When an event occurs that disrupts everyday life and your trusty smart phone becomes a brick, don’t be left deaf, dumb and speechless. If you don’t think the cell phone networks are fragile then you need to think again. We have become so dependent on communication that without it, most level-headed people would lose their minds. As commo people, we need to think of ways to keep our team on the up and up. Not all of us are radio nerds so we also have to think of the “other guys”.
- You need short-range communications (around town/neighborhood) FRS is not going to get it.
- It needs to be cheap and readily available.
- It needs to run off 12 volts.
- It needs to be easy to operate.
- No license.
Now, before some of you roll your eyes….. Yes, CB is the answer. If you disagree, then you have not read the requirements correctly. The above describes CB radio. It is local comms, it is cheap, they are everywhere and the list goes on. I am a HAM radio operator but I also see the value of CB. Like I said before, don’t waste your resources. Every tractor-trailer has one, almost every old barn and attic has one somewhere. You can get a used CB at a yard sale for $5. There is no excuse. All you need is a 23 or 40 channel radio. SSB is nice but we will discuss that later. This two-part post is to get you to think about linking up your neighborhood, retreat or bug out location. This idea will get your primitive “social media” back on-line. Mama takes comfort in knowing she can talk to close friends and neighbors. Also, it serves as a great intel gathering device. If all the locals are running CB radio you can take part in the comms and take notes. When in Rome…… This does not take the place of your other radios, it is just another tool to help complete your mission. You must get the “breaker 1-9” out of your head and view CB as a channelized 11 meter radio. I know an old 23 channel midland CB is not going to look very “tactical” sitting next to you AR battle Rifle, but that’s nothing a $4 can of OD paint won’t fix. It’s not about “sexy” gear, it’s about what works when the chips are down. If you understand the meaning of “tactical” then, a CB in this case is about as tactical as you get. Think local, think easy for non radio folk and you think of CB. It’s not the “end all be all”, but it will keep you in the local gossip chain. In part two, I will address the more technical side of things. We will go over a field expedient “dirty dipole” for CB, the test surprised me…… I hope this gets you to dig those radios out and give them a second chance. Stay on frequency and listen out for part two. Dialtone OUT.