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Wednesday 12 December 2018

The differences between Amateur radio and CB radio

Yesterday I saw something where someone thought they'd be able to use Amateur radio to wind up truckers, thinking it is exactly the same as CB radio, which it is not.

I will do a video on this but before I do I will post some things here.

Firstly, CB radio is, in most countries, licence exempt on 27MHz, the 11-meter band, limited in power to 4 watts AM or FM (but see below about the next uneducated thing from this same person), and 12 watts PEP SSB, depending on the rules and regulations in force in the country it is used in, ie no FM in the USA, usually 40 or 80 channels again dependent on country, Australia has UHF CB in around 477MHz (40-80 channel) with a 5 watt limit.

Amateur radio on the other hand requires a licence, which is obtained by taking and passing an examination which goes over knowledge of most fundamentals of radio transmission and reception, and gives access to frequencies all over the radio spectrum, and transmission power sometimes in excess of 1kW (I know this to be the case in the United States) though here in the UK and also in Australia I believe the top power limit for full licencees is 400 watts, using modes ranging from morse code, SSB, AM, FM and various digital modulation modes, the US limit their licencees on spectrum access rather than power limit, they get 1.5kW off the bat, kind of worrying when you factor in Chance Callahan KD0MXN.

The controls on a CB radio are limited to channel, volume, squelch, and RIT/clarifier on units capable of SSB transmission, and possibly a CB/PA switch to allow use of a PA speaker, on an Amateur radio set there are usually more buttons and a DTMF keypad on units that operate on the VHF and UHF bands where repeaters are common, none are channelised unless a ham uses converted PMR or CB equipment which they are legally allowed to do for the VHF/UHF or 10-meter bands respectively.

Amateur radio requires callsigns be used, and the operator must give their callsign at the appropriate intervals including at the start and end of a QSO, in CB there is no requirement for callsigns though an unofficial one can be got from various online groups such as Charlie Tango and Transmission1.

So, the person that decided they wanted to use an Amateur radio set to wind up truckers decried everything apart from AM and FM, these are modes of modulation that even Amateurs and CB operators use, not exclusive to broadcast, as it turned out this person had done no research into the subject matter and used this in an attempt to wind me up, however as I have more knowledge on this subject it backfired on them as I was laughing.

I later discovered the set in question is an old Australian UHF CB set, not an Amateur radio set, needless to say this person is very short on their ability to use Google, so perhaps this person should do their research before attempting to use references to Amateur and CB radio to wind me up, and also should they get a radio set to wind up truckers they could find themselves in trouble with the authorities of their country, as radio has rules, and misuse of radio can put someone in serious trouble

Video coming soon

73 de 2E0EIJ

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