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So, What Does CB Stand for in CB Radio

For many folks who are getting started with radio usage or even the real deal amateur radio, CB radio is the first stop. You can buy a handheld or a set to mount in your vehicle and get started straight away, no license needed. But one question I hear on the topic pops up over and over again: what does the CB in CB radio stand for?

Baofeng HAM radio, walkie-talkies, flashlight and two chemlights
communication devices inside bug out bag: a Baofeng HAM radio, walkie-talkies, flashlight and two chemlights

The CB stands for “citizens band,” and it tells you pretty much everything you need to know about what this type of radio is used for. These frequencies were set aside by the FCC specifically for civilian usage.

The heyday of CB radio might be behind us, but don’t count it out just yet: it is still extremely popular, and believe it or not, it’s on the rise once again with more and more sets being sold for highway and at-home use.

It’s a great way to get into radio operation without a lot of money. If you’ve ever been curious, keep reading and I’ll tell you a little bit more about it.

Is CB Radio Just for Citizens?

Yes and no. CB radio is not legally just for civilian usage, but in practice, that’s pretty much what it is used for most of the time, be it for private purposes or commercial operations.

It lacks the reliable range and clarity of larger, more powerful, and more sophisticated ham radio sets, but it’s still a great choice for relatively short-range and convenient highway usage.

As a rule, you won’t see first responders like police, EMS, and fire departments using it except in dire emergencies, or when they’re corresponding with someone who is in trouble and on channel 9, the designated and legally protected channel for traveler problems and emergencies.

Can Any US Citizen Use a CB Radio?

Yes. Any citizen of the United States can legally use a CB radio.

Surprisingly enough, so can non-citizens like visitors to the U.S., resident aliens, and others with one notable exception: foreign government officials and their duly authorized representatives are legally prohibited from using a CB radio while in the United States or while in any U.S. territory.

Is a License Required to Use a CB Radio?

No, and that’s the really great thing about CB radio: If you’ve got the cash, or if a buddy will loan you a set, you can get on the airwaves without any requirement to do some studying, take a test, and then get a license.

This is in stark contrast to ham radio, which requires testing for different levels of licensure and privileges when it comes to accessing various frequencies and also using higher power.

However, this is also a downside for CB: any knucklehead can get on the air with very little chance of correcting their bad behavior or legal repercussions – unless they get caught by an authority.

These clogged airwaves and bottom-of-the-barrel barriers to entry are a major reason why CB saw a significant downturn in popularity throughout the 1990s and going into the 2000s.

Is CB Radio Only for Use on the Highway?

No, though that’s another common misconception, and you’ll sometimes hear it referred to as “commerce band” or variations on that scheme.

But, it’s easy to understand why some folks would think that because CB radio was and remains today overwhelmingly popular with truckers, professional drivers, rally motorists, RV owners, and other folks who spend a lot of time on the highways, interstates, and turnpikes of America.

If you want to, you can set up a CB radio in your car, truck, or motorcycle, carry a handheld handy-talkie with you, or install a larger and more capable set in your home, office, or any other building.

CB is a lot more versatile than most people think!

Are There Age Restrictions for Using a CB Radio?

No! Perhaps most shocking of all is that there are no age limitations for using a CB radio. Anyone, of any age, can legally use any CB radio with no license or supervision required so long as they follow the FCC rules, guidelines, and laws.

This makes CB radio the perfect way for younger people to get into the hobby and skillset, because you don’t even need a driver’s license to legally own and operate a CB.

I have fond memories of my own grandfather letting me have a few short exchanges with other people on the road while we were traveling when I was a very small boy. This was before the advent of cell phones, of course, and it was one of the thrills of my young life!

The post So, What Does CB Stand for in CB Radio appeared first on Survival Sullivan.

By: Tom Marlowe
Title: So, What Does CB Stand for in CB Radio
Sourced From: www.survivalsullivan.com/cb-acronym/
Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 12:39:14 +0000


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