Everyone will say “YES” that when using CB radio sometimes the signal disappears, strong interference starts and you cannot make high-quality (or at least normal) contact.
These problems are very common due to the fact that CB radio power is low. What to do in this case?
Of course, you need to tune the antenna. Problems with the operation of CB radio may be due to the fact that the radio is damaged or its individual parts have become unusable.
And there is a very reasonable question:
Why Do I Need To Tune The Antenna?
The point is that tuning the antenna can be an excellent remedy for CB radio to work better than the very first time.
Most often, it is poorly tuned antennas that cause poor quality of work, interference and other problems that you encounter in using.
If you tune the antenna badly, it can turn your CB radio into a useless brick.
So, tuning the antenna will allow you to receive the good signal through the CB radio, get rid of the radio damage and make the SWR lower than 1:5 (because too high an SWR can make the radio work bad).
What Do You Need To Tune A Radio?
Tuning the radio is the most elementary process you have ever seen. You only need to adjust the length of the antenna so that you get maximum radio performance.
But just to shake the antenna is not enough, you need to work with the radio too.
Typically, tuning a CB radio requires a car, an open area, a CB radio, an SWR meter, an antenna, coaxial cables, and batteries.
Your radio should have a microphone in the kit. A coaxial cable will help you connect the antenna to the radio and to the SWR meter. A battery is needed for turning on the radio.
This set of inventory is considered optimal.
All attention is attracted by a strange SWR meter, about which few people have heard.
What Is An SWR Meter?
Aside from jokes, the SWR meter is a very important thing in setting up a CB radio. This thing shows how well the signal goes through the antenna.
The maximum and at the same time the ideal value of this indicator is 1:5. As long as you tune the antenna, your task is to lower (or increase) the readings to this value.
The SWR meter exists so that you can see the exact indicator and be sure that you decrease or increase the indicator correctly. The SWR meter makes the whole situation more serious and professional than just turning the antenna in different directions.
SWR meters are not expensive and finding them in the store is also not a big deal. Sometimes it happens that you just do not have something very necessary right now. Is it possible to tune a CB radio without SWR meter? Yes, you can do it even you have no SWR meter near to you.
Before getting to the point, I propose to continue the “prelude” and discuss such an important step in tuning as the antenna length adjustment.
The Truth about How to Adjust the Length of the Antenna
Antenna adjustment depends on what kind of antenna you have.
For example, there are antennas that have a special tip for tuning, there are antennas with adjusting rings. Some antennas are very difficult to adjust because you have to cut a steel whip and work with wires from the inside of the antenna – God forbid you to get such an antenna.
Fortunately, any antenna has instructions that explain everything.
Usually, the antenna has a tip, a screw on the top of the antenna for tuning. That is why you need only twist the screw and so change the length (increasing or shortening) the antenna.
Everything is very individual. And so that the next time the antenna setup is easy, ask the store for an easy-to-customize antenna.
And now about the main thing:
How to Tune A CB Radio Without An SWR Meter?
Go To the Open Area
Before you set up the antenna you need to go to an open area. The lack of things that can knock the signal, will help you easier to tune up the radio.
These “things” can be buildings, other cars, many people. It is better to avoid anything that can interfere with tuning – going out of town will be the best idea.
When tuning up the radio, the car doors, hood and windows should be closed. The open state of these parts can also knock down the signal.
Prepare the Antenna for Tuning
Before you start tuning the radio, make sure that the antenna is fine. How to check that everything is OK? An antenna should have a plastic cap on the tip. If this cap is there, everything is fine and you can continue a tuning.
You Will Need One More CB
Because you don’t have an SWR meter.
Take someone’s CB radio, set up this radio at some distance from the CB radio in your car. If this “too big event” you can take a phone.
I think that the second person you also need.
Choose one specific channel that you will tune to your radio.
Get a Connection between the Radios
At this point, you need to get a connection between the CB radios or between the CB radio (which you are tuning up) and the phone.
Use a Microphone
Above, I said that there must be a microphone in the kit. Now you will need it.
The microphone can set up the connection when you talk.
So, you will talk through CB radio, which you are going to tune, and you can use the second CB radio or phone to listen to what you are transmitting to the first radio. That is why you need a second person.
If the signal does not seem good enough to you, adjust the same screw on the antenna til you get the perfect signal.
In order not to lose the perfect signal, you need to constantly transmit sound to a tuning CB radio.
As you can see, tuning a CB radio is not very difficult even if you do not have an SWR meter. You should know that you will need the SWR meter soon, so be sure to buy this inexpensive and useful item. The point is that the SWR meter allows you to tune the radio for a long time and get a really perfect signal. By tuning a CB radio without an SWR meter, you still soon will have to install a good signal.