What is a CB Radio?

If you were to pull over a car full of 20 somethings they might be able to answer this question. Of course it would be a very vague answer. They might say something like don’t truck drivers use them to talk on, or maybe they would make a quick reference to the movie Smokey and the Bandit. If they did have a more accurate idea it would be because someone in their life was like us, a user of the technology we call citizens band radio.

You and I know they are much  more than  that. And in the event one of those twenty somethings should happen across this posting we should make an effort to explain to them just what we are talking about. So let us answer the question: What is a CB Radio?

A CB Radio is a short range radio used for communication much like your landline telephone or cell phone. One of the big advantages to the CB is you can have a conversation with multiple people at the same time and they can be complete strangers. That’s right, unknown friends whose common interests include owning and operating a CB Radio. These new friends can be down the street or, with the right equipment and conditions, across the country or even around the world.

A CB Radio, whether a base unit (permanent set up at home) or a mobile unit (mounted in your vehicle) operates on 40 shared channels keeping in mind that only one radio can transmit at a time. The communication uses radio waves within a specific band of RF (radio frequencies). Just like your cell phone, home or car stereo system, and even your television CB Radios create an electronic sound wave within a RF band that float through the atmosphere. Different transmissions use a specific range of RF to keep the transmissions from scrambling and causing interference with each other. You wouldn’t want your favorite television show to be interrupted by your neighbor’s jazz FM radio broadcast would you?

And just who determines who is allowed to use which RF? Why the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) of course.

We’ll go more into the FCC in a different posting.

So did we answer the question? What is a CB Radio? Simply put, it is a transmitting and receiving radio used for communication between two or more operators.