Power wire hookup – battery or cigarette plug

When hooking up a CB radio one of the many decisions to figure out is how to wire it up for power. The majority of CB radios have two wires, a positive wire (red) and a negative wire (black). The positive wire needs a 13.8VDC power source and the negative wire is your ground wire.

The recommended way to hook up a CB radio is to wire both the radio’s positive and negative wires directly to the corresponding negative and positive terminals of your car battery. To do this often will require more wire than is provided with your CB radio. If you choose to wire your radio using this method you will want to make sure that any extra wire you purchase is of the same gauge or larger than the original manufacturer’s wire. Also, if adding additional wire to the stock wiring make sure you use solid connectors that completely cover and protect any connections from being exposed.

If wiring to the battery you will also want to wire in fuses of proper amperage directly at the battery. The reason for this is because your long length of wire will most likely be going through the firewall and in between many different pieces of metal. If at any time there is a short anywhere along this run of wire the fuses directly at the battery will help prevent the possibility of an open circuit and risk of fire. These fuses are important and should be placed as close to the battery as possible, and these fuses are in addition to the standard fuse that comes on most CB radio power cords.

If you don’t feel comfortable running wire all the way from the radio to the battery, the next best bet is to wire a cigarette type plug onto the end of your power wires and use either your vehicle’s cigarette plug or accessory plug to power your radio. Most of these type plugs are rated at 10-20 amps of power. You should check your fuse box or manual to find out the rating and amps provided for your outlets. If your CB radio requires more than 20 amps (such as a Galaxy 95T or Ranger 6900 high power version) you will need to wire your radios directly to the battery.

However you wire your radio remember to use the appropriate gauge of wire, completely cover and protect any wire connections, make sure there is no bare wire that is exposed, and always use appropriate fuses rated for your radio.