What are the Different Types of CB Radio Equipment?

Mary Elizabeth

A CB radio, or Citizen’s Band radio, is a device that comes in a variety of models and with a variety of features and add-ons that improve performance, make use easier, or provide other useful functions. In general, it’s important to purchase the proper CB radio equipment in order for it to be used as desired. It’s also important to realize that CB radio equipment from different countries is not interchangeable. For example, CB radios made for Australian markets and for the United States have different frequency ranges.

CB radio equipment may include radio brackets and mountings.
CB radio equipment may include radio brackets and mountings.

In terms of the CB radio itself, there are three different basic types of CB radio equipment. First, there’s the base station, meant to be set up and left in one place, Second, there’s the mobile CB radio, made for use on a vehicle, Third, there’s the portable CB radio, useful for taking into the field, fitting into small spaces in vehicles, and moving in and out of vehicles, if it’s necessary to switch. In each of these, special features, such as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio (NWR), which also includes AMBER alert and 911 outage emergency notification, and features such as backlit display or “nightwatch” can be critical to having CB radio equipment that does what the owner needs it to do.

CB radios come in a variety of models.
CB radios come in a variety of models.

CB radios have function-critical add-on equipment without which the radio will not function as desired. An antenna is — in most cases — an absolutely necessary piece of CB radio equipment. Although portable CBs come with a built-in “rubber duck” antenna, this may not provide good enough transmission and reception, depending on where in the field one is. Certainly, if the portable CB radio is being used in a vehicle, a mobile antenna is essential. CB radio equipment for tuning the antenna is also crucial, usually including an SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) meter and a jumper cable. For using a portable CB radio in a car, a car adapter kit is necessary.

Other CB radio equipment may qualify as necessary or as accessories. This includes CB radio brackets and mountings, antenna mirror or roof mountings, a power supply or power cord, a microphone — with or without a hanger, tether, holder, or hook — a noise filter or noise suppressor, and speakers. Also useful are power cords and quick disconnects, that separate a mobile antenna in order for a vehicle to pass through a low-clearance area.

A microphone is a basic CB radio component.
A microphone is a basic CB radio component.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@Logicfest -- Just when you think some technology is dead, people mention a great use for it. I have seen this setup a few times and never really thought about how efficient it is, but you are right. Heck, and if it is cost effective that is even better.

You might even be able to save more money by concentrating on finding used CB radio equipment. There has to be a lot of that stuff out there. If you still have a CB radio shop in your area, that might be a source of some great used equipment and bargains.


I appreciate the fact this article talks about a base unit because that is a very cost effective way for a small business with a few trucks running here and there to keep up with employees. If you have a heating and air company, for example, with five trucks, you can effectively use a base unit and mobile CB radio setup to stay in touch with drivers.

That is an inexpensive way to set up a central dispatch and all it will cost is a base unit and some mobile CB radios. Not bad and it is a very cost effective way of communicating.

Post your comments
Forgot password?