Drivers' Corner - Layover CB Shop

Urban Legends Still Exist About CB Radios

By Stan Wells

It amazes me that drivers still come in every day wanting to have their SWR set to their new radio. It happened just this morning.

"I just got a new Cobra and don't want to burn it up."

After I explained that an antenna is tuned to the vehicle, he still wouldn't believe me. Rather than argue with him, I sent a staff member out to the truck with an Antenna Analyzer. The Antenna Analyzer is a computerized unit that evaluates the antenna system.

Sure enough, his antenna system tested in a safe range. It cost him ten bucks to learn that SWR relates to the truck and antenna, not to the radio and antenna.

Another urban legend is that you have to retest the antenna system every month. If you haven't damaged the antenna and/or the coax, it is not necessary to retest it every month.

I'll bet you've heard the one about replacing your stud every six months. Actually, a better idea is to disassemble the stud once a month and clean away the corrosion and reassemble the stud. If you notice cracks or excessive wear then you should definitely change it.

If you live in one of the northern states you know that keeping your equipment clean is a tough enough job, but your antenna system is a big part of your overall radio performance and it too needs maintenance. Simple maintenance will keep your antenna system running top notch, as well as keep money in your pocket. (Then the oil companies can empty your pockets when you fill up the next time.)

Remember this rule: the simpler, the better.

And don't pay attention to urban legends. Ask a qualified technician for the facts.