CB FM and APRS?

The FCC recently authorized the use of frequency modulation in the Part 95 11 meter Citizens Band. This action was in response to a petition filed by Cobra Electronics. This change, a clear attempt to generate sales of radios for CB radio manufacturers, could well breathe new life into CB radio.

I think the FCC made a mistake, however, by mandating that new radios having FM capability also have AM capability. While this is intended to provide backward compatability, it would probably be better if the FCC had sunsetted use of AM a few years out. Then we’d be rid of the heterodynes and squeals caused by too many AM signals on the same frequency at the same time.

In the same Report and Order, the FCC authorized the use of position reporting systems on the CB band. Expect to see APRS-like reports using packet FM from GPS enabled portable and mobile radio.

I suggest that we watch for increased interest by the general public. There could be a revival of CB radio as it becomes more usable for local communications. No, we’ll never have a resurgence of the 1970s CB boom, but static free local communications at low cost is going to be attractive to a lot of folks.

73 de K2IE

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