CB Radio - Should You Use It Today? What are the benefits of CB radio?

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The widespread availability of smartphones and wireless internet has meant that CB radio has been supplanted by phone applications. However, there are still drivers (especially those who often drive long distances) who remain true to this decision. Is it worth buying such a device? How to set them up? Learn more about CB Antennas!

CB antennas and the beginning of wireless communication

Probably everyone in his life heard about walkie-talkies. Children especially liked to play with these gadgets, but this is not the only application of this invention. Why are we mentioning it? Its creator also invented CB radio (pronounced "CB radio"). This is Alfred Gross, who is especially fond of inventions based on wireless communication. The solutions he patented marked the beginning of a new era in the field of wireless communication.

Antenna and CB receiver - how does the communication kit work?

The most important parameters that make CB radio work are:

  • modulation;
  • frequency.

The first of these can be divided into AM and FM modulation. The biggest difference between the two is signal quality. It will be much smoother in the FM variant.

Frequency, on the other hand, is electromagnetic waves of different ranges. For the operation of an automobile communication device in our country, 40 channels are reserved, which are in the range from 26,960 MHz to 27,410 MHz. Inside, they were divided and marked according to accepted criteria. Thanks to this, communication is structured.

CB radio - necessary equipment

From a purely technical point of view, the following is necessary for the correct operation of the mechanism:

  • antenna;
  • receiver (radio telephone).

CB antennas are available in various configurations and lengths. There is a simplified rule: the longer the antenna, the greater the range of the signal it can process. However, the key is to get it all set up, because without it, the CB radio, even with the longest antenna, won't work properly.

President, Midland Alan, Yosan — manufacturers of CB receivers

There are several leading manufacturers in the automotive communication market. These include primarily:

  • Midland Alan;
  • Albrecht;
  • M-Tech;
  • Pni;
  • The president;
  • Lafayette;
  • Yosan.

The key to the functioning of the device is its adjustment, but not only. It is also extremely important to have a noise reduction system, additional connectors and work in AM or FM modulation.

CB radio antennas - most common lengths

You already know that for maximum range, you should look for the longest possible antenna. However, a CB radio with a 150 cm long antenna can make city driving a real chore. The basic options are in the range of 60-130 cm. There are also multifunctional antennas, which are also responsible for receiving a signal for the radio, for the hands-free kit (microphone) and for the operation of CB radio. Usually they are about 50 cm long.

CB radio antenna - mounting options

You can choose one of two ways to install the CB antenna in your car:

  • magnetic;
  • constant.

The first is most often chosen by drivers because of mobility. On the roof of the car or in another place of a flat body, you need to place a magnetic base and to which the antenna is attached. In this way, the CB radio can collect signals stably. Another option is models that are permanently installed in cars. However, this solution is for determined drivers who do not need to remove the antenna from the car.

How to choose CB antennas for radio?

In addition to these features, several other parameters are important. Before buying, make sure what range this model has. As a rule, for a city, copies of a smaller size are sufficient, capable of collecting a signal within a radius of 5 kilometers. Another issue is the antenna gain (measured in dBi). Usually antennas have this parameter in the range from +1 to +6 dBi. Of course, the more the better. Another thing worth noting is the material. Aim for stainless steel parts. They will be more resistant to moisture.

CB radio - what to buy in the car

Bet on a receiver model tested by other users. Do not just follow the opinions posted in online stores, but also look for information in online forums. The CB radio you want to buy (unless it's a cheap copy from the East) is definitely correctly described by users. Turn on ASQ noise reduction and RF boost. With these features, you will be able to eliminate the vast majority of background noise and conversations. You don't necessarily need high end equipment. Also look for a model with the NB/ANL option to eliminate noise from the vehicle's electrical system.

CB Radio — AM or FM?

In the context of choosing a receiver, it is also necessary to answer the question about the type of modulation. At the beginning, we mentioned that models equipped with FM modulation support transmit a “cleaner” signal. However, in our country, mainly AM copies are sold, and some of them support FM. If you only drive domestically, a CB AM radio will suffice. However, for regular trips abroad, FM modulation may be required.

How to set up a CB antenna?

Calibration of the model must take into account the specific vehicle and assembly location. Therefore, mobile removable antennas are not always effective if their location is significantly changed. Remember to have an SWR meter handy and connect it to the receiver. The CB radio must be calibrated away from high voltage power lines. What steps should I take to make sure the device is set up correctly?

CB radio - step by step channel calibration

Below, in a few paragraphs, we present a universal way to calibrate a CB radio.

  1. Stabilize the antenna and receiver in the vehicle. Set them up as they will run on a daily basis.
  2. Connect SWR meter.
  3. Set the radio to channel 20 (used for calibration).
  4. Select the FWD option on the meter.
  5. Press and hold the transmission position on the CB radio bulb.
  6. Set the meter to the SET position.
  7.  Change the option on the meter from FWD to REF.
  8. While holding the transmit button, observe the value displayed on the indicator (correctly between 1 and 1,5).
  9.  Measure the value on channels 1 and 40 - you should get the best reading at 20.
  10. Ready!

The performance of a CB radio depends on the type of receiver, antenna length, and proper calibration. For long trips outside the city, choose longer antennas. For the city, those up to 100 cm are enough. Remember that you do not have to buy the most expensive equipment, but noise reduction is worth it. Thanks to this, the signal will be of much better quality.

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