Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to Set Squelch and RF Gain Properly on CB Radio

This is probably the only post that will tell the the correct way to set these two knobs together. Please leave comments.

First, start off by leaving your car turned-off (if the radio is mobile). Second, turn both the Squelch and the RF Gain all the way down (counter-clockwise). Third, turn the main volume almost all the way up. Forth, begin raising the Squelch very slowly and stop right when the radio gets silent. Finally, slowly raise the RF Gain until you hear static and noise, then turn it back down slowly just until the static and noise stops; this will let you hear only voices and not annoying static.

By keeping the controls down as low as possible, it will help you hear every signal, and it will eliminate static and unintelligible signals. I hope this post helped you all out. I am going to turn this blog into a CB Radio Page so please bookmark this. Have a great time and enjoy your CB radio.


  1. I really want to buy a CB radio. My brother has one in his truck. I think that they are really fun to use. I'm sure that I could find one for a good price.

    1. Kyle McDonald, I am new to CB. I have a few radios now I have been into CB about a month, and I have picked up ALL of mine for under £10...some were given to me - I am OK with electronics so some I have had were broken and I replaced the appropriate components to fix them. My point is they are cheap as chips, to get started, BUT they can go into thousands price range. My very first one literally had 2 knobs and a channel display, and was TINY lol BUT it worked. Then you get the bug and want more buttons and knobs....and it makes it much better..... If you're in the UK try always good stuff cheap on there. I started with that 1 broken radio, now have 4 CB's, 2 Marine Band Radios (boat radios, I can only listen to them ones without a license) and a Scanner that I just hooked upto a copper pipe antenna I made, it works great and picks up Coastguard chatter! In about 2 weeks I am doing my Ham Exam (Foundation Amateur Radio License) and it only costs £20 for the exam (book cost about £5) and I will be Licensed with a call-sign and can talk over LOADS more frequencies worldwide with the right radio (I've priced one for about £30 and I will make a simple antenna) Also I can then use more power as CB's are restricted legally to about 5-Watts.

      I recommend just getting an old rig to mess with as cheap as possible, research an antenna for the frequencies it uses and make one...even if its a simple 'COAX wire dipole antenna' that you can make under £5

      Once you have a Power supply, Radio, and Antenna sorted you will see how great this community is. EVERYONE has been so friendly and welcoming, I've had people give me advice, parts, and made friends already. I now talk on NETS (weekly group meetings on radio). For a month into this hobby I love it. They gave me my Handle (Cb nickname) "Apprentice" because I am learning the electronics side too.

      Then you will start looking at better rigs and accessories!

      PS go on facebook and look up "CB RADIO UK" You will get advice for ANY radio related question and see me there (Ben Woodfield)

      If you have any questions, as a beginner I know some of the things you may find useful so just look me up on there and ask me anything - I'd be happy to help!

      Personal: Ben
      Handle: "Apprentice"
      Location(20): Barry, Wales UK

  2. Squelch ALL the way Anti-clockwise (lowest)....RF Gain ALL the way CLockwise (highest)

    I get the furthest signals imcoming by turning the squelch OFF (yes you get noise...but I get every signal available instead of turn the radio to a quiet vol, then when I get something I crank it) adjust the gain and settings to lock onto it a bit better) And turn the RF Gain UP. I find that this doesn't affect the signals that are strong enough to break through the squelch if its on, but some weaker signals I can ONLY hear with the RF gain up

    I also have a little Zetagi gain booster box. A tiny little device with a knob that adds 20db of gain to Incoming signals. So it does the same as the RF Gain but it's like having twice as much. Sometimes I find myself dropping off a touch on the RF Gain once I have established conection, but most times it is UP ALL THE WAY

    You get used to no squelch....but beware, if you listen to that static noise too long you start hearing things that ain't there lol!