CB Channels

In Australia there are two CB bands in use – the HF or 27MHz band, sometimes referred to as AM or SSB CB. This CB band became well known following US movies such as “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Convoy”. The HF band in Australia uses the 40 channel allocation used in the USA and a number of other countries.

The other band is the UHF band, unique to Australia (and New Zealand) and very popular amongst business operators needing cheap radiocommunications.

Channel Uses

Presented below are the legal channel allocations for the Australian CB bands. Generally accepted and legally recommended channel uses are also shown. It should be noted however that only those shown as legally allocated are actually supported by law. Other channels may be used for specific purposes in different localities.

477MHz UHF CB Band

You can download in PDF format the UHF CB Channel Allocations.

IMPORTANT! As of May 2011 the UHF CB band has been expanded to 80 channels.

Chnl Freq Use Chnl Freq Use
1 476.4250 Repeater output (band1) 41 476.4375 Repeater output (band 2)
2 476.4500 Repeater output (band1) 42 476.4625 Repeater output (band 2)
3 476.4750 Repeater output (band1) 43 476.4875 Repeater output (band 2)
4 476.5000 Repeater output (band1) 44 476.5125 Repeater output (band 2)
5 476.5250 Repeater output (band1)
EMERGENCY1*
45 476.5375 Repeater output (band 2)
6 476.5500 Repeater output (band1) 46 476.5625 Repeater output (band 2)
7 476.5750 Repeater output (band1) 47 476.5875 Repeater output (band 2)
8 476.6000 Repeater output (band1) 48 476.6125 Repeater output (band 2)
9 476.6250 General use 49 476.6375 General use
10 476.6500 General use 50 476.6625 General use
11 476.6750 Call Channel* 51 476.6875 General use
12 476.7000 General use 52 476.7125 General use
13 476.7250 General use 53 476.7375 General use
14 476.7500 General use 54 476.7625 General use
15 476.7750 General use 55 476.7875 General use
16 476.8000 General use 56 476.8125 General use
17 476.8250 General use 57 476.8375 General use
18 476.8500 General use 58 476.8625 General use
19 476.8750 General use 59 476.8875 General use
20 476.9000 General use 60 476.9125 General use
21 476.9250 General use 61 476.9375 NOT USED3
22 476.9500 Data only (no voice)2 * 62 476.9625 NOT USED3
23 476.9750 Data only (no voice)2 * 63 476.9875 NOT USED3
24 477.0000 General use 64 477.0125 General use
25 477.0250 General use 65 477.0375 General use
26 477.0500 General use 66 477.0625 General use
27 477.0750 General use 67 477.0875 General use
28 477.1000 General use 68 477.1125 General use
29 477.1250 General use 69 477.1375 General use
30 477.1500 General use 70 477.1625 General use
31 477.1750 Repeater input (band1) 71 477.1875 Repeater input (band 2)
32 477.2000 Repeater input (band1) 72 477.2125 Repeater input (band 2)
33 477.2250 Repeater input (band1) 73 477.2375 Repeater input (band 2)
34 477.2500 Repeater input (band1) 74 477.2625 Repeater input (band 2)
35 477.2750 Repeater input (band1)
EMERGENCY 1*
75 477.2875 Repeater input (band 2)
36 477.3000 Repeater input (band1) 76 477.3125 Repeater input (band 2)
37 477.3250 Repeater input (band1) 77 477.3375 Repeater input (band 2)
38 477.3500 Repeater input (band1) 78 477.3625 Repeater input (band 2)
39 477.3750 General use 79 477.3875 General use
40 477.4000 Road Channel# 80 477.4125 General use

Notes:

* = Legally designated channel use.
# = Legally recommended channel use.

1 Channels 5 and 35 are allocated for EMERGENCY USE ONLY Australia wide. Channel 35 is used as the input channel for emergency repeaters, so transmissions on channel 35 can block an emergency channel many kilometres away.

2 Data channels are reserved for use by telemetry and telecommand systems only. Use of voice on these channels is illegal.

3 Channels 61, 62 and 63 are not released for use at this stage.


27MHz HF CB Band

Chnl (40 & 23 chnl sets) Chnl
(old 18 chnl sets)
HF Freq Use
1 26.965 General use
2 26.975 General use
3 26.985 General use
4 27.005 General use
5 1 27.015 General use
6 2 27.025 General use
7 3 27.035 General use
8 4 27.055 Road Channel#
9 5 27.065 Emergency Channel*
10 27.075 General use
11 6 27.085 Call Channel – AM Mode*
7 27.095 Withdrawn from use by CB service
12 8 27.105 General use
13 9 27.115 General use
14 10 27.125 General use
15 11 27.135 General use
16 12 27.155 Call Channel – LSB Mode*
17 13 27.165 General use
18 14 27.175 General use
19 15 27.185 General use
16 27.195 Withdrawn from use by the CB service
20 17 27.205 General use
21 27.215 General use
22 18 27.225 General use
23 27.255 General use
24 27.235 General use
25 27.245 General use
26 27.265 General use
27 27.275 General use
28 27.285 General use
29 27.295 General use
30 27.305 General use
31 27.315 General use
32 27.325 General use
33 27.335 General use
34 27.345 General use
35 27.355 Generally accepted use – Long Distance LSB Call Channel
36 27.365 General use
37 27.375 General use
38 27.385 General use
39 27.395 General use
40 27.405 General use

Note:

* = Legally designated use.
# = Legally recommended use.

Although there is no legal designation for which general use channels can be used for AM or SSB, the generally accepted use is for AM mode between channels 1 and 14, and SSB modes from 15 to 40.


Legal allocation but no licence!

Many people believe that as there is no need for a licence to operate a CB there are no rules or laws to govern the use of CB. If this is what you think, you are WRONG! When CB was first legalised in Australia in 1977 every station had to have a licence. In fact, at first you needed a licence for EVERY CB you owned, at a cost of $25 each per year! Eventually this changed, and then in 1994 the government abandoned individual licences for CB stations opting instead for a Class Licence system. What is a Class Licence? Well, from the ACMA website:

“A class licence sets out the conditions under which any person is permitted to operate. It is not issued to an individual user, and does not involve licence fees or licence conditions applied to individuals.”.

What this basically means is that everyone is automatically covered by the Class Licence and no longer needed to obtain a licence for their CB sets.

When the Class Licence came in many CBers automatically thought that CB had been “deregulated”, meaning that there were no longer any laws or rules governing how CB could and couldn’t be used. But this wasn’t true, the laws remained very largely unchanged – emergency and call channels were still allocated, maximum power was still mandated, frequencies that could be used were still set – except now, instead of all this being a condition of the licence that each CBer use to get, it was part of the Class Licence that automatically covered everyone the moment they started using a CB.

What this meant is very simple – all of the conditions that existed before 1994 regarding channel uses, power output, interference, etc, remained in force and enforceable under the Class Licence and the Radiocommunications Act 1992, except for one important point that many people do not realise. Under the old system if you breached the rules – operated high power or chatted on the emergency channels, for example – you could be prosecuted for breaching the relevant section(s) of the licence, but under the Class Licence you could be prosecuted for operating WITHOUT A LICENCE! How? Very simply the Radiocommunications Act stipulates that where operation is under a Class Licence, if you operate outside of the provisions of that Class Licence, then you are no longer authorised to operate under the licence and hence, are operating without a licence. This offence carries a maximum penalty for an individual of 2 years imprisonment.

Our page on the Emergency Channels contains more details on this subject, including full details of the current penalties and extracts of the relevant legislation. Click here to go to that page.

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