I would like to believe that most CB radio users are geeks in one way or another. There are no geeks who don’t love a few hands-on jobs. Repairing a CB radio is one such job that can be learned easily and will save you a few bucks. The extreme satisfaction you get after the successful restoration of a CB radio is beyond words. Although it may seem like a complicated job that needs plenty of tech knowledge; but in reality, it’s quite easy.
You might be thinking about where to find that perfect guide on CB radio repairing. Well, you are in the right place to learn about how to repair a CB radio. We will also recommend some of the tools you need for the repairing work. The CB radio books we suggest will also take you a level close to an expert in this field.
Let’s dive in and see how it can be done!
What do I need to repair CB radio?
CB Radio Repair Tools
Some basic repair tools you will need to diagnose and repair CB radios include:
- Tool box (screwdrivers and wrenches)
- Canned air
- Electronic contact cleaner
- Modulation and watt meters
- SINAD meter (nignal, noise, and distortion analyzer)
- Frequency counter
In addition, in case of any defective component, you will need to purchase the part separately.
CB Radio Repair Books
Some of the notable books to learn about repairing CB radios are:
- Screwdriver Expert’s Guide
- Practical CB Radio Troubleshooting and Repair
Yeah, you have read it right. Besides these basic tools, it’s a good idea to purchase handy guides, such as the “Screwdriver Expert’s Guide”. You can check its price on Amazon by clicking here. It is quoted as the dummy manual for CB radio repair! It contains all necessary information, such as how to peak out modulation and the transmitter/receiver for peak range and efficiency. Additionally, it has an in-depth guide on diagnosing and repairing common antenna, SWR, mic, and other problems. The comprehensive knowledge in this manual is sufficient for any beginner learning to master the art of repairing.
Norman’s “Practical CB radio troubleshooting & repair” (check price on Amazon) is another handy book worth investing in!
CB Radio Repair Traning and Courses
You can also register yourself in CB repair courses and training that offer the basics of troubleshooting for CB radio. You can also look into local options, such as your local technical college. Keep an eye out for certificate courses in radio repair. Enrolling in such a program will enhance your understanding of radios and their functioning. There are plenty of courses online that can equip you with basic diagnostic skills to help you repair and restore your CB radio.
Lastly, don’t forget to talk to other CB enthusiasts. There are several CB forums and websites that contain important information regarding building and repairing your own CBs. Exchanging the knowledge of experts on this subject can help grow your own knowledge base.
How to Repair CB radio?
Now that we have seen all the handy stuff you need for repairing a CB radio, let’s find out how it can be done:
- If your CB makes a high-pitched sound that increases as you speed the engine, it may result from a defective noise-suppressing filter. To fix this issue, you will need to purchase an exact replacement online or from your nearest auto parts store. Follow the installation instructions to install the replacement.
- A defective sparks plug or ignition coil capacitor can cause a similar issue. You may hear a ticking sound that may increase as you speed up the engine. In that case, you will need to identify the exact source and then order the replacement accordingly. You can find replacement parts online and at any auto parts store.
- If the electrical and engine noise gets too much for you, you can install CB noise filters. These go between the CB unit and power source to eliminate electrical noise.
No broadcast audio
If you’ve tried replacing the microphone but still don’t seem to get broadcast audio, you may have a PA switch interrupting. Use an electronics lubricant to spray the switches PA/CB switch, inside the contacts and it should restore the function.
Repariging a Dead CB Radio
If the device doesn’t power on, it’s most likely to be a blown-in-line fuse. Unplug the power supply and unscrew the fuse container. Remove the existing fuse from the case. Insert replacement and screw the fuse container back again.
CB antenna cable repairing
If there are short in your coax, it will hamper your CB from working efficiently. Hence, it’s critical to identify any defects or shorts during the CB installation.
Before moving to troubleshoot, you must first familiarize yourself with testing ground continuity. Touch both probes to the metallic barrel to test coax for resistance. When there is very little or no resistance, it shows continuity. If there is complete resistance, there’s most likely a short in the coax, and you will need to replace it. Besides the outer portion, the metallic barrel, you also need to test the coax’s middle pin for resistance. Touch the probes against the center pin. You will need to test both the jumper cables and coax. Ideally, there should be no resistance, but if you’re measuring resistance, then there may be shorts on the cable.
Now, to repair the CB antenna cable, you must determine which type of coax you’re working with. You can identify it by looking at the number printed on it, such as RG-58, RG8X, and RG-59. The Walcott Radio PL259 repair kit can really come in handy for replacing the solder.
CB radio meter not working
High SWR readings can damage your radio; therefore, it’s critical to maintain a check on the SWR meter. The best way to check for a faulty SWR meter is to compare the results from two different meters. You can use an external meter for this. When there’s a defective SWR meter, you will either have no movement or you will see it going to the far right when you key the mic. Unfortunately, even most top-notch radios have SWR meters that stop functioning. Although they’re considered decent for basic antenna tuning, they’re unreliable than external SWR meters. Therefore, we highly recommend using an external meter to double-check the readings. Here’s how to repair a defective SWR meter:
- Unscrew and remove the casing from the CB radio to reveal the inner circuitry.
- Next, unscrew the front panel and slide it out.
- Remove the two sensors from the casing to get free access.
- Test the sensors for power by attaching it to an external voltage meter and keying the mic.
- If you’re receiving the right power on your sensors, it means the sensor and switch is fine.
- Test the pins to check for power. In case of high-power on the sensor, check the PCB to look for any defects.
- If there is a burnt junction because of high-power, it will lead to disconnection.
- Cut off the burnt trace and repair the connection.
- Connect the meter to the sensor again to test for power.
- This should resolve the problem and the meter will start functioning again.
A broken or damaged antenna can often cause high SWR readings and poor performance. Use a multi-meter to test the antenna by touching one probe to the antenna’s metallic end. Next, touch the second probe to the antenna’s metallic threads or center pin of the coax. Following this, measure the circuit’s resistance. If there is resistance, you have a defective antenna in need of replacement. Yeah, it’s not that easy to repair a CB antenna. So replacement works best.
- Start by detaching and loosening the antenna mount. Next, unscrew the antenna.
- Some CB antennas have a temporary, magnetic base connected by a cable.
- Unbox your replacement antenna and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
For problems with the antenna’s connector, turn the power knob counter-clockwise. Unplug the power cable from the device and unscrew the antenna connector’s securing cap. Now, pull on the antenna cable gently to remove it from the CB. Next, disconnect the microphone cable by unscrewing the cap. Disconnect the 6.0mm head screws on the device using a screwdriver. Now, gently remove the top cover. Flip over the device gently and unscrew the 6.0mm screws on the sides, connecting the remaining cover. Now, use a soldering iron to de-solder the yellow wire on the antenna connector. After disconnecting the wire on the back of the antenna connector, use a wrench to loosen the antenna connector nut. Next, remove the nut and washer and pull the antenna connector. Place the replacement connector and reassemble the components. Solder the wires back together.
Cleaning and maintenance
Prevent having to repair the device by scheduling regular maintenance; and, no, you do not need external help for this.
- Disconnect your CB radio’s power and antenna connections.
- Next, disassemble the radio by unscrewing it. Typically, the screws are on the bottom of the transceiver.
- Avoid touching any circuitry by keeping a lookout for all labels.
- Next, blow away dust from cords and jacks by using canner air. Alternately, you may use a handheld vacuum with the blower function to perform this step.
- Moving on, you will need electrical contact cleaner to wipe off the components as required.
- Once done, you may reassemble the case.
CB radios can go bad for multiple reasons, such as defective components, corrosion, and burnt PCB junctions. Instead of throwing away your CB as junk, try your hands on repairing and restoring the device to save yourself several bucks! It can also save you from countless trips to the technicians. It’s always a good idea to enroll in courses that equip operators with basic tips to repair CB radios. You can also read through user guides and books to gain information on how to repair a CB radio.