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Using Your CB Radio in Various Environments

Using Your CB Radio in Various Environments

Using a CB Radio while traveling across the country is a fascinating experience. Depending on the location and time of day, you can hear transmissions from hundreds of miles away. You can also talk to CB fans who are both newbies and veterans. It’s a look into what America really is. Not what’s seen or heard on the news.

However, this is not the case in every section of the country. The face of the U.S. changes so much that sending and receiving transmissions can be different as well. So, you may have a harder time reaching someone in Colorado’s Vail Pass as opposed to on the flat surface of Interstate 80 through Kansas.

Here’s a breakdown of how to use your CB radio and various driving environments.

Inclement weather

Regardless of the driving surface, inclement weather reduces the range to send and receive messages. This is not due to your transceiver or antenna. Rather, it’s the environment.

For a signal to reach it’s destination it must bounce off a part of the atmosphere called the ionosphere. When the cloud ceiling is low, radio waves bounce quicker.

Clear weather

The opposite happens during clear days. Particularly at night. And especially when you’re travelling on a flat surface without any obstructions. So, if you were driving I-80 in Kansas on a clear, cool evening, those radio waves would bounce high and fast. Thus, you could hear and send messages across several states.

Mountains and buildings

Radio waves can pass through buildings but not mountains. In scientific terms, the atoms of structure walls are smaller than those in radio waves. Hence, the reason they pass through buildings.

This is not the case with mountains. Their atoms are dense, as well as their rocky structure. So, your antenna needs to be tall enough to bounce a signal above their peaks. If not, transmission is limited to other truckers and drivers around you.

Sea level

It depends on the atmosphere. Transmissions won’t go far if driving I-15 through the deserts of Nevada and California on a July afternoon. The atmosphere is too charged. On the other hand, driving Route 1 heading to Key West might allow for longer transmissions thanks to cooler temperatures from ocean breezes.

What type of antenna do you need for the environments you’re driving? Speak to the specialists at CB Radio Supply for some guidance.

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