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General Articles - Editorials

Old School CB Radio or Youthful Handheld

Article written by Icky

Date Added: 02/28/2010

There was a time that CB radio?s ruled the trails, highways, and any other situation needing mobile communication. In recent years though, handheld radios have gotten considerably cheaper and more popular. Like Grandma? is it time to retire the CB radio?

CB radios are becoming harder to find. There was a time that everyone sold them. Wal-mart had several options. Radio Shack always had plenty of options and an even greater amount in stock. There is a reason for this scarcity, like Grandma, these radios are relics.

The similarities with Grandma don?t stop there. Neither has great range, both at times seem to have a lot of static with little clarity, and they both need maintenance.

Looking to replace CB radios are these little handheld radios. Improvements in electronics have allowed them to be smaller, cheaper, and very efficient on batteries. Some of the little handhelds even work with CB radio frequencies.

These little handheld radios seem to do it all: weather band, FM radio, temperature, and even work as a communication device. It makes it had to criticize this new generation of communication.

With the handheld radio seemingly doing it all; why would you even consider using a CB? To explain, I defer to grandma. Sure she is over the hill, and pretty much worn out, but she still makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Well the CB radio similarly makes the best trail option for communication. Handheld radios rely on batteries, are easily misplaced, and can get away from you.

Let?s look at that last comment again, ?can get away from you.? CB radios are hard mounted in a vehicle. They can?t get lost or ?get away from you.? Time and again I have witnessed this on the trail when a vehicle rolls or flops on its side. That handy little handheld radio goes skittering away while scattering its contents, the batteries.

Let?s rejoin that rolled or flopped vehicle. If you have ever experienced this you know that the seat belts will not necessarily release until the pressure of your hanging body is off the latch. So what do you do? If you have a CB radio you ran reach over and grab the mic to radio for some assistance.

If you didn?t install a CB radio? well I?m sure someone will eventually come along to help you. While you wait, if you can reach the cooler you might just have one of grandma?s killer PB&J.

Final Thoughts

Proper trail etiquette is that no one in the group should be far enough apart to not see the vehicle in front and behind them. While this is how things SHOULD work, people don't always pay close attention and need some sort of communication device.

Sure I carry a hip new little radio in the Jeep and use it frequently. But neither me nor the guys I wheel with would be caught dead (haning upside down by our stuck seatbelt) without our CB radios.

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