Re: What Happened To Channel 1

LOL - and then there were those who had the Siltronics sets. They used

> to be on 27.415 or Channel 41 as we called it. This was in the days > before I got my amateur license.

When the FCC was preparing to open the additional seventeen channels for CB, the CBers were already using the new channels with those Siltronics sets and other illegal units. In fact, I had one of those folks confront me at work and brag about how he used his 'slider' (CB slang for a VFO) to go outside the bands allocated for CB. He said they were even thinking of going up on the 10 meter amateur radio band. It was disgusting to see someone who cared absolutely nothing about encroaching on other services and breaking radio laws and treaties.

When I was out doing radio maintenance for the company two-way radio system, a CBer asked my working buddy (Jerry) to use our watt meter to check the power output on his radio. I generally refused such requests because if we did it for everyone, it would encroach on company time and make it more difficult for us to meet our objectives. But, Jerry said he would loan our wattmeter to the guy. He told him to use the reverse scale on the wattmeter because that was the only way our wattmeter was going to read something as low as four watts.

The guy came back and talked Jerry into coming over and doing it for him as he said the meter was full scale. When Jerry did this, he discovered that the CB radio in this guy's truck was putting out nearly two hundred watts. That was the last time Jerry ever volunteered our equipment or agreed to help someone with Citizen's band equipment.

There was such a huge amount of misinformation running around among the CBers. I couldn't believe some of the things they would say and I can't imagine where they were getting information like that.

For example, another one of our radio technicians (Ed) saw a fellow at a truck stop installing a power mike on his CB. He claimed that with the additional audio power in, that there would be more radio power out. When Ed told him that this was not true, he told Ed (our experienced, FCC licensed radio technician) that he was wrong. He said that all of the CBers were doing it and they were getting a lot more power out. Ed didn't try to argue with him any further.

One fellow asked me to help him figure out why the antennas on his car weren't working properly. I told him I couldn't do it on company time (to be polite), but he told me about it, anyway. He had the truckers antennas mounted on a Volkswagon fastback. He told me that what the truckers antennas were for was to keep from 'messing up your SWR' when you had a 'huge metallic load' behind you. I had learned never to try to correct CBers on their information because they would usually tell you you are wrong. So I didn't correct him. But there was no way he was going to get enough separation between those two antennas for them to work properly on a Volkswagon fastback. He also told me that you had to keep your power mike turned down or 'Uncle Charlie' (an old expression used to refer to the FCC) would get you for running too much power. I knew it was an effort in futility, but I explained to him why that was not true and how cranking up the audio too much would corrupt your signal, not increase the radio power. He looked at me kind of baffled. I was very surprised he didn't tell me I was wrong.

A ham radio operator friend of mine (Ross) had a two meter rig in his car. Ross would periodically have some CBer pull up next to him on the road and show what channel they were on by holding up the correct amount of fingers. My friend made the mistake of holding up two fingers (intending to tell them that he wasn't on CB but rather was on two meters). The CBer turned his set over to channel 2. Ross told me he had since given up on trying to explain to CBers the difference between ham radio and CB.

Another fellow I knew (Jim) was in Florence, SC. Jim was parked in front of a beauty salon waiting for his wife to come out. He was having a good, long conversation with another ham who was in Fayetteville, NC on his two meter set while he waited. A CBer pulled up behind him and parked. He saw Jim talking on his radio and he dialed through all the CB channels trying to pick him up. After a while, he got out of his car and walked up to Jim telling him 'Good buddy, your CB isn't modulating'. Jim responded by telling the ham in Fayetteville to about this CBer and asking him to tell the guy where he was located. He responded that he was in Fayetteville, NC. The CBer's eyes almost popped out when he heard that come over Jim's radio. He went back to his car, pulled his CB out, set it on the sidewalk, and took it apart to work on it. When Jim's wife returned to the car, Jim got out and spoke to the guy explaining that that CB would never pick up his signals. The guy insisted that his radio would pick up any CB. Jim informed him that his radio was not a CB then got in his car and drove off leaving the poor guy sitting on the sidewalk with his CB completely disassembled. While funny, I think it was also a little mean.

The Citizen's Band radio service spawned the biggest pool of misinformation I've ever heard of. And certainly it led to complete chaos on a number of radio bands. It was very poorly planned and the FCC never had the manpower for enforcement.

Also, I believe that this thread was started by wondering what happened to television channel one. The six meter amateur band is from fifty to fifty-four megahertz. That should explain much of it.


Fred, WB4AEJ

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And that was the main conflict with television 'channel one' I think. A conflict with other services in the 50-54 megs area. CB radio operators did have a lot of ignorance. It was almost impossible to explain to them about the relationship of carrier power and modulation, for example, or height of the antenna, or how radio waves can 'skip' across bodies of water, such as Lake Michigan, and how using 3.5 watts with 90-95 percent modulation with an antenna on the top of an eight story apartment building on the edge of Lake Michigan (north side of Chicago) could _easily_ get you a nice clean signal in Benton Harbor, Michigan or Michigan City, Indiana. I often-times had people curse me out, tell me to 'quiet down out there' when I was operating totally legally. I would tell those people, "take your cheap, toy radio back to Walmart where you got it, and ask them to please refund your welfare check for last month." They could not understand a four watt radio (assuming it was legal) could only put out _four watts_ distributed between the carrier and the modulation. Too much carrier you could not be heard; too much modulation you would splash all over the band. They would 'peak up' their radio for closer to five watts, and then complain when you said you could not hear them. They did not understand the relationship between watts of power and decibels either, and when I would take the time to explain it all to them, they would tell me I was 'full of xxxx' and cuss me out. The analogy I would often times use was to tell the person, take an empty, sort of small, glass, put it in the sink and turn the water on full blast. Come back in a few minutes and see how much water is in the glass. Very little, most of it splashed into the sink or on the floor. Now, turn the water down to a slow, steady stream, and watch the glass fill up nicely with cold, fresh water. Some would listen, some would cuss me out even more. PAT]
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Fred Atkinson
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