Q:

What is the way to increase the power output on a Cobra CB radio?

A:

Quick Answer

Under Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, regulations, it is illegal to increase the power output of any CB, or citizen's band, radio. Power output of CB radios is limited to 4 watts only.

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Full Answer

In addition to modifying the CB radio itself, FCC regulations also clearly prohibit attaching any kind of power or linear amplifier to the radio. The height of any antennas, however, is unrestricted.

There is a common procedure called a "peak and tune" that can enhance the CB radio's performance. Each CB radio is designed to have the same power output and specs coming off the assembly line. However, in reality, minor differences can occur which can affect performance. A peak and tune procedure will ensure the radio is operating at optimal levels by:

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  • Testing and if necessary adjusting the radio to make sure it is sending and receiving on frequency.
  • Adjusting modulation levels - typically set at the factory at 70 to 80 percent - to 100 percent.
  • Adjusting the output level to the legal limit of 4 watts and ensure peak output is reached with appropriate modulation.
  • Tuning the receiver for clarity and sensitivity.

CB radios were, and remain, designed for use by American individuals and businesses only for short distance communications, as no foreign-owned companies or government agencies are allowed to use them by law.

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