Properly tuned dual CB antennas are essential for your radio unit. But how to tune dual CB antennas! Well, I am here to show you the right process for tuning the dual CB antennas. It will always be hard when you are new to something.
The steps by step guide are narrated to ease the trouble. Besides, you will also know how to read the tuning problem with the SWR meter result. Finally, your dual antenna tuning trouble will be gone. Let’s dive down and get to know more.
Why do you need an SWR meter for tuning dual CB antennas?
You need to take a reading of the dual CB antennas to tune them properly. SWR meter works as an antenna reading analyzer and makes it easier for you to do the tuning task. You will need an SWR meter if you choose to tune the dual CB antennas properly.
SWR measures the standing wave ratio and they also get the name from here. The device will be placed between your radio and antennas. The reflected signal from your transmitter will be measured and give you an accurate reading. You can use it to tune your CB antenna and improve outgoing broadcast quality.
Basic things to know before you tune dual CB antennas
Tuning dual CB antennas are different from the single antennas. You need to take double reading and try to make the reading ratio close to 1.5: 1. Breaking down the basic things of tuning dual CB antennas will make the installation task easier for you.
- High SWR reading indicates a high-ground plane problem. Running the shortest possible ground strap is the right solution here.
- Use a voltage meter and make sure you have a properly grounded mount. Chassis paint, plastic, or nylon might be the main culprit here.
- An abnormal high reading can come from short coaxial connectors. You can check for bends or cuts on the coaxial connectors. You will need 750 ohms for the dual antennas. Replacement of coaxial connectors is the last resource on hand.
Step-by-step process of tuning your dual CB antennas
Dual CB antennas tuning readings will be taken with the SWR meter. Do multiple readings and the readings need to be as close as possible to the set positions. Tuning your dual CB antennas is not a very difficult task.
But beginners will always find it difficult and need some true guidelines. With your assistance, I have prepared a step-by-step direction for tuning dual CB antennas. Check them out and tune your dual CB antennas without any hassle.
- You need to preinstall the antennas and both of them should have an uninterrupted view of each other. High metal flake fiberglass and metal will be the main culprit here.
- Find a suitable location without any obstruction for around 10 to 15 meters. The reading will not be accurate in places with lots of trees, buildings, and cars around your dual CB antenna spot.
- Close all the doors and windows of your vehicle. Dual CB antenna reading can be compromised otherwise.
- Get rid of the coaxial cable and connect it to the SWR meter. Look for the ‘antenna’ or ‘ANT’ mark and reconnect the coaxial cable.
- Next, it is time to connect the SWR meter and dual CB antennas for accurate tuning. Look for the connection mark ‘transmitter’ or ‘XMIT’.
- Place the microphone at a specific distance for all the tests.
- Start measuring the SWR meter on different channels and record the reading.
- You will find an ‘FWD’ switch on the SWR meter. Turn it on and then start the radio Channel 1.
- Key the microphone and spin the knob until it matches the set position.
- After that, Switch to ‘REF’ or ‘SWR’ on the SWR position and don’t stop keying.
- You should take note of all the readings of the SWR meter.
- You need to repeat the same process for Channel 40. Get back to step 8 and follow through till the end.
Follow with one antenna at a time. Work back and forth and get the lowest SWR reading possible. SWR reading below 1.5 is perfectly fine. You can pick down to 1.3 or less and that will depend on the dual CB antenna you have chosen.
SWR Meter Reading and Dual CB Antenna Tuning Adjustment
You already know how to tune dual CB antennas. You probably need to know the tuning adjustment and take down the trouble as much as you can. Some of the key points of dual CB antenna adjustment are shared briefly down below.
Too Long Antennas
If you have readings that turn higher on Channel 40 then you have a long antenna issue. You need to take early action to reduce the physical length of the antenna. Small screws and cutting are the options here. The process will depend on the manufacturer of the antennas. Try to check the instruction manual for additional guidelines.
Too Short Antennas
If you have readings that turn higher on Channel 1 then you have a long antenna issue. Modern antennas allow you to add length without any hassle. Adding spring is also a well-known process and acceptable. Follow the instruction manual that comes with the package and complete the task.
Height on Both Antennas
Both antennas need to be relatively at the same height. You have two options here with the tuning screw – either go all in or go all out. Take the SWR reading and adjust the same length on both antennas.
Safe Zone and Red Zone
Tuning dual CB antennas meant to reach the safe zone. The safe zone starts from 2.0 or less reading. 1.5 SWR reading will allow you to get optimal performance on the radio. Red Zone starts from 3.0 or above. You should not use them when the reading is in the red zone. Solve the issue immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you run 2 CB antennas together?
2 CB antennas or dual CB antennas are meant to extend the range. Besides, it will also improve the performance of the dual CB antennas. You should run 2 CB antennas when you have big vehicles in use like big tractors, pickup trucks, and others.
What happens if SWR is too high?
High SWR can damage your radio. It will transmit more power than normal and make the radio unable to cope. You will have a very poor radio connection which is of no use. Try to keep the SWR reading within the safe zone.
How do I make my CB reach further?
You need to take the antennas to a higher position. It will extend the reach of the dual CB antennas and make your reach further. Besides, the quality of the antenna and coax will also play a major role here. Invest one time in good CB antennas and use them for a long period of time.
Do all CB antennas need to be tuned?
CB antennas need tuning to improve the transmission and reception performance on the radio. Without tuning your CB antennas, you will have to bear with poor performance. Follow the CB tuning guideline and do it as soon as you can.
What is the best height for a CB antenna?
CB antennas are meant to provide you with a long-distance communication advantage. Put them at a height of 120 feet or above and enjoy a quality performance. The best height CB antenna installation will give you 7 to 8 times more transmitting power.
Tuning your dual CB antennas will be easier for you now as you are at the end of the article. You need to take the accurate reading and make the fine-tuning on dual antennas for better performance. I hope you are now familiar with the steps that you need to follow.
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