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Is there any reason you want to stick to CB radios. I personally feel they are obsolete especially in hand held models. But I think the most important thing is that you need to state what your needs are. Who, and how far away they are etc.

Having several GMRS radios meets what I think would be the most critical needs for communications. The main thing you would need after a SHTF event is to set up neighborhood or a large area watch and a radio that can reliable communicate a couple of miles should be sufficient. The second thing I would like is to have the ability to charge the batteries or radios with something like a portable solar panel. So that people or person in a strategic locations can keep watch on things maybe even setting up a watch post. One thing people may want to keep in mind is that GMRS radios are basically line of site radios and the higher frequencies they use don't travel through material as well as lower frequencies do. So if you plan on communicating at longer distance with someone you may want to prearrange times to communicate where both of you will take advantage of the terrain of the area.
 

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It depends most on the terrain. Eleven meters down is pretty much line if sight. You should consider getting at least a Han technician license. Very easy test. Hardest part is memorizing the frequencies.

Do you have neighborhood restrictions? I have my two meter antenna set up in the attic. It works just fine.

Outside of that if you are going with 11 meters (CB) get as much height as you can.
 

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Forget the quoted range on the GMRS radio, it seems each year they add a few miles to it and they all are restricted to 5 watts output. That stated 30 mile range is if you plan on using them outside the known universe.
But we really need to know a little more what your needs are. If you are looking for something that can communicate 30 miles, then you will probably need something like a HAM radio and then you need a license for it.

Before I get hit the GMRS Channels require a license (I believe $85 dollars) and can operate at a maximum of 5 watts. Channels 8-14 FSR channels do not need a license but or restricted to 1/2 watt. If the SHTF I doubt any one would worry about that license. There are roomers that some people even use the GMSR channels without a license.
 

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GMRS operates on about 70 cm., correct? That is line of sight and repeater links, correct?
I am not sure but I believe the wave length equals 300,000,000/frequency = wavelength and since GMRS is 462mhz to 467mhz it would be somewhere around .6 meter that is why GMSR radios can use such short antenna compared to CB with around a 11 meter band with.
So for a 1/8 wave you would only need an antenna around 75 mm (less then the length of a cigarette)for a GMRS and over 1300 mm for a CB.

I am not sure what the reason is or maybe I just always had cheep CB but it seem GMRS radios the voice is much clearer.

Analog electronic are a bitch, Digital much easier. I feel sorry for all the old HAM operators that had to go through the old test.
 

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I Agree with Rick, I recently have gotten into HAM radios and find because of the program / tunability and range they are far superior to CB.

What are you looking for in a radio? is this communication with your group? Natural Disaster? How far away are they or are you trying to accomplish?
 

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Hi, in the comms area is better to have backups and redundancy so , have handhelds , a ham rig is nice but cb is better too. Let me tell you something about cb:
The cb radios are ever present on truckers cars and others too right? If something happens on the road or around the road that the drivers observe their first reaction is to grab the radio and reported so... yes the band can be jammed, pick a clean channel for "private" talks, and stay on the "public" for news , i am from Romainia, i have a cb setup with a 5 meter base antenna is just wonderful, the info i get is humongous, ok the swearing bitching cursing too but, men are men so live with it. For a few streets use handhelds, with hands-free, everybody will think that you talk on your phone ;). Consider ham too but don't let cb out either. On the antenna part , hight is better not crucial , a good open area and a very good ground for static is Sky Snow Building Branch Plant
Building Snow Window Sky Branch
 

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At the top of my hill I can reach Hank 15 miles away and hear him clearly on my 4 wheeler. While it is running
Make? Model?
 
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I have a CB home base somewhere... I got it from my uncle when I helped him move. The biggest problem I had with it is that we live a decent distance from main trucking routes (trucks at the time were pretty much the only place you saw CB's used).

I think if you lived in a more urban area it would make sense... if not, maybe a mobile or handheld unit to keep in your car.
 

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I will check and see what kind we have exactly. We have handheld and vehicle mounted radios that reach over 100 miles. It is us and another local ranch that use our frequency. We can hear what each other are saying. They are great here since we are so far out there is no cell signal and we can reach over 100 miles to town. I know they are expensive but well worth it!!
 

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I like it when people say CB’s are obsolete. I own seven and the most I’ve paid for one is 25¢. Keep the free ones coming.

I’ve setup cheap ($5.00) installations for several of my neighbors. Good communication and coordination is not necessarily based on how far you can reach out. Sometimes it’s about getting as many devices in as many hands as possible, so a close group can respond efficiently in their own community. A CB, a good homemade antenna and a 12 volt battery will let you talk to anyone within the range of most neighborhoods and often well beyond. Handheld are perfect for neighborhood watch party-lines.

The “bigger is better” bias influences people to buy expensive systems when all they need in a disaster is to talk within a four-block radius… or worse, they end up buying nothing because they’re intimidated by expense and technical licensing tests.

I’m not anti-HAM, but just because you can’t talk to someone 30 miles away doesn’t mean a CB is worthless… far from it. Form your local networks, setup cheap, but good systems and use them. An all-band scanner will let you tune in to informative HAM transmissions for your area much cheaper than a transceiver. SHTF, I’m more inclined to care about what’s going on in my own community and talking to neighbors than chatting with someone at the other end of the county or state.

I have a used Bearcat 8 scanner that cost me $20.00 and a free CB base station in my living room (plus a mobile unit in my trunk and one in my jeep). My neighbors (particularly the elderly ones) feel good that they can contact someone down the street or the next block over if the power is out or if there’s something’s going down in our end of town. Not bad for obsolete radios.
 
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