CB radio tuning made easy for all

Forget fiddling with the good CB radio that you have purchased just to tune it. If you are unaware of the method of CB radio tuning, then you can end up taking the life of your radio by following the wrong steps. A small mistake here or there and you will have e-waste ready in your vehicle. No wonder you won’t prefer it over learning CB radio tuning methods. We are sure that a search for CB radio tuning tutorial has brought you here. Your best CB radio deserves special care and meticulous tweaks. So, without further ado, let’s see how you can tune your CB antenna within an hour.

Why is tuning required?

Tuning is crucial to make the CB antenna perform best in transmission and reception. A poorly tuned CB antenna can result in increased interference, lack of high-quality contacts and dropped signals. All CB antennas come with a 4W of power, but proper tuning makes even a cheap CB radio a good one. So, get the best compact CB radio that you can find and tune it well.

CB radio tuning

What is tuning?

CB radio tuning refers to an alteration of the antenna height to receive the best quality signals and has highly efficient performance. It depends on the vehicle one uses, the place of installation on a vehicle and the ground plane that it has. The process includes using an external SWR meter to note concerned readings and changing the length of an antenna in increments of 0.25-inches.

What is SWR?

SWR, or standing wave ratio, is used to measure the effectiveness of a transmitted signal into the atmosphere. It is crucial for the efficient performance of a transceiver and CB radio tuning.

How to tune a CB radio?

  • First, turn off your CB radio and disconnect the coaxial antenna cable connected to the back.
  • Connect this end of the coax to your SWR meter’s “antenna” connection. The connector inputs can find on the labels back and the front.
  • Connect the jumper cable coming out of the transmitter position on SWR meter to the back of CB radio, where the coax was disconnected.
  • Close the doors and windows of your vehicle and ensure no buildings, trees, and people are around, at least within 10-15 meters of the radius.
  • Switch on the CB radio and set it to channel 1.
  • Set SWR meter to the FWD position and key the microphone. Keep turning the knob until “set” position indicates on SWR meter.
  • Switch to channel 40 and repeat the last step.
  • Flip SWR meter to “Reflect” position.
  • Key the microphone and check readings for channel 1 and 40.

Interpretation of measurements

If the reading in channel 40 is higher than that on channel 1, then your antenna is too long. Reduce its length in increments of 0.25-inches.

If the reading on channel one is found to be higher than that of circuit 40, then the antenna is too short and has to increase the length. You can do so by using springs also.


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