CB Radio is a lot of fun. It is super cheap and it allows you
to have fairly reliable mobile (or base) communications without having to get a radio
operators license. CB radio was big in the 70's. It seemed like every car had a CB in it
and many homes also. It provided a fun way to keep in touch with your friends and family.
I used to radio home when I was leaving work so that dinner would be ready when I walked
in the door. In the 70s we met a lot of friends on the air and had great fun. I started my
25+ year mobile electronics career by installing CB radios in 1974. I also met my wife and
actually got Married on the CB radio in 1976. (still married!)
But besides all that mushy stuff, CBs are coming back strong and
are dirt cheap. Most CBs nowadays have 40 channels, so it is pretty easy to find a clear
channel to talk on. Many mobile CBs also have a PA (public Address) system built in so
that with the simple addition of a speaker you can talk to folks around your car, or
holler at the idiot to get outa your way, or make MOOing sounds as you pass a heard of
cattle in the country..
There are many CBs on the market but many are very close to
identical on the inside, nowadays there aren't many bad ones, and also not many really
outstanding ones. They are mostly all good.
You can get;
A handheld CB, many times these have less power and an AWFUL
A Car powered CB with all the controls on the Mic, these work good
but because of their small size they lack some cool features like PA or SSB. They are
quite easy to mount though.
A normal mobile CB, the most common cb radio, most have 4 watts of
output (the max legal) and 40 channels and PA capabilities.
An SSB CB, the "high end" of CB radios. Most CBs use AM
(amplitude Modulation), but SSB CBs have both AM and SSB (single side band) modes for all
40 channels. AM which is normal for CBs is susceptible to all kinds of nasty interference,
SSB makes a more efficient use of power and doesn't have as much problems with static..
But to use SSB you must be communicating with another CBer that also has SSB.
Base Station, base stations are available in AM and SSB and
require an antenna on the roof. Usually have much better range because of the higher