Get Rid of That Static: How to Use Squelch on Your CB Radio

If you’re new to using a CB radio, you may not know how to use the squelch control.

Discover the magic behind the unsung hero of receiver technology – the squelch circuit. This clever mechanism acts as a gatekeeper, only allowing the audio part of a receiver to come alive when a strong, desired signal is present. Say goodbye to annoying background noise, as the squelch keeps the receiver silent when no signal is detected.

Squelch control on a CB radio

Of course, the level of reception at which the audio can break through is adjustable, so weak signals are not missed.

It is such a useful feature that even the most basic radios feature it.


First, let’s start by understanding the different types of squelch controls available on CB radios. The most common types are:

  1. Manual Squelch: This type of squelch control allows the user to manually adjust the level of squelch by turning a knob or pressing a button.
  2. Automatic Squelch: This type of squelch control automatically adjusts the level of squelch based on the strength of the incoming signals.

Manual Squelch Operation

  1. Turn on the CB radio and select a channel.
  2. Locate the squelch control knob or button on the radio. It is usually located on the front panel of the radio.
  3. Adjust the squelch control knob or button to the desired level. For manual squelch, you can use a trial and error method, starting with the knob or button fully counter-clockwise and gradually increasing the level until the background noise is eliminated.
  4. Once you have found the appropriate level you’ll only hear sound when a stronger signal breaks through.

It’s important to note that the appropriate squelch level will vary depending on the environment. In urban areas with higher background noise, the squelch level will need to be set higher. In rural areas the background noise is generally much lower so the squelch level can be set lower.

If you are doing DX (distance) work it is likely that you’ll not be using the squelch as you’ll never know what you might have missed barely above the static.

Auto Squelch

CB radios have come a long way since their inception, with many new and improved features being added to enhance the user experience. One such feature is the introduction of Auto Squelch, a game-changer in the world of CB communications.

Auto Squelch is a highly convenient feature that eliminates unwanted background noise and static with ease. It works by automatically adjusting the squelch threshold level based on the strength of the received signal. When a weak signal is received, the squelch threshold is set low, allowing even faint signals to come through. As the signal strength increases, the threshold level rises, suppressing any accompanying noise. This ensures clear and crisp communication at all times, without the need for manual adjustment.


As you can see, the squelch control is one of the most useful controls on a CB radio. Knowing how to use it correctly is essential get the most out of your CB and enjoy clear, noise-free communication.