How CB radio usage has changed over the years

Citizens Band (CB) radios are used for two-directional communication over a short distance. CB also uses a short wave band but it is different from walkie-talkies, hams, or other standard radio communications. Usually, a license is not required for communicating on the Citizens Band radios. 

Back in 1940 when CB was started it was used for the regulation of mobile radiotelephones and remote controls but with time its use has changed. From starting as a hobby in 1970 to the use in cars and offices, CB radio usage has evolved a lot.

Technological advancements have also digitized the radios and this has occurred in citizens band radio communication too. Have a look at how the use of CB radio different from its original conception.

How it started

Citizens Band radio was started in the US during the 1940s to have a regulatory band for the remote controls and mobile radiotelephones. This was only for the federal commission and not open for commercial or public use. In 1970 it was allowed to be used for the general hobbyists and the CB radio communication started.

The frequency band for CB communication 26.9-27.3 MHz or 460-470 MHz with about 40 channels available in total. Usually, the frequency band usage is license-free and anyone in the vicinity of radios can use any channel and transmit and use it although many can access it at one time it will send one at a time and multiple users can’t send and receive simultaneously on a single channel. The power limitation for transmitting is 4 watts. The range of Citizens Band radio communication is about 25-50 km maximum.

Innovation in design

Initially when Citizens Band radio was introduced the circuitry had vacuum tubes to work as transmitter and receiver which was not only bulky but also expensive to get. With the advancement, the replacement of vacuum tubes with RF transistors has not just made it affordable and compact in design but also improved its performance very much.

The circuit is equipped with an automatic noise limiter and automatic level control to minimize the noise and distortion in the signal. Other features such as RF gain, CWX, and improved qualities in the microphone have made the CB radio more efficient. Also, the main element in communication via CB radio sets is the antenna and the advancement of the size of the antenna and improved signal intensity and power have made the communication between moving vehicles of better quality.

Current trend

With the internet and high-speed mobile networks, the use of a radio for communication has started to decrease. However, in case of emergencies or to get direction from a local station CB radios are lifesavers for truck drivers who can switch on to the local direction channel and get help. Mobile signal or internet is not available in far regions or case of disaster so CB radio sets installed on the automobiles can get you help.

Also, CB radio communication is popular within offices and sites so that workers can communicate easily with their manager to get instructions or simply stay in touch. Lastly, it is a good hobby for radio enthusiasts, and for kids to play. If you are convinced and are looking to buy one, make sure to do some market research and check the latest CB radio reviews to get some general knowledge on the subject.


CB radio is a good communication option to get in touch with your co-workers within the site or to get directions from the local channel if you are lost in the countryside. The frequency band is available for bidirectional communication within a 50 km region and you can have fun with your friends.

The usage of CB radio has reduced over time due to much better options for communication with far more great quality but for an inexpensive communication in case you don’t have a mobile phone or internet available CB radio still has its significance in the current world.

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