For two radios to be able to communicate, the main requirement is that they be able to operate at the same frequency. Baofeng radios and CB radios cannot do this and as a result the radios cannot talk to each other.
Let’s get into the details with this post.
What does Frequency of Operation mean?
For a radio system to operate, the transmitter sends an RF signal over the air at a particular frequency. The person at the receiving end, has knowledge of this number and tunes the receiver to process signals at this frequency.
If the receiver is tuned to some other frequency it will not be able to receive the transmitted signal.
This is the most basic requirement for two radios to be able to talk to one another.
Once this fundamental requirement is met, there are also other requirements such as:
- Modulation and coding – is the receiver able to decipher what the transmitter has sent?
- Distance from the transmitter to the receiver – are they close enough to be able to talk? Here is a Baofeng range calculator.
Baofeng Operating Frequencies
Below is a list of frequencies at which the Baofeng radio is able to communicate over. The radio itself is able to work from 136 MHz to 520 MHz but using internal firmware it is restricted within that range depending on region of operation. Users cannot modify this firmware.
In fact if you buy a Baofeng radio in the USA, it has a narrower operating frequency range than China or India for example.
CB Operating Frequencies
Citizen’s Band (CB) Radio systems can use any of 40 different channels in the 27 MHz band. The frequency range is 26.965 MHz – 27.405 MHz. It’s a very narrow range and the highest frequency of 27.405 MHz is much lower than the minimum operating frequency of Baofeng radios – 136 MHz.
Like Baofeng, CB radios cannot be reprogrammed to operate at higher frequencies.
As can be seen from the table above, the frequency range of the Baofeng radio varies between 136 MHz and 480 MHz with gaps in between. CB Radio on the other hand, operates from 26.965 MHz-27.405 MHz. There is no overlap in the frequency ranges. As well neither radio can be tuned or reprogrammed to change the range. As a result Baofeng radios will not be able to broadcast or communicate with CB Radios.
 The UV-5R was banned in Germany and Poland in 2021 as it was not compliant with regulatory requirements. The main issue is harmonic content. Use this calculator to understand how a signal can create noisy harmonics in other frequency bands. These harmonics can interfere with signals – sometimes very critical ones and disrupt communications.