| A citizens’ band radio user in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
CB is the new buzzword to interact with friends and relatives, offering competition to cellular technology and the Internet. The best part is it comes for free.
The citizens’ band (CB) radio, a system of short distance radio communication, can be used on a particular frequency.
It can help one communicate within a range of 1km to 2km. If the base station is installed in a vehicle, a person can even communicate up to a distance of 10km. What is even more interesting in communicating through CB radio is that many people can talk to each other at the same time. The Patna CB radio network operates on 27.015MHz.
Anyone possessing a CB radio can tune in and talk to the other CB radio user free of cost for lifetime. The only thing one needs to buy is a wireless set and a base station for around Rs 5,000.
Society of Radio Amateurs, a club consisting of ham and CB operators of the capital, has taken the initiative to make residents aware of this mode of communication through the Patna CB Radio Festival that concluded on Sunday. The festival helped increase the number of CB operators from 15 to 35.
The new operators are more than excited to learn the new mode of communication and every one of them had their own reason to opt for the system, which is yet to gain popularity in the city.
On Sunday, Ajay Sinha, a businessman and a new CB radio user, said: “It can be very much useful in communication. Two days back, when I had to seek help after fire broke out in a building, I couldn’t get through anyone because of jammed network. It made me realise the need for an alternative mode of communication. I can talk to five to six persons at a time.”
On what motivated him to become a CB radio operator, Shiraz Ahmed, an automobile engineer, said: “I stay mostly outside on work. On several occasions, I tried to contact my family members on phone but couldn’t. Today, I set up a base station in my vehicle and have given sets to my family members. Now, I can keep in touch with them even if I am not at home. Isn’t it great?”
Vishal Raj Singh, however, had other ideas. “I am very excited to own this CB radio. My friends talk to each other between 9pm and 10pm everyday. CB radio would really make it fun,” he said.
Pranav Shahi, the president of Society of Radio Amateurs, said: “So far, we have got 40 enquiries about the CB radio. Twenty people agreed to set up stations during the two-day fest. We aim at a membership of 50 users in the capital.”