The CB radio phenomenon: People talking to people (1976-1977)

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1976 Cobra CB radio

The CB radio phenomenon: People talking to people (1977)

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission since March 1974, Richard E. Wiley is ending a five-year term on the commission, during which he played a key role in overseeing the phenomenal CB explosion.

By Richard E. Wiley

People like to talk to other people almost any time, about almost anything.

At the FCC, we think this is an important reason why CB radio is so popular today, and why it will continue to be popular in the future.

Every day, thousands of people join the millions of licensed CBers, discovering a world of enjoyable conversations and learning about the very important public service contributions of CB radio.

The CB Radio Service is your radio service. You do not need any technical training to operate a CB radio. You do not have to take any exams to become licensed in the CB radio service.

Almost anyone can get a CB license, and the temporary permit allows an applicant to get on the air immediately after he has filed a license application. The rules governing CB radio are minimal. and most of them are intended to make your communications easier and more enjoyable.

YOU CAN USE CB radio for almost all of your personal or business communications needs. We know that families often use CB radio to keep communications open between their houses and their automobiles.

Small businesses often use hand-held CB units to communicate among employees within an office building. Boats, especially small pleasure craft, are frequently equipped with CB radios to stay in contact with shore-based units in case of emergency.

CertainlyLCB radio is not without its difficulties. It seems that television interference, or TVI, is a problem that will not go away. We know some interference is caused by faulty home entertainment equipment and we are encouraging manufacturers to install proper filters.

Delco car stereos with CB radio (1977)

We also know that a good deal of TVI is caused by CBers operating with illegal power, and we are dedicating a substantial proportion of our enforcement efforts to fighting the use of linear amplifiers at CB stations.

“Skip” is another problem we are concerned about, especially as we approach the peak of the solar cycle, which is due in 1980. FCC rules prohibit you from deliberately “working skip” because skip can cause interference to other CB stations. But we know that unwanted distant signals will sometimes show up on your radio. While the FCC is studying this problem very carefully, the solution will not be an easy one to find.

For all of its problems, CB radio is an important component of our society’s communications system. We firm y believe that CB radio makes valuable public service contributions every day.

Woolco CB Radio sale: Cobra - 40-channel CB radios (1977)

Highway monitoring patrols, for instance, have assisted many stranded motorists, reported countless accidents and helped homeward-bound travelers avoid sticky rush-hour traffic tie-ups. It certainly is nice to know that help, if you should need it, is only as far away as your CB microphone.

There is a nationwide effort to coordinate motorist calls on CB radio for emergency assistance. It is known as National Emergency Aid Radio — NEAR — and it is now being tested in several states. The program, which is being developed state by state, is sponsored by the Department of Transportation.

The goal of NEAR is to coordinate emergency aid teams, including CB volunteer monitors. Red Cross staffs, state and local police and medical personnel so that a CB-equipped motorist, anywhere in the United States, could always reach assistance in case of emergency.

Vintage Royce CB radios: Everybody was talking 'bout 'em in 1976

Some communities have set up “citizen watch” programs. in which volunteer participants who happen to see a crime in progress can report its details to a volunteer monitor on CB Channel 9. Monitors immediately relay the report to the police.

The volunteers are trained to note license numbers and facial characteristics. They are also reminded regularly to keep away from the scene of the crime. One “citizen watch” program has been established in Washington, DC, and we believe that it is making a substantial contribution to the community.

THE CB Radio Service is your radio service, and CB radio is what you make it.

To be an active supporter of a good CB service:

= Follow the CB rules. They are intended to make your radio service better. If you follow the operating rules while you are “on the air.” your good example will encourage others to operate legally.

= Support CB operator training programs in your communities. If new CB operators are trained in good operating practices, they will help to improve your radio service when they begin to use their equipment.

= Let the FCC know what you are thinking. When we propose changes in the CB rules, send us your opinions, if you have ideas about rules which should be changed or added. we like to hear about that too.

Vintage CB radios - Sentinel May 11 1976
Break break! It’s Woolco for CB value and selection (1976) – From The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) May 11, 1976

At the FCC, we will try to keep the CB rules simple. Whenever we can, we will make the CB rules clearer and more understandable.

We are also preparing informational and educational materials on many aspects of CB radio — material which is available for your use in training classes, at club meetings or for your own information.

We are working on a “plain English” rewrite of the CB rules, so you will be able to understand all of the CB regulations, including some of the more complex operating rules.

Perhaps most importantly, we are listening to you. As indicated, we want to hear your comments. thoughts, suggestions and criticisms. We want to know how we can better serve you and the cause of good radio communications.

If we work together, we can make CB radio even better than it is today. CB radio is for you — use it, enjoy it, and take care of it.

Straight answers about Citizen’s Band (1977)

Q. How much should I spend for a good CB set?

A. Cost will vary dependent upon brand, model and features. For example, you can buy a Browning for as little as $140 or as much as $750. Your decision — whatever the brand — should be based upon your intended use.

Q. With so many brands from which to choose, how can you know you are making a wise decision?

A. The best course is to ask the advice of knowledgeable CBers — your personal “survey” will be well worth the effort.

Q. Where should I go to purchase a CB radio?

A. The CB specialty store is built on electronics know-how and able to give sound advice, installation, service and a wide selection of antennas and accessories.

Browning may not be your first set, but — when you do get serious about CB and begin to discover Browning’s superior performance … you’ll begin to understand why CBers have relied upon the name Browning since Citizens Band began almost two decades ago.

See Browning’s entire line of products at your nearby CB specialty store.

Browning - Straight answers about Citizen's Band (1977)

Pace CB radios – 23 channels and 40 channels (1976)

Now you can buy a 23-channel DB radio that you can update to 40 channels next year

Vintage CB radios - La Crosse Tribune Aug 29 1976

K-Mart automotive CB Radio specials

Anderson Herald Bulletin (December 9, 1976)

  • Deluxe 23-channel CB radio
  • Messenger Radiophone CB
  • Johnson Messenger CB Radio
  • 23-Channel 2-way CB radio
  • Deluxe 23-channel FB radio
  • Deluxe design CB radio
  • Compact digital CB radio

CB-radio-ads-kmart-Anderson Herald Bulletin December 9, 1976

KMart CB radio sale (1976)

  • Johnson Messenger
  • Deluxe 23-channel
  • Messenger Radiophone CB
  • Johnson Deluxe 23-channel CB radio
  • 23-channel 2-way CB radio

Progress Bulletin (Pomona, California) 17 Nov 1976, Wed

CB radios for sale – Cobra & Pace (1977)

The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota)21 Mar 1977, Mon
The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) March 21, 1977

$30 off 40-channel CB radio, $89.95

Cedar Rapids Gazette (October 16, 1977)

cb-radios-Cedar Rapids Gazette October 16, 1977

See the vintage Toot-A-Loop & Panasonic's other wacky portable radios from the '70s

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