Introduction                         

or why I'm crazy enough to make this site......   

 

If you're a little slow and haven't figured it out yet, this section of the website is dedicated to Citizen's Band (CB) radio.  CB was a FCC created radio service which grew from it's humble beginnings as a low-cost personal 2-way radio service, into a hobby and social fad in the mid 1970's.  Then, just as quickly as it came, it shrunk away into obscurity again.  It started in the early 60's, when people slowly discovered this new two-way radio service.  At first, it was used for mostly business-like communications.  But it didn't take long for people to start using CB for conversations other than "necessary" communications, and many people started to experiment with their equipment, in order to enhance their radio experience.  In the 70's, movies such as Convoy, and Smokey and the Bandit, helped to make CB radio a red hot social fad.  By 1980, the sheer volume of people had exceeded the capacity, of the recently expanded 40 channels, to handle them all.  If that weren't bad enough,  throw in the effects of the 11 year sunspot cycle peaking and world-wide DX conditions occurring on a regular basis, and you had a recipe for less than ideal local operating conditions.  With these brutal crowded conditions, having casual conversations within the local groups became more and more difficult, and people started to lose interest.  So as a result, CB radio dwindled back down to a fraction of the people it once had.  By the time the sunspot activity bottomed out and local conditions had become clear again in the mid 80's , the public at large had already moved on to embrace the next fad, the personal home computer.  

Despite being only a shell of its former self, CB radio never completely died and it's still around for those who are still hooked on raw unmoderated radio.  But it's not the same as it was back in the day.  CB was a big part of my teenaged life back in the 1970's.  It was the very first "social networking" site long before there was the world wide web, or cell phones.  CB was many things to many different people.  It was a lifeline, a speed trap avoidance device, a dating service, a popular hangout, a way to make friends, and an alternate reality for people looking to escape the cruelties and personal demons of the real world.  

This site covers several different elements of the CB radio phenomenon as I experienced it.  From some of the colorful people I knew,  to the popular equipment most of us ran.  From actual period recordings to anecdotal accounts of interesting or humorous situations which were typical of the hobby back then, I try to recapture it as it was, to hopefully present a fairly accurate picture of CB radio life back then.  Also not to be forgotten, are the tributes to the wild, wacky, and sometimes bizarre projects which were undertaken for the sake of pushing the envelope in the name of making the best out of what you had, or just to see whether it would work or not.

So take some time and walk down memory lane with me.  If you were a CB'er back then, I guarantee that a memory or two will float to the surface.  Several readers have written me to say that after reading this site, they've dug out their old CB radios and started using them again, or to tell me how much these accounts remind them of their own experiences.   It doesn't matter if you lived in Maine or California, there are many many similarities.  Enjoy!

 

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