The range of a handheld CB radio is dependent on a number of factors.  This document describes what to expect, and how to maximize range.

  • Maximum range with the short "rubber duckie" antenna is between 3/4 to 1 mile in flat, open conditions. The rubber duckie antenna is very convenient, but is not ideal for long range communications. For increased range, use a telescoping antenna such as the Cobra HA-TA. 

The following conditions will reduce the operating range:

  1. The batteries are wearing-out.
  2. There are hills, trees, or buildings between the radios.
  3. One or both radios are inside a building.   Range will further be reduced if the       building has a metal frame or aluminum siding.
  4. Excessive atmospheric noise on the CB channels, which will vary from day-to-day.

  • Using the rubber duckie antenna inside a car will result in very short range.  For use in a car, a mobile CB antenna (such as a magnet mount) is highly recommended. An adapter such as Cobra part number HA-BNC will be required to connect the radio to a mobile antenna. A suitable adapter is also available from Radio Shack.


For optimum range, please try the following:

  1. Try new batteries.
  2. If the radio has a high/low power switch, use high power.
  3. Turn on Soundtracker (if equipped).
  4. Turn the squelch all the way down.
  5. Choose a channel with little or no interference.
  6. Speak close to the microphone slot.  This will increase modulation and make you sound louder.