CB Radio Antennas - Huge antennas necessary?!

Titan2727

Banned
Banned
Banned
First Name
Armando
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
708
Reaction score
683
Location
Ma
Vehicle(s)
Rubicon JL
  • Thread starter
  • Banned
  • #1
Really want to install a CB radio - but haven't because I hate the fact of having to have a huge antenna mounted. Is that the only option or is there another option other than 4' antennas?
Advertisement

 

American Jeeper

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jeremy
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
934
Reaction score
1,316
Location
Kansas
Vehicle(s)
2019 JLUR
Occupation
Software & cloud services
Vehicle Showcase
1
Yes that’s just the way it is if you want it to work, but I have been around people with hand helds that are okay in close range. You can remove the antenna when not in use and just cover the mounting point to keep it dry.
 

Sting_NC_USA

Well-Known Member
First Name
Michael
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
996
Reaction score
951
Location
Greensboro, NC
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited Rubicon
Build Thread
Link
Vehicle Showcase
1
It really depends on what you're wanting to use it for. If it's just keeping in touch with folks your riding/wheeling with, then a 3 or 4 foot antenna (that's tuned) will be fine. If you're wanting it for highway use and for a radius over a few miles, you need the bigger antenna(s). I'm using a handheld, that also connects to my external antenna (3-foot Firestick) and it works fine for short distances.
 
OP
OP
Titan2727

Titan2727

Banned
Banned
Banned
First Name
Armando
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
708
Reaction score
683
Location
Ma
Vehicle(s)
Rubicon JL
  • Thread starter
  • Banned
  • #4
It really depends on what you're wanting to use it for. If it's just keeping in touch with folks your riding/wheeling with, then a 3 or 4 foot antenna (that's tuned) will be fine. If you're wanting it for highway use and for a radius over a few miles, you need the bigger antenna(s). I'm using a handheld, that also connects to my external antenna (3-foot Firestick) and it works fine for short distances.
What about those short roof top antennas I see? Any good?
 

NavyVet1959

Banned
Banned
First Name
OldFart
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
1,174
Location
Texas, ya'll
Vehicle(s)
XJ (sold), WJ (sold), Ram 1500 QC 4x4 (sold 2018.06.07), Wrangler JL Sport 2-door (ordered 2018.06.08)
Occupation
Retired engineer (NASA, aerospace, DoD); ex-Navy
Vehicle Showcase
1
Really want to install a CB radio - but haven't because I hate the fact of having to have a huge antenna mounted. Is that the only option or is there another option other than 4' antennas?
A 4 ft antenna is not "huge". The optimal antenna length is 1/4 wave which works out to be around 102". Back in the old days, that's what we preferred. Bigger antenna means more range. It depends upon what you are wanting to do with the CB on whether you can get by with a physically shorter antenna. If you are just using it to communicate with a spotter, a short antenna will be plenty. If you are wanting it for emergency use in an area without cell phone access, then the longer antenna is going to be better.

Here's some range estimates for the various antenna lengths:

https://www.rightchannelradios.com/...s/18150035-approximate-ranges-for-cb-antennas

102" antenna -- 7-10 miles
4' single fiberglass antenna -- 4-6 miles
2' single fiberglass antenna -- 2-3 miles
 
OP
OP
Titan2727

Titan2727

Banned
Banned
Banned
First Name
Armando
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
708
Reaction score
683
Location
Ma
Vehicle(s)
Rubicon JL
  • Thread starter
  • Banned
  • #6
A 4 ft antenna is not "huge". The optimal antenna length is 1/4 wave which works out to be around 102". Back in the old days, that's what we preferred. Bigger antenna means more range. It depends upon what you are wanting to do with the CB on whether you can get by with a physically shorter antenna. If you are just using it to communicate with a spotter, a short antenna will be plenty. If you are wanting it for emergency use in an area without cell phone access, then the longer antenna is going to be better.

Here's some range estimates for the various antenna lengths:

https://www.rightchannelradios.com/...s/18150035-approximate-ranges-for-cb-antennas

102" antenna -- 7-10 miles
4' single fiberglass antenna -- 4-6 miles
2' single fiberglass antenna -- 2-3 miles
Wanted for emergancies and stuff like that while up north - no cell reception. I have 36 mile range walkies for short range communications.

I'll figure out a neat setup as I really want a CB
 

NavyVet1959

Banned
Banned
First Name
OldFart
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
1,174
Location
Texas, ya'll
Vehicle(s)
XJ (sold), WJ (sold), Ram 1500 QC 4x4 (sold 2018.06.07), Wrangler JL Sport 2-door (ordered 2018.06.08)
Occupation
Retired engineer (NASA, aerospace, DoD); ex-Navy
Vehicle Showcase
1
Wanted for emergancies and stuff like that while up north - no cell reception. I have 36 mile range walkies for short range communications.

I'll figure out a neat setup as I really want a CB
Well, you could get your HAM license and then be able to *legally* run more power... That will give you more range on the HAM frequencies, but it doesn't mean that you can *legally* run that power on the CB frequencies, even if they are very close. Now, having said that, increased power affects transmitting distance, not receiving distance. You might be able to transmit 50 miles with a lot of power, but it doesn't mean you can hear the response from something that responds to you.

Now, there's also the concept of "skip" where the radio wave bounces off elements of the atmosphere and you get a lot greater range, but it is not predictable and as such, you should not rely on it.
 

vavaroutsos

Well-Known Member
First Name
Pete
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
621
Reaction score
402
Location
Scotts Valley, CA
Vehicle(s)
2015 Sprinter Crew Van 2500 High Roof 144" WB OM651 Brilliant Silver, 2019 JLR 3.6L 6SPD Granite Crystal
Well, you could get your HAM license and then be able to *legally* run more power... That will give you more range on the HAM frequencies, but it doesn't mean that you can *legally* run that power on the CB frequencies, even if they are very close. Now, having said that, increased power affects transmitting distance, not receiving distance. You might be able to transmit 50 miles with a lot of power, but it doesn't mean you can hear the response from something that responds to you.

Now, there's also the concept of "skip" where the radio wave bounces off elements of the atmosphere and you get a lot greater range, but it is not predictable and as such, you should not rely on it.
Unless you get some altitude or use a mountain top repeater, you won't have that much range due to the curvature of the earth.
 

Firstwave

Well-Known Member
First Name
Dave
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
98
Reaction score
249
Location
Washington
Vehicle(s)
2018 JL Sahara 2018 Mazda CX9
You might want to research the GMRS mobile radio. You will never get much distance with a cb,
 
OP
OP
Titan2727

Titan2727

Banned
Banned
Banned
First Name
Armando
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
708
Reaction score
683
Location
Ma
Vehicle(s)
Rubicon JL
You might want to research the GMRS mobile radio. You will never get much distance with a cb,
Just researched a few GMRS...sooo what's the difference in the two types?

Why one over the other?
 

NavyVet1959

Banned
Banned
First Name
OldFart
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
1,174
Location
Texas, ya'll
Vehicle(s)
XJ (sold), WJ (sold), Ram 1500 QC 4x4 (sold 2018.06.07), Wrangler JL Sport 2-door (ordered 2018.06.08)
Occupation
Retired engineer (NASA, aerospace, DoD); ex-Navy
Vehicle Showcase
1
OP
OP
Titan2727

Titan2727

Banned
Banned
Banned
First Name
Armando
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
708
Reaction score
683
Location
Ma
Vehicle(s)
Rubicon JL
Different frequencies... Around 462 and 467 MHz vs 27 MHz for CB... Higher frequency means shorter antenna... They are line of sight only... You have to pay for a license also...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Mobile_Radio_Service
Just looked up only 70 for license(I believe)

Will look into it

Question, will a high quality walkie pick up cb channels. May be a stupid question but I near nothing about radios. My cobra walkie has a bunch of options and channels and "stuff"
 

NavyVet1959

Banned
Banned
First Name
OldFart
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
1,174
Location
Texas, ya'll
Vehicle(s)
XJ (sold), WJ (sold), Ram 1500 QC 4x4 (sold 2018.06.07), Wrangler JL Sport 2-door (ordered 2018.06.08)
Occupation
Retired engineer (NASA, aerospace, DoD); ex-Navy
Vehicle Showcase
1
Just looked up only 70 for license(I believe)

Will look into it

Question, will a high quality walkie pick up cb channels. May be a stupid question but I near nothing about radios. My cobra walkie has a bunch of options and channels and "stuff"
Doesn't matter if it is a "walkie" or not... What matters is the band it is designed for. There are "walkies" that are CB band and there are ones that are for the GMRS band. You might find a *receiver* that will work on both bands, just like you have AM and FM receivers in cars even though the frequencies are vastly different, but you will not find a transmitter that works on both bands. If nothing else, you need different lengths of antenna for the different bands.

When American Adventurist said "2M", he's talking about 2 meter band. CB is pretty close to 10 meter band. Actual 10 meter band is a HAM band, but their equipment can go down into the CB frequencies also.

When I was dealing with CBs many decades ago, we were required to have a FCC license. I remember when they changed it so that you didn't need a license somewhere in the late 1970s, IIRC and we were say, "oh well, there goes the neighborhood"... :)
 
Advertisement

Quadratec
 
Advertisement
Top