What is CB Radio?

Citizens’ band radio, also known as CB Radio, is a short-range radio voice communications device used primarily by private people in motor cars, homes, workplaces, and other areas where cellular telephony is not available. A standard CB radio consists of a transmitter-receiver and an antenna coupled together, in this article we will explore more about CB Radio.

CB Radio


CB Radio in America

CB radio in the early 1970s was first transmitted to the UK. As far back as the late nineteen fifties, citizens’ band radio was common in America and it was these US Rigs that were first utilized illegally in the UK. In the mid-Seventies, CB Radio was popularized by numerous new songs and blockbuster films such as Convoy and Smokey & the Bandit, and the use of imported AM Rigs reached its peak around 1980, as these unauthorized AM Rigs, that were available for purchase from most auto accessories stores, were marketed by different companies.

Promoting CB Radio

Various CB clubs emerged around the world, and it was these clubs that started to campaign for Citizen Band Radio to be allowed so that these imported AM rigs could be lawfully used. In response, the government commissioned a white paper recommending an Open Channel CB Service of about 860 Mhz.


Legalization of CB Radio in the UK

The government officially legalized the CB radio on November 2, 1981. The service was launched on an offset frequency band inconsistent with American AM radios and possession of non-UK permitted 27 MHz transceivers was made illegal, with the exception of those authorized for conversion to the 28 MHz (10 meters) amateur band by UK radio ‘A’ (HF) Amateur Radio.

Free CB Radio Licensing

From 8 December 2006 onwards, CB under the group of license-free personal correspondence, Radio now follows PMR446, LPD433, and SRD860. This will cause the Single Sideband and AM operations to be used on the CEPT CB radio band, and legislation to that effect was introduced by Ofcom (official website) on 27 June 2014.

Frequency allocations

With CB frequencies varying from 26.965 to 27.405 MHz, the CB radio spectrum is split into 40 channels. Usually, channels are spaced 10 MHz apart. Although these networks are available to anyone, some of the reasons mentioned in the table below are widely decided upon. Channel 9 (reserved for emergency communications) and Channel 19, which is used mainly by truckers, are examples.




Why are there only 40 frequencies?

Other frequencies, clearly, belong to other types of operators. These CB radio frequencies (27.430, 27.450, 27.470, 27.490, 27.510, and 27.530 MHz) are covered by the Enterprise Radio Service networks, which are part of the two-way VHF and UHF bands.

Video: CB Radio Frequencies

Current use

For decades, truckers have used CB radios, but they are now used by off-roaders, owners of RVs, many who ride bikes, and all sorts of hobbyists. CBs can be used at activities to keep people unified and in touch. In addition, for most trail rides, CBs are needed, because, in remote areas, cell phone coverage is unreliable (or inaccessible). Some vehicles use CBs to locate speed traps (both trucks and cars), while dash-mounted radar sensors are used more commonly than in previous decades.
For a number of purposes, drivers who use a CB radio do so: they can help in seeking an alternative route in a traffic jam; warn of road blockages ahead; provide real-time weather forecasts and extreme weather warnings; provide updates on traffic control operations, and provide support in situations of technical failure or medical emergency.
A CB radio can offer comforting and beneficial noise and chatter for drivers on long journeys, which is relaxing and can help keep a driver awake and alert.
While most of their communications have been transferred to mobile phones by most truckers, they still use CB radios to relay substantial road-related information.

Video: The Rules of CB Radio

What to use for CB Radio?

A CB radio can be purchased from shops like Walmart (official website), other general hardware outlets, or online. To better determine what price you want to pay, remember what you use the radio for. Do not pay more than $50. If you use the radio for fun with friends, don’t spend more than $50. Spend a little more on a stable computer if you’re building up a radio contact device for work. Here are other components you need to use for CB Radio.
Antenna Your radio is worthless without an antenna. This is a key component you must not forget.
Antenna Mount To install the antenna in your car, you will require the amount of some kind. You won’t have to think about this if you’re using a magnet, roof, or trunk-lip antenna, as the antenna base functions as the antenna mount.
Coax Cable The cable that links your antenna and your radio. The coax is probably included with the antenna mount whether you’re using a magnet, rooftop, or trunk-lip antenna.
SWR Meter An SWR meter is an important instrument used in a method called antenna tuning to better match your antenna to your car. Failure to tune your antenna will lead to the poor performance of the device and even irreversible radio damage.
Spring Between the mounting surface and the antennas, springs are mounted and cause the antenna to bend at the base. In the case that you trap the antenna on an obstacle when driving, they avoid damage to the antenna, car, and mount.
Antenna Quick Disconnects Between the mounting surface and the antenna, disconnects are mounted and allow you to easily detach the antenna without tools.
PA Horn There is a public address mode in a variety of CB models that includes an external PA horn for use. A PA horn is basically a glorified (generally weatherproof) speaker which is installed outside the automobile and connects to the CB.


Are CB radios still used in 2021?

CB radios are still not gone. Many of us would want to have a souvenir of a time when technology did not bother us with the speed of its growth holding them alive. They are now, but not for use, in the markets. A change comes with the sponsorship, with CB being substituted by two-way radios from FRS/GMRS. For instance, JeepĀ® Jamboree (official website) members are still welcome to use their CB radio this year, but all trail contact will be by two-way FRS/GMRS radios in 2021.

How many miles can a CB radio transmit?

Depending on the terrain, CB radios range from around 3 miles (4.8 km) to 20 miles (32 km) for a line of sight communication; furthermore, different conditions of radio transmission can permit communication over far larger distances intermittently.

Is it illegal to have a CB radio?

As soon as you service the radio according to the rules set out by the FCC (official website) for modulation, power, bandwidth, etc., you can legally service your CB radio. Servicing your radio means that you can change the frequency, modulate 100 percent, patch light bulbs, repair missing parts (only parts that follow the same original specifications), etc.

What does 42 mean in the trucker talk?

This is just another way to mean “42” if you encounter a truck driver say “Yes, or OK.” on their CB radio. There are hundreds of other common CB slang phrases.

What do truckers use instead of CB?

Many truck drivers also find themselves using trucking applications to connect on their devices, such as Next Trucking (official website), for example. To substitute their CB radio, others use a more advanced radio system, such as satellite radio systems like Sirius or XM. All in all, truckers love to chat, and drivers have countless possibilities for connecting thanks to technology.

Video: UHF CB Radio 10 Tips