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Communications for your Astronomy Event
"Citizens Band Radio - The original"

by
John Huggins


Everyone has heard about the CB radio popularized in the 1970s by the romaticized trucking industry and movies like "Smokey and the Bandit."

The original Citizen Band frequency allocation from the FCC is in the 27MHz band. Cheap radios, AM modulation and license free operation made this a very popular communication for mobile users like truckers, and civic minded groups like REACT International who provide volunteer radio communications for events.

It is still around and is still strong, but the original CB band has degenerated into something less useful than it once was.

Also, because of the long wavelength, CB antennas (good ones anyway) are large by nature. The best antennas are from five to nine feet in length.

If you travel on the American highways, having a cheap CB radio in your car and a K40 five foot mag mount antenna on your roof is a smart move. Truckers are still the knights of the highway, and help can be found quickly if you can call them on their party line radio system - the CB radio.

CB Channel Plan

Well
Known
Channel
Name
Frequency Notes Max
Power
1 26.9650 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
2 26.9750 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
3 26.9850 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
4 27.0050 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
5 27.0150 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
6 27.0250 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
7 27.0350 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
8 27.0550 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
9 27.0650 MHz Emergency use primarily. Monitored in some areas by "REACT" and/or other volunteers. 4.0 Watts
10 27.0750 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
11 27.0850 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
12 27.1050 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
13 27.1150 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
14 27.1250 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
15 27.1350 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
16 27.1550 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
17 27.1650 MHz Sometimes used by truckers in the western US states 4.0 Watts
18 27.1750 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
19 27.1850 MHz "Breaker 1 9" Yes, this is the classic trucker's channel (You might not want to let your kids listen) 4.0 Watts
20 27.2050 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
21 27.2150 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
22 27.2250 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
23 27.2550 MHz This use to be the highest CB channel - in the "Smokey and the Bandit" days ;-) 4.0 Watts
24 27.2350 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
25 27.2450 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
26 27.2650 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
27 27.2750 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
28 27.2850 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
29 27.2950 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
30 27.3050 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
31 27.3150 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
32 27.3250 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
33 27.3350 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
34 27.3450 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
35 27.3550 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
36 27.3650 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
37 27.3750 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
38 27.3850 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
39 27.3950 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts
40 27.4050 MHz AM and SSB operation allowed in the US 4.0 Watts

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