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UK CB Radio Specialists - Expert Advice, Competitive Prices & knowledgeable staff, Est 1996

Farm CB Radio   What is CB & What Can CB Do For Farmers?
About www.farmcbradio.co.uk   |    Alternatives To CB   |    CB Base Stations   |    CB Radio Licences   |    Farm CB Radio Packages   |    Farmers Web-Links Directory   |    Installing - Farm Machines & Vehicles   |    Interference Problems   |    So, whats involved in getting set up with CB?   |    What Equipment We Recommend   |   

What is CB Radio ?

CB radio is a public radio service, open to the use of any member of the general public.

No monthly bills, call charges or text messages to budget for - just pick up a microphone and speak - CB Radio can give you cheap and easy-to-use two-way radio communications.

With a vehicle-to-vehicle range of up to 5-6 miles and vehicle-to-base or base-to-base range of up to (and over) 10-15 miles, and with nothing like the channel congestion there used to be - CB radio is the ideal farm communication tool.

What Can CB Do For You ?

The benefits of CB radio as a communications tool for farm workers, managers and owners are many...

Co-ordinate multi-vehicle operations easily - what is said by one person is heard by everyone else on the same channel, allowing control by one and feedback from others... productivity of workers can be vastly improved when they all have an easy way to talk to each other.

Increase safety for lone workers - have instant communication back-to-base or with colleagues and other people/machines in the vicinity - contact with co-workers is as easy as grabbing the microphone and saying "hello". This can be very effective at combating boredom and isolation for lone operators.

This radio contact doesn't stop at your boundaries and, depending on terrain and the types of aerials used, a base-to-vehicle range of over 10 miles is achievable, and convoys or groups of vehicles out on the road can keep in touch with each other, warning of obstacles ahead - road works & restrictions, passing route information and organising stops & loading/unloading arrangements.

Two way radios like CB are not affected by the handsfree legislation for mobile phones, and CB radio is now licence-free, so is completely legal to use on the road.

There are still thousands of commercial vehicle drivers who still rely on CB everyday for traffic reports and directions in unfamiliar towns. On the motorway network - just asking for a traffic report on the calling channel (19, UK band) will usually get you information that is just seconds old. There may also be people from the area who can help you with shortcuts or other motorway drivers who can help with alternative routes.

In my experience, another by-product of kitting a farm fleet out with CB is the increased social contact between colleagues - banter and conversation, leading to higher staff morale. This in itself will usually bring it's own productivity benefits.

Contact between neighbouring farms, groups of social friends or families is easy with CB - ideal for close communities, you can all chat together without any cost.

A bit more about CB Radio...

There are three methods of using CB - "mobile" units fitted in vehicles, "base station" setups that usually use a large aerial mounted high to increase range (often up to 10-15 miles), and "handheld" walkie-talkie types you can carry around with you or clip on your belt.

Modern CB's are much smaller than they were, most units are no bigger than a paperback book. They are supplied with a mounting bracket, a fist (hand held) microphone on a tough, curly lead, a red & black power lead for connection to the battery or fusebox and a users instruction manual.

There used to be 240v base CB's made, but currently (April 2007) there are none made, and none are likely to be available in the future, but base operation of a CB is easy enough - just use a Power Supply like this one to run a vehicle CB from the mains.

The handheld CB's are a little larger than mobile phones and run on AA size batteries and have their own aerial. Using rechargeable batteries will save a lot of money if you intend to use a handheld a lot - you can often charge the batteries within the unit so you don't have to constantly take them in and out.

You can use a handheld CB in a vehicle or machine, but the metalwork around you will reduce the range severely. To get round this, there are attachments for the handhelds that slide onto the bottom of the unit, in place of the battery compartment (making the unit a bit smaller), and have a cigar lighter plug with lead for power connection, and an external antenna socket for connecting to a standard roof mounted aerial. Using a handheld in this way will give it the same range as a conventional vehicle-fitted CB.

The main advantage with the hand-held types is that there is a large number of remote microphone/speakers available. There are earphones with small boom mics, clip-on mics, crash helmet sets, combined speaker/mics and even ones that go around your neck and pick up vibrations in your vocal chords - allowing use in very noisy environments. All these can be made to automatically transmit when you start talking, giving you truly hands-free communications. Having said this, for purely machine or vehicle use, i.e. in a tractor, the conventional units are probably going to be easier to use over a period of time.

Local terrain, weather and equipment being used (main aerial size) will affect the range, but the distances given on this page are the sort of ranges you could expect while still maintaining a reasonably clear signal.



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