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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Observations About CB Radio in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas


As a pre-teen in 1980s Puerto Rico, I was big into CB radio, as
many others were at the time. After a couple of years, though, my
interest waned and I left CB. Many years later, I bought a used
Realistic TRC-415 mobile unit on eBay and put it in my car, with a
magnetic base antenna. Not much seemed to be going on in the
CB bands then, and I honestly wasn't as interested in it as I
thought I was. So, before long, I put the CB away and forgot
about it. Recently, I found it while going through some old boxes,
and decided to put it in my car again.

My commute to work is now different than it was since I
bought the mobile unit a few years ago, and this time I was
able to hear a lot more. Practically nobody has been able to
copy ME, though, with the exception of a contact in Grapevine
which my fiancee was able to make late one night while I
drove us back from a local bar. I know that I need a better
unit and antenna (and a SWR meter), but that's not happening
just yet.

I do monitor CB on my way home from work 2-3 times a
week, usually while driving through Irving and the DFW
Airport area, and I've noticed a few patterns:


Channel 2 seems to be used  almost exclusively by Spanish-
speakers.

Puerto Ricans seem to like to hang out on Channel 9 (the
'Emergency Channel', but apparently this isn't enforced
very well, if it ever was). Good to see Puerto Ricans
still into CB, even all the way over here. Just don't try to
use Channel 9 for emergencies near DFW Airport.

Channel 6 normally sees the most activity, with some
high-wattage units making appearances, one in specific,
which I haven't been able to clearly identify.

Other than that, I just hear a lot of truckers with extremely
rural accents that I can almost never understand.

I will transmit every now and then to see if anybody can
copy me, but other than the nighttime contact described
above, no dice. I usually do this on channels 6, 8 and 9,
at around 5:00-5:30PM CDT and I go by the handle
"W.E.M.Y." Give me a shout if you hear me.

I'm looking to upgrade my CB set-up sometime in the
near future, and I will post here when and if I do. We do
have a CB shop in the area, which I need to check out
sometime soon: Ike's CB Shop. Their Facebook page
is here. I'll post more observations when something new
happens.

3 comments:

  1. You would really love Ham radio then. You can listen to them with your shortwave if it has SSB on 20 m (14150-14350 khz.) That is just one band of many. You could even put a Ham rig (UHF, VHF or HF) or all in your car, talk to someone in Europe on your drive home from work. There is also D-Star, Echolink, PSK31, RTTY, WSPR, CW. It goes on and on. You need to pass the tests but allof the material you have to study helps you be a better SWL anyway. If an old lady like me I can get the Extra ticket anyone can. C. Lysandrou from the yahoo SWL mailinglist

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  2. Funny you should say that, I have given Ham a lot of thought lately, and some day I really would like to get licensed and get into that aspect of the radio hobby. I have heard hams on occassion on 20m on my Tecsun portable, which is what got me into thinking about this. My dad was also a ham himself waaayyy back. The only thing keeping me from getting into ham right now is the cost of buying equipment (getting married this year, so $$$ for radio stuff is not a priority at the moment), but it is on my medium-term "to-do list".

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  3. Cost is not an excuse anymore for not getting into Ham. There is the Baofeng UV-5R for $40 and it transmits on 2 Ham bands and receives more. All it takes is the Technician's license which doesn't require Morse code testing. I too started in CB and sorry to see those good ole days of friendly chatter disappear.... but they have just moved to Ham frequencies.

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