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CB vs. Short Wave Which one is better and why?

Discussion in 'Sports, Hobbies & Interests' started by Pearson, Feb 19, 2022.

  1. Feb 19, 2022 at 9:51 AM
    #1
    Pearson

    Pearson [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I would like to add a Two-Way radio to my truck. But I don't want to constantly be upgrading as I learn more about them. I also would like to make it as much of a factory clean look install as possible.

    Could anyone offer advice on which way to go CB vs. Short wave and what is the best radio and why?

    Many thanks, Elliott
     
  2. Feb 19, 2022 at 9:57 AM
    #2
    Key-Rei

    Key-Rei Well-Known Member

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    SWR/HAM but get your license(s) as required.
     
    Fohu, kakwvu and Pearson [OP] like this.
  3. Feb 19, 2022 at 9:57 AM
    #3
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    It really boils down to what the people you want to communicate with are using. GMRS seems to be the most popular right now, you can get units that hide away with all of the controls on the mic, they do require a license from the FCC if you are trying to keep it legal.
     
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  4. Feb 19, 2022 at 10:02 AM
    #4
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    Personally I run GMRS for chatting with friends, a 2m/70cm amature radio (aka ham, or HAM if you're yelling it) for chatting with strangers, and a Spot satellite messenger for actual emergencies. The Spot also lets me send text messages to any regular phone when I'm out of service range.
     
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  5. Feb 19, 2022 at 11:48 AM
    #5
    Pearson

    Pearson [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So what is the best RIG to get, Save the GOLD Plating?
     
  6. Feb 19, 2022 at 1:55 PM
    #6
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    We'll that depends on what you want to use radio for and what service the people you want to communicate with are using. With a few exceptions most of these different radio types can't communicate with other radio types.
     
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  7. Feb 19, 2022 at 2:20 PM
    #7
    AI Surf Fisher

    AI Surf Fisher Well-Known Member

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    I run GMRS and CB in my Taco and 4Runner. Motorola makes a good 15watt GMRS set that can be concealed in the center console and all controls are in the mike. Biggest installation issue is running the antenna cable and getting a solid ground. I run cables for a living so not a big deal for me but would be challenging to some. Motorola unit was around $ 160.00 I believe and then a decent antenna and cable maybe another $ 40.00. A GMRS license thru the FCC takes about 2-3 days and the price might have come down from $ 75.00 now and is good for 10 years.
     
  8. Feb 20, 2022 at 7:46 AM
    #8
    Pearson

    Pearson [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Where are you located? This sounds right, If we are close enough maybe you can do the installation. I mean if I understand right when you say you do it for a living. From what I read the GMRS and CB sound like they are of the more common formats. What I would like to consider is proven makes and models that are offered in each.

    Is this a consideration? I mean for the UHF radio?

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q76YH1T

    I like the separate screen for the information. It makes me think that perhaps it might lead to a more clean or factory option look.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2022
  9. Feb 22, 2022 at 6:11 PM
    #9
    Pearson

    Pearson [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What's the process for your license? And can you recommend a solid unit to buy?
     
  10. Feb 22, 2022 at 6:31 PM
    #10
    MNMLST

    MNMLST Well-Known Member

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  11. Feb 23, 2022 at 5:16 AM
    #11
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    https://midlandusa.com/blogs/blog/why-do-i-need-a-gmrs-license-how-do-i-get-it

    Solid choice for a really clean install:
    https://midlandusa.com/collections/micromobile/products/mxt275-micromobile-two-way-radio

    What I'm personally using, essentially the same as above but with the controls on the base unit instead of the mic:
    https://midlandusa.com/collections/micromobile/products/mxt115-micromobile-2-way-radio

    Now antenna choice and placement is a series of compromises where you have to decide between ultimate performance and easily reversible. The absolute best performance will require drilling a hole in your roof for an NMO mount, the other end of the spectrum would be a magnet mount.
     
  12. Feb 23, 2022 at 5:22 AM
    #12
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    I'd pass. That radio can TX on frequencies that can get you into real trouble, doesn't have an exactly friendly UI, and isn't exactly the best quality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2022
  13. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:10 AM
    #13
    Pearson

    Pearson [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, but remember I am new to the whole 2 way thing so I don't know what RX and UI means.
     
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  14. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:19 AM
    #14
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    Well I typed that before my coffee kicked in, I meant to say that Baofeng can TX (transmit) on frequencies that could get you in trouble. You are allowed to pretty much listen to anything that's being transmitted on the airwaves (i.e. using a police scanner) but you can get into trouble if you transmit for say a radio check on you're local fire department's dispatch frequency.

    RX: Receive
    TX: Transmit
    UI: User interface
     
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  15. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:21 AM
    #15
    Pearson

    Pearson [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I did get into CB's for a while when I was doing a lot of state-to-state driving. I was lucky enough to have a shop near me with a guy that was a wizard at working on them. I think what I had I ended up with was a Cobra 128 that he did what he called a tweek to. I'm not sure what all he did but people really liked it and said they could hear me clearly and from a long distance. I can't remember whatever happened to it we did so much wheeling and dealing back then. But I enjoyed it while traveling.
     
  16. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:22 AM
    #16
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    Back when I was a fresh "ham" I started with a Baofeng handheld, now I have nicer radios and have the old 'feng programed to scan local emergency services...with TX disabled of course.
     
  17. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:23 AM
    #17
    mic_sierra

    mic_sierra Super White Taco

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    Tx is transmit, Rx is receive, UI is user interface. I highly recommend you go over to AARL's website and find a local HAM club to get to know in your area. It is a friendly community with some knowledgeable people. They're going to ask you about use case and your user story so plan on answering those questions before talking about gear.

    GMRS is what I am starting with before going for a HAM radio and I am considering the Midland MXT275VP4. If you go with GMRS you will need to pay the $70.00 for a license with the FCC. Navigating the FCC website will be a journey as you first have to register for an FRN and then link that FRN to the license you apply for. There are several articles you can google that walk you through the process. GMRS licenses are good for your entire family whereas HAM licenses are by individual. Listening on the HAM bands is fine but as soon as you key the PTT (push-to-talk) and transmit on a HAM band you are violating Federal Law if you are not licensed to talk on that band.

    Find a local club, meet some people. Let them know you are new and ask them what you should consider before buying any gear. It is a neat community.
     
  18. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:26 AM
    #18
    E.J.

    E.J. Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to be that guy, and I'm saying the jovially...ham is not an acronym, ham is not an acronym, ham is not an acronym.

    CB: Citizens Band
    GMRS: General Mobile Radio Service
    Ham: Ham-fisted
     
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  19. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:29 AM
    #19
    joshuajayg

    joshuajayg Well-Known Member

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    I know very little about GMRS so I wonder, can you use a retired LMR (land mobile radio) programmed to GMRS frequencies or is it not Part-whatever accepted? Police, fire, etc. sell used radios pretty cheap. Seems like a good option for a quality radio.
     
  20. Feb 23, 2022 at 6:31 AM
    #20
    joshuajayg

    joshuajayg Well-Known Member

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    But if you don't send morse code, are you a ham or simply an amateur?
     

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