The CB Radio is a cultural icon and one of America’s dying art
forms. Citizens’ Band Radio is a system of unlicensed short range communications between individuals for personal
or business use. Popular mainly among radio hobbyists today, CB Radios were mainly used by small trade businesses
such as plumbers, electricians and truckers after inception. It wasn’t until electronic advancements that made the
CB Radio smaller and more readily available to the public that the concept took off.
Today CB Radios are mostly used by semi-truck drivers to
communicate between each other, directions, traffic problems and other related matters. There are still the small
groups of individuals who use CB Radios as a part time hobby and the handheld version is still used today by
hikers, hunters and families.
Most CB Radios offer generally the same features. These include
automatic noise limiter to reduce background noise, channel presets, mic, volume control, PA capability and channel
sharing. CB Radios generally come in the same type, only differing in design and size.
Many resemble the style we know and remember as a child, but
others now come reduced in size and more resemble a walkie talkie. An LCD display is normally present in more
modern models and shows mainly the channel, activity monitor and signal strength. CB Radios have now mainly taken
to the road and are built to be easily mounted in a car or truck. They come standard with mounting brackets and car
The mountable versions feature external microphone and power
option. On the other side, the handheld versions are more compact, featuring internal mics and speakers, as well as
When shopping for a CB Radio, some of the things you want to look
out for is a 4 watt output, which the maximum is allowed by law (in many jurisdictions) allowing for maximum
operating distance. CB radio amplifiers
are on the aftermarket, but just be sure to follow the local laws. Make sure the operating range is within the
parameters you require and decide whether or not you want a mountable version or not. Preset weather and emergency
channel tuning is a must in case of any unforeseen events, and you want quick access to news and information. If
you are a hiker or outdoors person, get a handheld model with recharging capabilities.
The features of a CB radio have not changed much over the years,
only the parts and design. If you can find a cheap older version that is in perfect working order and you are not
picky about where you use it, go ahead and invest. Your local Radio Shack or electronic store will carry parts if
you are looking to fix up ‘old betsy’ for future use. Visit local CB clubs or online meeting grounds to get tips on
how to use your CB Radio. It’s mostly an art that is shared among hobbyists and aficionados.
If you are a beginner CB hobbyist, ensure that you obtain a
channel list and what they are used for. Get a copy of CB Slang, which is the terminology used among CB
enthusiasts. This is to ensure that you can follow conversations and pick up on the lingo used for a more coherent