Coax cables might be the simplest-looking components in a CB radio setup, but they are the most essential elements for stable linkups all-around.
While a lot of people may ignore the concerns regarding its quality and performance when purchasing, they will most likely repent before a mere few weeks. That’s why you’ll need the right CB coaxial cable to avoid any painful consequences.
In this article, we’ll help you to find the best CB coax cable in the market. So stay with us and make sure of hassle-free weekend trail rides in the days ahead.
Top 5 Best CB Coax Cables
So, you want to roll your eyes on the products that are running superbly in the marketplace? We won’t give you a hard time talking about tons of cables. Here are the top 5 which might fill your cup of tea.
Whenever it comes to Citizens Band accessories, TruckSpec is the name that’ll pop up in the minds of every enthusiast. The brand is well-renowned for producing a broad range of various CB assets designed specifically for truck drivers.
The RG-58A/U coax is 18 feet long, and it has molded screw-on-barrel connectors. With a molded outfit, the cable efficiently holds up against moisture, allowing you to utilize it for any single CB antenna having a SO-239 stud mount.
However, its big-sized diameter can be annoying in several circumstances, like when trying to incorporate with tight openings. But you can overlook this issue if you prefer durability for a particular heavy-duty purpose.
The makers have been meticulous enough to ensure that it delivers satisfactory outputs in a tough environment.
However, the aspect we liked most about this TruckSpec coax is its interference with RF leaks, which provides up to 95% shielding coverage. It’s a crucial trait that eliminates the potential issues regarding its stranded core.
Moreover, its extended length and highly accurate signal delivery make it one of the best coaxes for CB radio, especially for truck drivers.
- Has waterproof connectors
- Provides up to 95% shielding coverage
- Comes with molded PL-259 connectors
- Offers single-antenna CB-SO9 suitability
- Threaded tightening nuts may wear off over time
This RG-58A/U coax from Workman is only 3 feet in length, and it’s surprisingly one of the top-rated choices over the internet. Because of the brevity of the cable, it’s often difficult to use, especially when the context you’re in demands frequent maneuvers.
With such a short length, the cable is made specifically for serving in a jammed environment or circumstances when you can’t allow too many wires for a mess-free ambiance. Nevertheless, many people prefer using this cable as an extension for their antenna cable.
However, what we found this product excellent for, is its absolute hassle-free suitability to the two-way CB radio linkups. It easily connects two closely placed CB radios to get the job done within seconds without annoying you with faulty signals.
More so, having similar connectors on both of its ends, it serves as an exceptional universal coupler that comes so cheaply. You can expect it to perform as good as the base cable.
Whether you’re inside the car and the antenna is outside, you can assure yourself of its adjustability without worries even when it’s raining.
- Boasts a waterproof construction
- Offers single-antenna CB-SO9 suitability
- A great choice for two-way CB hookups
- Can serve as an extension
- Suitable for ham use
- Only 3 feet long
- Not suitable for long-range CB setups
If you’re looking for a high-grade yet cheaper alternative of an RG-8X coax in an RG-58, this massive coaxial from RoadPro can be a decent choice for sure. Although it comes with barrel style PL 259 connectors, it’s capable of fitting into a variety of openings because of its uniquely designed ends.
The manufacturers have also designed it specifically to suit SO 239 stud mounted single CB antenna to make sure it flawlessly transmits the signals without nagging. Many of its suitors has likened its performance to that of a typical RG-8X.
However, you must be extra careful while connecting it, especially when attempting to tighten it into place, or you may damage it badly. The makers have put all their efforts to make sure it produces snug-free signals, and it seems like they had to compromise its durability for this reason to keep the price low.
Also, the coax cable comes with rugged connectors that are highly moisture resistant. And on its ends, you can expect to achieve a better strain relief than most other cables at this price range while the exceptional reception system keeps it a few steps ahead as well.
But the best thing about this cable is that it allows you to adjust the SWR when you’re up for dual antenna lookups. It lets you tune it down to a much lower rate as well. Moreover, it comes handy when connecting a CB radio via RVs or tractor-trailers.
If you happen to be a travel geek, it can be the right choice of a coax cable for you, considering its transmitting capabilities.
- Delivers exceptional performance in terms of signal transmission
- Both its ends provide a better strain relief
- Highly resistant to moisture
- Provides the most accurate suitability to SO 239 stud mounts compared to its RG-58A rivals
- Allows SWR adjustments and tunings
- Breakages may happen if not handled carefully during attachments
If you frequently require to rout your cable through firewalls or narrow spaces such alike, you may want to take a look at this Fire-Flex coax cable from FireStick.
The cable comes with a low-profile ring connection that you can mount over or under the mounting surface. And unlike the models we have discussed so far, this cable comes with a stranded core. It plays a key role in maximizing the cable’s flexibility and strength. There’s hardly a chance of any untimely break-offs.
This cable averages 95% shielding coverage to ensure all-round defense against interference and leaks. Besides, its center insulation is made of polyvinyl that adds to its longevity and ruggedness.
One bare end of the cable is coupled with a screw-on-barrel reducer. This combination allows you to make the best out of it in any context. More so, the 18 feet long coax cable will make sure you never fall short at the times when you need to stretch out the connections.
Furthermore, the PL connector that comes along with it boasts a specialized thread. This thread allows an effortless twisting of the cables whenever you need to establish a ground connection.
However, among so many benefits the coax provides, there’s one concern that may irk you a bit. It’s the core lead of the cable that requires immediate soldering to the barrel connector once you have installed the pin.
- The coax comes with a stranded core for added flexibility and strength
- Delivers exceptional signal transmission to the extent beyond 50 ohms
- Provides a minimum of 95% shielding coverage
- Highly resistant to moisture
- Twisting the cable for establishing a ground connection is safe and effortless
- Low-profile construction allows comfortable connections through tight spaces
- Requirement of immediate soldering may annoy a few potential suitors
Here comes the top contender on our list. This is undoubtedly the best coaxial cable for CB radio in the market when it comes to the RG-8X grade coax connection.
The US-made heavy-duty cable is capable of rendering top-notch signal transmissions to the extent surpassing 50 ohms. Meaning, you can utilize it unerringly even when you’re bound to keep a notable distance between the antenna and your CB radio.
In situations when you’re forced to attempt using your CB setup in noisy circumstances, you’re most likely to be left with no other option other than taking your radio miles away. But not with this cabl. Those are the situations when this antenna cable will come to your rescue.
Establishing any sort of connection becomes a piece of cake when you have one of these convenient cables. It comes with the highest-quality PL 259 connectors to make sure you can get things done more comfortably than with most other screw-on-barrels.
Moreover, the high-grade copper barrels are durable enough to assure you of breakage free twisting whenever a secure ground connection is necessary.
The cable is rated as a direct ground-burial unit that also has a polyethylene coat to ensure the utmost security. Its stranded core is equally responsible for its amazing strength and stability, for it can competently withstand even the toughest conditions.
And most surprisingly, this excellent coaxial cable offers all these extraordinary benefits at such a low price. If you’re looking for something affordable, yet ever so uncompromising in terms of quality and performance, this coax cable from Cable Experts has to be the real deal.
- Delivers unmatched signal transmissions, transcending 50 ohms mark
- In terms of reception, it renders an eight times lesser loss rate
- Sturdiest of its kind at the given price range
- Ends come with a far better strain relief than its rivals
- Highly resistant to moisture
- Offers convenient twistings whenever a ground connection is necessary
- An ideal choice for long-range transmissions even during the toughest winter days
- The rough connector threads might be annoying when trying to spin
What to Look for When Buying a Good CB Antenna Cable?
Despite its not-so-cool an appearance, a coax cable plays a vital part when establishing a radio connection. Since it’s imperative for every transmission and reception to travel throughout the length of coax cables, you must pay close attention to several essential factors when buying one.
Let’s discuss those essential aspects in detail, so you don’t have to curse yourself anytime soon for buying a cheap cable.
Know the Types of Connections
First off, you must learn about the different types of connections to figure out the right one that you’ll need. Despite all of them mostly sharing a similar construction, the type determines its suitability for various purposes.
Barrel Style (PL-259)
In the world of coax cables, it has been known to be the most popular connection type. These connections come with a screw-on-barrel appearance.
All the coax cables are most likely to have this sort of connection. Whenever you take a cable on your hand, you’ll find it on one of its ends at the minimum since it’s considered as the standard connection type for plugging into the CB radios.
The ring-style ends are popular among many people, particularly for two of its most generous advantages.
Firstly, it allows the coaxial cable to get off the mount vertically because of its low profile. It becomes beneficial mostly during tight mounting circumstances.
Secondly, these exclusively plastic-made cables withstand moisture and rough weather better than the barrel-style ones, which are made of metal. Meaning, they hardly rust or get stuck.
This rare kind of connection is used in only a handful of unique situations. It uses a small o-connection to connect into the sleek and clean mount applications. You may find it on several ball mounts or side mounts that utilize both the inner and outer surface.
FME Screw-Off End
It’s likely that you’ll often come across tiny firewall holes or openings while routing CB cables. And you may find it too awful to fit a barrel connector, that is bigger in size compared to the smaller slot. It will leave you with the option to re-solder the PL-259 connection, which can be tedious.
FME connections, on the other hand, are excellent substitutions in this regard as they allow removing the barrel for a more comfortable routing of those narrow coax. And once you have successfully routed the cable, you can quickly screw it back together without having to mess with soldering jobs.
Quality Grade Variants of CB Coax
Let’s take a look at the different quality grades of coaxial cables and how they fare.
It’s the most common coax grade found in most mounts and kits. The exterior thickness is average, along with moderate shielding capabilities. Its cable bore measures nearly 0.20 inches.
RG-8X works pretty much like the standard ones. When pinched or bent, this coax is unlikely to snap. It’s because of its stranded center, unlike that of cheaper coax with solid ones.
Its diameter measures close to 0.25 inches, which is thicker than the norm while it also boasts sturdier insulation.
You’ll be wise to go for RG-8X coax if you want a heavy-duty solution to withstand potential abusive impacts.
RG-59 (Dual Antenna)
For devices running on a dual antenna, there’s no other option than the RG-59 coax. No dual antenna setup works with any other coax variations.
A few may go and try regular cables, attempting to pull out T-connectors for every installation. But in reality, with all the things wired up, the dual antenna setup will simply refuse to work.
As we’ve said earlier, coaxial cables mostly come with likewise constructions with similar materials. In general, they are made of aluminum, copper, and polyethylene.
The quality depends on the standard of such elements rather than their attributes. However, you’ll be better off to forgo aluminum coax as it’s more inclined to get oxidized.
Cheaper coaxial cables mostly work on carrier wires having a solid center. But since it’s only a single piece, the cable becomes useless and can’t carry signals once it splinters or breaks.
In contrast, stranded centers having so many short carrier wires, hardly miss a signal. And even when you break one of the strands, there’ll be countless backup options to make sure of your signals to get through.
All the RG-8X come with stranded cores. But to assure yourself of whether an RG-58 or an RG-59 has such a core, you need to check their product descriptions.
Hand-Soldered or Machine-Soldered
Hand-soldered ends are likelier to be of better quality compared to machine-soldered ones, for they come with more deftly finishes. Meaning they are less prone to breakages or come out faulty.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be the length of an ideal CB coax?
It depends on your needs. Most of the companies chose 18-feet as their standard size, but it can often fall short if you’re working on low-signal conditions where it’s necessary to take out your device as far as possible.
What if my coax isn’t long enough to allow me taking it far away?
There are several extension cables available in the market that can extend the length of your existing cable. However, you must check its compatibility before making a purchase.
Is SWR affected by cable length?
Mostly not. But if you add external coax, you may encounter lower SWRs.
How durable are these cables?
The cables we’ve reviewed above are more durable than most other models in the market. Except for the RoadPro, all the rest are likely to last for at least two years. Additionally, the Cable Experts cable may last up to five years for its exceptionally sturdy build.
Can I connect these coaxial cables to anything other than PL259 connectors?
Of course, you can. In fact, with the likes of Ring style and FME Screw-Off End connectors, you are likely to get better output than a PL259 connector.
Can I use these cables on scanners?
Yes, you can. Only you’ll have to make sure of using an RG-58 grade connection.
Whether you love its company or not, if you happen to own a CB radio, you must get the best CB coax cable for it to avail the best possible service from it. While the best CB coaxial cable is vital for proper signal transmissions, it’s also essential for saving you hefty bucks in the years to come.
Hopefully, this article will help you narrow down your preferences. So take your time, choose the one that suits you the best, and stay worry-free with your CB radio.