What is this.......
"Free-Band Radio"?

Freeband CB Radio is the use of frequencies or channels in the 11 meter frequency spectrum that are not designated to the CB Radio Service. These uses include "private" channels, club call channels, and even for attempting long distance contacts (DX).

These freeband frequencies run from 26.000 MHz up to channel 1, 26.965 MHz, and from above channel 40, 27.405 MHz, to the edge of the 10 Meter ham band, 28.000 MHz.

When high sunspot cycles happen, it is not uncommon to hear many, many stations from around the world on these frequencies! Most of these operators are attempting to communicate with stations in another state and even other countries! There are even radio groups and clubs that support these activities. There is just one problem. It is a violation of FCC rules to operate on these freeband frequencies!

So why do so many do it?

One main reason is that the legal 40 channels can be so crowded that it is nearly impossible to communicate, even across town! Many have taken to these freeband frequencies in order to simply communicate, still others enjoy the great DX, and yet others just get a thrill from simply using frequencies they just aren't supposed to use. Nevertheless, it is a popular activity regardless of the reason.

Another compelling reason for unauthorized frequency operation is that countries other than the US are authorized on frequencies outside the 26.965 to 27.405 MHz US allocation. Some operators enjoy DX contacts with those operating from other countries and find it necessary to transmit out-of-band.

So how do the "smart" operators avoid problems with the FCC?

One way would be not to run excessive power. Another is to keep your conversations civil without profanity or other rudeness. and most importantly, avoid frequencies that are used by legitimate operators such as the ones listed below in this table. Interference to legitimate users will definitely attract the FCC's attention very quickly.

Frequencies To Avoid

25.100 - 26.670 MHz..... these frequencies are used by Broadcast Remotes

26.620 MHz..... this is the Civil Air Patrol frequency for search and rescue.

26.800 MHz..... Military and Border Patrol.

26.945 MHz..... FAA -STAY CLEAR!!!

27.575 and 27.585 MHz.....why anyone would talk on these frequencies is beyond me - they are used by the FCC, Coast Guard, FAA and just about every U.S. Government Agency for low powered communications.

27.720 MHz..... NASA and Air Force in Florida.

27.750 and 27.785 MHz.....these are both US Navy and US Coast Guard.  The reason to stay off these two frequencies would be quite clear if you ever monitor them.

27.870 MHz.....NASA and Air Force in Florida.

27.900 MHz..... used by both the US Army and Navy operations.

27.980 MHz.....U.S. Coast Guard.


There have been many attempts in the past to get the FCC to increase the number of channels in the CB band without avail. The last channel increase occurred in 1977 when the band was increased from 23 channels to 40. At the time this helped with congestion but since then more operators have joined the CB ranks creating even further congestion.

Presently CB radio is becoming very popular again! Many radio manufacturers have begun producing new models so we can expect to see even more operators in this tiny slice of radio spectrum. As time goes on, we may see enough pressure placed on the FCC to once again increase the CB radio band. But Dont Hold Your Breathe!!