Using quality CB coax is one improvement that your CB radio cannot do without, the link from the CB to the antenna is a major factor in the performance of your whole CB setup and no matter how many bells and whistles your CB radio has, get the coax wrong and you’ll be left wondering why things just aren’t working properly.
What is Quality CB Coax
The problem with coax is that it leaks signal power for every meter that you have between CB and antenna, with low quality or damaged coax letting out more of that precious RF power. This amount of loss per meter is always a factor when installing new coax on any transmitter, be it CB or any other two way radio system.
The full specifications for any coax will give you the approximate amount of loss it will incur for every extra length, making it easy to recognize quality coax. Any coax that cannot supply reliable figures about its amount of loss is best avoided altogether.
The coax loss is also frequency dependent meaning that the amount of loss at 27MHz (CB radio band) will not be same as using the coax at 50MHz (6 meter band). If your antenna is a wide band type and you intend to use it for transmitting at other frequencies other than CB radio, looking at how the coax operates over the whole range of signals passing through it will give your antenna system a good balance.
Taking this approach to choosing coax (and antenna) will add a lot of future proofing and flexibility should your radio hobby change direction in years to come.
Too Much CB Coax
Keeping in mind that for extra bit of coax you have there’s going to be some loss of signal and its good to optimize the whole antenna setup by trimming off any coax that you don’t need.
Making the path of a transmitted signal as short as possible from the back of your CB radio to the base of the antenna will make your setup work that much better.
A straight transmission line to the antenna is preferable to having many twists and turns in the coax, while having coils of coax lying around will only eat into your overall transmitted power as well as leaving your CB radio system wide open to interference.
Making Solid Connections
The other weak point on any antenna system is the actual connectors at the antenna and the CB radio. Taking the time to make sure that these connections are made properly will give better performance and benefit you in the long term. Poorly made connections may work good enough for now but over time water will get into the outside antenna connections and start to rust the metal, cutting down on how well your radio setup works.
Breaking out the soldering iron and spending some time making quality connections will save you wasting a lot of time on antenna maintenance over the coming years. Learning to get things right first time will add a new skill that you can use to help other (if you wish) along with speeding up the construction of any new antenna systems.
The cost between a poor and high quality coax isn’t that much if your buying for low frequency systems like CB radio and well worth investing that little bit extra to give you a top notch antenna system.