What? Not enough watts on your CB radio?
Having trouble increasing the range and power of your CB radio? Don’t worry then, because this issue is more common than what you think it is. But there’re still many ways of increasing the watts capacity of your CB radio (also known as Citizens band), and like that, obtaining the sound quality that you desire. In this article, we will find out how.
Nevertheless, before knowing how to increase watts(unit of power) on your CB radio, you need to remember that a CB radio is composed of three indispensable elements: the antenna, the coax cable, and the SWR meter.
The antenna is the most essential element of a CB radio because depending on how good the antenna is, you will avoid signal interference and intensify signal range. Having a great CB radio without a good antenna is not the best option to take.
The coax cable is the one that connects the CB radio with the antenna, so it is as important as the antenna for the general setup.
Lastly, the SWR meter is used to test the output of the CB radio, however, it’s not necessary to have one with the greatest quality.
How to increase watts on your CB Radio
Now that we have in mind how a CB radio is composed and the functions of its elements, we are prepared to know how to increase its power by adding more watts to it. Let’s begin!
- Location of the Radio
The location of the radio is important in order to ensure good sound quality and to avoid signal noise, this is why it’s better to keep in an open area away from trees and forests.
- Modulation Adjustment
Optimizing the modulation through the body of your radio is also a simple way of boosting the power of the radio and improving the volume and quality of the sound. Nevertheless, you must be cautious of not increasing it too much, since this might distort the radio frequencies.
- Squelch Function/RF Gain Option
Clearing the sound of the background noise is a function that radios have, and it’s called squelch. While the RF gain option is a similar function that is only available in newer models and is more effective. The objective of these functions is to take the background noise to a minimum level without modifying the sound of the radio and keeping it as it is.
- Quality of the Antenna
As we mentioned before, if the quality of your antenna isn’t good, your CB radio won’t give you the results that you’re looking for in sound quality. This means that, if your quality sound is bad, it’s probably because your antenna isn’t good enough.
That being said, the best thing you can do in this case is purchasing a new antenna with a solid coax cable. You will notice in a matter of time how your sound will improve.
- Location of the Antenna
Sound quality can also be affected due to the placing of your antenna: if it’s located in a bad place, your sound will suffer from this. It’s recommendable to have the antenna in a high place because like that it will receive and transmit signals in an adequate manner.
- Ensure Appropriate Reading of Antenna
Antennas work much better when their reading on the SWR meter is at low levels. The appropriate reading for an antenna is 1:5. However, the lower the reading, the better it is.
- Dead Key Wattage
Every radio has a dead key wattage pot, and for boosting the power it, you just need to see where it is, peaks it, and tune it to get dead key wattage.
The last alternative that you can do is getting an amplifier, which can highly increase the power of the dead key wattage of your radio. By using an amplifier you will boost the power of your sound and tremendously improve the loudness and quality of your radio.
How far can a 4-watt CB radio transmit?
4-watt CB radios usually have a transmission range of less than 24 to 32 kilometers mobile to mobile, assuming that there are no obstructions or elements that block the signal, and depending on the terrain of the zone, as well. In many situations, even 16 kilometers may be close to the limit of your range. By using a beam antenna on a tall tower, you can increase the transmission range to approximately 40 or 48 kilometers, but not much more than this.
How many watts can you get out of a Cobra 29?
A brand new Cobra 29 LTD classic can reach a peak output of approximately 12 watts in some cases, with a lot of luck. And you can increase it to around 25-30 watts if you get a good set up of its tune from a specialized shop.
You can find an expert that can help you by replacing the finals and applying some other modifications to your radio and you might be able to obtain a range of around 40-50 watts. To make these changes in your radio, you’ll need to invest at least $50 or more. However, paying for your radio and these modifications will be more expensive than just purchasing a dual final export radio designed to have 30 watts without any modifications by less than $50.
You can also opt for buying a small amplifier that can provide 100 watts of output to your radio for around $50-60.
Although, it’s important to know that having a CB radio that produces more than 4 watts is illegal.
What is the maximum wattage for a CB radio?
The Federal Communications Commission or FCC authorizes just a maximum of 4 watts of output power for CB radios, and this is in order to ensure not having signal interference with other devices, such as microwave ovens, TVs, and emergency communication radios.
If manufacturers exceed this limit, they can be fined. However, they still produce radios that can achieve around 3-4 watts, or in some cases, just 2 watts.
Importance of knowing how to increase watts on your CB radio
Knowing how to add some watts and acquire more power and range on your CB radio will help you prepare for those occasions in which the sound quality diminishes a lot. This can happen for a lot of reasons, but know you will be able to solve this issue.
You need to remember that it’s indispensable to have an antenna of good quality, as well as a coax cable and an SWR meter in order for your CB radio to work at its best.
Also, you need to have your CB radio and antenna in a good location, adjust the modulation, be sure of clearing the background noise, ensure appropriate reading of the antenna, and if it’s necessary, and you have already done the previous attempts, use an amplifier.
Additionally, 4-watts CB radios, which are the regulatory and legal ones, can transmit signals to a range of less than 24 to 32 kilometers in ideal conditions. However, you can increase this range to around 48 kilometers with a beam antenna. And through modifications or elements such as amplifiers, you can increase the amounts of watts that your CB radio produces to around 100 watts.
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Q-1. How can I make my CB radio more powerful?
You can make your CB radio more powerful by just you putting your CB radio in an open area without obstructions, placing the antenna in a high location, adjusting the modulation, being sure of clearing the background noise with the Squelch Function/RF Gain Option, ensuring appropriate reading of the antenna, tuning the dead key wattage, and also, using an amplifier.