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:
- The batteries are wearing-out.
- There are hills, trees, or buildings between the radios.
- One or both radios are inside a building. Range will further be reduced if the building has a metal frame or aluminum siding.
- 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:
- Try new batteries.
- If the radio has a high/low power switch, use high power.
- Turn on Soundtracker (if equipped).
- Turn the squelch all the way down.
- Choose a channel with little or no interference.
- Speak close to the microphone slot. This will increase modulation and make you sound louder.