Let’s get right into the meat….
In this article, we will be talking about CB radios and walkie talkies and if they can communicate with each other.
I hate to break it into you but….
Walkie talkies cannot communicate with CB radios due to a variety of factors which we will discuss below
So, you heard me, walkie talkies will not be able to communicate with CB radios, although they are both radios, they both work the same, they may even be of different brands.
To better answer your question, we will need to look at the technicalities that involve the communication of these two devices
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Why do you even need a walkie talkie to talk to a cb radio?
Maybe you have a team on the ground with walkie talkies and someone in the car and you’d want them to all communicate for logistics reason.
Or if you are on a hike, it would be best (for safety reasons) if your walkie talkie is able to communicate with CB radios so that in case of an accident, you can call for help using your CB radio, plus emergency and law enforcement agencies use CB radios.
Or for whatever reason, pairing these two devices is a convenience that you’d want as a two-way radio user but unfortunately, it is impossible.
What is a CB radio and what is a walkie talkie? How do they work?
CB radio is short for Citizens band radio, it is a short distance communications radio for users, it has 40 channels which users can choose from although some channels are reserved for a certain purpose.
CB radios transmits at 27MHZ at half duplex and doesn’t need a license in-order for it to be used.
So literally anyone can use a CB radio.
A walkie talkie on the other hand is also a two-way radio, formally known as a handheld transceiver and they also transmit in a variety of frequencies.
There are channels on a walkie talkie that needs licensing and other channels where anyone can use it just like with CB radios.
GMRS and FRS channels is what they are called, FRS channels on a walkie talkie is for everyone to use while GMRS is for licensed users only.
Walkie talkies use the 30MHz to 300MHz frequency range for VHF while UHF uses 300MHz to 3,000MHz.
How can two radios communicate?
Just like how we need to speak in the same language in-order to understand each other, radios work the same way.
Just as a Spanish speaker who can’t speak English will have a hard time communicating with someone who speaks only English, in the same way, radios need to be on the same frequency in order to be able to communicate with each other.
Having talked about the principles of radios, we will now look at the difference between the two.
As we have said from above, CB radios use the 27 Mega Hertz frequency while walkie talkies uses 30MHz to 300MHz frequency range for VHF and uses 300MHz to 3,000MHz for UHF.
They do not intersect or meet frequency(ly) speaking, if that is even a word. ( and LOL to that)
So, considering the basic principle of radios, which is that, radios need to be on the same frequency in order to communicate with each other, from this principle we now know that walkie talkies and CB radios cannot talk to each other because they are not on the same frequency.
Some people have said that the Dora and Spiderman (these are popular off the shelf two-way radios) walkie talkies, are able to pick up CB radio chatters.
Those chatters are most likely repeaters transmissions which are being caught by these toy walkie talkies.
As we now know, a walkie talkie will go on its 30MHz to 3000MHz depending on whether its UHF or VHF and will never intersect with a CB radio that transmit on 27MHZ,
Let me modify this sh*t….
But is there a way to modify a walkie talkie so that they can run on the 27MHZ frequency or be able to communicate with CB’s you may ask.
Yes and NO, most walkie talkies are made up of components that enable it to transmit at such frequencies, if you want it to transmit on the CB radio frequency, it will need a lot of modification.
So, to conclude…
There are many reasons why you’d want to have a walkie talkie communicate with a CB radio.
Since you have asked, we have looked at how two radio devices are able to communicate.
Let me put it in a few words, “Walkie talkies cannot communicate with CB radios because they are not on the same channel”.
As they have different hardware components and abilities and were also intended for different purposes, they were made to transmit at different frequencies (there are laws governing the transmission of such devices)
In theory it can be done (illegally) only if it is modified, now that’s a lot of work and an article in itself.