Knowing how to use squelch is arguably one of the most important basics that any new CB operator must learn. It’s key to effective communication! This feature is so crucial that you won’t find a CB radio without the squelch circuitry. This article explains what Sqelch is on a CB radio and how you can use it.
The primary aim of Squelch function is to eliminate the “white noise” or static you hear on turning on the radio. This static occurs as a result of interference from nearby devices, radiations, and transformers. Making slight adjustments using the squelch control can help filter out the background static by determining the signal strength! Turning the squelch higher means the incoming signals will have to be stronger for you to listen to them.
What is squelch on a CB radio?
The CB radio faces interference from power transformers, radiations, microwave towers, and incoming signals. Without squelch, your device may not filter out this noise for you to comprehend what a trucker may transmit to you! The squelch control helps eliminate white noise or static by filtering transmissions according to the signal strength. It saves you from the hiss or static that you may otherwise hear on an open channel with no incoming signal by muting the channel. You’ll only hear from the speaker when a robust transmission comes through.
Before you confuse it with RF gain, remember that RF determines the range and receives signals by how close the sender is to you. But, the static that you hear on your CB could come from your truck! Therefore, the squelch control counters interference regardless of how further away or close it is to you. In simple words, it decides a signal strength threshold for any incoming signal for your radio to pick.
Why is squelch important?
The squelch function helps block out incoming signals, depending on their strength or intensity. An operator may be several miles away yet could transmit powerful signals. Therefore, having the RF gain all the way up would filter out their transmission because of the distance. But turning the squelch up would enable you to hear the signal because of its strength. When you turn the knob anticlockwise, all you will listen to is static because the radio will allow all transmissions through, regardless of the signal intensity. It’s essential to set the limit where you don’t hear static but can listen to what other truckers may be transmitting.
How to Use CB Radio Squelch
The squelch control is intuitive primarily, and usually, beginners get the hang of it fairly quickly. When you hear white noise between transmissions, turn the squelch to the right till the static disappears. But remember, turning it up far-right will filter out most CB transmissions because your radio may not tell between intentional and stray transmissions.
There’s also no pre-set value that you can adjust your RF gain and squelch to. You will need to set both according to the available signals. For the maximum receive distance, it’s a good idea to set both RF gain and squelch control up. Keep in mind; your radio may pick fewer signals when you put the squelch high, and you will only hear the strongest signals available. It’s helpful to set it up high when you only want to receive critical information. But, this is only practical when you want traffic or weather-related information.
On the whole, we recommend setting the squelch and RF gain according to the incoming signals to avoid filtering out general CB transmissions. There may be instances where you will need to adjust the RF and squelch to lower settings.
CB radios with Squelch
Here are some of the quality CB radios you can buy if you are looking for Squelch control feature:
Uniden PC78XL PLUS
This CB radio is quite power-packed yet comes reasonably priced, making it a top choice for any operator. It’s equipped with a dynamic squelch control for greater communication clarity. Besides this, it also features built-in SWR, RF gain, and mic gain controls for better reception and transmits levels. The Uniden PC78XL Plus also offers access to Instant Channel 9 and boasts ANL and NB filters.
President Electronics BILL
This is the best CB unit you can buy if squelch control is your top priority. The President Electronics’ Bill features manual squelch and ASC to limit static and white noise. In addition, it’s got ANL, NB, and Hi-Cut filters. With access to 7 weather channels, it’s one of the best devices you can get for emergency preparedness. If you don’t like operating bulky models, then you’ll enjoy using the President Electronics’ Bill.
Squelch control is critical to eliminate any white noise or static while communicating using a CB radio. The feature helps you receive clear signals and filters out the weaker ones. All CB units come with the squelch circuitry, but only a few offer manual and automatic controls. The Uniden PC78XL PLUS and President Electronics BILL are two units worth considering as they offer squelch and RF gain for peak CB performance. It’s a good idea to strive for devices that provide both these features!