Replacing CB Antenna


New Member
Oct 2, 2018
I drove into my garage and snapped off my cb antenna. If I replace my cb antenna and don't "tune" it, will it damage my cb radio? I don't have an SWR meter. I will get one, but the run is tomorrow. Thank you!
I's possible it will be useless unless it's tuned depending on the replacement you put on. Was the one you broke tunable? If so, replace it with the same thing and tune it the same as the broken one and you might get by. Go to the FireStick web site and read up on it, they give you quite an education on antennas. What run are you doing?
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The odds are good that the place where you purchase the replacement antenna will also sell SWR meters. If not, the closest major truck stop surely will, e.g., Pilot, TCA, Love's, etc.

What will happen if you just use the new antenna untuned? Probably nothing unless it is way off. There will be no ill effects on your radio during Rx. Reflected energy from an untuned antenna during transmit is what potentially causes damage. Keep your transmissions short until you can tune the antenna and hope for the best.
Do antennas need to be re-tuned if they are removed several times thruout the year? I have a firestik, I tuned it to 1.3 a couple years ago and havent touched it since, I have great reception and folks can hear me on the trail but I am just genuinely curious
If the tune has changed it probably hasn't changed much - and probably not enough to reflect enough energy to cause harm to the radio if you started at 1.3:1 and the antenna is otherwise undamaged. That might be a different story if the tip cover has been removed many times or the lock nut and tuning screw has been fiddled with or knocked against solid objects with any regularity.

I have Breedlove brass antenna disconnects and often switch between a 2' Firestik II and 4' Firefly antenna. I check my antennas with an SWR meter every 1-3 years, usually as part of a jeep club "antenna tuning day" to be sure everyone's CB is working as well as possible. Adjustments are typically very minor if any are needed at all.
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