CB Radios have long been associated with truckers. This is mainly due to the fact that just about every trucker in the world has a CB Radio mounted in his or her truck. This association between truck drivers and CB’s also comes from a common lack of knowledge of CB Radios.
The “CB” does actually stand for “Citizens Band”. This means that everyone has the right to own and operate their very own CB Radio. There are no special licenses or prerequisites needed to use a CB Radio.
There is a hand book included with all new units purchased at retail outlets. The hand book is a great place to start as it will explain how to use your new CB.With so many CB Radios to choose from, deciding on just one model can be tough. What you should know is that CB Radios use 40 channels to communicate with other CB Radio operators. Channel 9 is reserved for emergency communications. Switching between channels is done with a push button on many newer models while others still adopt the rotary knob style.
Other than backlight color options and push button or rotary knobs, not much has changed in CB Radios since 1948. The NOAA weather service is a feature that is also included in some models. If this is of interest to you, make sure to look for it when you’re ready to buy a new CB Radio as not all models offer this feature.
Hand Held CB Radios are great for those usually on foot because the radio, antenna and power supply are all wrapped up in one handy package. These hand helds will usually include a rechargeable battery pack while others rely on the user to supply fresh batteries. Hand held CB’s usually include an A/C power adapter and normally offer the addition of a 12 volt power cord for use in your vehicle.
The reach of a basic hand held CB Radio is from 1 – 5 miles. The range of car/truck CB Radios is anywhere from 1 – 10 miles. Range ultimately depends on the terrain and the landscape.
The increased range abilities of vehicle model CB’s is due to the wide variety of CB antennas available for vehicle use. This same great reach can be rivaled by a good hand held CB when used with a larger antenna. The antenna on most hand held CB’s is removed with just a twist and there you’ll be able to attach another antenna cable. The connector usually needs adapted, but the adapter is cheap (around $2).
CB Radio signals are going to carry best over a clear, flat terrain. That’s not to say that your radio won’t work in a mountainous area, it will, but if you’re in a valley trying to communicate with someone miles away who’s not also in that valley, you may have complications.