cb radio does it still exist?

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NUKe
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby NUKe » 29 Jan 2018, 5:25pm

not quite that simple as not wanting to give in, in the UK that portion of the frequency Spectrum was apportioned to other things. Radio controlled models could be affected by the American CB's for instance.

Many long distance drivers still use CB to communicate traffic jams etc. So although the market has shrunk its still there.
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SimonCelsa
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby SimonCelsa » 29 Jan 2018, 6:31pm

-.-- --- ..- / -. . . -.. . -.. / - --- / .--. .- ... ... / .- / -- --- .-. ... . / - . ... -


I passed my morse code test back in 1985 although it was only 6 words per minute reading, then sending, by flashing light. Needed it for a Merchant Navy 2nd Mates deep sea license.

A good skill to learn, akin to aquiring a new language. I have never really used it in earnest (sometimes only to identify a lighthouse or racon loom on a radar screen) but I regularly keep my hand it so to speak by running through the dit dah dah ditting of the alphabet whilst on long rides. I wonder why I get some strange looks at times.

They were some of the weirdest characters at sea, the old school radio officers - sparkies. Unfortunately long gone & replaced by 'Digital Selective Calling' hardware - all well and good but not much fun to have a beer with on a long ocean crossing.

One interesting question, a few of Clive Cussler's characters when submerged in a sunken submarine have managed to hammer out a rescue message in morse code on the subs hull......how can you differentiate between a dit . or a dah - if using a hammer?

All the best, Simon

kwackers
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby kwackers » 29 Jan 2018, 9:50pm

SimonCelsa wrote:I passed my morse code test back in 1985 although it was only 6 words per minute reading, then sending, by flashing light. Needed it for a Merchant Navy 2nd Mates deep sea license.

A good skill to learn, akin to aquiring a new language. I have never really used it in earnest (sometimes only to identify a lighthouse or racon loom on a radar screen) but I regularly keep my hand it so to speak by running through the dit dah dah ditting of the alphabet whilst on long rides. I wonder why I get some strange looks at times.

They were some of the weirdest characters at sea, the old school radio officers - sparkies. Unfortunately long gone & replaced by 'Digital Selective Calling' hardware - all well and good but not much fun to have a beer with on a long ocean crossing.

One interesting question, a few of Clive Cussler's characters when submerged in a sunken submarine have managed to hammer out a rescue message in morse code on the subs hull......how can you differentiate between a dit . or a dah - if using a hammer?

All the best, Simon

I passed the 12wpm test to get my G0 license - and I used to be able to send and receive at near 30wpm.
Bizarrely I can't read morse at all now (well, not at speed. I have to convert it in my head) but I can send it fine.
I never could read morse sent by flashlight though, I suspect your brain needs to connect up the visual bits to the morse reading bits and mine never did.

I've often thought about how you'd send morse by tapping - it happens a lot in films! I think I'd tap/drag to differentiate although whether it would work who knows - even if it did I think folk who could read it are getting thinner on the ground than ever (or possible folk who would even recognise it as morse).

mercalia
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby mercalia » 29 Jan 2018, 11:54pm

well I am suprised there isnt a computer program that will convert speech or text into morse? there must be one

and also translate it back?

so really these days no need for human operators even if there is a need for suuch a low energy comm system?

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SimonCelsa
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby SimonCelsa » 30 Jan 2018, 1:33am

The morse code test by flashing light was a bit nerve wracking but hysterical at the same time. Bear in mind you had to pass it to obtain a license - no license, no job, no money. And to obtain a pass you could only get a couple of characters wrong. No mercy.

We were ushered into a darkened room - and I mean properly dark in so far as you were tripping over chairs etc. The idea was to 'buddy up' with a colleague, and take it in turns, one would read the flashing light & 'whisper' the phonetic, the other would write the character down in a little box on a small pad. I think we had to do about 50 characters and then a short message. They must have put dim strip lights on under the seats when we were ready in order to see what you were writing, I cannot quite remember.

Anyhow, there were 13 in our group, several African lads and a couple of Kuwaitis. Obviously 13 won't pair up so my mate asked the invigilator if his girlfriend could come in and do the reading/character noting for him. The fun started almost immediately, the first pinprick of flashing light zoomed out of the darkness and I'll always remember the booming, resounding 'whisper' of a big Ghanaian lad stating 'Charlie' i.e 'C'.

'Sheisen', that's not the character I saw!!

Anyhow, it continued in this vein for the remainder of the single character identification. I stuck to my guns and tried to not let the vague whisperings put me off. Then the short message proceeded. I must admit it was all done in English, so us local lads did have a distinct advantage here, some of the Arab students were sons of quite high ranking Sheiks and thus their command of maritime English wasn't high on their list of priorities. Again the light flickered, proffering it's message; 'Quebec, X-ray, Foxtrot....QXF....' whispered a Kuwaiti lad sitting close to me, obviously possessing a greater vocabulary than me. 'Jaysus, never heard of that word,' - I was nearly busting with suppressed laughter at this point which was purely from nerves and not malicious.

Anyhow, message over we had a slight pause & relaxed before switching readers. Out of the quiet murmurings and hushed conversation I suddenly heard my friend severely berate his Missus, - 'you haven't written anything down you daft %!!?&%'.

'Well, I had no idea what you were on about', she exclaimed, 'and I couldn't fit in all the words you were saying in the little boxes.'

Ooops! I think he should have just gone with the simple A, B, C instead!!

All the best, Simon

kwackers
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby kwackers » 30 Jan 2018, 9:15am

mercalia wrote:well I am suprised there isnt a computer program that will convert speech or text into morse? there must be one

and also translate it back?

so really these days no need for human operators even if there is a need for suuch a low energy comm system?

Morse was never intended to be read by humans, it was intended to mark a paper tape which was then read by humans.
Immersed in the environment the operators learned to read the noise directly.

There have been many machines to convert text & numbers to morse and back and probably a lot of amateurs have them and I would guess find after being immersed in the noise for a bit probably no longer need them.

Speech to morse isn't particularly useful, a lot of morse communications are shortened & use 'Q' codes etc so along with the verbose nature of speech probably wouldn't work that well.

Some of the more interesting radio stuff now is SDR (software defined radio). Computers are so good now you can digitise entire bands of radio communications and use DSP's to tune and extract the stations.
As an example the entire LW through MW, SW up to CB & 10m bands occupies a bandwidth of 30mhz. You can digitise the entire spectrum and record it fairly easily. Tune it in real time or tune through the recording later.

Lots of SDR radios around the world you can connect to via the web and tune around on if you're so inclined.

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Pastychomper
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby Pastychomper » 30 Jan 2018, 10:12am

SimonCelsa wrote:One interesting question, a few of Clive Cussler's characters when submerged in a sunken submarine have managed to hammer out a rescue message in morse code on the subs hull......how can you differentiate between a dit . or a dah - if using a hammer?

I've wondered the same about one or two films. I don't know the answer, but suspect there's a clue here:

kwackers wrote:Morse was never intended to be read by humans, it was intended to mark a paper tape which was then read by humans.
Immersed in the environment the operators learned to read the noise directly.


I think some, maybe all, of those machines made an audible click as an arm moved to touch the paper, and another click when the arm was released - so a dit would sound like two clicks close together, and a dah would be two clicks further apart. It's only when you replace the tape ticker with a beeper that you hear them as different lengths of beep. Presumably the first operators would be able to translate hammer taps to clicks easily enough, and a good modern operator might be able to do the equivalent, especially with the help of a friendly author/scriptwriter. :wink:

When I got my foundation licence (which required next to no Morse by then), the examiner showed me a project he'd built: an ordinary PC keyboard containing something like an Arduino which translated key presses into Morse pulses. I think it had a jack so it could be plugged in in place of a key.
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PH
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Re: cb radio does it still exist?

Postby PH » 30 Jan 2018, 12:57pm

NUKe wrote:not quite that simple as not wanting to give in, in the UK that portion of the frequency Spectrum was apportioned to other things. Radio controlled models could be affected by the American CB's for instance.

Well we can go through it blow by blow if you like. Most of the things the CB lobby were asking for were eventually given, many of the reasons they were told they couldn't have them proved to be untrue or irrelevant, like the MoD frequency that hadn't been used since WWII... You are right that the US frequency interfered with RC models, but there were frequencies available that US kit could have been easily modified to use.
The Wiki page suggests the 27MHz that was eventually assigned (After years of saying that 27MHz was an impossibility) was meant to advantage UK manufacturers, but it backfired as only one Japanese manufacturer produced a chip to handle it and they wouldn't export to the UK!