Radio Codes

How to Operate a CB Radio

Citizens band radios provide safety and company on the road, and can be more reliable than cell phones. You will need a CB radio familiarity with 10-codes.

Optional: A handle and or on-air pseudonym

Step 1. Tune in to one of the 40 channels on CB. Channel 19 is the preferred highway channel used by truckers, and channel 9 is the emergency channel. The CB’s range is one to 10 miles, depending on weather conditions, time, and location. It’s possible to occasionally pick up conversations hundreds or even thousands of miles away, known as “skip” conversations.

Step 2. Make sure the Mic Gain control is on maximum. Listen for a break in the conversation; depress the microphone transmission button, and then say “break” to let people know you’re using the channel. Listen for clearance and begin speaking. The signal meter ranges from one to 30, gauging how well someone is coming through and, perhaps, how close they are.

Step 3. Familiarize yourself with CB jargon, including the many 10-codes, which are abbreviations used by CBers. 10-4 means OK or affirmative, 10-2 means receiving well, and 10-3 means stop transmitting. Create a “handle” – an on-air pseudonym – of your choice.

Step 4. Keep your communications brief. Close transmissions by taking your thumb off the microphone button.

Step 5. Turn the squelch knob up to cut off noise from a channel that is not transmitting. The more you turn it up, however, the more stations you will lose, starting with the most distant.

Step 6. Turn up the Automatic

Here is a list of radio codes:

10-1 Receiving poorly, bad signal
10-2 Receiving OK, signal strong
10-3 Stop transmitting
10-4 Message received
10-5 Relay message
10-6 Busy, please stand by
10-7 Out of service
10-8 In service
10-9 Repeat message
10-10 Finished, stand by
10-11 Talk slower
10-12 Visitors present
10-13 Need weather or road conditions
10-16 Pickup needed at __________
10-17 Urgent Business
10-18 Is there anything for us
10-19 Nothing for you, return to base
10-20 My location is __________
10-21 Use a telephone
10-22 Report in person to __________
10-23 Stand by
10-24 Finished last assignment
10-25 Can you contact __________?
10-26 Disregard last information
10-27 I am changing to channel __________
10-28 Identify your station
10-29 Your time is up for contact
10-30 Does not conform to FCC rules
10-32 I’ll give you a radio check
10-33 Emergency traffic at this station
10-34 Help needed at this station
10-35 Confidential information
10-36 The correct time is __________
10-37 Wrecker needed at __________
10-38 Ambulance need at __________
10-39 Your message has been delivered
10-41 Please change to channel __________
10-42 Traffic accident at __________
10-43 Traffic congestion at __________
10-44 I have a message for __________
10-45 All units within range report in
10-50 Break channel
10-60 What is the next message number
10-62 Unable to copy, please call on the phone
10-63 Net directed to __________
10-64 Net clear
10-65 Standing by, awaiting next message
10-67 All units comply
10-70 Fire at __________
10-71 Proceed with transmission at sequence
10-73 Speed trap at __________
10-75 Your transmission is causing interference
10-77 Negative contact
10-81 Reserve hotel room for __________
10-82 Reserve room for __________
10-84 My telephone number is __________
10-85 My address is __________
10-89 Radio repairman is needed at __________
10-90 I have TVI
10-91 Talk closer to the microphone
10-92 Your transmitter needs adjustment
10-93 Check my frequency on this channel
10-94 Please give me a long count
10-95 Transmit dead carrier for 5 seconds
10-99 Mission completed, all units secure
10-200 Police needed at __________