The initials "CB" were used by Americans to designate the Citizens' Band; a frequency band the government allowed its citizens to use without a license. Initially, this frequency band enabled American truckers to break the monotony of long distances and to get help when they broke down. The usage of the technology spread and evolved into a platform for dynamic social networking among drivers on the road. This principle has been adopted by most democratic nations and supported by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In most nations CB remains de-licensed allowing people to communicate without any background network infrastructure. It is in this sense that the term "Citizens" epitomizes the culture associated with the technology; an open, free forum for people (known or unknown) in a local area to share ideas and information.
CB RADIOS : HIGH-PERFORMANCE TRANSCEIVERS
CB radios allow you to receive and transmit messages free. Several people can exchange remarks, at the same time, and on the same channel. This distinctive feature is the very basis of the CB spirit and results in conviviality and openness towards others. As opposed to telephones which work in duplex mode, conversations take place in simplex mode, in other words you must wait until the end of your correspondent's message before sending your own.
The use of CB radios is no longer subject to any license or tax today, the taxes being paid by the importer. Transmission are legally made on the frequency band of 27 Mhz and, depending on the radio, on one or more of the following three modulation modes : amplitude modulation AM, frequency modulation FM (communication over short distances of flat, open ground) and single side band SSB (communication over long distances, according to atmospheric conditions). These radios can be divided into three categories : "mobile" radios are designed to be installed in a vehicle. "Portable" radios are autonomous and have no exterior power supply. The term "base" is used for radios which are designed for use in a set place in a residence.
CB RADIOS AND SAFETY
CB radios are a means of communication for the general public, offering a wide variety of possible uses (leisure, safety, friendship, etc...), which have won acclaim. Today, CB's are recognized as being a factor which improves prevention and safety on roads. Certain organizations (fire departments, the Red Cross, associations,...) which have incorporated them in the process of initiating emergency aid, are continuously tuned in to channel 9, the safety channel, so that they can act on the first call from a CB radio. The other special channels are 27, which is a call channel, and 19, used mainly for directions by truck drivers and other road professionals to prevent accidents or traffic slow-downs.