How To Hook Up A CB Linear Amplifier

CB radios are dead. People believe that because it is quite useless in areas where there are too many obstacles – TOWN.

On open fields like on a mountain top or desert, you only find proper use of it. But that doesn’t make sense to carry it around there for you. So, what to do with the CB you’ve got back at home lying around the desk.

Have you heard of a linear amplifier?

If the answer is yes, then all you need is to hook one to the radio. But if you don’t know how to hook up a CB linear amplifier. No worries, I’ve got you covered.

Just follow the instructions, and you’ll get it done.

What is a Linear Amplifier?

How To Hook Up A CB Linear Amplifier

But first, what if you don’t know what the linear amplifier is? You know that CB radio use low frequency for its transmission. That is the reason the range isn’t that great. To boost it up a bit, a linear amplifier got used.

And I’m talking about the ’70s where first they introduced it to get the output to 50 watts somewhere close to 500 watts.

Back then, there weren’t many strict rules and regulations today we’ve got. Now, FCC won’t allow getting your CB on steroids with such a 500-watt amplifier. You can still use it within a limit to boost the range and get those long transmissions going.

To do that, you’ve got to get a linear amplifier first. Got one? Then just follow the steps, and you will get it working in no time.

How to Hook Up CB linear Amplifier

The linear amplifier goes between the antenna of your CB radio and the antenna connected to the device. What it does is it picks up the output from the radio and then amplifies the signal just like its name suggests.

And the result you get is a more improved range that goes far. Now, the question is, how do you hook it up. It isn’t that hard.

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is get the amplifier and place it right beside the CB radio. Make sure to keep at least 3-4 inches of ventilation space around it. If you’re getting it for your mobile CB radio, then at least keep a couple of centimeters for ventilation while placing it right close to the radio. And if you’re using the portable ones, then it is better to screw and mount it on it in a secure way.

Step 2: The next thing you do is unplug your CB antenna’s coaxial cable from the CB. Then take it and plug it in the amp. You should get a coaxial jumper cable with the amplifier. Take that and hook it up to the output of your amp. The other end will go to the back of your CB. Go and plug it into the antenna’s input there.

Step 3: Now, you need to hook up the standing wave ratio meter. Now, if you’ve got a bad SWR, then it is better to not use a linear amp with it as it will just wreck your radio. If you’ve got no issue like such, then move forward and connect the SWR meter to the linear amp. Follow the directions to do it.

Step 4: After doing it, you should make sure it is right. So, check the SWR to see things didn’t change. If it changes, you’ve got to correct it; otherwise, things won’t work.

Step 5: For the next step, you will take the power cord on your amp and run it into the wall outlet. All you need is to now switch on the power and get the amplifier working. If you’re using it on a mobile unit like the car, then there should be red and black power cords in your vehicle that get hooked with the CB ones.

Not that hard to follow. But if you get some issue installing it, maybe the SWR changed, or perhaps something got done right. In that case, go through the steps again to set it up. If it doesn’t work still, then you should better check if the CB radio is compatible with the amp you’ve got. That’s something you should make sure of before purchase.

Also read: What is RF Gain and Squelch on CB Radio?

Should You Get A CB Linear Amplifier?

It depends. If you want to extend the range, then using the amplifier makes logical sense. As you know, CB uses a 4 watts maximum output. Living in a town with all the obstacles around which might block the waves, it is hard to get connected with someone far.

With a 15 or 18 watts of power, you can manage to extend the range to at least 7-8 miles depending on your location.

So, it won’t be bad to have. But there are some concerns around it.

Is CB Amplifier Legal?

Yes, that’s the concern I’m talking about—the legal issue. To be honest, FCC doesn’t allow you to use a CB linear amplifier. That said, most CB user use one, and there isn’t ever any news of someone getting caught and getting heavily fined for using one.

However, there is a catch. You’ve got to use it wisely. You can’t get a 1000 watt amplifier and use it, which will draw attention. In that case, there is a good chance you’ve got caught and fined.

But if you just boost it a bit like mentioned above with a 15-18 watts CB amplifier, that won’t cause any fuss. You won’t be the FBI’s most wanted, that’s for sure.

Whatever you choose to do, it is better to go through the FCC rules once yourself and make up your mind whether you’re going to get one or not. In the end, it’s you who got to live with your decision.


I hope you’ve got it hooked right using the how to hook up the CB linear amplifier guide I’ve left here. Still, if there is an issue, don’t forget to ask for help. Many CB lovers like you are here to come to your aid.

Just leave a comment.

Also read:

1. Must-Have CB Radio Accessories For Better Performance

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