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Old 09-04-2011, 08:55 AM
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Question new antenna

i have just upgraded my factory antenna to dual 4 foot fiberglass cb antennas there mounted on the bed rail behind the rear glass i got the whole thing set up but my reception isnt really great does anyone know what i did do wrong or what i should do id like to keep them functional if possible
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:23 AM
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You have bad radio reception? I would think so since your OEM FM/AM antenna is gone. CB antennas will work for radio reception but with proper wiring and connections.
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If you are trying to just have the CB antennas and no FM/AM antenna then that will work.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:08 PM
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Go back t a single roof mt antenna. Wilson 1000/5000. Dual antennas seem to cancel each other out. Guaranteed you have a high SWR. and a ground problem.Good Luck
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:07 PM
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My duals don't cancel eachother out, I have perfect SWR, and no ground problem. Just sayin.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:45 PM
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thanks guys
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:11 PM
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That is the absolute worst place to mount an antenna as all the signal is going into the steel of the cab. The best place for a CB antenna is in the middle of the cab. The 2nd best place is the back of the bed, every other place is a gamble.



. For a dual antenna setup to work correctly you need 2 8 foot 75 ohm coaxes to feed each antenna, this allows them to be properly phased and impedance matched. The single mag mount in the center of the cab is a great idea as is the 8 ft wave. If you run dummy duals 8 foot apart the signal pattern will favor the direction of the active antenna, as the Dummy will act as a reflector. So everyone else knows 8 foot is the magic number because that is the length of a wavelength at CB frequencies.
__________________


Finally Installed My CB

Originally Posted by craftkr
Ok, just read through all this... I'm in a hurry so I'll summerize as best I can....

Tuning.... differen't radios = different setups on SWR/POWER/MOD on your meter if you even have one. I recommend going to radio shack and buying an inline SWR/POWER meter. It's about $45 but works well, you will need that and about a 2-3 foot piece of coax to check your SWR.

Tuning antenna-
Do it in a open area... away from powerlines, trees, buildings, metal towers etc. Any obstruction can through off your SWR, so if you set it with minimal obstructions you will have it tuned better... etc.

1. Make sure your radio is grounded and wired correctly.
2. Check to see your antenna is mounted correctly and the coax is in good condition (visually inspect for any cuts or anything in the cover on the coax), if it has any replace it.
3. Try to mount your antenna in a solid location so you have a good ground to the bed, cab, chassis etc.
4. Hook it all up and make sure your radio is working, powering up etc....
5. Hook your 2-3 ft. coax to your radio, and then to your SWR meter (hookup that says radio), then hook your coax that goes to your antenna to the other point on the meter (should say antenna).

6. Make sure you have the switch on the SWR meter set to SWR.
7. Remember that you want to get your SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) on Ch. 1,20, and 40 all about the same. Just tuning to get your lowest SWR on one channel isn't correct. You will want to get about the same SWR on Channels 1-20-40.
8. Check your SWR on Ch. 1 Ch. 20 Ch. 40. (remember on some SWR meters you will need to dead key and calibrate the meter for each test, time consuming but accurate) Tuning the meter isn't hard, has instructions... take your time.
9. Ideally you want your SWR below 1.5, anything below that is just mobetta. SWR over 2.5 will fry your radio.
10. When you check your SWR you will know what you need to do to tune your antenna. Most antenna's are tunable (have a set screw and you can adjust), some old school whips you would pull the dust cap and trim a piece of the wire coiled around the fiberglass mast, or some stainless steel whips you will have to trim with a file, grinder etc. Always remember to trim or adjust in very small incraments (1/16 of an inch). If you trim to much your antenna will be worthless, however one's with set screws you can re-tune over and over.
11. If your SWR are lower on Ch. 40 than Ch. 1 you will want to lengthen your antenna (if you don't have a tunable antenna with a set screw it's kind of hard to lengthen your antenna, usually this is the case if someone has already tuned an antenna on a different setup, most of the time you will have the conditions on Step #12).
12. If your SWR's are higher on Ch. 40 than Ch. 1 you will want to shorten your antenna (remember to only make 1/16 moves and retest).
13. Once you get the SWR's the same on Ch.1 and Ch. 40 check the SWR on Ch. 20. They should be very close. You may not be able to get them all the same but as close as you can is the best.
14. Ideally below 1.5 SWR is good. if you can get 1.1 your in really good shape.
15. Once your done shutdown your radio and pull the SWR meter and reattach your coax to your radio and try to get a radio check on a channel. If you don't get a response don't fret, sometimes you just don't have people on the radio to answer.

Now there's a whole lot more to making a CB talk then just tuning your antenna. CB antenna's are omni-directional (signal goes everywhere). Your vehicle will act as a ground plain (the signal shooting down will bounce back off your vehicle and up). This is a big factor, if your antenna mount isn't mounted or grounded correctly you won't have a good ground plain. Ideally mounting on the middle of a roof is good. I ran a Wilson 5000 Magnet mount and it worked well. Currently I'm running a 1/4 wave length... 108" stainless steel whip. These are the best all round antenna's, however they are big and most don't like them. I have it mounted on my toolbox, and I have my tool box bonded/grounded with RF ground straps (1 inch wide braded straps) to the bed, and then the bed bonded/grounded to the frame. This isn't the same as grounding on electrical. It's an RF ground, so don't just use wire. The better ground plain you have, and the lower the SWR's will have a huge factor on your ability to talk.

Now if you want to add power aka Linear/modulator/amp etc. you can really talk if your setup is tuned correctly. However know that FCC says that 4 watt output is the max power you should push for a 11 meter (CB) radio. So if you choose to run more power just keep that in mind.

I'm running a Galaxy DX 959 with a Texas Star DX 350 with a 108" whip. I've done all the tuning and running around 1.1 SWR and with the bonding grounding I can reach out. I've talked from Corpus Christi Texas to Charlston SC with good skip aka DX. However I don't run my amp unless I'm out in the sticks and trying to reach someone, or when I try to talk skip/DX and I'm out of town in the country on the beach etc.

Radio Propagation, radio waves bounce back and fourth from the ground to the ionosphere... basicly. If atmospheric conditions are good you can talk skip aka long ways.. even with a bare foot radio.

Pushing to much power incorrectly creatrs "spurious emissions", so if your going to run more power keep in mind you can bleed over into other channels etc. 10 Meter radio (HAM) operators get anal about this.... but in there sense if you start getting bleed over onto Emergency channels... ie EMS, Police, etc, etc... well your screwing up. Certian freq's are allocated for emergency, military, Licensed radio operators (HAM Operartors) with the 10 meter. Now this gets complicated, as CB's run on (11 Meter) however some radios are 10 meter radios and if you don't know what you've got and you start goofing off... well it isn't good. So do your research if you want to really get your set up talking. This is just a basic over view, however there is a wealth of knowledge on the web. CB's are fading given all the new technology, however when all else fails CB's are a solid means of communications. Esp. after hurricanes, tornados, solar storms that will screw up all those new fancy cell phone networks etc. I love my CB for road trips, you will know about any traffic conditions, speed traps, and just listen to some funny conversations... it's entertaining at times.

Good luck and google SWR Tuning, or whatever and read up. A whole lot of info out there.

Good luck!

Last edited by HAM_RADIO_MAN; 09-06-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2011, 11:48 AM
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does the swr meter always stay attached like is it safe after its tuned to tuck it up behind the radio
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