How to Convert a Mobile CB Antenna to a Ham

Updated April 17, 2017

CB radio antennas can easily be modified for use in ham radio communications. The length of a CB antenna allows it to be used only for certain amateur radio bands. This is because the antenna can be cut down to size but not added to. For this reason, a CB antenna can most easily be converted for use on the 2-meter ham band. Adapting a CB antenna for use on any other ham band will require an antenna tuner and analyzer.

Use the measuring tape to measure exactly 19.5 inches from the base of the antenna. Two-meter antennas should be 20 inches long, but the antenna continues into the base. By allowing a half-inch, the antenna will be suitable for the 2-meter band.

Make a mark with the marker at the 19.5 inch level. Use a marker that is visible on the antenna surface.

Position the metal snips at the mark and cut the antenna. Be careful to keep the cut as straight as possible. Use a hacksaw if the antenna is too thick to be cut with the snips.

Use the sandpaper to sand the tip of the antenna. The end will be very sharp after cutting. Use the thickest sandpaper available. Sand until the end is no longer sharp.

Take the rubber cap from the severed antenna piece and put it on the sanded end. If no top is available, use electrical tape to secure the top. This seals out moisture that could inhibit operation.

Plug the antenna into a 2-meter ham radio transceiver and it should be ready for use.


Make sure measurements are correct. A faulty measurement could make the antenna too long or short for 2-meter operation. This can result in damage to the transceiver. Be careful not to cut yourself while sanding.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Thick sandpaper
  • Marker
  • Metal snips or hacksaw
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About the Author

Brandon Pierce has been writing general information articles since 2004. His articles have appeared in magazines such as "Guitar World" and "Acoustic Guitar Magazine." An accomplished musician, Pierce teaches guitar and bass and has written much on the subject. He is also proficient in computer networks and programming. Pierce attended the University of Alabama before entering a career in retail management.