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 Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area

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StevieG
Victor
Hotel Zulu 253
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Call Sign : Red
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Join date : 2021-06-04
QTH or Location : Marlow, Bucks
Equipment Used : Harvard 410T

Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Empty
PostSubject: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeFri Jun 04, 2021 1:30 am

Hi all,

I just got an old Harvard 410T, from a dedicated radio repair/refurbishment shop on eBay. Not properly tried to use it yet, but considering it's a handheld radio I'm not expecting much.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to afford a "proper" setup due to me being disabled and unemployed, but provided there's actually people in my area to chat with I may be able to get what I need over the course of a few months.  The Harvard does have a socket for an external antenna, so maybe I'll get lucky and be able to use that without paying hundreds of pounds for a full setup.

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Hotel Zulu 253
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Join date : 2021-04-25
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Equipment Used : Galaxy 959, GE 3-5826A, 1/2 wave Station Master

Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Empty
PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeFri Jun 04, 2021 2:39 am

I can't specifically answer your question, but I'd bet you'll hear some chatter, somebody will most likely let you know which channels are likely to be busy in your area. With some patience and channel surfing you'll hear something.
With some cheap coax plugs, coax and basic materials you should be able to construct a simple but very effective external antenna to suit the frequencies? of that particular radio by following plans on the internet.

Best of luck, welcome to CB radio 👍
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Victor
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 Ham M7VIC
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Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Empty
PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeFri Jun 04, 2021 7:08 am

Hi Chris,

Welcome to Charlie Tango.


If you have other CB users in your area you may strike lucky with the Harvard and make a local contact. You can find out by simply listening on your radio until you come across a busy channel but it's also worth calling out as someone else may be simply listening too. 

Unfortunately these type of radios have a very limited range so anyone else would have to be pretty close to you. As you mention it has an external antenna input and if you utilised that with even a basic CB type antenna your range will be much improved.


It doesn't all have to cost too much money either. 

Radio today has unfortunately taken the route of ladies shopping in shoe shops and boutiques.....expensively 'pretty' radios, must have accessories to simply 'die for', shopping the fashionable brands, so called recommendations by others to 'fit' in with the main crowd and of the course, 'the more watts the better'. Wink

But there are also others that like to build their own antennas, happily use an old SWR meter, (which are usually just as accurate as the latest meters costing a flipping lot more!), and even discover that 'cheaper' coax can actually be better than so called 'military grade' stuff. (I use RG6.....apparently for TV & Video use....works better than RG58/RG8....at a fraction of the price! The 75 ohm impedance makes little or no difference.)

So don't be dissuaded by such matters.


If your disability leaves you housebound you may be in a similar situation to myself. 

I don't think people realise that yearning we all have for other human contact and how that can be stripped away from us as a disabled person. Radio can be a rewarding hobby giving us a sense of worth or at least occupying a busy mind as well as providing that vocal contact we often strive for. A sense of 'connection' does very well for the heart and soul.

Having had very little luck with CB contact in my own area, (and what was out there was rather rude and unfriendly), I looked at alternatives. Due to the pandemic and lock down Amateur radio examinations became available online, places such as Essex Ham provide free online tuition and the Foundation exam is cheaper than your average radio, (£27.50 when I last looked). So with a loan of a laptop from a friend I took a course and sat the exam passing with relative ease.

Amateur radio may not be for everyone but I found it all quite welcoming and pleasurable.

A simple £20 Baofeng handheld will gain you access to local 2m/70cm repeaters and a whole host of enthusiastic radio users all more than willing to converse and even provide assistance. The licence will last your lifetime, you don't have to 'progress' up the licence tiers if you don't wish and of course........you can still use CB. Wink


Anyway, I'm known to waffle, but I do strive to do it in the most helpful way I can.

I wish you all the best with your radio adventures no matter what routes you take. It doesn't always have to be about the best radio, best antenna, best DX or other such......Sometimes it's all about that simple act of talking to another person.


All the best,
Victor

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Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Empty
PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeFri Jun 04, 2021 7:50 am

Hi Chris, welcome to the CTDX group 
73s
Steve.
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John123
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Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Empty
PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeFri Jun 04, 2021 12:26 pm

Hello and welcome, Chris.

73s John.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeFri Jun 04, 2021 8:53 pm

Hello Chris, welcome to the forum.

73’s Gary.

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Call Sign : Red
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeSat Jun 05, 2021 3:54 pm

So I did a little bit of servicing on the radio (de-oxidising the pots), and went through all the channels listening out for people.  When that turned up nothing, I went to channel 19 (a fellow brit on YouTube said that was the general chatting channel in his area, so I figured I'd give it a try) and made a few test transmissions asking if anyone could hear me.  I got a very faint "Say again?" back, but nothing more, so at least I've confirmed that there's someone within range of me using a radio.  Maybe I'll try going to higher ground sometime to see if that can get me a conversation.

EDIT: Went outside and tried in various points around my garden.  Was able to pick up more, but still not clear enough to have a conversation.

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Equipment Used : SS6900N, Xiegu G90, DX-300 for SWL, all antennas home-made

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitimeSun Jun 06, 2021 9:08 pm

Welcome to the forum Chris. It's a good evening to have a flick around on your handheld. The skip is dropping a few stations from the Nederlands on the south of the UK on the UK FM channels which I believe yours covers. Ok, so they're not local to you, but still fun to listen, plus there's no harm in trying to get back to them.. you never know unless you try.
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area   Newbie who has never used CB before, don't even know if there's anyone in my area Icon_minitime

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