What is RF Gain on CB Radio?

One of the most commonly asked questions by beginner-level radio operators is: what does RF gain do on a CB. As a newbie, you must learn the function of each control knob on your device. It helps you maximize the efficiency of your gadget and delivers clearer transmissions.

RF or Radio Frequency refers to wireless signal transmissions between radio devices. As opposed to plug-in, wired devices, CB radios operate on the wireless communication system where signals travel through the air. But, the wireless communication system is more prone to interference by several atmospheric factors. These cause noise and static, which may disrupt communication. That’s where the RF gain function on your transceiver comes in handy!

What is RF gain on a CB?

The RF gain on the CB radio works to reduce interference by increasing signal strength. Boosting it to filter sensitivity minimizes receiver noise without hampering reception power. It works similar to the CB squelch, which limits noise. However, when you “squelch” noise, you only receive the strongest, closest signals to you without the noise. But, in doing so, you won’t receive distant signals. Therefore, if you wish to receive interference-free transmissions from down the road, you can crank up the RF gain till the noise disappears. In simpler words, you’ll find squelch control as a primary function in all CB radios. At the same time, an RF gain is an optional but important feature that only some devices possess. This is because the squelch filters out weak signals distant from you, whereas RF gain reduces receiver sensitivity. 

Why is RF gain important for Citizen Band Radios?

You can look at the RF gain as a tool to select the range you want to receive transmissions from. Setting it at the lowest level means you will only hear from users closest to you. Adjusting the RF gain to a higher setting would help you receive from further away. Since so many signals are coming in on all the 40 CB channels, it could interfere with your communications. One typical example would be communicating on the road. There can be truckers transmitting and causing interference on the same channel. To filter out those waves, you will need to adjust the RF gain.

As mentioned above, not all devices feature this control. But having RF gain can enhance your CB experience.

How to set RF gain on a CB radio?

You may turn off the squelch while cranking the RF gain up. Then, gradually lower the RF control till the noise disappears. This helps eliminate interference while receiving the distant signals that the squelch typically filters out. As the proximity to the other radio increases, you will notice the transmissions getting clearer and louder. If you see a signal fading, you can turn the RF gain to tune into weak transmissions. Rotate it down gradually to get stronger transmissions. It’s a good idea to use the squelch control along with the RF gain. It enables users to get maximum clarity from signals of varying strengths.

CB Base Transceivers with RF gain

Let’s have a look at some of the CB base station transceivers with RF gain

Galaxy DX-2547

The Galaxy DX-2547 is an excellent 40-channel CB base transceiver with RF gain control. Besides RF gain, it features several exciting specs, such as talkback controls, modulation meter, roger beep, and an automatic SWR meter. It’s the ideal base unit for both home and travel purposes. The device provides easy access to channels 9 and 19. What’s more is that you get a noise blanker, Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL), and Galaxy Noise Filter (GNF) with the DX-2547.

Mobile CB radio with RF gain

Here is a list of mobile CB radios that offer RF gain feature:

Midland 1001LWX

Midland has consistently wowed, and its 40-channel mobile CB continues that trend. The 1001LWX is loaded with just about everything you could want in a mobile CB. In addition to RF gain, it includes ANL, PA, weather scan, and squelch, all in an ultra-compact device.

Radioddity CB-27 Mini

What’s special about this mobile CB radio is that besides RF gain, it also features a 9-level automatic squelch, access to Channel 9 and 19, and a removable microphone. The Radioddity CB-27 will be the perfect device for many users.

Cobra 25 LTD

The Cobra 25 LTD is a power-packed, mid-size CB radio featuring RF gain and PA functions. Not only is the device well-built and tough, but good-looking too! If you’re looking for a robust and well-performing unit, then this is the one for you.


It is critical to know how to adjust RF gain on CB and learn about its significance in wireless communication, especially for beginners. Using this function along with the squelch control can take your overall radio experience up a notch. Regardless of the distance, it counters noise interference and acts as a sensitivity filter to deliver crystal-clear transmissions. The best part is that it does this without affecting the reception power, unlike the CB squelch. You can find RF gain on Uniden PC68LTX, Cobra 25 LTD, Galaxy DX-2547, and many more. If you’re into long-distance communication and want to minimize noise without using squelch, then the RF gain is the perfect tool.