Best products from r/cbradio

We found 70 comments on r/cbradio discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 112 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

13. Uniden PRO520XL Pro Series 40-Channel CB Radio. Compact Design. ANL Switch and PA/CB Switch. 7 Watts of Audio Output and Instant Emergency Channel 9. - Black

  • Uniden’s Professional Series PRO520XL Heavy-Duty CB radio offers a full 4 watts transmit power, with RF gain control, and 40-Channel operation in a compact rugged construction CB radio.
  • The PRO520XL has a front mount 4-pin electret microphone with extra-long coiled cord, S/RF LED meter, instant emergency channel 9, transmit indicator lights, Automatic Noise Limiter switch, Public Address switch, Volume control, Squelch control, and more.
  • Extremely popular for Industrial, Commercial, and Off-Road use. Easily fits in most any vehicle because of its compact size.
  • Built-in External Speaker Jack allows connecting to an optional external speaker, and you can use the Public Address function to be heard outside your vehicle with an optional PA speaker.
  • A superheterodyne circuit with phase locked loop technology assures precise frequency control. Included in the box: CB Radio, Microphone and Hook, Mounting Hardware, Knobs, Mounting Bracket, User's Manual. CB Radio antenna required, not included, sold separately.
  • 40-channel mobile CB radio with superheterodyne circuit/phase locked loop for precise control
  • Built-in automatic noise limiter and auto-squelch to eliminate noise and improve communication
  • Signal/RF meter and LED indicators to monitor activity; instant channel 9 access for emergency situations
  • Connect external speakers and use PA/CB switch for use as a Public Address system
  • Front-positioned microphone with extra-long, coiled cord for convenient use
Uniden PRO520XL Pro Series 40-Channel CB Radio. Compact Design. ANL Switch and PA/CB Switch. 7 Watts of Audio Output and Instant Emergency Channel 9. - Black
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Top comments mentioning products on r/cbradio:

u/RangerSkyy · 14 pointsr/cbradio

Getting into the hobby for cheap can certainly be done. Asking for 20 miles out of a cheap set up is going to be where it gets tough...

Long story short, your communication abilities can range from <1mile to hundreds of miles, even thousands of miles depending on a ton of variables. It doesn't really matter what radio you use (yes, some are better than others) but in the end, it's environment, conditions and ANTENNA, ANTENNA, ANTENNA! Power (linear amplifiers) certainly helps too, but it mainly comes down to those 3 topics.

Where are you transmitting/receiving? In a city with buildings and lots of RF background noise? On top of mountain with wide open land for miles around? Obviously, you'll perform much better the higher you are and the less obstructions you have.

Now we are on top of mountain, what kind of antenna do we have? Do we have a 6" rubber duck antenna on a handheld? Or are we running a 102" whip or big base antenna? I can assure you that no matter how high this mountain is, that rubber duck ain't getting out of a paper bag. Whereas I've talked barefoot (no amp) on a 4ft Firestik about 50miles as the crow flies when I was on a local mountaintop. With more antenna and/or more power, I could extend that range exponentially.

For an entry level set up, I'd recommend a few things. A good mobile set up could include;

Radio - Uniden PRO505XL 40-Channel CB Radio. Pro-Series, Compact Design. Public Address (PA) Function. Instant Emergency Channel 9, External Speaker Jack, Large Easy to Read Display.

Antenna - K40 K-30 Automotive Accessories

This radio and antenna is a cheap, effective mobile combo that you can expect decent performance from. In poor to good conditions, you'll get 1-5 miles of transmit/receive. In optimal "top of the mountain" conditions, you could easily get 10-20+ miles. There's also this phenomenon called "skip". I'll let you research what that's all about, but basically it's using specific atmospheric conditions to bounce or "skip" your communication over vast distances. Plenty of YouTube vids explaining skip, so I won't get into that here.

For a more dedicated, base type set-up, I'd recommend a better radio and more substantial antenna. You can still use mobile radios in base setups, but there are also "base" specific rigs too. Same wattage, just in a desktop version and are generally 110, not 12V. My current base set-up is cheapish, and has proven to be very effective, as I have made contacts to several out of state stations. Again, these are just recommendations from equipment I've personally owned. There is tons of kick ass gear out there, and finding what works for you is all part of the fun.

Base radio - Uniden BEARCAT 980SSB 40- Channel SSB CB Radio with Sideband NOAA WeatherBand,7- Color Digital Display PA/CB Switch and Noise Cancelling Mic, Wireless Mic Compatible

Base antenna - Solarcon A-99 CB Base Station Antenna

Hope all this info helps. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. This is a great sub with tons of knowledge! Have fun on the waves!

u/mtndewman9791 · 7 pointsr/cbradio

I will try to address all of your questions:

  1. SWR (Standing Wave Radio) meter measures the efficiency of your antenna, higher the number the worse its doing, it will affect range and could even damage your radio if its too high.
  2. The internal SWR meter will work but an external is always better. You can pick one up for ~$20 on Amazon, just make sure it either comes with or you buy a jumper cable (short usually six inch cable for connecting the radio to the meter). This is the one that I have used (link)
  3. The Wilson Little Wil is a decent antenna. As long as you are not trying to get maximum range (i.e. you just want to use it for local, like find out whats happening on the highway sort of thing) then you will be fine.
  4. As far as mounting the quickest and easiest is to get the magnet mount. Put it dead center on the roof of your vehicle. This will give you the best range and an even signal all around you.
  5. Finally for the power again go to amazon and get an adapter for your cigarette lighter. Something along the lines of this (link). Strip the CB power cable and the adapter and solder together (red to red, black to black).

    For help on tuning there are many good videos on youtube. Additionally if you need to order things take a look at Right Channel Radios. They have all of this (antennas, meters, radios, mounts, etc.) and they have nice instructions on how to tune your antenna.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Always happy to hear people are getting into CB. Would love to see it grow again.
u/loneflanger · 2 pointsr/cbradio

Sure thing. This sub doesn't seem to be overly active so if you have any more questions or run into trouble, you might want to ask them over in /r/amateurradio. It's really the only place on the internet where hams hang out that don't seem to mind answering CB radio questions.

I'm not sure what your budget is but you may want to look at this meter instead. The one you linked is just fine but this one also shows power output and not just reflected power like the one you linked. If you really want to get into it, you could also purchase a dummy load for accurately testing power. There are several out there for CB use. I think Workman also makes one along with a company called Opek that also makes CB-related gear. Since your average, off-the-shelf 100% legal radio puts out 4 watts on AM and 12 watts on SSB, you'd need one that can handle that amount of power. Ideally, you'd want one that will handle more than you can put into it, so something like a 25-50w+ load would work just fine. That being said, I've used one of these before with a CB radio and it worked well. I just wouldn't throw a bunch of power into it for a long time, which isn't something you'd likely be doing anyways unless you crank the power up in the radio (don't do that) or purchase an amplifier (ditto). You don't necessarily need a dummy load but it might be nice to have just for testing purposes in case you're not 100% sure that radio actually works.

Also, don't forget to purchase a short (3-6ft) jumper to hook the meter to the radio. There are several on Amazon and some folks may sell a package deal made up of a meter and a jumper. Here's an example, although the shipping for it as more than the item itself. Either way, you'll need to get one that has PL-259 connectors on each end.

u/2_Toned · 2 pointsr/cbradio

All you need to get that distance is a properly mounted 102 inch steel whip with a heavy duty spring, the mount should be drilled directly into the body of the vehicle and as close to the center as possible. The closer you get to the corners the more directional your range will become (I.e. back left corner of the vehicle will send the signal further off the direction the front right is pointed) this can be a good thing for vehicles falling behind the caravan. Get the antenna as high as possible the lower and closer to the body the less output you will have you want everything you can get for this range. Any other antenna won’t provide you the results your looking for; period, point, blank. That’s the first most important step. Get a clamp down if it’s too tall.

Next use proper coax RG213 it is lossless and 50ohms this is the perfect coax for CB radio; same stuff used by military. This is also important for this range. RG 58 will have loss and could be the difference in a mile or two.

You will also need an amplifier. Just a KL203P will provide you the power to reach 10 miles it will pump out 100 watts. They are very clean using a mosfit and don’t bleed over on other channels and cheap. Also, be sure to get an amp with a preamp this boost your receive to pull fading signals in it will help insure you get the 10 mile range.

If you have done the above steps you can now buy just about any CB you want they all put out 4 watts. However, you can get them peaked and tuned to match your amp for a little extra distance a local shop can do this or online shop like Bells. However, it’s not mandatory with the above amp and you’ll still get 10 miles.

If your installing yourself you’ll need an SWR/Watt meter to ensure proper working condition and you don’t burn up your equipment. Although, you can always have a local cb shop set it up for you and install.

Lastly, you’ll need to stay on off channels when operating so if you start hearing skip or DX turn to another channel that’s quieter. Stay off 6, 11, 19, 26, 28, and 38 these are frequently used and your transmission will be hampered by that. SSB will allow even further transmissions but be sure you amp has SSB capability KL203P does. Also, keep in mind that SSB requires each radio operator to tune in the one being received this is why it fell out of favor case driving and tuning is a pain in the ass. If each vehicle has a passenger this would not be an issue though.

This setup will get you 10 miles city, county, woods, mountains, and 20 on a flat plane. Anyone who says otherwise don’t know what they are talking about. Caravans are popular among over the road truckers who use this method. Also, keep in mind that rear vehicle only needs to reach the middle vehicle as they can relay the message to the front vehicle or vice versa.

I’d get the Uniden 980 SSB as they are matched for the KL203P stock out of the box. Many people run these without the peak and tune with awesome success.

u/SpottyMatt · 1 pointr/cbradio

I have the K30 on top of my Camry now.

It's a 35" antenna: Shorter than the Firestiks, K40, and the same-ish length as the "Lil Wil."

Even that is pushing the height, as I have to stop and take my antenna off before going into many parking garages now (I just unscrew the antenna from the mount and stash it inside the car). If you don't want to have to do that, figure out what your maximum height is going to be for the places you're likely to go, and then stay under that when choosing an antenna. You won't get as good performance as if you had a full-length antenna... but you'll probably get good enough and you've already decided you're not mounting an 8.5 foot antenna so it's moot.

You could have a slightly longer antenna if you mounted it to your trunk, than to your roof. Different people will tell you differently about whether that's going to help at all and I'm not a radio engineer so I can't help you there. With that in mind, most of the antennae suggested so far would probably work for your form factor (amazon links chosen at random, for illustrative purposes only):

  • 4' firestik
  • K30
  • K40
  • Lil' Wil

    With my 35" antenna around 7 feet in the air, powered by my 4-watt car radio, the longest I've skipped a clear conversation is ~1,348 miles (and I receive from all of the US, southern Canada, and Hawaii). I don't have a decent measure of the line-of-sight range yet as there seem to be precious few locals around where I live.

    I note that it looks like the Firestiks are often sold separately from their mounts, whereas the Lil' Wil and K30/40 come with everything you need (antenna, mount, coax).
u/cso · 1 pointr/cbradio

The Uniden 520 is a great choice for a basic radio. I've been using one for years with excellent results. It's really hard to beat for the size/money.

Consider the K30 magnet mount antenna for an alternative in that size.
I've used both it and the Little Wil and found the K30 to perform noticeably better. It's also less expensive:

The other commenter that suggested getting an SWR meter is also correct. These antennas all require some degree of adjustment for optimal performance. Just a basic meter will work fine.

And the jumper:

The meter and jumper is something you'll very rarely need (just when moving the setup to a different vehicle, for the most part) so if you husband has a friend into CB or HAM operation, he may be able to borrow one for a few minutes rather than buying.

Finally, you'll need some way to power the radio. The easiest way is with a lighter plug:

Just cut the connectors off the ends of the wires and splice it with the ones on the radio.

Alternatively, you can connect to the fuse box with an Add-A-Circuit. These come in different sizes depending on the fuses in your car. You can get one of these for less than $10 at any auto parts store.

u/sfitzger · 2 pointsr/cbradio

I think a trunk lip would be best.



Get a steel whip of some sort to make it look more vintage appropriate as well. in my opinion.


BTW cool car and best of luck with the project!

u/david_r_feeney · 3 pointsr/cbradio

Here are helpful links direct to the products I own.

About antennas: The antenna is important... as important (or more so) than the radio. My antenna choice (dipole) may not be the best choice for your needs. So, the ANTENNA link below goes to an AMAZON search for CB antennas for apartments, balcony, patio, etc. which may be a better fit to your needs.

Hope these are helpful! Big Bux, Bucks County PA 19047

UNIDEN 980SSB Radio & Mic

MegaWatt S-400-12 36 Amp Power Supply

Driver's Product DPSWR2 External SWR Meter;

Midland 21-406 External Speaker

CB Antenna for Apartment, Patio, Balcony, or Indoors

u/droid_mike · 1 pointr/cbradio

The first one is a nice unit--probably overkill if you want something cheap. As for the second one, I'd spend a few more bucks and look at this one instead: especially if you are going mobile with it. That ANL filter makes a huge difference on the road.

I don't know about nowadays, but uniden used to make really good radios. I have one that's over 30 years old and still works great!

u/Monkespank · 1 pointr/cbradio

Cobra makes a decent handheld cb, but I wouldn't expect the same performance as a vehicle mounted or base station cb. I would recommend replacing the "rubber duck" antenna with a telescoping one. I have a cobra HH 38 WX ST on a good day I get between 2 and 3 miles. Not a bad idea for hiking if you know someone in that area is monitoring ch9 or you have friends out there with CB's

u/amd_kenobi · 1 pointr/cbradio

A hood channel mount like this firestik or this procomm with an antenna like this Tram or this firestik should work well and not look terribly out of place on a small car. A small mag mount like a K30 or lil will would be another good, non-permanent option.

u/mr-e3 · 3 pointsr/cbradio

Honestly just Ebay and amazon. Here is some really good quality coax (RG-213) :

And finally an swr meter:

Don't be shy about getting a used swr meter, I purchased a used one through ebay for $15 and works great.

u/meinename · 2 pointsr/cbradio

If you are mostly listening, you should be fine. Most cigarette outlets are rated for 8 amps at 13.8v. My Cobra 19 DX III only uses 1.2 amp on transmit so it is safe for me do what you are suggesting. Some vans and trucks have "power outlets" that are rated for 18-20 amps that would be perfect even for a long talker.

The power post you are suggesting scares me since leaves things so exposed. I ended up using the following that you can buy in almost any store with basic automotive electrical parts.
Terminals and Spades and a Replacement Cigarette Adapter. The Cigarette adapter in stores is usually rated for 3 amps. For CB's that should be plenty, but if the fuse pops after some long TX you may need to figure out running a Positive wire to the battery and the black to bolt to the car frame.

u/RuthlessGravy · 2 pointsr/cbradio

If you're looking for an affordable setup, I have a [Uniden 505] ( and a [Little Wil] ( The magnetic mount is quick and easy if you don't mind scratching your paint a little. I've gotten about 10 miles range on a good clear night with a good tune. You guys can get one [meter] ( amongst yourselves to tune the antennas.

u/Inheritedthaddeus · 1 pointr/cbradio

Thanks for the tips. I'm kicking myself because I just donated a box of old wall transformers that I would've saved had I known. I know I have a couple of 12v/5amp wall transformers from old HDDs that I might try for home use. I was thinking about this adapter for car use.


I was also wondering if you knew what sort of antenna I should look for. The radio came with a small one, however the wiring on the antenna doesn't connect to the radio correctly. The radio has a screw type mount I'm not familiar with, but was hoping it might be a cb standard and easy to find a replacement for.

u/bumblesski · 2 pointsr/cbradio

Recommendations will depend on your budget. The little unidens that have already been recommended are good. For an antenna, this here is sort of the king of base station cb antennas. We're talking 50 miles instead of 5.

Solarcon A-99 CB Base Station Antenna

Just check Amazon for base station cb antennas, to find one in budget and if you're not wanting it on your car. They'll be easier to mess with than adapting a mobile, IMO.

First rule of CB, ANTENNAS!! You can have a 1000$ radio hooked to a bad antenna and never hear anyone, and kill your fancy radio. Hook a 30$ uniden to a good, properly set up antenna and you'll hear for miles.

Learn what SWR is before you ever use your radio to transmit. Listen all you want without transmitting, but you'll need to tune your antenna before transmitting. Keeping asking questions and googling. Good luck!

u/greenlightranger · 4 pointsr/cbradio

Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB "The little engine that could" inexpensive, and one of the best CB Radio's that I own.

Get on 38 LSB and talk skip when solar conditions are good. *Lil' Wil 38 Inches.

u/FinlStrm · 1 pointr/cbradio

There is one CB (and only one) that's headless, the Uniden CMX760. Just installed one in my '14 Focus Glove Box. It was the only one I could find that didn't get in the way. I don't like the Cobra version because it's not technically headless as the remote box just shoots everything to the Mic, including RF. The Uniden model the Mic is literally a remote control - and looks way nicer too...

There really needs to be more options in the CB market for small/compact/headless units; with these newer cars, most (all?) of the existing gear just doesn't fit or looks super out of place...

u/Zarknox · 1 pointr/cbradio

before you spend $300, remember you can mount them for free or for a minimal amount.

Personally, I just used heavy duty velcro and have had 0 problems. If that isn't permanent or just isn't for you there are things like this or even something like this. Check amazon out before you drop 300

u/scott_gc · 1 pointr/cbradio

I have had good luck with this Tram 703-HC. Absolutely no issue with stability of mag mount and antenna itself is sturdy.

u/GumbyRustcloud · 2 pointsr/cbradio

TRAM 703-HC Center Load CB Antenna Kit

MIC / Microphone for 4 pin Cobra / Uniden CB Radio - Workman DM507-4

TruckSpec TSPSCBH-3CP Platinum Series 3-Pin Plug and 12-Volt Plug Fused Replacement CB Power Cord (3 Wire)

This will get ya started. You can upgrade later if you enjoy it.

u/belovedquasar · 1 pointr/cbradio

So I can purchase a portable radio like this and have it it mounted in my glovebox or elsewhere, and wire it to a magnetics antenna on the back of my car? Will I have to do any electrical work or tweaking of the cars electronics/radio?

u/ImALittleCrackpot · 1 pointr/cbradio

Not necessarily at night, just whenever you're done driving for the day and getting ready to sleep.

If you want something small, look at the Midland 75-822 and a Wilson Little Wil antenna. That Midland CB comes with a car adapter that basically makes the whole unit a CB mic with all the controls on it.

Edit: and you'll need separate co-ax cable to connect the CB and the antenna.

u/GWash1776 · 1 pointr/cbradio

Same exact one that /u/ImALittleCrackpot posted!

But when I purchased mine, I didn't need to buy a separate co-ax like they mentioned. My Little Wil antenna has one permanently attached to it. About 18' long.

Here it is

u/thejustchad · 1 pointr/cbradio

the only other thing I see that you should consider getting is a swr meter

when your dealing with low watts system like a CB matching your antenna to the CB can make a major difference on your transmit and receive, as much as a few miles.