What is RF Gain on a CB Radio?

RF Gain on a CB radio is an important feature for any radio enthusiast. It allows users to adjust the sensitivity of their radios, allowing them to pick up weak signals and reduce interference from strong ones. It is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to maximize the performance of their CB radio, but for many it can be a confusing and intimidating feature. In this article, we will explore what RF gain does and how to use it properly.

RF Gain control on a CB radio

So, What Does RF Gain Do?

Adjusting the sensitivity allows you to increase or decrease the amount of signal that is received by the radio.

Very strong local signals can often overload the radio causing noise on adjacent channels. Backing off the RF Gain can help mitigate this. Turning it back up can bring weak signals in.

The RF gain control works by adjusting the gain of the RF amplifier stage in the radio’s receiver. The amplifier amplifies the radio frequency signal before it is demodulated and converted into an audio signal. By increasing the gain, more of the radio signal is amplified, making it easier for the radio to receive weak signals. Conversely, by decreasing the gain, less of the radio signal is amplified, reducing the amount of noise and interference that is picked up by the radio.

How do you use RF gain and Squelch together

To really optimize the audio quality of your radio, you should be making use of squelch and RF Gain together.

Here are the steps to use RF gain and squelch together:

  1. Set the volume to a decent level.
  2. Turn both the RF Gain and Squelch all the way down.
  3. Slowly raise the Squelch until the radio becomes silent.
  4. Slowly raise the RF Gain until you hear static and noise.
  5. Turn the RF Gain back down until the static and noise stop.

By using the RF gain and squelch together, you can optimize the reception of a particular station or transmission, and eliminate unwanted background noise.


So, there you have it, RF Gain allows you to control the sensitivity of a radio receiver.  You can use it to pull in far off signals and decrease the gain to reduce noise and interference, especially when strong signals are present.

Understanding the basics will help you enjoy your radio to its fullest.