Listed below are our most "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)" that we have received regarding the use of CB radio. If your question is not answered, please email us and we will endeavour to help you with your query.
Do I need to purchase a licence?
No. The requirement for a CB radio licence in Ireland was abolished in 1998.
What CB radio should I buy if I'm only starting out?
With the amount of different CB radio's on the market, it can be quite danting as to what to buy. In most cases your budget will determine what you can afford. If your starting out and your not sure what to buy, we have a "Starter Kit" available. This will get you up and running on a small budget. Most CB operators tend to use more expensive radios that have side bands. The international calling frequency on side bands is 27.555MHz USB. On the basic AM/FM radios, side bands are not included.
How far can I get from a CB radio when I'm in my car?
This really depends on where you are located, the type of antenna your using and the amount of power your radio has. The bigger the antenna and the more power you have, the further you will receive and transmit.
What else will I need to get my CB Radio working in my car?
Apart from the radio, you will need a cigar lighter connector if you are connecting your CB radio to the lighter socket for power although we do recommend that the radio is wired directly to the battery by a qualified person. This means that you can operate the radio when the car is turned off.
You will also need an antenna. There are many antenna's to choose from but the general rule is - the longer the better. A longer antenna will give you better transmit and receive coverage. The antenna might be magnetic which means it will magnetically stick to the car roof (it can be removed and stored inside the car when not in use) or you can have a fixed antenna bolted onto the body of the car.
Once you have your CB radio plugged into the power, your antenna located in the middle of the roof (the optimum position) and the antenna cable screwed into the back of the radio, you are ready to go! But there is one thing that you also need to check, the SWR. The SWR, which stands for "Short Wave Ratio" refers to how well the antenna is tuned into the CB radio. A high SWR means that you will not get far when transmitting and receiving. It also might damage your radio (see the tutorial regarding SWR). What you need to do is check your SWR with an SWR meter. These meters are designed to check that your antenna is tuned to the CB radio. If you know someone that has an SWR meter, than they could check this for you. If not, SWR meters are available to buy from Scorpion Technology.
What do I need if I want to use the CB in my house?
To use a CB Radio in your home, you will need a "homebase" antenna. The higher the antenna is place on your house, the further you will get. You will also need heavy duty coaxial cable 50ohm which helps to improve the quality of the signal. The closer the antenna to the CB Radio the better the performance as this reduces the adistance that the signal has to travel to the antenna.
You will also need a transformer to power the CB Radio. This is a power supply which plugs into the mains supply of the house.
Once everything is setup, you will need to check the SWR (the same as the mobile installation) to make sure that your antenna is tuned into your radio.
Can I use my mobile antenna with my CB in the house?
You can use a mobile antenna in a house but we would not recommend it. A mobile antenna needs a "groundplane" which is your car. If you want to use your mobile antenna in the house, you will need to place your mobile antenna on a groundplane which is normally a 6ft x 6ft sheet of metal. Antenna performace will not be very good as a mobile antenna is designed to work in a mobile setup so we don't recommend that you do this. You might also cause Television interferance to your television set and your neighbours.
Can I use my CB radio when I'm driving?
No. Anything that distracts you from driving is against the law. The police have the ability to confiscate your equipment if you are caught using it while driving and issue a fine.