CB Radios - What Are They?
CB radios are one of the most fundamental and useful means of communication in today's world. The technology behind CB radios is not necessarily that complicated (not like satellite communication), which is why these pieces of equipment are so popular. And even though these radios are simple in nature, there still exists a lot of room for customization and development as either a hobby or as part of a profession. This article will talk about CB radios and give a solid overview of what they are and how they are used.
The 'CB' in CB radios stands for 'Citizens' Band', which was initially created in the United States in 1945 to offer a short-distance radio communication method between individuals. The Federal Communications Commission created this service as a way to give two people the means to talk to each other without having to depend on a landline. CB radios were originally limited, but since 1948 have been expanded considerably to give more technological opportunities to the average user. Now, they are commonplace and are relatively inexpensive to own and operate.
Using CB radios is advantageous over other forms of communication, such as amateur radio. They do not require a license to operate. They can also be used for personal uses as well as business ones. Operating an amateur radio for business purposes, for example, is not allowed. CB radios used to be the only way to communicate with someone over a short distance without using a landline, and were quite popular. With the advent of the mobile phone, though, CB radios are not as popular and are used primarily by hobbyists, truck drivers, rural residents, and other individuals in areas where cell phone communication may not be as practical.
CB radios work by operating on a radio frequency to transmit one's voice, much like the larger radio stations that broadcast talk radio and music. In the United States, the FCC has established 40 channels for use that range from 26.965 MHz (channel 1) to 27.405 MHz (channel 40). There is also an internationally-recognized channel, operating at 27.555 MHz, that sometimes allows CB users to communicate over hundreds - even thousands - of miles. This is accomplished by 'skipping' radio waves off of the ionosphere using the 27.555 MHz frequency and then switching over to another frequency. Those using CB radios in the United States should know, though, that it is illegal to communicate with a station that is over 150 miles away.
CB radios are terrific devices that allow users to communicate with each other over short distances without having to use a cellular or landed network. Hobbyists and CB enthusiasts all over the world use CB radios as a means of entertainment and business alike. (They are also quite useful in emergency situations where a mobile phone may not have service.) Anyone who is interested in CB radios should definitely take the time to learn more about this intriguing piece of communications technology.