CB Radios – Five Troubleshooting Tips
Five Things to Look at When Checking Your CB’s Performance
Like many things electronic, CB radios can be cranky. They’ll work just fine one day and sound like crud the next. Of course, this could be due to weather conditions, sun spots, a low ionosphere, or other factors you can’t control.
What You Can Control
On the other hand, it might be a component failure, loose connection, or issue with the Standing Wave Ratio (SWR). Perhaps the coax cable is worn out or your antenna is no longer useful for the area you reside or drive in. In other words, … it can be anything.
Five Items to Check
However, this doesn’t mean you’ll need to examine an infinite number of items. In fact, the five items mentioned below can help solve your problems. And if not, at least you can check them off of your list.
- Adjust the SWR. Use a SWR meter to see if the readings are at or near a 1:1 ratio. Many of today’s CB models offer the meter as a built-in option. If not, purchase a standalone one. And, if the reading is well above 1:1, stop using the radio until proper adjustments are made.
- 2. Clean the contact connections. Check the power and coax connections that run through the vehicle or home and between the antenna and CB transceiver. Clean any corrosion or dirt from these areas and plug everything back in.
- Purchase a longer antenna. While your antenna once worked, development around your property or switching to a new delivery region can reduce the quality. Consider purchasing a longer antenna. In addition, think about moving it somewhere higher for better line of sight communications.
- Consider Single Side Band (SSB). Four watts may have been all you needed previously to send and receive messages. However, it doesn’t cut it now. If so, upgrade to a radio with SSB. This provides an additional four watts at the top and bottom of the frequency range. In the end, it boosts the clarity of what comes in and goes out.
- Check the Talkback. If others say your communications are garbled and you’ve given a green light to the other components, then perhaps the problem is at the microphone. If you have a talkback function, use it to hear how your voice sounds. You might need to adjust the Mic gain.
If none of these suggestions work, then reach out to a member of our CB Radio Supply team. They can find a solution from the issues you list or provide you with suggestions for replacement components.