Why this Approach
This approach is simple, cost effective (only $150), and functional. For the use of being connected off-road, this set up will carry over mountains in Vermont and yield one of the strongest signals on the trail. I’ve spend big money on nice CB Radio’s and I’ve fried them just the same as I have the cheap ones. It happens when someone key’s up the mic and you don’t have an antenna connected, and it happens when it rains inside my Jeep too. My advice is to buy the least amount of bells and whistles that you need (fewer things to break, and it keeps the cost down). If you need the PA, then get it but otherwise, a 40 channel CB Radio is all you need.
$50. This is your bare bones CB Radio, it gets the job done without a big out of pocket expense. If you fry it, you fry it! The next model up, the 520XL has a gain function that will help produce a clearer sound as well as the PA option.
2ft, 3ft, or 4ft
$30. These antenna’s are tunable, durable, and affordable. Substituting for anything else in my opinion, will leave you purchasing one of these later. Trust me, I abuse mine and I bought it in 2007, it still works great! For your antenna to work well, it must be higher than your Jeep. Don’t go too high though! It gets caught in the trees and on everything else and can be obnoxious. I run a heavy duty spring at the base of mine to keep it “flexible.”
$14. Regardless of the length of your antenna, I recommend the Heavy Duty. You don’t want it banging around back there, it’s obnoxious.
$9. This is the connection between your antenna and CB Radio, it’s the critical link. If you ever have an antenna issue, try replacing this.. Having a spare on hand can save you or someone else’s day as well.
$20. Choose your length carefully! Up and around corners costs lost of length. Never fold or bend your antenna, that will break the internal wire. For tuning your CB, you’ll also want to get a cheap 2-3ft cable too.
How To Tune Your Antenna
Check Your SWR
Tune Your Antenna
Take the cap off the tip of your Firestik Antenna. Under there you will find a small brass screw which you can typically adjust by hand. Check your SWR, once you get your reading adjust the screw a turn or tow in one direction or the other, now recheck SWR. The adjustment of the tip will raise or lower your SWR reading. Try to get as low a reading as you can, then put the tip back on. I wrap my cap/antenna with a wrap of Gorilla Tape since I’ve lost a few.
That’s it! Test it out with a friend, you should be good to go.