Introduction: Correctly Install a CB Radio

Installing your CB radio correctly isn't difficult, and a job worth doing is worth doing well!

So get ready to enjoy the wonderful world of free communication in this super simple instructable!

Step 1: Hardware

-CB radio (Mic included)
-Antenna (may already have Coax cable)
-Coax cable (may already be connected to the Mount/Magnetic Mount)
-Tapping clips (1)
-Antenna spring (so it'll flex in lieu of snapping/shattering)

Note: All CB radios are equally powered (out of the box), but not always the same price. I've heard that you should spend $100 on your first setup; that is: $20 for the radio and $80 for the antenna. With experience and in time, you'll start refining your setup. For now, these are just instructions on How To Correctly Install what you've got.

Step 2: Mount Your Radio...

Mount in a place where you can clearly see what channel you're on, and you can comfortably reach the unit.

From the driver seat (tho this picture was taken from the passenger's POV), this spot is ideal for me.

Step 3: Connect

-Mount your antenna onto the spring; taking care not to have the tip blocked by roof rack accessories and such. And mount the spring onto the magnet mount.

-Connect your Coax to the antenna (some antennas are grounded automatically by the car body -as is the case with magnet mounts). Connect the ground wire to anything metal -if you have one.
(Note: My Tri-Mag antenna mount is already prewired with a Coax cable. After connecting the antenna to the Spring, and the spring onto the mount, I just put the mount where the signal wouldn't be blocked or interrupted.)

-Connect the Coax to the back of the Radio. The Coax should be routed from the antenna to the radio with as little 'kinks' as possible.

-Connect your mic.

Now it's time to connect to the power supply!

I'm sparing the lengthy details on how to screw/connect things together because it's a pretty intuitive process; all connections should fit, and only require a few twists to mate the contacts (like from the antenna to the mount) ;-)

Step 4: Like a Pro!

Remove any necessary panels to get to the back of your lighter plug.

Access the RED+ wire of said Plug, and (using your wire tap crimp) clip on the RED+ wire from your radio. This clip makes a clean connection with the radio and the 12V DC line.

Now, find any metal screw attached to your car's metal body panel, and crimp the end of the BLACK- wire onto that bolt.

Your radio is now ready to go!

Comments

author
happychicken made it!(author)2016-01-24

can i use speaker wireas an extenion to hook up to the battery cause the wire on cb radio is to short

author
sirfixalot7797 made it!(author)2017-01-08

did they reply if not speaker wire would do the thicker the better.

author
roeulogy made it!(author)2015-07-16

On most modern vehicles the 12V acc plug (cig lighter) wiring is not enough to handle the amperage of a CB radio wile transmitting. RX(listening) only it would be ok, but to transmit I wouldn't use and wire less then 18ga (approx 10Amps)

author
radiojohn1 made it!(author)2016-05-20

the cable on cb rigs ie 4w fm output in uk to the 15w ssb max o/p in EU wouldnt carry more than 5Amps do the maths- V x I = Watts 13.2v x 2A = 26watts

As a radio ham i regularly run 20w vhf /hf from a cig lighter socket as 10A at 13.2v is 130w, and no need for negative(black) lead to go to battery , has body of car/truck is a much better conductor than any cable.

author
sirfixalot7797 made it!(author)2017-01-08

hi m8 u use radio a lot please send me a message for instructions on how 2 use one correctly.is there a cruising channel ect.my email is overnimbin@hotmail.com I would like a sponsor like you can help.ps I have just got my pops fave.A GME TX3220 How do I talk to just 1 person

author
ConnorH19 made it!(author)2016-02-13

taking advice from a guy that wears crocs? bad idea

author
az%C3%BCkiBEAN made it!(author)2016-01-24

Happy Chicken: Yes. Caveat: try and use a matching gauge, and keep the connectors clean.

author
plaughlin1 made it!(author)2015-01-29

i wouldnt take my power from the radio wiring. its best to just go right to the battery. if you cant, go to the fuse box. the factory wiring may not be able to take the added draw.

author
Hillbillyjoe made it!(author)2015-07-16

if u do, do u need to connect the ground wire to the battery? or can i just connect it to metal in the cab?

author
plaughlin1 made it!(author)2015-07-20

you can do either. some people report better performance from running the negative to the battery but i haven't noticed any difference.

author
Hillbillyjoe made it!(author)2015-07-16

if u do, do u need to connect the ground wire to the battery? or can i just connect it to metal in the cab?

author
ccroft1 made it!(author)2014-12-21

Do all units run on 12 volts?

author
plaughlin1 made it!(author)2015-01-29

if they are mobile radios then yes. they all run on 12VDC. even my base rigs have a 12v connection in addition to the 120v power cord.

author
az%C3%BCkiBEAN made it!(author)2013-12-28

@Abax969: Thanks for the feedback! I had hoped someone would ask about tuning. To be honest, my antenna was registering long. I used a basic Firestik (I forget the model), but was bored and tried a mobile TV antenna for the heck of it. SWR showed good readings! I've been told the signal sounds clean from my end... perhaps it's because I was situated atop a hill overlooking the valley, though:)!
Anyway, Tuning Your CB would make an excellent Instructable! I'll get right to it once I'm able to gain access to one -otherwise, I wouldn't mind learning from more experienced CBers out there or even on skip! I go by azükiBEAN; "What's your handle good buddy?"

author
Abax1969 made it!(author)2013-12-28

Not a bad instruction, but I see no mention of Antenna Tuning.
Without a proper tuning you will not get optimum range.

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