Episode 186 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast is out! We check out two new CB radios from different manufacturers that seem to indicate CB is still alive and well. We’ll also tell you about two deals on CB radios.
Comments and feedback are welcome and could get you some swag if they are read on the show!
TWRS-186 - These Two New Radios Prove That CB is not Dead
I’ve always thought that CB back in the Convoy days, was what we’d now call social media. Truck drivers, then a few individuals or other users with a common purpose. If you look back at that old movie, everything is there and detailed pretty well.
What is really clear is that in the main, the technology was irrelevant. It was 27MHz because that was achievable. Now, the need has changed, and what people want it for has changed. People are using ham radio for what they need, and treat the simple exam as just the entry ticket. Hams are different, so are CB’ers. With FMS and GMRS, PMR446 in the U.K., we’ve got loads of communication options. We now have network radio and Zello.
What goes wrong now is that the people who need or want radios often try to use the wrong ones. They then try to bend the systems to make them work and often it fails. If you boil it down, a radio has range, and people fight physics all the time. They can’t understand or afford longer range systems, and want the cheap ones to perform better than they can. They expect dirt cheap radios to do the same things as mega expensive ones. They expect technically clever systems to be usable by people with no expertise, and the amount of snobbery is immense. If you have two clever radios, that cost similar to a decent car, your attitude is that the radios that cost the same as taking my two grandkids to McDonald’s are rubbish. If you are skint, then you expect those radios to perform out of their capability range.
CB as a true citizens radio has totally changed technology, but those that want to use the old system cannot ever expect the fifty plus year ago system to work because it worked by weight of numbers, not technology. When somebody invents a Facebook/X interface you can talk to when driving, CB will return. “Anybody on highway x near ABC?” And the system finds somebody for you it will be great for drivers, or if you’re lonely at 2am, you can find a stranger to talk to. No typing no technology, just a voice from your phone or computer. The old CB or ham radio will never return, people have moved on.
Truckers still use CB in the US. I have listened in on long drives on major highways out west and hear CB traffic. It doesn’t seems as busy as during the 70’s but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I worked in the power industry for years where we depended on fuel deliveries 24 hours a day. The power plant itself used UHF handhelds but our scale house had a CB. When the drivers left the main highway to access the plant the drivers would switch to the channel our delivery receipt guy was on. At that point they would be advised where they would be unloaded after weighing. As far as I know they still use that system.