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Free Band Frequency Allocations 

    Free band CB Radio is the use of frequencies or channels that are not designated to the CB Radio service for use as "private" channels or for attempting long distance contacts (DX). These free band channels 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).

    During high sunspot cycles, it is not uncommon to hear many, many stations on these frequencies communicating with stations in other states and even other countries. There are even radio clubs that support these activities. There is just one problem. It is a violation of FCC rules to operate on these free band frequencies! So why do so many do it?

    One reason, and probably the biggest, is that the legal 40 channels can be so crowded that it is nearly impossible to communicate even across town. Many have taken to the free band frequencies in order to simply communicate.  Still others are simply using these frequencies for improved privacy from regular CB people, they enjoy less agitation from trouble makers. 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. Still another is to avoid frequencies that are used by legitimate operators such as the ones in this table. Interference to legitimate users may attract the FCC's attention very quickly, especially if it deals with public safety.

Frequencies To Stay Away From

Frequency - User
25.670-26.100 - Broadcast remotes
26.617 - Civil Air Patrol (CAP)
27.430, 27.450, 27.490, 27.510, 27.530 - Business
27.870, 27.920, 27.974 - US Navy-MARS
28.000 -29.700 - 10 Meter Ham Band

     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 again becoming very popular. 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 until then, we've only got 40 legal ones! 

Rough list of known Frequency 
Allocations  in the 25-30 MHz Spectrum (legal users).

Rough list of known list of Freeband
Users in the 25-30 MHz Spectrum  (illegal users)

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