CB Radio Vs Ham: What are The Major Distinction

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When it comes to hardware, there are so many factors you have to consider before you make a final decision about which of these radios to go for.

For instance, CB radio can’t go beyond 5 watts- according to the law. On the other hand, Ham radio is permitted to transmit about 1,500 watts by law.

Originally, CB radio supports about 40 channels. If you consider SSB in the 11-meter band, this gives you an additional 80 channels.

The frequencies of Ham radio spread across several bands.

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Similarities Between CB Radios and Ham Radios

  • The CB radios and Ham radios come in three different types/formats. There is the handheld format- which you can hold in your hand while going on adventures such as hiking, or visit the recreational garden, to communicate with people you go with. There is also the base station format- which is used at home. Lastly, is the mobile format- which is designed for trucks and jeeps.
  • They do not rely on the cellular network.
  • Perfect for adventure and road trips. Signals can be transferred and received, provided the sender and receiver are within the radio range.

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Differences Between CB Radios and Ham Radios

  • CB radio frequencies are low when compared to Ham frequencies. Ham VHF and UHF operate on around 147 MHz and 440MHz individually.
  • Higher frequencies ensure the free flow of signals, which is very important for uninterrupted interaction or communication.
  • To operate a Ham radio, you need a license. Using a CB radio doesn’t require a license. All you have to do is to stay true to the power limit.
  • When you make use of a well-tuned CB radio in terrains such as dessert, and open water while operating within the permitted power limit, it is possible to get between 5 and 20 miles. When you operate a Ham radio on UHF running on the same power as the CB radio, you can get between 50 and 70 miles.
  • CB radios do not have the repeater feature. With a repeater, the range of communication can be increased to about 300 miles. The repeater is that amazing feature that makes Ham radios a special device to seek help in case of an emergency.

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