It stands for standing wave ratio and it's used to measure the effectiveness of your antenna related to the output of your CB. Some antennas are pre-tuned and there's not much you can do with those, even with a SWR meter. Other antennas are either adjustable or need to be trimmed to length for tuning.
I know Radio shack has them and I've seen 'em at JCWhitney.
well the SWR stands for Standing Wave Ratio. This isa measure of the lenght of the radio wave that a cb works on. Radio waves are like light. you have inferred, Gama, x-ray,visible light and radio waves. the SWR is the ratio that a radio wave needs to travel on to be effective. When we say the antenna is a quarter wave it means just that. Example, the lenght of your channel19 on the cb is the frequency 27.185 Mhz, or Mega-Hertz. This frequency needs to operate at its optimum lenght to work correctly. The swr meter checks the ratio to see if it is correct or if its to long or to short. this means that for your cb to transmit and receive properly the antenna needs to be justthe right lenght. just as little as a 1/8 of an inch will adversely affect the receive or transmit to where it can cause the cb not to "hear" or "talk" as far as it should. Being more than 1/4 inch to long or to short on your bike's antenna is really a difference of 1 inch in electric terms. This much difference can cause your radio to not only not work as well as it should but can cause it to burn itself out as well. You should never push the talk button unless you have a proper set up for an antenna. Any two way radio shop should be able to check and set this for you or if you want to do it your self check with your local truck stop as most have small cheap meters that truckers buy for there trucks and radios. Just follow the directions and don't hold the button for more than about 3-5 seconds at a time till your in the neighbourhood of being "tuned" as you can brun it out(the cb) if you are not carefull. sometimes some of the antenna needs to be cut off at the base,and sometimes you will find you need a longer piece. Dont think just because that antenna came on the bike even new it will work as it should, it's not so. Check with your cb radio shop or a HAM operator in you area can help you with it as well. Now I am not an expert on this matter but I have had most every cb radio you can name at one time or another, Probably close to 200 radios in like 100 diffrant trucks and cars and bikes. I have burnt out more radios than most pepole will ever own, so I know what burns them out. I have had some of the best set ups out there as well. Find your self a good radio shop and let them guide you to the right set up. Just my two cents worth as I have made and learned from all my mastakes, and lots of them when I started out in cb's. Hope this helps you.
I don't know how the cb's on the 1800's are cabled but on the earlier bikes the antenna is dual purpose. It feeds into a splitter with outputs to the cb and radio using RCA male plugs on the ends. So, you need special cables to wire a SWR meter into the system between the cb and the splitter. Here's what they look like and where to get them.
SIERRA SET OF CABLES TO USE AN SWR METER TO TEST STANDING WAVE RATIO ON AN OEM ANTENNA OR CAN BE USED AS A STANDARD 3 FOOT EXTENSION. HAS PL259 CONNCECTS ON THE END OF EACH CABLE TO ALLOW TO BE SCRED INTO EACH END OF THE SWR METER, AND ALSO FEMALE MTOROLA CONNECTORS ON THE OPPOSITE ENDS TO ALLOW FOR THE CONNECTION OF AM/FM AND CB ANTENNA COAX OF OEM AUDIO SYSTEMS.
:waving:A number of years ago I purchased a 3 meter CB tester from Radio Shack. It has watt, modulation, and SWR meters all in one unit. The GL1100's that have the full Type II system the antenna can be tuned to the CB transmitter by an adjustment on the antenna distrubutor/ splitter which is below the L/H fairing pocket or cassette deck if one is installed. Other model GoldWings are different since they have a separate antenna for AM/FM and another one for the CB. I believe the GL1200 is like the GL1100 in that they have only one antenna for AM/FM & CB. Adapters cables will probably be needed to hook up the SWR meter between the antenna and CB to check the SWR on your GL1800.