A few decades ago, the CB radio, short for Citizens’ Band radio, was all the rage. Everyone from truck drivers to CB radio hobbyists had at least one radio and everyone had a “handle”, or nickname that they’d go by over the air waves. At the time, it was the best means of “long distance wireless communication and grew very popular during the 1970’s and 1980’s. If you were one of the many from that era, you know what I’m talking about, 10-4? You probably still remember your handle and may even have your old equipment collecting dust somewhere. I used a Cobra 148 GTL that was “tweaked”, broadcasting out over a Wilson 1000 antenna. My handle was Manhattan. While I left the handle back in the decade where it belongs, I still use that fantastic old CB radio in my 1978 Jeep CJ-7.
While the immense popularity of the CB radio has long since diminished, there are certain groups that still use them. Truckers who travel across the highways of the world still use them for communication and entertainment, CB radio hobbyists are still out there talking, and of course there is the offroad 4×4 enthusiasts that are also using CB’s and helping keep the CB market alive.
In many 4×4 groups and clubs, a CB radio is an essential piece of equipment. It’s the best means of short distance vehicle to vehicle communications broadcasted to everyone in the group.
But few people are aware that you can’t simply go out and buy an CB, install it and expect it to just work well without tuning the antenna to the CB. Manufacturers of CBs and CB antennas try to get the tuning as close as possible but there are a things that people looking for a CB should know.
This section will attempt to give you some basic information about tuning and understanding the antenna as well as the CB itself.