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winky
05-11-2014, 10:00 PM
hey everyone, my name is josh aka winky im from north alabama. i do a lot of traveling threw alabama and east mississippi and occasionally tennesee. finally broke down and bought a 03 2500 hd last week and decided it was time to get the cb stuff out of the closet. i thought it would be nice to be able to carry on a conversation while driving along also thought i might be able to get good info on the roads. currently i have a cheapo cobra 19 III and a 108" steel whip. the only thing i have bought so far was the coax cable. i believe i am having some cb setup issues and would really appreciate some guidance to get it up and going properly as well as guidance into this new world i have discovered :D looking forward to becoming part of the community

stang
05-12-2014, 05:39 AM
Welcome and good luck

222DBFL
05-12-2014, 07:25 AM
Get yourself a radio shack swr/watt meter and set the swr for your antenna system. The cost of the swr meter is 40 dollars and they are probably one of the more accurate meters for the money. Do not buy the truck stop little 100w meters either, they suck and aren't very accurate IMO. Don't know what you got for coax, but make sure to test the connections with an ohm meter as well for any issues. Center pin to center pin should give an open reading and center pin to outer connection will have a reading. If you ar getting a reading by going either center to center pin or outer to outer (ground), then there is an issue with the coax or the connections. I stress this, and rightfully so, your antenna system is the heart of your system, if it's crap, then the rest will be crap. You can have the best radio in the world, but without a good antenna you have a fancy door stop!! Spend some time and research antenna installs. I am sure if you search this forum you will find a truck similar to yours with the same type setup. You never said where or how your antenna was mounted either, all and anything you need help with, we will be glad to help, just need more info. But like I said, before you go any further, go get an swr meter if you don't have one, and don't use the internal meter of the radio, use an external meter. Also pick up a good 3ft jumper to go in between the radio and swr meter. Or you can always take your truck to a local cb shop that you trust and have them set up your antenna system. I prefer doing it myself, so you learn something. JMO. God bless and hope all issues get resolved.

the caveman
05-12-2014, 09:53 AM
welcome to the forum winky! just ask any question you need answered with your setup and we will help however we can!:nod:

winky
05-12-2014, 09:56 PM
1762
here is how the antenna is mounted, today i added a ground cable to just be sure it was grounded well. haven't checked the ohms on the coax yet. if we are slow at work tomorrow i might. me and a buddy talked some after i left his house today and i got around 5 miles away before he started getting pretty static but he said i was coming threw clear... soooo i guess the little magnet mount antenna he was using just wasn't up for the job? i know here at the house i can hear all kinds of people but can never get a reply... it frustrates me because im not sure if they cant hear me or if they are just ignoring me.. so i guess my next question is how would one get on a channel the polite way without sounding stupid trying to talk like smokey and the bandit

the caveman
05-12-2014, 10:38 PM
1762
here is how the antenna is mounted, today i added a ground cable to just be sure it was grounded well. haven't checked the ohms on the coax yet. if we are slow at work tomorrow i might. me and a buddy talked some after i left his house today and i got around 5 miles away before he started getting pretty static but he said i was coming threw clear... soooo i guess the little magnet mount antenna he was using just wasn't up for the job? i know here at the house i can hear all kinds of people but can never get a reply... it frustrates me because im not sure if they cant hear me or if they are just ignoring me.. so i guess my next question is how would one get on a channel the polite way without sounding stupid trying to talk like smokey and the bandit
What is between the antenna and the antenna mount lug (circled in red)? And you're SWR's should be measured to be sure they are low. What kind of antenna does your friend have?

222DBFL
05-13-2014, 04:49 AM
First off, you need to get the bottom of that antenna as close to the roofline as possible, you have chosen a bad mounting spot IMO, and it is probably why you aren't getting any replies. Also your whip (antenna) should be total 108" or as close to this as possible. First you need an external swr/watt meter before proceeding any further. Radio shack sells thems for 40 dollars. This is a must, doesn't have to be the radio shack meter, but some type of external swr meter is needed. Next You need to either add a 6" riser or a 6" pot belly spring, and remount that antenna somewhere different. I am not sure all the mounting locations you have, but I am sure there are Better choices. You need to go over your whole antenna system ensuring that all coax, connections, and the antenna are good. The coax and connectors can be checked with an ohm meter, the antenna system checked with at least an swr meter. You want the antenna to have metal and as much of it as possible, under your antenna, rf travels along metal, your antenna placement probably has the rf riding on the tool box or off the back end of the truck, either way no good this way. Get that antenna up and above the roof line of the truck. Also, all connections made on the outside of the vehicle should be weather proofed with at least electrical tape. They do make weather proofing butyl and self augmenting tape for this as well. Water and connectors don't mix well.
But IMO, I would start with getting an swr/watt meter, my vote is for the radio shack meter as they aren't expensive and are pretty accurate for the money. Second, try to find a stainless steel 6" pot belly spring, the more HD the Better as it will keep you whip straight as you travel at highway speeds. Next replace the coax that you are using with some good rg8x and good connectors if possible, not needed if your coax and connectors are good, but is an upgrade from the current coax I see. Rg8x and amphenol PL-259 connectors would be on my list as well though if possible. And also a different mount and mounting location for your antenna to get some metal directly under it so it has an adequate ground plane for the rf to travel along. Don't be intimidated, it's not they hard to do everything I have listed. And it will make a difference. With a good antenna setup and the right conditions, you should be able to talk more than 5 miles. I talk to several people over 50 miles away almost daily on ssb. Granted it's not am, but I can talk pretty far on am as well. It all boils down to your antenna system though, without a good antenna system, you are Pi Pi'ing into the wind!! Good luck with resolving the issue with your truck and god bless.

winky
05-13-2014, 12:04 PM
Not sure why the plastic washer is on there. Was on the whip when it was gave to me. The ground I added is soldered and heat shrunk. Didn't think about the coax connection. I have some bugle in the shop I can use to isolate it. As far as mounting I'm not too sure on locations besides the bumper. I'm limited to the type of mounts due to only having a small truck stop near that doesn't carry very many items. I'll try to do some research and find something. Would a 6" riser be OK instead of a spring? Like you stated I would like to keep it as straight as possible without a lot of flexing back and forth. I plan on ordering a swr meter this evening. And I also plan on checking the connections as well. Thank you everyone for your help full replies it's nice to get advice from people with good knowledge on this subject instead of someone around here telling me my CV is just junk and I need a high dollar one.

stang
05-13-2014, 12:21 PM
The plastic washer is MAJOR important IIRC there should be two one top and bottom. The plastic isolates the antenna from ground.

Good luck this is a good group I'm sure you'll do well following the advice you get here from the others. I am just learning or relearning myself.

the caveman
05-13-2014, 03:45 PM
The plastic washer is MAJOR important IIRC there should be two one top and bottom. The plastic isolates the antenna from ground.

Good luck this is a good group I'm sure you'll do well following the advice you get here from the others. I am just learning or relearning myself.
With this mount type there should only be one washer I believe. That is how I've always ran mine as well as other setups. There should be 1 between the mount and the antenna lug.

winky
05-13-2014, 03:59 PM
There is only one

winky
05-13-2014, 08:29 PM
OK got a spring today and the whip is a little shy of 109" still researching for a spot to mount the antenna. About to order a swr meter now

222DBFL
05-13-2014, 09:49 PM
Good deal, getting it together. Let us know if we can be of any help with the mounting. You may want to pre fab a mount if possible from some steel or something similar, you want the base of the antenna to at least be level or above the roof line to let the antenna have some metal under it. Also, don't use regular wire to ground the mount to the frame. You want ground straps (bonding straps), they are a flat piece of ground cable. These work the best for actually bonding the antenna to the frame. Should be able to find them at any exhaust shop or some auto parts stores.
Here is a photo of one.
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/05/14/yje3yban.jpg
These are the proper ones. Don't have to be made by this company, but of this type is what you want. Check eBay as well. Like I said, set your antenna system up correctly and it will return the favor!! Also Breedlove makes great mounts for all applications, some are more expensive than others, but Breedlove probably makes one of if not the best mounts. And yes you could have used 6in riser as well. Sorry I could not respond earlier been on the road since 5:45am.

winky
05-13-2014, 09:59 PM
its fine. im just glad to be getting so much help. i belive i have a few ground straps laying around like that. they use them a lot on truck beds, engines, etc... i was a mechanic for almost 3 years and then got called to work at a body shop doing all the frame and mechanical work and now i do a little bit of it all, so im always getting neat things that are left over from damaged vehicles :) i know you said the antenna base needs to be level or above the roof line. i some what understand why as far as interference goes, but im not comfortable drilling or mounting my antenna to the roof i could possibly build a headache rack for my truck to mount it too but im not too sure on that either..my question is how much will it hurt to possibly mount it to the rear driver side stake pocket?

222DBFL
05-13-2014, 10:09 PM
How about something off the tool box with a L going over the roof just above it? Just some food for thought. And yes you know what I am speaking of then about the grounding straps, good deal. Also if you can mount it center of the tool box and get the base level or above the roof close as possible to the roof it should help. It is about interference as well as having some metal under the antenna base itself. It provides the counter poise and ground plane needed. The more roof generally the Better the ground plane as rf travels this way, along metal. So it goes with saying more metal is better. Keep up the good work. And god bless.

winky
05-13-2014, 10:27 PM
ok i get where you are coming from. ill be knocking birds out of the sky soon if i make a bracket :D lol. ill have to think on a bracket idea, im very picky and dont want some redneck ingenuity (wich i have a lot of) looking mounts i want it to look like it belongs on the truck thats the main reason i was thinking headache rack.

222DBFL
05-13-2014, 10:33 PM
I knock bridges with mine lol. It's 14ft to the tip. Works well though!! There are a couple of members that may be able to help more than me, JJD is one of them, he is great with this kind of stuff, there are some others that have similar setup's as yours. Post another thread about the mount and antenna and you should get more responses as well. I will help as much as I can, I spent a lot of time refining my antenna system and it is well worth every penny I have spent as I can talk around the world driving at highway speed.

winky
05-13-2014, 10:39 PM
thats awesome lol. sound almost like the kc lights i use to have on my play toy. i hit a traffic light one night... ill take your advice and make a new post specifically for the mount and antenna i would love to get a 20 mile range going if possible (im on the border of the boondocks out here)1766
been building this rig for about 2 years now. she will be getting some cb gear before too long

222DBFL
05-13-2014, 10:45 PM
Sweet truck. And I noticed your dx numbers are 222 same as me, good deal. 222 Daytona beach, FL. Right now I am in Louisville, KY working. I work around the southern US a lot, haven't been to Bama for a while though, used to work all over from Birmingham to mobile and everywhere between. Anyway, got to get some rest here, any issues or questions you can PM me if you like, I will respond as soon as i can. And no worries about the help, enjoy helping others. It's more fun talking to more people and I have met some very nice people on this forum as well. Good night and god bless. 73's

solarradio351
05-14-2014, 06:26 AM
Hi Josh
Great place you have chosen for help .. Some very smart helpful people right hear ! Saved my bacon a few times.. lol ;-)
Enjoy the rest of the site too..