Truckers, especially ones who drive trucks with longer trailers, tend to travel the longest distances when it comes to goods delivery, especially since they have the most capacity over other modes of transportation on land.
It definitely lessens the trips needed in transporting, but that also makes them the most vulnerable to emergency situations, such as a mechanical breakdown or even getting lost on the way, especially if the driver’s new on the job.
Effective communication plays a vital role during these tasks. However, there are certain places beyond good signal reception which is why it may be a struggle for drivers to communicate on these areas. This is when CB antennas enter the spotlight.
What is a CB?
A citizen’s band (CB) radio antenna is a practical two-way device designed to perform specific tasks –one to receive radio frequency signals and transform them into electric waves by the receiver, and vice versa.
Tuning occurs, when the second function comes in. This is when the antenna radiates radio frequency signals, from the converted electric waves.
The best way to utilize a CB Antenna is to know perfectly, the length of antenna that will match the wavelength of the transmitted radio frequency, which is then calculated by dividing the wavelength (in feet) over frequency (in megahertz)
Formula: Wavelength (in feet) / frequency (in megahertz)
How CB helps truckers
In spite the rise of technology and advancement, it is undeniable that truckers still need a CB antenna as guarantee, especially in case of traffic problems and other transportation related matters. Considering that their job is to deliver resources from one place to another, having an effective communication during inevitable circumstances is a lifeline.
This is why 18-wheeler truckers need a CB antenna, since not only are they the most vulnerable to mitigating problems during transport, they too consume electric waves that converts into radio frequency at a larger range. Utilizing a CB Antenna, helps them communicate with other truckers, or even give access to a GPS service if their radio has such functionality.
Advantages of having a CB Radio Antenna when you are a trucker
- You can be complacent that you can still communicate even without a mobile phone signal since this is what a CB Antenna’s main job is.
- It elevates the transmission and reception ranges on a trucker’s radio.
- They are cheaper to buy and you won’t spend much of a dime getting it installed as they are readily available in the market.
- You get continuous updates on the highway routes and status which is pivotal in driving a large vehicle since you mostly have limited access to roads.
Features of a CB Radio Antenna
- Backbone of communication. CB antennas function as the backbone for truckers, providing communication channel access even in remote areas. Additionally, CB is treated as the holy grail for most drivers since mobile phones do not tend to receive signals from mountains and places far from urban areas.
- Speed traps identifier. Some drivers use CB as trackers to recognize speed traps, which are placed with tiny camera icon. This speed traps location is reported over other trucker’s CB radios as well.
- Weather reception. One of CB antennas’ unique features is weather reception, which greatly helps truckers to be aware of the upcoming weather conditions at their respective routes. Knowing what weather to expect will also help a driver identify where and when to stop at points.
- Increases radio range. What makes a CB antenna important if an installed radio itself already has the capacity to receive and transmit radio waves on its own? CB (Citizen Band) antennas, as you would expect, effectively increases the range your radio can receive and transmit, by an extent of miles.
- Reduce noise. Most of the time, the noise produced by a truck’s honk is not enough, which makes public address (PA) mechanism very useful in times of emergency. A CB also aids in automatically reducing noise in order to ensure that truckers are focused with their driving. Concentration is very crucial for drivers especially if they are under time pressure which happens when they transport reefer containers of frozen goods.
- Numerous channels. What’s more in using a CB antenna is that you can gain access to forty channels on your radio, making it especially useful if you work for a line of truckers who frequently need to communicate with one another since all of you can tune in on the same channel as everyone else.
How to choose the best antenna for your unit?
When choosing an antenna, always consider its length since the length dictates the frequency you can most effectively sync to, and since you attach an antenna on the exterior, choose one that is made of reliable materials that can face the weathers on solid grounds.
If you want one that has a larger range, then consider buying one that has a larger power handling capacity, since the larger wattage it can use, the farther you can reach. CB antennas can offer a lot in terms of safety and practicality, especially if you choose one that fits your radio, so getting one is a must.
How to tune your CB Antenna
Since there are over forty channels in a modernized CB Radio Antenna, you have to also analyze what frequency to pick, considering that it’s not practical to get separate antenna for every frequency there is. In this compromise, you have to measure the SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) of the antenna and tune until the SWR becomes acceptable in meter.
- Find an SWR meter and attach it between the antenna feed line and the transmitter.
- You can either key the microphone to radiate a signal or push a button on the meter to generate channels.
- Tune until your SWR is above 1.5:1
Things to know when getting the correct materials for your CB Radio Antenna
- Consider how long the coax is needed from the radio to the antenna mount, and coil excess coax in a figure 8
- Avail a cable with detachable connectors in case you have to run through a firewall or window lining.
- Find a mount that has a good ground to the vehicle chassis.
- The longer the distance the taller the antenna length.
There is no stopping to advancement but relying on old tools and materials is not a problem especially given that the present convenience and modern privilege is not always available everywhere.