How to Increase the Receiving Range on a CB Radio

by Todd Bowerman
CB radios are useful for finding local information.

CB radios are useful for finding local information.

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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