Fine Business, Good Buddy: Amateur Radio for Truckers

Summer is the season for family road trips here in the US, and my family took to the open road in a big way this year. We pulled off a cross-country relocation, from Connecticut to Idaho. Five days on the road means a lot of pit stops, and we got to see a lot of truck stops and consequently, a lot of long-haul truckers. I got to thinking about their unique lifestyle and tried to imagine myself doing that job. I wondered what I’d do hour after long hour, alone in the cab of my truck. I figured that I’d probably just end up listening to a lot of audio books, but then I realized that there’s a perfect hobby for the road — ham radio. So I decided to see how ham radio is used by truckers, and mull over how a truck driver version of me might practice The World’s Best Hobby.

CB or Not CB

Truckers have long been associated with Citizens Band (CB) radio. A section of the 11-meter amateur radio band was set aside by the FCC in 1958 as a poor man’s business radio band, and by the 1970s CB rigs were in every truck. CB radios are still a tool that every trucker seems to have, but even with ridiculously powerful linear RF amps, CB has serious problems in the range department. With the FCC missing in action on the enforcement front, the 27 MHz band is a wild and wooly place where it’s difficult to reach out more than a few miles on a mobile.

In addition to the range issues, the conversations on CB are not exactly engaging stuff. Sure, as a trucker I’d want to know about traffic five miles ahead, or which weigh stations are open, but beyond that I couldn’t see myself getting into the typical profanity-laced tirades one seems to hear on CB. But it’s not even that, really. It’s more of the lack of technical challenge that makes CB unappealing to me. Buy CB rig, install rig, start talking on channel 19. Where’s the sport in that?

Local and Long Haul with Repeaters

Enter amateur radio. Ham radio in the long-haul trucker’s cab is a much better technical challenge. On the whole, it wouldn’t be a lot different than operating mobile like hams do every day. But most hams don’t find themselves 600 miles down the road at the end of a working day, and therein lies the challenge.

ICOMs D-Star digital system
ICOMs D-Star digital system. Source: ICOM

Most of the time, hams that operate on the go do so either on the 2-meter VHF band from 144 to 148 MHz, or on the 70-cm UHF band from 420 to 450 MHz. FM is generally the mode of choice in these bands, although there are plenty of other modes available to hams, including the increasingly popular digital modes like D-Star or System Fusion. But VHF and UHF signals have even worse propagation characteristics than CB — in general, the higher the frequency, the harder it is to achieve truly long-range communications via ionospheric skip. Even with the higher legal power limit enjoyed by hams on these bands, it’s really hard to reach out and touch someone directly past 10 miles or so.

To get around line-of-sight limitations, mobile hams usually rely on fixed repeaters. Repeaters allow hams to stay in contact over much larger areas, but there’s still a line-of-sight requirement between each mobile unit and the repeater. Repeaters linked with such protocols as IRLP extend coverage by simulcasting signals from one repeater to all the repeaters linked to it. But repeaters are expensive beasts to install and run, and so they’re spread pretty thin and generally concentrated in population centers. In the populated areas east of the Mississippi and along the west coast, VHF and UHF repeaters could work well for the trucking ham, but along the highways that ply the vast spaces of the American plains and mountains, not so much.

Another way for the trucking ham to leverage his or her ticket would be APRS. Automatic Packet Reporting System is a digital protocol that, among its many capabilities, allows hams to transmit their current location to a central network and display it on a map for any and all to see. I can see how this would be a great comfort to my family: “Look, Dad is between Rosebud and Forsyth I-94 in Montana.” And, with the proper gear, the trucking ham would be able to see the locations of other mobile hams for the chance for a quick drive-by QSO. Again, this would require access to repeaters, but it would still be a nice capability to have in the cab.

Long Range Trucking, Long Range Talking

As useful as VHF and UHF would be in the cab, the ultimate mobile ham experience has to be working on the high-frequency bands between 3 and 30 MHz. Access to the HF bands is the primary reason most Technician Class hams upgrade to General or Extra Class. HF privileges let you use frequencies that are readily refracted by the ionosphere so you can reach out hundreds or thousands of miles. Many hams work the HF bands with mobile rigs in their personal vehicles, so it’s no stretch to imagine a rolling HF-capable ham shack in the cab of a truck.

Antennas for HF are a bit of a problem for the rolling ham, though. Most fixed ham station antennas are large, ungainly affairs, necessarily so because of the long wavelengths in the HF bands, and they wouldn’t work well on a truck. But luckily, by making a few compromises from the gold standard quarter-wave dipole, mobile hams can still get HF antennas that perform well. Hamstick is the generic name for such antennas, and they’re readily available for every band from 6 to 75 meters.

truckk3
Ready to talk to the world – a remotely tunable HF antenna. Source: Hi-Q Antennas

Hams on 18 wheels have a significant advantage over their four-wheeler colleagues. Most over-the-road trucks come from the factory with plenty of places to mount antennas and radios. Plus, a big truck can sport a big antenna; a 75-meter hamstick that’ll look awkward on a Kia will blend right in on a Freightliner or Peterbilt.

And OTR trucks tend to have beefier electrical systems than passenger cars and light trucks. HF rigs pull a lot of juice – a 100-watt output ham radio will want almost all of 20 amps at 12 volts. You can easily source that kind of power in a truck, while in a passenger vehicle it takes some finagling.

So I guess my dream mobile shack would be a dual-band FM rig for local repeater work and APRS, along with a good HF rig to work DX. I’d mount a 20-meter hamstick on one mirror and a 40-meter on the other, and probably tuck a laptop in the sleeper compartment for logging and access to the WinLink system for email over HF – no need to rely on spotty truckstop WiFi coverage to stay in contact.

Oh, and I suppose I’d have to have a CB in the cab too. But that would just be for work. The ham rigs would be for fun.

49 thoughts on “Fine Business, Good Buddy: Amateur Radio for Truckers

  1. I am aware of a few mobile HAMs who do exactly what you describe. Most I have found use a Yaesu FT-991 or FT-857D (which both TX from 160m to UHF) with the ATAS-120 automatic tuning antenna. There are a few people where I live who also run this setup on Jeeps and similar SUVs with great results. I intend on doing this myself as soon as I have the money. Right now a UV-82HP and a mag-mount Noyga provide plenty of fun.

    73

    1. The free Ham community updated RepeaterBook app and website can help you find, and set your radio for local repeaters – I am the app author. CHIRP is another great free program for programming radios, it can also use RepeaterBook data.

      1. I use your app frequently! It’s great. Thanks for putting in the effort to keep it updated. Also, CHIRP works pretty well but sometimes it has a few hiccups with my newer HTs.

  2. one need only look at aprs.fi to see how many trucks are using APRS….

    Also if you allow for “ridiculously powerful linear RF amps” then you should be able to get very similar propagation characteristics on 11 meter to what you get on 10 meter… The biggest challenge in range is the antenna, Mobile antennas need to be small and durable and generally omnidirectional…. cuts down the range quiet a bit.

    Antenna limitation applies equally well to a mobile ham operation.

    The biggest difference in range is the legal one, mobile CB is legally topped out at 4 watts, and amateurs can push 1500 watts (at least in the US).

  3. I ran a CB for years in mah four-wheeler, and honestly the profanity-laden tirades were pretty scarce. It was mostly traffic checks and bear spottings. I used a low-end Cobra paired with a higher-end antenna mounted on the center of my roof for optimal ground plane and got about 10 miles of range when I did radio checks. I wouldn’t say that I used it to break land speed records with impunity, but it was definitely helpful on numerous occasions.

    My next project is to set up an SDR in-car so I can monitor lots of channels at once instead of just 19. I rarely talked so the cheaper receive-only units are OK.

    1. Dielectric – I’m working on a GPS-based SDR police scanner project in Hackaday.io. However, I have been meeting no joy with the different packages available to me. The only JavaScript based SDR software can only be used on Google Chrome, and it suffers from audio stuttering which the developer has no clue how to fix. It works for him though.

      I have build a black pegboard tablet holder that will hang off of the car heater ducts. It is lower than the heat flow. It covers the car’s console stuff. I used a thrift store 10″ tablet holder to make it look better than peg board holes. It would also use a universal power supply for the cigarette lighter hole. The antenna has a BNC to Motorola plug to allow a scanner antenna on the trunk.

      I’ve found the most cooperative Android tablet software is SDR Touch by Martin Marinov. It allows remote commands from another application (i.e. browser). SDR Touch is less proprietary with remote commands as it has a RTL server app. Just need to figure out how to send the RTL commands via USB port. That means CHROME again, as it seems to be the only browser that allows USB commands via JavaScript.

      But forget all that and just use it stand-alone for 26~27 Mhz is pretty cool with the proper antenna. You can visualize the entire band and just touch the spike and you have instant channel audio! It has squelch and scanning too if you set it up that way. It takes a learning curve but it is worth it. Find it on Google Play with your Android tablet or smartphone. You may need an $6 (usd) OTG cable for your RTL dongle, but my RCA Viking Android tablet already has that built in.

    2. I was messing around with one of those old “emergency CB” kits the other year, and stuck the antenna central like you say for good ground plane, and I got unbelievable “skip” a thousand miles down into Georgia. Two guys having a yarn, one was super loud and clear and I think he had a fixed station with a linear, but I could JUST hear who he was talking to, who was a guy testing a handheld in his backyard… theoretically 1 Watt !!!

      1. In retrospect (but they should have thought of it ahead of time), 11m was bad for this, because when conditions got good, you didn’t need much power. But it was also low enough in frequency that conditions were good a lot of the time in the summer. I remember tuning the band in the seventies, and it was a squeal of heterodynes, so many signals.

        I think one reason illegal amplifiers started being used was simply to be louder than others, rather than to get further than a few miles.

        And while governments have mostly given up on 27MHz, any replacements have been where skip is a lot less likely, the GMRS band, MURS, and FRS.

        Michael

  4. While I would have my IC-706mk2G and an AT-160 for HF it would be really fun to have an auto-trackng 2m/70cm yaggi for amateur satellite while stopped. I might even become a regular on the ISS packet BBS. But my father in law(western USA UPS long haul triple trailer) no longer even bothers with CB, he just uses a mobile phone with bluetooth in his ear for 60hrs a week to buddy chat and listen to audio books.

  5. In Central Kentucky CB radios are used a lot for businesses for shipping and receiving semis. Other then that a some farmers still use them with the unfortunate language barrier, as well as the old school guys that cant get out of the Smokey and the Bandit life. I work at a 2-way radio shop and as far as short distance talking I wouldn’t use anything but a 2-way radio so that a private line could be used to separate your traffic from someone else.

    I have a CB on my jeep and is never turned on until I hit the trails in the area, where most of them require a CB. I wish they would transition to a 2-way frequency, but with FCC fees and cost of decent radios, I can understand why that hasn’t happened.

  6. I’m not sure truckers should actively be on the air while they are driving their rig. Any accadebt they have is usually disastrous. They are faced with so many challenges and distractions already. I think it’s great they want to be in the hobby but the gear shouldn’t be actively used in the truck. More like stowed for an emergency. Also drivers being alone in the cab all the time…… Trust me I know, the majority of them talk too much lol and usually about mundane topics (my opinion only) Despite if they are using a hands free device or not or whether it’s 2 way radio or telephone; the communications should be limited to urgent / emergency calls only and not used for conversation.

    1. Steve – Well they have been using it for 58 years. I’m not sure they would agree with you. Although I AGREE WITH YOU. Distracted driving is a big deal! In Connecticut you are not allowed to hold ANYTHING in your hand except the steering wheel. So hand sets and smartphones in your hands are taboo.

      What you are talking about is called “rag chewing”. They do it stationary at truck stops and along those long straight roads with only them after or around midnight – helps them with boredom and sleepiness. Very few 4-wheelers on US highways they frequent during the grave yard shift. I see many of them with a headset boom mic around their necks and head. They use a foot-switch or VOX.

      Yes they do cause many accidents but not usually due to distracted driving from their CB Radios. It’s more substance abuse related. They also get sleepy on those long hauls. Some will pop “uppers” to stay awake instead of pulling over safely and catching a few ZZZ’s and that is disastrous when their bodies crash. Then the truck crashes too.

      What you need to fear from them is this new idea to have driver-less trucks! Imagine a robot giving you the finger from the cab! (LOL) goo.gl/WbHhYn

      UBER is planning on doing this too. Tesla has already been doing it and accidents have happened already.

      1. I am not sure how well this is enforced in CT. I have driven past a cop at 100mph towing a trailer in the left lane with a Radio mic in my hand. But you are right many states have primary enforcement on distracted driving. My opinion differs from yours slightly as I would trust a distracted, tired trucker who snorted an 8 ball of cocaine over the average minivan driver any day.

          1. I’ll give you the forester drivers, but Prius, Minivans, especially those expensive ones are also up there. I currently live in California, and ride a motorcycle. The number of minivans in the left lane that hug the #2 lane and don’t move when you rev and honk, I usually end up passing them in the left hand fog lane. They are terrible, I have seen other motorcyclist kick their mirrors off. I would too, I just don’t want to deal with any potential police interaction for having done so.

        1. John – I generally agree with you. Our STATIES (and local yokels) don’t all respond to scofflaws. The speed trap stops do. Now they hold up ENTIRE secondary highways for 10’s of miles for just seat-belt checks. I’ve seen local yokels employ binoculars at speed traps to see if you are texting or on the phone as you approach. The coolest part is the unmarked “mini-van” paralleling you to eye-ball you close and personal. Then he gets on his Motorola ‘handset’ (illegally by the way) to call ahead with your vehicle description. Since I’m a senior-citizen now I tend to always drive slow. But still get pulled over for stupid crap like license plate bulb, things dangling from rear view mirror, slight zig-zagging, or being out too late. All just lousy cover stories for THINKING I did not have my seat-belt on. OUT TOO LATE! Yes certain affluent neighborhoods in CT you better not just Sunday-Drive through at 3AM. They think your the world’s dumbest cat-burglar or something… And a CB radio and/or police scanner does not help the cop’s false-perceptions either.

          I once was approaching a client’s home during the middle of the day near a big motorcycle rally. The approaching parallel biker’s gave me some really dirty looks. Why? Because I had all that equipment up front and they swore I was “johnny law”. If only they knew I was just a lowly insurance guy off to inspect someone’s home. I’ve inspected bike club’s too. They need insurance too. Except I don’t ask any probing questions!

          1. At one time I drove a honda civic, the trunk looked like a porcupine with all the antennas sticking off it. I never got pulled over more times in my life than when I was driving that car.

        1. It was. “Urkel’s father” who answered “John McClane”.

          But that was a garbling. Thy had VHF or UHF radios, thy had short antennas,
          and that’s what the police use. Yet somehow it got treated as CB.

          And it continued, in the fourth movie Bruce Willis is using a VHF radio but talking to CBer.

          Michael

      1. BrightBlueJim – A lot of shut-ins, handicap, and senior-citizens monitor 24 x 7 (sometimes if they can stay awake :-) ). Some truck stops and trucker hotels monitor. Some local cops and staties (staties = STATE POLICE TROOPERS) monitor channel 9 while mobile – on rare occasions police dispatch may monitor too. But most of the latest CB rigs have channel 9 auto-scan. So it will interrupt your QSO on channel 19 (or any channel). I have been rescued once on western end of Pennsylvania Turnpike in a blizzard when my gas pump line froze up on the highway. Some trucker heard me on 9 and relayed to PSP to get me a local wrecker. Channel 9 is still a viable tool.

    1. Redhatter (VK4MSL) – 11-meter ionospheric skip can be phenomenal on only 5-watts (input). at 12-watts PEP on SSB (totally legal) is even better. I’ve ACCIDENTALLY worked people on other side of world while mobile in a tiny 4-wheeler! Just had a decent center loaded whip on trunk. The rig was unmodified stock. Sometimes the DX would break into a local QSO and then identified his location to us then faded out into the static. Blew our minds! A base station with an excellent roof omni or a yagi (beam) has longer DX QSO’s. And then at grave yard shift when the sun is down, the ground wave was really cool. GW could work people in Long Island NY from North central Connecticut. And we have a lot of tall hills (aka mountains) in between that route.

  7. Dan Maloney – This is a really really cool idea!

    I just wonder if you can get round pegs to fit into square holes. The metaphor is meant to show how the strict world of Amateur Radio may be problematic for SOME of the personality types out there that have no qualms with linear amplifiers (foot warmers) and other FCC restrictions to modifying their rigs (CB Radios). There are a lot of modified out-banders in 10 meters FM and in between channel users. And then let’s not talk about over modulation schemes and echo chambers. And channel protocol is practically non-existent. The loudest and brashest prevails. Amateur Radio just can’t tolerate that type of behavior.

    I mean good luck if you can find a subset of conformists among the many trucker non-conformist to take up the hobby. I’m sure there is a few that would do it correctly. However, I’ve experienced the cacophony of CB Radio (especially channel 19) and found it to be a wild wild west since I discovered it for myself in the 1970’s. In 1958 it was a lot more disciplined. It’s hard to keep channel 9 open for emergencies but sometimes it gets quiet enough and people will help out. The introduction of SSB allowed a different group of Amateur-LIKE users that proved to be a very cool feature. However, it too has devolved a bit and unauthorized DX is clearly strived for daily. See Part 95.413 CB DX limit of 250 km or 155 miles. The petition, RM-980, to modify that was denied back in 2000.

    I was brainstorming again (surprise surprise)… And I came up with pretty interesting method of CB Radio comms without the need of an actual radio (per se). This is an experimental system to try and duplicate old CB Radio via a SMARTPHONE application called ZELLO (available on Google Play for free). If you are on the “road again” just put up a printed-off paper sign in your car or truck window, or tell verbally, another driver to go to Channel 99 on his/her Smartphone and just follow the instructions here: https://goo.gl/kMCSp6

    It’s only an experiment. I am willing to accept further ideas, constructive criticism (yeah right!), and modifications that are within my ability as Zello is a pre-existing app I have no control over. The best configuration would be 3G/4G but Wi-Fi is OK when your sitting still. Some Wi-Fi AP’s have good range but you may have to log into each with your credentials like COX, XFINITY, AT&T and other providers.

  8. There are a few things that I get to enjoy all day as a truck driver, one being Ham Radio! I have 2 all band all mode radios, and 11 antennas that range from 160m-70cm. One of my radios is always on 146.520 2m simplex, I really enjoy making contacts on 2m simplex. In some areas of the US you may only be able to get out for about 10 miles, still others its not unusual to get out for 50+ miles with just 50 watts, its all about your antenna and how well it’s placed and hooked up. I do agree with Steve about the distracted driving, but truth be told from my POV, people in the little cars are way more distracted when driving than almost every truck driver out there. If I see more that 5 cars where they have both hands on the wheel in a day it really blows my mind! EVERYONE out here has there phone in there hand doing what ever it is they are doing. I don’t think any more laws are going to fix that problem, people will still get into wrecks due to what ever reason they are not paying attention to the road. As a semi truck driver I understand when it is ok to chat on the radio, and when it is not. For instance, on a 6 lane freeway, bumper to bumper, full speed ahead, with lots of corners and ramps, not really a good time to chat it up, but out on an open stretch of road with very few cars, well… So I think that if it were to become illegal to even have a radio, or phone in your truck, I would just have to go get a boring desk job, and be stuck doing nothing like most everyone else. I love driving, I have been to all but 13 states, have over 1 million accident free miles, and I think it would be a horrible thing to have my dream job destroyed by some stupid law saying I can’t talk on the radio. Anyways.
    I would also like to throw this thought out in the air, more and more truck drivers who love to chat on a radio are getting fed up with CB and switching over to Ham Radio. I have met hundreds of truck drivers that are hams, have also ran into lots of hams in there cars or at home. I would also like the toss the idea out in the air that if your a ham, and you see another ham, don’t even try to guess what repeater they are on, just go straight to 146.520 FM and say hi, then figure out a repeater in the area if your interested in chatting more. I personally stay on 146.520 24/7 and very rarely get on a repeater, and for those of you who say its a dead freq. Well then, my question to you is when was the last time you called CQ every 15 seconds for 10 hours a day every day you drive??? I guarantee you will find lots of QSO’s that way! More OTR truckers are just staying on that freq because we just do not want to try to find a new repeater every 50 miles or so. On the HF side of things, I have a 102″ whip mounted on my mirror for 10m & 11M,, and on my other mirror I have anything from an 11m fiberglass whip which tunes well for 10, 12, 15, & 17, or one of my hustlers of which I have two of each band – 10, 12, 15, 20, 40,& 80m, for 6m I just use the 54″ mast, I have 2 VHF/UHF antenna’s up on each door. I have 2 screwdrivers, HiQ 5/160, which is broken and home right now, and a Diamond 6-80m. For a more portable stationary antenna I’ve a end fed for 160-6m. For all this stuff I have, there are yet other drivers who make me look like I have nothing at all for all the gear they have. Ham truck drivers are out here, and we are growing in numbers. Hope to hear you out here on the west coast some where between Seattle and Phoenix!
    Rod
    AE7QT 18 Wheel mobile
    73

  9. I guess some people don’t realize that there are actually quite a few truckers who are hams. I myself holding a general class license. Been a driver for near 30 years and a ham for 16 years. Haven’t been on a CB in years also.

  10. I guess I have to disagree on this point; “HF rigs pull a lot of juice – a 100-watt output ham radio will want almost all of 20 amps at 12 volts. You can easily source that kind of power in a truck, while in a passenger vehicle it takes some finagling.”
    For decades now in the oil patch passenger and light trucks with standard electrical equipment have been capable of powering Land Mobile Radio and Improved Mobile Telephone Service. Both 100% duty cycle FM. However some with the mobile phones powered the phone from an auxiliary battery because the phone was on a lot when the vehicle was i not running.

    I beieve some HF docile operators make use of Winlink https://www.winlink.org/

    1. Greenaum – Yes Skype does have a Smartphone app. However, you can only set up conference calls with people you know their phone numbers. No global dial in number. But if they have your personal Skype-In number you can add them to a conference you already started. BUT they still need your personal Skype-In number. Are you going to post it on your lori’s bonnet? (LOL)

      I like the idea I posted below about using ZELLO (https://goo.gl/kMCSp6). Many people already use it for a quasi-CB radio app – I just organized one better for load balancing. Their servers are based in Austin TX (USA) and the run this free service as well as a paid version which works much better. They even have a free-trial for 5-users on the paid service (i.e it’s a fleet management app like NEXTEL). People worldwide use ZELLO for all sorts of ops too. ZELLO is a simplex conference app anyone can just PTT into without knowing the other parties. Totally anonymous to the other users.

      Shhhh... don't tell anyone but if you can find some old NEXTEL cell phones (I forget the model #) you can still use the DIRECT TALK feature on them. It's essentially a simplex non-networked 900 Mhz FHSS 1/2 watt walkie-talkie. But don't abuse it. It's the last bastion of cheap FHSS since they killed the TriSquare FHSS walkie-walkie for $30 (usd).

      1. Of course you can’t just call people at random. But IRC works quite well as a way of random people having a conversation. You just need a method of getting people who want to chat all in the same (virtual) place. Voice IRC. Solved problem! There’s programs for group voice chat already available.

        I was being obtuse when I suggested Skype, but it seems a bit pointless, in this day and age, to mess around making long-range DX analogue radio contacts, when there’s already a digital broadband (pretty broadband anyway) network all over most countries, that being mobile phones. You can get deals where you’re not billed by the megabyte. And it’s so simple and easy! Not limited to just the small group of people who want to mess with all the radio stuff.

        The radio stuff I’m sure was great in it’s time, and significantly better than nothing. But like Fidonet and so many other good things, it’s been supplanted. Maybe truckers just need to organise a few groups for them to chat on. Maybe with local groups for traffic “news”, and wider ones just for chatting.

        You could have it so you can join several channels, chat in the background, and local ones breaking in over them when somebody sees a police car. Use signals to encode the priority and type of message, have the user select which. Bit of custom phone software could do it, there might well be money in selling it. Running it on a tablet should take less driver attention than an existing radio rig.

        1. Zello would fit the bill, probably. I’ve even heard local hams say good things about it. I use echolink via internet because it drops me into specific local repeaters if I’m out of the area and I can check in with my homies using radios.

          Radios are still needed because what if the Internet Kill Switch is flipped and cellphones are blocked by the Demoncat party????!!! (Thought I’d throw some paranoia into it for you).

        2. Greenaum – Voice IRC!!! OMG! All the rudeness of the Internet with the added attraction of people talking over each other. It’d be like, like, … well, like CB!

          J.Kent – I agree with you, when the corporate right-wing bastards flip off the Internet switch (or just price it out of our range), it will be a good thing to have communications modes that don’t depend on network infrastructure.

  11. When I drove to Missouri in 2007 for the Heinlein Centennial, the cell phone I paid for had no service on the interstate, but my half watt ham radio handheld kept me in touch (free) via FM voice with repeaters all the way. Had a nice QSO with the engineer for public broadcasting in Kansas.

  12. One side note, APRS on HF frequencies is a thing. I’ve not yet had a chance to dig into the practicality of this for mobile use, but it could certainly help in the range department.

  13. | It’s more of the lack of technical challenge that makes CB unappealing to me.

    You know… I have a ham license myself – as a 25+ year experienced electronics technician, I took the test just to prove to myself I could – but that attitude right there is the reason I have absolutely no desire to talk to most “hams”…. the complete and utter self-importance and air of superiority that most hams I’ve met display. It’s the same as Harley riders… for the most part if you ride anything other than a hog, they have no respect for you at all. (I also have 10 years experience as a motorcycle mechanic and I ride both a 454LTD and a ’76 Goldwing).

    I have both the knowledge and the ability to hold my own in both the ham and Harley crowds, but I feel much more at home with the “lowly” CBers and non-Harley bikers. At least those boys don’t look down their nose at the other guys.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s