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CB Radio Tips

Here are a few tips for using a CB radio. You might want to keep a copy with your radio.

  • Hold the microphone close to your mouth, at a right-angle so you are talking across it instead of into it, and speak with a slightly louder than normal voice.
  • After you press the transmit button, pause one second before talking, and after you finish talking pause before releasing the transmit button.
  • When someone else is finished transmitting, pause before you begin transmitting.
  • Do not transmit until others have stopped transmitting.
  • If someone has transmitted something to you, always reply.
  • Keep transmissions brief, in case someone has an emergency to report, or the group leader needs to give driving directions.
  • Check the Squelch setting every ten minutes or so. When no one is talking, turn the Squelch down (left) until you hear noise, then turn it up just past the point where the noise is cancelled. And while the Squelch is down, check the Volume.
  • If your radio is silent for a few minutes, check everything, including the correct channel, and that you are not accidentally transmitting.
  • Do not use a hand-held radio with the antenna inside the vehicle.
  • Never put a sharp bend in the antenna wire, and avoid pinching it.

If you are shopping for a new radio (or if yours has problems) choose a model with as few features as possible for the best performance. A very good one is the Radio Shack Mini Mobile CB, model TRC-503, catalog 21-1703, for $49.99. They also have a variety of good antennas for $25-$35. Anything over two feet tall will work fine. Tie a mag-mount to the roof rack when possible.

cb radio, 4wd tips