Difference between CB radio and Ham Radio- In-Depth Discussion

Difference between CB radio and Ham Radio- In-Depth Discussion

Want to work with radio in professional basis? Haven’t enough experience to work broadly in this sector. Then you have a good option to start your work with Ham radio. It is actually a comparatively low distance covered amateur type radio.

After acquiring enough experience from dealing with Ham radio, you can migrate to work for another advance level radio system called CB radio. These radios have larger area coverage to serve a large number of people.

So, knowing about the basic differences between these two types of radio system will greatly help you to make a perfect deal with the radio working. This article is especially for those who are the beginner in radio working but want to make deal with it.

Moreover, for those, who want to know elaborately for the radio transmission process. Hence, if you are in this category, this article will be a nice asset for you.

HAM radio systems

In a word, this radio system is especially for the beginners for covering a comparatively smaller area.

Specification title

Numerical value

No of bands


Band length

70 centimeters to 2 meters


43.4 MHz


Up to 10 miles

CB radio systems 

CB radio is mainly for larger area coverage. So, experienced is a must for working with this type of radio system.

Specification title

Numerical value

No of bands


Band length

Up to 80 meters


Up to 440 MHz


About 30 to 60 miles

Phase of differences 

  • Covering area

If you use HAM radio system, you'll get a comparatively shorter covering area for the operation. The area might be about maximum 10 miles in a span. The license will be issued by the local government. You can provide your service to a shorter number of people.

While using CB radio system, the coverage area will expand to a larger area of about 70 to 80 miles and up to 160 mils span in some cases. The license will be provided and acknowledged by the central government.

 You can give service to a huge number of people. But the limitation will be applied also. You can never be allowed to provide your service more than 160 thousand of people.

  • Magnitude

Magnitude is another important sector to differentiate the CB and HAM radio system. For HAM radio system, the frequency is about 43.4 MHz.  This larger frequency causes comparatively shorter wavelength. Therefore, the wave can’t travel a larger distance. But the energy transmission capability is very high in HAM system.

CB radio offers shorter frequency of about 0.4 MHz which allows it to have a larger wavelength. The wavelength of CB is more than 100 times larger than HAM. You know, the larger the wavelength, the larger the penetration capability and the distance traveling capability.

  • Band Number

Band number is another important parameter to compare the strength and ability of the radio systems. The number of the band, the stronger and better transmission system you'll get. The larger band number also allows traveling the radio wave a larger distance with the same strength.

HAM have the comparatively better frequency with a lower number of the band. You'll generally find 14 bands in HAM radio system. So, the transmission capability is a bit lower and covers a smaller area.

On the other hand, CB radio system has a larger number of bands covering a larger area.   It has more than 50 bands to make a more efficient transmission.

  • Band Length

Band length is another important parameter to differentiate HAM and CB radio system. Generally, the longer the band length, the more area coverage can be done.

 Generally, the band length of the CB radio system is about 80 meters in span. But, it can be increased up to 160 meters if necessary. The longer span and highest number of band ensure greater area coverage.

The band length of HAM is comparatively smaller. The span of HAM radio is less than 10 meters. Hence, the coverage area is comparatively very lower than the CB radio system.

Users of HAM and CB radio


  • HAM radio system is used in short locality. It is specially used for private use.
  • In the most case, the military operators use it for their regular communication.


  • CB radio is generally used for the mass communication in a large area.
  • The national AND central communication is greatly involved with it.


Hope the writing given above will clearly fulfill all of your queries about CB and Ham radio system. Actually, the magnitude and the coverage area are the main spheres of the difference between these two radio systems.

 The issue of the license will depend on the operating process and your experience on these subjects. In that sense, this article might be the first basic about these two radio systems for yours'.

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