5 Best CB Coax Cable Reviews 2020 – Expert Buying Guide
The coaxial cable is a CRUCIAL part of your CB radio. It acts as the pathway through which the signals enter and leave your CB system.
What most people don’t know, however, is that the antenna cable comes in different types and qualities. Differentiating the good from the bad in this case can become tricky if you’ve limited knowledge on these cables.
Below, you’ll discover our top picks for the best coaxial cable for CB radio and additional helpful info on how to choose the right cable for your CB system.
5 Best CB Coax Cable Reviews:
1. TRUCKSPEC 18' RG-58A/U Coaxial Cable
This is one of the high-quality coaxial cables you can purchase for your CB radio. This is not the cheaply made type of coax that gives you high SWR that can potentially ruin your radio. It’s a high-quality cable that enhances the signal transmission and reception quality of your CB radio.
The cable comes with a length of 18 feet, which is the ideal length for most automotive applications. This length probably won’t see a high loss or impedance. It comes with robust PL-259 connectors that facilitate easy hooking up to your radio and antenna. The connectors also come molded to make them waterproof to prevent moisture from interfering with its performance.
With up to 95% shielding coverage, this coax will also offer better protection of your CB radio system against signal leak or interferences. It also features a standard center conductor to make it more flexible and easier to work with.
Overall, this TRUCKSPEC coax is ideal for use where both ends of wire end with the PL-259 connectors. Its length makes it suitable not just for CB applications but also for amateur and 2-way radio communications.
2. Workman RG58A/U COAX CABLE
If you’re looking for a short jumper cable for hooking a meter between your radio and the antenna, this Workman will work for you. Workman is one of the most reputable brands in the world of CB radio and parts, so you can rest assured you’re getting real quality with this cable.
The jumper cable comes with solid soldered PL-359 connectors on both ends to make it ready to use right out of the box. It has a smaller diameter and comes stranded at the center for increased flexibility.
Again, this is an excellent short connector for hooking up your SWR meter to your CB radio. The 3ft. length and included connectors are good for the price.
3. RoadPro RP-18CC RG-58A/U Coaxial Cable
The RoadPro RP-18CC is the best coax for CB radio to connect your vehicle mobile CB radio to the antenna. It’s designed to work with various types of vehicles, including trucks, recreational vehicles, jeeps, tractor-trailer, and more.
The cable measures 18 feet long, which is just the perfect size for use with your truck or any larger sized vehicle.
Both ends of the cable feature model PL-259 connectors that are perfectly molded to ensure moisture doesn’t find its way into the cable and cause rusting or interfere with the cable’s performance. The connector threads are also nice and make the connection to your antenna and radio easy and hassle-less.
You’ll be pleased with the build quality of this cable. Just holding it in your hand will confirm that this is a quality cable that will stand the test of time. It also boasts as high as 95% shielding coverage to protect against radio frequency leaks and interference. Not to forget, it has a stranded center conductor for enhanced flexibility.
If you want a good cable for installing a CB antenna in your semi-truck, truck, jeep, RV, and any other vehicle, get this RoadPro cable today. It has the excellent length and quality you need in a CB coax cable.
4. FireStik K-8R18 18 Foot Fire-Flex Coax Cable
FireStik is another respected brand in the CB antennas industry. They make excellent quality antennas like this FireStik K-8R18 for use when mounting a CB antenna in your vehicle.
The FireStik features the manufacturer’s proprietary Fire-Ring connector. This is a unique low-profile antenna connector that eliminates the need to set up a separate coax ground. It allows for a clean and compact installation at your CB antenna mount location. Because this ring has a weather-tight design, it offers you a trouble-free connection, with no risks of shorts resulting from the presence of moisture.
Like the other top-notch coax cables we have discussed previously, this cable is also engineered for longevity. It features a stranded center conductor for maximum flexibility and resistance to breakages. It also boasts polyvinyl center insulation that further enhances its durability.
Because this coax cable also measures 18 feet long, it gives you maximum flexibility for antenna placement, even when used in large pick-up trucks. The 95% shielding coverage eliminates RF leaks and interferences for the ultimate clarity in your CB communications.
5. Cable Experts RG-8X 18 FT Coax Cable
Last but not least, we have this RG-8X 18 FT Coax Cable from Cable Experts. Proudly made and manufactured in the USA, this cable has undergone full inspection to ensure maximum satisfaction. It’s pretty versatile and can be used with multiple applications, ranging from CB radio, amateur radio, ham radio, switch meters, and more!
The cable measures 18 feet long, meaning it has an ideal length for easy and flexible installation in just any vehicle. It comes with PL-259 male connectors on both ends for easy use.
As a HEAVY-DUTY cable, this coax comes assembled with a highly flexible outer black PVC jacket insulator for unmatched flexibility and durability. What’s more, it boasts woven copper braided shielding—with up to 95% core coverage—to minimize signal leakage and outer electrical interferences.
On the inside lies a dielectric foam polyethylene insulation that helps reduce signal loss for consistent strong signals transmission. The inside core too is made using 16 AWG bare copper conductor for carrying high-frequency signals from end to end.
What To Look For Before Buying?
When shopping for a good CB antenna cable, you want to avoid the cheaply made stuff and get a quality antenna that will flawlessly serve you for an extended period of time.
To help you achieve this, below we have outlined the major features to look for in a coax cable:
Type of coax cable
One of the most important things to look for in a coax cable is the quality grade it comes with.
Different cables come with different qualities for different users. The most popular type among CB users is the RG-58 (standard coax). This type boasts average shielding and exterior thickness, with the overall cable diameter measuring around 0.2-inch.
Other types of coax cables include: RG-8X (more durable and thicker design; premium design), RG-8U (thick, standard center), and RG-59 (dual antenna coax; flexible stranded center).
The type and quality of connectors a coax comes with should also influence your shopping decision.
Connectors are usually the cause of signal loss in CB systems, so getting a poor quality connector could mean underperformance of your system. Poorly done connectors can also allow water to easily enter and result in shorting and even rusting of the cable.
As for the type of connector, getting the right style will make your installation easier. The PL-259 (barrel/screw-on style) is the most popular type.
Most of the popular coax out there will come with this connector fitted on end as it’s the standard type for plugging into most of the CB radios. The other end might feature another PL-259 or a completely different connector type.
Cheap cables come with a single solid center carrier wire. If this piece breaks or splinters, your cable becomes useless as it can long transfer a signal.
Cables with a stranded center, however, features multiple strands of small carrier wires, such that if one of these wires breaks, the cable will still be able to carry the signal through using the remaining carrier wires.
In light of this, it's worth keeping in mind that ALL the premium (RG-8X) coax cables come with a stranded center. If you see a coax cable with the term "A/U" in the description, it means it has a solid center.
You can easily get cables running from 1 foot all the way up to 100feet. But knowing what length to get is crucial.
Most manufacturers have a tendency to factory-tuning their antennas using 18ft. coax cable length. This explains why most of the top-rated cables you’ll find on the market come with a length of around 18ft.
We suggest that you get a cable around this length as it gives you flexibility when installing an antenna in smaller as well as larger vehicles.
Don’t be tempted to go for longer cables unless you really need to use it. Linger cables can lead to higher signal loss and have higher chances of breakage. Longer cables are more likely to develop kinking with time, especially if laid out carelessly.
Other important considerations:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does coax length affect SWR?
Absolutely! The length of coaxial cable you get for your CB system can significantly affect the SWR reading. As much as possible, we advise you to avoid using a too long cable, especially for short distances or CB equipment.
Q: Can you use a TV coax for CB?
Unfortunately, a TV coax won’t work for your CB system. This is mainly because the TV cables have an impedance of 75ohm, unlike the 50ohm impedance of CB antenna cables. You’ll need to match the antenna feedline impedance with that of the coax cable for a successful CB system setup.
If you try connecting a TV cable to your CB radio, you’ll hear something faint and unsatisfactory. And if you try using the TV cable, you might end up roasting your CB radio!
Q: How should I store coax cables?
If you have excess coax cable or just want to store your antenna cable, it’s important to know how to store it correctly to avoid crimping, crushing, or bending it and affecting its performance. The safest way to store your coax is by placing it into a loose figure 8 shape, about 1ft. long, and then loosely tying it at the center with a zip tie.
Q: How do I know if my cable is bad?
If you connect your new cable and it doesn’t seem to work, then most of the time, the culprit is the connectors. Carefully examine your cable connectors to see if they’re in good shape or needs re-fixing/replacement.
If you want to avoid spending your money on junk and getting a high-end coax cable, you must start by learning the different types of cables available and the varying qualities they come with. Having outlined all this crucial info in this guide, we hope that you’ll spend your money wisely on a quality product. You can get your best CB coax cable today from our top picks above for the betterment of your CB system communications.