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Saturday 16 May 2020

Keeping a CB radio in the boot of your car for emergencies

Back in the 80s it was possible to obtain emergency CBs that you put in the boot of your car and deployed if you had a breakdown, CB back then was in constant use and channel 9 generally respected as an emergency channel, the original Radiocommunications Agency leaflet, which predates Ofcom and also from the era that CB radio required a £15 annual licence to operate, stated to respect operating conventions and keep channel 9 clear for emergency use but it also stipulated the same thing Ofcom do today, that 9 is no substitute for 999 or marine channel 16, the document is RA369 and is on the UK National Archives, along with the rest of the RA website which includes that channel 9 be kept clear for emergencies but is was not a licence condition nor was is protected from abuse, though it was monitored, but today it is not so, or at least at present anyway and it is still traditionally seen as an emergency channel.

Today emergency kits are not made brand new or sold, however very compact CB radios are available and they generally have a cigarette lighter plug on them, a small compact antenna with a magmount is all you really need, and an SWR meter for tuning it initially, the compact Dial-A-Match antennas are ideal for this because they are relatively easy to tune, though the range is limited there is still a chance that if you need to call for help you WILL be heard.

I have put a video onto YouTube covering these points and it's included below for you to see, as I am trying to encourage people to use CBs mobile before I put my proposal to HM Government that these radios be made mandatory equipment, that way the benefits can be seen before I do so, however I'm keeping this on hold until COVID-19 is dealt with.

Do remember though that Channel 9 is an emergency channel it is not always monitored and calling for help on 19 may work as long as the burner brigade aren't jamming it but there are 40 channels in total on the UK block so someone will be there somewhere

73 de M0WNU/26CT730

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