What is S/RF on a CB Radio

S/RF meter is an “optional” feature in CB radios. You will not find it in all CB devices. This is why most people are not aware of the function. S/RF meter is a meter that shows the strength of your transmit and receive signal.

As a newbie, you may find it challenging to identify and read the different meters on a CB radio. That is completely alright. But if your rig has S/RF feature, you should try to learn about it and you are in the right place. But you don’t have to worry. We will explain what does S/RF means on a CB radio in this article.

What does S/RF mean on CB radio?        

As mentioned before S/RF meter is an optional meter that shows the strength of signals. The meter shows the strength of the outgoing signal during transmission and the strength of the incoming signal using reception. It also shows the background noise if there is no incoming signal.

The “S” in the S/RF meter shows strength displayed in “S” units. On the other hand, the “RF,” shows the strength of the transmitted radio signal (in Watts).

Strong signal strength means you can communicate readily. As the FCC restricts CB devices to 5-Watts of DC input power, therefore, your unit will output approximately 3.5-Watts of AM power. Keying up the S/RF meter will show how you’re transmitting. When someone transmits on the same channel within your range, it measures the strength of the incoming signal. The higher the reading on the meter of the incoming signal, the closer they are to you. A weaker signal indicates how further away the person may be from you. You can find CB radio units with analog and digital S/RF meters. 

CB radio S/RF or SWR

The S/RF meter on a CB radio displays the signal strength reading. It shows the outgoing signal strength on transmit and the incoming signal’s strength on receive. It also indicates any background if there’s no incoming signal. On the contrary, the SWR meter on your device checks antenna matching. The S/RF knob is typically shared with the SWR, and SWR CAL functions. Use the S/RF meter for regular operation and switch to the SWR calibration for antenna testing.   

CB radio with S/RF

Here are some of the CB radios having S/RF meters.

Uniden Bearcat 880CHR

For a premium CB radio choice, none can beat the Uniden Bearcat 880. Besides the digital S/RF and SWR meters, it also boasts a 7-color backlit display, noise-canceling microphone, and NOAA weather channels. If you are a power user who wants crystal-clear transmissions, you’ll appreciate its noise blanker, ANL, RF gain, and squelch control. Robust and sturdy, the Bearcat 880 is the perfect radio if you don’t want to miss transmissions even while driving! You can use its in-built diagnostic modes and S/RF and SWR meters to keep the radio performing at its best.

President Taylor FCC

If you’re on the search for a mid-range CB device that boasts all the essential features, then look no further than the President Taylor FCC. Some of its key features include:

  • S/RF vu-meter
  • Automatic SWR meter
  • ANL filter and noise blanker
  • Squelch control
  • Public Address
  • NOAA Weather Radio
  • In-built VOX

Designed with high-power functionality in mind, the President Taylor FCC is an excellent pick, especially for expert users!

Uniden PC68LTX

If you’re a beginner-level CB operator, you’ll ideally want a less expensive device. With a tight budget, you’d still like a rig that carries all the best features. In that case, the Uniden PC68LTX is here to beat the quality and functionality of more expensive models. Its unique, high-quality circuitry and elegant design make Uniden so famous. Besides an analog S/RF meter, it boasts RF gain, mic gain, PA, instant access to Channel 9, and high-cut audio. Enjoy excellent clarity and solid performance with the Uniden PC68LTX. 


By now, you may have understood what is S/RF on a CB. It shows the strength of both incoming and outgoing signals, showing how close or further away the other person is. It will also help you know if you need to adjust the settings. Some users confuse S/RF with SWR, as they are typically on the same knob. However, the SWR meter only helps with antenna matching and doesn’t show signal strength as S/RF does.

Having a CB device with an in-built S/RF meter is excellent, as it helps you enjoy signal clarity. Some devices featuring this function are Uniden PC68LTX, Uniden Bearcat 880, and President Taylor FCC.