The CB rig will need connection to 12v power - there are various ways of doing this...
- Wire direct to the battery
- Patch into the power to the car radio
- Connect to the fusebox
- Plug into the cigarette lighter socket
Wire direct to the battery This is the best way of doing the job, but can be the hardest to do in some vehicles, yet easy in Land Rovers with the battery under the passenger seat.
In vehicles with the battery in the engine compartment, you may find some blanked off or grommeted holes - sometimes loads of them if the same bulkhead is used for LHD and RHD versions. If the vehicle is newer you may not find any useable ones at all, it's a matter of poking about to see what you can find.
If you decide to drill a hole to reach the battery please make sure you know whats on the other side of the panel you're drilling and that there's no chance of anything getting caught by your drill. The hole may have sharp edges, so it's important to use a grommet or at the very least large amounts of insulating tape to shield the wire from being cut. Make sure that it's going to stay where you put it, as large amounts of tape on one bit of the wire is not good if it just moves (as you're refitting your carpet, for example) so the unprotected wire is in the hole (i've been there!).
You should fit a fuse as close to the battery as you can - one of our blade fuse holders and fuse does nicely, just put a ring terminal on the end of the short wires, and use a connector block to join the other wire to the wire for your CB.
Another advantage with wiring direct to the battery is that you will be less likely to get interference from the vehicles' electrics, i.e ignition, alternator, fans, pumps, etc, although if you do suffer this, you may still need to use a Noise Filter to stop all ignition & alternator noise. (See also our cigar lighter plugs and leads and extra power cable.)
Patch into the power to the car radio This can be an easy way of getting power to your CB - depending on the wiring your stereo has. A legal CB will not draw more than about 2 amps so there shouldn't be too much problem with fuse ratings doing this, especially if your stereo is high powered.
However, although you would hope that a power feed to a radio would be a "clean" one, but as it comes through the vehicles wiring, this can be a source of interference from ignition, pumps and fans.
Connect to the fusebox This is often the "next best" to wiring direct to the battery, as connecting to the fusebox usually gives you a fairly clean supply, minimising the chance for interference. In some vehicles it is easier than connecting to the battery if the battery is inside the engine bay.
Usually just the red (+) lead needs to be connected to the fusebox, the black (-) can be taken to a convenient earthing point somewhere inside the cabin.
Plug into the cigarette lighter socket If you will only be using the CB occasionally, and will be taking it in and out of the vehicle, and don't want to fully install it, or you just cannot be bothered with all the "wiring stuff" above, you can use the cigarette lighter socket (if you have one), but you may introduce interference to the system.
Having said this, all the modern CB's are very well filtered, so unless you have a particularly old or problematic vehicle, hopefully you won't experience it.
24v Vehicles... If you have a 24v vehicle, you can either choose a 12v/24v compatible CB or use a 24v to 12v dropper. Many of these are enough to power a car stereo & other bits, so why not put in some extra power connections around the vehicle for other 12v items in the future?