Remember CB radio? To some, the 1970s are a distant memory worthy of a history book. Others, particularly truckers and off-roaders, may have an ear tuned into the frequency to this very day.
The Status of CB Radio Today
While CB radio is hardly a new technology, it’s interesting to revisit the wave of consumer culture that its resurgence recently brought about.
Though you’ll still see some truckers using commercial-grade radios on the road today, most will have traded them in for mobile phones. Modern, commercially produced CB radios are as rare as those who operate on them.
What happened to CB radio? It’s hard to blame the decline on technology alone. The truth is, there was never a way to make them any better than they already were.
Radio-savvy hobbyists will tell you that HF band radio has been around since before WWII, taking its place as one of the earliest forms of wireless communications.
One might be surprised to find that there are, in fact, some people who still use this technology to communicate.
But today, it’s not as easy to find ham radio operators as it used to be, and CB is largely a thing of the past — despite a surprising surge in recent years — so what happened? Are ham radios really still around? And what about the CB?
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Is there still a place for CB radios today?
Yes, there is still a place for CB. There are some people who want to be left alone, who want to get off the grid, and are willing to do almost anything to figure out a way to do it.
There are many people who don’t want their voices heard but when one is put into a situation where they need to be heard, they may resort to using a HAM radio.
We can find ham radios in the most unexpected places, in the middle of nowhere campgrounds, and in urban areas close to major media markets.
Ham radios are used not only in an emergency situation, you may find them in use in CB frequencies that are not internationally allocated for amateur use.
The world of ham radio is changing, and it’s growing so fast, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on. One of the big changes that happened in the last decade was an FCC rule change that deregulated ham radio licensing.
This led to the introduction of what’s called “freebanding” or “outlaw” ham radio, where there are no rules and no regulations and just about any band is fair game to operate on, regardless of what you need a license for.
This change led to an explosion in interest in ham radio. As a result of this explosion, the FCC made yet another rule change.
This one is kind of like a backlash against the deregulating rule change, where the requirements for obtaining a license are completely back to where they were, requiring you to take a course and pass a test.