This is our primary radio communication network for RL4WD. You will want to pick up a handheld or rig mounted unit (or both). Handhelds are great when spotting.
CB or Citizens band radios are meant for short-distance types of radio communication we use in the RL4WD world. They contain 40 channels within the 27MHz (11m) band and are a great way to keep in touch with folks. If you see other radios that looks like CB's but are not the 40 channel 27MHz type, it is typically not legal to transmit with those without an amateur radio (HAM) license. Don't be fooled by folks like Rugged Radios who're trying to tell you their radios don't need a license.
Common mistakes when mounting the antenna include not being grounded (if mounting to a tail gate for instance, your rubber bushings/seals may prevent a ground when preventing squeaks. Another thing to consider is a top load antenna.
There are 3 different types of antennas,
Top Load, which transmits the signal from the tip of the antenna. This is the most common type of antenna used on the trails.
Base Load, which transmits the signal from the base. Best used on the top of a ground plane like a metal roof. With Jeeps that's hard to do because we can take our tops off.
Mid load, which transmits from the middle of the antenna. Not a typical type used for RL4WD stuff as many have a coil that can hand up on things we see on the trail.
Most trail users use a top loaded antenna mounted from either the side of the hood (best) or tailgate / bumper area (pretty good). We've found that hood mounted antennas tend to perform best and keep your rig from becoming part of the signal interference (bounce back).
The downside of CB is that it's limited to 4 watts of power (or 14 watts on the sidebands). While you don't need a license to operate them, the most range you'll see is 1-10 miles total. Again, great for small groups going out, bad for groups that are spread out over multiple trails that extend over lots of land.
You'll want to tune your antenna. This checks to see how much resistance your system has while pushing out a signal. If a radio system has too much resistance, it can burn out your radio transmitter. It'll also shorten the distance you can be heard. Some radios have a built in SWR (standing wave ratio) meter so you can adjust on the fly. This is preferred as resistance can also come from the environment, not just your radio. Being able to check your resistance and adjust your transmit power will ensure that your radio lasts a long time.
Lastly, you want to make sure you mount your radio in a safe spot so that it's not a danger to you or your passengers.
If you have any questions on CB's please post them below. We'll be making videos on this stuff which will also be posted here. We'll also be reviewing different types of radios and antennas as the years go on and will post them.