CB radio frequencies refer to the radio waves used by citizens’ band (CB) radios to transmit and receive messages. The frequencies allocated for CB radio in most countries are between 26.965 MHz and 27.405 MHz, divided into 40 channels.
Each channel has a specific frequency assigned to it and is designated by a number from 1 to 40. The frequency for channel 1 is 26.965 MHz, while the frequency for channel 40 is 27.405 MHz. In some countries, additional frequencies and channels may be available for CB radio use.
CB Radio Frequencies and Channels Chart
Below is a list of all the CB radio channels as well as their CB radio. While anyone can access a channel of his/her choice, you will notice that a few of the channels have special kinds of users. A good example is channel 19 which is popular among truck drivers in the U.S.
Who can use it?
|1||26.9650 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|26.9750 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|26.9850 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|27.0050 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|5||27.0150 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|6||27.0250 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|7||27.0350 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|8||27.0550 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|9||27.0650 MHz||4W||Open to everyone but used for emergencies|
|10||27.0750 MHz||4W||Open to everyone but ideal for regional roads|
|11||27.0850 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|12||27.1050 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|13||27.1150 MHz||4W||Open to everyone but used by marines and RVs|
|14||27.1250 MHz||4W||Open to everyone but popularly used by walkie talkies|
|15||27.1350 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|16||27.1550 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|17||27.1650 MHz||4W||Open to everyone but used mostly by the Northern or Southern traffic|
|18||27.1750 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|19||27.1850 MHz||4W||Used by truckers mostly on the East/West highway traffic|
|20||27.0350 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|21||27.2150 MHz||4W||Open to everyone but ideal for regional roads|
|22||27.2250 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|23||27.2550 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|24||27.2350 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|25||27.2450 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|26||27.2650 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|27||27.2750 MHz||4W||Enter your text here…|
|28||27.2850 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|29||27.2950 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|30||27.3050 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|31||27.3150 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|32||27.3250 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|33||27.3350 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|34||27.3450 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|35||27.3550 MHz||4W||Open to everyone|
|36||27.3650 MHz||4W||Open to everyone (including SSB)|
|37||27.3750 MHz||4W||Open to everyone (including SSB)|
|38||27.3850 MHz||4W||Open to everyone (including SSB and LSB)|
|39||27.3950 MHz||4W||Open to everyone (including SSB)|
|40||27.4050 MHz||4W||Open to everyone (including SSB)|
CB Frequencies vs. CB Channels
You may be wondering why understanding the different CB radio frequencies is important, especially as you are able to change CB channels with one touch of a button.
It is important to know the different CB radio frequencies and channels for a few reasons:
- Avoid interference: Since CB radio is a shared radio service, multiple users may transmit on the same channel at the same time. Knowing the different frequencies and channels can help you find an available channel to communicate on without causing interference with other users.
- Emergency communication: In the event of an emergency, it is important to know which frequency or channel to use to contact emergency services or other nearby CB radio users who may be able to provide assistance.
- Group communication: If you are communicating with a group of CB radio users, knowing which channel to use can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and can hear each other clearly.
- Legal compliance: In many countries, CB radio use is regulated by law. Knowing the appropriate frequencies and channels to use can help you avoid inadvertently breaking the law and facing penalties or fines.
Despite all this, most countries have adopted America’s channels and their frequencies. This has partly made things easy. However, if the country you currently live in has a different frequency allocation, you can manually program your radio to use a specific frequency for a channel.
In New Zealand, for example, CB radios use a frequency plan that ranges between 26.330 – 26.770 MHz while countries like Russia and Ukraine use frequency plans that range between 26.5 – 27.860 MHz. Japan is perhaps the one country that uses the most unique allocation. Its CB allocation has eight voice channels and two radio control channels. In addition, CBs in Japan should have a maximum power output of 500mW.
CB Radio Channel for Truckers
Channel 19 is the most common for truckers in the U.S., and it could very well be the busiest channel.
Find your next CB radio for your rig.
However, if you were driving in the state of Oregon or Washington, you could also find many drivers on channel 17. On the other hand, channels 15 and 21 are also common among truck drivers, especially in Los Angeles and San Diego.
CB Radio Channel for Emergency
For emergencies, you can tune in to channel 9 to get updates on emergencies in your area. Since CB radios facilitate short-range to mid-range communication, you will only be getting emergency updates within your locality and not necessarily from the entire state/country.
Many modern radios even include an instant channel 9/19 switch which lets you get to these two channels with ease.
What Lies Beyond the CB Radio Frequency Limit?
CB radios are not the most powerful kinds of radios out there once you consider the 4W power limit. This means they are only legally limited to a specified frequency range.
As such, frequencies directly above 27.4 MHz have been set aside for the Business Radio Service (BRS). These frequencies still fall under VHF and UHF bands but have been dedicated for use by businesses and institutions.
The federal government also prioritises the frequencies from 27.540 MHz to 28 MHz. Of course, these frequencies are illegal.
On the lower end of the frequency limit, you are bound to find the U.S. military which uses frequencies that range from 26.480 MHz – 26.960 MHz.
Even with a ham radio (which is far more powerful than a CB), you won’t get access to these illegal frequencies because the frequency band for ham radios runs from 28 MHz to 29.7 MHz.
Bootleg CB Radio Frequencies and Freebanding
As you spend more time with your CB radio, you will learn that it is easy to modify your radio for use as an amateur radio. Although, you will need a license before you can transmit using an amateur radio.
For CB users, frequencies that have been set aside for 10-meter radios are usually referred to as bootleg frequencies. Licensed ham operators won’t get into any kind of trouble with the law for modifying their CB radios so that they can use them as ham radios.
However, the FCC equally prohibits licensed ham operators from transmitting on unauthorized frequencies. The use of these prohibited frequencies is what is known as freebanding. Ideally, you need proper authorization for you to use the illegal channels that we had mentioned earlier.
Ham radio operators are only allowed to listen in on certain frequencies such as the international call frequency but not to transmit.
Beware that the FCC constantly cracks down on the illegal use of frequencies and you could land in trouble if caught transmitting using unauthorized frequencies.
CB Radio Frequencies and Channels – Final Thoughts
All in all, there is a lot to learn about radio frequencies beyond the CB radio frequency chart. Since many of the frequencies are illegal for use or would require you to have a license, you are better off sticking to the regular CB frequencies.
In addition, you should also know that frequencies may vary from country to country even though many countries nowadays use channels and frequencies like the ones used in the U.S. Nevertheless, you will find out that channels 9 and 19 are perhaps the most popular channels you can tune to regardless of the state you are in.