How Tos & Tutorials

How to Pick a CB Antenna

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In this article, we’ll discuss the purpose of a CB antenna and how to get one for your 4×4.

Believe it or not, your CB radio won’t function without it.

So, it’s best that we get into the basics right away.

WHAT IS A CB ANTENNA?

whip cb antenna

A CB antenna in general terms is a signal converter. Specifically, it gathers radio frequency from its atmosphere which is then:

  • Transformed into electrical waves via its receiver.
  • And reconverted into radio signals via its transmitter.

Once the radio signals have been properly reconverted, you get a corresponding signal from a different location where you can communicate with your relatives or peers.

DOES LENGTH OF CB ANTENNA MATTER?

cb antenna length

Yes, and that means literally. The longer your CB radio antenna is, the farther and clearer it can get your message across due to a wider coverage area. There are 3 common CB antenna lengths to choose from:

  • 1/4 CB antenna – has an approx. gain of 3dbi.
  • 1/2 CB antenna – has an approx. gain of 2dbi.
  • 5/8 CB antenna – has an approx. gain of 7dbi.

If you’re wondering which size of CB antenna is right for you, then using the wave formula should help you.

What Is a Gain in CB Antennas?

Gain refers to the estimated level of power or signal that CB antennas emit as they gather radio frequencies from their surroundings and such amount of power is measured in decibel units. While the longer your CB antenna wavelength translates to a better reception, it’s also important to know that the scope or range of signal becomes slimmer and more concentrated on a particular place.

This explains why some areas have lower reception than others and that stronger power doesn’t always mean stronger signal as shown by the diagram above, where the right positioning of the CB antennas come into play.

ARE DUAL CB ANTENNAS BETTER?

dual vs single cb antenna

Yes, dual CB radio antennas under certain circumstances have more perks than a single CB radio antenna. Primarily, they boost the signal of your CB radios since there’ll be 2 of them working together. Just make sure the dual CB antennas are situated around 8′ apart so they don’t overlap.

This is especially true if you’ll be pulling a camping trailer. A single CB antenna will have a hard time giving the appropriate amount of signal due to the huge size of a camper that’ll be blocking its path. Take note, its signal transmission pattern is circular which can easily be blocked by natural barriers.

What Makes Dual CB Antennas Useful?
On the other hand, dual CB antennas’ transmission range pattern is a long oval which means it’s narrow and won’t be easily blocked, although the range on your left and right sides will be limited.

HOW AND WHERE CAN YOU MOUNT YOUR CB ANTENNA?

cb antenna mount

The place where you mount your CB antenna can make or break its signal reception due to the height and the prevalent kind of material surrounding it. There are 5 ways in which you can position your CB antennas based on your level of convenience.

However, in some cases, a ground plane is needed when mounting your CB antenna because it will serve as a conductor which will stabilize and amplify your CB antenna’s signal. If not, your CB antenna is as good as useless.

Type of Mount Magnetic Mount CB Antenna Fixed-body Mount CB Antenna Gutter Mount CB Antenna Mirror Mount CB Antenna Boot Mount CB Antenna
Where to Mount roof roof roof edge mirror arms and roll bars rear of the hood near windshield
How to Mount Attach to the roof with a magnet. Insert through a small hole on the roof. Cling on the roof gutter via a sturdy wire. Run a separate ground wire from the antenna ground side directly to the frame. Install aftermarket roof rack to factory mounts and put a metal sheet to roof rack and drill the center.
Purpose Easily switches the CB antenna from one vehicle to the next. Gives the CB antenna a permanent mounting position. Easily adjusts or sways to the vehicle angle when ride is bumpy. Holds large CB antennas in place. Prevents signal interference and rain and wind exposure.

HOW MUCH DOES A CB ANTENNA COST?

cb radio antenna prices

CB antennas vary in price hugely depending on the type or where they’re made from. There are primarily 3 kinds of CB antennas. Take a look at the table below and see their corresponding price range.

Fiberglass CB Antenna Whip CB Antenna Base Station CB Antenna
$14-$30 $20-$60 $74-$100

CONCLUSION

Getting a good CB radio antenna takes more than just purchasing one and slapping it on your 4×4. You have to scrutinize what you need – from the type you prefer to where you’ll put it on your vehicle to maximize its efficiency. Tell us what other ideas you have in mind about CB antennas by commenting below.

 

 

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