CB Radio etiquette on the Jeep trail - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-17-2011, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
h2ojeep
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CB Radio etiquette on the Jeep trail

I was outside working on my Jeep today when someone down the street was entertaining children by letting them honk the horn on their car. Tht was the catalyst to remind me that I wanted to address proper etiquette when operating a Jeep CB radio. On a trip a few months ago, someone; ONE person was IMO misusing their CB and causing misery for everyone else. I know that there are a lot of you out there that have many years of experience with “two way radios” and I am hoping that you can add. As well, I am vaguely aware that the FCC has some rules, but for the most part they are not enforced if even monitored.


It is a bit of a rant, but an idea that all of us can learn something.

CB Radio etiquette on the Jeep trail:

The CB is a great way to communicate on the trail for endless number of reasons from directions, to general awareness between jeeps. “You are dragging “something”, fuel leaking, tire going flat”, etc etc. I am ok with that and see that as the primary usage. And staying in contact with each other when dusty roads requires longer separation. The prime example is when in heavy forest or extreme hills, and a Jeep ahead took a left at a fork but the jeeps following did not see which way. Then a simple call on the CB can save hours of looking, backtracking etc. Making the next point, that EVERY Jeep needs a CB.

Problems:

Playing music.
Even if you can sing well or you want others to hear you favorite song, DON’T. It sounds terrible and if I want to hear music, I will turn on my radio, ipod, etc. So no thank you. Keep your music to yourself. When you are playing your tunes (transmitting) no one else can transmit to tell you how bad it sounds.

Quality radio equipment.
Just because you found a great deal at a garage sale, does not mean that you have an adequate radio. I have listened to others talk (or try to communicate) who have a cheap radio. They can be tuned up (swr) good, but still make terrible noise when transmitting. Do the others a favor and buy a quality CB radio, and check to make sure it is transmitting good, that you have good antenna placement, etc. You will not know what horrible sounds may be coming out of others radios when you speak. The quality of your radio (transmissions) can only be evaluated by those who listen to you.

Learn to talk on your radio.
Along with quality transmissions, is proper mic placement. Hold the mic squarely in front of your mouth, about 1 to 3 inches when you talk. Think about what you are going to say, then say it, don’t pause for long periods of time or use “Huuuuuuuuuuuug” while you decide what you are going to say. Don’t slur. Make it concise and to the point. Speak clearly and enunciate your words. I am a airplane pilot and I like communication with other pilots because they always talk well. We have been conditioned to do so, because when you are in the air with many other aircraft and your butt in on the line, you learn very quick to make your works count. One other note, if things get exciting or danger is emanate, do not scream. No one will know what your are saying.

Idle chit chat.
A time or two, I hve talked about just anything to stay awake while traveling down the hwy late at night (I have also done that talking to “ground” control on late night flights when they are not too busy). Chit chat is not for use on the trail. If you feel the need to talk about how great your boyfriend/girlfriend is, or how you got ripped off at the cafe, or how your grandma’s upper lip turned blue, then go to another channel that no one is using.

Children (of any age, 5 to 45).
I think that it is a great thing to take your kids along on Jeep trips, and commend anyone for doing so. But at times, it can be boring for them. In those boring times, Do not let them talk on the CB to entertain them. The CB radio is a tool that EVERYONE is using. EVERYONE ELSE does not want to entertain your kids (or if someone does, go to another channel that no one is using).

Potty mouth.
I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to using bad language, and say the occasional “[email protected]^^n” and “h#ll” over the air. But I even get offended when every sentence starts with a MFin, sob bla bla bla. Everyone is hearing it that can receive your signal so when you speak, it is your opportunity to let everyone (regardless of age) know your character.

Going to another channel.
Before you start on your trail, everyone in your group needs to decide on which channel all of you will use. Have one or two back up channels in the event some other group is using the one you selected or that you get someone who is misusing the CB as noted above. As well, if you elect to go to another channel for reasons noted above, realize that you are out of the loop when it comes to communicating with your fellow Jeepers.

OK, so I have had my two cents at the rate congress spends. Would like to knowr what you have to add about this subject. And I would like to hear from other pilots, ham operators, truckers etc. as to what they have to say.


Last edited by h2ojeep; 02-17-2011 at 11:28 PM. Reason: placement
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-17-2011, 11:21 PM
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You pretty much summed it up, I couldn't agree more. BTW, truck driver of 8 years.

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post #3 of 37 Old 02-17-2011, 11:22 PM
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I agree for the most part, it would be nice not to have the gf of another jeep owner spilling her life on the cb while bored when Im trying a somewhat difficult object and relying on a semi-spotter from the jeep behind watching me over the radio.

As far as quality equipment, all cbs are federally mandated to 4w. You can have the 29$ radioshack special and have it well setup and transmit clearly.

The problem is when people dont know how to set up a radio. Ive seen several times where a cb owner didnt know the mount needed to be grounded
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 10:29 AM
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Good tips. I'm a child of the 70's, so I grew up with CB radios. It was the internet of our day. A lot of people had a "base station" in their houses. We all had our own "handles." For a lot of people today the CB is an anachronism. For people weaned on cell phones, they're used to having private personal communications at hand and don't realize that CB's are public broadcasts or that there are rules of etiquette for its use.


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post #5 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 10:43 AM
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I agree with most of your tips, except about the part of a "expensive" cb radio. I would say doing a SWR calibration on the radio is far more important than a quality radio. The other problem seems to be that everyone things there radio is perfect when in fact there setup is not quite right. My buddy had a defective antenna, and could receive but not send anything and he kept balming me. The SWR shut him up quick when he was in the high 4's on every channel. Its to the point now that I keep my SWR meter in the vehicle to help in "diagnostics" when out on the trail and someone says they can't hear.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 10:52 AM
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I'll jeep with folks who don't mind if my 6 year old wants to talk on the CB once in a while, thanks.

Let kids enjoy being kids. They get enough derision and lists of rules shoved down their throats at school.


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post #7 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 10:56 AM
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^If theyre on their own channel its all good, otherwise shut them up when someone is trying to get an important communication out.
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 11:18 AM
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Very well addressed. THX
- I do agree the tuning of most radios trumps the expensive units. On the trail I like the simple radios.
- AS for kids on the radio. my son now 16, has been off roading since age 5 or so. He talked on the radio, but it was supervised & ok with the group. Basically I told him what to say. Depending on the group, the kid, the topic.. I think it's OK. HOWEVER, they need to learn the radio is a TOOL, not a toy. Like all tools, need to be used appropriately. I have had the experience when a CB was used to save a life. Thank goodness a kid was not chatting.

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post #9 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 11:29 AM
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1 more thing to add.

DO NOT joke about what toute to take. We normally play follow the leader, but someone was doing something else. Someone on the CB said right in the middle, joking around to someone else. Well, the JK Rubi with a 5-6" lift and 37s was the victim.
My old Rubi in front, JK being pulled out.(also, dont use a winch as a tow strap point) I found that thats what he used and A few strands on his winch cable broke.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 11:41 AM
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Well that was quite the rant. I do agree with a number of your statements, but everyone needs to remember this is a RECREATIONAL activity.
Along the lines of what Bakunin said, the purpose of the activity is having fun, if everyone starts making up all their own rules it kinda takes the freedom out of the sport. Freedom is the main reason most of us do this, think how many times you wanted to go wheeling on some obstacle along side the road but it was rules that stopped you from doing it.
Like I said, I agree partly but let's not get carried away on everything.

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post #11 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 11:48 AM
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Didn't mean to sound too caustic. I gotta remember not to post before coffee!


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post #12 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 12:08 PM
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agree with Pathkiller. N.E. La was a hotbed for CB's then and the standing way to let bad behavior be known was when a Base Station with roughly the same power of the old "XEG" (youngsters Google that) would announce to the world that "what was wrong with CB's is that they sell 'em to Wimmen' and ________ " Good for 15 minutes of entertainment and the NOOB generally didn't do it again.
x2 on ytown. Do almost anything you want to do as long as you monitor one channel and then immediately " go to channel __"
Kinda neat, Jeeps are one of the last places to really enjoy a CB.

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post #13 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriansCJ View Post
1 more thing to add.

DO NOT joke about what route to take. We normally play follow the leader, but someone was doing something else. Someone on the CB said right in the middle, joking around to someone else. Well, the JK Rubi with a 5-6" lift and 37s was the victim.
My old Rubi in front, JK being pulled out.(also, dont use a winch as a tow strap point) I found that thats what he used and A few strands on his winch cable broke.
GREAT add to the list.
That is a very good point. I like to joke and "cut up" too. I agree that we are out to have fun, but not when it CAN lead to the demise of someone else. If we are not all laughing, then it "ant" funny.
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post #14 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 03:54 PM
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I noted something in there, and while I have very little CB radio use, I use 2-way VHF/UHF radios at my work every day. This is by no means a nitpick just an observation.

Their mics are designed NOT to be talking into but rather across, a couple inches from your mouth at a ~45 degree angle, talking straight into them isn't as clear as talking across them. Not sure how mics in CB's are designed, but all modern 2 way VHF/UHF/digital mics that I have ever seen are talk across.
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post #15 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
Well that was quite the rant. I do agree with a number of your statements, but everyone needs to remember this is a RECREATIONAL activity.
Along the lines of what Bakunin said, the purpose of the activity is having fun, if everyone starts making up all their own rules it kinda takes the freedom out of the sport. Freedom is the main reason most of us do this, think how many times you wanted to go wheeling on some obstacle along side the road but it was rules that stopped you from doing it.
Like I said, I agree partly but let's not get carried away on everything.
The whole point of this topic is "etiquette".

No freedom is lost by practicing this. It is a safer way to play.
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