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CB Help Channel
Certainly not 9, probably not 1

By: James R; Davis

Though many CB's have a highlighted channel 9 for use in an emergency (which often is automatically selected if you lose then recover power), it turns out that neither channel 9 nor channel 1 (typically used by motorcyclists all over the US) is the most likely channel to get help on in case you need it.

Channel 19 is almost universally used by truckers. That is the channel to go to if you need help.

In case you are curious, truckers find great satisfaction in the fact that they typically use channel 19, (and have done so even when a CB only provided 23 channels), because they know that it has the greatest range on typically tuned antennas today! This is because if you tune your antenna using an SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) meter, you tune it so that your CB can use both channels 1 and 40. The result is that channels near the middle of the band are optimized.

You would do better if you had a cellular phone on the bike, and better if you had a HAM radio on the bike (I carry all three.) But Channel 19 on your CB is the most likely place to find an ear if you only have a CB on the bike. Note that you can expect no more than 1-2 miles from your CB, typically line of sight for your HAM rig (but there are repeaters located throughout most metropolitan areas and many remote areas as well), and no telling about your cellular phone.

[One kind reader advises that by simply mounting an antenna on the bike such as you can get at Radio Shack and cuellular providers the cellular phone range is increased dramatically.]

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(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

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