There are several good reasons to install a CB
radio in your personal or work vehicle. You can use a CB radio to
communicate with friends and family while on the road. CB radios are
useful in an emergency since police constantly monitor channels 9 and 19.
CB radios also give you access to traffic and weather information.
Getting a CB radio installed and working properly isn't always as easy as
buying it and plugging it in. There are several factors to consider
when choosing your CB radio components. Where to mount the radio?
Where to mount the antenna? What features you want? How tall
should your CB antenna be? These are just some of the questions that
can come up during the process. The links below will help you with
installing a CB radio. Also, see below the links for answers to some
commonly asked questions.
Choose and install a CB antenna, mount, and
Choose a CB mic
CB Radios FAQ's
- How far will my mobile CB radio transmit?
With a proper single
antenna setup, a good rule of thumb is 1 mile per watt of output power. Most
newer radios are a the maximum allowed 4 watts which gives you about 4 miles.
- How far will my hand held CB radio transmit?
This depends on
where you are at with the radio, and what antenna you are using for it. If you
are outside, you will get about 2 to 3 miles. If you attempt to use a hand
held in a vehicle, home, or other enclosure without an external antenna you
will have a very poor signal. You can fix this problem by using an external
antenna. A good example of this is a magnet mount antenna mounted on a vehicle
that runs a wire back inside the vehicle which can be plugged into the hand
held CB radio.
- How are CB radios powered?
Mobile radios generally get their
power from the vehicles 12 volt system. They are wired in just like a car
stereo. Just remember, red is hot, black is ground. Handheld radios typically
run on batteries and/or ac power supplies. Base station radios usually just
plug into the wall.
- How do I make my CB work with a PA horn?
If your CB is PA
capable (most newer radios are) then you just need to find the PA jack, plug
in your PA horn, and flip the PA/CB switch on the radio. When you key the mic
and talk, you will be broadcast over the PA horn instead of the airwaves.
- What are weather channels?
Any CB radio that has NOAA weather
channels can receive (not broadcast on) a special set of channels that are
constantly reporting local weather conditions and emergency weather. Some
radios are even programmed to alert you of dangerous weather even when they
are switched off.
- What's special about channels 9 and 19?
Channel 9 is the
universal (or at least American) CB emergency channel. In most areas it is
monitored by local law enforcement at all times. Channels 17 & 19 are commonly
used channels by truck drivers. 19 is often used by drivers going east or
west, 17 by drivers going north or south.
- What are all these dials!?
The loads of features on modern CB
radios can be confusing. Here are some explanations for a few of them:
Squelch/SoundTracker™/ANL/Noise Blanker/ESP™ - All these type of
features reduce "noise" in your broadcast and/or reception. Some are dials and
some are switches. The dials reduce the amount of background noise, engine
noise, electrical noise, etc as they are turned up. The switches reduce
certain amounts of noise when switched on, and do nothing when off.
Better radios will give you less of a problem with noise.
Dynamike™ Boost/Mic Gain - This feature raises the volume of your
broadcast. It more or less makes it sound like you are talking louder than you
RF gain - This is another feature that helps control noise. It
essentially turns down the signal reception. One way to think of it is
standing in the middle of a forest. Each tree is a CB'er or bit of noise
you are hearing. As you turn down the RF, the trees get shorter, so
eventually you only see the tall trees close to you. As you turn down
the RF, you only hear the strong signals close to you.
CB/WX switches - CB Radios with these switches are capable of receiving
NOAA weather channels. You can broadcast and receive regular CB transmissions
when the switch is on CB, and receive (not broadcast) the weather channels
when the switch is on CB.
PA switches - CB Radios with these switches are capable of broadcasting
over a PA. You can broadcast and receive regular CB transmissions when the
switch is on CB, and broadcast over PA when the switch is on PA.
Instant Channel 9/19 - This switch will put the CB automatically to
channel 9 or 19 (whichever is selected). This is a common culprit when you
can't get your CB to change channels.
Volume - This only turns up the volume of the speaker (the speaker
putting out sound on the radio, not the person talking)
Galaxy DX 949 40 Channel AM SSB Mobile CB Radio
AUPP9 Nine Foot Plug to Plug RG58AU Coax Cable
Cobra 29LTDBC Black Chrome CB Radio with Blue LED
AUPPP18 Eighteen Foot Plug to Plug Co-Phase Harness
Uniden PRO520XL Mobile CB Radios
PC68 ELITE Professional 40 Channel Bearcat CB Radio
TwinPoint/Workman Silver Salute Amplified Desk Power Microphone
1001Z 40 Channel CB Radio With Instant Channel 9