Choosing a CB Antenna

Compliments of Firestik® Antenna Company Technical Support Team

Copyright © 1996 Firestik® Antenna Company

Choosing a CB antenna is fairly easy once you have sorted through a few basic rules. This information should help.

Basic Rules:

  1. Top loaded (helical wire-wounds) antennas perform better than center loaded antennas, center loaded antennas perform better than base loaded antennas.
  2. Taller antennas perform better than shorter antennas.
  3. Antennas mounted higher perform better than if mounted lower.
  4. Single antennas perform better when mounted as close to center as possible on metal vehicles.
  5. Base loaded antennas cannot be co-phased with satisfactory results.
  6. Fiberglass and aluminum vehicles, or those with little available ground plane, need co-phased or "no ground plane" antennas systems.
  7. The physical length of the antenna should be determined by the likelihood of repetitive hitting of overhead objects and/or the type and strength of the antenna mount itself.
  8. At least two-thirds of the antenna should be above a vehicles roof line for optimum performance.
  9. If the antenna/mount combination is available in a kit form, you will normally save money by purchasing it as a kit.
  10. The bandwidth of the antenna should always meet or exceed the needs of a 40 channel CB.


We have two basic designs … top loaded and base loaded. The top loaded antennas are available in heavy weight and light weight duty styles with either a standard wire adjustable coil or mechanically adjustable tip for tuning. Consider the features and benefits of each. Additional details on all products is available within this electronic internet catalog .

NOTE: If you want to install your antenna on a fiberglass or aluminum motorhome, look at our no-ground-plane antenna systems, or co-phased antenna kits. Best results will be realized when using either of those type kits on your vehicle.

Firestik "KW" Series: Choose a "KW" series antenna when you want a top loaded, heavy-duty, 5/8 wave antenna. Choose length with consideration to strength of mount and maximum desired height. If you know how, or do not mind the extra effort required to tune a wire coil adjustable antenna, you will save a dollar or two by using a "KW" versus "FS" series antenna. Requires metal ground plane, or minimum of chassis grounded mount. Excellent results when co-phased. First produced in 1975.

Firestik II "FS" Series: Premium antenna. Same high performance design as the KW series with wider bandwidth, more handling capacity, and the patented, mechanical tuning mechanism to make tuning easier. Probably the best mobile CB antenna ever designed. Requires metal ground plane, or minimum of chassis grounded mount. Excellent results when co-phased. In production since 1981.

Road Pal "RP" Series: Similar to "KW" series antenna in function. Is lighter weight and not meant for use with amps over 400 watts. Primarily designed as low cost alternative to "KW" series antennas. List price about 40% less than equivilent "KW" antenna. Warranty period 90 days.

Firefly "FL" Series: Light weight antenna with patented tunable tip. Weighs 40% less than equal length "FS" series antenna. Also much more flexible. Low wind load or weight related stress on mount. Not designed for big power amp users.

Designer "DS" Series: Base loaded, compact and stylish. For general communication use by casual CB users. Cellular look-a-like. Primarily used on autos and utility vehicles or sylish pick-ups. The perfect "convoy" or vacation traveler antenna.

Why Firestik® ?

Any communications engineer will tell you, "It is the antenna that makes the difference." With CB radio output power regulated by government, the only way to improve performance is to improve the antenna system. It was more than 20 years ago that Firestik first proved its point about high performance antennas. We had two antenna models then . . . Now we have many. Today, Firestik gives you better materials, better designs, better workmanship, and better variety. So, if you are CBing on the road, you will find a companion with Firestik.

Firestik Antenna Company - (Tel) 602-273-7151 -

Updated: 2023.12.05

Return to Index    Go to Home Page