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The CB Radio Craze (1970’s)

CB radio closeup

The invention of the CB radio

The CB radio was invented in 1945 by Al Gross, the inventor of the walkie-talkie and owner of the Citizens Radio Corporation.  The radio became popular with small businesses and blue-collar workers like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians who used the radio as a tool to communicate with coworkers. By 1960, the costs to produce the 23-channel radio were low enough that everyday Joes could afford to buy one.  By 1973, coinciding with the onset of the oil crisis, the CB Radio craze erupted.

FCC opens up CB radio channels to the public

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When Al Gross invented the CB radio in 1945, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quickly opened radio services for personal users of the radio. Most countries already had similar radio services. In the United States, Citizen’s Band Radios was assigned the 27-Mhz band. Although today the CB radio does not require a license, at the time of their introduction, the FCC did require a license to operate.

By the 1960’s, CB radio was popular with businesses and radio hobbyists. By the late 1960’s, advancements in solid state electronics allowed the size of the radio to be reduced as well as the cost. Suddenly, the public had access to a communications medium that previously had only been available to specialists. CB radio clubs were formed, and hobbyists developed their own unique CB slang language along with 10-codes similar to the codes used by emergency services.

The CB Radio Craze

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By 1973, the oil crisis caused the cost of gasoline to skyrocket, and shortages developed overnight. In response, the United States government issued a 55 MPH nationwide speed limit. Drivers quickly learned that CB radios could be used to communicate with other drivers, to inform them of gas stations that had gas and to notify speeders where police (smokeys) had speed traps set up. CB radio became so popular, by 1977 additional channels were opened (beyond the original 23) and 40 channel radios were introduced to the market.

Below are the FCC regulated CB radio channels.

FCC Regulated CB Radio Channels
  • 1 26.965 MHz
  • 2 26.975 MHz
  • 3 26.985 MHz
  • 4 27.005 MHz
  • 5 27.015 MHz
  • 6 27.025 MHz
  • 7 27.035 MHz
  • 8 27.055 MHz
  • 9 27.065 MHz
  • 10 27.075 MHz
  • 11 27.085 MHz
  • 12 27.105 MHz
  • 13 27.115 MHz
  • 14 27.125 MHz
  • 15 27.135 MHz
  • 16 27.155 MHz
  • 17 27.165 MHz
  • 18 27.175 MHz
  • 19 27.185 MHz
  • 20 27.205 MHz
  • 21 27.215 MHz
  • 22 27.225 MHz
  • 23 27.255 MHz
  • 24 27.235 MHz
  • 25 27.245 MHz
  • 26 27.265 MHz
  • 27 27.275 MHz
  • 28 27.285 MHz
  • 29 27.295 MHz
  • 30 27.305 MHz
  • 31 27.315 MHz
  • 32 27.325 MHz
  • 34 27.345 MHz
  • 35 27.355 MHz
  • 36 27.365 MHz
  • 37 27.375 MHz
  • 38 27.385 MHz
  • 39 27.395 MHz
  • 40 27.405 MHz

Newsworthy events related to CB radios further added to the excitement. Truck drivers used the radios to organize convoys (huge lines of trucks that travelled down the nation’s highways). In several instances, blockades were organized using CB Radios where trucks would fill all available highway lanes in protest of the high gas prices and new trucking regulations.

CB Radios began to play prominent roles in movies such as Smokey and the Bandit and Movin’ On. Novelty songs about the new electronic toy, such as CW McCall’s Convoy and Cletus Maggard’s White Knight (see lyrics below), were played regularly on the radio and became Top 40 hits.

During the CB radio craze, citizens of Great Britain began illegally using American made CBs. The British government told its citizens that the CB radio would never be legalized on the 27 MHz wavelength and instead, proposed a different technology on the 860 MHz “open channel” instead. The citizens of the United Kingdom took to the streets in high profile public demonstrations and UK government officials bent to the will of the people. Al Gross made the first British ceremonial CB radio call from Trafalgar Square in London. Later the United Kingdom added more than forty channels giving UK citizens 80 CB radio channels to work with.


Years prior, CB radios required a licensed to operate. The license cost about $20 in the early 1970’s and was reduced to $4 in the late 1970’s. In addition, there were many rules and regulations concerning antenna height, distance restrictions, allowable transmitter power, and call sign rules. People ignored the laws and hid their identity, using “handles” or fake names to identify themselves on the radio. After the FCC started receiving over 1,000,000 license applications a month, the license requirement was dropped entirely but as the culture had already developed, people continued using handles such as “Big Mama” or “Timberwolf” to identify themselves while on the air.

Some celebrity handles included Betty Ford, a former First Lady of the United States, whose CB handle was “First Mama”, and voice actor Mel Blanc , an active CB Radio operator, often used the CB handles Bugs or Daffy and talked over the air in the Los Angeles area using his many voices.

CB radio channels

Channels evolved to fill specific purposes. For instance, channel 9 was kept open for emergency use and channel 19 was used for highway communication west of the Mississippi River. Eventually channel 19 became the “trucker’s channel” and was used for highway communication all over the United States. In the early days of the CB radio craze, channel 11 was used solely for the purpose of initiating communications (after which the two radio callers switched to a mutually agreed upon channel). Towns that were close together often adopted a specific channel as their “home” channel so that they could communicate with each other.

Talking the Talk

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CD etiquette developed and evolved during the CD radio craze. CB radios were intended to be used to warn other drivers of Smokeys up the road or to report roadside emergencies. Chit chatting with other CB radio users is ok, but it is not considered courteous to hold up a channel for more than a few minutes. Cursing is also frowned upon.

It is common for CB radio operators to use hidden code or unique slang to communicate. For instance, when giving a warning that a police officer is running a hidden speed trap, they might say “smokey in the bush” or to warn truckers to watch out for a broken-down school bus they might say “watch out for the kiddy car at mile marker 200”.  Many of the CB slang from the 1970’s hung around and became slang that continued to be used outside the realm of CB radio communications.  Below is a large list of CB radio slang used during the 1970’s CB radio craze.

CD Radio slang from a to z
  • ACE – an important or well-known CB radio operator
  • Apple – a person who is addicted to CB radio
  • AF -Audio Frequency
  • Afterburner – Linear amplifier
  • ALERT – Affiliated League of Emergency Radio Teams
  • All the good numbers – good luck and best wishes to all
  • Alligator – shredded tread from the tires of an 18-wheeler truck
  • Amigo – friend or good buddy
  • ANL – Automatic noise limiter
  • Ankle biter- a little kid
  • Antenna Farm- a CB radio station with many antennas strung up in the air
  • Antler Alley – an area known for deer crossings
  • Appliance Operator – degrading term for a non-technical person who barely knows how to turn on their radio
  • AM -Amplitude Modulation
  • Ancient Mariner – someone who uses AM radio
  • Baby Bear – a rookie police officer
  • Backdoor – vehicle behind the one who is ahead of it.
  • Backdoor closed – the rear of a convoy with trucks stacked across the lanes to keep the Smokeys out
  • Back em up – slow down or reduce speed
  • Back off the hammer – slow down or reduce speed
  • Backslide – return trip from a trucker’s run
  • Bad scene – a crowded CB radio channel
  • Ballet Dancer – a CB radio antenna that sways and bends in the wind
  • Base Station – a CB radio installed at a fixed location such as a house
  • Beast  -a very good CB radio rig
  • Beam – Directional Antenna
  • Bean House Bull – trucker conversation carried on at a truck stop
  • Bear Bait – a speeding car
  • Bear Cage- police station or jail cell
  • Bear Cave – police station
  • Bearmobile – police car
  • Bear Trap – stationary police car running a radar trap
  • Bear in the air- police in their helicopter
  • Bear – police officer
  • Beat the bushes – driving ahead of the other truckers to draw the police out of hiding
  • Beaver – good looking female
  • Beaver Bear – female police officer
  • Beaver Fever – missing the wife or girlfriend
  • Beaver Palace – a club or bar known for loose female patrons
  • Beaver Patrol – looking for a good-looking woman to spend time with
  • Big Charlie or Big Daddy – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Big Mack – Mack truck
  • Big Slab – freeway or highway
  • Big 10-4- hearty agreement.
  • Bit on the seat of the britches – pulled over and issued a speeding ticket
  • Black and White – police car
  • Black Ice – patch of iced over blacktop road
  • Bleeding/Bleedover – strong signals from a base station on another channel that interferes with another channel’s reception
  • Blew my doors off – car passed by at high speed
  • Blue Slip- speeding ticket
  • Boast Toastie – CB expert
  • Boat Anchor – an old, broken radio that can no longer be repaired
  • Bodacious- Awesome
  • Boy Scouts – State Police
  • Box -Tractor Trailer
  • Break (or breaker, break for) – request to use the channel
  • Breaking Up – CB radio reception is poor
  • Breaking the ‘ol needle – very strong CB radio signal
  • Bring it back – answer the question that was posed
  • Brown paper bag – unmarked Police car
  • Bubble gum machine- police car with flashing lights
  • Bucket Mouth – obnoxious radio operator or someone who cusses a lot on the air
  • Bug Out – signing off or leaving the radio channel
  • Bumper Lane – the left most passing lane
  • Button Pusher – another CB radio operator who is trying to breakup your communication with another station by keying the microphone
  • Camera -police radar
  • Candy Man – Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Casa – house
  • Cash Register – toll booth
  • Catch you on the flip-flop – will talk to you on my return trip
  • Channel 25 – the telephone
  • Charlie – Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Chew and choke – Restaurant or truck stop eatery
  • Checking My Eyelinds For Pin Holes – I am tired or sleepy
  • Check the seatcovers – look at that passenger in the passing car
  • Chicken Coup – weigh station
  • Chicken Coup is Clean – weigh station is closed.
  • Chicken Inspector – weigh station inspector
  • Chopped Top- a very short antenna
  • Christmas Card – speeding ticket
  • Chrome Dome – a mobile radio with a dome antenna on top of the car
  • Clean Cat – an unmodified CB radio
  • Clean Shot – the road ahead is free of obstructions, construction, and police
  • Cleaner channel – CB radio channel with less traffic on it
  • Clear – Final transmission “This is 505 and I’m clear”
  • Clear after you – you are ending transmission after the other person finishes signing off
  • Coffee Bean – Waiter or waitress
  • Cold Rig – 18-wheeler pulling a refrigerated trailer
  • Collect Call – call for a specific CB radio operator
  • Colorado Kool Aid – beer
  • Come again – repeat your last transmission
  • Come Back – answer my call
  • Comic Book  -truckers logbook
  • Coming in Loud ‘n Proud – loud and clear signal
  • Concrete Blonde – prostitute
  • Convoy – 2 or more vehicles traveling the same route in a row
  • Cooking – driving
  • Cooking Good – reached desired speed.
  • Copy – receiving a message
  • Copying the mail – listening to the communications on the channel
  • County Mountie – county police or sheriff
  • Covered Up – transmission was blocked by interference
  • Crack ’em Up – traffic accident
  • Cradle Baby – radio operator who is afraid to ask someone to stand by
  • Cup of Mud – cup of coffee
  • Cut Out – leaving the channel
  • Cut Some Z’s – get some sleep
  • Cut The Coax – turn off the radio
  • Daddy-O – Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Dead Pedal – slow moving car or truck
  • Dead Key – keying the mike without talking
  • Decoy – empty or unmanned police car
  • Diesel Digit – channel 19
  • Diesel Juice – truck fuel
  • Dime Channel – channel 10
  • Dirty Side – Eastern Seaboard
  • Dixie Cup – female operator with southern accent
  • Doing the Five-Five- traveling at 55mph
  • Doin’ it to it – Full speed
  • Doing our thing in the left-hand lane – full speed in the passing or left-hand lane
  • Do it to me – answer back
  • Do you copy? – Do you understand?
  • Don’t Tense – calm down
  • Don’t Feed The Bears – don’t get a ticket
  • Double key – two radio operators talking at the same time
  • Double L – telephone call
  • Double Nickel – 55mph (the speed limit during the 1970’s CB radio craze)
  • Down “˜n Out or Down and gone – signing off
  • Down and on the side – through talking but will continue listening
  • Drag Your Feet – wait a few seconds before transmitting to see if someone else wants to break in
  • Dream Weaver – sleepy driver who is weaving across the lanes
  • Dress For Sale – prostitute or dressed like a prostitute
  • Drop Out – fading signal
  • Drop Stop Destination – where freight will be dropped off
  • Drop the Hammer – drive fast
  • Dropped it off the shoulder – ran off the shoulder of the road
  • Dusted your britches – keyed up at the same time
  • Dusted my britches – passed me very fast
  • Dusted Your Ears- transmission interrupted
  • DX – Long Distance
  • Eager beaver – anxious young woman
  • Ears ON – CB radio turned ON
  • Eights or Eighty-eights – love and kisses
  • Eights and other good numbers – love and kisses, and best wishes
  • Eighty-eight’s around the house – good luck and best wishes to you and yours
  • Eyeball- Personal meeting
  • Everybody must be walking the dog – all channels are busy
  • Evil Knievel – motorcycle policeman
  • Fake brake – driver riding with his foot on the brake
  • Fat load – overweight or big truck load
  • Feed The Bears – paying a speeding fine
  • Fender bender – traffic accident
  • Fifty Dollar Lane – passing lane
  • First Sargent – wife
  • Flag waver – highway repair crew
  • Flaps down – slow down
  • Flappers -ears
  • Flip flop – return trip
  • Flip-Flopping Bears – police reversing direction or turning around
  • Flop it – turn around
  • Flop box – motel or room in truck stop
  • FM – Frequency Modulation
  • Follow the stripes home – have a safe trip
  • Footwarmer – Linear amplifier
  • Forty weight – coffee
  • Four Wheeler – Car
  • Four lane parking lot – highway with traffic backed up
  • Four legged go-go dancers – ugly women
  • Fox – pretty female
  • Fox Charlie Charlie – FCC
  • Fox hunt – FCC hunting for illegal operators
  • Fox jaws – Female with nice voice, but not necessarily a body to match
  • Free Ride – prostitute
  • Freight Box – trailer for the truck
  • Friendly Candy Company – FCC
  • Front Door – the lead in a convoy
  • Full of vitamins – running all out
  • Full Bore – driving fast as you can
  • Full Throttle – driving fast as the truck will let you
  • Funny Candy Company – FCC
  • Funny channels – channels that are outside the legal band
  • Gallon – 1000 watts of power
  • Garbage – too much small talk on a channel
  • Gas Jockey – gas station attendant
  • Gear – overnight bag or supplies
  • Get horizontal – go to sleep
  • Get Trucking – start driving
  • Girlie Bear – female police officer
  • Give me a shout – call me on the radio
  • Glory Card – Class D License
  • Go Breaker – OK to go ahead and break into the channel
  • Go Ahead – your turn to talk or reply
  • Go Juice – truck fuel
  • Go to channel 41 – a joke to get someone off the radio (there is no channel 41)
  • Going Horizontal – going to sleep
  • Gone – leaving the channel
  • Gone 10-7 – permanently dead
  • Good Buddy – friend (modern day means homosexual)
  • Goon Squad – people who do not share the channel
  • Got my shoes on – Switched the linear ON
  • Got your ears on? – are you listening on this channel
  • Got my eyeballs peeled – looking hard
  • Got my foot in it – speeding up
  • Go to 100 – go to the bathroom
  • Green Stamps – cash money
  • Green Stamp Collector – police with radar
  • Green Stamp lane – passing lane
  • Green Stamp Road – toll road.
  • Grease monkey – mechanic
  • Greasy Spoon – restaurant with bad food
  • Ground Clouds – fog
  • Gypsy – trucker who drives for an independent company
  • Hack – taxicab
  • Hag Feast – group of female CB radio operators on the channel
  • Haircut palace – bridge or overpass with low clearance
  • Hairpin – sharp curve
  • Hamburger helper – Linear Amp
  • Hammer – gas pedal
  • Hammer Off – slow down
  • Hammer Down – speed up
  • Hang it in your ear – that was a stupid comment
  • Handle – CB radio code name
  • Hay Shaker – truck transporting a mobile home
  • Heading for a hole – about to head into a low spot where radio transmission may not be possible
  • Heater – Linear amplifier
  • Hell bent for leather – driving fast
  • Hiding in the grass – police parked on a median strip
  • Hiding in the bushes, sitting under the leaves – hidden police car
  • Highball – drive non-stop to the destination
  • High Rise – large bridge or overpass
  • Hippie Chippie – female hitchhiker
  • Hip Pocket – glove box
  • Hit the cobblestones – hit the road
  • Hog – Harley Davidson
  • Home Twenty – location of your home
  • How tall are you? – How tall is your truck?
  • Hundred mile coffee – very strong coffee
  • Ice Box – Refrigerated trailer.
  • Idiot Box – TV set
  • In a short – soon
  • In a short-short – very soon
  • In the mud – noise on the channel
  • In the Pokey with Smokey – arrested
  • Jack – good friend
  • Jack Rabbit – police officers
  • Jam – deliberately interfere with another station.
  • Japanese toy – CB
  • Jargon – CB lingo
  • Jaw Jacking – talking, talking needlessly
  • Jewelry – lights on a rig
  • Jingle – call on the telephone
  • Johnny Law – police officer
  • Juke Joint – small or out-of-the-way place to eat
  • Jump Down – switch to a lower channel
  • Jump Up – switch to a higher channel
  • Keep ’em Between the Ditches – have a safe trip
  • Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down – drive safely
  • Keep the wheels spinning – drive safely
  • Keep your noise between the ditches and smokey out of your britches – drive carefully, lookout for police
  • Keying the mike – activating the microphone without speaking
  • Kicker – Linear amplifier
  • Kiddie car – school bus
  • Knock the stack out – speed up
  • Knuckle Buster – fight
  • Kojak – police officer
  • Kojak with a Kodak – policeman with a radar
  • Lady Bear – female police officer
  • Lady Breaker – Female CB operator asking for a break.
  • Lame – broken down vehicle
  • Land Line – telephone
  • Land Yacht – mobile home or camper
  • Lane Flipper – car or truck that keeps changing lanes
  • Lane Lover – driver who will not get out of the lane
  • Latrine Lips – radio operator who cusses
  • Let the channel roll – it’s ok to break in and request use of the channel
  • Legal Beagle – person who always follows the rules
  • Lettuce – money
  • Lights green, bring on the machine – road is clear of police and other slowdowns
  • Linear – RF amplifier
  • Little Bear – local police officer
  • Little Beaver – daughter
  • Little Bit – prostitute
  • Little Brother – friend
  • Local Bear – local police officer
  • Local Yokel – small town police officer
  • Log some Z’s – get some sleep
  • Loot Limo – armored car
  • M20 – place to meet
  • Magic Mile – the end of a trip
  • Mama – girlfriend or wife
  • Mama Bear – female police officer
  • Man in White – doctor
  • Mashing the mike – keying the mike (usually without talking)
  • Meatwagon – ambulance.
  • Modulate – talk
  • Modulating – talking
  • Money Bus – armored truck
  • Motion Lotion – fuel
  • Motorcycle Mama – woman riding on a motorcycle
  • Muck Truck – cement truck
  • Nap Trap – hotel or another place to sleep
  • Negative – no
  • Negative Copy – did not hear
  • Neon, Freon, Ion Jockey – truck driver with many lights on his rig
  • Nightcrawlers – many police in the area
  • Niner – channel 9
  • Ninety Weight – alcohol
  • Oil burner – diesel truck
  • On the by or on the standby – listening but not talking.
  • One foot on the floor, one hanging out the door, and she just won’t do no more – driving as fast as I can
  • Other Half – girlfriend or wife
  • Out – through transmitting
  • Over – your turn to transmit
  • Over modulation – talking so loudly that audio is distorted
  • Pack it in – ending transmission
  • Pair of sevens – no contact or answer
  • Papa Bear – state trooper with CB radio
  • Paper hanger – police giving ticket
  • Parking Lot – traffic jam
  • Pavement Princess – prostitute
  • Peanut butter in his ears – is not listening
  • Pedal to the metal – drive fast
  • Peeling Off – getting of the freeway
  • Plain Wrapper – unmarked police car
  • Play Dead – stand by
  • Picture taking machine – radar
  • Pit Stop – stop for a bathroom break
  • Popcorn – hal
  • Porcupine – car with a lot of antennas on it
  • Pounding the pavement – waking
  • Press some sheets – sleep
  • Pull the hammer back – slow down
  • Pull the plug – signoff and turn the radio off
  • Put an eyeball on him – saw or see
  • Put it on the floor and looking for some more – trying to drive as fast as possible
  • QSL Card – Personalized postcard sent to confirm a conversation
  • QSK – break
  • QRM – noise or interference
  • Q-R-Mary – nose or interference
  • QSY – changing channels/frequency.
  • QRT – signing off
  • QRX – wait
  • QSB – noise
  • QSO – conversation
  • QTH – location
  • Quasar – female
  • Radio Runt – child breaking in on a channel.
  • Rain Locker – shower
  • Rake the leaves – last vehicle in a convoy
  • Ratchet-Jaw – non-stop talker
  • REACT – Radio Emergency Associated Citizens Teams
  • Rebound – return trip
  • Red Lighted – pulled over by police
  • REST – Radio Emergency Safety Teams
  • RF – Radio Frequency
  • Road Jockey – truck driver
  • Road Ranger – police officer
  • Rock – slang for crystal
  • Rockin’ chair – car in the middle of a convoy
  • Roger – O.K.
  • Roller Skate – car
  • Rolling – driving
  • Rolling Bears – police officers driving
  • Rugrats – children
  • Rubberneckers – onlookers
  • Running Barefoot – using a radio at the legal output
  • Running on rags – driving a vehicle with little to no tread on the tires.
  • Running Shotgun – driving partner
  • San Quentin Jailbait – under age female hitch hiker
  • Seatcover – good looking female
  • Shaking the windows – loud and clear reception
  • Shim – illegally amplified transmitter
  • Shoot the breeze – casual conversation
  • Shovelling coal – speeding up
  • Show-off lane – passing lane
  • Skip – atmospheric conditions that cause signals to travel much farther than they normally would
  • Skippers – radio operators talking long distance
  • Sidedoor – passing lane
  • Sitting in the saddle – middle truck in a convoy
  • “S” Meter – meter on your radio which indicates the signal strength
  • Smokey – State Police
  • Smokey Bear – State Police
  • Smokey report – police location report
  • Smokey Dozing – police sitting in a parked car
  • Smokey’s thick – police are everywhere
  • Smokey with a camera – police with radar
  • Smokey with ears – policeman with CB radio in their car
  • Somebody stepped on you – someone transmitted while you were talking
  • Splatter – bleedover from another channel
  • Squelch – control on radio which silences the speaker until a signal of a certain strength breaks through it
  • Three’s and eights – signing off, best wishes
  • Thin – very weak signal
  • Twelves – I have company present
  • Twenty – Location
  • Two Stool beaver – very fat woman
  • Uncle Charlie – FCC
  • Walking on you – someone talking over you
  • Wall-to-wall and treetop tall – strong, clear signal
  • Wall-to-wall and ten feet tall – strong clear signal
  • Warden – girlfriend or wife
  • Watch the pavement – drive safely
  • Water hole – truck stop
  • Wear your bumper out – following too close
  • Wearing socks – has linear amplifier
  • What am I putting on you? – how strong is my signal
  • What’s your twenty? – what is your location
  • Whip – long CB antenna
  • Who do you pull for? – who do you work for?
  • Wooly Bear – female
  • Z’s – Sleep

CB radio 10-codes

In addition to CB radio slang, CB radio operators used a series of “10 codes” similar to the codes used by emergency radio operators.

The Complete CB 10 codes
  • 10-1 Receiving Poorly
  • 10-2 Receiving Well
  • 10-3 Stop Transmitting
  • 10-4 Ok, Message Received
  • 10-5 Relay Message
  • 10-6 Busy, Stand By
  • 10-7 Out of Service, Leaving Air
  • 10-8 In Service, subject to call
  • 10-9 Repeat Message
  • 10-10 Transmission Completed, Standing By
  • 10-11 Talking too Rapidly
  • 10-12 Visitors Present
  • 10-13 Advise weather/road conditions
  • 10-16 Make Pickup at…
  • 10-17 Urgent Business
  • 10-18 Anything for us?
  • 10-19 Nothing for you, return to base
  • 10-20 My Location is ……… or What’s your Location?
  • 10-21 Call by Telephone
  • 10-22 Report in Person too ……
  • 10-23 Stand by
  • 10-24 Completed last assignment
  • 10-25 Can you Contact …….
  • 10-26 Disregard Last Information/Cancel Last Message/Ignore
  • 10-27 I am moving to Channel ……
  • 10-28 Identify your station
  • 10-29 Time is up for contact
  • 10-30 Does not conform to FCC Rules
  • 10-32 I will give you a radio check
  • 10-33 Emergency Traffic at this station
  • 10-34 Trouble at this station, help needed
  • 10-35 Confidential Information
  • 10-36 Correct Time is ………
  • 10-38 Ambulance needed at ………
  • 10-39 Your message delivered
  • 10-41 Please tune to channel ……..
  • 10-42 Traffic Accident at ……….
  • 10-43 Traffic tie-up at ………
  • 10-44 I have a message for you
  • 10-45 All units within range please report
  • 10-50 Break Channel
  • 10-62 Unable to copy, use phone
  • 10-62sl unable to copy on AM, use Sideband – Lower (not an official code)
  • 10-62su unable to copy on AM, use Sideband – Upper (not an official code)
  • 10-65 Awaiting your next message/assignment
  • 10-67 All units comply
  • 10-70 Fire at …….
  • 10-73 Speed Trap at …………
  • 10-75 You are causing interference
  • 10-77 Negative Contact
  • 10-84 My telephone number is ………
  • 10-85 My address is ………..
  • 10-91 Talk closer to the mike
  • 10-92 Your transmitter is out of adjustment
  • 10-93 Check my frequency on this channel
  • 10-94 Please give me a long count
  • 10-95 Transmit dead carrier for 5 sec.
  • 10-99 Mission completed, all units secure
  • 10-100 Need to take a break
  • 10-200 Police needed at ……….

How to operate a CB radio

There is an etiquette that CB radio operators follow to be “polite” and courteous to the other CB radio users.  The following rules should always be followed.

ltd by browning advertisement cb magazine november 1973

When two or more people are talking on a channel they are said to “own the channel”.  FCC regulations require they give other users an opportunity to use the channel so they should not hold the channel hostage for more than several minutes.

CB radio users should not “step on” other units.  “Step on” means to transmit at the same time another radio operator is transmitting.  They should also never key over someone else.

If you hear one unit break for another unit, give some time for the unit to respond before you say anything yourself.  It may take a radio user time to grab the mic or get from the kitchen to the living room radio unit.

After your break has been acknowledged, keep the next transmission short.  For example, a break might go something like this: “Break one-nine for Super Trooper.  Super Trooper, do you have your ears on?”.  If Super Trooper does not answer after a minute or so, it is nice to acknowledge that you are finished by saying something like “thanks for the break”.

If you are carrying on a conversation and someone “walks over” you, you have one of two options.  You can ask the person you were speaking to repeat.  For example, “10-9, you were stepped on.  Please repeat”.  Alternatively, you can hand the channel over to the breaker.

If your break is not acknowledged, wait several minutes before attempting to contact them again.

White Knight song lyrics

White Knight (by Cletus Maggard and the Citizen’s Band)

cledus maggard and the citizen band the white knight

The White Knight was a popular CB radio song in 1976 – it charted at #1 on the radio charts.  The song tells the story of a truck driver who receives a CB call from an individual claiming to be a truck driver.  Identifying himself as the White Knight, the other driver assists the trucker by offering tips on where the smokeys were hiding.  Unfortunately, the White Knight turns out to be a highway patrolman who has used the CB radio to broadcast misleading traffic information to truck drivers, luring them into a speed-trap. Here are the complete lyrics:

Down 75 or 85,
Or I-20 t’other way,
Turn your squelch to the right
And in the night
You’ll hear some good buddy say,
“Breaker breaker,
Got a picture taker,
All Smokeys at forty three.”

It’s that Japanese toy,
The trucker’s joy
That everybody calls CB.
Yeah, Citizen’s Band, keeps you up to date
On fender benders and Tijuana taxis,
And all them bears out there a flip floppin’

Now ahead of your children and ahead of your wife
On the list of the ten best things in life,
Your CB’s gotta rate right around number four.
‘Course beavers and hot biscuits and Merle Haggard
Come one, two, three, you know.

Well I was loaded down, coming outta Lake City;
I was checkin’ out seat covers, young and pretty,
When all of a sudden there come a call
Over my CB, ringin’ wall to wall,
Said clove her double nickels till you hit the ridge,
‘Cause there’s a Smokey picture taker t’other side of the bridge.

“Oh mercy, ‘ppreciate that, good buddy;
What’s your handle there, come on?
You got any county mounties out there prowlin’, come on?”
And he said —

“Ten four…back door,
Put the peddle to the metal and…let it roar
Hammer down…to Macon town…
Gonna see my momma for sure.
Well, the bears are gone,
Let’s…bring it on…
The Georgia line’s…out of sight.
Pulled outta Richmond town last Saturday night,
And my handle is…the White Knight,
How ’bout it?”

“All right, White Knight, hammer down,
You got the mean machine here.”
I was a streakin’
My needle was a peakin’
A right around seventy nine.
That old diesel juice
Was a gettin’ loose,
And everything was fine.
But wall to wall
I got a call
Front door, big bear trapper.
Said, “Break one nine,
Good buddy of mine,
You got a Smokey in a plain white wrapper.”

Well I jammed my stick,
I lost twenty quick;
You could hear them gears a tearin’.
I got passed by a beaver,
And a Camaro,
I was cruisin’ alone
And going so slow
I could count every button on that frilly blouse she was wearin’.

‘Course there weren’t but one.

“Hey there, super trooper!
Yeah — that’s the crafty Smokey over there with a CB of his own.
Hey White Knight, let’s slide one on the super trooper, come on?”

“Ten four, back door.
Put the peddle to the metal, whatcha…waitin’ for?
That old flop
Can’t stay in sight,
Gonna leave you here and say no more,
How ’bout it?”

“Whoa, now, buddy, that’s fightin’ talk,
I’d get up there and blow your doors off!”

Well I hammered down like I had wings,
Little gravels in my wheels going ping, ping, ping.
‘Bout the time I hit ninety-two,
Saw something flashing’ in my rear view.
Thought to myself that can’t be true,
But there it was, old blue, blue, blue.

Uh oh. Bubble gum machine done hit the jackpot.

Well I could see that bear, laughing big,
Hangin’ in tight on the back of my rig.
Right there and then it came to be wall to wall.

So in that cold dark Georgia night,
In the shadows of Smokey bear’s blue light,
I ‘cided to make me just one more CB call.

“Breaker one nine for the super trooper,
Hey there, Smokey old buddy, tell me if I’m right,
Are you my front door? Are you the White Knight? Come on?”
And he said —

“Ten four, back door.
You’re in a heap of trouble boy…that’s for sure.
Gonna read you your rights and treat you fair.
Pull over there,
With your…rockin’ chair.
Want you boys to know each other real well,
‘Cause you gonna be sharin’ the same jail cell.
You make twelve cotton pickers I’ve caught tonight,
From the front door of that White Knight.
How ’bout it?
Forty miles over the speed limit!
You boys gonna be here a spell.

That’s it, cotton pickers, I’ve done been grounded;
My tail’s in jail, my rig impounded.
So when you’re comin’ through the Georgia night,
Don’t ever get no front door called the White Knight.

No sir. Wind up in the pokey with Smokey.
I’m gonna pull that old CB thing out by the wires.
I don’t care if it is..

Image Credits

LTD by Browning advertisement CB Magazine November 1973 via CB Magazine with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use). Browning Laboratories Inc.
My friend, Al Gorss Inventor of the "Walkie-Talkie" via Wikipedia Commons by Kb7use with usage type - Public Domain. 1999

Featured Image Credit

CB radio closeup via
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