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 Intro - with question (Introduction Only)

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Rumblefish
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PostSubject: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeTue Mar 19, 2024 10:24 am

Hi,

I'm glad to be here and able to seek advice.
 
I have experience as a shortwave enthusiast. My main radio is Tecsun s2000 and I have a longwire antenna and an MLA-30+ loop antenna - I have had success receiving signals from all over the world with this simple and relatively cheap set up.
 
I'm looking to get into CB radio - hoping to set up a home base. Before I spend the money though I have a few questions.
 
1) is there an active CB community in my area (Huntingdonshire/ Peterborough) QTH locator : IO92WK - doesn't seem worth spending the money unless if there is no one on the airwaves.
 
2) If i buy a cheaper rig will I quickly regret not getting one with side band?
 
The radio I have in mind is; a Radioddity CB500 along with a Thunderpole silver rod | 1/2 wave hi-gain antenna.
 
Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeTue Mar 19, 2024 4:46 pm

Hi there 'Rumblefish',
(My apologies but no name given)

Welcome to Charlie Tango.


You sound like you may be completely new to the CB radio interest but luckily already have an interest in radio with your shortwave listening activities. (Exactly how I and maybe many others started off.)

We do have many members registered here from your area but unfortunately don't make much of an appearance on the forum so I couldn't tell you whether they were actively on-air or not. The best way to find out would be to tune up your Tecsun to the 27MHz region and have a good old listen for yourself. In some areas there is a lot of CB activity but others may be completely devoid of local traffic.

One area of interest with CB is the DX opportunities and luckily we're currently riding up the crest of the wave of the latest solar cycle (should peak in 2025) which can open up long distance communications. This can be done with AM/FM facilities even with low power and a less than stellar antenna setup from European contacts, the Americas and sometimes even further when conditions are good. However if such activity takes your interest it may be worth investing in a SSB radio (which will also include AM/FM modes) as most activity occurs on those sideband modes for very good reason. (Signals travel much better and hence further.)

You do have to be in it for the long game though as CB activity can wane to nothing one moment and the next signals appear from all over the world. Whether you gain contact with them is another thing and does require a certain level of tenacity on your behalf.

If the radio interest really does take your fancy you could do as many of here have done and take the Amateur Radio examination where the radio possibilities abound especially with all those extra frequencies and modes that would be at your disposal. For instance I am currently monitoring the 12m (24/25MHz) frequencies and in a couple of hours have picked up over 900 operators from 61 countries via the FT8 digital modes. I could and have communicated with many such operators with low powers along with an antenna strung up in my loft made from an old electric lawnmower lead. (Yes, really!)

If that takes your fancy you can find further information from many resources but a good one I utilised (and undertook my studies with) is Essex Ham :-

https://www.essexham.co.uk/

You don't even have to join a 'club' and can undertake study at your own leisure from home including taking the final examination online should you wish. More information can be found on their site.

Worth thinking about especially as the courses are free (donations appreciated) and the final exam is way cheaper than the cost of your average CB radio.

That doesn't mean that you have to 'choose' a certain 'camp' of radio interests and many here enjoy radio in all it's forms from unlicensed CB or PMR activities to licensed Amateur Radio pursuits. It can all be as expensive or as cheap as you desire as with any other interests/hobbies with your spending level being up to you. Some pay silly prices for bits of wire purporting as antennas whilst others happily chop up their own from whatever wire they have laying about. Wink



That's a long answer but hopefully enthuses you with the possibilities the radio interest can herald.

The short answer is as mentioned by having a listen to radio traffic in your area and making your own choices from there. I already know though that as interesting as simply listening can be there's always a certain itch to add your own voice to those air-waves too. Intro - with question (Introduction Only) 1f44d

I wish you the best with whatever path you decide to take but remember that ultimately all decisions are only yours to make.


All the best,
Victor

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John123
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Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeTue Mar 19, 2024 8:47 pm

Hello and welcome.

Great advice from, Victor.👍👍👍

73s John.

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Rumblefish
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PostSubject: Re: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeWed Mar 20, 2024 8:00 am

Thanks for the reply and help. 

Scanning the 11m band is a good idea. Probably best to use my SDR as I can continually scan the whole band at one time to see what activity is there. 

Ham radio is another option I'm considering. I have a copy of the syllabus already. However time constraints have make it hard to fir in the learning I need to do.

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeWed Mar 20, 2024 9:34 am

Nice idea with the SDR especially if you have the facilities to record a chunk of spectrum for viewing back at a later time.

There's a KiwiSDR facility online near your area (Peterborough) that would probably pick up more signals than achievable with a basic home setup that might be worth investigating too. The location map is available at the following link :-

http://rx.linkfanel.net/

Just zoom in on the map and click on a location you want to listen to.
(You can listen-in on many receivers worldwide which can be a lot of fun.)


I felt I never had the time for Ham radio whilst bringing up a young family (nor the money!) but luckily in my older age time is aplenty....just maybe not the money. Wink

Again I wish you well with your interests.


All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeWed Mar 20, 2024 2:01 pm

Wow - that is cool! Never knew it existed! 

the name is Jonathan, by the way  Intro - with question (Introduction Only) 1f600

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeWed Mar 20, 2024 3:54 pm

A pleasure to make your acquaintance there Jonathan. Intro - with question (Introduction Only) 1f44d 

Yeah, the KiwiSDR project is quite a good one and various users utilise many different antenna systems although some place strict time controls on their usage. (It's their electricity & bandwidth I suppose.)

Another good site is the webSDR project :-

http://websdr.org/

Again with many receivers worldwide and although some with only particular bands of use they do stretch from LF up to UHF overall.

I find such stuff amazing and commend people on their efforts with such projects so that those without receivers or even fancy listening to another part of the world can do so via the internet. (It's also handy if you want to see if you're own transmissions are reaching somewhere too!)

You obviously have the radio bug Jonathon and I wouldn't expect it'd take much for you to add your own electromagnetic emanations into the throng of radio signals out there. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Intro - with question (Introduction Only)   Intro - with question (Introduction Only) Icon_minitimeWed Mar 20, 2024 9:07 pm

A warm welcome Jonathan. Great introduction!

Victor and others have given some good advice, especially using WEBSDR. I listen to the one at University of Twente in the Netherlands to check on propagation before deciding which bands to head for.

University of Twente

Good luck and 73

Deb

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