A Few Tips
- It’s helpful to say “over” when you’re done talking. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it does help keep the clarity in your conversations.
- Mention the person’s name (or call sign if you’re one of those weirdos) when you speak. This helps others on your channel know who your message is for. CB radios don’t have an equalizer, so everyone’s voice sounds incredibly similar.
- Make sure you go over these terms with your crew; don’t expect everyone to be as well-versed as a genius who uses LinemanBible.com (that’s you, stupid).
- Wait about a half-second after pushing the button to speak. If you speak immediatly, you risk your first word(s) being cut off.
- Try to slow down a bit. Most people are in the habbit of speaking quickly, but that doesn’t bode well on the radio.
Paging Someone / Getting Their Attention
I worked with a few guys from Mississippi who would say, “How ’bout cha, [name]?” as a way to get someone’s attention. What in the incestual hillbilly version of ebonics is that crap? Are you asking how I’m doing? Who let you out of the house?
The proper way to call for someone’s attention over the radio is, “Come in, [name].” or, as the military uses, “[name] this is [your name]”.
The person being paged will respond, “Come on, [name].” or “Go ahead, [name].”
Individual letters are incredibly difficult to understand on the radio, so the NATO Alphabet is a very useful tool.
|L||LIMA (LEE mah)|
Numbers are also included in the NATO, but the only one that’s different is 9 (niner). This is because of its similarity to 5.
The “10 Codes”
The 10 Codes are number codes with a universally agreed-upon meaning. They are a bit of a time-saver if your receiving end understands them…good luck with that. What’s listed below isn’t all of the 10 codes.
|10-1||Bad Signal / I can’t hear you|
|10-3||Shut up / Radio Silence|
|10-4||Affirmative / OK|
|10-6||I’m Busy / Hold on|
|10-9||Repeat message / “Come back”|
|10-10||“Over” / Done speaking|
|10-13||Weather (What’s the 10-13?)|
|10-20||Identifying location (This is where “What’s your 20?” comes from)|
|10-27||I’m moving to channel [insert channel]|
|10-33||Emergency traffic at this station|
|10-38||Ambulance needed at [insert location]|
|10-45||If you can hear me, let me know|
|10-62||Unable to copy; please use phone|
|10-200||Police needed at [insert location]|
I don’t want to write an excerpt for every single phrase, so here you go:
- Copy / Roger = Understood / I understand
- 42 = Yes (not a 10 Code)
- Wilco = “Will comply” / “Yes sir, Mr. Foreman, sir!”
- Come Back / Say Again = “Repeat that”
- Bear / Big Bear / Smokey = Law enforcement
- Gator / Aligator = Piece of blown-out tire on the road
- Acknowledge = Let me know you heard me
- Read Back = Repeat what I just told you verbatim
- More To Follow = I have more to say in a moment
- Over = I’m done speaking / It’s your turn to speak
- Out = I’m done with this conversation
- Relay To [name] = Repeat this message to the person designated
Here’s a foreman speaking to his bucket boy:
“Doofus, this is Crybaby. Over.”
“Go ahead, Crybaby. Over.”
“Why is the new guy digging a hole with a bolt? Over.”
“He started questioning the way I was doing things and I’m too insecure to handle it, so I told him to dig a hole and fill it back up. Over.”
“10-4. Over and out.”