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Is CB coming back?

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airfixpilot
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:31 am

Is CB coming back?

Post by airfixpilot » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:43 am

In the days before android and I phones, and maybe before Nokia 3310 (original phone), there was a communication thing called CB Radio, (Citizen Band Radio). This operated on 27 MHZ to 28 MHZ band and for public use. It was a two way radio for car, trucks and homebase use, made popular in the USA, then by a film called Convoy, staring Burt Reynolds. It was illegal in the UK, up until 1981 I think, were we in the UK were given 27Mhz on FM (frequency Modulation), rather than on the USA version of 27 Mhz AM (Amplitude Modulation).. The USA version had a advantage of SSB (single side band) and normal AM band, with a higher power output rating, over 4 watts.

After the new sets were introduced when legalised in 1981ish, the numbers of Cbers started to diminish, another factor was that you had to pay a license fee of £10. Most people didnt bother to pay the fee, but continued to use the radios, and the police were not bothered.

Although still used mostly by lorry drivers, for two way comms, it seems CB is not yet dead, even if the mobile phone is now the main way of communication. I myself was a CBer, with the handle (username/ call-sign) of Rivetclincher (dont laugh), and was on air for a number of years. Having known Doug Knight, of Knights CB in Kirton in Lindsey , for over twenty five years or more, including his mum and Dad. I still go to see him when I can at his shop, and have a chat about scanners and CB radios. He and his staff are well respected in Ham, CB & Scanner radios, including all types of antenna.

On my visit last week to Knights CB, I got talking to one of his staff about the old CB radio and how it stands now in 2018. I was suprised to learn that CB radio was still popular with car drivers, and not only Lorry drivers (Truckers). This is due to advances in the radios(RIGS), which makes them more European stranderd, were you can tune them into most if not all European CB networks. This means you can take the Rig in your car to anywhere in Europe and use their CB frequencies at a touch of a button. Another thing which I saw, was how small one type was, the CRT One CB Radio was as small as a hand and would fit into any small space in a car. The price of this set was about £40-£50ish. So I guess for around £60 you could set yourself up for basic a Rig and antenna.

Now there is no license to buy, it seems that CB is on its way way back. I found it great fun first time round, and now maybe it could be better, with the multi European frequencies, I guess you can talk to continental lorry drivers who are passing through the UK to the ports, on their own countries CB frequencies.

The only down side to CB I didn't like was the openness and silly CB 10 code which were used. Also I thought that unlike radio amatures, the government never gave or enforced a callsign system, to identified the users, it left it open to abuse in the early days. I hope this has changed in regards the abuse and daftness.

In the days of the old CB, many friends were made, and I hope it takes off in the right spirit, with fun and friendly users. :thumb:
A perfect day is at a airport with a scanner, camera. flask of coffee, sandwiches & biscuits.

Keep calm and chill

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