Originally Posted by Red_Chili
No one I wheel with outside Rising Sun has ham. Trichinosis or not. It's usefulness is beyond dispute particularly in an emergency. But as stated, CB is still the LCD, and useful for highway trips for road info.
A radio may be technically superior but it has to reach a critical mass of users and ease of casual operation to be useful for chit-chat, spotting instructions, etc. One of ham's limitations seems to me to be one of its strengths: the signal travels a LONG way. A CB signal stays pretty much within the group. Unless I am missing something, which seems likely since I know nothing about ham really.
No argument, CB isn't at a point where we can just throw it out. It's too prevalent in the 4WD community to consider it. But it's usefulness overall is pretty limited to us and OTR trucks. I think when the FCC dropped the Morse requirement for ham, it became much more attractive to casual users. I'm not a big time ham hobbyist like a few of the guys, I just use it as a tool since we travel alone a lot and CB is all but useless since no one with authority monitors it. At least with ham you have the option of an autopatch or getting another ham with a phone. But that's really the key, ham can scale from just a glorified CB to the most complex installation you want. Really, in its most basic form, a 2m single band radio, the only difference on the trail will be that you technically need to say your call sign every 10 minutes and your radio requires a bit of programming. It's seriously no tougher than programming a phone or something.
Originally Posted by Uncle Ben
I don't think other than by friendly taunting anyone disputes the utility of ham radio. They play an important role in worldwide communication on both surface and air. The debate for us as "responsible off-highway enthusiasts" is whether every rig out there needs to have 2 meter communication in addition to OR instead of Citizen band radios. I think it is a no-brainer that most all agree that EVERY rig needs some type of communication!
I know, just saying that maybe it's time that we stop telling new guys to install a CB. If there's a better option, you gotta make a break from the old ways at some point and so if we get a few more guys off the dime maybe we won't need to have newbies even bother with a CB.
Just thinking about 2009 when the old way of TV will stop working. I dunno, it's possible I'm the only goofball still using rabbit ears, but I won't have a choice when the old FM transmitters are turned off and digital TV is the only option. I figure it's like that with hams in 4WD trucks. Personally I think GMRS makes the most sense, but it seems ham has sort of become the next thing, which is fine.