How to build a dipole CB aerial

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to build a dipole CB aerial
A dipole aerial is a must for pulling in a decent CB radio signal. (nengredeye/iStock/Getty Images)

Citizen band radio enthusiasts know they need an outdoor aerial if the CB receiver is to work properly. You can avoid the high cost of a commercially-made CB radio aerial by making your own dipole aerial. You will need some coaxial cable, along with other items you can get from a hardware or electronics shop. If properly made, your dipole aerial will pull in signals from all your “good buddies” in other homes and on the road.

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Things you need

  • Plastic clothes hanger
  • Duct tape
  • Broom
  • 50-ohm coaxial cable
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Plastic-coated speaker wire
  • Tape measure
  • Coaxial cable grip
  • Coaxial cable screw

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure 2.65 metres (105 inches) of speaker wire using the tape measure. Cut the speaker wire with the wire cutters. Cut three additional pieces of speaker wire of the same length.

  2. 2

    With the wire strippers, strip off 2.5 cm (1 inch) of insulation from one end of each of the four lengths of speaker wire.

  3. 3

    Arrange the four lengths of speaker wire on the ground next to a tree so that each wire touches the end of another. Fan out the wires in an arc.

  4. 4

    Measure a length of coaxial cable that is long enough to reach from the CB receiver to the lengths of speaker wire. Cut the coaxial cable with the wire cutters. Use the coaxial cable grip to attach the coaxial cable screw to one end of the cut length of coaxial cable. Stretch the coaxial cable over to the speaker wires.

  5. 5

    Use the wire strippers to strip 5 cm (2 inches) of insulation off the end of the coaxial cable. Wrap the ends of the four speaker cable wires around the braided outer shield of the coaxial cable.

  6. 6

    Measure a 6 metre (20 foot) length of speaker wire. Cut the speaker wire with the wire cutters. Strip 2.5 cm (1 inch) of insulation off of one end of the speaker wire with the wire strippers. Wrap the end around the braided outer shield of the coaxial cable.

  7. 7

    Drape the other end of the speaker wire that was just attached to the coaxial cable through the plastic clothes hanger. Duct tape the wire to the plastic clothes hanger.

  8. 8

    Put the end of the broom through the plastic clothes hanger. Push the end of the broom against a tree branch. Shake the plastic coat hanger free from the end of the broom so that the plastic coat hanger falls over the tree branch.

  9. 9

    Attach the coaxial cable screw that is attached to the coaxial cable to the aerial port of the CB receiver.

Tips and warnings

  • Have another person help you stretch out the aerial wire so that it doesn’t get tangled.
  • Don't place the aerial near power lines.
  • The aerial will not work if the speaker wires attached to the braided outer shield of the coaxial cable touch any of the interior wires of the coaxial cable.

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