Where Did the CB Radios Go?

CB Radios

It may appear that they disappeared but they are alive and kicking

Whether it’s due to cultural changes, or the invention of cell phones and smartphones for communication, the popularity of CB radios has been waning over the past decade. But holding true to their roots, they’ve not gone anywhere because they’ve evolved.

This is one of the many reasons that shops such as Walcott CB Radio equipment still sell thousands of CB Radio units, along with two-way radios, walkie-talkies, and scanners. In fact, search for CB radio on eBay, and you’ll find a wide selection of modern versions up for bid – some offering Bluetooth connectivity and satellite tracking, among other technological advancements.In fact, sales continue to climb. In the last decade alone, the sale of CB Radios has nearly doubled from 4 million in 2009 to 8 million in 2017.

Another variation of the traditional CB radio is also available – the amateur radio, or Ham Radio. All that’s required to operate it is a license from the FCC, or Federal Communications Commission.

When it comes to portability, CB Radios are second only to cell phones. But with a range of up to 5 miles and a “skip-free” signal, CB Radios have an advantage over their more immediate competition. There’s also no contract or monthly fee. They just need gas to power them!

CB Radios are also very easy to use and don’t require an internet connection. They’re used by both personal and professional motorists, boaters, truckers, and more. In fact, they’re so popular that some auto manufacturers have installed a CB Radio right in the vehicle as standard equipment.

It  may appear that they disappeared but they are alive and kicking, just in another form.

The first CB radio was actually a modification of a walkie-talkie, which was developed by Donald Hings in 1940. This device was originally used for communication among aircraft crews and ground personnel during World War II. However, once the war ended, there were thousands upon thousands of these walkie-talkies that were left unused, though many were still in good working condition.

The government began looking into ways they could get rid of these devices while still using them to contribute to society by finding a way to utilize them. Shortly after the end of WWII, the first civilian CB radio station was born on February 22, 1946. By 1947 thousands of people had purchased their own to use at home and work with family members and coworkers outside of the workplace.

By the 1960s and 1970s, it began to see increasing use as a consumer product. Radios intended for personal use could be adapted to communicate with others over longer distances, and CBs were repurposed for personal use, including accessorizing vehicles with them.

With the help of television shows like “CHiPs”, which commented on the usefulness of CB radios in everyday driving (such as passing on traffic information or warning of upcoming police), the devices soon became a staple among drivers and truckers.

Nowadays CB radios have evolved to include newer technologies and better communication methods but still uphold the original purpose of being a reliable, easy-to-use means for communication for everyone.Modern iterations of these devices allow users to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing for quick, safe and effective communication anywhere.

Once the sole method of communication between truckers, bikers, and farmers, they now serve a variety of purposes.

Non-emergency public service organizations such as fire departments, public utility companies and law enforcement agencies use them for everyday communications. They also play an important role in emergency situations when regular telephone lines are down or overloaded. Businesses use them for internal communications and field personnel often take them into remote areas where cellular and satellite phones are not practical options.

Even with the introduction of smartphones and social media, CB radios still have a place in commerce. It’s why we’re seeing a revival among truck drivers who use them for real-time tracking and cargo locations with dispatch. They also allow the driver to communicate with other drivers on the highway without having to stop and make a call. Even construction workers are using CBs to communicate at heights without interfering with sensitive sound equipment.

We are now seeing them in ATVs, motorcycles, boats and RVs too. The demand has simply shifted to reflect the modern-day era. And believe me, they are out there, just not as visible as they used to be!

But you have to know how to find them.

There are three easy ways to spot a CB radio:

  • Couches – Old couches are particularly great places to find CBs. Other furniture pieces are good as well. Many people just toss them when they aren’t using them anymore, so check out your local furniture stores. They’ll help you locate one of their old units if you ask!
  • Garage Sales – CB radios are always hot items at garage sales. They’re often sold at good prices because people don’t know what else to do with them. Visit one regularly because you never know what you might find!
  • Online – Used CB radios can occasionally be found on online auctions like eBay. The trick is knowing which keywords to use in order to find them.

For consumers who wish to make the most out of their CB Radio experience, it’s important to consider 3 things: Price, Channel & Antenna. By purchasing from an online retailer who stands behind every product they sell, consumers are guaranteed that no matter what happens to the item, they have access to support from a company that values them as customers.

Choose Channel & Antenna wisely by investing in devices that do more than just transmit and receive signals on one frequency band alone. This way, you’ll avoid any unnecessary static, clarity loss and uneven control over your antennae. To tune your antenna, you’ll need an SWR meter for CB radio. And if you’re on a strict budget, consider saving money on power consumption by using lower-wattage alternatives instead of ones that constantly run at full-blast.