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How To Adjust Your CB Radio - Randy's Electrical Corner

Posted in How To: Electrical on May 1, 2009
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Sometimes just plugging the CB into the cigarette lighter is good enough. I usually end up getting noise when I do that, and most of the time if I ground the unit better, the noise goes away. I have gotten to point where I will always run the ground to the ground junction inside the Jeep (that place where most of the dashboard grounds to) and the positive wire to a constant positive so that I don't have to turn the Jeep on to hear the CB.

Ever since I've been writing the column for Jp magazine, I've become famous in Camden county. All sorts of people are coming to me to ask about Jeeps. People like Kenny, who you wouldn't even think would have a Jeep. OK, so Kenny has a Liberty, but still he's very enthusiastic about it and often comes to me with questions about it.

Well, unlike whether or not the pink dice will be too heavy for the rear-view mirror or if there is an electric-hybrid conversion for the Liberty, he recently asked me about CB radios, finally something I know something about.

The problem he was having was that he felt like he wasn't getting out far enough... that is he could talk to the driver right next to him, but he couldn't talk to them even if they were 200 yards away. So, I went down to take a look at his setup and came across a few basic things that were wrong and I thought I should share with you all.

It turns out that Kenny's CB was your basic Radio Shack, out-of-the-box, plug-in-and-transmit type setup. He thought that all CB antennas come pre-tuned; he didn't give a thought to a decent ground, and had his amplifier wires crossing CB wires. His CB was noisy at the best of times, he had to turn the squelch way up to drown out the alternator noise, and his SWR was way off. Sometimes you get lucky and can really just plug the CB in and have it work great. But a little planning when installing your CB can go a long way. Here are some tips to keep you coming in loud and clear.

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