CB radios are not just for four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, but are useful for family communication, from base to mobile, mobile to mobile, or mobile to pedestrian communication. They are free to use, and you do not need a license as they are covered under a special class license. They do not rely on telephone towers, and will work even when the phone network is out, depending on topography, antenna height and power.

UHF CB radios are line of sight so their range is very dependent upon topographic conditions. In the CBD, amongst high rise buildings, you may only be able to communicate a few kilometers. Out on the open country road, you may get up to 20 kilometers using standard simplex mode. If you install a base station and you live in the hills, your range may be much further, even up to 75 kilometers without a repeater.

If you use the duplex feature and there is a repeater in range, you can expect up to 100 kilometers, even when topography would otherwise block your signal. 5 watts is the legal power limit. The key to good CB communications is a good antenna which is properly tuned to the UHF frequency range, and placed as high as practical.

All new CBs on the market today have 80 channels (77 useable) and support duplex mode for extending their range via a repeater.

There are so many models of UHF CB radio on the market today, it is hard for the uninitiated to know what to buy. I have been using CB radios for many years and keep an eye on the market for new products. The most recent product to catch my attention was the UH9080 from Uniden. This is […]