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Old 01-19-2016, 12:03 AM
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CB Antenna length

So I will be installing a CB radio in the near future on my jeep. My research shows different lengths for CB antennas. What is the purpose for the lengths? I plan on installing the antenna in the rear and I also have a rack which is about four inches from the soft top. Does the antenna need to be free from hitting anything. A shorter antenna would be best for my setup, but does length have anything to do with reception?

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Old 01-19-2016, 08:42 AM   #2
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Reception, no transmission, yes.

In general, the longer / higher antenna will have longer range.

That's a very generalized statement, there are a lot of other factors involved. For maintaining communication with a trail group many are using the shorter antennas and they are working well for them.

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Old 01-19-2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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27 MHz is a relatively long wavelength for mobile communications, and the choice of antenna has a considerable impact on the performance of a CB radio. A common mobile antenna is a quarter-wave vertical whip. This is roughly nine feet (2.7 m) tall; it is mounted low on the vehicle body, and often has a spring-and-ball mount to enhance its flexibility when scraping or striking overhead objects. Where a nine-foot whip is undesirable, shorter antennas include loading coils to make the antenna impedance the same as a physically longer antenna. The loading coil may be on the bottom, middle, or top of the antenna, while some antennas are wound in a continuously-loaded helix.


Another mobile antenna is the continuously-loaded half-wave antenna. These do not require a ground plane to present a near-50-ohm load to the radio, and are often used on fiberglass vehicles such as snowmobiles or boats. They are also useful in base stations where circumstances preclude the use of a ground-plane antenna. Handheld CBs may use either a telescoping center-loaded whip or a continuously-loaded “rubber ducky” antenna.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:17 AM   #4
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what will you be using it for?

I find that when I lived in arizona, my 4ft firestik was perfect, but in new england the low trees and parking garages a 3ft is better, especially since most communication comes from 30-200ft infront of me on the trail.

may kick it on in traffic to see what the truckers are saying about the hold up but that's about it
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:56 AM   #5
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Without getting overly techy, I'll just say that for offroading purposes, a 2' or 3' CB antenna is all you need. I've been in RF communications (and have a general class ham license) for literally 50 years and yes it's true that the higher and taller an antenna is, the better it will work.

But for a Wrangler where its CB will be used for offroading purposes, even my 2' Firestick FS-2 antenna does a superb job. As my Wrangler got taller and my garage door clearances got lower over the years, I went from a 4' to a 3' and then 10-12 years ago, to a 2' and it has worked so well that I have never considered reinstalling my 3' antenna.

CB antennas do need to be installed away from large masses of metal so keep it away from your rack. A tail light mount like is available from www.teraflex.com works very well.

There are a lot of little things that need to be done to get the antenna properly mounted so it works well. Post up later when you're ready to mount it and we can assist you there.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:41 PM
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Thank you for all the replies. The clubs I'm interested in joining require a CB radio, so I will mainly be using it in an offroad environment in a group setting. It looks like I will go with a 2 or 3 ft antenna. Thanks again.

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