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Author Topic: The CB "explosion". Why?  (Read 35871 times)

Posts: 672

« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2015, 04:27:24 PM »

In the case of Blighty, it was down to a song (Convoy), a British copy (Convoy GB by Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks, 2 British DJs) and the films also Dukes of Hazzard.
Didn't help that not many knew about amateur radio (I did thanks to my music teacher who gave me a Heathkit catalogue and later reading Practical Wireless)
After alot of hunting I found where I could take the RAE and passed in 1980, this is when it broke big in Britain. You could go to a pub and in the carpark there would be more CB whips on the cars than broadcast aerials and one Ford Granada with a 2 metres 5/8 mag mount whip.
My cousin lent me a CB multimode, wasn't long before he got it back, I hated it compared to my Yaesu FT480

73 de Tony
Windows 10:  Making me profane since March 2017

Posts: 820

« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2015, 05:00:45 PM »

Yeah, I LOVED Convoy, I was a little kid and I just could not get enough. I've heard that Britney Spears's little kids (she's a washed up US pop star and her kids are in elementary school) love it too. My dad had one of those GE HELP CB's in his car. I was too little to remember most of it though. I recently bought a Realistic Navaho TRC-441 made in 1978 off Craigslist for $25 so I could listen to trucker road reports. (I live near the intersection of two major freeways.) The truckers seem to mainly be on channel 6 now, and use their own updated jargon. It's still interesting to listen to, last night some guys were making fun of a "bear" running a speed trap-"I'll be back around later and he'll still be there!" Also there was some guys on 17 talking about car racing. There's the weird stuff too, like some guy testing his rig on 14 and the SSB transmissions on 32 last night. 1976 it ain't, but you still can hear stuff. Also, CB is legal in jurisdictions where smartphone use while driving is outlawed, so truckers will use CB. I'm in California where truckers have been forced back to CB after phone use behind the wheel was outlawed. It seems that most of the truckers on 6 in my area are short haul "hub" truckers. After 7 or 8 pm 6 mostly goes dead. I noticed that good condition 70s CB base rigs can go for $80-100 on Ebay (where all the guys with more money than sense hang out).

Posts: 5074

« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2015, 01:34:13 AM »

I was into CB pretty heavily during that period and what I remember as being the catalysts for the cb explosion was a convergence of favorable factors.

1) Radios were transistorized and now cheaper than before, I even remember picking up a new 23 channel model from Lafayette when the 40ch cb models came out, I think I got if for under $50 on sale.

2) Outlets like Radio Shack and Lafayette were promoting CB radios heavily. With catalogs and magazine adds.

3) a lot of us dreamed about becoming hams but could not afford the outlay and then Solar Cycle 21 came around and suddenly groups of us could easily talk to Europe, Caribbean, just about anywhere 24/7. It was a Really exciting time especially since long distance phone calls were so expensive.

I remember at the start we would try to act like ham operators and with an open band many in our group including myself kept detailed logs.

When the popularity grew to be too much the nonsense started and many of us just called it Quits.



“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)

Posts: 847

« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2015, 07:05:07 AM »

It is a little like trying to figure out the cigar smoking craze, or the Harley Davidson craze. Who knows.

Posts: 9


« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2015, 07:19:54 AM »

Some enthusiasts in Europe are using packet with CB radio.
Yep, so did I...Could connect to Italian CB stations, coming in here (N. Germany) with booming signals in daytime, when band was open.
The Italians were so strong, they wiped out almost every local stations. When CB started here it was 12 channels AM only, power 0,5 Watts only. If you operated from home, it was NOT allowed to use mobile gear with a DC power supply, well almost everyone did...
Most of us used 23 channel gear, 4 Watt output.
I only remember the radio I used in the early 80s, Lincoln President, which was not legal. The regular channels were boring, so we did our stuff, packet and SSB on the frequencies "above" the regular CB channels. One of those was 27.765 / USB, it was called "Deutsche Welle", because many German speaking stations established their contacts on that QRG.
In the mid-80 i got bored with CB, sold all the gear and after a while without any HF radio i decided to go for a ham license.
73s thomas

Thomas Krull
GnuPrivacyGuard: 0x7892102D

Posts: 416

« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2015, 09:40:32 AM »

Frequency synthesized receivers using a single reference oscillator (as opposed to one crystal per channel) and a phase-locked-loop made inexpensive and simple to use radios possible.

Posts: 2054

« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2015, 10:12:14 AM »

why 10-4, 10-4 good buddy, the ROAD HOG! reports that construction workers all have the radios in their trucks, boss or not.  don't believe the labels on those controls, for sure, they got "changed."  just like that transistor in the back.  we down, we gone.

Posts: 6578

« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2015, 10:13:41 AM »

In 1990 my wife and I took a driving vacation to Europe and at a German/Dutch border stop there were many 18 wheelers sporting CB antennas.  As one pulled in I walked over to the truck and one BIG lady crawled down out of the cab with a very suspicious "what the hell do you want" look on her face.  

After finding that she spoke a little English I asked her about her CB and the use in Germany.  We had a very nice eye-ball QSO about CB and trucking in Germany.  There was definitely a camaraderie among CB'rs, wherever you lived.  As I said previously, "great fun."

A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 875

« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2015, 10:40:08 AM »

Boy what a collection of re-collections from CB's past.  I was involved in CB when my dad bought me a single channel Lafayette HA-85 walkie-Talkie in 1963.  One walkie takie because the idea was that soon I would find others on the air and make additonal radio friends beyond my immediate area and school.  Sure enough I started to find other's on the air with walkies and base stations.  It was great standing on my roof (13th story) with 100 milliwatts and making contacts a mile and further.  Ultimately I saved up enough money and bought a Lafayette HE-20d with a big five watts! My dad applied for the license since I was under 18.  I mounted a 102" steel whip on the Aluminum railing on the roof and ran 30 feet of coax to my bedroom window on the 12th floor.  The height of the antenna on the roof of our moderate high rise building and no obstructions afforded me contacts with guys 20 and 30 miles away.  It was truly exciting.  I had maps on the wall and everytime I made a distant contact I plotted the distance from my location to theirs. And of course sometimes the forbidden fruit would pour in, DX from down south or out west.  It was too tempting not to make those contacts.  As I entered college CB became less important to me and I sold the HE-20d, D-104, and antenna in 1972.  CB had been a great experience and I met many nice people through it, including a girlfriend who happened to be  the sister of one of my new radio buddies.  But that was a time ago and people seemed to be different back then.  I occasionally tune to the CB frequencies today and am disgusted with the absolute stupidity and junk that permeates those frequencies.  This is around the New York/New Jersey metro area so it may be different in your local areas.

Posts: 86

« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2015, 04:26:30 PM »

W4KYR pretty much nailed it. My first radio was a Johnson messenger 100 in my car in HS. My rig today is an ICOM 7600, in my shack. Still miss those days.

Posts: 132

« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2015, 06:06:29 PM »

There has always been stupidity and junk on CB, and on the ham bands. There were lots of good people on the CB back in the day.

We used CB for general farm and wheat harvest communications back in the mid to late 70's until the solar cycle wiped out any hope of hearing local traffic over all the AM heterodyne. Almost every farmer had a CB base station and one on the tractor, combine, wheat truck and pickup. Momma would call us to lunch on the CB. The area farmers would hide from us CB kids at night, rag chewing up on the secret world of sideband.


Posts: 91

« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2015, 12:15:46 AM »

OK, I'll bite.

First  "serious"/ "non local" contact was  a 100mW ch 14 walkie clipped to a VERY long NON resonant SW inverted L (who knew back then ?).Absolutely STUNNED to BARELY make a contact to another kid on a similar walkie (but he  using his radio's telescopic ant) at 3/4 or so of a mile through thick woods.

Moved on to a small 4 watt mobile (can't recall but I THINK it was a 40 ch type) on various dipoles. Again, stunned to make a contact 15  mi or so ( and probably OUT of polarization to boot) . My dad got me a license (KOL 3684). Tried to get my buddy into it so we didn't need telephones, but after only 3 or 4 tries he lost interest.

Over time things kind of fizzled and drifted away from any type of transmitters (it would be YEARS before I got my ham ticket).

In recent years I have "listened"   to CB (and the Free bands). Often  the Freeband operators are almost "ham like" re their operating style and having a reasonable degree of on air courtesy.   But frankly the "self assigned" "division" call signs are a bit silly to me.If you are THAT much into it ( ie  doing international Freeband operation), get a ham license for Pete's sake.It ISN'T hard ! FWIW, I have actually heard a bit of CW in the Freebands- I was completely surprised, who'd have EVER thought I hear THAT !

I picked  up a NICE Radio Shack 40 ch 4 watt digital read out walkie at a ham flea for $ 10. Kind of fun to take it in the car to copy ch 19. Also it has an antenna input jack ( RCA !), so I made up a quickie 27 Mhz  speaker wire dipole  with an RCA male. Last time I had it out I copied CA from MA and also beat it with the signal gen to copy SSB on the upper channels.Seems like a nice receiver.Something different.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 12:21:16 AM by N1NQC » Logged

Posts: 1686

« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2015, 03:22:07 PM »

Just for gits and shiggles , here is a video of skip on the CB band from the U.S. making it all the way to Australia with no problem. One part you can even hear the guy clearly saying he is from the backwoods of Georgia.

The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here.,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...

Posts: 5074

« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2015, 01:29:31 AM »

Did any of you guys ever get a pair of those original single channel walkie talkies?
The ones were you would hand one to a friend and move 30ft apart and be saying hello, hello can you hear me? And the friend would scream back NO! Grin
Those things had about ten feet of range and even as a young kid I was still in love with that 1mw Load of manure Grin


“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)

Posts: 1208

« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2015, 06:44:05 AM »

Yes, I remember those! I loved mine.
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