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73 - Mike - April 2016

April 2016 Update : I ran the pages of of my 'mini CB Radio website' from 2008 to 2016, but the demands on my time became rather too much so, with regret, I decided to retire the web pages in 2016.  I will leave them in place for the time being in this new archived location as, I am told, the pages carry a lot of useful information.  However, it's unlikely that I will make many updates to the pages.

The radio hobby itself, also seemed to gradually take over most of my free time and, perhaps more significantly, space!!  I therefore decided to have a huge clear up and clear out in April 2016. I began scaling back the shack to free up some space in there. I also needed to tidy out the loft, the shed, and other cupboards of all sorts of radio related equipment, accessories, radios, hardware and aerials etc. It's a huge task, but I'm looking forward to a much more compact operation in the future.

As you might imagine, after all this clear-out, some of the information on this page about my own operations will now be out of date. However, I hope you can still enjoy the pages and find something interesting and useful.

73, Mike. April 2016
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Welcome to CB Radio  -  THE CITIZENS BAND!      

Happy CB RadioThere's nothing more exciting or interesting as owning and operating your very own transmitting station and Citizens Band Radio allows you to get on the air easily and cheaply. So a big welcome to BigCat's new CITIZENS BAND Pages.

12Watts (PEP) SSB plus 4Watt (RMS) AM on the 40 CEPT channels -
- Coming to UK CB Spring 2014!

Midland Alan
                          48 Excel Multi


UK 4x4 Centre

What is CB Radio?

                      CB RadioCB radio allows for short range two way radio communication with fairly simple, easy to use low power equipment (4 Watts) typically over distances of around 5 miles. Much greater distances than this can be obtained with bigger and more elaborate antennas and especially under favourable atmospheric conditions called 'skip', but somewhere up to about 5 or even 10 miles can be possible given an efficient antenna and favourable topography.

CB radio can be used where it is necessary for two or more people to keep in touch whether this be for work or pleasure. Unlike expensive mobile phone calls, conversations via the CB are free of call charges and it is possible to talk to numerous people in agroup at one time - unlike a phone call that only allows for a conversation between two people.

CB radio can also be regarded as a fascinating hobby - there's nothing quite like having your own transmitting station. Bear in mind, though that broadcasting music or advertising is definitely not allowed!

Citizens Band radio equipment has never been better! There are now many high-tech, good looking and interesting radios to choose from and you can choose bigger and better aerials than ever before.

CB Radio is for everyone!

                      Radio Is For Everyone!Citizens Band Radio can be an invaluable resource if you are involved in various activities such as Motorhome, Caravan or Camping Clubs, 4x4 and Off-Road Clubs, Long Distance Driving, Trucking, Farming, Boating and Marine use or simply want to keep in contact with a group of friends or acquaintances. I would say that even if you may not use CB on a regular basis it may be a good resource to keep in reserve:  See who uses CB radio here >

If you have arrived on this page you may already have an interest in the subject of radio and associated technology. Now that you have found out about Citizens Band Radio you probably cannot wait to get On The Air! These pages will help you do just that!

CB Radio Music

Under no circumstances whatsoever should music be played over a CB radio, however there have been some good songs performed about CB Radio! Find out more here >>

Bands, Modes of Transmission and Power

In the UK there are two blocks of 40 channels, giving 80 channels in total. The block of 40 channels originally permitted for use in 1981 runs from  27.60125 MHz up to 27.99125 MHz, i.e. the upper half of the 27 MHz high frequency ('HF') band.

Later a further block of European channels was permitted for use in the UK. These are the 'Harmonised' CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) channels running from 26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz, i.e. the lower half of the 27 MHz high frequency band.

Until 2013 the only legally permitted mode of transmission was FM (narrow band frequency modulation) with a maximum power of 4 watts. Given a good antenna, mounted at sufficient height and fed with high quality low loss coaxial cable, 4 watts is ample for local contacts - the intended use for CB radio.

New Modes: In November 2013 the UK's spectrum regulator Ofcom announced that, in line with the European Communication Committee (ECC) Decision (11)036 and subject to consultation, Citizens Band radio users in the UK would be allowed to use Amplitude Modulated modes of transmission on the 'harmonised' CEPT (EU) channels from spring 2014. The modes allowed will be Double Side Band (DSB) "AM" with a transmitter power of 4 watts RMS (root mean square) and also Single Side Band (SSB) with a power of up to 12 watts PEP (peak envelope power).

The use of amplitude modulation (AM, DSB, SSB, USB, LSB) will remain strictly prohibited on the UK CB band (27.60125 MHz up to 27.99125 MHz) as this is not a European harmonised band and is shared with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) where the use of modes other than FM have not been coordinated or agreed.  Read the full Ofcom proposals here

CB Radio - On The Radio...

BBC Radio Five Live featured a short, lighthearted article about CB radio on 9th November 2013. Naturally, being a journalist, the presenter Tony Livesey got it a bit wrong! He referred to Ofcom as proposing to allow additional 'frequencies' for CB radio, whereas what is actually being allowed is the use of additional modes on some of the existing frequencies. Anyway, it was good bit of publicity! Then, on 3rd December 2014, Simon Mayo featured CB Radio on BBC Radio Two's "Confessions" with a confession from Doodlebug. Two days later Simon spoke to Thunderpole Bob about CB Radio on his BBC Radio Two show:

Where do you get your CB Radio?

We are very lucky to a good choice of really excellent specialist CB Radio retailers, so to enter the very exciting world of CB radio visit our CB Links page to find an expert CB retailer who can help you!

How can these pages help you?

All the help you need to get on the air should be found in these pages. We have pages showing how to operate with mobile and hand held radios and also from CB radios based at home. We also have pages concerning technical issues, other aspects of this absorbing hobby and lots of other information that  you may need. Do have a look at our links pages too, where you'll find plenty of other helpful and interesting CB websites including our valued specialist CB retailers. See the buttons at the top right of the page to start your journey and have lots of fun.

For a list of all the pages see the CB Mini Site Map.

Then, once you are ready to do on the air, it's time to key the microphone and make your first transmission....

CALLING OTHER CBers: This is how: Traditionally channel 14 was used for home-base calling and channel 19 was used for mobile calls. These days it's generally only channel 19 that is used as a calling channel. This is done by keying the mic' and saying "One nine for a roger?" or "One nine for a copy?" or even "Hello, is anyone on channel?". CB etiquette dictates that once you have found another breaker to talk to you move to another clear channel to continue the conversation called a "QSO".

Good Manners Cost Nothing:  Move Away From Channel 19 As Soon As You Have Made Contact With Another CBer

                      CB RadioChannel 19 is The Calling Channel. It is not for general chit chat! Remember it is best practice, not to mention polite and good mannered, to move off channel 19 as soon as possible.

So keep 19 clear for other users and move away ASAP!!

Intek M-790 Plus Multi CB Radio
Intek M-790 Plus Multi - mobile CB rig

Do you need to be a radio expert?   No!

Happy CB RadioThe fantastic thing about CB, and much of the reason that it was introduced as an alternative to amateur radio, is that the CB operator actually needs very little, if any, technical knowledge or experience to adequately operate a CB.

This fact could also be considered CB's great shortcoming, but that's not the point. If you just want to talk to a bunch of mates, or even take advantage of some DX skip at the height of the sunspot cycle, there is probably little need to know much about the technicalities - even if such knowledge really would be of the greatest help.

This is in much the same way that your gran' may not want to know and does not need to know how a telephone works if she wants to speak to her family of friends.

The thing with CB is that if your average chap or chapess has a few basic DIY skills and wants to install a CB it can be done by simply by following the instructions provided in the installation manuals provided with the rig and the antenna, pretty much parrot fashion. You probably don't even have to appreciate what a radio wave is to get a CB on the air.

On the other hand, being a radio enthusiast, I want to know everything I can about all aspects of how my radio equipment works and why certain methods should be used. Many CBers are like this and want to experiment with different rigs, mic's, amps and antennas etc.

This, for me, is an important part of the fun. I doubt many CB enthusiasts know *everything* and I find that so much of the fun is travelling along the learning curve, learning new things from investigation, experimentation and research and from other valued experienced operators! For more interactive information and help visit the UK's premier CB forums at the Citizens Band Radio website here:

Links to CB retailers

4x4 CB / Communication

                                      4x4 Centre

CB Radio Shop Kidderminster

Rocket Radio

Happy CB
                              RadioWhen choosing your CB radio, do support our specialist CB retailers: It's inadvisable to buy off e-bay unless dealing with one of the experienced CB retailer's own e-bay shops. Be careful since second hand equipment may have been tampered with and may cost more to repair than it's actually worth. Non specialist CB dealers may not offer the back-up service and support in the event of experiencing a problem. See links to CB specialists here

See our links to many of the specialist CB dealers here >.

73's from BigCat

Right Channel Radios
Selecting a CB Radio - Information from Right Channel Radios of Salt Lake City USA>
Selecting a CB Antenna - Information from Right Channel Radios of Salt Lake City USA >

If you have got any specific CB questions that aren't answered here
why not visit the best forum on the net :-

Visit the Thunderpole CB Radio Forum

CB Radio Club

Wiki Radio - A vast CB Radio resource!
WikiRadio holds the worlds largest online archive of CB Radio magazines. This is the biggest collection of CB magazines you are ever likely to find.... anywhere... ever!!! Many of the CB magazines are British - online & available for download. Many of these CB vintage magazines are very old (over 30 years old to be precise!).

If you are already a CBer - why not consider becoming a
licensed Radio Amateur?  Have a look here >>

                          theAmateur Radio pages of M0MTJ
The Amateur Radio Pages of MØMTJ

UKQRM - Fighting against the scourge of unregulated interference from PLT PowerLine Networking adapters
PLT / PLA adapters are threatening the radio spectrum - a valuable natural resource.
CB Radio operation, Amateur Radio and even FM Stereo radio and DAB radio are all interfered with by PLT adapters.
The perveyors of PLT crap include Belkin, BT, Comtrend, Devolo, DLink and Netgear.

73's from BigCat

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