Before CB radio exploded into the world personal radio communication was still available but only to those with a certain degree of knowledge either in making their own equipment or adapting the many commercial and ex military transmitters that have become available to the public over the years.
The rise of CB in the USA before moving into the rest of the world, first as an illegal pastime then flourishing after being legalized changed all that giving even those with zero technical knowledge access to what is after all a complex piece of radio equipment.
New Technology and New Questions
This post is in relation to a recent question posted in one of the many CB and radio forums I visit every week. The actual question was a CB user asking what SSB (Single Sideband) actually stood for and how to best make the most of it and although the answer may seem fairly obvious to those who haven’t stayed within the terms of the CB license, with the introduction of SSB across Europe its not surprising that some users are a little confused over what this new mode means for the way they use their radios in the future.
The lack of knowledge many CB users have about how their equipment works could be seen as a problem by some more informed radio enthusiasts but the beautiful simplicity of a CB radio transmitter has never warranted knowing how the rig actually works to use it effectively. This simplicity was one of the major points that fueled its popularity with the ability to buy and install a working CB setup requiring no more skill than knowing the difference between a positive and negative wire.
The Usage Learning Curve of SSB
For CB users returning to the hobby on the promise of a new operating mode and the increased range it offers their may be whole new methods of radio operation and CB etiquette to learn along the way. Dxing has been with us for a long time even though it has been an illegal way to use CB in most of the world for decades but if your only experience is using the traditional FM system getting to grips with the way SSB works could be almost as challenging as when you original started using CB in the first place.
Less about the community aspect of CB radio and more about pushing the limits of the technology will social users understand (or enjoy) what can be a long drawn out process of finding those long distance contacts.
Giving us the right to use SSB has hardly changed the way I use CB with the same mix of social and Dxing that Ive practiced for as long as I can remember but it is good to see that it has at least giving 27 MHz a much needed boost recently.
Have you reentered the CB hobby because of the release of SSB?, please leave a comment below of your experience.