Frequently Asked Questions about CB (Citizens Band) Civil Radio (F.A.Q.)

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? What is CB and how to use it?
? Why do people continue to use two-way radio while there are cell phones, instant messengers, and Skype?
? What is the working range (distance) of CB radios?

What is CB and how to use it?

CB (“Citizens Band”) radio is a section of the 27 MHz band, open for free use by anyone. In some countries, you still need to purchase a license for radio communications, but it is very simple and inexpensive. In any case, the CB mobile transceivers and walkie-talkie are the most affordable way to quickly communicate for personal, family, professional, and other uses.

Why do people continue to use two-way radio while there are cell phones, instant messengers, and Skype?

1) CB radio – a simple, convenient, reliable way to communicate and instantly transmit voice information. This is real-time communication. You do not have to dial, listen to the dial tone, and wait for the connection. No need to type text and wait for someone to read it. It is enough to press one button and say.
2) Radio communication is broadcast by its nature. This is especially important when working in a team – what one person tells is immediately heard by everyone who is tuned to this channel.
3) Radio communication is the most independent form of communication. Unlike the telephone, cellular, trunk, and other types of paid centralized communications, civil radio (CB-Radio) is not tied to someone’s antenna and can be used in any, even the most remote and remote place at the discretion of the owner. It works in emergencies, when wired communications (telephone, Internet) are damaged, in the absence of electricity, in the countryside, in the forest, and at sea.
4) Radio devices are inexpensive, easy to use, and do not require care. You can master working with them in a matter of minutes. And, in addition, they have something from the romance of wandering and long roads.

What is the working range (distance) of CB radios?

The communication range is determined by the characteristics of the station (mainly power), the quality and height of the antennas, the terrain, and the level of interference in the air.
In the frequency range of 27 MHz, the typical communication distance between objects with stationary antennas (for example, house – villa) is up to 70 km; between cars – up to 20 km; between pedestrians with walkie-talkies – up to 3 km. Range decreases in rugged terrain and when you are surrounded by tall buildings, as well as near large power lines and substations.
In addition to the constant, guaranteed connection, which was discussed above, in certain weather, “over-passage” is possible, during which you can contact objects that are many thousands of kilometers away.

What do you need to have in a car (truck, special or agricultural machine) for radio communications in the CB band?

In general, in order to use a two-way radio in a car, two basic things are needed:
1) antenna;
2) transceiver (two-way radio device).
Most transceivers operate on 12 volts. There are some of them operating up to 24 V, but their selection is small. Therefore, in the case that only 24-volt wiring is present in a car, truck, special or agricultural machine, usually you need an additional component:
3) 24/12 linear voltage converter.

May I use an antenna from a radio, TV, or mobile speakerphone kit for radio communications?

Absolutely not! Any transceiver works not only on reception but also on transmission. Therefore, for normal operation, the antenna must be tuned in resonance with the frequency of the radio. Otherwise, the device will not only work very poorly but will also fail very quickly. Therefore, not only antennas from inappropriate devices but also antennas from radios of a different frequency range cannot be connected to the transceiver.

How to choose the antenna for CB radio?

An antenna is the main element of the system. First of all, it should be suitable for the frequency range of the radio.
In addition, when choosing an antenna, 3 simple things should be taken into account: a) the method of attachment to the machine (magnet, insert into the hole or bracket); b) length (the longer the antenna, the better it works); brand (well-known amateur radio companies such as Alan / Midland, Sirio, Luiton, and Optim, to name a few, really know a lot about the manufacture of antennas).

Should I buy a transceiver complete with an antenna (kit)?

If you are a novice user of radio communications, then, of course, the answer is yes, it is better to take a ready-to-use kit. Because in this case, at least the minimum component compatibility is guaranteed. If you are an experienced radio amateur or a seasoned radio pirate, then you already have enough competence to select the components individually.

We recommend:

CB Radio Luiton LT-298 with compatible antennas
CB Radio Luiton LT-298 with compatible antennas

The CB Radio Car Kit, which includes the Luiton LT-298 transceiver and magnetic antenna, ready-to-use.

Photos and technical details courtesy of Aquaphor, ProMarket.

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This post is also available in: English Italiano (Italian) Русский (Russian)