How To Increase Watts On CB Radio: 7 Quick Steps

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CB radios are great to have for short-distance communication.

But not that great for long distances due to their lack of watts. However, if you know how to increase watts on CB radio, then you can get that range too with the equipment.

But how do you do that?

That’s what you’re going to find out here today.

How To Increase Watts On CB Radio?

How To Increase Watts On CB Radio

I hope you are familiar with all the parts of the CB radio. If you are, then you can follow along the steps to improve the watts on the radio. But before you do anything, first make sure to have the SWR meter, because it is a crucial piece of the puzzle.  Using it, you will get to know the radio power output.

Did you get it? Great, then start with the process.

Radio Location

The first thing you need to do is grounding the radio. The sound quality of the radio will be exceptional if there is no interference. If other signals are intruding, that’s when you get those noises on the radio. So, to avoid the noise, keep the radio in a place from getting disrupted.


For the next bit, you’ve got to modulate the radio. Modulation is the easiest way there is to improve the power output. If you do it right, then the volume will improve on the radio. And not just that, it will also refine the sound quality big time.

Though while improving the power output, don’t increase it too much. If you do that, then it can get in the way of the radio frequency and distort it. And that is something you don’t want.

Adjust Squelch & RF Gain Option

You’ve got to clear out the background noise. And that is something you can do using the squelch function of the radio. On the more advanced models, alongside the Squelch, there is something called the RF gain that will assist in muting the background noise.

Just try to find a point where the noise coming from the background is minimum, and only the voice of the transmitter gets picked on the radio. It will offer a better quality sound to enjoy.

Perfect Antenna

Antennas on the radio play a huge role in improving the range of your CB radio. You can place the radio antenna in a high location to get better reception. Without a quality antenna, you can’t expect the CB radio to offer sound quality that is without any kind of noise. That’s why, whenever you see that there is too much static coming out of the speakers, probably the antenna is not doing its job to get the signals to avoid the noise.

You can get a new antenna and solve the problem. Or you can make your own antenna at home to solve the problem. Or just build a mast for the antenna you’ve already got to get it higher in a position where it catches the signals better than usual.

SWR Meter

After doing all that, now it is time to get that SWR meter that I’ve told you to keep by your side before. Get it and see the reading of the antenna on it. If you get lower readings on the meter, then that’s a good sign. The number you should eye for is 1:5 at least. But if you can get that even lower, then that’s even better.

Dead Key Wattage

To improve the wattage on the radio, you should look into the dead wattage pot. That is something that every radio has. Look for it and tune it to peak to get those dead key wattages to work in your favor to improve the range of the CB radio you’ve got.


Even after trying all the tricks, you’re not getting a satisfying result, then go back to the old ways of doing things. Just get yourself an amp and boost up the watt of the CB radio. Not only the added power will get the signal to go longer distances, but it will also refine audio quality. So, get a linear amplifier and try it out as it is famous to give the additional power output on the dead key wattages you have in the radio system.

However, while using the amplifier system, you need to be careful about overdoing things as you can’t go over 10 watts. If you get past the range, there is the risk of overheating the thing and causing it to break.

Even if that doesn’t work out for you, then there is only one way to solve the problem and that is to get a new and better CB radio.

Hold on to it! Before doing that, you should know something that many CB radio users often forget about.

CB Radio Wattage Amplification: Be Ready To Get FINED!

That’s right.

Amplifying the watts on CB radio is illegal in many countries. In the USA, FCC has limited the watts range to 4 watts to avoid any interference. And without the permission of the FCC, you can’t modify it legally.

Yes, you can do all the things above to improve the watts, and there is no wrong in doing all that without letting FCC know about it. And if you can improve the watts to get better performance with the CB radio doing all that, then good for you.

But remember, if you get caught doing the illegal activity, then depending on the state law and FCC, you can be fined heavily. One individual even got fined $15000 operating CB radio like that.

So, take the risk knowingly.


So, now you know how to increase watts on CB radio. The options here give you the chance to do it in a discrete manner that won’t get you in trouble with the law. But if you can’t improve the range, and want to try the other ways to improve it, be sure of the consequences.

Whatever you do, don’t get caught!

Also read:

1. How To Ground Your CB Antenna: In 6 Simple Steps
2. How to Hook Up a CB Linear Amp
3. Must Have CB Radio Parts and Accessories – A Complete List

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