FCC allows Frequency Modulation on CB radio❗️

Cobra petitioned the FCC to permit the transmission of Frequency Modulation in addition to present AM and SSB!

After considering this additional information, we (FCC) conclude that allowing manufacturers to add FM as an optional modulation scheme will not substantially change the fundamental nature of the CB Radio Service and will improve the user experience, as described by Cobra and President. How people use the service will not materially change or be expanded. Further, Cobra states that AM is a “well- established” operating mode that is unlikely to disappear, even if we permit operations in FM mode.22 Continuing to mandate AM capability while permitting dual modulation will provide benefits to CB radio users who will have an additional modulation option, while maintaining the basic character of the service. The addition of FM as a permitted mode will not result in additional interference because users who hear unintelligible audio on a particular channel can simply select another channel or switch modes.

What do you think? I’ve never been a big fan of Amplitude Modulation due to the ever increasing noise floor that is killing AM broadcast radio, as an example.
Will the addition of FM, help or hurt CB radio❓

It will definitely help Cobra and other manufacturers sell more radios.

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I just upgraded to the Lincoln II+ so i could have FM mode. Not sure it is going to take off though.

I would be interested in your experiences with it. I know it will take some time before enough people upgrade their radios to make test evaluations. Thanks for the update.

I have a question. I’ve used CB for well over 30 years, mostly as a work tool in my dump truck, but sadly I really know nothing about radio waves and all that entails. With the addition of FM to a CB radio, would you use the exact same frequencies on FM as you do on AM, for example channel 19 is 27.185 MHz, so would both AM & FM would use 27.185? and would someone using FM be able to talk with someone using AM using the same frequency?

Since the CB band is not being changed, only the addition of Frequency Modulation (FM). That will significantly reduce noise on the band, however having BOTH AM and SB and now FM mixed together on the same CB channels should be quite interesting! My guess is the FCC is thinking that most CB users will purchase new radios with FM. Because of the difference in the modulation scheme, AM won’t be able to talk to FM or FM to AM. That’s what will make this an interesting experiment.
As usual, the U.S. lags behind most other country’s in so many ways, unfortunately.
Since Europe and especially the UK already has FM on CB, I would be interested in any of their users, comments?
Has FM made CB more or less useful?
How has DXing with FM working out?
Lots of questions need to be answered.

Seems to me that if you want to go FM, just go to GMRS. More power, more options.

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I agree. I think I had a CB radio decades ago for a very short time. I just wasn’t impressed with that great Amplitude Modulation, even back then😂 Of course, the noise floor is so much worse now.
I think the CB fans, mostly long haul truckers, will be using it until they go to their grave.
GMRS, because of it’s higher operating frequency, will always have it’s short range problem that CB is not saddled with.

Maybe you’ll see a resurgence in CB use for local communications. FM may be a “skip filter” Of course, FM will propagate; but a lot of the AM distance stuff will just go bye bye, leaving room for us who communicate at the local level to enjoy the service.

I hope you’re right. I guess that’s why CB just never impressed me. Even in the early days, trying to talk thru all the hash wasn’t so enjoyable. I think that’s what motivated so many people to go illegal. Improved “skip” and better signal to noise ratio made the legal 5 watters unable to compete on the band. I’m hoping FM will be a shot-in-the-arm for the service👍

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FM and AM are two separate frequencies so to say. Kind of like SSB if you ever have used it. Yes AM is noisy but I have found SSB is a whole lot quieter and you get better modulation and clarity but have to tune in to the person your talking to to make contact. 73’s and good luck. Also might think of checking into getting a GMRS radio set up. Wouxun makes great radios and I bought two from buyteowayradios.com. Excellent sales and customer service.

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That’s not exactly correct. Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation are 2 different means of inserting music,voice, etc onto a radio carrier.
Frequency is the location of a signal in a radio spectrum. In the case of CB, AM, FM, and SSB will all share the same 27 MHZ band.
I’m not sure how that’s going to work out! Lol

John, what are your thoughts about it?
I realize that one major problem might be, no one else out there on CB FM :frowning:
Otherwise, what’s your impression of the radio build quality, etc?

Bear in mind, the Lincoln 2 is a 10 meter radio. It is illegal to use this radio on CB, and is therefore off topic for this group, as we only discuss legal topics on the forum.

I got the President Thomas. I haven’t found anyone to talk to on FM, so I don’t know how effective it is. I miss the weather alert my previous Presidents had; but it’s okay.

A lot of people have gone the way of GMRS. It’s becoming more popular for sure and a lot more equipment is available now…but the prices for mobile radios…ouch!

I thought that might be the problem! For Citizens Band FM to be a success, a considerable number of people are going to have to buy the radios. I’m sure the prices aren’t cheap. For those of us that bought the MXT400 or MXT500 or the Wouxun KG-1000G, their isn’t much money left in the piggy bank😂

As you pointed out, the GMRS seems like a much better choice, at least I think so.

The President Thomas is about $100. About $30 more expensive than the comparable AM only Andy II. So, I don’t see FM CB radios being too expensive. Just the GMRS mobiles are the expensive ones.

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I don’t think FM as a mode has made CB more or less useful as we really haven’t got enough of a trial with it yet. It is definitely much clearer than AM or SSB once you learn the proper way of using it. DX is awesome I have personally had many DX contacts with it and find it very good. When SSB first took off people were hesitant in its beginnings because of price and the proper use of it. I think FM will be a great mode for local rag chewing and DXing as soon as people get used to it…Have fun

I agree that it will likely be at least a year or two before we see the real impact of this change on the CB radio service as a whole. It may be instantly adopted by everyone, or it could be that some of the old CBers may be reluctant to move from AM right away, because that’s what they are used to using. Time will tell.

It will be interesting to see what happens with existing CB radios. No doubt manufacturers will incorporate FM into new models. The question is, will the popular models of the last 4 or 5 years be abandoned for new models with FM capability, or will they just gradually fade away as CBers begin to embrace the new option for modulation?

Your comments are right on the mark! The big unknown, will CB owners see enough value in the FM feature, to go out and purchase a new radio?
That’s the big unknown! I’m sure the industry is hoping they do❗️
This is somewhat like the move from AM broadcast radio to now FM. That transition took decades before FM finally became the dominant modulation scheme.
As an MXT400 owner, and now the proud owner of an MXT500, I’m obviously hoping GMRS will be the preferred winner!