If you’ve found yourself asking the question of how to ground your CB antenna, then you’re having trouble with your radio’s performance.
The SWR levels are too high for you to tune into the frequencies and listen to them. And that’s when you’ve understood that the CB antenna acts differently from the regular ones. The signal projected from it doesn’t work at a horizontal or vertical angle like the traditional wires. It makes its way downwards.
So, to get the signal into the atmosphere, you need to reflect it. Hence comes the need for grounding.
But how to do that?
Let’s find that right here.
Things To Do Before Grounding CB Antenna:
Before starting the grounding process, you should take a couple of notes.
For starters, find out whether you can use the coaxial plug with the CB antenna. Assuming that you can, then all you need to mount it to your ride. That’s it.
The other thing that you need to consider is where you’re going to ground the antenna. The trunk lid is one of the best places for mounting. Though the hinges there can cause a problem. If so, use ground straps. You can bond the lid and the other frame using it.
Besides the lid, the front panel or the car’s bumper is another fitting site. The best way of grounding is to get the coaxial cable mounted to the metal plane. And like earlier, you can use the grounding straps to increase the performance.
Tools Needed For Grounding:
You’re all set to ground the CB antenna, but wait, have you got the right tools for the job? If you don’t, then check the list below to see what’s missing from the toolbox.
- Analog/digital multimeter
- Grounding straps (at least 20)
- Screwdriver set
- Paint Scraper
Got them all? Ok, then you’re ready to ground the CB antenna.
How to ground your CB antenna?
Finally, you’ve reached the point where you’re going to ground the antenna. No worries, it isn’t that hard. Just follow the step-by-step guide below.
You will need to install set screws on the car to mount the antenna. So, the first thing you should do is take out the marker and mark the spot where you’re planning to install it.
More often than not, the car’s panel/trunk gets painted. For grounding, get the metal part exposed is vital. This being the case, you need to take the scraper and rub off the paint where you’ve etched with the marker.
It is quite unlikely, but if your vehicle got all the panels welded as one, then you can skip this step.
But most rides today have disjoined panels. That interferes with the RF signal causes noise barriers.
To avoid that, you’ve got to bond the separate parts to make them one. And for that, you need to use the grounding straps. Remember, if you don’t join the panels with grounding straps, it won’t be as efficient as it could be.
So, make sure to follow this step.
For the next step, you’ve got to use the multimeter. But before doing anything else, first, make sure it is working well.
How do you do that?
Just touch the two probes together, and that will tell you whether it is working or not. For the analog multimeters, you will see the needle move towards the right. And for the digital ones, the readings will emerge on the device display.
Now, you need to take readings using the probe for installing the mount. To start with, you will put the first probe in a position where you’re planning to fix the mounting bracket.
So, put it down where you’ve peeled the metal earlier. Make sure it gets placed there.
For the next part, you need to take the other probe to the car’s battery. You need to be a little more attentive for this part. The plan is to place the second probe on the negative terminal of the cell. It won’t be that hard to find as there should be a negative (-) sign on the battery. In no way, you should let it touch the positive (+) dock.
Now comes the moment of truth. You need to check the multimeter to see whether you’ve got the grounding right or not.
If you’ve got the two probes placed right, then the needle on the multimeter should move towards the right-side all the way. That means you’ve got the grounding spot on. But if it doesn’t move at all, or there is a little bit of needle movement, that means you need to get back to work again to try to improve the mounting.
Repeat the earlier steps again to get it done right.
You’ve made the perfect grounding. Then all you need to do is to complete the mounting. Take the hardware and get that antenna positioned in its place using the tools.
If you find it complex to mount the antenna, you can look up the internet. Many tutorials are there which will help you with the installation.
What metal is best for grounding on?
Metal is the best grounding material.
How high your CB antenna should be?
The higher the antenna, the better. If you can get it above 5 to 10 feet above the ground level, then that will be great.
Does a magnetic CB antenna require grounding?
Yes, even the magnetic antenna gets grounded. Capacitive coupling gets used to doing that.
How to tell if your CB antenna got grounded right?
You will need to use the multimeter to identify whether you’ve got the grounding right or not.
If you’ve paid heed on how to ground your CB antenna, then you might have picked up a couple of things that will help your grounding.
The first is to ground on metal. Metal-on-metal is the ultimate way of grounding. The next is to check for the best grounding points. That you can do with the multimeter. And the last thing is to keep the coaxial cable on the hot side of your antenna.
If you get all those done right, no doubt, there will be a lower SWR and better CB reception than ever for you to enjoy.