27Mhz down, but not yet out
It is easy to dismiss 27Mhz CB as a relic of a bygone era, but a dedicated group of enthusiasts is keeping the band alive.
Whilst no longer the tool of choice for local area communications, a community of CB DX enthusiasts continues to work 27Mhz both in Australia and internationally. It may not be the renaissance that some users had been hoping for, but a number of passionate 27Mhz stations is testament to the fact that there’s still life left in community.
We interviewed Owen (who identifies as Station 641) in Rockhampton, Central Queensland to gain a better insight to the nature of the 27Mhz community.
CBR: What attracts you to 27Mhz CB? What aspects do you enjoy the most?
641: “In the beginning I was attracted to 27Mhz from stories told by dad about the days where 27Mhz was the latest thing and everybody had one. But oddly [I] started off on the UHF before getting a 27Mhz radio. The aspects I enjoy the most are being able to talk to a station far away using nothing but mother nature on the days she allows conditions on the band.”
CBR: What are some of the most interesting contacts you’ve made?
641: “The most interesting contact I have made would have to be another Owen from Tasmania. The longest would be contact with a station in Hawaii.”
CBR: Is there still an active community of local 27Mhz users or are stations mostly working DX?
641: “There are still 5 operators in my local community and one in the next town over that we are able to make contact with without DX conditions. But working DX is our entertainment.”
CBR: What would you recommend to new people who are looking at getting involved in 27Mhz CB?
641: “Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions – there is no right or wrong way to do things; what works for someone else might not work for you.”
CBR: How do you feel the hobby has changed over the past few years?
641: “Sadly over the years conditions into other countries such as Europe and new Zealand have become less frequent and more of the older decent operators passing [away]. The hobby is starting to lose traction against things like social media and it [has] been as easy as picking up the phone if you want to talk overseas.”
CBR: Where do you see the hobby heading in the future?
641: “The future of radio communications will always have a place, but the future of the hobby in my opinion doesn’t look good, and if none of the younger generation get interested it could come to [an] end.”