This is a very simple and reduced guide for people who know nothing about CB Radio, family of people who practice this hobby, everybody interested or starting in radio. Any way You can find more info on the spanish version. Go ahead and enjoy Radio!
Citizen Band (CB27, 11 meters Band or 27Mhz) is an special way into Ham Radio modalities, is the most popular Band because of It is not necessary to pass an exam to obtain license, besides equipments are very cheap and easy to use.
On CB we can contact with people around the world, from neighbours in my street to persons who are thousands of kilometers of you, people of all ages and society classes (like an politic, a lorry driver, a police man, a student...). You can talk, meet people and to do friends anywhere. Besides you can use your computer to contact they by radio, send him texts, files, photos... You could exchange correspondence by mail with these people, learn a little bit of electricity, geography, foreign languages, to do test and experiments to be better and better on Radio and in extreme or catastrophic cases you can help and safe lives!
How to Start
Basically we need a CB transceiver, a power supply and an antenna. We can have a Base station (at home), mobile (on a car, a boat, van...) and/or the most simple, portable (a Walkie talkie). If you like, you can construct yourself your antenna and transceiver or buy Kits to mount at home.
Here is an example of a tipical
Base CB Station:
First one is to have all the equipment correctly connected, is very important to have antenna (never transmit if you have not antenna!), switch on your transceiver and look for a busy frequency or channel. Most part of CB transceivers have similar functions and operation.
Sometimes you will have a SWR meter incorporated, if it is does not exist, is good to use one external. It is important that you learn to use it correctly, because is very important not to have SWR problems to work 100% and keep OK your transceptor.
Usually you will have
a meter or leds system to indicate the intensity of received signals.
Is used to ask for Controls or RST (Radio and Santiago), you can give
a Control as follows:
When there are two or three stations speaking, there are a QSO. Only speak a person at time, you must wait your opportunity, is used to leave a "blank", a free space between two comments to give opportunity to call if any station is listening our conversation and want to enter in. Is good to listen before to call, to know who is on the air, what is the theme of conversation, etc. To call is used to say: "BREAK", then wait permission
Is good to listen veterans operators, you can learn a lot, they are very correct and kindly operating their radios. You must not use Radio for business, to speak about religion, or like a free telephone. After a good contact is possible that the other station ask you a QSL, this is a small card confirming QSO. You will exchange these cards by mail and is valid for example a simple postcard with info about contact, like date, time, frequency, RST, QRZ, name...
Spanish legal permission for CB are 40 channels, from 26.960 to 27.410 Mhz, with max. power of 4W for AM-FM and 12W for SSB (USB-LSB), only vertical antennas are permited. But is normal to have more power or frequencies because people want to have better contacts.
It is normal to have a call-sign to say and remember for your friends, for example "Sirio", "Charly 2", etc. For international contacts is used a QRZ formed with one a three numbers (number of your country, Spain is 30 Division), one a four letters (letters of our DX club, group or association) and finally a number (number of associate into the Club). For example Spanish member 1702 in Lima Oscar Group (Libertad de Ondas) will be: 30LO1702. You can see here a Countries List or Division numbers.
Is important to know that in Radio communicates there are a big influence of geographic conditions, atmospherics, technics, etc. which can help to do better contacts or difficult they. Best conditions are a good ionospheric propagation, to have good position geographic (big altitude, for example in top of a mountain), good antennas...
Big power is not recommendable because It can cause a lot of interferences to other radio stations, neighbors, Television, telephones, PC´s and other things. Also we can be interfered by other Operators, engines, electric storms, etc. There are special technics and filters to train to solve this, and also a lot of accesories for our station like desktop amplificated microphones, antenna tunners, SWR/Power external meters, reception/transmition amplifiers, antennas (yagui beam, omnidirectional, etc).
On Radio Contacts is normal to use special words, codes and the "Phonetic Alfabet" to spell and understand foreign stations, or when communications are difficult. For example you have:
(only most used)
FREQUENCIES FOR TO
You have here a "Frequency List" and channels, but do not transmit over 28.000 because there are Amateur frequencies.
73 de 30LO1702 / 30MU1439 Op. Paco