Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationCar Audio · 1 decade ago

What is a CB radio? and how does it work?

like those radios that truckers use, are they able to talk to anyone with another CB radio near by? and if yes how far away?

3 Answers

  • I♥U
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A CB radio is a transceiver that can be operated by members of the public for non commercial activities.

    Exact operating rules , radio types and frequencies vary between countries , but the most popular standard is the 27Mhz US standard.

    These radios operate in the CB band located between 26.965Mhz and 27.404Mhz.

    The transmitted power level is 4 watts on AM and 12watts on SSB.

    Typically range is only a few miles, but with better antennas this can be improved upon.

    External amplifiers are ILLEGAL and are not to be used.

    Contrary to popular opinion , these amplifiers do not give a range of hundreds of miles.(more like 10 - 20)

    Using these amplifiers is a federal offense in most countries and carries a steep fine and forfeture of your radio equipment.

    Truck drivers often only run AM CB's with standard power output as they communicate with other local truck drivers on th truckers CB channel.

    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    If you go to any truck stop or you look in the phone book for a CB shop or chrome shop, you'll find a decent selection of CB's to choose from. They usually have display models so you can see what they look like and which features are available.

    For casual use in your car, if you just want to talk and listen on trips and whatnot, 50-70 dollars will buy you a basic radio, $30 bucks for a magnetic antenna. The Cobra 19, and Uniden PC68 are decent "starter" radios. Radio Shack also carries their own brand for about $50 bucks.

    Most truck drivers run on Channel 19, except in California and much of the I-5 corridor, they'll be on 17. Yes, with even a small, cheap Radio Shack CB and a cheap magnetic antenna on your trunk or roof, you'll be able to talk to truckers in the immediate vicinity.....stock CB's usually claim to have 4-5 miles of range, but in reality you'll likely be heard only about a mile away. Other radio traffic, terrain and weather are all factors that will "squash" a weaker signal from a smaller radio. You'll often be able to "hear" a lot further out than you can "talk"....which makes the CB handy for keeping track of speed traps, wrecks and other highway hazards.

    For all the talk about linears and amplifiers being "illegal"....they sure do sell a heck of a lot of them at every truck stop and CB shop I've been to. Most shipping/recieving warehouses I go to use them and a good deal of the drivers I know, use them as well. So many truck drivers run linears and amplifiers, that if you're sitting in a truck stop trying to ask for information on a stock radio, you can rarely be heard because all the other radios will overpower you. They can increase your range about 20-50 miles, depending on terrain and atmospheric conditions.

    Technically linears and amplifiers *are* a violation of FCC laws, but then is profane language- and anybody who's tuned to channel 19 anytime since 1978 knows the FCC's enforcement of the laws regarding CB radios is nonexistent.

    You can pretty much run any type of configuration you want, and unless you're being a nuisance or pushing so much power you're interfering with nearby businesses or electronics (in which case you'd disable your own vehicle or your own household electronics) no one's going to mess with you.

    So if you travel frequently or you set up a base station, and find you can't get a word in edgewise when you're around a lot of trucks....don't worry, the FCC isn't going to triangulate you and break down your door and kill your children if you buy a 50 watt linear ;).

    Source(s): OTR trucker 6 years
  • 1 decade ago

    They use the citizens band of frequencies that don't require a written test license and have a range of 5 miles on the newer and 3 miles on the older models. My experience with them stopped in the late 1970's.

    There is a bolt on device called a phase linear that will increase their range dramatically; like hundreds of miles.

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