Frequently Asked Questions (Part 1: Introduction)

This is a regular posting of frequently-asked questions (FAQ) on It is intended to summarize the more common questions on this newsgroup and to help beginners get started. This saves network bandwidth and tries to maintain a good signal-to-noise ratio in the discussions.

The FAQ cannot always prevent people from posting repetitive questions. But even if hundreds of questions get posted, it saves you from having to answer them hundreds of times. Also, a friendly pointer to the FAQ in your first answer can help that person refer to the FAQ in the future. That is when we can begin to get a real savings of network bandwidth.

To keep the size of each article down, the FAQ has been split into 4 parts:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Getting Started

Part 3: Communication

Part 4: Technical Trivia

If you are a new reader on, we suggest that you print and review the FAQ articles. If you are new to Usenet, please also see the news.announce.newusers newsgroup before posting any articles.


Table of Contents (Dates indicate last modification.)

Part 1: Introduction

* Table of Contents (9/93)
* Notes about adding questions & answers to this list (9/96)
* Acknowledgements (4/99)
* Notes on "Netiquette" (4/92)

Part 2: Getting Started

* What is CB? (4/03)

- in the USA (6/92)
- in Canada (2/93)
- in Japan (6/92)
- in Australia (9/96)
- in New Zealand (7/93)
- in the UK (1/97)
- in France (4/93)
- in Germany (4/03)
- in Italy (7/93)
- in Portugal (5/97
- in Russia (7/93)
- in South Africa (5/97)
- notes for all countries (7/93)

* What are the CB Frequencies? (4/03)

- in the USA (9/96)
- in Canada (6/92)
- in Australia (2/93)
- in New Zealand (7/93)
- in Japan (9/93)
- in countries subscribing to the European CEPT conference (11/92)
- in the UK (4/03)
- in France (11/92)
- in Germany (4/03)
- in Italy (7/93)
- in Portugal (5/97)
- in Russia (7/93)
- in South Africa (5/97)
- in other countries (4/03)

* What are the common brands of CB radios? (7/93)
* What should I consider when choosing a location for my antenna? (7/92)
* Once I hook up my CB and antenna, is the radio ready to use? (2/92)
* What are good antenna characteristics and what are some good antennas? (6/92)

Part 3: Communication

* Which 10-codes are most commonly used? (9/96)
* What are the CB 10-codes? (7/91)
* Where are 10-codes used? (3/92)
* What are some of the more common Q-codes? (3/92)
* What are some tips for communicating with others on the CB? (12/91)

Part 4: Technical Trivia

* What is single sideband? (11/92)
* Do I really get 120 channels on a radio with single sideband? (12/91)
* How can I reduce engine noise on my mobile CB? (3/92)
* What is GMRS? (6/92)
* What is the Family Radio Service (9/96)
* Where can I learn more about radio? (4/03)

Notes about adding questions & answers to this list.

I accept suggestions from the community. Please consider the following criteria because I will also use them to determine which questions (and answers) to include:

- is it a commonly asked question?
- will its inclusion help reduce usage of net bandwidth?
- how useful is it to CB users in general?
- will the answer be factual, or is it just an opinion?

Note that I can't necessarily include every question or every technical detail because I don't want this FAQ itself to become a net bandwidth hog. We have to consider the intended audience - this document is intended to help people get started with CB even if they have no previous technical background with radio. Therefore, it will not have all the technical discussions that one might expect in, for example, an amateur radio newsgroup.

If you suggest a question for this list, please include the answer. You'll get credit for your contribution and you'll speed up the process of getting the information ready for distribution.

If you feel that your suggestion passes any of the above criteria, send it to me -----------------------------------------------


The following people are recognized for their contributions (by e-mail or news) that were included in the FAQ:

Origional FAQ Coordinators:

Jean-Marc Bonnaudet (Munich, Germany)
Yumeto Funahashi 7K2EUP (Saitama, Wakoh, Japan)
Ian Kluft KO6YQ (Santa Clara, CA, USA)
Paul W Schleck K3FU (Omaha, NE, USA)

Technical Contributors:

Michael Larish KD6CTZ (, Chico, CA, USA)
- helped write the original version of the FAQ
- served as an editor on the project for 3 years
Paul Zander AA6PZ (, Palo Alto, CA, USA)
- comments and input on the SWR discussion
Bob Myers KC0EW (, Fort Collins, CO, USA)
- news article on antenna grounding in mobile installations
Bret Musser (, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
- news article on reduction of engine noise in mobile installations
Benn Kobb KC5CW (, Houston, TX, USA)
- information on the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
Bob Witte KB0CY (, Colorado Springs, CO, USA)
- additional info on GMRS - frequencies, fees, useful contact organization
John L. Wilkerson Jr. (
- information on the Family Radio Service

International/Regulations Contributors:

Neil Robertson (, Leicestershire, UK)
- original info on CB in the UK
Rob Adams (, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia)
- CB in Australia (operating regulations)
Tetsuo Kobayashi JH8LEF (, Atsugi-city, Japan)
- CB in Japan
Patrick Wendt (, Berlin, Germany)
- CB in Germany
Martin Grundy (, Brighton, UK)
- sent faxes of UK CB information sheets
- included summary of CEPT standards and the list of conforming countries
Nick Gibbs (, Stirling, South Australia, Australia)
- CB in Australia (licensing and repeaters, type acceptance)
Jean-Claude Michot (, Sevres, France)
- update for CB regulations in France
Jon Clarke (, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand)
- CB in New Zealand
Vassili Leonov (, Stony Brook, New York, USA)
- CB in Russia
Mike D'Urso (, Salerno, Italy)
- CB in Italy
Zbigniew Chamski (, France)
- update for new regulations and tax in France
Steve Perry (
- update for equipment and license requirements in the UK.
Avatar (
- update for license and frequency requirements in Portugal
Andre' Mulder (
- provided information on South Africa

Notes on "Netiquette"

With a growing user community, the newsgroup will operate more efficiently if the following netiquette guidelines are used. Please take them seriously:

* When posting a followup article, ALWAYS try to minimize the number of lines of quoted material from the original article. But DO post something so readers will know what you are referring to.

* As a general rule when you try to determine whether to reply to someone by e-mail or with a followup article, remember to "praise in public, criticize in private. " It's OK to disagree on the content but be careful not to attack the person with whom you disagree. Also, be careful with your use of the word "you" when posting a follow-up article. Many unnecessary flame wars have started that way.

* Use a descriptive subject. For example, "Antennas" covers a vary large area so some better choices might be, for example, "Antenna tuning" "Antenna installation question" or "Antenna theory question". Also, if a discussion wanders off the original subject, you should modify the subject of your message to match the new topic. For example:

Subject: Re: co-phasing (was: truckers with 2 antennas) or, even better: Subject: Re: co-phasing

* Before answering a question, check if the FAQ adequately answers it or if someone else already answered it. If you have more to add, make sure to reference either the FAQ or the related articles.

* If a user posts a question which is directly answered by the FAQ, there is no need to post an answer - the information is already available on the newsgroup. Instead, just send an e-mail message which politely explains where to find the FAQ. They will probably appreciate it if you include the answer to their question. (Don't send a "nastygram" - that would just discourage future participation.)

* Pay attention to the size of your audience - use the "Distribution:" header. If you leave it blank, your message will go to every civilized country in the world and occupy disk space in all news systems in all those places. If that's what you intend, it's fine but be aware that CB is not the same everywhere. Otherwise, use a distribution for your continent or country as appropriate for the subject of the message. For example, "na" (North America) "europe" "us" "uk" "japan" "france" etc. can be used similar to the following example: Distribution: usa or substitute your continent or country. Also, this regional distribution works for each state of the USA - just use the two-letter postal code for your state (i.e. ca, ne, co, pa, etc.)

* If you have an item for sale, please limit the distribution area so that, for example, an article about a radio for sale in New Jersey won't get to California or Europe. If you wish, you may cross-post your for-sale article to

* Discussion on any UseNet newsgroup is expected to be within the chartered subject of the group - there is no such thing as unlimited discussion here. This newsgroup is chartered for discussion of all aspects of CB radio. Though some topics are clearly outside these bounds, use some good judgement when talking about borderline cases. Please take seriously any complaints about the appropriateness of a subject.

And finally for you hams reading this:

Thank you for your interest in the newsgroup. We hope you will browse through the topics and post replies. Please enjoy yourself, and be prepared to learn about another aspect of radio communication which you may not have experienced before, or which you may have forgotten after getting your "ticket".

Many of the messages contain technical information and tips which would apply equally to CB and Amateur Radio. We solicit your information and questions. Some postings pertain to regulatory matters and "the Agency". Again, feel free to give us your insight. After all, Amateurs have more contact with the FCC than CBers. We only hear from the government when Mrs. Craven down the street files a complaint with her Congressman!

However--and this is very important--when it comes to discussing operating practices on CB, please do not comment unless you are an active CBer. When a ham comes to 27MHz to operate, he "checks his license at the door" and operates on the same basis as everyone else--a Citizen. The same is true when you choose to visit the NG.

Specifically, we already know:
1. Amplifiers and radio modifications are illegal.
2. Freebanding (operating outside the assigned CB Band) is illegal.
3. There is language on CB which is rude and crude.
4. Some people splatter across several channels.
5. Going above 28.0 MHz will get us plenty of unwanted attention.

One more tip: Before jumping into a discussion, take a few minutes to read the thread. You often will discover that someone else already has given the same answer, or you will be alerted that the original poster was a Troll and you can avoid taking the bait.

Thank you.

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