Citizens Band Radio – more commonly referred to as “CB radio” is a system of short-distance radio communications. It allows users to communicate with each other over a selection of 40 different channels in a 27 MHz band.
CB radios are often used by truck drivers, police officers, paramedics, or anyone who is interested in communicating with others, particularly while on the road.
If you are interested in using a CB radio for personal use or you will be required to use one in a new job, you are probably wondering how to use the device.
CBs are quite easy to operate, especially once you figure out how to work them.
To ensure your CB radio usage is as effective as possible, here are some simple tips that will help you figure out how to use the device properly.
Mount the CB radio
Securely mount the radio in a place where you can easily reach it while you are driving. A common location is underneath the driver’s seat or under the dashboard. Some CB radios come with mounting gear, but with others, mounting gear is a separate purchase.
Mount the antenna
For better service, you will want to purchase and install a larger antenna than the radio comes with. There are several options available, with magnetic antennas being the easiest to install. For the best service, position the antenna in the middle of the vehicle’s roof.
There are 40 channels on a CB radio. Some are more popular than others; channel 19, for example. Tune into each channel and explore. You will likely find conversations happening on all 40 channels.
Learn CB codes
There are several CB codes that stand for different things. Some of the most popular codes include:
- 10-1: Poor reception
- 10-4: Message received
- 10-7: Out of service
- 10-9: Say message again
- 10-20: Where are you located?
Submit a radio check
A radio check will allow you to determine if you are reaching other CB users. To issue a check, hold the receiver to your mouth and push in on the talk button. Ask for a check on a station where you can hear people communicating. Simply say, “radio check” and wait for a response. If you don’t hear a response, issue another one. When someone responds, acknowledge their response. If you don’t receive a response, try a different channel. If you have no luck on any channels, check your antenna and your setup to ensure they are set up properly.
Use CB etiquette.
Understand that there is proper etiquette that should be adhered to while communicating via CB radio. A lot of operators are professional truck drivers or emergency personnel that aren’t interested in having a conversation. Other people are very eager to chat. Pay attention to the conversations that are taking place on each channel. Listen to the tone of voice and the type of dialogue. Be mindful of others. Don’t use insults. Offer insights to road conditions or other pertinent information, if possible.
Utilize emergency services.
Information received on channel 9 is reported to rescuers and highway patrol within the vicinity. Use this channel only to report emergencies, such as distressed vehicles, injuries, downed power lines, or any activity that seems suspicious while on the road. Never use channel 9 to spark up conversations, as it is only to be used for emergencies.
CB radios are a great communication tool while on the road. They can provide useful information while you are driving and provide entertainment, too.
We hope that you’ve found this guide on how to use a cb radio helpful.
You can find more help from OFCOM here.
Looking for a CB Radio? Check out our new guide to the Top 10 CB Radios here.