SSB radios transmit at 12 watts instead of the standard 4 watts, allowing your signal to reach 3x as far. Whoever you're communicating with will also need an SSB equipped radio to understand you properly. SSB radios also transmit on the standard CB channels at 4 watts, so you'll always be able to talk to "general" CBers as well.
Instead of manually flipping through channels to discover chatter, radios with channel scanning can be set to constantly scan all 40 channels for activity. They'll stop on a channel when transmissions are detected so you can listen in.
Radios with Public Address (PA) accommodate the connection of a PA horn via wire that is mounted outside the vehicle. With the flip of a switch, the radio can be transformed from a CB to serving as the microphone for your own intercom, broadcasting your voice to those outside the vehicle via the horn.
Bluetooth equipped radios let you connect your phone, allowing you to have cell conversations using your CB. The callers voice will come out of your CB speaker, and your CB mic will act as the primary microphone for the call. For most models, you don't need to depress the CB mic to talk so you can converse hands-free.
Citizens band radio (also known as CB radio), used in many countries, is a land mobile radio system, a system allowing short-distance one-to-many bidirectional voice communication among individuals, using two-way radios operating on 40 channels near 27 MHz (11 m) in the high frequency (a.k.a. shortwave) band. Citizens band is distinct from other personal radio service allocations such as FRS, GMRS, MURS, UHF CB and the Amateur Radio Service ("ham" radio). In many countries, CB operation does not require a license, and (unlike amateur radio) it may be used for business or personal communications. Like many other land mobile radio services, multiple radios in a local area share a single frequency channel, but only one can transmit at a time. The radio is normally in receive mode to receive transmissions of other radios on the channel; when users want to talk they press a "push to talk" button on their radio, which turns on their transmitter. Users on a channel must take turns talking. Transmitter power is limited to 4 watts in the US and the EU. CB radios have a range of about 3 miles (4.8 km) to 20 miles (32 km) depending on terrain, for line of sight communication; however, various radio propagation conditions may intermittently allow communication over much greater distances.
During the 1960s, the service was used by small businesses (e.g., electricians, plumbers, carpenters), truck drivers and radio hobbyists. By the late 1960s, advances in solid-state electronics allowed the weight, size, and cost of the radios to fall, giving the public access to a communications medium previously only available to specialists. CB clubs were formed; a CB slang language evolved alongside ten-code, similar to those used in emergency services.
After the 1973 oil crisis, the U.S. government imposed a nationwide 55 mph speed limit, and fuel shortages and rationing were widespread. Drivers (especially commercial truckers) used CB radios to locate service stations with better supplies of fuel, to notify other drivers of speed traps, and to organize blockades and convoys in a 1974 strike protesting the new speed limit and other trucking regulations. The radios were crucial for independent truckers; many were paid by the mile, and the 55 mph speed limit lowered their productivity.
Their use spread further into the general population in the US in the middle of the 1970s. Originally, CB (named Citizens Radio by the Federal Communications Commission as of 1972) required the use of a callsign in addition to a purchased license ($20 in the early 1970s, reduced to $4 on March 1, 1975); however, when the CB craze was at its peak many people ignored the requirement and invented their own nicknames (known as "handles"). Lax enforcement of the rules on authorized use of CB radio led to widespread further disregard of the regulations (such as for antenna height, distance communications, licensing, call signs, and transmitter power). Individual licensing came to an end on April 28, 1983.
The increased use of CB radios in 1970s had made its way into films, television, and music by the late 1970s. Films such as Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Breaker! Breaker! (1977), Citizens Band (a.k.a. .Alex Handle with Care) (1977), and Convoy (1978), made heavy reference to the phenomenon, as did television series such as Movin' On (debuted in 1974), The Dukes of Hazzard (debuted in 1979) and the animated series CB Bears (debuted in 1977) helped cement CB radio's status as a nationwide craze in the United States over the mid- to late-1970s. The phenomenon also inspired several popular and country music songs in 1975 and 1976:
Voice actor Mel Blanc was also an active CB operator, often using "Bugs" or "Daffy" as his handle and talking on the air in the Los Angeles area in one of his many voice characters. He appeared in an interview (with clips having fun talking to children on his home CB radio station) in the NBC Knowledge television episode about CB radio in 1978. Similar to Internet chat rooms a quarter-century later, CB allowed people to get to know one another in a quasi-anonymous manner.
The original FCC output power limitation for CB radios was "5 watts DC input to the final amplifier stage", which was a reference to the earlier radios equipped with tubes. With solid state radios becoming more common in the 1970s, the FCC revised this specification at the same time the authorized channels were increased to 40. The current specification is simply "4 watts output (AM) or 12 watts output (SSB)" as measured at the antenna connector on the back of the radio. The old specification was often used in false advertising by some manufacturers who would claim their CB radios had "5 watts" long after the specification had changed to 4 watts output. The older 23 channel radios built under the old specifications typically had an output of around 3.5 to 3.8 watts output when measured at the antenna connector. The FCC simply rounded up the old "5 watts DC input to the final amplifier stage" specification to the new "4 watts output as measured at the antenna connector on the back of the radio", resulting in a far simpler and easier specification.
Since the price of CB was dropping and VHF Marine Band was still expensive, many boaters installed CB radios. Business caught on to this market, and introduced marine CBs containing a weather band (WX). There was much controversy over whether the Coast Guard should monitor CB radio, but for safety they did so, using Motorola base stations at their search and rescue stations. The Coast Guard stopped this practice in the late 1980s and recommends VHF Marine Band radios for boaters.
With these factors in play, CB radio has once again gained popularity in recent years, an uptick not seen since the 90's. Manufacturers report an increase in sales, while social media sites like Youtube show a growing popularity in CB radio content, mainly as a hobby. The technology has also given way to more compact CB radios with far more features afforded in older models.
From the outset, the government attempted to regulate CB radio with license fees and call signs, but eventually they abandoned this approach. Enthusiasts rushed for licences when the doors opened at post offices around Australia in mid-1977 and by the end of the first quarter of 1978 an estimated 200,000 licences were issued (Australia's Population in 1978 was 14.36 million). The regulations called for one licence per CB radio. The price for a licence in 1977 was AU$25 per year (In mid 1977 the Australian Dollar exchange rate was AU$0.90 to US$1.00), a not insubstantial amount for the average Australian wage-earner. Australian CB radio uses AM, USB, and LSB modes (no FM) on 27 MHz, allowed output power being 4 Watts AM and 12 Watts SSB. When UHF CB was first legalised the 27 MHz CB Band was intended to be closed to Australian CBers in 1982 and only the 477 MHz UHF band was to continue, however this did not eventuate. The first 477 MHz CB radio in 1977 was designed and made in Australia by Philips TMC and was a 40 channel CB called the FM320.
The first CB club in Australia was the Charlie Brown Touring Car Club (CBTCC), which formed in Morwell, Victoria in 1967 and consisted mainly of four-wheel drive enthusiasts. The club used the prefix "GL" (for Gippsland), since "CB" could not be used. After July 1, 1977, the club changed its name to Citizens Band Two Way Communication Club (CBTCC). Other early clubs were "LV" (Latrobe Valley) and "WB" (named after Wayne Britain). Members of these clubs are still active, and have also become amateur radio operators. Other Australian cities which became CB radio "hotspots" were Seymour, Benalla, Holbrook and Gundagai, all located on the busy Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney. Other regional cities such as Bendigo, Mildura, Mount Gambier and Port Augusta, developed lively, colourful CB radio communities.
With the introduction of UHF CB radios in 1977, many operators used both UHF and HF radios and formed groups to own and operate local FM repeaters. Members of the CBTCC formed what became known as Australian Citizens Radio Movement (ACRM) in the early 1970s; this organization became the voice for legalization of CB radio throughout Australia. After peaking in the 1970s and early 1980s, the use of 27 MHz CB in Australia has fallen dramatically due to the introduction of 477 MHz UHF CB (with FM and repeaters) and the proliferation of cheap, compact handheld UHF transceivers. Technology such as mobile telephones and the internet have provided people with other choices for communications. The Australian government has changed the allocation of channels available for UHF CB Radio from 40 to 80, and doubled the number of repeater channels from 8 to 16. 041b061a72