How to Increase the Receiving Range on a CB Radio

by Todd Bowerman

CB radios are used by hobbyists and professionals the world over to communicate with other nearby CB users. A CB has a maximum legal broadcast strength of around four miles, though the signal is subject to interference based on obstacles and the lay of the land. If you have a CB antenna but are not receiving much of a signal, there are several methods for increasing the range at which you can communicate.

1

Install an antenna specifically manufactured for use with CB radios. Scanner antennae are not as adept at picking out CB frequencies. Longer antennae offer greater range.

2

Place your antenna as high as possible, in a place where radio signals can hit it from 360 degrees. Obstacles near your antenna will block or impair transmissions from that direction.

3

Adjust the squelch on your radio so that it blocks out static, but is not maxed out. Turning your squelch all the way up will reduce your reception range.

4

Ensure that the connection between your radio and antenna is secure, and that the cable is in good condition with no snags or twists.

5

Use a “no-ground” antenna if you are attaching the antenna to a non-metallic surface. Normal CB antennae rely on the metal surfaces on trucks or cars to enhance their signal strength.

Tip

  • check Enhancing your CB radio beyond the legal limit of five watts of input will cause interference in nearby electronic devices and will result in FCC action.

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