Citizens Band Radio Service
History: You used to need to have a license for transmitting on a CB Radio, but the FCC dropped the requirement. This vastly increased CB usage in the 1970’s.
Availability: Common. These mobile format radios can be found mostly at truck stops. They can also be purchased at many different stores (i.e. Walmart, Bass Pro, Amazon, etc).
License Needed: No
Use: Personal or Business
Range: Will vary by obstructions like buildings, trees, or hills. 5-25 miles depending on time of day and solar cycle. You may experience a “skip” where closer people can’t hear you but people further away can. Currently in 2019/2020, we are at a Solar Minimum, so the CB range is limited for the next few years.
Equipment needed: Any Make or Model of a Citizens Band radio that is certified by the FCC under Part 95. You can check a radio’s certification by looking in the FCC online database. Since most CB Radios are in a mobile format, you will need an antenna. (see below)
Antenna: Detachable. Best to use a removable magnetic mount on a metal surface (like the roof of a car).
You can also purchase a dual antenna system that is designed to mount to your truck window supports. This system changes the phase of one antenna so it is 90 degrees off from the other. The affect of this will make your signal have a gain front-to-back and limit the signal side-to-side.
Output: 4 Watts. Linear Amplifiers are not allowed to be used.
Modulation: Amplitude Modulation (AM) or Single-Side Band Amplitude Modulation (SSB AM)
Channels: 40 channels each with a bandwidth of 10 kHz. SSB CB typical uses channel 36-40 to not interfere with AM CB. The “Travelers Channel” is Channel 19.
Emergency Channel: Channel 9. Also you might listen to Channels 1, 3, and 19