For this week's Overdrive Radio podcast, Mark Karnes tells the story behind the Cobra company's petition to the Federal Communications Commission some years back to allow the use of FM rather than just standard AM in CB Radios. With the petition granted in 2021, Cobra is now out with AM/FM dual-mode versions of all of its most-commonly-used models, joining some other makers, too.
Karnes, a vice president with Cedar Electronics, Cobra's parent company, notes the transition from AM-only radios to dual modes won't happen overnight. When more FM-capable radios are in play, though, he said, users will find better voice clarity over the air when used in FM mode on both ends.
Hear a measure of that improved clarity here, as we recorded transmissions between two dual-mode versions of Cobra's 19 Mini radio, one in a moving vehicle and one in a stationary vehicle. But for dialing up Channel 15, otherwise quiet the night of the test, and slight adjustments to squelch on both units, each radio remained at standard out-of-the-box settings. Drop into a little bit of the squawk between the Ghostwriter (that'd be me) and T-Bone (a trusty assistant) in today's podcast, and get a feel for the principle difference in AM and FM modes -- voice clarity when you're nearing the edges of range, or in situations with the interference that can sometimes plagues AM transmission:
[Related: The CB's historic role in trucking culture]