Use a CB radio to order a Whopper

This hack shows how to modify an old CB radio to broadcast on the channels that fast food restaurants usually reserve for their drive-thru windows. Although we here at MAKE don’t condone this particular use, it’s still a valid way of modifying existing systems to create new opportunities for interaction on open frequencies.

Phone Losers of America [via]

38 thoughts on “Use a CB radio to order a Whopper

  1. Tommy says:

    Let’s screw with folks making minimum wage. Because their jobs aren’t crappy enough as it is.

  2. Abdul says:

    Hmm this would make for some entertainment at lunchtime.

    Add an extra Whopper on to every meal, or 3 Large Lemonades..etc.

    I guess for added fun, say “Hello, I’m naked can I have a discount?”

  3. Bryan says:

    It is most definitely not “a valid way of modifying existing systems to create new opportunities for interaction on open frequencies.” First of all, there are no “open” frequencies that are reachable by modification of a CB radio. Second, even if there were, the CB radio would not be FCC type accepted for use on any frequencies other than the ones it was designed for which, in the US, means 40 specific channels (frequencies) beginning at 26.965 mhz and ending at 27.405 mhz. Use of a non-type accepted radio can result in stiff fines in the multiple thousand dollar range.

  4. chipwich says:

    A pretty obvious fake! “All appliances with heating coils manufactured after 1980 have a circuit board with semiconductors inside”… NOT! And how fortunate that even though you can’t order this crystal since there are no suppliers, it is found in common household appliances.

    Still, I give them an A+ for social engineering.

  5. cylver says:

    You’re a day early, Jonah.

  6. shrumby says:

    Its a cool tutorial, but if you have to describe exactly what a crystal looks like, then does your target audience have any business doing this? Besides, illegal as h3ll.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Deliberate interference with licensed radio services are likely to get you a visit from some friendly federal agents, and a $7,000 to $11,000 “forfeiture” (read “fine”) from the FCC.

    Phone “Losers”, indeed.

  8. What says:

    …I thought everyone here could tell that this was a hoax.

    And if not, check this out:

  9. james says:

    It’s not April Fools yet, and I don’t think this video would be appropriate anyway. I’ve seen lots of kids post here and it’s unfortunate they’re going to be watching this crude junk. I wish Make would stick to Making and drop the hipster ‘social hacking’ stuff.

  10. Dino Allsman says:

    I don’t know why everyone is saying this is fake. I tried this hack last week when Gizmodo posted it and it worked flawlessly. I was able to talk to Burger King, Taco Bell and Dairy Queen. No McDonalds for some reason.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh lord…my hair dryer has *THREE* different crystals in it?!?!?!? What do I do??? My light bulbs are leaking electricity on the floor…help mee…..

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is a great hack! I went directly for the Yaesu VX-7R and it work fine with the new crystals with the exception of the aircraft that keep trying to do an ILS approach on my car…

  13. jproach says:

    Dino, as far as I know mcdonalds uses an odd frequency specifically to deter these pranksters. Who are you going to go after, the one company that uses an odd band, or the rest that use a common frequency?

    Anyway, you will need a 43.141MHz crystal. The timebase has to be extremely accurate + jitter free due to their precise receivers. So a “dilithium” type crystal works best here (no quartz!).

    These are quite hard to find. I was lucky recently and spotted them in a few Cuisinart Traditional waffle makers (silver models with serial numbers B007 or later ONLY).

    Good luck!

  14. Anonymous says:

    digikey sells the crystals

  15. Me64 says:

    You can not mod a CB to this frequency.Simple.Takes more than replacing a crystal to do that.Further more,I have never opened a CB and found a crystal of that value in 30 years.Funny vid tho :))

  16. Shadyman says:

    I lol’d.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can these crystals be used in two separate c.b. radios, and be used to communicate between the two? seems that lots of people would use this mod. because of the range increase!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Can this Mod be used with two separate C.B.’s to communicate with each other? Semms lots of people would do this for the increase in range! Thanx, for any replys.

  19. David James Thompson says:

    This is a hoax.  It’s always been a hoax.  CB radios are AM radios and most drive-thru systems are digital or at the very least FM.  There is no way to make a CB radio do this without extensive modification at the very least.  Furthermore, the frequencies the drive-thru systems operate on are far different from the CB band, so regular CB antennas wouldn’t work very efficiently.

  20. Daniel Bingamon says:

    CD Radios use AM, Ham Radios and Fast Food radios use FM, so this should not work. Also, FM signals can vary in bandwidth.

    Simply changing a crystal in an RF circuit that has a very narrow band is also outside the realm of logic. It’s a bunch of baloney

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