Way back before cellphones were invented, there was a device that a lot of people used to wirelessly communicate with each other and that would be the CB (Citizen's Band) radio. These devices were used primarily by truckers, but thanks to Hollywood movies like Smokey and the Bandit, CB's started becoming more mainstream. Almost everyone back then had a CB, and users even had their own lingo. CB radios may not be as popular now like they were back in the 70s and 80s, but thanks to many a hobbyists, truckers, and business owners, the old reliable CB will not be fading quietly into the background any time soon. But why are these radio devices still very popular today?
The CB radio was also used as one of the primary means of communications by truckers, the police. Basically anyone who needed a cheap form of mobile communication. In its heyday, even private citizens often used CB's the same way they would cellphones now, some even bought car mounted models so that they can stay in touch even while on the go. This sudden influx of private CB users brought about the age of the CB hobbyists, these are the people who use the radio to chat it up with each other, try to strike up conversations with lonely truckers, and sometimes even listen to the police scanner for the latest news.
The advent of cellular phone technology also seems to have brought about the end of the once beloved CB radio. Cellphones provided more functions, they are smaller, and they have a wider reach; but even though it is facing certain extinction, the CB still refuses to just curl up and die. Besides the trucking industry, taxis, firemen and police, there are hundreds of hobbyists who are still loyal to the humble Citizen's Band radio. CB's are also popular with people who live in remote locations where there are no phone lines, and there are certainly no cell signal; where other forms of communication fail, the CB shines.
If you are interested in becoming a CB hobbyist yourself, things could not get any simpler when it comes to getting started. You only need to go to your local CB hobby shop, and buy one of the basic models (they cost about $100 to $150 each), turn it on, and find a channel that you think is interesting. If you have not seen a CB before, do not expect it to look like your regular cellphone, for one thing they have a long antenna, and they only have a basic LCD screen; and in CB land those are enough to have a good time.
There are actually daily CB shows that are hosted by some of the more popular hobbyists, and the best part about these shows is that listeners can interact directly with the hosts as well as share their own thoughts. And since you can expand the range of a radio just by using a higher antenna, you can use CB radios to get in touch with relatives and friends who live nearby.
Though the good old CB radio may not be as popular as it once was, it still has a firm hold on people's hearts apparently. Even with modern communication methods like cellphones and the internet being the king of the hill in this day and age, it is quite refreshing to see that the reliable Citizen's Band radio is still alive and kicking. So if you are looking for a cheap yet unique way to communicate with other people then get yourself a CB of your own.