Originally started in the United State in the 1940’s, the Citizen Band (CB) radio was designed to be a short-range radio communication tool. Typically, the CB radio spectrum consists of 40-channels within the 27mhz (11m) band. The CB technology is different than other personal radio services like FRS, GMRS, MURS, UHF, and HAM. The CB transmission can only support one transmission at a time and receipts of messages must wait for the transmission to complete and for the channel to open before submitting a reply. In addition, considering the short-range capability, CB radio use doesn’t require a license to operate. The transmission, however, isn’t encrypted and is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
CB radios come in the form of a portable hand-held unit, powered by battery or a stationary radio that is hard-wired to the Jeep and powered by the Jeep’s electrical system. Both options require an antenna used to transmit and receive the CB radio signals. Components like the length and tunability of the antenna, along with the power capability of the CB radio, will help determine the radio’s range capability. The environment also has an impact on range, with densely forested areas often blocking radio signals, opposed to open flat landscapes with little to no obstructions.
In addition to the CB radio and antenna, a good grounding wire and SWR meter are helpful when tuning and optimizing the CB radio signal. The grounding wire should be attached to the Jeep’s chassis on one end and the CB radio antenna mounting post on the other end. An SWR meter is then connected to the system and the antenna’s tip is adjusted in accordance with the SWR meter readings.
There are also optional items like quick-disconnect or spring mounting posts for the antenna, that will allow for quick removal and storage of the antenna when not in use. In addition, optional external speakers are used for optimal clarity in noisy environments. Depending on your preference of radio, there are also a variety of mounting solutions available for both portable hand-held models and hard-wired CB radios.