How to Use a Mobile CB in Your Home
By Keith Allen
Citizen band (CB) radio has been around since the 1950s with a surge in popularity in the late 1970s due to trucker movies and pop culture of the day. The radios have lost much of their popularity since the advent and more common use of cell phones for mobile communications. However, the CB is still used in some areas for communication during sporting activities such as hunting or fishing or for other short range personal communications. The mobile CB, designed for use in a car or truck, can be used as a base unit in the home with a little modification.
Connect the power source wires of the CB radio to a power supply. Because mobile CB radios are designed to operate in a vehicle, it utilizes a power supply of 12 to 14 volts Direct Current (DC). The power supply will convert the 120 volt household current to 13.8 Volts DC. The wires of the CB radio are attached to the power supply usually by stripping the ends of the wire and wrapping them about the screws indicated in the power supply manual.
Attach an antenna to the CB radio. While a base station antenna, mounted on brackets on the roof of the house, is best a mobile antenna can be pressed into use. Mobile antennas often have mounting brackets that clamp to the rain gutter of the car. Straighten the brackets and use them to attach the antenna to the house walls or eaves with a wood screw. Mount the antenna as high as possible to improve reception.
Connect the included microphone, or an aftermarket power mic for improved sound, to the CB radio. At this point the radio should be operational. Make a test broadcast and wait for a reply. Check the radio out with a known mobile CB in a car or truck.
- The power draw of a mobile CB radio is about 4 amps. Look for a power supply rated for at least 4 amps. Most mobile CB radios come with a mounting bracket to hold the radio under the dashboard of the vehicle. Turn the bracket around so it is below the radio. This serves as a prop to elevate the front of the radio making it easier to view and operate and improves air circulation around the radio for cooling.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.