How to Build My Own CB Linear Amp Kits

By Simon Foden

Linear amplifiers produce a significantly lower amount of noise than non-linear amps. This quality makes them particularly suitable for Citizen’s Band, or “CB” radio. A CB amplifier boosts the strength of your CB radio signal, letting you communicate with radio users at greater distance from your position. By building your own CB linear amplifier, you can save money on potentially expensive equipment. With self-assembly kits, all of the parts are compatible, pre-drilled and sized, something that isn’t guaranteed when purchasing parts separately. The following instructions require soldering, so if you have no experience with soldering you should enlist the help of someone who does.

Things You'll Need

  • CB linear kit
  • Schematic
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Wire
  • Wire trimmers
  • Phillips screwdriver

Step 1

Color-code the schematic. This is the document that comes with your kit. It explains the layout and relationship between the board-mounted parts. Mark each component symbol, its physical counterpart and the relevant turret on the blank circuit with the same color marker pen. This makes populating the board quicker and more accurate.

Step 2

Populate the circuit board. Push the resistors, transistors, diodes, cathodes, capacitors, transformers and potentiometers into their relevant turret, consulting the color-coded schematic for reference. Push them in hard enough so their connector pins poke fully through the turret. The potentiometers stand about 3/4-inch off the board. The top of each potentiometer typically protrudes through the top of the amplifier chassis.

Step 3

Turn on your soldering and leave it to heat up for 10 minutes.

Step 4

Place the board face-down and gently press on each pair of connector pins so they lie flat against the metal conductor strip.

Step 5

Put a small amount of solder onto the tip of your soldering iron. Press it against the connector pins and metal conductor strip. This fuses the component to the conductor strip, connecting the circuit.

Step 6

Cut a 1-inch piece of wire for each chassis-mount component. The number of chassis-mount components varies according to which kit you use. But you typically have a pair of jacks, a power supply socket and a frequency meter. Some power supply sockets have wires attached, meaning you only need to solder the loose ends.

Step 7

Mount the jacks into the mounting-holes on each side of the chassis. Secure them to the outside of the chassis with the washers supplied.

Step 8

Screw the frequency meter window into the pre-drilled mounting space on the inside of the chassis.

Step 9

Solder the red power supply wire to the “+” board eyelet. Solder the black wire to the “-” board eyelet.

Step 10

Solder the loose ends of the jack wires to the relevant eyelet on the circuit board, per the schematic.

Step 11

Solder a piece of power wire to the input terminal on the base of the meter window. Solder the other end of the wire to the output terminal of the frequency potentiometer on the board.

Step 12

Line up the lid so the potentiometer tops fit through the predrilled holes. Screw the chassis lid onto the chassis base.

Step 13

Slot dials onto each of the potentiometer tops.