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JAG1

Vehicle/ Truck Communication and CB Radios

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Whats best? Hand held units OK for close range? I know antennas are very short lower than my rv roof but will it affect close range with other RVrs?

 

 Side Note:    Talked with a guy today involved with emergency response, says we all should have CBs because the possibility exists that common  communications could be compromised some day with power grids taken out. Sounds good anyhow.

Edited by JAG1

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I would look for quality unit that you can wire into the truck. I would get whip that is taller than the RV. Typically the RF signal radiates in all directions from the tip of the whip. So it's best to have a whip taller than you RV. Most all AM band radios are 4 watts unless it's got upper and lower sidebars then it's 16 watts.

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I had 3 or 4 CB's, some were the old 23 channel, along with 3 antennas.  I couldn't get any to work until I found out that the antenna mast has to be tuned or matched to the CB with an SWR meter.     

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SWR meter is a must for optimal CB performance (I think I payed $20 for mine 7 years ago).  Improperly tuned antennas can damage radios as well.  You should run a no-ground plane setup if mounting it on an RV.  I've been out of the CB world for a little while but I still have all of my antennas, radios, SWR meter, coax, and etc. I ran a Predator 10-K on my last setup (not my photo but same antenna seen here).  I was always taught that center loaded antennas should have the coil above the cab; in this case on a pickup truck.  

 

Trailers create huge dead spots which is why you see big rigs with two antennas.  Same thing would apply to making sure the coil of a center loaded antenna is clearing the cab on a pickup.  It's a pain to tune a two antenna setup but if you do it right it pays off for ultimate CB range/performance.   

100_7728.jpg

Edited by sooxies

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 I bought this hand held (Midland $ 90 bucks) with an antenna hook up at the end of the 12 volt power cord so you only contend with one wire like you would a microphone. The longer battery case IS  removable so it's almost the size of a large Microphone.

 

Nice pic Sooxies

 

Did not know anything about the coil on an antenna nor tuning with swr meter.

Edited by JAG1
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If it is a steel whip antenna you can shorten or lengthen the antenna by moving the whip part up and down. It is usually held in place with a set screw. Some fiberglass antennas have a metal or wire tip that can be trimmed or extended to tune the antenna. Otherwise you just use the SWR meter to tune the antenna. Some CB's even come with a built in SWR meter and tuner. My Cobra 29 has that feature. The way the antenna is connected to the vehicle and coax cable also make a huge difference in operation.

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3 hours ago, JAG1 said:

How do you go about tuning the antenna? Is it angle or location?

You go to a remote location where there will be no interference.  If it's going on a vehicle it's best to leave the vehicle running to simulate optimal conditions (what I was taught).  I would go out to farmland a couple miles down the road.  You switch between channel 1 and 40 and depending what your readings are...shorten/lengthen the antenna in small increments.  I have a cheat sheet somewhere with my tuning instructions.      

 

That Predator is a beast of an antenna.  It would reach out just as far as when I ran a 102" with a potbelly spring.  I just couldn't stand the darn length of the 102 so I tried the Predator and loved it.  They have different shaft lengths and coil setups depending on your needs.  

 

I've also have/tried twin Wilson 5000's (center loads) and just a trusty old Firestick.  The CB is for sure a nice tool to have.  I know Geno's Garage sells a mount for our second gens.  https://www.genosgarage.com/product/wd-cb1/accessories-interior  

Edited by sooxies
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Just about to mount antenna to the fender w stainless bracket for Dodge. So when running coax stay away from other wires AMAP right?

 

Should I run a seprate ground to battery?

 

Thanks members

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10 minutes ago, JAG1 said:

Just about to mount antenna to the fender w stainless bracket for Dodge. So when running coax stay away from other wires AMAP right?

 

Should I run a seprate ground to battery?

 

Thanks members

Only tips I was ever told on coax is to only use as much as you need (i.e. don't order too much length) and make a nice circular coil with excess.  It's not the end of the world if you have too much coax...just coil it up nicely.  I had a lot extra with my twin Wilson setup.    

 

Grounding the mounts?  I never grounded mine but my two mounts were inside the bed of the pickup (this was a 97 Chevy 1500).  Am I correct in saying that the bed would have been grounded out with grounding straps to the frame?  If your SWR readings are very high and/or cannot tune the antenna then you need to ground the mount.       

 

I learned most of my knowledge through these guys (lots of phone calls/emails back in the day).  Haven't been on their site for a while....now they have a nice blog for learning.

 

https://www.rightchannelradios.com/blogs/learning-center

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Thanks Sooxies. Just ran the wire and noticed the Isolation washers for the antenna mount. Will watch that one too.

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Just talked to a guy about 11 miles away so not too bad since I'm over a hill next to my shop and my rv, which is taller than antenna. Thanks for the help everyone.

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Man have not used a CB since college days about 1991-1992. Have several of them in a box in my shop was going to pitch them but just keep hanging on.

On the farm used to use them until about mid 80's then switched to radios with our own 2 FCC issued channels one unit to unit and one long range through a repeater and never looked back.

I remember using old Johnson CB radios with the crystals :think: "It's been so long I think thats what I remember people saying about them old radios and a huge antenna outside the house and being able to talk to people about as far away as folks with Hamm radios.

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I know Wild and Free it's older than rocks but in case of emergencies and needed local information, It's a good idea.

 

This all started with some buds of mine heading off together in a small group of RV's for some camping, fishing, hunting .

Edited by JAG1

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