CB Radio Tips For Beginners

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If you’ve never owned or used a CB Radio before, here’s nine tips to get you started:

1. As long as you stick to a CB radio you will not need a license and won’t have to pass any exams. However, you should get yourself a copy of the FCC rules which govern Citizens Band radio use and become familiar with those rules.

2. You will probably need to create a “handle”. Unlike amateur radio enthusiasts, CB radio users don’t use a radio call sign. Users create an informal username or ‘handle’. This can be anything you like but is usually descriptive in some way and of course should be unique so you won’t be confused with someone else.

3. There are 40 channels available for Citizen Band radio use in the USA. You will need to know what these are and which are reserved for special use. Channel 9 is always an emergency channel while channel 19 is extensively used by truck-drivers but this can vary. In your area the only way to find out may be by listening.

4. If you have a CB radio base station in your home, keep a car battery around so you can operate the radio using the battery as power in case of an emergency. Radio users often provide invaluable help to rescue crews, fire, ambulance and police in case of natural disasters or extreme weather events.

5. If there is a lot of solar-flare activity and the weather conditions are right you may find yourself able to hear stations many many miles away. It is not legal to talk to these stations as CB radio is only designed to cope with broadcasting over a short range. Some days you can and will receive radio transmissions from much further away.

6. If you are really keen on using radio, why stop at CB? You can easily make use of CB radio in your car, but have a ten meter radio in your home. Ten meter radio transceivers broadcast/receive on a shorter wavelength than CB radio. This is the start of the amateur radio wavebands. You will need to be licensed by passing an exam in order to use a ten meter radio set.

7. When you do make contact with a distant station, don’t forget to send a QSL card. QSL is one of the Q codes amateur radio enthusiasts use to indicate a signal is received, but even CB users send QSL cards, often showing their handle and or a picture of their area, to other enthusiasts. Sending and collecting these cards is a part of the hobby.

8. The squelch control on your radio’s panel is designed to remove all the annoying static when no signal is coming through. Turn the squelch down to the point where the static just disappears and no further or you won’t be able to hear actual transmissions coming through.

9. All radio communications have their own jargon. It will be very helpful for you to learn the ten codes and associated phrases used with Cb radio. Learn what your ‘twenty’ is (your location) as well as the meaning of 10-10, 10-4 and 10-100. If you hear chatter about a 10-73, watch out – 10-73 is the code for a speed trap.

If you’re interested in CB Radios as a hobby or method of communication, we have a great selection of new and used radios on our CB Radio page.

If you would like to learn more about CB radio or 10 meter radio you can visit us at ThorsCBradio.com. 10 meter radios have gained popularity as they offer greater power than a traditional CB radio

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