CB Radio, Nine Things You Need To KnowCB Radio, Nine Things You Need To Know

1. As long as you stick to CB radio you will not need a license and won't have to pass any exams. You do have to have a copy of the FCC rules which govern Citizens Band radio use.

2. You will need a handle. Unlike amateur radio enthusiasts, CB radio users don't have a call sign, they have an informal name or 'handle'. This can be anything you like but is usually descriptive in some way and of course should be unique so you can't be confused with anyone else.

3. There are 40 channels available for CB use in the USA. You will need to know what these are and which are reserved. Channel 9 is always an emergency channel, channel 19 is usually for truck-drivers but this can vary. In your area the only way to find out may be by listening.

4. If you have a CB radio base station in your home, keep a car battery around so you can operate the radio using the battery as power in case of an emergency. Radio users often provide invaluable help to rescue crews, fire, ambulance and police in case of natural disasters or extreme weather events.

5. If there is a lot of sunspot activity and the weather conditions are right you may find yourself able to hear stations many many miles away. It is not legal to talk to these stations as CB radio is only designed to cope with the broadcast over a short range, up to 150 miles. Some days you can and will receive stations much further away.

6. If you are really keen on using radio, why stop at CB? You can easily make use of CB radio in your car, but have a ten meter radio in your home. Ten meter radio transceivers broadcast/receive on a shorter wavelength than CB radio. This is the start of the amateur radio wavebands. You will need to be licensed by passing an exam in order to use a ten meter radio set.

7. When you do make contact with a distant station, don't forget to send a QSL card. QSL is one of the Q codes amateur radio enthusiasts use to indicate a signal is received, but even CB users send QSL cards, often showing their handle and or a picture of their area, to other enthusiasts. Sending and collecting these cards is a part of the hobby.

8. The squelch control on your radio's console is designed to remove all the annoying static etc when no signal is coming through. Turn the squelch down to the point where the static just disappears and no further or you won't be able to hear a breaker coming through.

9. All radio communications have their own jargon. You will need to learn the ten codes and associated phrases associated with Cb radio, or the Q codes if you go for ten meter radio. Learn what you 'twenty' is (your location) as well as the meaning of 10-10, 10-4 and 10-100. If you hear chatter about a 10-73, watch out - 10-73 is the code for a speed trap.
by David Thorson
References and Bibliography
If you would like to learn more about CB radio or 10 meter radio you can visit us at ThorsCBradio.com. 10 meter radios have gained popularity as they offer greater power than a traditional CB radio
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