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February 13, 1998
 
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IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMATEUR RADIO AND CB


USES PERMITTED 

AMATEUR RADIO: Noncommercial public service oriented communications service. Hobby and experimental communications. Home computing by radio. Emergency and routine public service. 

CB: Business and casual conversations. Public aid channel for emergencies. 


FREQUENCY RANGE 

AMATEUR RADIO: Amateur bands are spread across the radio spectrum. The 2 meter band alone is 4 MHz. 

CB: One band of 40 channels. Total of 1.44 MHz. 


POWER PERMITTED 

AMATEUR RADIO: Fifteen hundred watts, if needed. 

CB: Four watts output on AM. 


LICENSE REQUIREMENT 

AMATEUR RADIO: Tests for technical skill and operating rules. Exam difficulty increases by license level. 

CB: No exams. Permit carries no earned privileges 


HOW TO TELL WHO IS WHO 

AMATEUR RADIO: Government issued call signs indicating country/zone as well as personal I.D. Most states offer special license plates. Iowa offers "CALL PLATES" for $5.00 over the required fees. (A lot less than personal plates.) 

CB: No formal system of identification. No personal licensing of users. 


SIGNALS ALLOWED 

AMATEUR RADIO: Morse code, AM, FM, Single Sideband, Teletype, ASCII, Packet, Slow Scan Television, Fast Scan (Live Action) Television, Satellites, Repeater, Relay, Beacon, Radio Control, more. 

CB: AM & Single Sideband Radio. Wireless control of hobby gear. 


CUSTOMIZED EQUIPMENT 

AMATEUR RADIO: Can modify, overhaul, repair and improve store-bought gear. Can construct and experiment with own equipment. 

CB: The CB permit does not allow any adjustment, modification or repair by the user. 


MAIN ATTRACTION 

AMATEUR RADIO: Ability to experiment by radio, home computer, and television. Worldwide communications; enhancement of international goodwill. Public service. 

CB: Avoiding speed traps. Motorist pastime. Neighborhood contact. Enjoyment limited by profanity, low power, and interference. 


JOURNALS, CLUBS AND GROUPS 

AMATEUR RADIO: American Radio Relay League, national non- profit membership association. National publications. Two thousand affiliated clubs across the country including local clubs in virtually even city and regional groups such as the Ottumwa/Lancaster Repeater Group, Inc. and the SouthEast Iowa Technical Society. 

CB: No national magazine or journal. Emergency group REACT sometimes found in metro areas. Few clubs. 

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