Whether you had a parent who was a trucker or your parent(s) just loved playing around with CB radio equipment, you grew up around CB radios. These car and truck communications devices allowed the CB hobbyist, police and rescue personnel, and truckers to effectively communicate to others while on the road or sitting at home in their basements or hobby shops. If you are still fascinated by these communication devices, you should know that the CB radio has advanced significantly to meet with today's technology. Here is how these devices have changed.
No Air Wave Transmission
Yes, there are still CB radios operating over the air waves. However, the radios that most police and rescue people and several trucking companies use operate via satellite signals and/or 3G, LTE, or LAN signals. This gives the radios greater range and less reliance on signals over the air because the signals are coming from space and/or WiFi connections.
Multiple Channels for Greater Connectivity
CB radios of old had multiple channels, too, but they were more about finding a channel through which to operate rather than connect. In other words, old CB radios had dials for tuning in to working channels on which people were conversing. The newer devices, like the Explorer MSAT G3, allows you to switch channels if communication is dropped on one channel and continue your conversation on another channel without missing a beat. (It is more like a router and less like a radio, but it accomplishes communications tasks all the same.) You can also silence your channel so that your conversation is private, and only the FCC is able to break in to hear what you are saying.
Not Just Regional Communications
Old CB radios required people to be in range of each other. Regional connections were the most easily made, with a limited range of a few hundred miles. These newer, satellite-driven, computer router-like radios not only reach others in the same region of the country, but they also reach the entire nation, and all of the countries within a specific hemisphere. For example, if you live in the U.S. and operate one of these radios, you can reach all of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central/Latin America. As a hobbyist, you could even practice your Spanish with someone from Honduras! That would definitely be something to think about if you want to go into radio communications as a hobby.