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NEW ZEALAND CB RADIO HISTORY PAGE
Content on this page is
accredited to Mike "SSL-100" who abridged the
information in 2002
Mike originally posted this
information on his now old defunct website (www.ssl100.co.nz)
it was reposted here on ww.yeticomnz.com in 2004 with his
permission with updates to the information as the years go by
Some information is extracted
from the C.B.R.A.NZ. log book and from the radio spectrum management
(RSM) cb radio rule book .
The Citizen Radio Service was established to meet the need for a short range
means of communication for personal or business use which could not be
economically or practicably met by other communication services, and has
existed in New Zealand since 1953, being one of the first of this type in
Originally only 1 channel (26.500 MHZ) was available with a power limit of 0.5 watts.
In 1963 the number channels were increased to 7, all in the 26 MHZ
frequency band. 1966 the number of channels was further increased to 11
channels for general use and 3 for Government, including approved businesses
and persons. Power increased to 2 Watts.
Proposals to extend the Citizen Band service were released to the public in
June 1987 and from the resulting submissions, changes were made. Details of
the new 40 channel service was announced by Dr Cullen at the June 1988
annual conference of the Citizen Band Radio Association of New Zealand,
coming into effect 1 July 1988. October 1988, any type of aerials were
allowed, including beams.
1993 the Radio Frequency Service requested CBRANZ to forward a submission
for a PRS Citizen Radio Service (UHF CB). CBRANZ forwarded a submission
based on its 1978 submission sent to Post Office Communications for a UHF CB
Citizen Service in addition to the then AM CB. 1 July 1994, Personal Radio
Service in the 476 - 477 MHZ UHF frequencies extended the Citizen Radio
Service. Introduction of PRS was to improve options to the general public to
provide an economical radio service for small users in remote areas not
already covered by other systems. Possible use includes sporting and
community events, small businesses and hobby activities. Repeaters also
allowed on the PRS service but require a separate licence.
So that the services may be freely utilised, regulatory requirements have
been kept to the minimum and no operator qualifications deemed necessary Up
until 31 March 1993 the radio set was licensed. Each licensed set was issued
with a licence consisting of the district prefix followed by a number ie. AK
1234 The original licence fee was $3.00, rising over the years to $45.00. 1
April 1993 saw set licensing replaced by a General Licence, this licences
the operator. Licence fees abolished. All sets still had to comply with the
Specifications as laid down for the Citizens Band and Personal Radio Service
before being used on these services.
CB licensed sets peaked at 46,000 plus, during 1977 - 84, and this figure
does not include Government sets. At 1 April 1993, (last recorded figures
available) there were 14,600 CB sets licensed. Many operators and clubs now
use both CB and PRS.
1953:: CB established
in New Zealand.... 1 channel AM.... 26.500 MHZ, ½ watt
increased to 7 (set above and below 26.500 MHZ) Aerials ½
wave, omni directional only.
New Zealand CB club.... Canterbury Citizens Band
Radio Club Inc. Licence fee $3.00
Citizens Band Radio Club Inc becomes a registered club.
April: Second New Zealand CB club formed..... Otago Citizens Band Radio Club
June: Gorden Hammett proudes a list of 56 operators of the Christchurch area
in December it was updated to 64 operators.
1968:: July a third
list appeared now up to 87 operators listed.
1970:: February CH471
Graham Dacomobe travelled to the north island and
returned with many more call lists from all over New Zealand this then was
the real beginning of the New Zealand list and became the 1st edition. 675
callsigns were listed.It was issued by the Canterbury C.B Radio Club.
November saw the 2nd edition with 1024 call signs listed.
1971::Alan Roswell CH
97 took over responsibility for the production of the
National Call List Later changed to "Call List"
1972:: the forth
edition appeared printed commercially and in basically the
same form it was to retain until 1979.
1975:: Meeting held
Nelson Labour Weekend to try and form a National Body 9842 licenses registered
Weekend.. Great eyeball at Auckland. Formation of a National
Body mooted 12,356 licenses registered
1977:: May 14
Inaugural meeting of NZ Citizens Band Radio Association.
November Name changed to Citizens Band Radio Association of New Zealand
(CBRANZ) 15,267licenses registered
increased to 14. 11 general for normal CB, 3 reserved for
Government and special allocations. Power increased to 2 watts. Channels
centred on 26.500. September. Ownership of Citizen Band Call Book presented
to CBRANZ by CH 97.21,220 licenses registered. "CEEBEE WORLD" mag has its
first issue. Release of the famous " Airlane mark iv (4), 12 channels up
from 7channels 2 watts am only
1979: Release of Laser
Communicator model 555 / A.W.A Clarion TR10/Pye SS140
12 channel 2 watt am only.
1980:: ALAN ROSWELL
CH97 passes away. Release of the Airlane mark v (5) pll
controlled (mc145106 pll ),12 channel 2 watt am only. licence fee $6.00
1981:: Licence fee
1984:: Licence fee
1985:: Licence fee $20.00
1986:: Licence fee $25.00
1987:: Licence fee $27
July 1. 40 Channels AM 4 Watt/SSB 12 watt PEP
operation allowed. October: Beams and any other type of aerial allowed.
Licence fee $38.00
communication Act & updated 1987 Radio Regulations come into
1990:: Licence fee
1991:: Licence fee
1993:: April 1.
licence fee abolished
1994:: July Personal
Radio Service (UHF CB) introduced. No licence fee
payable. General Licence expires 31-01-99
1999:: General Licence
for both CB & PRS renewed to 31-01-2004
2003:: General Licence
extended, effective May 2003.
Regulations (General User Radio Licence for Citizen Band Radio) Notice 2011
comes into action allowing use of the usa band 26.965-27.405 mhz am/ssb
Zealand has two 40-channel HF CB bands available, the NZ-specific "NZ CB Band"
26.330–26.770 MHz (40 channels, AM and SSB allowed) and the standardized "mid
band" 26.965–27.405 MHz (40 channels, AM and SSB allowed) for a total of 80 HF
radio service aka "UHF CB" In New Zealand, the 77-channel (80 channels if you
include the 3 telemetry channels) previously 40-channel UHF CB citizen's band
near 476.425-477.4125 MHz in 12.5khz steps is used for a similar purpose.
In New Zealand transceivers are "class licensed" and require no individual
registration. Repeaters may be used, but these require individual station
channels 1-8 are repeater output channels
(however can be used for simplex in non repeater areas) channels 31 to 38 are
the repeater inputs.
CONTENT BELOW THIS LINE IS ACCREDITED TO THE ORIGINAL
AUTHORS AND OTAGO DAILY TIMES 2012
news paper article on closing of cbranz
27 October 2012
Citizens' Band Radio
Association of New
prepares to sign off
as the association
prepares to close
after 36 years.
The Citizens' Band
Radio Association of New Zealand will be
saying its final over and out next week, but
Otago's Neurological Foundation and Cancer
Society will be 10-4 (OK).
The CB radio
organisation has been putting out mayday
calls for the past decade in a bid to get
new membership, but CBRANZ secretary Arthur
Driver said it was time to call it a day.
Until the 1990s, CB
radio was the main method of mobile
communication, he said. But the popularity
of mobile phones and laptops with Skype had
killed its role in keeping people in touch.
"With the CB, we
were limited to the town area.
"We had 'skip'
which allowed us to talk to people all over
the world, but that disappeared in the
of computers and mobile phones took away the
need for CBs. It also took away the interest
of the younger generation. They would rather
sit at home playing video games."
At the height of CB
radio's popularity in 1986, there were
56,000 registered sets in New Zealand, and
the club had 200 individual members who
helped provide communications for St John in
the region until the organisation got its
membership has all but dried up and the
association will be officially closed at the
end of the month.
Mr Driver said the
club had been operation for the past 36
years, and he had served as secretary for 30
"I'm a wee bit sad.
I guess it's a sign of the times."
There is a silver
lining among the clouds though. In signing
off, the club has evenly split its $25,570
of funds and donated them to the Chair of
Neurosurgery campaign and the Otago Cancer
Society for research.
"They are both
fantastic causes that help local people," he
Foundation Chair of Neurosurgery project
manager Irene Mosley said it was a
"considerable" amount of money, and the
single biggest donation the organisation had
received this month.
"While we are sad
that a local organisation is winding up, we
are thrilled that such an important service
as neurosurgery can benefit from the work
these members have done for so many years."
Photo by Jane
"It's come about quite
"It's the technology
that they come up with. The young ones,
they're not using the radio; they're using
their cellphones and computers.
"The radio can't
compete with the cellphone, with the
widespread activity it handles."
However, the CB radios
still had their place, with the police, the
marine sector and alpine rescues still
communicating via citizen band.
"The cellphone can't
compete with the CB radio with the contact
with a higher number of people at the same
"If you had half
a dozen sites out there and half a dozen
teams everybody could hear what was going on
in the situation and you didn't have to
ring everybody up."
He said the club used
to always have someone listening for calls.
They had more than 200 members at one point
and had taken part in many search and rescue
operations over the years, as well as
community events such as rallies.
"Every day someone was
monitoring the calling channel so they
For the Waitara flood
of the mid-1960s, all the telephones were
out and CB radios from the Taranaki Alpine
Club, private owners and the New Plymouth
Yacht Club were used for reconnaissance and
Robinson said they
still had the equipment but they didn't have
the members to provide personnel as well.
"We just had to bite
the bullet and say we can't provide the
people that we used to. Two or three people
on their own will be using it to help out
where they can which we're grateful for."
"When the club was
formed, they became efficient as a group
that was properly organised to assist with
important communications," former Civil
Defence communications officer David Rawson
wrote in a 1981 history of the CB Radio
"Their hobby became a
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