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Crash Course in CB Radios

AFMoulton

AFMoulton

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Well there is some truth to all of this. It does take about 20 mins for our signal from earth to reach something on Mars. From a satellite that is at 22k miles in orbit we lose about 123db in signal strength coming to the earth.

However with digital signals and decoder/encoder principles, we mitigate what we lose over distance even in space.


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TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

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To me, the definion of “weaker” means eventually it’ll be non existent, or useless, I believe that to be false. They will always be there, it’s just whether or not you have the technology to hear it. But to keep on topic, I’ll concede to what you’re saying.
Don't stay on topic on account of me - while I may not understand all that's being said, I am enjoying the conversation
Please, continue.
 
Stephen Meister

Stephen Meister

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Don't stay on topic on account of me - while I may not understand all that's being said, I am enjoying the conversation
Please, continue.
If you insist.

Radio waves are electromagnetic waves, as in radiation, as in photons. They don’t need a medium to travel. They don’t lose energy as they travel and will continue on forever in the vacuum of space. It’s a false statement to say they become “weaker”. To become “weaker” energy must be lost. I understand the other posters point of view and it’s more useful to the discussion than what I’m saying. I suppose a better term to use instead of “weaker” is “spread out” or “dissipated” with distance and that’s because the wave is sent in all directions versus a “focused beam”. The end result is a loss in signal strength, because that “strength” is inversely proportional to the space it occupies, but not to be confused with the wave becoming “weaker”.

Mechanical waves on the other hand vibrate the medium as they travel, shedding energy and becoming “weaker” Because of that energy loss, they’ll eventually become nonexistent, the opposite of a radio wave.

We can “hear” when the first photons became visible shortly after the Big Bang, about 13.8 billion years ago, yes that’s billion. first we thought it was pigeon droppings on the antenna. Penzias and Wilson won a Nobel prize for that pigeon poop.

As far as the relevance to this discussion, I comprehend what they’re saying and it’s more accurate from a “useful” point of view, and that’s why I conceded.
 
Stephen Meister

Stephen Meister

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If you were on a planet 750 Trillion Km away, you’d be able to hear a live broadcast that “Japan has just surrendered”. Very well could be “loud and clear” relative to their technology.

Us humans are an arrogant species defining what a “weak” and “strong” signal is.
 
TNTreeHugger

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If you insist.

Radio waves are electromagnetic waves, as in radiation, as in photons. They don’t need a medium to travel. They don’t lose energy as they travel and will continue on forever in the vacuum of space. It’s a false statement to say they become “weaker”. To become “weaker” energy must be lost. I understand the other posters point of view and it’s more useful to the discussion than what I’m saying. I suppose a better term to use instead of “weaker” is “spread out” or “dissipated” with distance and that’s because the wave is sent in all directions versus a “focused beam”. The end result is a loss in signal strength, because that “strength” is inversely proportional to the space it occupies, but not to be confused with the wave becoming “weaker”.

Mechanical waves on the other hand vibrate the medium as they travel, shedding energy and becoming “weaker” Because of that energy loss, they’ll eventually become nonexistent, the opposite of a radio wave.

We can “hear” when the first photons became visible shortly after the Big Bang, about 13.8 billion years ago, yes that’s billion. first we thought it was pigeon droppings on the antenna. Penzias and Wilson won a Nobel prize for that pigeon poop.

As far as the relevance to this discussion, I comprehend what they’re saying and it’s more accurate from a “useful” point of view, and that’s why I conceded.
So, if I'm understanding what you said...
A radio wave, as it travels, sort of fans out, or gets wider and thinner, but never disappears and a mechanical wave gets more narrow and thinner and will disappear?
So the question of "If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?" the answer is, "Depends on how far away the listener is."
Would that be an accurate generalization?

Btw, love this info.
 
Stephen Meister

Stephen Meister

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So, if I'm understanding what you said...
A radio wave, as it travels, sort of fans out, or gets wider and thinner, but never disappears and a mechanical wave gets more narrow and thinner and will disappear?
So the question of "If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?" the answer is, "Depends on how far away the listener is."
Would that be an accurate generalization?

Btw, love this info.
I’d start over with your thinking and focus on radio waves being nothing more than light, which they basically are because they are nothing but photons.

With you understanding that, you can easier visualize what happens to light (photons) you can see versus something invisible like a radio wave. Focus on the terms dispersed or spread out in all directions instead of “wider and thinner”. The further you get away from the light source, the “weaker” it gets, not because it lost energy, but because it has spread out. You could be on the other side of the universe and If you had the technology to regather all those specific spread out photons, the light would be as bright as it was when it left its source. No matter how far away you are.

What the others are saying is the radio waves (photons) get spread out over distance to the point the “breaker breaker” transmission will be nothing more than static when you attempt to receive it, and they’re correct, but again, this isn’t because those photons lost energy and are now any weaker than when they left, it’s because they got spread out.

Having said that, just because they say it would be “noise” or “static” to us at “X” distance, doesn’t mean there isn’t a more advanced being that could distinguish the needed photons from the other unneeded ones, gather them together and be able to sit down and listen to Johnny Carson as it was aired live from Earth.

Mechanical waves, unlike radio waves, need a medium to travel, which creates resistance, which will absorb the energy of the wave which will eventually weaken it enough to the point it fails to exist. Sound waves are a good example of a mechanical wave and your comparison is spot on. Eventually you’d reach a distance from the source where no matter what technology you had, you would never hear the tree fall because the wave would never reach you, it no longer exists, it became so weak that it is no longer in existence and why the term “weak” doesn’t apply to radio waves. Photons never ever weaken, it’s why we can “hear” the origins of the universe when we listen for it. We “hear“ the photons.
 
Ted Jenkins

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Radio waves as well as mechanical all get weaker as they travel away from source. Similar to what Stephan is saying, but a difference is that all waves run into objects thus making signal or wave more dissipated. If a OP could set set up a perfect vacuum which does not exist then those waves would travel for eternity. Of course electromagnetic waves travel much farther faster in space as compared to any thing else because there is much less interference. A directional antenna is much better at directing a signal to the intended location than just one antenna. At the moment there is not much need for CB bands to communicate for me and my business. The cell phone is a tool that most have available. A major difference is that with a radio one can broadcast to a larger audience than most other sources which can be very useful. Thanks
 
TNTreeHugger

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I’d start over with your thinking and focus on radio waves being nothing more than light, which they basically are because they are nothing but photons.

With you understanding that, you can easier visualize what happens to light (photons) you can see versus something invisible like a radio wave. Focus on the terms dispersed or spread out in all directions instead of “wider and thinner”. The further you get away from the light source, the “weaker” it gets, not because it lost energy, but because it has spread out. You could be on the other side of the universe and If you had the technology to regather all those specific spread out photons, the light would be as bright as it was when it left its source. No matter how far away you are.

What the others are saying is the radio waves (photons) get spread out over distance to the point the “breaker breaker” transmission will be nothing more than static when you attempt to receive it, and they’re correct, but again, this isn’t because those photons lost energy and are now any weaker than when they left, it’s because they got spread out.

Having said that, just because they say it would be “noise” or “static” to us at “X” distance, doesn’t mean there isn’t a more advanced being that could distinguish the needed photons from the other unneeded ones, gather them together and be able to sit down and listen to Johnny Carson as it was aired live from Earth.

Mechanical waves, unlike radio waves, need a medium to travel, which creates resistance, which will absorb the energy of the wave which will eventually weaken it enough to the point it fails to exist. Sound waves are a good example of a mechanical wave and your comparison is spot on. Eventually you’d reach a distance from the source where no matter what technology you had, you would never hear the tree fall because the wave would never reach you, it no longer exists, it became so weak that it is no longer in existence and why the term “weak” doesn’t apply to radio waves. Photons never ever weaken, it’s why we can “hear” the origins of the universe when we listen for it. We “hear“ the photons.
I think I got the first part correct also, I just didn't explain what I was thinking accurately - like you did.
Thank you.

What is the correct term used for studying radio waves, the scientific term? I'd like to do some reading up on it, from the beginner level.
Can you recommend a web site?
 
Stephen Meister

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I think I got the first part correct also, I just didn't explain what I was thinking accurately - like you did.
Thank you.

What is the correct term used for studying radio waves, the scientific term? I'd like to do some reading up on it, from the beginner level.
Can you recommend a web site?
I have no idea what the correct term is, but studying electromagnetic radiation will explain a lot. We’re into different things which is why I tried to bow out of this awhile ago. You’re interested in radio transmissions within our atmosphere to talk to other humans, I’m interested in radio transmissions in outer space to talk to other intelligent life, and because of that, all this crap I’m saying is pretty useless since your waves are being transmitted through a medium.
 
Stephen Meister

Stephen Meister

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Websites I can’t help you with either, these other fellas can I’m sure. I keep track on what’s going on with the SETI institute, that video I linked explains their purpose. Anything I don’t understand I just look up on the Internet, through the years I suppose I kind of grasped some of the theory behind electromagnetic radiation (sound waves).

Again, completely irrelevant to this thread and I apologize for completely derailing it.
 
SimonHS

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Here are links to a few good resources. There are further links embedded in each article. Sorry to give you so much to read, but studying just a few of these articles will give you a good understanding of radio theory and application.








 
TNTreeHugger

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Here are links to a few good resources. There are further links embedded in each article. Sorry to give you so much to read, but studying just a few of these articles will give you a good understanding of radio theory and application.








Perfect! :cheers:
 
SimonHS

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It looks to be worn out and about to collapse, after 57 years service. There is no mention of replacing it but SETI is using other, more modern, antenna arrays so the search continues.


 
TNTreeHugger

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So our recently dearly departed member, Stephen, has shared several other links with me, on my forum.

Just watched this video... can I plug this into my desktop computer and use it to pick up CB transmission, and others like police radios?
 
lone wolf

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So, if I'm understanding what you said...
A radio wave, as it travels, sort of fans out, or gets wider and thinner, but never disappears and a mechanical wave gets more narrow and thinner and will disappear?
So the question of "If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?" the answer is, "Depends on how far away the listener is."
Would that be an accurate generalization?

Btw, love this info.
Wow I was going to ask him the same thing!
 
SimonHS

SimonHS

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can I plug this into my desktop computer and use it to pick up CB transmission, and others like police radios?
In theory yes. In practice it might not be straightforward. You would probably need a much better antenna, placed high up. You may also need accessories and software add-ons. It is cheap enough to buy and play with and not worry about the cost though.


Stephen, has shared several other links with me, on my forum.
You have a forum?
 
TNTreeHugger

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In theory yes. In practice it might not be straightforward. You would probably need a much better antenna, placed high up. You may also need accessories and software add-ons. It is cheap enough to buy and play with and not worry about the cost though.



You have a forum?
That I do. I'll send you the link in a PM. Would love for you to join us. We're discussing the SETI program at the moment... and other conspiracy theories. :drinkingcoffee:
 
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