CB Radios & CB Antennas related FAQ’s

Radiosguide has launched the FAQ’s page for it’s users to solve their problems related with CB radio, Amateur radios, cb antennas, Ham antennas, and much more therefore radiosguide is also known as home of radios and antennas because here we are just for our kind users and will help them 24/7.

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Why is antenna tuning important?

Antenna tuning is basically a recent concept that has emerged as a result of the researches that determined the factors contributing towards an increased efficiency of any radio system. CB antenna tuning is of prime importance because there is no CB system that can get functional without a properly tuned CB antenna. During the old times, the process of CB antenna tuning was not considered quite important to the overall performance of the CB system. As a result, antennas used to be mounted without any adjustments due to which the CB radios worked with considerably limited ranges. With the passage of time, experts from the CB world addressed antenna tuning as highly pivotal and developed the formal process through which the CB antennas were to be tuned and tested according the specific type of vehicle.

There are many CB users who still doubt the importance of this process. Stryker, being one of the most influential CB brands of today, have defined the following benefits that we can receive by tuning your CB antenna perfectly:

  • After a perfect CB antenna tune up, all the basic functions of your CB radio would be enhanced amazingly. Your antenna would receive and transmit with improved efficiency and would also positively affect the overall performance of your CB system.
  • It would also provide a secure means of operation for your system. Your antenna would be able to transmit all the signals consistently without reflecting them back.

These two benefits can be enjoyed with an improved quality and at reasonable prices by using any of the Stryker CB products.

WHERE SHOULD I MOUNT MY ANTENNA?

Generally it is said that your CB antenna should be as long as possible but the length should still be manageable. On the same lines, your antenna should be mounted as high as possible on your vehicle at a point where it gets the maximum exposure and better opportunities for efficient transmission and reception of signals. That is the most important point to consider while installing your CB antenna but selecting the mounting location is a big challenge in itself.  A perfect mounting point is the place where there is plenty of open space around it, has a wide ground plane underneath and is ideally high enough for a safe antenna installation.

Some experts have given some suggestions for figuring out which part of your vehicle can make the best mounting location for your antenna. First and the most ideal point is the roof of your vehicle. You can mount your CB antenna in the middle of the roof for an optimum performance. Another consideration is the cowl where you can install your antenna safely without any drilling. The corners of both these points can also be preferred as they will make the antenna mount invisible to some extent. Tail gate, spare tire, license plate and the bumper of your car are not to be considered in this regard at all. They would prove detrimental for your overall CB experience. Keep the things simple and stick to these considerations for obtaining the best results.

What is the best antenna for my mobile CB radio?

If you want a powerful CB antenna for your CB radio, then center-loaded and the base-loaded CB antennas are the best picks. You can consider other options as well depending on your requirements.Some dealers offers the most outclass magnetic mounts in these two antenna categories at affordable rates. Don’t go for the fancy CB antennas as they don’t perform up to mark in most of the cases. Apart from that, some other factors are also important to consider for the best CB antenna performance.

Firstly, try to pick the taller antennas as they transmit and receive better than the rest. Then comes the placement of the antenna. Try to find the highest point on your vehicle for this purpose where you can give your CB antenna the best metallic ground plane for getting mounted and an open atmosphere to transmit and receive comfortably. Make sure your CB antenna is installed, tuned and calibrated with the SWR meter most accurately as that would determine the effective range of your CB system. Make sure that all the connections are tight and without any breaks as well as grounded so that there are no damages in the future.

What Equipment do I need to tune my Antenna?

For every technical process, there are certain tools and techniques that make the process easy and manageable manually. On the same lines, CB systems need a complete set of tools for their proper set up. Each process requires specific tools, diligence of the user and the expertise of assembling all the CB system components as prescribed for an ideal CB performance. One of the CB setup procedures that need to be taken special care of is the tuning of a CB antenna. This step is the determinant of how your CB antenna would work in coordination with your CB radio.

For buying a CB antenna, you would also have a tool kit accompanying each of the packages. These kits consist of all the important equipment and tools that are required during the setup of a CB antenna. The most important equipment required for tuning the CB antenna is a good SWR meter and a connecting jumper cable. You can easily get them separately for this purpose as they come cheap from any CB store out there. Just connect it to your CB system in a way that it is connected to the CB radio on one end and to the CB antenna on the other end. Such a connection will help you determine the most optimal SWR level at which your CB system will perform at its best.

I DON’T WANT TO DRILL HOLES IN MY VEHICLE. CAN I STILL MOUNT AN ANTENNA?

For setting up your CB system properly, you need to properly install your CB antenna most diligently. CB antenna installation consists of many important details that require special attention of the user during the setup. One of these details is placing the antenna mount at the right location and then properly fixing the whip in the mount. Mount is the part that serves as a base to the rest of the antenna body. So it should be firmly attached to the most optimal point on your vehicle where the mount can easily hold the whip straight and high without dislocating when the car is in motion.

Usually people hesitate during this step because it requires drilling holes into the vehicle’s chassis for permanently fixing the mount in its place. They fear that a small hole would decrease the value of their car. But brands like Stryker, Wilson have come up with innovative and car-friendly antenna mounts that do not require any kind of drilling and permanent fixing solutions. They include magnetic mounts, mirror bar mounts and the trunk-lip mounts that can be made to stick to the point where you want to install your antenna. All these options are comparatively affordable too. So you can get hold of them for any kind of antenna you are intending to use. Not only are they safe but are also extremely easy to install and manage, hence saving your time and effort.

How does CB Antenna work?

Since the time the CB radios first entered the CB world, people have known them for their efficiency and uninterrupted communication that they add to a driver’s life. CB radios are those specialized devices with which you can stay connected to the world around you even when you are busy driving your car. It serves as a multi-purpose navigator for the professional drivers because it manages to keep you fully aware of the type and intensity of the conditions in which you are driving. This kind of performance is also attributed to the CB antenna that works in integration to a CB radio. Without a CB antenna, your CB radio would be nothing more than a box filled with electronic components.

Keeping this fact in mind, CB antenna selection holds the highest importance in the complete CB management process. Type, size, color, brand, features; hence everything matters in case of a CB antenna. These antennas basically work because of the silver-copper coil placed inside the antenna’s body. The type of an antenna is also determined by the orientation and placement of this coil. Stryker, in addition to these basic antenna features, adds external strength to the basic design by enclosing the coil in an outer cover of thermoplastic of mobay. Due to this innovative approach, the CB antennas are the hot favorites of all the CB enthusiasts around the world.

How your antenna works depends on how well your CB antenna is orchestrated with your CB radio and to what extent you keep it protected and maintained. This is the only part of the CB system that remains in the open environment for the majority of the time. So extra care is always required for acquiring the desired level of efficiency and receptivity from your CB antenna. Above all, if you invest in a good quality CB antenna, you can feel free from all these hassles in one go. Good Quality CB antennas can help you attain the same level of satisfaction as you can get the best features and the most decent outlook at amazingly affordable rates readily from this brand.

I CAN’T TUNE MY ANTENNA PROPERLY AND HAVE HIGH SWR! WHAT’S WRONG?

Tuning a CB antenna properly is an art. You need to have the best CB antenna, the prefect tools and a good quality SWR meter for making your CB antenna most ideally tuned according to your requirements. But practically, when people start tuning their CB antennas on their own, they face a number of problems and consistently obtain higher SWR levels that render their antennas completely inefficient. The variations in the SWR readings can be caused due to many known or unknown factors but the most common factors contributing towards the high SWR levels are as follows:

  • The CB antenna has not been installed and tuned properly or may be with less care.
  • The height of the antenna is inappropriate according to the specific kind of CB system you are about to operate.
  • The antenna has not been grounded properly or there is no proper ground plane underneath it.
  • The cable you are using for making the connection has been bent, damaged or shorted somehow, leading to an inconsistency in the system.

With these factors infecting your CB connections, your SWR meter would always show high readings and you won’t be able to obtain the required SWR for fine tuning your antenna. First make sure the above mentioned factors have been reduced in their effect. Then carefully tune by consulting the SWR meter side by side until you reach the desired SWR level. Also get your SWR meter checked. It should be technically sound for providing you with the desired results.

How does an antenna size affect my CB radio?

So far, we have emphasized at every stage that CB antenna is the most crucial part of a CB system and all the functions performed by it put a great impact on the overall performance of the system. One of the biggest factors that should be monitored while choosing a CB antenna is its effective length. Just as the types of antenna are important, the length of your CB antenna is also a key criterion that decides the usability of the selected antenna. How long or short your CB antenna is puts a direct impact on the performance of your CB radio because the transmission and reception patterns are highly affected.

It is very important that while installing the antenna, it is properly tuned and calibrated using a SWR meter so that you can determine beforehand which length of the CB antenna would serve your purpose well. There are some standards set for different antenna lengths, with a reference of 102″ whip and 4 watts power constant for all. These standards are as follows:

  • If a 4 ft. antenna is used, it would give an output equivalent to that provided by 2 watts working in a 102″ whip.
  • If a 3 ft. antenna is used, it would give an output equivalent to that provided by 1.5 watts working in a 102″ whip.
  • If a 7.5″ antenna is used, especially on hand-held CB devices, the power output would be equivalent to that provided by about a fraction of a watt working in the 102″ antenna.
  • If a 102″ antenna is used, then it provides different power outputs depending on the model of the CB radio it is connected with. But generally this length of antenna is considered the best for a smooth CB transmission and reception.

Although these standards help a lot while deciding with the length of the CB antenna, but you can also change the length according to the particular type of CB radio you are holding. Stryker CB antennas are highly versatile and flexible so you can manage them easily while installing your CB radio in your vehicle. Moreover, the Stryker team is available 24/7 for making things as smooth for the users as possible. So you can contact them anytime through their helpline for gaining valuable insight regarding the best antenna length that is most appropriate for your CB system.

How do I increase the transmit power of my CB?

There are many improved models of CB radios and antennas available with Stryker that have the capacity to transmit and receive at a much effective and faster rate than the rest of the brands. You can avail them at the most affordable rates from any of the Stryker outlets near you. But if you want to modify your device for increasing its transmit power somehow, then it is wise to ignore this idea because this act is illegal.

All the CB radios are allowed maximum up to 5 watts input and 4 watts output. Generally a good CB radio would perform optimally at these power limits and no other modifications are required. But if you do so, you would break the law on one hand and on the other hand, your CB system would disturb the fields of all the appliances that might be functioning near your system. This disturbance would cause intense interference between the radiations and signals being emitted and received by those appliances and can also damage them badly. If that damage is reported, you can get in trouble. So it is wise to use the legally permitted transmit power for your CB system.

What is the gain for a particular CB antenna? What antenna has the best gain?

Expert CB’ers have different ways to measure the gain of their CB antennas. It is generally recommended to take the help from the professionals for determining the exact gain level of the particular type of antenna you are using. There can be high gain antennas, medium gain antennas and low gain antennas, each having its own pros and cons. High gain antennas are usually preferred in the areas were the surroundings are clear and there are lesser hurdles imposed for the incoming signals.

Medium gain antennas are suitable to be used in the areas having crowded terrain. The signals are transmitted smoothly even if the surroundings are not clear enough. But on the down side, the range is considerably lower than the high gain antennas. For the urban chaps, the best pick is the low gain antenna for their CB system because they are able to transmit and receive signals in all the direction with consistency. But they should keep in mind that the range would be rather a limited one, nowhere similar to the ones provided by the high gain and medium gain antennas.

What is the gain for a particular CB antenna? What antenna has the best gain?

Expert CB’ers have different ways to measure the gain of their CB antennas. It is generally recommended to take the help from the professionals for determining the exact gain level of the particular type of antenna you are using. There can be high gain antennas, medium gain antennas and low gain antennas, each having its own pros and cons. High gain antennas are usually preferred in the areas were the surroundings are clear and there are lesser hurdles imposed for the incoming signals.

Medium gain antennas are suitable to be used in the areas having crowded terrain. The signals are transmitted smoothly even if the surroundings are not clear enough. But on the down side, the range is considerably lower than the high gain antennas. For the urban chaps, the best pick is the low gain antenna for their CB system because they are able to transmit and receive signals in all the direction with consistency. But they should keep in mind that the range would be rather a limited one, nowhere similar to the ones provided by the high gain and medium gain antennas.

What is the main difference between an External Speaker and PA Horns?

One of the most obvious functions of the CB radios is to carry out a consistent communication over long distances. These devices have been specifically designed for enabling the CB enthusiasts to be strongly connected to the world, no matter where they are driving. These radios serve as their on-road and off-road companions and sometimes serve as a big life-saving platform for them. Weather updates, traffic alerts, introduction to the new places currently being visited, the business prospects available there etc. are some of the areas CB radios have been consistently serving for.

The CB radios from Stryker have been equipped with so many remarkable features that make your communication smoother than ever. Now for conveying your message to the world around you, you need some CB accessories as well that can serve the purpose well. Two of the commonly used CB accessories are the External Speakers and the PA Horns. Both serve a different purpose for the CB’ers. External speakers are installed near your CB radio and help you listen clearly to the transmission being broadcasted on your radio. PA horns serve as a connection between you and the outside world. You can convey your messages clearly and loudly through these horns and CB microphones to the listeners outside your vehicle. Both these accessories help you to be heard loud and clear on the CB network, hence increasing your chances of getting a quick and relevant response, no matter what type of query you have placed.

What type of antenna do I need?

It depends on your vehicle and the type of communication needs you to be fulfilled. There are many kinds of CB antennas available in the market these days. If you are about to choose a CB antenna for the first time, then do prefer to take some professional guidance as selecting the right antenna is the most important requirement for getting an effective CB performance. Any mistake made during this step can cost you a lot in the future.

The most commonly used CB antennas are the fiberglass antennas, Center-loaded antennas, Base-loaded antennas, NGP antennas and magnetic mounts. Each type has its own specifications and enhances the range of your CB system in a unique way. Generally the most preferred types of antennas are the center-loaded and base-loaded ones because they are more durable and efficient than the rest. If you buy them from the Stryker SR-2K and SR-5K categories, then you can even expect them to serve you for many years to come without any damage because Stryker antennas have the specialty of being the most long-lasting antennas in the industry. You can also buy the magnetic mounts if you are looking for a quick and convenient installation.

WHAT SHOULD ONE "WATCH OUT FOR" WHEN ORDERING / BUYING CB RADIO EQUIPMENT ONLINE?

CB world is a wide arena where the users can explore something new every day. These wide range of opportunities have become possible because of so many brands dedicated to offering a diverse variety of CB radios and other accessories to the users. Stryker, in particular, is a brand that goes a step further and has made cost-efficient and high-performing features available in one CB radio with the top class accessories at the most affordable prices ever. Most of them offer online buying facility with their equipment.But for those who are just starting with their CB journey need to know some important points regarding online purchases of the CB equipment so that you can make quality purchases without being trapped:

  • Always go for the CB dealers that offer you reasonable shipping charges. Those with no proper information about their shipping charges should be taken as a danger alarm.
  • The dealers who claim that their radios can give you more than 4 watts of power or place any such illegal offer for you, they should be avoided straight away. It is absolutely illegal to work with such vendors.
  • Don’t go with the dealers who are adding installation and tuning charges as a must with their basic purchase.
  • Check out for the contact information like address and contact number, office visiting hours etc. for getting an idea what kind of a shop it is. A good and honest dealer would always make this information highly visible on its website and other social networking pages.

What does the squelch do?

CB radios operate by catching the incoming signals and then translating them into a voice message that is heard through your CB radio. These signals are caught through the CB antenna connected to your CB radio. Generally the strength of the signal depends on the efficiency and reception capacity of the antenna. Usually there are many CB systems working on the network at the same time and that increases the traffic on the network considerably. This can create severe interference between signals and they often don’t come up clear in your CB radios.

Similarly when on the road, drivers can experience too much disturbance and noise while operating the CB radio because there are so many other CB users doing the same at that time. This noise from various sources can affect the clarity of the communication that’s necessary during emergencies. This noise and disturbance is effectively minimized through the squelch. Squelch works when your radio transmission starts transmitting sheer noise and presents bad signals. The effect of these noisy signals is reduced by using squelch. You can seek professional help from the Stryker team as well if you feel your problem intensifying with the regular use of your CB radio.

WHAT IS A "NOISE CANCELLING" MIKE, & WHAT DOES IT DO?

A CB system is incomplete without a CB microphone that makes the communication through this medium complete and accurate. There are two types of mikes that we can have to be connected with our CB radios: power mikes and noise cancelling mikes. Both have their specific roles in a CB system. The accuracy with which these mikes perform their part depends on the brand from where you buy them. The most recommended brand that offers the best CB mikes in both these categories is Stryker. Its products are warranted and the Stryker team will help you get your mike running in the most desired way.

Noise-cancelling mike is the type that most of the people don’t know about. This mike is specifically designed for keeping your communication as noise-free as possible. It only catches the voice of the user at a given moment and gives a clear and focused voice output that conveys the message clearly. This ability is not usually found in the normal power mikes so a noise-cancelling mike becomes a must. It is particularly useful while communicating with heavy traffic around. If you are driving a heavy truck, then along with the traffic horns, the engine of the vehicle adds to the noise, making your communication much more difficult than in normal conditions. This noise can be effectively cancelled using this special mike. But if you are operating a home base station or have your CB in a private car, then this mike might not be a necessity.

Why are kits important for mounting CB ANTENNAS?

How CB antennas go with your CB system depends on the level of accuracy with which it has been mounted on your vehicles. This step is one of the most decisive ones in the overall CB installation process. Stryker’s collection includes center-loaded antennas as well as magnetic mounts that are very easy to install and adjust with almost no external aids. Even the new CB’ers can manage to get their Stryker CB systems installed on their own in no time.

But generally, CB antenna installation is a lengthy process consisting of various details that need to be focused on while executing each and every step. Most of the people simply prefer the convenience of dialing the Stryker helpline and calling over the professionals for mounting their CB antennas in the way they find appropriate. Some people avoid this hassle and simply start going through the setup manuals for doing the installation on their own. But for that another thing is required as a must and that is a professional CB antenna installation kit.

Now you might want to know why these kits are so important for mounting the CB antennas. The answer is that these kits contain all the tools required for mounting your CB antenna in the neatest and the most professional manner possible. These kits make the screwing and unscrewing of the CB antennas easy and convenient. If you have to park your car with the antenna in a garage or anywhere that doesn’t allow for a spacious parking, then these kits would help in putting your CB antenna safely aside.

When fixing the connections of your CB system in plane, the small screws are extremely hard to handle and tighten in the spaces provided. The CB kits have the tools with which all the screws can be adjusted neatly in place for ensuring that all the connections are tight and without any breaks. These kits prove very useful especially when you are covering a very long journey and want a handy maintenance solution for your CB system and Stryker is proud to offer the best kits that meet these criteria effectively.

What is Tunable Antenna Tip and how does it work?

CB antenna length is a very critical factor that, to a great extent, determines the performance level of a CB antenna. Generally it is believed that the longer a CB antenna is, the better it would perform. But on the other hand, people with a limited CB usage often require CB antennas that are of short or medium length so that they are easy to install and manage. There are steel whip antennas as well as fiberglass antennas available in different lengths that can meet the needs of various types of CB users out there. Apart from these options, the element of adjustability matters a lot and needs to be there in a good CB antenna.

Modern-day CB antennas have a tunable antenna tip that makes the antenna adjustment easy and hassle-free. This tip consists of an adjustable screw that can be unscrewed while tuning the antenna and changing its height. It reduces the time you used to spend in cutting the antenna till the time you got a suitable length to be mounted on your vehicle. The CB antennas with such tunable tips are far more flexible than the ones without this spec. You can tune, adjust, calibrate and even reorient your CB antenna just by tuning this antenna tip. You can get this feature only with the high quality CB antennas and Stryker antennas are one of them. Whether you select the SR-2K CB antennas or the SR-5K varieties, they have this flexibility ensured.

IF I WANT TO USE A MOBILE CB AS A HOME BASE STATION, WHAT WILL I NEED?

A CB system is a versatile communication system designed to provide a consistent performance over long ranges. Generally we have seen this mode of communication growing with respect to the mobile CB systems. Most of the CB brands, particularly Stryker, offer a wide range of CB equipment options that can be used in any type of vehicle and can serve all types of on-road as well as off-road needs of the users. But now there is a growing awareness among the users about the Base Station Development using the same mobile CB equipment.

There are not many users created by now who are interested in converting their mobile CB into a Home Base Station but the ones who are actually practicing it find it pretty interesting. If you are planning to do the same with your CB equipment, then it is good to have the following things ready before starting the installation process:

  • A CB radio and a compatible CB antenna from a reputed brand, specifically from Stryker. Make sure that your CB antenna is the one that can fit your base station requirements well.
  • Make a power supply point accessible for the connections of your CB equipment in your house. This power supply should have the capacity to covert the regular 120volts supply to a nominal 13.8VDC current.
  • A long connecting cable should be there along with the proper toolkit for a professional installation of your home base station.

WHAT IS THE "FREEBAND", "UPPERS" or "OUTBAND"?

Citizens Band (CB) is an amazing platform where you can interact with the world in a new way. This band broadcasts 40 channels, each of which has been specified for a special transmission particularly meant for the people on road or away from their home towns. The most loyal CB’ers know that how they can use the 40 CB channels according to their preferences and generally these channels are self-sufficient in catering to all their needs. But there is a common practice when some CB’ers might modify their CB equipment in such a way that they start catching channels other than these basic 40. These new channels that are not very commonly used make up a Freeband and can be called as Outband or Uppers. These channels can exist both above and below the normal 11 meter frequencies.

These frequencies were quite common once even with the regular users but now after the imposition of certain laws by the FCC, the situation has changed a lot. FCC has prohibited the users from modifying their CB equipment as a regular practice. Only the commercial users can do that to some extent after formal approval from FCC. So these Uppers are under technical and commercial use nowadays. But if any normal user tries to make such modification, he can be penalized for this act. So the regular 40 channels are made so extensively diverse for them that they don’t need any other channel while operating their CB equipment.

WHAT IS A "ROGER BEEP" & WHAT's IT FOR?

CB radios have a complete range of accessories with them that are specially designed for enhancing a user’s experience. The most commonly used accessory is a microphone without which your CB communication would not be complete. Just like everything else linked to a CB, its mic is also a unique one. It comes with a unique Roger Beep that enables the users to communicate their messages smartly. Its main function comes into action when your CB radio operating on the SSB mode or when the signals being received are weaker than expected. This beep is a tone that lasts for a few seconds just for making you feel that the person at the other end is available to hear you. Once the message is delivered completely by the other side, the Roger Beep calls out that it is your turn to speak now. It comes up as a result of the unkeying of your mic.

If you check out the latest CB mics, they offer multi-tone Roger Beep that’s in-built. But if you happen to buy the one that has this feature missing, you can add this feature through a power mike attached externally. Sometimes this tone can get you irritated while you are trying to convey your message in a hurry. So you can turn it off anytime. Otherwise, you can find it being used quite interestingly nowadays in many different areas, particularly communication and game playing.

HOW DO I CHECK MY ANTENNA'S SWR TUNING?

The importance of a CB antenna for a good CB system can hardly be overemphasized. It is the most important factor for determining the overall output of your CB radio. For enabling a CB antenna to serve your purpose in the right way, it needs to be tuned and calibrated properly with the help of a SWR meter. This fine tuning would enable your CB antenna get accustomed to your CB radio as well as to your vehicle’s dimensions. The condition is that you need to tune your CB antenna as accurately as possible because a slight variation from the required SWR would harm the entire CB system of yours. So to be on the safer end, first install your CB antenna and ground it properly as prescribed in the setup manual. If you want to improve your SWR even further, then consider doing it with a SWR meter connected separately between your CB radio and CB antenna. Your target is to achieve a ratio of 1:5:1 that is the most optimal SWR ratio for any CB system.

For that, you first need to determine the type of CB antenna you have. Then adjust its length for making its tuning easy. Stryker CB antennas are easily adjustable so you don’t have to trim their whips for getting a length that is appropriate for fine tuning the antenna. Then calibrate your antenna with the SWR meter on all the channels one by one and obtain the same SWR reading across all the channels as prescribed in the manual.

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