Rugged Radios Vs CB radio

Joined
May 31, 2018
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28
Location
Rancho Cucamonga Ca
hows it going everyone, I'm the new guy from Rancho Cucamonga. whats the word on the trail? I'm new to this scene, im coming from the sandrail scene/ desert riding where everyone is using a UHF/Vhf frequency type of radio. Rugged Radios or PCI radios have over 20ish different frequency to choose from with good range and clarity. anyone could use these frequency as long as you have a programable radio and the frequency. you can pick up a 50w dual band radio from amazon for under $60., I tried to look up different threads and seems like everyone is still using older technology like the CB radio. so .... whats the word on the trail?
 

Downey

 
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
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4,217
Location
Brea, Calif.
Most 4WD clubs merely use less expensive CB's since they are relatively close to each other on the trail. Desert Racing teams use the powerful PCI radios since they are great distances apart in Baja. I use to communicate from the Pacific side of Baja to the Sea of Cortez side with my PCI.
 
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Rancho Cucamonga Ca
Most 4WD clubs merely use less expensive CB's since they are relatively close to each other on the trail. Desert Racing teams use the powerful PCI radios since they are great distances apart in Baja. I use to communicate from the Pacific side of Baja to the Sea of Cortez side with my PCI.
I see, makes sense.
 

1911

chupacabra
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
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5,288
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Parker County, Texas
Me too. 2 Meters (ham band) is much preferred, though I have a cb also as the "lowest common denominator" trail com. Lots of good 2M radios to choose from, many with more than 50 watts of power, rugged, and etc. In many places, you can use repeaters to extend the range even further. Requires a license that you must pass a simple test to obtain; for some people this seems to be a hurdle though I don't know why. Young children routinely pass the test and get their ham license.
 

Izzyandsue

Izzy
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Oct 31, 2014
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Charlotte, NC
Depends what yo need the radio for. If riding with a group, find out what they use. If going solo into the wilderness, go for a HAM radio or Satellite system. I wouldn't say CBs cost less, but they are more common and easier to find in a any truck stop. CBs work in short distances, limited to only narrow band "channels (between 27 and 27.4 Mhz), and can be affected by atmospheric conditions.

HAM radio can go from 0 to 1200 MHz (and higher for some digital). A HAM or amateur radio will give you the most flexibility, and if nothing else taking the Technician exam will help you learn a lot about the different band ranges and limitations/advantages.

Rugged uses 2M business (in the 150MHz range) and GMRS frequencies 70cm (460 MHz range), and their base is a Chines HAM radio with their own proprietary software program. They work fine as handhelds, we use them in 4WD competition events in the mountains, no problems and they are great sponsor and help motorsports.

But when nothing works, HAM is the answer. And I keep a Garmin Explorer for communicating (email or text) when far out of range. Satellites systems can be pricey, but having it tethered to an iPad is pretty awesome. But if (or when, really) russians hack and crash our satellites, or Will Smith can't save us from aliens, HAM will always work.
 

Izzyandsue

Izzy
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Charlotte, NC
No, there are issues. You can easily hear a CB radio with a HAM that has that receiving range capability. But HAM cannot transmit in CB, it is not in the allowed band plan of 28 to 29.7 MHz. CB is 40 channels covering approximately the 27MHz only.

This is a Yaesu VX6R receiving CB band 8, for example
 
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Rancho Cucamonga Ca
ok thanks for all the input. I went out over the weekend and everyone in the group had a handheld baofeng radio, they worked great and the best part, I own 2 of them. I don't see the need to spend over $500 for a rugged radio, or trying to mount a cb radio. thank again for all the input.
 
Last edited:

jonheld

 
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
7,809
Location
New Jersey
ok thanks for all the input. I went out over the weekend and everyone in the group had a handheld baofeng radio, they worked great and the best part, I own 2 of them. I don't see the need to spend over $500 for a rugged radio, or trying to mount a cb radio. thank again for all the input.
I love those little Baofeng radios. They are the perfect entry level radio for ham. Ridiculously cheap, extremely durable, and the battery lasts forever. We use them all the time on the trail.
 
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