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What Does RF Gain Do on a CB Radio? How Do Other CB Settings Affect It?

what does rf gain do on a cb radio

The control knobs on your CB can be confusing; many of them seem to have little effect on the audio. But once you learn the proper settings, you will realize that every control shapes the audio quality. Let’s start with the RF Gain. What is RF Gain on a CB radio?

RF Gain stands for Radio Frequency Gain. It controls the signal range that your CB picks up. When this knob is fully clockwise, you can receive the furthest signals.

In the next parts of this article, you’ll learn “What does RF Gain do on a CB Radio?” and how to set the controls correctly.

The Function of RF Gain on CB Radio

The more you turn the RF power on a CB radio to the right, the more sensitive the receiver is. It will collect more signals but it will also be more vulnerable to interference, producing static noise. If the person you’re talking to is nearby, you should turn the CB RF Gain down to reduce the noise.

But when your truck is rolling, you’ll need the RF Gain setting to be maximum to pick up the furthest signals and get all updates about the roads.

So, how can you receive more signals without hearing the annoying static? The answer lies in other settings on your CB.

Other CB Radio settings


1. Squelch

The squelch control helps to suppress weak signals. When the knob is entirely to the right, only the strongest signals can transmit through your CB. When you turn it down, it will catch weaker signals.

If there are no signals, you need to turn the squelch off. Otherwise, it’ll leave static noises. This is inconvenient, as you won’t get any updates until you turn it on.

The solution is to keep the RF Gain at its maximum, then slowly turn up the Squelch just until the noises stops. This is the sweet spot of squelch and RF Gain, in which you can get the furthest signals while eliminating most noises.

2. Dynamike (or Mic Gain)

Dynamike Gain controls the volume of your microphone. The more it is to the right, the louder the other person can hear you. Unfortunately, it also tends to pick up background noises and distort your voice.

You should adjust the level by asking whether the people you’re talking to can hear you clearly. Most truckers find that the microphone works best when they turn the Dynamike Gain to the middle position.

3. Delta Tune (or Clarifier)

Delta Tune helps to clarify incoming signals.

4. S/RF SWR CAL switch

S/RF measures the signal strength. On transmit, it shows the strength of outgoing signals. On receive, it shows the strength of incoming signals.

SWR stands for Standing Wave Ratio, which measures antenna performance.

CAL means Calibration. You’ll switch to this option when you want to calibrate your CB Radio.

This video will guide you to calibrate a CB radio:

5. CB/PA switch

If your CB Radio has this switch, it can access PA (public address). When the switch is on CB, you broadcast and receive on citizen bands. When the switch is on PA, you broadcast and receive on public addresses.

6. ANL and NB switch

ANL (automatic noise limiter) and NB (noise blanker) are noise filters that help eliminate the engine sound. You can turn this switch off if you don’t need filters.

7. CH9 switch

This switch is for instant access to channel 9 – the channel for emergency use. Only turn it on when you have an emergency, otherwise, keep it in the normal position.



How do I sound more clearly on a CB radio?

The more you turn down the Dynamike setting, the quieter your voice is. So, if you want others to hear you clearly over longer distances, you must turn it up.

What CB channel do truckers use?

The two most popular channels for truck drivers are Channel 9 and 19. Channel 9 operates on frequency 27.065 and should only be used for emergencies. Channel 19 operates on frequency 27.185 and provides information about road construction, accidents, and speed traps.

What band should my CB be on?

Every CB radio transmits in AM and operates on the 27 MHz bands. You don’t need technical qualifications to communicate with a CB but you must not cause interference to other radio users.


In conclusion, what does RF gain do on a CB radio? When the RF Gain is fully clockwise, your receiver is more sensitive, receiving more signals and interference. For the best audio and signal quality, you should leave it at its maximum and adjust other settings to balance it out.

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