How To Wire A CB Radio To A Car Battery

CB radio or Citizen’s Band radio is widely used for short distance communication. It is popular among truckers and is a handy tool for drivers. Since people on the road mostly use it, a question came up if we can connect the CB radio to the vehicle battery? Find out more as you read my article.

How to wire a CB Radio to a car battery? Connecting the CB radio to a car battery is very simple. Follow these methods, and you will be able to connect to your receiver to your car battery. Here’s how you should do it:

Method 1: Tap it to an existing wire.
Method 2: You have to use a tapper for a fuse.
Method 3: You will use the cigarette adapter.
Method 4: Connect it directly to your battery.

More Details on the Ways to Wire a CB Radio to a Car Battery

Method 1: Tap it to an existing wire. If you are knowledgeable about gadgets and electronics, you will be able to use or tap the existing lines that are used in other vehicle accessories. Do not attempt to do this if you do not have the expertise in electronics.
Method 2: You have to use a tapper for a fuse. The tapper that you have to use for the fuse looks like an ordinary and standard fuse. The only difference of this fuse is the lead wire that comes out on top of the wick.
The power in the fuse box can be used to control the Radio without any complications. Any metallic element that grounds the chassis of the vehicle to have a complete circuit and radio power can be attached to the black wire.
Method 3: You will use the cigarette adapter. There’s another cool way to provide power to your CB radio. A cigarette adapter is another good option of giving control to your communication. The only thing that you need to have is the 3-pin power cord.
You may also buy a cheap 3-pin-to- cigarette adapter cords that will supply the power to your Radio. Cheap CB radios do not come with a detachable 3 -pin power cord. A cigarette adapter is the best option for this situation.S.
Method 4: Connect it Directly to Your Battery. If you want a minimal interference using electricity, you can use the direct terminal of the car battery. You can connect the ground wire directly to the ground terminal of the vehicle battery or any metal thing attached to the vehicle frame.
If you will be getting a lot of engine noises that might interfere to the radio signals, the direct connection of the radio to a car battery will significantly minimize the interference.

Can I Use My Cigarette Lighter to Hook Up for My CB Radio?

Definitely yes, you can use your cigarette lighter in hooking up your CB radio. I have mentioned it as one of the methods of connecting to your car. You can wire your cigarette plug in one end of your power wires.

You can either use the cigarette plug of your car or any of the accessory plugs that you have to provide power to your Radio. Check your fuse box to look for the rating and amps for your outlets.

In case your CB radio uses more than 20 amps, you have to connect it directly to your car battery.

Does a CB Radio Quickly Drain My Car Battery?

Since we are connecting the CB radio to our car battery, a lot of people were asking if it could quickly drain the battery. CB radio is considered an added accessory that used up the power of your vehicle’s battery.

Here’s what people said when they wired their CB radio directly to the car battery:

Most people who have tried it, experienced draining their batteries. Though the Radio is off, it can still draw power from your battery. It is recommended that your CB radio used a trickle charger to keep the Radio presets on and to continue monitoring the frequency of the weather.

How Can I Save My Battery from Draining with My CB Radio Connected on?

One way to save your battery from draining is to disconnect the fuse under the dashboard when you are not using your vehicle or your CB radio. Note that it uses two fuses in the installation process.

One of the fuses is located under the hood, and the other one came with your Radio.

The second one is located under your dashboard. It is the one you should disconnect when not in use to avoid draining your battery.

Can I just Used a Switch for My CB Radio that I Could Turn On and Off to Avoid battery Drain?

Yes, positively, you can use a switch to your CB radio, and it will work fine. However, if your batteries still drain despite the power switch connected to it, then I guess you have more problems to deal with. You need to find out what drains your battery.

The difference with a CB and Ham radios is that the latter comes with a fuse in its decisive power cable. It needed a negative lead fuse to give protection to the wiring and the radio itself.

If I Connect a CB Radio to My Car Battery, Should I Connect it Directly to the Car Battery or the Vehicle Chassis?

Here’s the best answer for your query. If your car doesn’t have a chassis, you may connect the chassis ground to the 12V battery’s negative terminal. Then you may need the accessories like the CB radio’s negative terminal to its chassis to minimize the wiring. In this case, connect the negative terminal of the battery.

Why Should I Connect the Radio Directly to the Battery?

Well, there are two reasons why experts advice to connect or wire the CB radio directly to the battery:

1. Connecting it directly to the battery minimizes the space that is enclosed by the electrical connections. It reduces both the interference, which is picked up by the connections and the inductance.
2. It reduces resistance. A CB radio is considered a heavy load. Therefore if you are avoiding a voltage drop, connecting to the chassis may not give the best battery conduction.

Learning how to wire a CB Radio to a car battery entails a lot of skills and knowledge. Do not attempt to do something which you are unsure of. It will be better to consult an expert in case you do not really know what to do.

Sources:
1. CB runs batteries down – STEEL SOLDIERS
2. If I wire equipment such as a CB radio directly to my car battery should I ground the device directly to the battery or to the vehicle chassis? – Quora
3. Should I ground my radio to the chassis or battery for a mobile install? – Stack Exchange