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Old 04-28-2006, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 90
Can you adjust a CB antenna without a SWR meter?

I'm sure it's better to use the meter, but if you don't have one, can you adjust it at least somewhat properly some other way?
Old 04-28-2006, 11:16 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Originally Posted by AnabolicDoberman
I'm sure it's better to use the meter, but if you don't have one, can you adjust it at least somewhat properly some other way?
Not really. If you key up and your transmitter doesn't burst into flames, you probably have better than a 5:1 SWR, but that's still a pretty crappy match. You want to try to get it as close to 1:1 as possible, and anything lower than 1.5:1 is generally considered well-matched. To do that, you really need a meter; they're cheap enough and available at any truck stop. Radio Shack and a few other electronics retailers also carry them.
Old 04-28-2006, 11:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 50
This is a blast from the past subject:

wow, a CB radio, I'm kind of curious of what your going to use it for? I was really into it back between 1970 and 1979. When I first got started I used to always set them up with out checking SWR and when I ended up checking it I was usually in good shape. Back then people used to lend them out alot because money was tight. One person who owned a SWR meter could help out about 20 people. There was a time when the sunspots were rolling in and I talked all over North America and received QSL cards as confirmation. Those were the days of simple communication the hard way. Computers have really changed it.

If you're setting up a base use the heavy coax and solder the pl259's preferably. Most antennas come pre adjusted that you are most likely set in a middle range. Try not to coil up too much coax better to cut some out for a nice straight run. Ensure you have a good ground for mobile or base. Standard outputs are about 4 watts so incase you don't adjust SWR you should be okay for a short test transmission. When you first turn on the radio get a radio check from someone and tell them your location. If it sounds good for the distance then your SWR is good. If they say you not comming in good for the distance then I would not transmit again until you set the SWR. High SWR could blow the final stage of the amplifier out.

You'll only need an SWR meter for less then an hour. I'm sure if you get the radio up and going somebody on some channel might let you borrow it. Back in the day they were always friendly just like you folks on these forums.

You got me motivated to fire up my Yaesu FRG-100 Shortwave radio tonight; right next to my computer.

Have fun friend.
Old 04-28-2006, 11:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 90
Originally Posted by Buck Rogers
wow, a CB radio, I'm kind of curious of what your going to use it for?
I put one in my car, because I understand it is a good way to hear about speed traps. I like to speed.
Old 04-29-2006, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 50
Yes, that is a good use. Add a radar detector and you will be set. There are two types of mobile antennas, some you can adjust SWR some you cannot. I've never blew the finals not testing for SWR.

I have BMW that will do 150 mph I know. I don't have either a CB or radar detector. i only open her up on the highway when in a convoy amd others are speeding. Other then that I drive the speed limit.

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