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CB Radio Help...SWR off the meter

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Sapper26, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. Dec 5, 2009 at 7:17 PM
    #1
    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I just purchased a CB radio kit from right channel radios. It is a complete kit that came with a Cobra radio, a 4' firestick antenna, and an SWR meter. I powered the radio using a cigarette lighter adapter and the radio gets good power. I mounted the antenna using the included mount on the adjustable bed rail mounts like i have seen done on here a few times and used a 10 gauge jumper wire to ground it to the frame. I used a multimeter to test the grounds and they are fine.
    When I hook up the SWR meter, it immediately jumps right off the meter. I have adjusted the tip on the antenna in small increments and its still not working.
    I have tried all the FAQs on both right channel and firesticks websites, but nothing is working. If anyone has an ideas please let me know. I am completely out of ideas.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2009 at 7:24 PM
    #2
    luk8272

    luk8272 Poodoo

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    I have my firestick in the closet and a $15 antenna running my cb. Try that. I was amazed. I don't know how to explain this but its what worked for me. You can go to a cb shop and just try one of their old antennas and check it before you buy.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2009 at 7:25 PM
    #3
    Afwrestler1986

    Afwrestler1986 Well-Known Member

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    Gray wire, Some lights in the bed area, and some character marks throughout.
    Well, there are a few things. How much cable are you using? And have you tuned the antenna for your ground plane?
     
  4. Dec 5, 2009 at 8:08 PM
    #4
    ForeRunner

    ForeRunner Scotch before noon. Moderator

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    I'm guessing you are attempting to tune on channels 1 and 40. If they are off the scale on both channels try channels check the resistance of the cable to the antenna to ensure there are no shorts also what type of coax are you using? You need to run a 50ohm coax cable (RG-58, RG-8) and not the 75ohm stuff like the stuff run for cable tv (RG-6)
     
  5. Dec 5, 2009 at 10:39 PM
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    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am using 18 ft of the correct 50 ohm cable that came with the antenna. I have tested both the antenna cable, jumper cable for the SWR meter and the antenna with a multimeter and they all passed perfectly.

    The only thing I can think of is to hard wire the radio to the battery instead of using the cigarette lighter.
     
  6. Dec 5, 2009 at 10:49 PM
    #6
    mreimann

    mreimann vv I think it's growing

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    when i hooked up my radio i had the same problem. i had good power to the radio, and the antenna was on a solid mount, but the swr meter would just jump up to 3+ and not drop.

    I figured i had to ground the antenna like most ppl say, but when i took the ground off it worked perfect. and i got my swr to 1.3

    EDIT:Make sure if you have slack on the coax cable you form it into a figure 8. i just bunched my up into an 8 shape but not an actual figure 8 thinking it would work just the same. but just to be safe i made it a figure 8 at the same time i ungrounded the antenna
     
  7. Dec 5, 2009 at 11:11 PM
    #7
    rab89

    rab89 Well-Known Member

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    I'm having issues getting my cb to work too. seems these things are more work than they are worth!
     
  8. Dec 6, 2009 at 12:05 AM
    #8
    Yoytoda

    Yoytoda The Little Truck That Could

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    When you hook up the swr meter. you put it on fwd and hold the ptt button. then adjust to the top of the scale a click the switch to REF. Does it still read really high. Even on terrible antennas it shouldnt go over 4or5
     
  9. Dec 6, 2009 at 12:06 AM
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    Yoytoda

    Yoytoda The Little Truck That Could

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    cigarette plug wont cause any problems. Im running at 1.1 on all channels
     
  10. Dec 6, 2009 at 11:58 AM
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    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I had my excess wound into a nice figure 8 shape and used zip ties to hold it together. The firestick website suggested winding it up like you would an extension cord. I guess it shouldn't matter as long as it isn't wound in a circle.
     
  11. Dec 6, 2009 at 12:23 PM
    #11
    dhurley

    dhurley Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the cigarette plug will work fine. IF you haven't, you have to calibrate the SWR meter before taking a reading. I tune to channel 20, then check 1 & 40. What model Cobra & SWR meter did you get? Also, my brother had to put a longer bolt in the top of his Firestick.
     
  12. Dec 6, 2009 at 9:07 PM
    #12
    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OK...so I am running out of ideas now. I kept thinking that the cigarette lighter might have had something to do with it, so I wired it directly to the battery. It didn't make any difference. I tried taking the ground off the mount like a few people suggested and that didn't help either.

    I tried reversing the inputs on the back of the SWR meter and that brought the readings down to the correct range, but I swear it was hooked up correctly before. The antenna wire went to the antenna post and the wire to the radio went to RXT.

    After all that failed I kinda gave up and started cruising around to different channels and was able to pick up a conversation on channel 20. It came in crystal clear. I tried getting a radio check but no one responded. I am also able to get the weather channels and they come perfect. I'm starting to think maybe the SWR meter is broke, but I don't have another one to check it against.
     
  13. Dec 7, 2009 at 8:16 AM
    #13
    Afwrestler1986

    Afwrestler1986 Well-Known Member

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    It won't matter if it is tuned or not, you will still be able to read transmissions clear. The tuning is for your transmission. If you can't figure it out I would take it to a shop and let them look at it. beats the crap out of burning your radio up.
     
  14. Dec 7, 2009 at 10:21 AM
    #14
    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I would love to be able to drop the truck off and have someone else figure it out, but there just aren't any CB shops out here in Hawaii. Someone from Oahu please chime in if i'm wrong.
     
  15. Dec 7, 2009 at 5:11 PM
    #15
    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Update

    I tried moving the mounting location from the front driver side of the bed to the rear driver side of the bed. I have a good ground there as well, so I know that's not the issue. But now when I try to calibrate the SWR meter, the needle will not move to the set position on the dial. The firestik website say to check the power coming into the radio if this happens, and it all checked out. It seems that the more I try to fix it the worse it gets.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM
    #16
    Afwrestler1986

    Afwrestler1986 Well-Known Member

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    post pics of your whole setup.
     
  17. Dec 7, 2009 at 8:19 PM
    #17
    Yoytoda

    Yoytoda The Little Truck That Could

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  18. Dec 8, 2009 at 4:50 PM
    #18
    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As requested here are a couple pictures of the mount:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't have any pics of the rest of the install, but its extremely similar to what other people on here are doing. The radio itself is mounted in the center console and is powered directly off the battery. The antenna wire is run along the top of the bed rail (under the plastic cover), down between the bed and cab, then along the from to the grommet below the front driver seat. Then under the driver seat to the factory cut in the carpet in front of the ac vent under the driver seat. Then into the console and attached to the radio or SWR meter.

    I went ahead and bought a new run of wire and a new antenna mount from Radio Shack, but haven't had a chance to install it yet.

    Also here is a link to the radio kit I bought from Right Channel Radios:

    http://www.rightchannelradios.com/r...omplete-rv-package-cobra-18-wx-st-ii-464.html
     
  19. Dec 8, 2009 at 10:53 PM
    #19
    Sapper26

    Sapper26 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am still trying to figure this out. I changed the antenna cable between the antenna and the radio, the antenna mount and even tried my friends CB and I am still getting SWR reading off the charts. I guess I just need to get another SWR meter.
     
  20. Dec 8, 2009 at 11:01 PM
    #20
    Yoytoda

    Yoytoda The Little Truck That Could

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    not to be a prick but are you 100% certain your testing it right?
     
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