The Best CB Base Antenna That Every Car Owner Should Buy (Updated Mar. 2018)
Communication is slowly becoming an integral part of the human life. Generally, communication is a man’s way of life. Radio communication is a more reliable and inexpensive form of communication. Radios do not require any licenses and are preferred for use in personal business.
The kind of base antenna you choose for this mode of communication determines the kind of transmission you will have when making radio calls. The best CB base antenna will improve the power that the transceiver outputs and by extension the quality of the sound.
CB base antennas are used in environments where the radio sets are stationary and will, therefore, require bigger antennas. Installation of these base antennas is much easier and flexible making them the most preferred.
Operation of CB base antenna
A CB base antenna receives radio-frequency systems which it then converts to electrical signals at the receiver. The transmitter, on the other hand, converts the electrical signals back to radio-frequency signals.
This conversion of signals is what results in radio communication between two individuals who are distant apart. You can then understand what has been spoken at one end of the communication channel. To improve the signal efficiency, you can do fine tuning of the antenna.
This is best done when the antenna length matches the wavelength of the radio frequency that has been transmitted.
Types of CB antennas
CB antennas are generally classified into three. These are whip, fiberglass and the base. The whip antennas are center loaded and topped with very long steel whips that are tied down when not being used. They are however not as sufficient as the ones loaded at the top.
The fiberglass antennas have their poles made of fiberglass but wrapped with copper wires that are coated with protective materials. They are much cheaper compared to their counterparts. Last but not least are the base antennas that form part of our discussion in this article.
The base antennas are taller than the aluminum and fiberglass antennas. They are meant for use in base stations that are in fixed locations. They are not meant for mobile operations. They are mounted on higher grounds, and they should be able to operate under high power.
Features to Consider Before Purchasing a CB Base Antenna
The CB radios usually broadcast at a power of 4 watts. It, therefore, means that the efficiency of radio communication will depend on other features offered by the individual CB base antenna. The needs of the buyer are what will determine the kind of antenna and by extension the properties to look for.
The moment you have a clear understanding of the features that the best CB base antenna should possess, then it becomes very easy to select the best one for your needs. Some of these features are as discussed below.
When it comes to antennas, the length is a very important factor to consider. Taller antennas are known to provide optimal results. The antenna’s length should be practical so that it does not inconvenience you with the available space.
The tallest antennas provide the best transmit range. The full wavelength of an antenna should be about 40 feet, but this might be too long for some applications which might force you to settle for a fraction of wavelengths. For CB base antennas, the ¼ wavelength fraction will still work for you.
2. Mounting location
The location is very important when it comes to the effectiveness of the antenna. It is known that highly mounted antennas give better results. The antenna should be placed away from rooftops to avoid scenarios where most of the signals would be reflected back to the antenna.
The higher you mount your antenna on the roof of the car, the better the transmission and reception of signals. Therefore you have to seriously consider your mounting location before purchasing as you may end up buying the best antenna available but the mounting location might not work for you.
3. Cable type
Coax cables are a very important component of the antenna’s electrical length. The cable runs from the antenna to your radios back. The length of the cable to be used depends on the place where the antenna is to be mounted.
If you plan to mount the antenna for example on your vehicle’s back, you will require more cable. The connectors on the cable should also be given very much consideration. If the path is to run through interior linings or a window, then consider cables that have connectors that are small in sizes.
They will easily pass through such openings. But cables that their connectors are detachable will work best for you. If you happen to have purchased an extra longer coax cable, then do not coil or cut it off. Simply wrap it in a figure eight shape then securely store for future use.
4. Antenna load position
Load position refers to the place in which the coil has been wrapped on your antenna. These positions are center-loaded, base-loaded, no-ground plane and the top-loaded. These load positions have their distinct merits and demerits.
Before deciding on the load position to go for, remember that for optimal operations, two-thirds of the antenna and the coil should be above the tallest structure around.
The base-loaded antennas have their coils wrapped at the bottom such as the magnetic mounts and room antennas. They are easy and quick to mount with the thicker coil providing higher watt capacity. They are also not prone to damage. However, they have very limited mounting positions.
For the center-loaded antennas, the coil is located on top of a shaft base that is thick in nature. The coil is usually covered with some plastic housing. They are more efficient compared to the base-loaded ones. These antennas are high performers and are more durable.
Top-loaded antennas that are made of fiberglass are the best CB antennas. Their coils are wrapped around the antenna then a protective shield is used to cover it. They are the cheapest, most effective and at the same time have different mounting positions. They, however, have a lower watt capacity.
The no-ground plane antennas are designed for use on non-metallic bodies such as boats. The coax cable is designed in such a way that it caters for the absence of external grounds that would have led to the even distribution of signals. A significant amount of signal strength is therefore lost when the no-ground plane antennas are used.
A Review of Five of The Best CB Base Antenna Available on The Market 2018
* Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The Solarcin I-MAX 2000 is a fiberglass antenna. It is probably the best product in terms of gain. It works perfectly well in the ground plane of IMAXGPK. This antenna is insulated to up to a voltage of 14,500 volts. It comes together with U-clamps that you will use to attach it to the mast pipe.
This product is a high power antenna and can handle the power of up to 5000 watts. Some of the uses of this antenna are for commercial purposes, export and 10-meter ham. It has been designed in such a way that it can withstand high wind loads due to the attached mounting plate that is heavy duty.
What’s more, it has an effective operation with a tuner on 6 bands which measures 20 meters each. It is also very simple to assemble and is usually assembled in three easy sections. The only issue to be worried about when using this antenna is that it has a high standing wave ratio (SWR).
This is another great CB base antenna that every car owner should own. The Francis 300-CB25B antenna has a length of 54’’. Its power rating is 175 watts. The antenna has been tuned at the top cap for optimal performance. This antenna is the fiberglass type that is long-lasting. The durability is as a result of customized fiberglass formula.
This product is manufactured in the United States and features two helical windings that are only exclusive to this type of product alone. The Francis 300 base antenna is very durable. You can rely on this antenna to function well over a wider range of area.
What’s more, this antenna has a universally threaded base that can be used to mount any standard size antenna. The effects of wind drag are minimized by the traditionally designed sleek style. It is also black in color and weighs 0.75 pounds.
The K40A base antenna works best for RV or trucker drivers. Just like most CB base antennas, it also has a universal mount that can be used to mount any other standard antenna. The antenna has a power rating of 500 watts.
For correct vertical polarization, the base rotates at an angle of 30 degrees. The tip is specially designed for proper dissipation of static charges with the no static balls getting knocked off. The static damping is reduced by the chamber isolation.
To increase the ease of tuning, the whip retracts to about 2.25 inches into the coil. This product is made in the United States with a quarter-turn release which makes it easy to remove whip and coil. What’s more, its Meti-Plas construction will make sure that it performs at its best. It also won’t break easily because of the strands around it.
The Hustler IC100W base antenna has a magnetic base that attaches to magnetic surfaces such as trunks, vehicle roofs and other magnetic surfaces. This makes it easy and quick to install. It comes with a coax cable that is 15 feet long. The magnetic base is 3.5 inches wide.
Just a single piece covers both the coil and the magnetic mount. Some of the other qualities associated with this base antenna are quality construction, reliable tuning, and solid performance. This product is capable of handling up to 100 watts of power. It is a 41-inch whip antenna. It comes with a PL-259 connector.
What’s more, it offers a reliable tuning that will make sure that you communicate effectively with other people. The body construction is also of high quality and therefore one of the best products to buy. The only issue to be worried about is that it can hit tree branches when mounted on car roofs.
The shaft of this fiberglass Firestik FS-3BK antenna has been reinforced and custom-blended to ensure there is a balance between ruggedness and flexibility. To prevent oxidation, this antenna is wound with insulated copper wires. The insulated copper wires also prevent shorted windings that are commonly found on the non-Firestik antennas.
The tip is tunable and is manufactured from brass which is free from rust. The O-ring holds the adjuster in its place after tuning. Unlike most of the base antennas that have universal mount application, the Firestik has a 3/8-inch by 24 threaded base that works only on Firestik accessories and mounts. This is as a result of its base contact point that has been tapered.
Stress is transferred away from the threads by the lug-nut effect which is tapered to minimize the vibration caused by a loose antenna on the mount. The antenna is protected from statics, water and ultraviolet rays. The cover is also meant for purposes of stabilizing signals. For optimal operations, use 18-foot coaxial cables that are specifically Fire-Flex with this antenna.
Communicating with one or many people along a channel to the point of understanding each other is the best feeling anyone can ever have. All your needs will be catered for just through calls, and therefore you should have no kind of worries whatsoever.
Radio communication is one of the most common forms of communication has not been left behind. Improving its efficiency will go a long way in meeting your demands. That is why CB base antennas which are very important components of radio communication should always be prioritized and given much consideration.
Of the products reviewed above, the Firestik FS-3BK CB Antenna bags the crown for being the best CB base antenna. This antenna boasts of almost all the suitable features that a base antenna should possess. Some of which are flexibility, ruggedness, insulated, rust-proof and minimized radiation that comes as a result of antenna looseness from its mount amongst others.
With these features, be sure to get optimal results. We would, therefore, like to recommend it for you. Have you ever used any of the CB base antennas that we have discussed above? If yes, which one are you using and how can you describe its performance?