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to those CB'ers who come into Amateur Radio

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by Guest, Sep 10, 2003.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Many threads, posts, and other commetaries about bringing CB'ers into ham radio have waxed and waned over the years.

    I've been in and out of them. Finally, after pondering it for a while came up with this. Seems to be a pretty good 'fit' for explaining WHY quite a few CB'ers come into ham radio and thrive, grow, and become very good additions to the ham radio world while others don't.

    See what you think.


    The problem is *NOT* one of 'CB'ers being recruited to come up and become licensed Amateur radio ops'. NOR is it REALLY concerned with the introduction of CB'ers to ham radio as a way to have a much larger playing field.



    Group #1 is composed of CB'ers who come to ham radio and CHOOSE (note.. CHOOSE) to recognize that the Amateur radio world is different AND who then CHOOSE to accept that they will have to learn new operating procedures, protocols, jargon, slang, and the like will be welcomed and encouraged.

    THEY who CHOOSE to accept that they are going to have to LEARN and ADJUST to the culture that ham radio is composed of will do quite well.

    They MAY have learned habits on CB and bring them to ham radio. BUT.. THE CRITICAL DIFFERENCE IS THIS!!!.

    They CHOOSE to learn to delete those habits and mannerisms and replace them with those which are the NORM for Amateur radio so as to learn, and grow, and become part of the ham radio world. THESE FOLKS are most welcome and are DEFINTELY ENCOURAGED!

    In fact.. almost ALL of the 'CB to Ham' radio convertees who recognized, acknowledged, and accepted the above HAVE assimiliated well into ham radio. MANY of the people who post on this reflector ARE sterling proof that this is true.

    HOWEVER!! What we have had... and STILL have.. are people who CHOOSE to operate CB using those things which are NOT part of the Amateur culture, program, or within the parameters that define normal Amateur radio practice.

    GROUP #2 are those CB'ers who either learned all the Classic 'CB bad habits' by imitation OR emulation and then CHOSE to operate that way. They then come to ham radio and import those habits into their ham radio operations.

    Folks TRY to assist them by helping them recognize that these habits and mannerisms ARE NOT what belong in ham radio.

    BUT!! instead of the importee being WILLING to accept, acknowlege, and CHOOSING to adjust they just say ( in so many words)

    "F.U! I will do what I want and WHO are you to tell me I can't!" They flip the bird and basically inform all who try that they are not interested, have no desire to adjust, assimilate, or adapt and could give a rats ass about whatever ham radio is made up of or operates within.

    GROUP #2 are THOSE types of CB'ers who we speak of when we put forth the 'stereotype comments and illustrations.' THOSE are the ones who give the CB'ers who WANT to be in the first group a bad image and bad name. THEY are the vocal minority who make it rotten for the rest of them.

    I, along with many others WELCOME GROUP #1 CB'ers. Have done so and will continue to do so with open arms,.

    Group #2? Forget it.

    One proviso.. I have seen.. (unfortunately not many) a *FEW* Group 2 CB'ers FINALLY get the message and change to GROUP 1 CB'ers. For those times this has happened, I am thankful and realize that redemption IS possible. For that.. I keep an open eye and watch for it. But sadly.. it does not happen much.
  2. KI4BOO

    KI4BOO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hail from CB land myself.

    However, I think its more of a decision for my peers to decide which group I fit into... My choice is a bit biased.

    Perhaps some day soon when I upgrade to General class or Extra we can get together and have a talk on HF. Then you can decide for yourself. Until then...

  3. KC5ZQM

    KC5ZQM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, within Group #1 I can see two subgroups.

    In Group #1A I see those that were in CB when the FCC still required licenses.  Many of them respected ham radio, knew the differnces between the services, and some even wanted to become hams.  Two that I know personally have been hams for a long time.  One is a club officer and tends to one of the club's repeater's.  The other is a county sherriff.

    In Group #1B I see those that became active in CB after the licensing was dropped.  They got tired of the mess that often occurs on CB, or they began to feel guilty about running illegal power and decided to straighten up.

    I haven't been a ham that long, but I'd put myself into Group #1A.  I was licensed in the mid-1970's, but moved on to other things.  Then in 1997, I wanted to get into storm spotting, so I studied the Now You're Talking book before taking the test at the Green Contry Hamfest that year.

    The majority of my background in two-way radio was in the military.  I was a 'commo' man in a straight-leg, frontline, National Guard infantry unit in the last half of the 1970's.  Sometimes I still think like a commo man.
  4. KD5KUF

    KD5KUF Guest

    I started as a 1A Cber with an FCC license, then started to degenerate into a 1B and saw myself headed for class 2. I decided to get out while I could do so with some dignity and self respect, and mostly because many of the ones I heard in later years, I had no desire to associate with.

    I stayed out of it until I learned of the new entry no code level (many years lost not knowing about it), I programmed some frequencies in my scanner and started listening. I decided that this was a group I would like to be with.

    I have run into only a tiny few, that I thought would be better off going back to Class 2 level CB, out of the many fine operators I have conversed with. Good enough for me.
  5. KD5ICR

    KD5ICR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess I would be in group 1 (b).
    I just cant see why people hate CB'ers so much. I came from the FU I have more power than you CB club. But after talking to other hams that were on CB also I said what the heck. And I have never looked back. I still have a CB and I hook it up for long drives,and I also have ham radios ready to go all the time as well as the one always in the car.
  6. AE6IP

    AE6IP Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't.

    You know, none of the CBers I knew in the 70s, and none I know now categorize neatly into either of the descriptions of CBers on offer here.

    A random sampling of CBers I knew in the 70s:

    The chief engineer of the local TV/Radio station. He had his first 'phone license before he got into CB. I suspect that even before then he knew more about radio and the FCC rules and regs than most hams will ever know.

    A physics professor at the local college, who taught the electronics classes. He wasn't anybody's good buddy and ne never ran CB illegal; nor did any of the others mentioned here.

    A founder of a REACT team, who only got into CB because, at the time, it was an easier way to do local emergency communications than using 2m.

    A professional truck driver, who, despite Smokey and the Bandit had his advanced ticket before he got his CB rig, and who had legal 10m and CB gear in his truck.

    A random bunch of ordinary folks who put unmodified CB gear in their vehicles and used the CB slang but practiced good procedure on the air.

    One guy who bought a linear and was proud of it -- until I explained to him why linears were bad and he got rid of it.

    At it's peak, the CB radio fad had 10 million adherents, out of whom a few thousand (around .1%-.2%) were problems. My best estimates is that there are around 100,000-200,000 CBers in the US now, but I haven't been able to find accurate numbers.

    These days, the CBers I know include:

    An RF designer who makes long drives and likes to talk to truckers;

    A bunch of truck drivers and retired truck drivers; some of whom are also hams;

    A few REACT members who haven't moved to GMRS yet;

    oh yeah, and me. I got into CB after I got my extra ticket, because, in an emergency, I should be able to use any communications channel available -- which is why I carry GMRS/FRS radios as well as my 706 and a CB radio when I go on the road.

    Sometimes it seems like the negative image some hams have of CBers comes from watching too many bad 70s movies, and not from real experience with CB.

    Do I believe that problem CBers exist? of course I do.

    Do I believe they are a bigger percentage of the CB community than problem hams are of the ham community? No. It just doesn't match my experience. Your mileage may vary.
  7. KD4AMG

    KD4AMG Ham Member QRZ Page

    personally I grew up ( at age 11 ) with cb radio, and it slowly got worse as time went on, then got into AMATEUR radio in 1991, been a great time ever since !! [​IMG] ( was among the first in north Alabama to be a no-code tech, got some feathers ruffled for a few months till folks got used to us on " their " repeaters, but now things are great ! ..then finally upgraded to GENERAL in February 2003, and never looked back...have some 11 meter equipment for sale, but for some strange reason, no one wants to give much $ for used 11 meter equipment ( geez, wonder why ? ) [​IMG] now spend lots of time LISTENING to 75/80 meters at night, some effort on 10 meters ssb & repeaters, and a tad bit on 20 meters during the days ( and spending time here with you fine-outstanding folks &#33[​IMG] [​IMG] I dont think I fell into any of the previous " catergories" or " groups"...I am just ME and that is it. But seriously AMATEUR radio has opened up a whole new breed of nice folks, polite men & women who are WILLING to assist and help in any way possible. [​IMG]
  8. K8YS

    K8YS Banned QRZ Page

    I think that the majority of those licensed since 1976 have at one time or another played with CB.

    Something that I tell my ham class attendees, when you move up to Amateur Radio, it is like moving from the old house to the new, but you leave the rusted old wreck on concrete blocks behind.
  9. kc2elo

    kc2elo Ham Member

    I don't know about what "category" I'm in but I think I've been in just about every part of CB from just talking like a normal person to the highpowered, freebanding, skip talking, A-hole, to the civilized large group of friends just having fun with radios, to whatever.

    I started tinkering with an old cb when I was a kid and have been hooked on radios since. High school it was just a bunch of us talking on the way to/from school etc. Later I had to have the biggest baddest radio around (I also happened to live in a town that hosts the "cb shoot-outs" every year) then moved to Shreveport, LA during the last low sunspot period where about 50-75 of us chatted, had fox hunts, etc all the time.

    When I was younger I heard about ham radio at the National Boyscout Jamboree in 1989. I tried to get my novice back then and if I'd been successful would probably have never had such a history with CB. Back in my "have the best radio out there" days I picked up an RCI 2950 and loved it. I held onto it even when I quit talking on the radio after getting my tech no-code ticket in 1998. Now that I've upgraded to Amateur Extra last month I'm glad I hung onto that old 2950. I had a "freebie" 10 and 12 meter rig sitting here collecting dust.

    I guess you could say I've assimilated ok.... I've recruited a few new hams along the way, elmered a few folks with various digital modes, built all sorts of homebrew equipment and experiments, and am now a volunteer examiner with both W5YI and ARRL.

    Amateur radio is just like anything else.... If you want to be able to enjoy it then you have to adapt to your surroundings a little.

    (previously kc2elo)
  10. KC9ESF

    KC9ESF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess I am in a group of my own. I pick up a CB set in order to get traffic reports, call for help if needed (not yet, thank goodness) and to ask local directions.

    at one time i set up a cb in my apartment to listen as one would on a scanner (then i got a scanner)

    now I got my tech ticket. reasons are not for communitating, or gathering QSL cards or to help increase the pool of operators or to contribute to goodwill. I might do those in the future, and most likeley will.

    But I got the ticket so I could play with rockets. [​IMG]

    many moons ago someone stuck a stripped down CB HT into a rocket, launched it, and recorded the sounds during the flight. then he stuck a temp sensor to vary a tone, then a light sensor. became so popular that a kit was relased. then the interest died out.

    Now we have High Power rocketry.

    bigger than big, rocket in excess of 3 pounds (seen 50 pounds) flights of tens of thousands of feet. video camara payloads( ) radio rocket finders.

    why not a high tech re-vamp of the ol CB xmitter?

    been looking at some 2 meter modules that are insanely tiny, either data or tone. $40. seems a shame not to use em.

    did i use slang on CB? nope. did i use a linear? nope. was i rude, crude or arrogant behind the veil of airwaves? nope. did CB lead me to ham? nope.

    must be in a league of my own.
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