There was a time CB radio was quite popular. People used to get on it and have chats late-night to have some fun.
With the advancement of phones and the internet, there might seem like there is no room for it. Yet, today, it found a new breath of life among many enthusiasts. Especially the truckers.
They can quickly find the traffic situation and that sort of stuff in contact with fellow truckers. Besides that, there are so many fun uses for it.
But first, you’ve got to know how to operate a CB radio. And if you don’t know how, let me show it to you.
Table of Contents
What Is A CB Radio And How It Works?
If you know what a CB radio is and how it works, you can skip this part and move to the next step.
But for those who just wanted to get started, let me give you a quick idea about it. So, the CB radio stands for Citizen Band. From the name of it, it uses a public radio frequency to make the communication happen.
Now, how does it do it?
It is similar to your walkie-talkie. If you’ve ever used one, you should know that walkie-talkie needs to be set on the same channel to make the chat happen between the devices. With CB radio, you’ve got to do the same. And like a two-way radio, when you talk, you can’t listen and vice-versa.
That’s why you should know about the etiquette of talking on it.
Setting Up CB Radio
Ok, to get started using it; first, you’ve got to set it up. Now, there are options, depending on your needs. For instance, there are CB radios that you can keep on your home’s desk for use. Then there are the mobile options that truckers use on their rides.
If you’re getting it for proper communication, then get a good machine. Otherwise, you can get a normal one and have some fun with it trying to establish contact with other CB fans.
Now, let’s get set it up:
Step 1: Mount the device. If you’re getting it for the desk, that won’t be hard. Just find some space on the desk for it to put there. To use it in the car, get an area where you can easily see and reach it.
Step 2: The next thing is to mount the antenna. Find a location outside your home to mount the antenna. Make sure the antenna doesn’t get blocked. For your ride, you should mount it right above the car/trucks roof. Wherever you install it, make sure it can transmit and receive without any issue.
Step 3: Now comes the part of the actual set up. You’ve got to find the right angle and spot for the antenna. You can do that without the SWR. However, it is better to get an SWR as it will fasten the process. If your CB radio doesn’t have one built-in, you’ve got to get one.
Step 4: Run through a coaxial connection from the antenna to your radio.
Step 5: If you’re using a desk CB radio, you should have a power outlet close by where you can plug your device to get the power. For the truckers, there might be more to do. You’ve got to use the rides battery. Just take the red wire and connect it to the positive side of and do that for the black wire where you connect it to the negative side.
Operating The CB Radio
You’ve got it set up. Now, it’s time to get using it. Just follow the below steps, and you’ll be good to go.
Step 1: You’ve got to explore the channels. On the CB radio, you get around 40 stations to work with. There isn’t much. Of those 40 stations, some are often hogged for long times, making it hard to get an open channel. You’ve got to go through the channels and find one that is open for use. Channel 19 is one such that gets used by truckers so that you can try that.
Step 2: Listen to codes. If you get a channel, then you should listen out if someone is telling something. Usually, some 10-codes get transmitted like 10-1 or 10-7. Depending on that, you can understand if it’s usable or not. If you don’t know the codes, you can quickly learn them from here.
Step 3: Now, as there are few channels for use, there might be a chance someone is already using it. Let them know you’re on the channel with a “Break” message. And then you’ve got to be patient and let them finish. When you see, there is no chat going, do a radio check yourself. If no one responds to you, do a radio check again to be sure. Give it some time.
Step 4: You’ve probably got a response from some other trucker or a fellow CB enthusiast. IF you’re looking to start a conversation or not before that, you’ve got to know what the other person wants. So, hear their tone to understand what they want to do. Found someone to chat with; keep your conversations short. Don’t hog the channel.
Step 5: If you don’t want to talk with someone you don’t know and want to get hold of your friend to chat with, you’ve got to send a radio check with some code. Like give a name or use a sentence that will let your friend know it’s from you. For instance, “Darth Vader from Star wars, over.” Whatever you wish. But make sure your friend knows that it’s from you.
Step 6: Let’s say something happened on the road, like an accident. You can get on the emergency service channel-9 and report it to police and highway patrol services. But remember, this is a distress channel, so don’t think about using it for chattering with anyone.
If you want to get started with your CB radio, now you can. You know how to operate the CB radio, and you can set it up all by yourself. So, go ahead, have some fun with it.