Amateur radio in all it’s many many forms, is still alive and well as amateur radio clubs and associations throughout the world will testify. There are still wonderful reasons to embrace radio as a hobby, as a tool, as a calling.
Anyone who drives long distances knows the challenge of a journey on an unknown road, but it is radio, not the cellphone which keeps drivers in touch. Using citizen’s band radio (CB) anyone can communicate within a short distance, and you don’t need any nonsense like a telephone number.
Although it seems that CB radio, once enormously popular in the 70’s and 80’s, seems to have gone quiet, there are still a huge number of CB rigs sold each year. CB “breakers” provide each other with information about conditions ahead as well as providing something even more valuable, company on a long and often lonely journey.
CB radio also has the advantage of being unlicensed, so without taking an exam or being “approved” you can get started, and since the waveband used by most CB radio’s is 11 metres, hearing stations from a long way away. All you need is a “handle”, a name to go by on air, and to learn some basic etiquette and jargon.
CB sets and antennas aren’t especially complex or hugely expensive. There are quite a few websites online where you can buy complete CB sets. But you have to do some research before you decide to buy any. For that, there are reviews websites such as https://www.cdhpl.com/best-cb-antenna/, where you will find reviews about different antennas. They work without the benefit of an attached network of towers, so if you head off into the wilderness you can be sure your radio will still work as long as you have power for it. Cellphones only wish they could say the same. Of course your radio cant tell you where the nearest Starbucks is or help you surf the net, but it does communicate very well and it can save your life.
Because most radio sets need only a little power, they work well on batteries, including car batteries. This makes them ideal for emergency situations where the power grid is out or where there simply isn’t one. You can put a radio setup in your car, in your home or simply in your hand and wherever you go you can stay in contact. Radio will work during hurricanes and in the middle of desert, it’s the only truly reliable way to yell for help. And if you want to be of service, you too can can play a part by listening for distress calls, on both CB and the amateur bands. For those who adopt it, radio isn’t just communication, it’s almost a way of life.