Well, I’ve had this cheap CB radio, the Cobra 19 Ultra III from Wal-Mart, for about a month and a half now. Followed the suggestions of people on here and went with the Little Wilson 36” whip. I had no idea what to expect from this thing. The antenna was $39.99 and the radio was $32.99. I literally threw the Wil up on the center of the PT Cruiser, shut the door on the wire, screwed thing into the front of the CB, turned it on, and tuned to channel 19.
I used it probably a handful of times before I left this past Saturday, Sept. 27. I could hear truckers talking to each other and that was cool, but nothing like AirMoore said, about bears being called out dozens of miles ahead of time. I knew I could get stuff like that, because I was getting about 5-7 miles of range in the central MI environment (kinda flat, but didn’t really seem optimal in CB worlds.), but they just didn’t seem to be calling them out at all.
(We left from Flint, MI and traveling to English, IN on Saturday, and there was really nothing to comment on. The needle never dropped below 85….)
Then came D-day, Sunday, Sept. 28, a day that will go down in history.
(Food for thought: look at the dates, this is quota time…and I knew it)
Left about 8am EST from English (fun tid-bits about this at the end), and got into Louisville, KY probably about 9:30-10:00am. Let me tell you guys, it was a massacre. Massacre is a HUGE understatement. There is not a word in any language that I know that even remotely conveys amount of traffic enforcement that took place in the course of about 25-30 miles. The CB was like a group of 9th grade girls at a sleepover, it NEVER ONCE stopped at all on the 25-30 miles through Louisville. Truckers were interrupting other truckers’ bear reports to report more. It was getting hard to follow. There were bears in plain white wrappers, plain brown wrappers, with customers, without customers, left shoulder, right shoulder, median, blacked out Chargers, traveling with traffic at the 160, etc, for 25+ miles. It was ridiculous, to say the least.
The coolest thing I saw in a while was….
I was using this Metro Police car as a rabbit, clearing the way, for about 5 miles before he exited. While after following him for a few miles (doing about 80-85), he turned on this RADAR gun, Ka. Well, I let off the gas and was cruising at about 70 in the left hand lane still following him, with him pulling away. The Ka bogey is getting stronger ever so slowly. Well, he gets about 15 car lengths in front of me, and I lose him behind a curve. Doing my 70, I come ‘flying’ around the curve to find a PERFECTLY placed blacked out Charger sitting in the left shoulder, COMPLETELY hidden by the curve and concrete barrier, running a full blown CO rear antenna. I swear I didn’t see him until I was about 2 car lengths off his back bumper. In the end, he didn’t give me a second look as I strolled by him at 70 (in a 60?).
When we finally got through the heart of it, south of the city, on the other side (northbound travel), over the course of at MAX a half a mile, 4 CV’s with customers, at the same time, all with the blues on, and you know what…not a single solitary sticker, antenna, or light on the outside of any of them. (I had already known about this ‘bunch’ for a while because of the CB, but I didn’t know what direction nor MM.)
After a bunch of time, and about half a dozen bears later, we make it into TN. This is really were the CB strut its stuff. Doing my 85, at MM 182, I get a bear report of a pair of marked LEO SUV’s sitting at the top of hit at MM 171. I nearly peed myself with excitement. About 4-5 minutes later, I confirmed the 2 SUV’s sitting at the top of the hill. Let me tell you, there is NOTHING like being at MM 172.1, lifting your foot off of the gas, and coasting to PSL, only to pass 2 LEO’s sitting at the top of the next hill.
That was pretty much it as there was not a single LEO in AR, and in TX we switched cars, and I had to leave the CB in the PT
I have become a true believer of the CB and would like to thank my master, AirMoore, and grand-master, Volvo, for all of the information on here.
Let me tell you that the video of Volvo(AirMoore?) running into the NYSP on the Thruway (the one with the swear word at the end) is true. At the beginning he says something like “I just got a report of a bear at MM xx, which is coming up…”, well, its completely true, and it does really happen like that.
1. Along I-64 East there is a 14 mile long single lane, construction zone where its 55mph. I was doing 55, keeping with traffic and about half way in I get a bear report at MM xxx, facing eastbound. I didn’t know where that MM was so I just kept it in the back of my mind. This was my first authentic bear report, and I was thrilled to see what it was. Well sure enough, right at the end of the construction zone, there was a state trooper running some RADAR. The V1 started chirping about 1 minute from him, but I had already known about him for about 8 minutes, and sure enough the MM matched.
2. My first conversation with the CB took place on I-64 east. About 2 miles after the construction zone, after flying by a trucker, I get a call on the CB… “PT, you got it on?”……. “PT, with Texas plates, you got it on?” As I scramble for the mic, I thought I was going to get reamed out about this and that, and being a speeding 4-wheeler, milking the truckers, yada, yada, yada. Nope. He just wanted to know what it was like in TX after Ike. I said I didn’t know, as I was in MI for the last 3 months. His uncle said it was bad, and gas prices were high. I also thanked him and everybody else for the bear at the end of the construction zone.
It was a nice little conversation. My fiancé made fun of me for talking, and at the end was like “A friend made, friend lost.”, but that’s sort of the nature of CBing. Why not be friendly, you’re not going to ‘know’ them for long? I spoke to him for probably about 3 miles.
I was nervous because I hadn’t had my CB tuned. I used the cheesy SWR meter on the Cobra and the instructions on the Little Wilson to get an SWR of 2 on 1 and 40 (which could be 2.0/2.9 but I don’t know, the resolution wasn’t that good), but I didn’t know just how much damage I could do. He heard everything I said, and didn’t say anything about the clarity, so I’m assuming it was atleast listenable.