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What Are the CB Radio Wiring Basics?

By C. Daw
Updated: May 16, 2024

The citizens’ band, or CB, radio and the wiring of it should be done carefully and correctly in order to avoid burning the circuits within the radio and the vehicle in which it is being installed in. The CB radio mainly has 40 channels to choose from and uses the frequency band of 27 MHz. The CB radio wiring includes two types of wires, a red, or positive wire, and the black, which is the negative wire. A fuse should be attached to the positive wire to prevent short circuiting the system, especially before the CB is installed in the vehicle.

There are many different CB radio wiring basics that are important because of all of the variations that exist, but the basics are fairly similar for all of them. First of all, take a coaxial cable or unshielded stranded wire and pass it through the firewall as far as needed until it can reach the battery. The plastic jacket should be removed a short distance back to reach the shielding which is to be used as the ground reference (-). After that, the shielding should be pulled back so the red CB radio wire can be attached to the coax central lead, which is unshielded. The black CB radio wire is then attached to the shielding. The final step in wiring is ensuring that all connections are safe and clean.

There are other options as well for the CB radio wiring, such as fuse box wiring. In this method, the positive terminal is attached to the fuse wire and the ground terminal to the ground reference. The other wiring method could be the purchase of a lighter plug. Again, instructions should be followed for basic CB radio wiring, such as red for positive and black for negative. Finally, the plug is inserted into the lighter socket.

The CB radio wiring schematics are very tricky to read and understand. It contains different symbols and abbreviations, depending upon the owner’s choice. There could be different symbols used in the schematics so there is a reference chart for these symbols attached to the manual that should be included with the unit. There is logical labeling in the schematics, for example, “R2 10K” may indicate the specific resistor. Similarly, the logical labeling is done for other components such as diodes, capacitors, and the power supply. The conductors are specified with lines through which current flows. The guidelines for understanding the symbols of the components used are found in the manual, but can also be found through various books as well as on the Internet.

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