Cb Radio Antennas
Some have said that the most important parts of CB radio kits aren't the radios themselves - they're the CB radio antennas. There is a very good reason why people say this. A CB radio isn't good for much of anything if it can't bring in or send out a good signal, and to have this happen, you need quality CB radio antennas. This article will take a look at CB radio antennas and what you should know about them for your kit.
How CB Radio Antennas operate
An antenna at its most basic is just a piece of metal (or now, fiberglass) that serves as a way to send or receive electromagnetic waves - like radio. Antennas can be as large and tall as those used for large-station radio and television transmissions, or as small as the portable ones you see on top of car roofs.
With radios, a transmitter emits electromagnetic radio waves along a certain frequency - i.e. a certain speed at which the wave moves through the air, basically. Frequencies have an inverse relationship with wavelength, or how far one repetition of a cycle travels. All you need to know about this is that CB radio antennas have to match up with the wavelengths of the frequencies you're operating.
Tuning CB Radio Antennas
Why is this necessary? Without proper tuning, your signal quality and strength will be compromised. So, it's important to match up those frequencies and wavelengths with the length of your CB radio antennas.
CB radio usage begins at 25 Mhz, which means that if you had full-size CB radio antennas, they would begin at around 40 feet long. Of course, that is a lot of rod to stick on a car (or even a truck!) Fortunately, you can use antennas that are based on fractions of the full length, such as ½, ¼, and 1/8 antennas.
Most people who use these antennas on their vehicles tend to go with a ¼, 10-foot antenna, although you can go even lower if you must.
Finding the Right One
The first thing to consider when thinking about purchasing CB radio antennas is how big your unit is and where it is located. If your CB radio is a full-size ground station, then you can use a larger, longer antenna. If your CB radio is portable, or is based in a vehicle, then you will need a shorter one, perhaps a more flexible one made of fiberglass and coiled at the base to reduce the overall length.
For more information on CB radio antennas, you can consult a hobby website or shortwave radio store.