We are now entering sunspot cycle number 24, which means more CB radio skip or DX (long distance CB radio communication). For those who still rely on the CB radio band for local communication, such as truck drivers, this is bad news since it means more noise from distant CB stations. For those who enjoy the largely illegal hobby of CB radio DX, these are exciting times.
What Is CB Radio Skip Shooting or CB DX?
In the 1940’s the FCC allocated part of the 11 meter shortwave band for the Citizens Band radio service. Back then there were just a handful of channels. Eventually it became 23 channels, then more recently 40 channels. Both AM and SSB were authorized as modes of use. Single sideband or SSB CB radios effectively create more usable frequencies on the “side” of the frequency where one of the AM sidebands would be modulated. Greater output is possible by concentrating more RF power in a smaller portion of frequency. Single sideband or SSB radios are used for “skip shooting” because of this. Every 11 years or so, the sunspot cycle peaks and 11 meters opens up as a band suitable for worldwide communication. Radiation from the solar storms on the surface of the sun travels toward earth and ionizes the particles in the upper atmosphere or ionosphere, basically creating a sort of “mirrored dome” around the world from which CB radio skip signals are reflected. CB radio skip shooting radio hobbyists, who are often breaking the law in the U.S., try to see if they can talk around the world on just a few watts. An ordinary legal SSB CB radio can be used to talk around the world when conditions are just right. There are CB radio skip shooters in every major country in the world, though it is legal in only a few.
What Are Export SSB CB Radios For Sale?
Export SSB radios for sale for DX are sometimes found at truckstops and on the web, however they are not legal for use in the U.S. If you live in a country that does not regulate the 11 meter CB band, then you may be able to use one of these radios. Export SSB CB radios for sale are legal in many third world countries, but not in the United States. In countries like Brazil they are used in rural areas for communication on large ranches and farms. CB hobbyists have long been lobbing for the release of the entire 11 meter band for hobby use, since it has long been abandoned for commercial use due to the fact that it is neither an ideal band for local or long distance use, due to the effect of sunspot cycles on radio propagation in the band.
Users of export SSB radios for sale for DX often operate on frequencies outside of the FCC’s allocated CB channels. RF output of export CB radios for sale is often higher than the four watts allowed by the FCC. Most models use a frequency counter instead of a 40 position channel switch and can tune above, between and below the normal 40 CB radio channels. Some CB radio skip shooters use modified 10 meter SSB ham radios for 11 meters though this is also illegal.
There is no law against listening, so if you are interested in CB radio DX or skip shooting, you can listen to hobbyists around the world on 11 meters, as well as ham radio operators shooting skip or DX legally on the ham bands, by using as shortwave radio receiver that is SSB capable. Most shortwave receivers are not capable of SSB. Ones like the Grundig below are. Click on the photo below for full details. Sunspot cycle number 24 is heating up, and worldwide CB radio DX is now possible. Just don’t break the law if your country doesn’t allow SSB CB radio DX or skip shooting.