SerifTv earns a commission from many of our affiliate links. We are reader supported.

cb antenna

How to Make a Ground Plane for CB Antenna (Step-by-Step)

Updated On June 3, 2022

A metallic surface beneath the antenna is an antenna ground plane, also known as a reflecting unit. The radio signals are transmitted and received by a metallic plate used in CB antennas. It sends messages horizontally by using ground metal or water as a foundation.

In general, to make a ground plane for a CB antenna, all you need to do is place the probes in their designated locations we mention below. Connect the metallic parts of your vehicle with your ground strap. Install the CB and antenna to the grounding plate in the best location to prevent a weak signal field; place your coaxial wire properly to produce ground for your antenna.

We’ll cover these steps in more detail below.

Ground plane antennas are mostly used to work with vehicles and boats. They work better on a larger and flatter surface. If you are still curious about how to make a ground plane for a CB antenna with these steps, keep on reading! 

What You Need

  • A multimeter (any type, analog or digital)
  • Straps for grounding (at least 20)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Scraper for painting
  • Markers
  • Wrench

Create Your Ground Plane for your CB Antenna

multimeter at a reading of 001.6v

Step 1: The first step is to touch the first probe on the CB antenna installation slot. Place the probe flat against the CB antenna’s mounting surface.

Step 2: Next, align the second probe with your vehicle’s battery. The second one must be connected to the battery’s negative terminal.

vehicle's batter with a multimeter

Be mindful when connecting because batteries are risky to work on. 

Step 3: When the antenna’s metallic foregrounding is set, you must install the CB and antenna in the grounding plate you made with your vehicle and battery. 

taking out the antenna's metallic foregrounding

With your ground strap connected in different areas, connect the metallic parts of your vehicle.

Step 4: You don’t want to have a weak signal field. So, when installing your antenna, be flexible and look for different locations to find the best ground in place.

mounting the antenna at the best location

Look for an area where the antenna’s metal plate is directly connected to the vehicle’s metal surface.

Step 5: Position the coaxial wire of your antenna properly to produce ground for your CB antenna. Any contact with the coaxial cable should be avoided on the metallic round side.

man holding a coaxial cable

Note that the CB antenna must be connected to the uninsulated and coaxial cable.

Best Place to Mount the CB Antenna

1. Car’s Trunk Lid

A car’s trunk lid is the ideal place to attach an antenna ground. The placement of the screw beneath the lip is excellent. The lack of proper ground on the hinges is a problem that may be readily fixed by adding ground straps to the lid and the frame.

Take care to take out just enough of the strap to allow the boot to open, but not too much that the strap becomes too baggy.

2. Car’s Roof

 Install the antenna on the roof if you want a good strong signal. Due to the excellent ground surface coverage, the car roof is the perfect area to install and ground your antenna work.

3. Front Panels

The antenna ground can also be installed on the front side panels or front bumpers.

The most basic step in establishing a good ground is to secure the coaxial cable to a metal surface. Place the mounted antenna on something other than wood or plastic. Ground performance can also be improved by adding more grounding straps to the mounted antenna. (1, 2)

FAQs

Why is it Important to Have a Good Grounding Plane?

The signal will not make it to the atmosphere if it does not have a good grounding plane. It will result in a reasonably limited transmission range. The signal created by the unit will also be transmitted back into the transceiver, causing internal damage to the radio equipment.

Can a Bad Grounding Plane Affect your Radio Reception?

Your radio reception will not be affected by a bad grounding plane. You will still get a radio transmission from radios abroad with varying degrees of success. However, sending out signals will be challenging for you.

What Kind of Strapping Hardware is Needed?

If your antenna work doesn’t accept a coaxial plug, you’ll have to find another means to ground it. While some CB owners utilize 10-gauge wire as ground, braided ground strapping is preferred. This is due to reactance. Reactance can turn the cable into an antenna instead of a radio frequency (RF) ground, which is the opposite of what you want.

Does a Ground Enhancer Help With the Signal?

Yes, it does. Some equipment can help you improve your ground plane. This is usually accomplished by adding a three-point radial to the antenna base. Ground Plane Enhancers are not intended to serve as an antenna’s only ground plane; instead, they aid in creating a superior ground surface.

Wrapping Up

Looking for the best location to make a ground plane to mount an antenna may need your flexibility and resourcefulness. However, it will be worth the time and effort because a good place means a better antenna signal. I hope I have answered all your questions about how to make a ground plane for a CB antenna!

Take a look at some of our related articles below.





References
(1) wood – https://www.britannica.com/science/wood-plant-tissue
(2) plastic – https://www.britannica.com/science/plastic

About the author 

John Temple