In a previous post we talked about safety and family radio regulations. This time I'm going to direct you to some of the popular CB manufacturer's sites and to a few dealers that sale and service radios. This way you can start to look at some of the features the radios have and get an idea of the approximate cost.
While you are looking at the CB radios at the dealer's sites, you will notice a radio called a 10 meter radio, sometimes called an export radio or one of the big boys. I'll discuss these in greater detail, when I talk about ham radios.
There are CB radios that can cost less than $50.00 and there are CB radios that can cost hundreds of dollars, but they all come from the factory with the same advertised power maximum which is four watts.
While you are perusing these radios, check out the ones with the letters SSB, which stands for single side band. Not all manufacturers produce SSB radios. Understand, it is still a CB radio with 40 channels, but has single side band capabilities. This is not technical and don't let it throw you off.
If what you want to do is talk to your neighbor two miles away, then any CB radio will do that job if you are in a pretty flat area. This is assuming you have the proper antenna which will be discussed more later. If you want to talk to and listen to people hundreds of miles away it can be done with a CB radio that has SSB capabilities with the proper antenna.
The more popular CB manufacturers are:
Next are a couple of online retail outlets. This is not an endorsement, pro or con, for these companies. I have bought from all three and am happy with the service I have received.
Looking at these online retail sites will give you some ideas about prices and the products that are available. Between looking at the manufacturers and some retail sites, this should give you lots of information to play with.
Remember, to operate a CB radio, you will need an antenna, a radio and a source of power. Almost all of these units operate off of 12 volt DC power. They are intended for mobile operation inside of a car, but can be easily used at home as a base station with a 12 volt DC power supply. Again, this is not complicated or technical. If you are going to put it in your car, you have a power supply. If you are going to use it at home, then you will need a separate 12 volt power supply.
Don't be in a big rush. In the next few posts, we will talk about CB radios, antennas, power supplies and SAFETY.
There is one recommendation I would make. If you are looking for a CB as a means of communication. I would be looking for one that has SSB (single side band) capability. This will narrow your search greatly.
And for fun, check out CB Radio Magazine, this site will answer many of your questions because there is a continuous debate about the best radio or antenna.
We'll talk more later. 73, Frank