Then: 23 Channels
Now: 40 Channels
Then: A "cheap" barebones AM mobile rig cost $120.
Now: A full featured SSB mobile rig can be had for $120.
Then: A "cheap" base antenna was $12.95.
Now: A "cheap" base antenna is $59.95.
Then: The "best" ground plane antenna was the Hy-Gain Penetrator, which could be had for around $59.
Now: The "best" ground plane antenna is the Interceptor 10K, which looks a lot like the Penetrator, but costs over $300.
Then: Radios were made in the U.S. or Japan.
Now: Radios are made in China, or some other 3rd world Pacific Rim country.
Then: Hand wired radios.
Now: Surface mount devices.
Then: The most popular radios were Midland, SBE, Realistic, & Lafayette.
Now: The most popular radios are Galaxy, RCI, Magnum, & Cobra.
Then: Radio Shack actually sold several models of CB radios, antennas and parts.
Now: Radio Shack would rather sell cell phones.
Then: Most of the regular crew was within 4 miles of my location, and the closest was next door.
Now: Most of the regular crew is within 30 miles of my location, and the closest is 4 miles away.
Then: A "long distance" direct shot on AM was 25 miles.
Now: A "long distance" direct shot on AM is 70 miles.
Then: Several channels were crowded with different local groups who fought over bleed over.
Now: Everyone hangs on one channel, and fight amongst themselves over personality conflicts.
Then: Most of the local crew ran barefoot 4 watt radios. A handful of people had amplifiers but used them sparingly.
Now: Nearly everyone has an amplifier (or a "high power" Export radio), and most use them continuously.
Then: 250 watts was considered "High Power".
Now: 250 watts is considered a "driver". "High power" isn't achieved until you cross the 1 KW mark.
Then: Practically all base, and most mobile amps were made with tubes.
Now: Practically all amps, except for the highest power units, are solid state.
Then: High Voltage.
Now: High Amperage.
Then: Big dead key.
Then: People ran home to their bases when they wanted to put out the "Big signal".
Now: People run out to their mobiles when they want to put out the "Big signal".
Then: People worked very hard to get the most omni-directional pattern from their mobile.
Now: People work very hard to force a directional signal to the front of their mobile.
Then: Ignition and alternator noise.
Now: Fuel pump, ECU, and injector noise.
Then: Plenty of room to mount a radio under the dash in a car.
Now: Plenty of room to mount a radio......... in the trunk!
Now: 5 tone Roger Beep.
Then: Someone running an echo was cool and innovative.
Now: Someone running an echo is annoying.
Then: Getting busted by the FCC was a real concern.
Now: Getting busted by the FCC is of little concern.
Then: Ham operators were respected and looked up to.
Now: Ham operators are despised.
Then: Someone with a weak signal was called a "grasser".
Now: Someone with a weak signal is called a "mud duck".
Then: If someone had told me that a station 10 miles away could take out another station only a mile away, I'd have said not in a million years.
Now: It happens on almost a daily basis.
Then: Walkie-Talkies were used to talk to the locals when out in the yard or before you could afford a "big" radio.
Now: Walkie-Talkies are hidden in the woods and used to jam the channel.
Then: The language heard was rarely above a "PG" rating.
Now: The language often exceeds the "R" rating.
Then: CB radio was a ton of fun.
Now: It still is.