On this page we have listed some of the most common questions we are asked from Customers of a Technical nature. Check below to see if we can assist with a quick answer to your inquiry. For your convenience we have put the questions into generalized categories.
If your question does not appear below please call us on 08 9022 8555 or use our inquiry form to speak with a service representative for information or advice on any subject not covered here.
CB Radio Questions
Q. What is CB Radio ?
CB Radio is particular bands in the frequency spectrum that the Australian Government has legislated are for the use of the general public. (Hence the name CB – Citizens Band) A user license to use a frequency in the CB frequency allocation is not required. As a general rule CB channels are for use of the general public and not for commercial operations.
Q. How many CB Channels are there ?
There are tow frequency bands for CB. The most commonly used is the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) Band at 477 MHz. There are 40 allocated frequencies in this band.
Also used is 27 MHz CB which has an allocation of 40 Channels as well as the 27 MHz Marine Band.
Q. Which CB band should I use ?
This depends on your application. For example, if you are a Caravanner and wish to communicate with other highway users then the UHF CB would be the best choice. For Mariners a 27 MHz CB would be the better choice.
Q. Can I get a high powered CB ?
Under Australian Law the maximum power allowed for a CB transmitter is 5 watts. Using higher power levels is illegal and penalties apply. Use of high powered transmitters in the CB bands adversely affects other users.
Q. Explain Antenna “Gain” in non technical terms.
The easy way to understand “gain” is to think of a round ball. When it is inflated it is a round shape – or a ball. This would equate to “unity” gain.
If we were to pull the ball from either end and elongate it somewhat we would raise the “gain” – that is the length has increased but the ball is now longer and flatter. This would be say “3dBi Gain”. If we continued to pull the ends the ball would flatten more and become longer and more directional – this is higher gain again. If we continued to pull the ends we would end us with a very long skinny shape – this is very high gain. So effectively we have not changed the Radio power but we have made it very directional.
Q. So given what you have said about gain should I use a “High Gain Antenna” ?
Again the answer is “it depends on the application”. If you are looking for a fixed link point to point then very high gain may well be the answer. For mobile applications a lesser gain may provide better results depending on terrain. Contact GCS for advice on Antennas and applications.
Mobile Phone Coverage
Q. Can I use a “Cell Phone Booster” to extend the range of my cell phone ?
We are asked this question many times. There are any number of “Boosters” available for purchase over the internet and New Zealand and the USA are the main areas that these are imported from. The main thing to remember is that they are ILLEGAL in Australia and heavy penalties can be imposed on person(s)importing and using them.
Below is a definitive answer from the ACMA (Australia Communications and Media Authority) specific to these devices.
All radiocommunications transmitters operating in Australia do so under the authority of an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued spectrum, apparatus or class license.
A mobile telephone booster/amplifier and/or repeater is a radiocommunications transmitter and therefore can only be operated in Australia under the authority of an ACMA issued radiocommunications license or with the permission of the current licensees.
The radio spectrum in which these mobile telephone booster/amplifiers and/or repeaters operate, is exclusively licensed to the mobile telephone carriers (including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone) - other parties will not be given licenses by ACMA to operate in this spectrum.
There are no Australian approved mobile telephone booster/amplifiers and/or repeaters, with the exception of the mobile telephone carriers who may install and operate similar devices as part of their networks under their licenses.
For additional information please see the following ACMA web pages;