Ultra-High Frequency Citizen’s Band Radios (UHF CB Radios) are something that most people have heard of at some point, but not that many of us ever really consider using. However, there is a thriving community of dedicated individuals that use UFH CB Radios regularly; so, if you spend any time driving around the country then maybe you should consider the benefits of a UHF CB Radio. But before you get started, there are a few things that every UFH CB Radio user should know and as such we’ve compiled this short list to help get you off on the right foot.
1 – It is illegal to use non-standard units
Sometimes, people might find some really interesting or powerful radios for sale either domestically or from abroad. If these units do not meet the standards indicated with an Australian Standards tick, then beware. For example, should a unit be advertised as more powerful, then you would need to be sure that it operates at no more than the legal maximum output power of 5W.
2 – Some channels are legally restricted
Depending on the country you are using your UHF CB Radio in; there are some channels that you are not permitted to broadcast on for a variety of reasons. For example, channels 5 and 35 are designated as emergency channels in Australia, whilst channel 9 serves the same purpose in Malaysia. There are also channels dedicated to other purposes, such as 22 and 23, which are reserved for data services and voice transmissions are prohibited.
3 – Some channels are governed by “unwritten rules”
This simply means that there are other channels you should not use but it is not illegal to do so. This includes channels such as 18, which is used solely for caravan and campervan convoys within national parks.
4 – There are more channels than ever before
From its inception, UFH CB Radio traditionally had 40 channels but due to the ever-increasing usage and popularity of the system on the 27th of May 2011 the range of channels was expanded to 80. This includes additional restrictions on channels 61, 62 and 63, which are reserved for future expansion – as such the total number of usable channels to 77.
5 – It’s still evolving
Although UHF CB Radio might seem like an old-fashioned idea, the system is still very relevant and enjoyed by thousands of people daily. The 2011 expansion of the number of available channels created a divide in the user base, those with the older units which only support 40 channels and those with newer units capable of supporting the full 80 channels. In 2017, a consultation was held over plans to force users to upgrade to a radio that supported 80 channels, but the community response has led to this decision being reversed and both types are allowed to coexist with some appropriate changes being made to the radio network to support this.