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CB Radio Educational and Technical Resources



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Learning and Selection: Videos


Key CB Radio Concepts

If you're brand new to CB radios, start here! This video guide only takes a few minutes to watch and will provide you with a great CB radio foundation. Covers:

  • Common CB uses
  • Transmission range
  • What components work together
  • Wiring & power basics
  • Watch Video
Picking the Right CB Equipment

Have no idea what type of radio or antenna you need? This video covers general rules to follow when picking a CB and antenna. If you're new to CBs and haven't been through the "Key CB Radio Concepts" guide yet, make sure to watch that first. Covers:

  • Picking a CB radio
  • Picking an appropriate antenna
  • Antenna mounting considerations
  • Watch Video

Learning and Selection: Articles


This article discusses CB radios in-depth and covers individual features (RF gain, NBL, weather, etc) vehicle considerations for CBs and recommended models.

Our detailed CB antenna guide covers all important aspects of selecting the ideal antenna. Mounting considerations, antenna manufacturers, mount size and various antenna types are all covered.

If you're buying for the first time, there are a number of common mistakes you'll want to avoid! Following these tips will help you get the most for your purchasing dollar and steer clear of expensive and frustrating problems.

If it's your first time assembling a CB system, you'll want to refer to our checklist to make sure you're not missing any essential items! Also includes a list of optional, but popular CB accessories that will make your installation more convenient and/or functional.

A number of commonly asked questions related to CB radios, antennas and mounting methods.

One of the most common questions we get is "What kind of range can I expect?" This article discusses approximate ranges for different antenna types, and variables that affect transmit and receive distance.  

An index of the 50+ CB radio and antenna video reviews available at Right Channel Radios.

Installation


CB installations can, unfortunately, be a bit complex and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. However, if you follow a few simple rules you'll be much more likely to end up with a trouble-tree installation.

Tuning your antenna for optimal performance is achieved by using a SWR meter to determine the optimal length. It can be a bit confusing if you haven't done it before, which is why we've created a step-by-step video with written instructions as well.  

Getting power to your CB radio isn't exactly user-friendly. Most CB radios come with bare-end positive and negative leads and it's up to YOU to figure out how to tap into your vehicle's electrical system. This article discusses your options.

If you're curious about why it's so important to "tune" your antenna for optimal SWR, this article is for you! This isn't mandatory reading before tuning / adjusting you antenna, but it will give you a much better idea of WHY you're fiddling around with that funny meter.

Mounting a CB antenna in certain locations is asking for trouble. Remember these mounting tips to reduce the chance of post-installation headaches.

Troubleshooting Problems


An understanding of electrical resistance is required to successfully troubleshoot most CB electrical issues. This guide discusses the principle of resistance and basic multimeter use.

Few things are as frustrating as high SWR levels and identifying the problem is often extremely difficult. Our flowchart provides a step-by-step method to identify the problem and corresponding instructions on how to fix it.

Far and away, the most common cause of high-SWR is an improperly grounded antenna. This guide discusses how to use a multimeter to determine if your installation is properly grounded.

A short can be a result of improper assembly which won't be identifiable by testing individual components. In this guide, we walk thought checking system wide continuity on both the signal and ground.

A short in your coax cable will result in sky-high SWR. Fortunately, testing coax is very straightforward.

An antenna short will also result in high SWR. Testing is very similar to coax testing, and easy with a multimeter.

It's not uncommon for people to struggle with off-the-charts SWR readings only to realize their meter wasn't connected properly! Make sure your meter is properly installed.

While rare, a faulty meter give you bogus high SWR while you struggle unsuccessfully to find a solution. The good news is you likely don't have a SWR issue - just an equipment malfunction.

It's such a small item in the system, yet it can cause major problems. An incorrectly installed stud washer will always result in high-SWR.

Occasionally the tuning process will indicate that you need to further increase/decrease the length of your antenna, but you've reached the limit of how far the antenna will lengthen.

Have great SWR readings from your antenna, but struggling to talk more than 1/2 a mile? It's probably time to upgrade your antenna.

CB radios are rarely the cause of problems. Issues can almost always be traced back to an antenna, coax or grounding issue. However, there are a few radio-related issues discussed in this article.

Electrical noise picked up by your CB can distort your signal and make it difficult to hear incoming transmission. Moving a few wires or installing a filter may solve the problem.

Having performance issues on a vehicle with a limited metal chassis? You may need to consider no-ground plan CB equipment.