The Social Side of CB Radio
The original idea behind CB was for it to be used as a community radio system to give the masses an open short range method of communication, it largely filled that role well over the years even if it did seem to stray from time to time. More than enough users walked away from CB due to the amount of intentional interference and general abuse that was dished out on a daily basis with those living in built up areas like large towns or cities suffering the most.
Those who stayed learned to live with this problem or invested in better equipment to work over or around the people intent on ruining CB for everybody else.
The DX Chaser
Always tweaking and refining the performance of the their radio setup those using CB’s potential to communicate worldwide will spend a good deal of time (and money) on antenna systems and a maybe some extra RF power to give increased range. Things have got better for the DX chaser in recent years with lifting of restrictions on the sideband modes that make long distance communications that much easier than using the less efficient AM/FM signal.
Like it or not CB has been a sort of training ground for radio enthusiasts who have gone on to pass the radio amateur exam with many of today’s licensed ham operators starting out as Citizen Band DX chasers.
CB Radio for Work or Business
During the earlier use of CB it was the perfect communications tool for many business who saw its cost and easy maintenance as a cheap way of instantly talking to its workers. Even to this day CB Radio is still used by a few taxi companies and other base to mobile operations in more than a few locations around the world probably made much easier now by the reduced number of user compared to 10 or 20 years ago.
The use of CB for business has all but died away because the widespread construction of trunking two way radio networks offers a more guaranteed method of communication along with all the benefits digital radios bring to the user.
Where We Are Now?
Thankfully nearly all of the people I speak to on the CB bands these days are decent folk and its very rare I encounter the annoying or foulmouthed nutters that were so common in days gone by. One worrying trait that does seem the same with today’s operators is they are all of a certain age with almost no younger people now making use of the free resource that is CB radio.
What CB Radio Meant to Me
Electronics was a passion from a young age so the technical side of CB was what first interested me with the social aspect making a lot more sense later on, met many friends as a direct result of using CB along with a nice girl or two. I still speak to a few of these people on a regular basis although its rarely on 27 MHz anymore.
CB radio really pushed forward my understanding of electronics at the best possible time in my life and is one of the main reasons I was able to make a career in the electronics industry.
So how and why did you start using CB, we would love to hear your stories and if you still get on 27 MHz on a regular basis.