There are three types of CB Radio Antennas, Wire-Wound, Solid Fiberglass and Wire Whip. All of these CB antenna types are tunable.
Choosing the Best CB Antenna for Your Vehicle
1. Taller CB antennas perform better than shorter CB antennas.
2. At least 2/3 (two / thirds) of the CB antenna/antennas should be above the vehicles roof. Measure from your mounting location to the top of the vehicle to determine which CB antenna length is best for you.
3. The top loaded (helical wire-wound) antennas are more effective than the center loaded and the center loaded antennas are more effective than the base loaded antennas.
Top loaded CB antennas have high current flowing along their entire length. Center loaded CB antennas have high current flowing over their lower portion and have low current flowing over their upper portion. A base loaded CB antenna has low current over it’s entire length.
While all these types of CB antennas can be tuned, the methods will vary.
Wire-Wound antennas without mechanical tuners can “Shortened” by removing some wire from the shaft tip. Wire-Wound CB antennas can be “Lengthened” by adding springs, quick disconnects, etc.
Fiberglass CB antennas that are too “Long” can be made shorter by removing some of the tip with a hacksaw. Fiberglass CB antennas that are too “Short” can be lengthened by adding springs, quick disconnects, etc.
Wire Whip CB antennas can be made “Longer” or “Shorter” by loosening the set screw/screws and sliding the whip up or down as needed.
When shopping for CB antennas you should think of how often your antenna might hit obstructions. CB antennas can be damaged if they clip a bridge, tree branch, road sign etc.
While a top loaded antenna is the best CB antenna choice, they are a bit more expensive and can be damaged more easily.
When installing a CB Radio antenna on a fiberglass or aluminum vehicle, you will need a no-ground-plane antenna system or co-phased antenna kit. The best results will be achieved when using one of these types of CB antennas on your vehicle.