Posted by: GW7AAV | July 12, 2011

UK gets 27MHz SSB CB 30 years too late

Thirty years ago I would have been jumping around for joy at the news that because of an  ECC Decision as of 24th June 20 the use of 27 MHz SSB CB across the British Isles and Europe is to be harmonised.

The new ruling permits the use of SSB equipment running 12 watts PEP output in the frequency band 26.960 – 27.410 MHz. The ECC Decision came into force on June 24, 2011 and the preferred date for implementation of this ECC Decision by national administrations is October 1, 2011.

Read the ECC Decision ECC/DEC/(11)03 – The harmonised use of frequencies for Citizens’ Band (CB) radio equipment

I wonder how many of us would have made the move to amateur radio if this had been done in 1981. Especially as B class licences were only permitted VHF and above back then. It would have been almost a backward step for someone used to eleven metre DXing to only have 144 and 433 MHz to play on, indeed some of my old chums took a lot longer to see the big picture than I did. If you every have listened on these frequencies you will realise just how often ten metres should be open, but there is no-one on there and yet the eleven metre frequencies are bouncing. Some of those UK pirates will wonder what hit them as all those Cobras and Tristars are dragged from lofts and fired up legally for the first time. What worried me for a long time was the number of familiar voices that could be heard on 27, now they can come out of the closet.

As a ham, think of it as an extension to ten metres. Sure there are lids but we have them on the ham bands too and we always have. I am happy for all the old CBers who never gave up. Thirty years what a wait!

CB is dead, long live CB – Back at you good buddie!


  1. As an ex swl from the 1950s who never played on cb all I would say is if thats want you want go do it and leave us real radio amateurs to continue with a hobby that certaily predates 27 or any other variations in mhz they decide to give you.From GW0ETN previously was G8WUM and I never grumbled then about the freq limitations.Just studied and sat the 12wpm…

    • As an ex-CBer who never saw the point of SW listening or CW because I wanted to talk to people not listen to dots and dashes or eavesdrop on the conversations of others and who has never been back on CB for about 25 years, even though I paid two licence fees for about 12 years, what the hell makes you any more of a real radio amateur than anybody else? That is the attitude that has done the hobby more harm than anything else over the history of the hobby.

      Why do you think I would want to go on to 27MHz running 12 watts anyway when I can run 400w on 28-30MHz? It is a no brainer.

      I would like to think that this could lead to a renaissance for CB and that as a result some of the new blood would in time filter over to amateur radio. In reality I think this will make very little difference to anyone. The pirates will continue to pirate, but at least while they do it on 27MHz they are not doing it on the amateur bands.

      By the way I do have some CW contacts in my log, but like the data modes it is not really my thing, too many rubber stamp QSOs.

      If every generation of hams had not been so obnoxious to the next there would be twice as many radio amateurs on the air and not so many empty bands.

  2. I agree with Pete

  3. I was stationed at RAF Mildenhall when the powers to be over there decided to allow ‘new’ CB privlages only on FM. Of course the only companies that knew this was to happen were all UK companiew.Like Duh! it was a good move for the amateurs of that time because the market got flooded with inexpensive FM radios that could be converted to 10 meter FM with little effort. But it was a mean thing to do to the British public. There are good and nice folks on 27 Mhz who will be happy there, leave them alone and quit picking on them, clean up our own house first and protect our frequancies from the Home Land Security and the other ‘paranoid’ jerks who want the 440 band now and who knows next?
    Dar. W9HZC ex G5CNP

  4. I have just purchased an AnyTone5555 and I have started to program it. AS an ex-CBer from the 1980s on AM.I will be back on 11mtrs ssb as Moonspinner. I will also be on 10mtrs as G6LVS .Let us all come out of the closet and have one big on air convoy(only static) again . Hope to see you all on the bands.

    • well said that man , l just got a hand held that transmits on 136 to 448 mhz off ebay for £70 and l use it with no lic the local hams don’t like it much but stuff them they are all up their ass anyway, think l get a loft antenna and really p em off

  5. In the days of old, when knights were bold and radio amateurs knew what they were doing. Some G3 stations wouldn’t talk to us G8s on 2 mtrs because we didn’t have a “real” callsign (ie the cw), I thought this was a bit off, but overall fair-enough.
    These days, I agree with that mind-set. Things started to go down hill with the introduction of the multiple-guess exam, and have now been dumbed down to the Nth degree with the introduction of 3 levels of incompetance license.

  6. This is why ham radio is in decline time moves on technology is evolving why bother with an out of date radio com system when email skype msn world wide coms are available to me 24 hours a day no need for bulky power supplies rigs coax and not forgetting the bulky antenna system required if you can get council planning i have been a swl for 45 years and have recently passed my foundation licence soon to be an mw6 after looking at the comments above i wonder why i botherd in the first place ham radio is dead long live ham radio 73s

  7. at the end of the day – i will never know WHY radio hams get their knickers in a twist about cb – its a HOBBY same as amateur radio – and there has always been “snob ” value in a amateur call according to some – well i have been licenced 30+ years – and do you know what ?? – i am giveing up amateur radio as i am appaled by the poor operating standards – the endless contests and the general downturn since the foundation licence was brought in to keep the hobby afloat

    i wonder IF some of those who slag off cb have actually taken the time to LISTEN to some of the operating by the ssb dx’ers – ?? lots of PLEASE – THANK YOU – and general consideration – not the screw you i’m having this frequency – you are ALL 59 regardless – and turn up the wick and ( censored ) the qrp operators

    + in my area the cb lads have REAL concern for disabled operators – they have checked on me when i was not on air for a few days – have offered to help with antennas if i need them -AND offered and GIVEN me lifts to rallies ( as i cant drive now ) THAT NEVER HAPPENS ON AMATEUR RADIO !! – in fact the last time i visited a club – 3 people greeted me with and i quote :”( censored) me brett – i thought you was DEAD ” unqote + asking for a ride to a rally ?? – forget it

    so IMO a lot of amateurs have little room to critisise – we ALL have a choice – as to which we use – amateur or cb – so why not live and LET live ?? –

    brett G6URM -NOW QRT ( check it out on if you doupt me ) well on amateur radio at least

  8. I know this is not the busiest of forums but I couldn’t resist a reply.
    It always seemed rather simple to me CB was for chatting to people, AR for experimenting, testing, building things, the chatting was always secondary. Of course there are grey areas and critically one is not better than the other they’re just different or at least were.

    AR has waned as experimenters have many other avenues to explore now and encouraging CB users (like me) into AR was destined to fail if AR was pitched as a glorified version of CB which of course it was in many quartets.

    I for one will get a SSB set when legal and have fun playing around and seeing what can be achieved with it and will be pleased not have the formalities placed on AR, necessary though they may be.

    Best wishes to all

    Jon H formerly of and whitecliffsdx etc

  9. well I have read all these posts with great interest I am an ex cber who has discovered radio again after many years I also swl I wish to take the foundation licence for amateur radio but on reading these comments if I am going to be treated as a second class citizen because I have no interest in morse code then to be ignored on two meters because I have the wrong callsign I find is rather a bit off I find it really bad in this day and age why there is this snobbery in the ham community then they wonder why their hobby is a dying hobby ! some amateurs really need to wake up and at least try to lead by example to the foundation licence holders to encourage the licence holder to go for the next stage when I started on cb back in the 80s at least I was spoken to and in time learned many things from meets and clubs etc I,m glad the u.k has finally had the sense to allow ssb at least we can now have some fun out there and get to back what was a really enjoyable hobby radio I for one will now get a new set and homebase set up and combine it with my swl as for the ham licence I,m in two minds now whether or not to go for it because of the comments I have read here today especially if I am going to be treated like a social outcast by the other hams out there because I have the wrong call sign , and as for the ham on here who said three levels of incompetence what makes you think your any better than the rest of us because you have a little piece of paper to say you passed your exam ? I suggest you really should engage your brain before writing what you did as you obviously have that ham snobbery that has been mentioned previously here and your type is killing your own hobby dead 73 s

  10. ^^^ Well said & ditto. I have returned to radio after some 30+ years. Amazing the amount of Hams who you find on 11m ssb. We’re just all glad to be talking on the radio. Sorry but i dont do bitterness. 73’s

  11. Having been some one who was using CB in the seventies and then got a Ham license as well i also operated as a pirate and enjoyed it so I can see it from all sides .there is room for all in this although I can’t really see 11meter SSB doing tht well generally at this time of the sunspot cycle ! it does open up now and again as with 10 meters as well. I will admit that Ham radio does have more than it fair share of geeks and quite a few are stuck in the old ways ! i have had then attack me as well.
    I will probably get thrown out of my local club for posting this …So i will just spend more time on my other hobby!

    See you all on any bands in the future

    best 73 and a big 10-4 goood budy

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