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The Citizens Band Radio Service, or CB, as it is commonly called, is a type of radio communication under the category of Personal Radio Service. As with the other types of PRS, such as FRS, GMRS, MURS, and LPRS (Low Power Radio Service), CB is intended for both consumer and business use. CB Radios operate on the 11 Meter Band between 26.965 MHz and 27.405 MHz with 40 channels. Unlike the 10 Meter Band, access to these frequencies are unrestricted by the FCC, hence the name "Citizen's Band". Just keep in mind that, even for CB Radios, the FCC requires users to follow certain codes of conduct and equipment restrictions. CB is covered under Part 95 of the FCC rules. A CB radio does not require a license to operate.
CB service operates on 40 shared channels in an AM mode, FM mode (now available in the United States 2023), or Single SideBand (SSB) mode. SSB offers less noise and greater range than AM mode and is usually found on higher end CB radios. SSB has two modes, Upper Sideband and Lower Sideband. Please note that you can only communicate with other SSB CB radios when in SSB mode.
There is no minimum age requirement to operate a CB radio. Citizens’ band or short-distance CB radio was invented and first licensed in 1947 operating on a 27 megahertz (MHz) or 11-meter radio frequency over 40 channels. Military and other government entities originally used CBs to communicate until the 1960s when taxis and other businesses began to use them.
If you are looking for more of a long range solution, you might want to consider a 10 Meter Radio or Ham Radio, however, you will need a license to operate these so keep that in mind. We have a great selection of 10 Meter Radios that you can find here. 10 Meter Radios operate between 28 MHz and 29.7 MHz.
Be sure to remember that, if the radio you select does not have a built-in SWR meter, you will need an external SWR meter (like the AUSWR) to tune your antenna system. Every CB and ham antenna needs to be tuned for its particular application.
Please visit our Help Center for guidance on selecting the best radios and other equipment system for your application. We also have lots of great information and several videos to help you with tuning your antenna/s, troubleshoot any issues you might be having with your CB system, and much more.
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