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CB Antenna type for Hood Mounting

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by 92shawman, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Sep 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM
    #1
    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    I'm thinking of mounting a CB antenna on the hood using one of the universal hood mounts (i.e. http://www.rightchannelradios.com/adjustable-universal-hood-mount.html). My question is should I go with a fiberglass or 102 whip antenna? I'm not really sure what differences there are between the two, or if one works better for a hood mount.
    I'm still not even 100% sure that a hood mount is best for my purposes, but the other options that I see are the tailgate or front bumper, but I have a big boxy campershell (see avatar) that I imagine would interfere with the tailgate mounted antenna reception and the bumper is a lot lower so that would be worse for reception, too. Any input is greatly appreciated! :)
    Oh, and I don't really want to go through the hassle of tuning whatever antenna I get.
     
  2. Sep 24, 2012 at 6:10 AM
    #2
    LUSETACO

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    I would suggest a Wilson mag mount if you dont want to tune. You run the risk of burning up your radio though not knowing what the SWR is.
     
  3. Sep 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM
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    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    So do you just take it to a shop to have someone tune it? I know you need a meter, and they aren't too expensive (~$20 on amazon), but I'm wondering if it's easier to just have someone else do it...
    I guess that's another thing to consider for the antenna. Are whip antennas or fiberglass antennas easier to tune?
     
  4. Sep 24, 2012 at 10:14 AM
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    LUSETACO

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    102' whips are usually good to go with no tuning. Sometimes they may need to be trimmed. Keep in mind you'll have 8.5 feet of antenna up the air, good for performance but it's going to hit on stuff. Fiberglass antennas need tuning in there final mounting location. Sometimes it's just not possible to get the numbers down and a new location may have to be decided on. Mag mounts just plop on the roof with no grounds to mess with. I've had 3 mag mount and always had low SWR right out of the box. It's good to invest the money in a meter just to have it and check the SWR from time to time. It's really not that hard to do. A CB shop will probably charge you as much as the cost of the meter.
     
  5. Sep 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM
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    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    Hmm, when you say trimmed, how much trimming are you talking about? Trimming down to size or to tune? How bad is it if it hits stuff like tree branches at low speeds on trail?
    To be honest I don't really like the way the mag mounts look. They kinda give the truck the tellytubby look. But I do understand that you can mount them in the best spot with the best reception (center of the roof).
    Good point with checking the swr reading every now and then. I think I'll get a meter now, too. Thanks!
     
  6. Sep 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM
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    LUSETACO

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    Trimmed only a 1/16 of an inch at a time to tune if need be. Whips are very flexy, but only as much as the mount can handle. I bashed my Wilson 1000 mag mount yesterday on a lot of low branches and it held fine. You could always do the ol 70's cop car bend over with a whip when you're on the trail since you only need limited range, then flop it up when you need max performance.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2012 at 5:06 PM
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    92shawman

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    Do you ever have problems bashing it into overpasses at high speeds (i.e. freeway) or are most overpasses high enough? I think I've seen some that are down to 13 feet, which might pose a problem depending on where I mount it. Or with hitting it into your truck? I've seen some fiberglass antennas on here with tennis balls to prevent them from being damaged by coming into direct contact with the cab.
    Haha, yeah I've seen that on military trucks, too, and in the movies.
    Thanks for your help!
     
  8. Sep 24, 2012 at 5:26 PM
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    LUSETACO

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    I have a Wilson 1000 on the roof. It's a 62'' antenna and no problems with overpasses. I do however smack at drive thrus, the bank drive up window and the do it yourself car wash. I have yet to knock it off even when wheeling.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM
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    92shawman

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    Do whips have the same mount style as the fiberglass antennas? I looked around on Right Channel Radios and they seem to have primarily magnet mounts.
    For the magnet mounts, you just run a wire from the mount into the cab, right? That's another thing turning me off to the magnets...I'd rather hardwire it. But like I said, I'm not set in stone for anything just yet.
     
  10. Sep 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM
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    LUSETACO

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    You can use the same mount but just make sure it's solid. With the spring mount and whip you have 9 feet of antenna swinging around.
     
  11. Sep 25, 2012 at 8:54 AM
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    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    So now I'm thinking back to the fiberglass after researching some on the google and finding some other forums that say the long whips are really more than you need. Any arguments for or against fiberglass besides range?
    Thanks Lusetaco for your info on the whips! I really appreciate it.
     
  12. Sep 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM
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    H Bomb

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    I'm happy with my fiberglass antenna. If you park in a garage make sure you get a quick disconnect or something similar so you don't hit it and break it. Also get a spring so that it flexes if you hit branches and stuff on the trails. Tuning it with an swr meter is pretty easy. There is a good write up over at right channel radios.
     
  13. Sep 25, 2012 at 9:01 AM
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    LUSETACO

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    It depends what you want out of your setup. If you just need it for wheeling then a fiberglass antenna will do fine. A couple of things to keep in mind though: with your shell, you'll ave to get the antenna at least 2/3 over the top of it and mount it somewhere metal. Also fiberglass has a tendency to snap quite easily. Wilson flex are designed more for wheeling, not so much for performance though.
     
  14. Sep 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM
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    PreRunnerSeth

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  15. Sep 25, 2012 at 9:23 AM
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    H Bomb

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  16. Sep 25, 2012 at 9:46 AM
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    PreRunnerSeth

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    Oh... haha.. I suppose I should have looked at that first.. im sure you could make one like it. I made the original 2nd gen one in my garage.
     
  17. Sep 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM
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    92shawman

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    Yeah...and my camper shell is pretty tall, too...
    I looked at the wilson flex on right channel radios and there were several reviews about poor tuning and high SWR. Any input on that?

    Yeah I'll check tomorrow. I've seen a few threads on here with that mount and they look super sick. I'm away from my truck right now but I'll be able to check that and I'll be able to measure from the hood up to the top of the camper and various other possible mount locations to see what works.

    Thanks you guys for the input! :)
     
  18. Sep 26, 2012 at 4:37 AM
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    LUSETACO

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    I'm not sure. Like I said it's not the best for performance, more for durability. What are you looking to get out of this setup?
     
  19. Sep 26, 2012 at 5:08 PM
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    92shawman

    92shawman [OP] LensCap

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    I'm looking for decent range (but doesn't need to be super far), durability, and aesthetics. Like I said before, the magnet fiberglass mounts look like the teletubby antennas, so I don't want one of those, but I'm thinking that the whip would not have that look because they're thinner and longer. I didn't realize that there are shorter whips, so now I'm looking back to that with a mag mount. I probably wouldn't go with a 102" because it's so long, and that's really the largest range that you can get, which I don't really need.
    As far as durability goes, I want something that won't easily break because I go through a lot of trees and tight brush.
    My problem with the magnet mounts is that you have to run the cable through a window to get to the antenna, unless someone has done otherwise.

    Long story short, I'm probably going to go with a shorter whip antenna with a mag mount for my purposes. If there are any other opinions out there on this, let me know! :)
     
  20. Sep 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM
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    LUSETACO

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    The Wilson 1000 has a thin steel whip which really isn't that noticeable. Some people have run the coax through the third brake light or you can hard mount it on the roof without a magnet.
     
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