The rest of the world may have moved on from CB radios back in 1982, but there are still some really loyal followers out there. I’m not saying there are a lot of them, but they’re still out there. You would think that the internet, cell phones, chat rooms, texting, whatever… would have killed the CB radio by now, but you’d be wrong.
Truckers still use the once-popular technology, and just like any retro tech, there’s still an active community of people who use it. In fact, the internet makes it possible for CB enthusiasts to find each other, since CB radio itself is limited to a range of under ten miles. Unfortunately, the general public has long since given up on citizens’ band radio and it’s pretty easy to find younger people who haven’t even heard of the technology.
The good news is that there are still new CB radios being made and they’re less expensive than ever. Believe it or not, SolidSignal.com still sells over 150 different CB radios from base stations to starter models that will fit any vehicle. The basic models are very reasonably priced, and if you’re really into the “retro” theme you can even find a modern version of the old Cobra 29 LTD which looks like it would be right at home in your ’75 Trans Am with the gold “screaming chicken” on the hood (kids, google it.)
When looking for your first CB radio, it’s pretty smart to start small, because the price of entry is so low. At some point you’ll decide for yourself if you want a bigger antenna or a more full-featured radio, but pretty much anything you buy is going to connect easily to your car’s 12 volt power and to your speakers, meaning that it just takes the radio and a CB antenna and a little bit of time to get started.
There’s no license required for a CB radio, and there hasn’t been since the mid-1980s, so you don’t have to go through any paperwork to get started. It’s just another way to meet strangers, one that has a pleasingly old-time feeling to it and it will help you pass the time on long drives. And really, you never know who you’re going to meet!