How Far do CB Radios Work?

CB (Citizens Band) Radios are portable devices which you can use as regular radios to listen to your favorite music or radio channels, and even use them in case there is an emergency and you need to call out for help. You can also send as well as receive messages, and use around 40 channels in order to communicate with others.

How far do CB Radios work?

How far would the CB radio signals go? Which model would be able to get a signal to the furthest location? These are two questions that do not have a straightforward answer. How far CB radios work depends on a few things that may include your equipment, your location as well as the condition of the radio.

The condition

This is one of the most important factors that influence the range of the CB Radio. If the conditions are favorable to talk about, then you can easily extend the range and talk, but if the talking conditions are not right, then you will not be able to communicate at all.

The equipment

The kind of equipment you also determines how far your radio can work(How Do You Install And Use A CB Radio). Your equipment includes, of course, your radio, as well as your antenna. Having the right type of antenna is the main factor, and so it is always advisable to have an antenna with your radio device so that you are able to have a long range and greater transmission.


Your location also determines what kind of signals you will be getting. The range will not extend much if you are, for example, under a hill. The more open the spaces, the better range will be extended.

Adding in the extras

If you increase the power output of RF transmitter it will give you a better amount of coverage, and generally, the CB radios have 4 watts on average. In certain parts of the world, however, the CB output may even exceed 100 watts as well. Most of the CB radios do not have the capacity to be equipped with an amplifier this large and so other things like using an external RF linear amplifier may be used between the antenna and the CB radio which helps to extend the range. You should, however, check the settings first before you try to extend the range of your Citizens Band radio this way, as it can get damaged since most of them are not equipped to handle so many watts.

The height and the location of the antenna

Where the antenna is placed also helps in order to figure out how far CB radios work. The rule of the thumb for antennas is to always have them placed on tall heights so they are in sight. There are a lot of utility transmissions where the frequency suffers due to the line of sight problem and this is the reason why so many communication companies place their antennas on large towers.

The range of a portable CB Radio

If you are using a portable CB radio and talking while you walk around in a mall, the range that you will have would probably just be about a 100 yards. On the other hand if you are using this device as a form of communication between two cars then you would probably get a range of 1 mile. The metal of the car also acts as an impediment to the signals of the CB radio. In order to get the best signals from a car, it is advisable to hold the radio close to the window.

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To conclude, you cannot really give a definite answer to what exactly is a CB radio’s range or how far do CB radios work because there are many factors which impact this, the most important factor being the antenna. According to some people, you can easily get about a couple of miles per foot length through the antenna, considering all other things are in place. In order to get the longest range from your CB radio it is better to invest in good equipment and do your homework well as well as to install the antenna in the right place. This way, you would be able to get the most out of your CB radio in terms of range!