Fiddling with CB antenna for tuning is a huge mess. Even before people start wondering about good CB radio or best handheld CB radio, they start pondering over how to tune a CB antenna. In case you are one of these people, you need to grab this tutorial for tuning the CB antenna with ease. And a word of caution! Improper tuning of CB antenna can lead to issues much worse than weak signals. A wrong of adjustment can lead to fatalities for your radio. So, if you don’t want to see the end of the best CB radio, then you need to follow the given steps closely.
Selecting a location
Get a good parking place for your vehicle. The area must be devoid of any obstructions, like buildings and trees, within a radius of 10-15 meters of your vehicle.
Avoid places where people keep hanging around and ensure that you are inside the vehicle with the doors and windows closed. It will enable accurate reading.
How to tune a CB antenna?
Hook up to the SWR meter. For this, you’ll have to break the connection between the coaxial cable which is present at the back of the radio.
Further, reconnect the end of the coaxial cable, which connects to the radio, to the SWR meter at the port named “ANT” or “antenna”.
Connect the radio using the jumper lead to SWR meter at the connection labeled “XMIT” or “transmitter”.
Measure the SWR on a variety of channels. Keep your microphone at the same distance from the meter for each of the tests.
Set the SWR meter switch to “FWD”.
Turn the radio to channel 1 and key your microphone.
Keep rotating the SET/ADJUST knob on SWR meter until the needle reaches the setting position at the end of a range.
While the microphone key, Flip the SWR meter switch to SWR/REF position.
Record the reading on SWR meter and release microphone transmit key.
Follow the steps 5-9 for channel 40.
Inferences from measurements
The readings from channel 1 and channel 40 must be as close as possible. Get the ratio to 1.5:1 or below for a passable signal to broadcast.
If SWR on channel 40 comes out to be higher than that of circuit 1, your CB antenna is too long.
If it is vice versa, then your CB antenna is shorter than required.
You must know how to tune a CB antenna by changing its length.
If the antenna turns out to be too long, then we need to reduce the length. Consult the manual to learn how to shorten the length. Try doing it in 0.25-inch increments.
If an antenna is short, then you need to add length to the antenna. You can even add a spring if required.
Dual antenna installation
For dual antenna systems, you have to adjust the length of both the antenna by the same amount.
Now you know how to tune a CB antenna. Get the perfect CB antenna for your vehicle and enjoy its benefits.