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How to Build a CB Antenna

Updated February 21, 2017

Although not as popular as in the 1970s and 1980s, Citizens' Band (CB) radio is not dead. This guide offers a quick and dirty means of making a CB antenna that anyone can do with enough patience. It isn't pretty, but this CB antenna design is ideal for children curious about radio, as well as anyone who needs a portable antenna.

Strip the outer insulation from 102 inches of coaxial cable using a pocketknife. Be careful not to damage the metal braided shield that lies beneath. The total length of your cable depends on the distance you anticipate running it back from the antenna and to your CB.

Pull the coaxial cable metal braided shield down the length of the stripped end of the wire.

Push open a hole in the braided shield, and pull the inner wire out through it. You should now have a "Y" made up of the original, unmodified cable, the braided shield and the inner wire.

Attach antenna insulators to both ends.

Check the total length and tie both ends together. With two 102-inch sections, you will have a 17-foot loop. Seventeen feet equals 1/2 wave, which is ideal for CBs.

Tie a string or rope to one end, and haul the antenna up a tree. The length of this rope will depend greatly on how high you are pulling your antenna, but it needs to be at least 20 feet long to get the entire antenna off the ground. Avoid using a metal pole for this, since it will interfere with reception.

Plug the open end with the coaxial connector into your CB radio and start transceiving.

Things You'll Need

  • TV coaxial cable
  • Pocket knife
  • Antenna insulators
  • Coaxial connector
  • Rope
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