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Breaker, breaker, do we have any former CB nuts here?

  1. Feb 22, 2013 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Dating myself here.

    Today I was reminded of an old hobby of mine - CB Radios. When I was about 14 years old, I thought this and ham were about the coolest things in the world. So I started to learn Morse code for my ham license, got a CB radio and a decent antenna, and had at it. And man oh man, 5 WATTS of transmitting power!!! Woohoo.

    So I got a license and took a handle, and proceeded to talk with other CBers about

    1) Who had the most illegal transmitting power
    2) Which guy has the biggest antenna
    3) Fishing
    4) Hunting

    I was a nerd, I hung out with two old hams in the area, but was also an avid fisherman and hunter, so I did just fine. One day all of the CBers in the area decided to meet at a local diner. Of course, I was invited. I'd been talking with these guys for a better part of a year. They were all adults, which I pretty much knew. But THEY all thought I was an adult as well. You should have seen the look on their faces when I parked my bicycle and introduced myself!

    This is the Steelhead, KST3354, 10-10 and 10-8 and on the side.

    [license number defunct long ago]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2013 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    And for those who have never heard this, um, special variety of music before... a special treat from the 1970s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3VN54M1OXA
     
  4. Feb 22, 2013 #3
    No, but I used to DX (listen to distant radio stations) as a hobby. I had hundreds of QSL (listening confirmation) cards from around the world, but I threw them away after the advent of the internet. The Czech station used to broadcast in English twice a night. I listened to the first broadcast and they mentioned my name and read a part of my QSL report on the air. When the second broadcast came I had my tape recorder ready and recorded that part of the show.
     
  5. Feb 22, 2013 #4

    Astronuc

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    My younger brother was into CBs and he embraced the culture. It was a bit hard to live with.

    I was satisfied with building a shortwave radio, one of many electronics projects. Later my folks bought me a decent multiband radio, so the reception was so much better.

    Years later, after the CB craze disappeared, I knew folks who have public service radios to monitor police and fire departments. Actually, I'd occasionally accompany some wrecker drivers, and occasionally we'd be headed somewhere, and upon hearing about some incident, hastily change plans and head off to the action.

    Other friends (railfans) had radio receiving railroad frequencies and we'd catch up with freight trains in the rural areas of Texas.
     
  6. Feb 22, 2013 #5
    A: The reason you can't get a girl is that you are a physicist and too smart. Do you want me to fix that?
    B: Yes
    A: This machine will lower your IQ. Here's your first zap. Are you OK?
    B: Yeah
    A: Still too smart, I'll zap you again. Are you still OK?
    B: Yep.
    A: Once more. Still good?
    B: That's a big 10-4 good buddy.
     
  7. Feb 22, 2013 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Now Jimmy, most of those guys were the men who move America!

    Yeah, it was an interesting crowd. There was this one guy named The Night Stalker, who took the name from the TV show. He had a van with a fantastic custom paint job following the same theme. All of us younger guys thought he was cool. As you may recall. vans were cool then. And custom vans with hot paint jobs were really cool!

    So one day I had dropped by and asked to see inside of his van. No kidding, I bet there were at least a hundred roaches on the floor in front of the driver's seat. I had never even seen pot before!
     
  8. Feb 22, 2013 #7
    I'm [STRIKE]32[/STRIKE] 33, which is young compared to CB's.

    An old friend was into radio at the time, I suppose age 12 or a bit older. Anyways had CB radios and we played with them, I think channel 19 was most active.

    Great fun for sure. That friend went on to get his HAM license a couple of years later.

    I recall, the "community" that is HAM radio users were very welcoming, seeing such a young "whipper snapper" going through the license process for HAM.

    He could even make the occasional phone call with it. This is when cell phones were...a bad value. So it was quite cool!

    Ever since "VE3" type license plates stood out like sore thumbs...well that and the giant whip antennas attached to the car.

    I had always thought of that friend as being particularly unique, being young and interested in technical details of radio. Apparently he was not the only youngster interested in radio-communication.


    btw, with say 5 watts in CB wavelength...is it possible to TX/RX between Canada and south states on a late & overcast night? Apparently we were talking with someone so far away, and concluded it may have been the cloud cover, lack of other radio interference (night) and long wavelength of CB radio. The TX/RX wasn't for long and was faint compared to the "noise". Always wondered if we were being "tricked" by someone more local.

    Seems that particular childhood path is done now, two tin cans & a string to walkie-talkies to CBs to HAM to a career in "electronics".
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  9. Feb 22, 2013 #8

    jim hardy

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    Yes,

    in another life: "You're listening to KAKX3480 , Radio Free Homestead - the Voice of the Everglades"....

    On the domestic front, "That's a Big Ten Yes Dear" has useful allaying effect.
     
  10. Feb 22, 2013 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    That was always the problem with catching skip. You never knew for sure.

    IIRC, sometimes the hams would venture into the CB bands and play games.
     
  11. Feb 22, 2013 #10

    nsaspook

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    I had a official license back when the FCC still handed out call letters for CB. I worked part-time at a Dallas Tx RadioShack during the CB crazy and installed radios for truckers in the back parking lot of the store. Some of us belonged to the CB slider club. We mainly used modified CB radios on SSB that could tune slightly above the normal CB band but still below the Ham band at 28mhz (27.410 – 27.990)
    http://www.freebandradio.zoomshare.com/ [Broken]

    I still have my modified old radio (somewhere). It had one of the band crystals removed and used a home build VFO instead with a frequency counter to tune the upper band using a CB band bi-quad antenna on the roof of the house.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  12. Feb 22, 2013 #11

    turbo

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    I had a CB radio installed in my car, and later my truck. If you're going to wander these back roads, it's nice to have a way to call for help if you need it. For that reason, I insisted that my father get a cell phone. He rarely uses it, but it's on his belt should he need it.
     
  13. Feb 22, 2013 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I had one in my pickup truck for years. I bought that truck to move to Oregon from California, so the radio came in handy during those multiple 18-hour drives each way. I mostly wanted it for emergencies, but it was entertaining to catch the trucker chatter once a awhile. The scary part was that the ones going over the moutain passes were bragging about how many tens of thousands of pounds they were overweight. I guess the scales were closed at times and this resulted in a free-for-all as the word got around. I remember that one guy really shocked me. True? Who knows, but he was talking about being something like 50,000 pounds overweight, IIRC.

    Funny. Yes, people really talked like this!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_Tje6kdeLg
     
  14. Feb 27, 2013 #13

    Redbelly98

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    I was never into CBs, but I was a teenager when that came out and I remember it well.

    Thanks for the memories.
     
  15. Feb 28, 2013 #14

    Borek

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    Convoy (and Smokey and the Bandit) was a hit even for some of us living in very different necks of woods.
     
  16. Feb 28, 2013 #15

    nsaspook

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  17. Mar 12, 2013 #16
    The CB craze was big in the UK until the government banned FM communication for civilian use! Yes true, not only are 99% of British citizens not allowed to possess fire arms in our quasi democracy/kingdom thingy, we are forbidden to communicate via FM!!! My dad had a really nice Murphy "home base" and could tag callers 200 miles away or even further when the "skip" was good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  18. Mar 12, 2013 #17
    The 70's and early 80's were great weren't they. The cinema I watched Smokey and the Bandit in was blown to bits the next day by the IRA!!!
     
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