What you will find on this site

This site has been put together for you to enjoy, reminisce, use as a catalogue or just have a look at a short-lived time in Australian history of the Citizen Band (CB) radio boom.

A flood of CB radios and accessories, many uniquely Australian brands, entered the market place in enormous numbers in the mid-to-late 1970's. Everyone who could get their hands on equipment wanted to get on the band wagon and sell CB radios, even though in the mid 1970's it was illegal to use.

Chemists, supermarkets, petrol stations, T.V. repair shops, department stores, news agents, camera stores, tyre centres, auto accessory retailers, electrical wholesalers and retailers, dedicated CB radio stores and many others were selling them. Retailers who specialised in CB would have them stacked from floor-to-ceiling with every conceivable radio and accessory available. You could purchase small AM-only sets or AM/SSB units for your car or large base radios with built-in power supplies for use on your desk at home. Check out the dealer map, zoom in to the major cities and see the numerous outlets around in the late 1970's.

The CB boom

When the boom hit Australia, almost everybody knew about CB radio, a lot of people owned at least one and you made a lot of new friends when you did. Remember the first time you heard those voices coming from this shiny black box, you spoke and it answered. Some of you may have had a visit from the dreaded R.I. (departmental Radio Inspector) because of the interference to the neighbours old TV set, enjoyed social events with fellow members from radio clubs or chatted to other CBer's while driving to work.You may have good memories from back then, making new friends, male and female, the great conversations you had with your mates into the wee small hours, hearing all those voices and being able to hear the whole bunch laugh at your good or bad jokes. If this brings back memories you may recall the radio you used most or really wanted to own, this maybe a reason to grab a piece of your past, remember, once you own it, you have it and it cost virtually nothing to run, bar the odd repair bill.

It is quite hard to emulate the excitement of the time, but radios, accessories and articles will be added to this site in the hope that you may have some idea of how popular the medium was, and how much effort the public put into making CB Radio legal. By late 1978 there were around 750 nationally registered CB Clubs and probably many more. CB was not only a big city phenomenon as many CB clubs were registered in small country towns. Even Parker Brother's the makers of the board game "Monopoly" released a CB Radio board game called "10-4 Good Buddy". In just one 148 page issue of a popular monthly CB magazine alone, it was filled with 70 different suppliers of CB radio's and accessories. Even with that many outlets, for months on end customers would stand four deep at shop counters to purchase CB radio equipment. From one retailer, stock would arrive and almost as soon as it had been checked it was sold, selling a months worth of stock in a week! This was not the same everywhere, but it shows you the popularity of CB radio in it's heyday. However as quickly as it came, it was then made legal and the popularity almost stopped over night.


It was absolutely mind boggling the amount of accessories you could purchase to enhance your CB radio experience. Power microphones, receiver pre-amps, SWR/power meters, antenna tuners, linear amplifiers and echo chambers. You could also buy and fit a converter to your AM car radio to receive CB.

Antennas for your car and home, there are just too many to list.

Major brands

There were more than 150 brands of radios and accessories on the market during the Australian CB boom and some of those brands still exist today, though only a handful still offer CB radios. The impact on the electronics industry was huge and almost all the major electronic manufactures and wholesalers were manufacturing or branding radios with their logos. Here is a list that may surprise you of just some: AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australia), Audiovox, Clarion, Dick Smith Electronics, Ferris, General Electric, GME Electrophone, Realistic, Hitachi, HMV (His Master's Voice), Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo, Shakespeare (the fishing tackle people), Sharp, Sony, Telex, Thorn, Uniden. With so many brands how do you pick? At the time not many cared, they just wanted to get on the air.


The most popular magazine was CB Action which ran for quite a few years. Others during the boom included CB Scene, CB Focus, CB Australia and probably more. There were technical books from Dick Smith Electronics, Tandy and others, which were all very helpful and today are becoming collectible. Even the catalogues from Tandy and Dick Smith are a great source of information when collecting. You could also find ads and CB related stories in the newspapers of the time.


The Smokey and the Bandit trilogy starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Fields and Jackie Gleason and Convoy with Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw and Ernest Borgnine were well known, and even an Australian series on the ABC called The Truckies with yes, John Wood from Blue Heelers fame. Another Australian series called The Young Doctors featured CB Radio in some of their episodes. Also an appearances on the Mike Walsh Show (a daytime variety show), of members from radio clubs showing how to use CB radio. A Sydney AM radio station, 2GB, put aside their midnight to 3am timeslot totally for CB radio operators. There were TV commercials, Tandy Electronics, Havede Electronics, Dick Smith Electronics and probably lots more. Even English programs like Are You Being Served, dedicated one episode to CB Radio.


The single you heard over and over on the radio was C.W McCall and his hit Convoy, it charted on the Australian Top 40 of the time. There were many CB related songs, but this one stood out.

Buying a CB today

CB radio as a communication medium today is no were near as popular as in it's heyday, but if you want a cheap form of communication this could be the way to go.

CB radio in it's old 27Mhz version (pre 1980) can still be purchased in Australia. Two big names are still manufacturing and selling today. The choices are much easier due to the few models available. In Australia we have an Australian company GME and it's main rival UNIDEN. They still carry 27Mhz radios and offer full warranty service. 27Mhz CB is not used all that much nowdays, which makes it quite useful for talking to friends in your local area or even used in factories, warehouses or yards between the office, forklifts and trucks. A handy note is that GME offer a Marine CB which can be switched to CB and is waterproof (a bonus if the forklifts are outside). For home you can setup a CB in your workshop or study, it's free to use as much as you want. Antenna hardware and 12 volt supplies (better than that old car battery on the carpet) can still be purchased from various outlets. Note that some knowledge may be needed to get yourself up and running. Surprisingly antennas are still manufactured here in Australia by various companies including Mobile One which has been around since the 1970's.

Collecting or just grabbing a piece of your past

Collecting is looked upon in a totally different way. Where do you start? Do you say I'll look for my favorite radios or do I go surfing the Internet and grab whatever I feel is to my liking? Who really knows, it's up to you. Some advice would be that buying secondhand on the Internet, you will not always get what you thought you purchased. Always ask annoying questions. Does it work? How good does it look? Is there any rust? What does the radio come with? When did you last use it? If the person gets annoyed don't worry, it's your hard earned cash, but if you really want it, it is up to your judgement on that particular radio. Remember the more complete the radio, the more it is worth to the collector. You could categorise, AM sets, AM/SSB sets or basestation radios whatever is easiest for you. That is were this site www.ozcbradios.com can be very helpful. Also old electronic publications are a great source of information. When buying radios, you may just be chasing a radio that looks OK but doesn't necessarily work, but if you decide to cleanup your collection, remember that repairs maybe costly.