Congratulations! If you came looking for the best CB base antenna, then one of these two things might be true:
Whichever the case, one fact remains true. Without hooking your CB to an equally great antenna, you won't be getting too far since you'll have an unpleasant experience.
However, getting that best CB base antenna also comes with its own sets of challenges. With the endless CB base antennas that you can find online, you're probably wondering which CB base antenna would be ideal for your setup.
Well, that's where we come in. We'll be highlighting seven of the best CB base antennas you can buy in 2021. Our top pick? The Solarcon A-99.
- 1 Comparison Table
- 2 What is a Base Station CB Antenna?
- 3 How To Choose The Best CB Base Antenna
- 4 Reviews of 7 Best CB Base Antennas
- 5 What to Consider Before Buying a CB Base Antenna
- 6 How High Should a CB Base Antenna Be?
- 7 Final Verdict
What is a Base Station CB Antenna?
Ideally, base station CB antennas increase the range of your CB and allow it to communicate for longer distances. Below are a few types:
- Omnidirectional base station antennas
- Indoor or outdoor base station antennas
- Yagi antennas
- VHF base station antennas
How To Choose The Best CB Base Antenna
To choose the best CB base antenna, you would need to know what you intend to use the antenna for (CB or Ham radio) and where you are going to place the antenna.
In addition, you must also assess the quality of the antenna as this will determine if will last or not. Low quality CB base antennas usually use cheap materials that make them less durable.
Reviews of 7 Best CB Base Antennas
The Solarcon A-99 is one of the few and true high-gain fiberglass antennas you can find in the market today. It effortlessly powerful and it also doubles as one of the most versatile CB base antennas in its category. This is because the antenna is ideal for both 10m and 11m amateur use.
This whip fiberglass antenna can handle up to 2000W of PEP power which allows it to be used by very high-end CB radio systems or even powerful ham radios.
With an insulation that can withstand up to 14,500V, you will have less to worry about picking up unnecessary noises during transmission or getting lightning strikes. In fact, you will hardly need a lightning arrestor.
We equally found its heavy-duty mounting plate convenient since it enables the radio to withstand strong winds. Standing tall at 17.5 feet, any antenna would have lots of difficulty staying in an upright position whenever it gets too windy.
The antenna is also easy to assemble since it comes in three sections which don't require a lot of effort fix.
Having survived all the way from the late 90's to date, you can probably tell that this is a high-quality that is highly revered by CB enthusiasts. Formerly known as IMAX-2000, this antenna comes with a few perks that make it stand out from the other Solarcon antennas.
Unlike the Solarcon A-99 which stands at 17.5 feet, this full 5/8 wave antenna is 24 feet long. It comes in three 8-feet pieces that are easy to assemble. You certainly won't need a manual to assemble it.
Other than that, it has a 5.1dBI gain and can supports a broad bandwidth. The Solarcon IMAX-2000 performs exceptionally for bands that exceed traditional CB channels, and this means that you could practically have endless uses for it.
The CB base antenna can also handle up to 5000W of power which is phenomenal considering that most can handle 2000W. It is equally lighting protected like the Solarcon A-99 and has a superb wind rating of 100 MPH.
To get the best out of the antenna, consider the following:
- Place the IMAX-2000 as high as you can wherever you'll be installing it for best performance
- Consider getting the radial kit. More radials will improve transmission efficiency
You may criticize it for delivering less power (250W continuous and 750W short time). However, it is super ideal for use with a CB because it packs just the amount of power you need.
The antenna is not only ideal for CB use, but ham radio operators with mid-range ham radios. The bulk of the antenna is made of aluminum alloy 6063 T-832 which makes it strong and durable.
Similar to the IMAX-2000, this is a 5/8 wave ground plane antenna that supports a frequency range of 26-28 MHz. It can deliver a bandwidth of 1400KHz at S.W.R 2:1 while at resonant frequency, it is capable of an SWR of 1.2:1. You won't be relying too much on your SWR meter though since the radio can handle itself pretty well.
The design of the whip is also worth talking about. This antenna has a waterproof jointing sleeve which equates to less gradual damage to the radio because of the elements. In addition, it is also protected from static discharges and has a wind resistance of up to 75MPH.
There are few differences between the Solarcon A-99CK and the Solarcon A-99. Whereas you can assemble the Solarcon A-99's pieces to create an antenna that extends for 17.5', the Solarcon A-99CK is a few inches short and comes in at 17 feet. Similarly, the A-99CK also ships in 3 pieces as well.
Another similarity is the amount of power that the antenna can handle. This CB base antenna handles up to 2000W of power like the A-99. Considering that ham radios are also limited to 1500W, the Solarcon A-99CK would also double as a ham radio operator's ideal antenna.
This half wave antenna is insulated for up to 14,500V. As such, you shouldn’t be too worried about lightning strikes and getting static discharge units.
In addition, the A-99CK comes with the Solarcon Twin Ring Adjust-a-Match tuning. It enables you to tune the input to the antenna so that you can obtain the ideal SWR over a wide range of frequencies. Simply raise the ring to raise the frequency or lower the ring to bring down the frequency.
Since this antenna uses the standard PL-259 connector, you can hook it up with any other compatible radio.
The Workman Saturn B100 is also popularly known as the Workman Signal-mate or simply Saturn B100. It might not be as powerful as the Solarcon antennas, but for CB radios, the Saturn B100 is more than enough.
It can handle a maximum of 500W PEP, and it operates on a frequency range of 26-39MHz which is equally ideal for 11-meter radios. In addition, this low-profile CB base antenna is not as tall as many of the other antennas since it only measures 39" and would require you to have a PL-259 compatible coax cable that is approximately 18 feet long.
While relatively short, it does come with some great advantages. For one, it provides the least wind resistance when compared to many other antennas. This means that it can stay upright longer even in adverse weather conditions and still provide you with the service you need.
Other than that, since it is fully weatherproof, you won't need to retract the antenna because of poor weather conditions.
The Saturn B100 also pushes versatility to new heights. Since it measures 39" and requires a coax cable, you have the liberty to place the antenna in a hidden location which will be harder to spot. This is slightly tricky with a regular-sized antenna.
Tram's amateur dual band base antenna is a great choice for those who would love an all-round antenna that focuses on performance and versatility.
This omnidirectional CB base antenna is made using heavy-duty fiberglass which makes it durable and rugged enough to survive extreme conditions. The antenna uses an anti-cordial aluminum tube and comes with plastic arm brackets that further reinforce the radio's radials.
The radio also packs some decent features that make its moderately powerful. For one, the base station antenna operates around the 26.5 to 30 MHz frequency which is the frequency in which CB radios operate too. Since it goes past the 27MHz frequency, ham operators who aren't looking for extremely powerful antennas can thus pick up this CB base antenna too.
It has a power capacity of 200W which is low for ham operators who have radios that can handle over 1000W. Nevertheless, since CB radios are capped at 4W and 12W for SSB, there's no reason why you should disregard the Tram Amatuer Dual Band Base Antenna over other antennas.
Additionally, since it extends over 17 feet, you won't be needing lengthy coax cables as was the case with the Workman B-100.
Make sure to apply silicone sealant on all the joints. Also, whenever you need to tune the radio, you can always pull apart the elements by backing out the set screw near its SO-239 connector.
If you need a mid-range CB base antenna that is not too overkill and is well-balanced, then perhaps the Sirio m400 might be the antenna for you. It has an SWR of less than 1.5 at resonant frequency and can deliver 1000W of power continuously and 3000W (PEP) power in a short time.
We did find that the reception on the CB radio is great on all 40 channels, and this must mean Sirio did in fact pack in just enough power to make the radio perfect for CB owners who are just starting out.
Its transmitting range is not the best, but when paired with a mid-range CB radio, there is little to complain.
What to Consider Before Buying a CB Base Antenna
CB base antennas are slightly different from your conventional CB antennas in that one of their main goals is to offer extreme performance. As they can handle power exceeding 200W, there is need to be keen whenever purchasing a CB base antenna for your radio.
With that said, here are some few things you should keep in mind when going to purchase a CB base antenna:
The length of cable you require will depend on the type of CB base antenna you pick and where you intend to install it. Short antennas like the Workman B-100, for instance, require lengthy coax cables. This might come as an additional cost to you and can be a mood killer especially if you budgeted everything to the last cent.
Thus, you need to know the antenna you'll be picking since the price tag you see while shopping might just be one of the costs that you are going to incur.
CB base antennas can naturally handle all sorts of harsh conditions. As such, picking an antenna that has durable components is a sure way to prevent yourself from spending another +$50 on a CB base antenna.
Since antennas are merely accessories that you can use with different types of radios, many have cropped up in the market. This has made it a bit challenging to simply rely on brand to assess the quality of an antenna. A far better way would be to read reviews about an antenna that you liked first.
While buying any CB base antenna puts you miles ahead of someone who is still using a stock CB antenna, it is equally good to consider the power handling capabilities of an antenna.
Typically, you can find CB base antennas that can handle anything from 200W to 2000W. However, if you intend to use the antenna for other purposes e.g. with a ham radio, then it would be wiser to aim for the more powerful antennas as they will give you the best value for your money.
Typically, the more power the antenna can handle, the clearer the better it will be at receiving both strong and weak signals and this will result in overall good audio quality. On the same note, it would also be a good idea to consider whether you want a dual antenna setup or the conventional setup.
If you'll be picking the CB base antenna for use in your vehicle, you should know that there are specific areas where you can get stronger signals. For example, placing the antenna at the highest point with half of the antenna over your vehicle's roofline will give you the best performance.
How High Should a CB Base Antenna Be?
The general rule of the thumb with CB base antennas is "the higher you mount it, the better". However, there are a few things you should ensure.
At all times, keep the coil of the antenna above the roofline if you are using it in a vehicle. If you opt to use the antenna for another purpose such as with ham radio, then you'd want to place it in a high location without too many distractions. Here too, you ought to have considered the type of antenna you will be getting prior to deciding on the mount location.
Evidently, there's more to CB base antennas than most people think. For one, most of these antennas are versatile and could equally be used with ham radios. This is because they can handle a lot of power which lies within the limits of ham radios.
However, your primary focus whenever selecting a CB base antenna should be the purpose you intend to use it for. If you're aiming for something that's a little general purpose though, we recommend the Solarcon A-99.