Do I need a licence for a CB Radio in Ireland?
No. The CB Radio licence was abolished in 1998.
What are the legal power limitations for CB Radio in Ireland?
Operational modes are AM (1W erp), FM (4W erp) and SSB (4W pep). CB is from 26.96-27.41MHz where forty 10 kHz channels are available.
What type of antenna do I need?
That is a pretty broad question. It depends upon which type of installation you are going to be using. A home installation basically has two types of antennas available to it -- omindirectional and beam. The omnidirectional antenna sends and receives signals with equal strength in all directions (360 degrees). A beam on the other hand will concentrate the signal in a particular direction. This will give you better range in whatever direction you have the beam pointed. Just remember that with a beam it would be necessary to constantly "rotate" the beam in the direction of the station you are trying to contact. For overall ease of operation, the omnidirectional antenna would work just fine. Mobile antennas come in a wide variety and several styles, there are magnetic mounts, gutter lip mounts, trunk lip mounts, mirror mounts and permanent mounts. All of the mounts have their advantages. The best place to mount the antenna is in the center of the roof of the vehicle and if that does not work out, then in the center of the trunk. Try to get the antenna with the highest "gain" rating. Mounting the antenna in other locations on the vehicle will tend to make it directional (much like a beam).
How far can I reach on my CB?
Once again this is a pretty open question. All things being the same you can expect anywhere between 1 and 5 miles between mobile units. There are all sorts of variables, including terrain, how busy the channel is, how much power you are pushing out, or even types and numbers of buildings around the transmitting/receiving units. Base stations can expect about 5 to 10 miles between base and mobile and 10 to 30 miles between base units (again, this depends on the power of your radio, the height of your antenna, type of antenna, obstructions etc).
What is Channel 9 all about?
CB channel 9 has been designated by the FCC in America as an emergency contact channel. However, this designation is only valid in the United States and other countries do not have this "official" designation for the channel and in the 80's, channel 9 was used as an emergency channel in Ireland. It is still recognised today as an emergency channel.
What is skip?
Normally CB radio transmissions are "line of site," or considered to be short range. However, there are times when the earth's atmosphere acts as a mirror and will bounce signals to distant locations. Remember your CB signal also goes up as well as out and away from your antenna. When the conditions are just right, it is possible to bounce the radio signal (or skip) it off the atmosphere and it will land hundreds to thousands of miles away. Therefore it is not impossible for someone using a CB in Ireland to communicate with another person in Europe.
Can I use my CB in my business?
There are no restrictions on using a CB radio to aid in the operation of your business.
Am I allowed to use a linear amplifier?
CB radios are only permitted to operate at AM (1W erp), FM (4W erp) and SSB (4W pep). Using any additional power is illegal and can may cause interference to your neighbor's electronics appliances including such things as TVs, VCRs, Stereos, and even telephones. Although most technology has switch to digital broadcasting like Sky TV, you could still cause issues on older technology. Your neighbours could file a complaint against your operations to Comreg who is the Irish communications regulator.
Is Channel 19 an official channel like Channel 9?
Channel 19 is an "unofficial" trucker's channel. The FCC in America has not designated this as an "official" trucker's channel, however truckers are about all you will hear on this channel. In Ireland, channel 19 is used as a "truckers channel". When traveling this is a good channel to monitor in order to keep up on traffic jams, accidents and traffic enforcement.
Where can I get accessories?
Scorpion Technology are more than happy to help and advise you on your radio requirements.
What does the squelch do?
The squelch quiets the background radio noise when there is no signal present. Simply turn the squelch until the noise goes away. The background noise can get pretty annoying after awhile and the squelch will keep the receiver quiet unless there is a signal present.
What is sideband?
Sideband, known as single sideband (SSB) is a more effective use of the existing channels on a CB radio. If you think of the standard AM CB channel as a flood light, think of sideband as a spotlight. It will travel further on a narrower beam just like the lights do. The signal does not sound as clear as an AM signal and that is why when you use this mode you must also use the clairifier in order to clear up the sound of the transmission. That being said, you will get a greater distance using SSB as compared to AM.