Posted in:

A Beginner’s Guide to CB Radio

The Citizen Band radio (CB radio) is an assortment of approximately 40 channels operating within the 27 MHz band that can be used for both business and personal communications. While the band is used by several channels, only one channel can transmit at a time. Other users have to wait for their chance to broadcast their messages. Here’s a simple guide to CB radio for beginners.

In the US, the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS) is a private, land-mobile, short-distance radio service for personal or business use. It is a shared radio spectrum; users communicate by sharing time. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates channels used for business, general conversation, and emergency purposes. Each authorized user has a unique 8-digit identification number. Channels 1 to 7 are shared by both businesses and individuals, while channels 8 to 27 are reserved for business


The CB radio comes with an on and off control along with the channel switch and volume regulator. It also comes with a squelch control. It gives off a signal only when the radio receives a transmission. The squelch attribute helps to eliminate static broadcast and this ensures crystal clear voice to users. Although some CB radios offer up to 240 channels, only 40 are available for CB radio transmission.

Other Essential Features

Emergency Channel

You can easily access the emergency channel on the CB radio by pressing the right button. Channel 19, which is also known as the highway channel, is also easily accessible for truckers’ information. In case of an emergency, you can simply press the emergency key to access immediate assistance.

Weather Capabilities

You can also access weather information on handheld CB radios by accessing the NOAA weather stations to get advanced information about a snow storm or rainfall. This helps if you’re planning to go out for some outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, or skiing. 

RF Gain

The RF gain is a distinct feature of the gadget because it helps to filter the signals you receive depending on the signal strength. Weak signals tend to diminish and the transceiver allows only the strong signals while blocking weak ones. You can also customize the level of signal filtration that you need.

RF Power

This is another feature similar to the RF gain feature. The RF power variable can scan the receivers in the surrounding area before transmission of voice signals. This helps to ensure that you only receive strong signals and that you can talk with only those gadgets that are nearby.

Integrated SWR

The integrated SWR call meter attunes the antennae to receive a clear reception of the voice signals without noise interference. A lower ratio shows that the signal is good and reception is clear. You need to periodically set the call meter to ensure optimum performance.

Using the CB radio is an exciting experience as long as it delivers the right performance. Besides ease of use, you do not need a license to use the frequency spectrum available for CB radio. While there are numerous other features on the gadget, you probably don’t need them as a beginner and you will learn how to use them with time.