SWR means Standing Wave Ratio. A SWR meter is used to measure how well the transmit power signal emitted from a transceiver (radio) is traveling through the antenna system into the atmosphere.


The SWR must check during installation of a CB and installing a new antenna. To ensure the transmit power coming from the radio is traveling through the antenna system correctly. A poor performing antenna system significantly reduces (transmit & receive) range and can damage the transceiver (radio).

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When the signal does not travel through the antenna system correctly, the transmit power is reflected back into the transceiver which causes reduced range and potential damage to the internal parts of your radio.

To set the SWR on CB Radio :

Park the vehicle then hook up the SWR meter.

 Then disconnect the coaxial cable from the radio. Reconnect this end of the cable, which is going to the antenna, to the SWR meter in the connector.

use the jumper lead to connect your radio and the SWR meter through the connection marked transmitter

Now ready to measure the SWR on a few different channels.

Keep the microphone the same distance from the meter for each test.

Set the switch on the SWR meter to “FWD.”

Turn the radio.


Turn the knob on the SWR meter until the needle reaches the setting position at the end of its range.


While still keying the microphone, flip the switch on the SWR meter to the “REF” or “SWR” position.


Record the reading given by your SWR meter and release the transmit key on your microphone.

 Repeat this process for channel 40.

The objective behind tuning your antenna is to make these two readings as close as possible. By following these steps you should be able to successfully tune your antenna for optimal performance and transmission.