August 1962 Electronics World
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
Electronics World, published May 1959
- December 1971. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Just as in the United
States - and most other countries for that matter -
radio in Canada has undergone a lot of chances since its inception in the
1960s. This 1962 article in Electronics World magazine reported on the
beginnings of Canadian system, known as
Radio Service (GRS). It initially used the same 23 channels (frequencies) as
the U.S., although channels 1, 2, and 3 were reserved for Amateur operators and
channel 23 was reserved for paging services, leaving only 19 channels for the
equivalent of Citizens Band (CB). Both the U.S. and Canada initially charged a
nominal fee for an operator license, but neither requires a license today. At
the time, some American-made CB radios could not be used in Canada without
guaranteeing that the transmit power would not exceed 3 watts (there was no
official limit in the U.S., strangely enough). Both AM and FM were permitted.
Both countries have since increased the number of available channels to 40.
Canadian Citizens Band - Here is a summary of the regulations.
By Leo G. Sands
Under new regulations, Canadian residents can use AM or FM on 19 CB channels.
The Canadian version of the Citizens Band was opened up on April first. In Canada,
Citizens Radio type operations are permitted in what is known as the General Radio
Service on 19 radiotelephone channels (similar to U. S. class D) and 4 radio-control
channels (similar to U. S. class C).
Table 1 - Canadian General Radio Service Citizens Radio frequency allocations.
Table 2 - Comparison between the United States and Canadian CB regulations.
It is much easier to get a General Radio Service (GRS) license in Canada than
a Citizens Radio Station license in the U. S. Instead of mailing an application
to the FCC and waiting several weeks to get a license, Canadians may call in person
at a regional Radio Regulations Office to file an application. If eligible, the
license is issued immediately. A small fee is charged for a license which is good
for three years.
In the U. S. it is mandatory that the applicant be a citizen, but in Canada,
British subjects, Canadian corporations, and landed immigrants are eligible for
GRS licenses. As in the U. S., applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
Canadian GRS licensees may communicate only with other similarly licensed stations
in Canada, utilizing ground-wave propagation exclusively. These requirements specifically
prohibit communication with U.S. Citizens Radio stations and "skip" communications.
Either FM or AM can be used by Canadian GRS stations, while only AM (A3) can
be used by class D Citizens Stations in the U. S.
Under Canadian regulations, a GRS station can be patched into a telephone circuit
with the approval of the telephone company. But, in the U. S. the use of a phone
patch is in violation of CB rules since "third party" communications are prohibited.
Only factory-built transmitters or transceivers can be licensed. They must be
type-approved by the Department of Transport, and the type-approved number must
be permanently attached to the transmitter chassis.
In general, the equipment will be similar to Citizens Band sets used in the U.
S. Some U. S.-made sets might not qualify for type approval in Canada since Department
of Transport technical requirements are stricter than those imposed by the FCC on
Transmitter power, in terms of watts input to the plate or collector of the final
r.f. amplifier, is limited to 5 watts, the same as in the U. S. Power output, which
is not specifically restricted in the U. S., is limited to 3 watts in Canada.
FCC regulations stipulate that modulation not exceed 100%, but D.O.T. regulations
require that AM transmitters be capable of at least 70% modulation with rated audio
input. Minimum FM transmitter deviation is ±1 kc. with rated audio input.
As in the U. S., transmitters must be crystal-controlled and frequency stabilized
to 0.005%. In addition, spurious emissions and harmonics must not exceed 30 microwatts
(about 50 db below carrier level) over the frequency range extending from the crystal
oscillator frequency to 250 mc.
It is expected that U. S. manufacturers will find an eager Canadian market for
Citizens Band sets. But, the bulk of the business, it is believed, will go to Canadian
manufacturers who have been preparing for the opening of the GRS band. Equipment
prices are expected to be slightly higher than in the U. S.
Since FM transmission is permitted, some of the new Canadian-built sets now being
developed are expected to be FM types. FM sets can be expected to cost more than
AM sets. However, the generally superior performance, especially with regard to
ignition noise, should create considerable demand for such units.
Based on surveys, it is estimated that some 20,000 Canadians will apply for GRS
licenses this year. GRS will not take off as slowly as Citizens Band radio did in
the U. S. because of the wide publicity given CB radio during the past three years.
There are more potential GRS users per capita in Canada than potential CB users
in the U. S. because it is not necessary to be a citizen to be eligible for a license.
Since licenses are to be issued on the date of application, prospective GRS users
can get on the air as soon as the equipment is installed.
While Canadian GRS licensees will be operating on the same frequencies as U.
S. Citizens Band licensees, they will not be able to communicate with each other
lawfully. Canadians cannot legally operate their GRS sets in the U. S. State-side
CB licensees cannot operate their sets in Canada without the approval of the Canadian
government. Across-the-border communications are prohibited, and the FCC warns that
violators will be subject to severe penalties.
Posted June 2, 2021