,900,712 times
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In rural America there are places where you can spin the dial all the way around and hear nothing. Just come up on the local channel and you'll get a response. In Maine there are many lakes that have a lake frequency on CB radios. The signals carry well across open water.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:03 PM
 
Location: SA/Pipe Creek
2,790 posts, read 5,170,193 times
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Sometimes when I'm driving down the backroads I like to imagine I am Burt Reynolds (with Sally Fields next to me, of course) yammering away to my buddy Jerry Reid on the CB, watching out for smokey.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:42 AM
 
Location: South Central Texas
114,159 posts, read 54,018,911 times
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Near the end of high school I was introduced to CB radio by a Electronics shop classmate's dad. He was the manager of all the Pig Stands in SA back in the 60's -70's. There were quite a few I referred to as old timers back then. Myself and friends had base stations and mobiles.. I started with a 5 watt Radio Shack Walkie Talkie. We would take portables up in the Tower of Americas and talk all over.

No CB isn't dead everywhere but it's not what it was. With the low power consumption and clearer channels FRS is far superior to CB. But you can't get the range because the FCC won't allow it. Cell is huge and just a monster and can't be stopped. FRS radios would be far better for use between family members in malls and short distances in parks. But, you can't get a cell phone user to use them. Not the women in our family at least. Cell users are totally taken with their phones. It's unreal the way those little phones are totally intertwined in peoples lives. I have no use for cell phones. Good for emergencies but not for sucking all my life energy.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,503,657 times
Reputation: 3751
Quote:
Originally Posted by SATX56 View Post
With the low power consumption and clearer channels FRS is far superior to CB. But you can't get the range because the FCC won't allow it.
FRS/GMRS radios are FM, while Citizen's Band is AM. FM isn't subject to atmospheric interference like AM. FM signals are line-of-sight only. They won't "skip" off the ionosphere like AM signals will. At best they may "ricochet" off of buildings and mountains just a bit, but the signal stays pretty local.

Even with several hundred watts of power you still won't "get the range" folks used to get with Citizen's Band. That's one of the reasons why the FCC selected FM for the FRS/GMRS.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:34 AM
 
Location: South Central Texas
114,159 posts, read 54,018,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nighteyes View Post
FRS/GMRS radios are FM, while Citizen's Band is AM. FM isn't subject to atmospheric interference like AM. FM signals are line-of-sight only. They won't "skip" off the ionosphere like AM signals will. At best they may "ricochet" off of buildings and mountains just a bit, but the signal stays pretty local.

Even with several hundred watts of power you still won't "get the range" folks used to get with Citizen's Band. That's one of the reasons why the FCC selected FM for the FRS/GMRS.
Yes, I realize you won't be talking skip with GMRS. Which is highly dependent on atmospheric conditions anyway. But line of sight GMRS is great low power consumption communications. My "FCC won't allow it" remark was really meant for the fact they save frequency and type of modulation etc. for the industry. Requiring a license for the low power FRS/GMRS radios is ridiculous. CB and FRS ...Apples and Oranges. FCC lemons.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,503,657 times
Reputation: 3751
Quote:
Originally Posted by HillCountryHotRodMan View Post
Sometimes when I'm driving down the backroads I like to imagine I am Burt Reynolds (with Sally Fields next to me, of course) yammering away to my buddy Jerry Reid on the CB, watching out for smokey.
In 1978-1980 I had a '76 Camaro Type LT that was a Z-28 in all but name -- same engine & transmission, same suspension, same spoiler and air dams -- and since it was classified as a "Type LT", it did not have the exhorbitant insurance rate. It was Canary yellow with black trim and a white leatherette top. It had a short, white, top-loaded CB antenna mounted on the leading edge of the trunk lid. Looked sorta like a "stinger".

When on the road my handle became "Chinese Bandit"...
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,503,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SATX56 View Post
But line of sight GMRS is great low power consumption communications.
I think so, particularly for the cost of the units.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,815,293 times
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I LOOOOOOOOVED my CB In the late 70's and early 80's I traveled across the USA twice in my little datsun PU with one and always felt so safe.

I hope to return to Oregon one day and in central and eastern Oregon, parts of ID and WA and other remote areas out west there isn't cell coverage and I'm just wondering if people still use them out there
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 21,037,320 times
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I know this thread is over a year old but I just stumbled a cross it and figured I'd put in my cents....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TowBar View Post
My family used to be big into CB radios back in the 70s. Back then CBs used to be like the internet is today, as far as popularity goes. Flash forward to about 3 years ago. We were taking a road trip down to Orlando to go to Disney World. I bought a CB radio and put it in my van for the trip. I was really surprised by a couple of things. First there was practically no one, but what seemed to be truckers, talking on the CB. Second, people were using foul language on the air, which was a big no no back in "the day".
Most of the reason you hear so much profanity on CB is because the FCC quit monitoring the air waves years ago, so now it's all governed by rule, for the most part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnappyBob View Post
They are probably the most reliable form of communication we have. Cell phones have made them almost obsolete. But if we should ever lose the power grid and/or the cell phone infrastructure. Ham radios would be all we have left as far as electronic communication.
I won't say it's the "most" realible; CB radio sufferes from electrical interference, and also from propagation, aka "skip". When skip is heavy, you won't be able to talk to your buddy past a mile, but you'll be able to talk to some one 500 miles away. Ham radio OTOH, 2 meters on FM is better than CB, but doesn't travel as far as CB. However having ham radio repeaters does help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhornet View Post
I love to listen to them on long drives. Although not as popular as years past....their still great for finding out where the cops are sitting, where accidents are, and sometimes listen in on some great conversations.....some of these truckers are very savvy in politics and world issues
CB is still good for finding out road conditions, yes....as for speed traps, the truth is not so much anymore....because now a days, most semi trucks are governed to only go 65 mph tops....BUT on occasion, yes you will hear a trucker or 2 holler out "there's a smokey bear sitting in the bushes taking pictures"...which is CB slang for a cop running radar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny Chiba57 View Post
I used to have all my stuff hooked up in Killeen from the 70s till mid 80s untill I went overseas. Base station, mobile radio, echo box. It was like having company over without them being there cause we all knew each other. Some of them I talked to often but never met face to face. Recently I found someone on craigslist looking for old CB stuff. He looked to be in his early 20s and very knowledgeable about CBs but I don't know what he thought he could buy from me with only $10 so I kept my stuff. Thinking of hooking it all back up for old times sake..
You'd be surprised of how CB radios can be sometimes had for next to nothing these days. I bought a nice Cobra 21 40 channel once for $10 and a Cobra 19 for $5...both worked. Heck for that matter a month ago I bought 16 CB radios (all but 2 worked) for $20. And 6 of them were base stations, while the last 10 were mobiles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Labamigo View Post
They actually becamed available back in the 60s. My uncle had several old licenses which started with KEG, KEH and KKV. I guess no one bothers with a license these days.
They did away with CB licensing back in 1983.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TowBar View Post
I think maybe the requirement to have a license to operate a CB (not Ham) radio was done away with. I remember when growing up that there was a license fee (5$ ?) At one time, but they did away with the fee. I am just guessing that they also did away with the license at some point as it doesn't make much sense to go through the administrative work to issue licenses if you aren't going to charge people for them anyway.
CB licenses used to cost $20. Then on March 1 1975 they decided to drop the price down to $5 as most people by then were staring to operate w/o a license. Eventually they stopped charging for licenses. Then in 1983 they did away with licensing. About that same time, the FCC quit monitoring the air waves, and now they only come out to bust you if someone has reported that you were interrupting their Brady Bunch reruns with your high powered, splattering all across the band, illegal CB set up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SATX56 View Post
C.B. is dead... it was great pre- late 60's or early 70's before it went nuts! The FCC will not give the citizens decent communications. It's for the high profit cell industry only. You pay through the nose!! They're our frequencies!
Truth is CB really was never that great of a band to begin with. Reason being, CB operates between 26.965 MHz and 27.405 MHz...which means 1. you need to run a 9 ft tall antenna to propertly resonate and 2. one of the rules of CB is your transmission cannot exceed 155 miles, yet the FCC placed CB on a frequency that is very prone to allowing you to communicate beyonf 155 miles. Plus CB is on AM so that means you have a ton more interference than you do on FM. Most vehicles cannot and will not run a 9 ft antenna and therefore those little shorty 5 ft antennas you see all the truck drivers running....well those shorty antennas, while they will work on CB, hinder you range in both TX and RX...as an end result, people started illegally running amps on their CB's, so now the playing field isn't even level anymore...and some of those amps are dirty amps so that just adds even more interference to the airwaves. In hindsight and IMO the CB should have been alloted to the 220 MHz band....well of course they tried doing that in 1973 before 40 channel CB's came out but the ARRL and some of the (then) amateurs voted against it. Funny thing is now part of the 220 MHz band belongs to the UPS and word is they seldom (if at all) use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee W. View Post
The foul language and politics would go in the same category for that kind of thing...I can see why people avoid it.
And it goes beyond that. Echo boxes, roger beeps, Over-modulated "CB hacknician" tuned radios (by removing the modulation limiter) that splatter 5 channels up and down due to harmonics, dirty class C amps illegally used with CB's, and male truck drivers whispering into the mic "I ain't got no panties on" (yes this does happen) are some of the other reasons why some just opt to keep the CB off, or just don't run one anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SATX56 View Post
No CB isn't dead everywhere but it's not what it was. With the low power consumption and clearer channels FRS is far superior to CB. But you can't get the range because the FCC won't allow it. Cell is huge and just a monster and can't be stopped. FRS radios would be far better for use between family members in malls and short distances in parks. But, you can't get a cell phone user to use them. Not the women in our family at least. Cell users are totally taken with their phones. It's unreal the way those little phones are totally intertwined in peoples lives. I have no use for cell phones. Good for emergencies but not for sucking all my life energy.
FRS is good for real short communications. FRS is nice b/c you can be inside of a building, transmit and usually your signal makes it out of the building. CB you cannot do that with, and usually not on VHF either.

Cell phones only work if the tower (repeater) is up and working. Otherwise they'd be about as efficient as FRS. I can see why the women in your family want nothing to do with FRS....now that we can text, why bother talking to anyone via voice.
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