On my recent drive back from Nova Scotia, we were stopped on I-81 in Virginia for 40 minutes.
A complete stand-still...engines off, people walking around on an interstate now having been converted to a parking lot.
We knew it was more than road construction up ahead and I was wishing for a CB since I knew that truckers traveling in the other direction would be passing the status to their southbound counterparts on Channel 19.
Then I remembered - I do have a CB, of sorts.
I quickly attached the mag-mount and MFJ-1979 to the top of the car and extended the whip to an eyeballed 8-1/2 feet. Back in the car, I attached the FT-891 and tuned it to Channel 19 - 27.185 MHz.
|Second harmonic of Ch-19 is 61.7 dB down from fundamental
I learned from copying the truckers that a tractor-trailer had caught on fire and that the driver was able to separate the truck from the trailer and pull away from it.
Two law enforcement vehicles had arrived but not the fire department or tow truck. No southbound traffic was allowed to move, in any lane.
Being able to tune to Ch-19 was very helpful and I was able to learn the status in real-time as the fire was eventually extinguished and traffic was diverted to the left-most lane, simply by listening.
My FT-891 is MARS modified and will transmit on any frequency from 3.5 to 30 MHz.
After returning home, I wondered how clean the transmitter's output is if/when operating on the CB band. This is illegal, of course - except in an emergency.
I'm not claiming that a traffic jam is an emergency and I did not transmit in the case described above, but emergencies can and do occur on the road, especially in winter/mountainous areas.
It's good to know that communications is possible outside of cellular coverage areas if such a situation warrants.
Spectral output of the FT-891, even when operated on the CB band, is quite clean.