The story brought me back to the days of my youth when CB Radio was cool.
I remember the days we spent modifying our radios, buying power mics, and shooting skip. That is the equivalent to working DX.
I'm happy to say I am far beyond those days. I have a CB radio but it no longer works. I have a few Hand Held CB radios I bought several years ago to keep in touch with my wife while camping and taking walks on our 100 acre property.
In June the FCC opened a proceeding -- WT Docket No. 10-119 -- “to simplify, streamline, and update the Part 95 rules to reflect technological advances and changes in the way the American public uses the various Personal Radio Services.” The Citizens Band (CB) Radio Service is one of several Personal Radio Services regulated by Part 95. Three of the CB-related issues raised in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) are of interest to the Amateur Radio Service. On September 3, the ARRL filed comments limited to these issues.
Citizens Band vs Amateur Radio Equipment
In the NPRM, the FCC sought to consolidate the rules pertaining to the modification of certificated CB equipment. The Commission noted that CB equipment that has been modified by the CB operator -- or persons other than the manufacturer -- to operate on unauthorized frequencies or to operate with higher power than authorized often causes interference to other radio services. “Indeed, there are many recent instances of the operation of modified CB equipment (or equipment imported or manufactured domestically with the inherent capability of operating outside the HF CB channels) by unlicensed individuals in the Amateur Radio Service bands,” the ARRL agreed, saying that this interference most often occurs in the 28.000-28.500 MHz segment of the amateur 10 meter band.
Long Distance CB Communication
In the NPRM, the Commission discussed the current prohibition on CB communications between two stations located more than 250 kilometers apart. The rule, Section 95.413(a)(9), is intended to discourage CB skywave communications. This rule, the NPRM states, is necessary because of the need for frequency reuse (what the Commission refers to as a “commons” band regulatory structure). The ARRL supports the existing Part 95 rule against long-distance CB communication.