CB radios are more popular than ever. You don’t need a license to operate one, they’re fairly easy to operate, and CB service operates on 40 shared channels.
You can beef up your emergency and travel communication procedures, intercept important outgoing broadcasts, and connect with other radio-loving folks over the airwaves. But you need some essential equipment to do so.
Here are the five must-have CB radio accessories for 2023.
First things first: you can’t operate a CB radio without a CB antenna. When you’re in the market for a CB radio, antenna selection should be paramount when assembling your setup.
The best CB antennawill maximize the four watts of power that CB radios use to operate. Getting a cheap antenna, like the Venom GPA CB ½ Wave, will get the job done, but something more high-end like the Sirio 827 5/8 Wave can handle intense weather and has a fantastic range.
Thoughdemand for CB radiosfell slightly between 2021 and 2022, in general, these years saw a massive increase in the popularity of CB radio. If you’re a newcomer to this type of radio broadcast, you’ll need to get yourself a coaxial cable. The question is: how do you decide between the dozens that are on the market?
While they all may look the same, tiny differences in the make yield huge performance differences. You’ll have to pay attention to the different types of coax connections, whether barrel style, ring style, or lug/terminal style. You’ll also need to note whether or not the cable has screw-off ends, especially if you’re working with small firewall holes.
The history of CB radio goes all the way back to the 1940s. CB became officially permitted for hobbyist use in 1975. Since then, virtually every aspect of the technology that enables CB radio use has been improved, including signal strength. To check if your signal strength is high enough, you can use a little device called an SWR meter.
Any SWR meter worth your money will have an impedance rating gauge, which checks readings for given standing wave ratios. It will also have a frequency range reader, and remember, the frequency of your SWR meter also needs to match that of your radio.
A quick disconnect allows you to quickly disconnect your antenna from the radio. While fold-over antennas exist, you’ll need a quick disconnect when traveling, so that your antenna doesn’t become a barrier to movement.
You don’t necessarily need an external speaker to run your CB radio, but they noticeably improve audio experience and quality.
The best external speakers for CB radio should be simply designed without too many buttons or knobs. They aren’t complicated devices, so keep it simple. Pay attention to the maximum power wattage, which will correlate with how clear the sound is.
Pairing your CB radio with these valuable accessories means you’ll be able to tune in to some sweet sounds, and tune out the world. Enjoy!