What are the different types of CB radios?

There are two different types of CB radio systems which you will come across. AM/SSB (single side band) is an old standard and is no longer in widespread use. UHF FM is the newer standard and is what you are most likely want to use. These two standards cannot talk to each other.

What is UHF CB?

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) CB is the newest and by far the most common CB radio system. UHF CB operates in the 477Mhz band and can talk to any other UHF CB radio, regardless of manufacturer. There are either 40 or 80 channels available on UHF CB, depending on the type of radio you purchase.

UHF CB supports a number of features which are not supported by AM CB, such as:

  • CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System)
  • DCS (Digital Coded Squelch)
  • Duplex/Repeater Functionality

What is AM/SSB CB?

AM CB is the older CB radio system and is no longer in regular use. AM CB operates in the 27Mhz band and, like UHF CB, can talk to any other AM CB radio regardless of manufacturer. AM CB has 40 available channels.

AM CB radio has a few advantages over UHF CB, namely that it can “skip” – ie, some AM CB signals can travel over the horizon. This allows it better range than UHF CB in some scenarios, however this range is not reliable and should not be counted on for long distance communication.

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