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Citizens Band (CB) Service

The Citizens Band (CB) Service is in the 26.965 – 27.405 MHz spectrum range. The most common use of CB spectrum is short-distance, two-way communications using small, portable hand-held devices that function similar to walkie-talkies.

Similar service includes the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).

Background
The Citizens Band (CB) Service dates back to the 1940s when the FCC established the service for short-distance communications by individuals and businesses. Over the years, changes occurred to the service such as adding additional channels and “classes” of services, however, the general use of the service remains the same. The interest in CB radios peaked in the 1970s and up until 1983 the FCC required an individual license to operate a CB device.

Licensing
The Citizens Band (CB) Service is licensed by rule. This means an individual license is not required to operate a CB device. You can operate a CB device regardless of your age and for personal or business use so long as you are not a representative of a foreign government.

The FCC service rules for the Citizens Band (CB) Service are located in 47 C.F.R. Part 95.

Channels
There are 40 CB channels. Each CB channel is 10 kHz.

1) 26.965                                                          2) 26.975
3) 26.985                                                          4) 27.005
5) 27.015                                                          6) 27.025
7) 27.035                                                          8) 27.055
9) 27.065*                                                         10) 27.075
11) 27.085                                                         12) 27.105
13) 27.115                                                         14) 27.125
15) 27.135                                                         16) 27.155
17) 27.165                                                         18) 27.175
19) 27.185                                                         20) 27.205
21) 27.215                                                         22) 27.225
23) 27.255                                                         24) 27.235
25) 27.245                                                         26) 27.265
27) 27.275                                                         28) 27.285
29) 27.295                                                         30) 27.305
31) 27.315                                                         32) 27.325
33) 27.335                                                         34) 27.345
35) 27.355                                                         36) 27.365
37) 27.375                                                         38) 27.385
39) 27.395                                                         40) 27.405

*Channel 9 is reserved for emergency communications or for traveler assistance.

Operating a Citizens Band (CB) Device
You can operate a CB device in any place where the FCC regulates radio communications. A CB device must be certified by the FCC. A certified CB device has an identifying label placed on it by the manufacturer.

None of the CB channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any system. You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most efficient use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference. If you operate a CB device, you cannot talk with another station for more than 5 minutes continuously and then you must wait at least one minute before starting another communication.

There are several additional things to consider when using a CB device, including:

  • You may not raise the power output of a CB device.
  • You may not attach a "linear," "linear amplifier" or any other type of power amplifier to your CB device.
  • There are no height restrictions for antennas mounted on vehicles or for hand-held devices.
  • For structures, the highest point of your antenna must not be more than 20 feet above the highest point of the building or tree on which it is mounted, or 60 feet above the ground.
  • There are lower height limits if your antenna structure is located within two miles of an airport: If your antenna is more than 20 feet above the ground, the highest point of the antenna must not exceed 1 meter above the airport elevation for every 100 meters of distance from the nearest point of the nearest airport runway.
  • You may use an on-the-air pseudonym ("handle") of your choosing.

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