Modified XJ Cherokee Tech XJ (84-01)
All modified tech questions. If it modifies your XJ beyond stock parts ask it here.

CB or Race Radio?

Old 04-12-2019, 08:24 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: AV Kalifornia
Posts: 585
Year: 1996
Model: Grand Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default CB or Race Radio?

Seems like clubs and individuals are moving away from CBs to race raidios. what is your impression and opinion of the two comm systems?
jon-d is offline  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:35 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
downs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Hunt County Texas
Posts: 504
Year: 1995
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0L
Default

"Race Radios" are simply VHF or UHF or both combined radios. Think HAM radio.

Many people are making the switch to VHF/UHF comms because the audio is much clearer (CB is AM, UHF/VHF is FM), the equipment is much smaller, a proper antenna for a dual band radio may only be about 16 inches long vs 4+ feet long for a CB radio, and you can run a lot more power. By law CBs are limited to 4 watts of output power. These other radios you are looking at are pushing 50 watts or more. They also give you access to repeaters which can greatly extend your range.

I used to run both a HAM and CB radio in my Jeep and when I switched to my newest XJ I didn't even bother moving the CB over.

Now the problem is, and one of the things the dealers like Rugged Radios won't tell you is that you are supposed to be licensed to operate these radios in most of the radio spectrum. There are three license-less bands in the US, FRS, MURS, and CB. GMRS is supposed to require a license but most people ignore that or simply don't know.


It also doesn't help that Rugged Radios are starting to sponsor a bunch of off road channels so the same folks that buy thousands of dollars of "overland" gear to go to the mall are flocking out to buy their radios as well with no knowledge about what they are doing.

In some instances you can operate under a "business" license that an event or venue has acquired though the FCC but that's pretty rare and in most cases such as with actual races like King of the Hammers, temporary.

Legal disclaimer: While the chances of being caught are pretty dang slim if you start sticking your radio where it doesn't belong on the wrong frequency and interfering with people they will track you and you might get in trouble with the FCC. Most likely it will be a slap on the wrist but they have the legal authority to do much more, so keep that in mind.

Basically get online watch videos search forums, ask questions and learn how to operate the radio before pushing down on the PTT button. Even if you don't get your license (tech level HAM radio license is insanely easy to get and costs 15 dollars for 10 years), be smart about how you use the radio and don't go transmitting where you shouldn't. These radios offer a lot of flexibility and options which is awesome but for an uneducated user can cause problems.

Oh and don't buy from Rugged Radios unless you like getting gouged 4x the price of what the radio sells for elsewhere. They also don't warn anyone about the possible legal issues they may be facing using their radios. To me that's dishonest and crooked.



If you have any questions feel free to ask I know there are at least a few Radio folks on this forum other than me. The off road community as a whole has a really bad reputation with the HAM radio community and I try to reach "across the aisle" as much as I can to help mend that bridge in some respects.

Last edited by downs; 04-14-2019 at 08:45 AM.
downs is offline  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:48 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
downs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Hunt County Texas
Posts: 504
Year: 1995
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0L
Default

Just for information reasons here's a legal breakdown from someone that's a much better speaker than I am haha. Watch it or not I just throw it on there FYI.

downs is offline  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:49 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: AV Kalifornia
Posts: 585
Year: 1996
Model: Grand Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default

Originally Posted by downs View Post
"Race Radios" are simply VHF or UHF or both combined radios. Think HAM radio.

Many people are making the switch to VHF/UHF comms because the audio is much clearer (CB is AM, UHF/VHF is FM), the equipment is much smaller, a proper antenna for a dual band radio may only be about 16 inches long vs 4+ feet long for a CB radio, and you can run a lot more power. By law CBs are limited to 4 watts of output power. These other radios you are looking at are pushing 50 watts or more. They also give you access to repeaters which can greatly extend your range.

I used to run both a HAM and CB radio in my Jeep and when I switched to my newest XJ I didn't even bother moving the CB over.

Now the problem is, and one of the things the dealers like Rugged Radios won't tell you is that you are supposed to be licensed to operate these radios in most of the radio spectrum. There are three license-less bands in the US, FRS, MURS, and CB. GMRS is supposed to require a license but most people ignore that or simply don't know.


It also doesn't help that Rugged Radios are starting to sponsor a bunch of off road channels so the same folks that buy thousands of dollars of "overland" gear to go to the mall are flocking out to buy their radios as well with no knowledge about what they are doing.

In some instances you can operate under a "business" license that an event or venue has acquired though the FCC but that's pretty rare and in most cases such as with actual races like King of the Hammers, temporary.

Legal disclaimer: While the chances of being caught are pretty dang slim if you start sticking your radio where it doesn't belong on the wrong frequency and interfering with people they will track you and you might get in trouble with the FCC. Most likely it will be a slap on the wrist but they have the legal authority to do much more, so keep that in mind.

Basically get online watch videos search forums, ask questions and learn how to operate the radio before pushing down on the PTT button. Even if you don't get your license (tech level HAM radio license is insanely easy to get and costs 15 dollars for 10 years), be smart about how you use the radio and don't go transmitting where you shouldn't. These radios offer a lot of flexibility and options which is awesome but for an uneducated user can cause problems.

Oh and don't buy from Rugged Radios unless you like getting gouged 4x the price of what the radio sells for elsewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChdwiXtukR4


If you have any questions feel free to ask I know there are at least a few Radio folks on this forum other than me

thank you for the detailed response that was very educational. I do see the bofang radios on Ebay for much less than the rugged radios but they require software and cabling to program them (i believe the rugged radios do also?). I did hear that technically a license is required but most people don't have one.

the 15 dollar license you talked about, that would cover me, correct? if so what's the easiest way to acquire one? thanks again.
jon-d is offline  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:59 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
downs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Hunt County Texas
Posts: 504
Year: 1995
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Engine: 4.0L
Default

Originally Posted by jon-d View Post
thank you for the detailed response that was very educational. I do see the bofang radios on Ebay for much less than the rugged radios but they require software and cabling to program them (i believe the rugged radios do also?). I did hear that technically a license is required but most people don't have one.

the 15 dollar license you talked about, that would cover me, correct? if so what's the easiest way to acquire one? thanks again.
The program to program the radio is Free (CHIRP) and the programming cable that will work with little fuss is 20 dollars though BTECH. So for basically 40 dollars (you can get the UV5R on Amazon for instance for 20 or so dollars) you can program whatever you want in it and still be 40 dollars less than Rugged Radios' overpriced UV5R.

A ham radio technician license would cover you for the HAM bands but not the "Business" frequencies that the "race radios" are programmed for. It also wouldn't cover you for GMRS which require a separate license. The good thing about the GMRS license is it covers you and your immediate family.

GMRS license is like 70 dollars but is also good for 10 years. As stated in that second video I think that GMRS is probably one of the better bands for what off roaders want to do. It's a lot less technical and is more along the lines of turn it on pick a channel and transmit similar to CB but you are allowed 50 watts of output power and external antennas unlike FRS.

Rugged Radios will program the radios for whatever you want before you get it but IMO if you are going to use a non type certified radio on GMRS/FRS/MURS ect, you need to have enough knowledge about how it works to be able to program it yourself and keep yourself out of trouble.

The easiest way to acquire a HAM license would be to contact your local ham radio club and see who hosts testing sessions. Then go online and take the technician practice tests over and over again until you are scoring a high 90 consistently. It also helps if you do a little studying and go in with a little knowledge instead of just studying the tests but it's not required you just have to pass the test. The local ham radio club can also help you do some learning if you ask.

I'm not sure where in California you are or I'd be able to pull up a club that does testing.

Last edited by downs; 04-14-2019 at 09:07 AM.
downs is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mudnut
Stock XJ Cherokee Tech. All XJ Non-modified/stock questions go here
13
12-01-2009 08:50 AM
Codycobra84
Introductions
6
09-10-2009 10:40 AM
jaymasterflex23
For sale
0
05-04-2009 06:50 PM
JOHNPCHEROKEE
Stock XJ Cherokee Tech. All XJ Non-modified/stock questions go here
1
01-11-2009 02:45 PM
muddeprived
Off-Topic Discussion
6
09-13-2008 08:55 AM

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: CB or Race Radio?


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: