Outback Communication Requirements Explained

UHF Radios have become the more popular choice of CB, mainly due to their considerable price drop over the past decade and with repeater locations constantly growing throughout Australia, UHF CB users are gaining more coverage. 27MHz CBs used to be very popular, however with the advantages of UHF Radios and other communications devices such asHF radio, satellite phone and mobile phones, this is starting to diminish.

UHF radios provide FM quality, short range, line of sight communications and are excellent for convoys. In general, a UHF radio is not of much use in an emergency unless someone happens to be in range of your location – usually much less than 50km. Handheld units are useful because you can walk to higher ground and greatly extend the range if the vehicle is in a valley, or the battery is flat. Owning a pair of handhelds is also useful for bushwalking or in just about any situation you can imagine. In areas where repeaters are installed communication up to many hundreds of kilometres is possible. They are popular in pastoral country with stations operating on public & private repeaters.

Most, if not all modern UHF CBs can scan all channels and lock in on a channel when a signal is heard. This overcomes the problem of not knowing which channel the repeater or the homestead is operating on. We suggest you scan all channels when travelling in unknown regions to pick up all transmissions.

To transmit on a UHF Repeater, you need to select an appropriate channel based on your proximity to a repeater station. Modern units usually work this out automatically.

These days there is only a very loosely applied code of speech and you can basically talk normally without any formalities or code words. Some people still use “Roger” or “Copy” to confirm they have received the message. “Over” is still in general travel use to indicate the end of transmission, but not by regular users that know one-another well such as between station operators or when reception is very clear for both parties. It is however very impolite to play music, swear or use a channel already in use by another party.