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CB Radio Install for under $150

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Viper13, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Jan 12, 2015 at 8:46 PM
    #1
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    Hey guys.

    I've been wanting a CB in my Tacoma for a while. When I left college and joined the military my younger brother wound up with my older 3rd Gen 4runner. And my older CB. I've gone to Afghanistan and back twice since then and now that I've had this Taco for about a year and a half or so, I figure it's about time I get around to it.

    While I didn't want to spend more money than I had to, I didn't want the worst CB set up on the road either. Honestly I don't have a drastic need for one, I only hop on a trail once in a blue moon. And I don't think too many of my buddies have radios. But I do spend a decent amount of time on the highway. I've made road trips from Colorado to Virginia, and Colorado to Oklahoma on a few occasions. CB would have been nice.

    Biggest thing is once I get back to Virginia for good, me and my brother can talk Taco to T4R.

    Anyway, here's what I managed to find for myself, both on Amazon and CB World. EDIT: Added in the SWR meter and a section on the parts I got from Advance Auto Parts which still brings the total in under $150.

    Uniden PRO510XL - $38.99 (Amazon)
    AUSWR Meter With Short Coax - $20.00 + $3.00 shipping (Amazon - Doesn't qualify for free shipping)
    FireStik Adjustable Hood Channel Mount - $18.99 (CB World)
    FireStik K8 18-Foot Coax - $17.99 (CB World)
    FireStik FL3-B 3' FireFly Antenna - $16.49 (Amazon)
    FireStik Heavy Duty Spring - $11.99 (CB World)

    All shipped free (except the SWR which is already factored in) for a total of $127.45

    What I needed to finish the installation:
    Fuse Tap - $6.99 - (Advance Auto Parts)
    Black Silicone Sealant - $6.39 (Advance Auto Parts)
    10A Fuse Pack - $4.49 (Advance Auto Parts)
    16-14 GA Ring Terminal Pack - $2.99 (Advance Auto Parts)

    With a 10% Military Discount and 7.63% CO sales tax...
    Total of $20.20
    For a grand total of $147.65


    Like I said, probably could have done it for less if I had gone for an all in one magnet mount antenna with coax and the cheapest CB radio available. But I wanted a set up that wouldn't extend my roofline by 4 or 5+ feet and that might last me for a good while.

    If anyone has any experiences with these components or brands, good or bad, feel free to chime in. I should be doing the install all on Wednesday, waiting for a break in the weather and some time off work.

    The generic hood channel mount might be interesting... I'll post pictures when complete.

    Stay "tuned" :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  2. Jan 12, 2015 at 8:49 PM
    #2
    n.gardner

    n.gardner Spacer Hater

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    Hooah

    and

    :worthless:
     
  3. Jan 12, 2015 at 9:00 PM
    #3
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    hahaha for sure :pout:
     
  4. Jan 12, 2015 at 9:12 PM
    #4
    n.gardner

    n.gardner Spacer Hater

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    I have faith! We all have patience! lol pics will come !
     
  5. Jan 12, 2015 at 9:15 PM
    #5
    4x4Banger

    4x4Banger Gold Member

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  6. Jan 13, 2015 at 8:11 AM
    #6
    LUSETACO

    LUSETACO Here for the Taco Pron

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    I personally would have steered far away from a Firestik. Good luck with your set up and don't forget to tune that antenna.
     
  7. Jan 13, 2015 at 8:29 AM
    #7
    LUSETACO

    LUSETACO Here for the Taco Pron

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  8. Jan 13, 2015 at 4:37 PM
    #8
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    What kind of issues do people have with the Firestik? I haven't seen anything too negative online. How short is that baseloaded magnet mount? I didn't want to go the magnet route because I didn't want all that height on my roof. My dad had isses with one that wound up scratching and rusting up the roof pretty bad over time. Plus instead of whipping around if you hit something, itd just fall over and dangle off the coax. Probably an old magent at the end of its life, but kind of soured me to them. That's a nice looking CB though.

    Today I was able to get the hood channel mount installed and the radio mounted under my glove box. I'm uploading the pictures now. Still have to wire everything in. Not sure how I really want to do that yet. Sun went down and it went from a nice 40 degrees to a cold and windy 30. Hopefully finish it up tomorrow.
     
  9. Jan 13, 2015 at 5:06 PM
    #9
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    Still got to weather seal this...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Through the glove box
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jan 13, 2015 at 5:19 PM
    #10
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    Nice. What kind of antenna did you wind up running?

    Haha sounds like an interesting CB situation in San Diego Chesh. I haven't experienced Colorado Springs traffic yet, but back in Virginia it wasn't bad.
     
  11. Jan 13, 2015 at 6:07 PM
    #11
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    Haha nice. I haven't ran the coax yet, it was getting cold quick. I'll have to figure that out tomorrow. Open to suggestions though.

    I've been looking around and am considering picking up a fuse tap to power the CB. Would be nice if it would turn off when I take out the key, one less thing to have to remember.
     
  12. Jan 13, 2015 at 6:21 PM
    #12
    JdevTac

    JdevTac Bawnjourno

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    I run a Cobra 75 wx handheld with a Relentless hood hinge mount on driver side. Was running a 3ft firestik which clears the roofline by almost a foot, reception not too shabby. Just got a 4ft firestik to run with my brand new Breedlove foldover mount and a matching relentless passenger hood mount. Going to rig up a away to fold my antenna across the hood and secure it down to that passenger mount.

    Something like this, though I have to make sure I clear the windshield wipers range of motion:

    [​IMG]


    I ran my coax straight through the firewall boot where all the other wires run (poked it a hole to run through). Ran fused power through firewall also. Wires are run inside straight behind theE-brake pedal and under into the carpet, I unvelcroed and revelcroed the carpetso the wires are all tucked in. I understand people have issues with runningpower wires right next to coax but I haven't really had any issues, but I'm notlooking for a suped up setup either.
    Mine is more for fun and trail useonly, and NOAA which I have had to use on more than one occasion driving awayfrom some bad storms.

    edit: sorry for the shitty looking font and post format, I went to insert the image link and it made everything a hyperlink and I edited it in Word to avoid typing it again.
     
  13. Jan 13, 2015 at 6:42 PM
    #13
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    Nice Josh, that's a sweet tie down plan. I've never seen a foldover mount like that. Sounds easy enough getting through the firewall. I'd always heard to avoid running power and coax together too, but good that it doesn't interfere for you. No problem on the format, it doesn't look crazy on my tablet.
     
  14. Jan 13, 2015 at 6:56 PM
    #14
    LUSETACO

    LUSETACO Here for the Taco Pron

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    Wired direct to the battery is always your best bet.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2015 at 6:59 PM
    #15
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    Sounds good
     
  16. Jan 16, 2015 at 11:14 AM
    #16
    Viper13

    Viper13 [OP] Member

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    It was finished Wednesday but I was too busy running around doing 6 other things to come on here and post the pictures. I edited my first post to include the total of all the extra things I needed for the installation, still under $150.
    I will say this doesn't include the cost of the things I had on hand already (tools, electrical tape, etc.) but those items are generally good to have and can be used on many other projects. Some people might already have extra fuses, ring terminals, wires, silicone, but I didn't so I included them as parts for this project's cost.

    I did wind up going the fuse tap route, only because I didn't want to put leads directly onto my battery and I didn't want to splice into any preexisting wires. Just seemed like the only other clean option at that point. I don't get a lot of engine noise/heater fan/radio interference, probably helped that I used a fuse slot that was already empty and isn't wired into anything else. It's an ACC On slot too which is nice.

    [​IMG]


    I ran the coax through the wire bundle behind the E brake, down the left side panel and under the step plate. My Tacoma already had wires running through there inside of handy little brackets so I popped them open and slid the coax through too.

    [​IMG]

    I ran it up, under the drivers seat and rear floor mat, around the back of the center console, and then just did the reverse process on the passenger side. Out the passenger seat, into the floor step plate (not sure what it's really called) and up the right side, hung from under the passenger dash, down behind the glove box into the CB radio. And that was the full 18' which was real lucky. Wouldn't have minded being a little long, short would have been interesting. But it was just fine.

    Here's the Tacoma with the new FireStik 3' which definitely clears the roof.

    [​IMG]

    I tuned it in a wide open parking lot, managed to get Channel 1 and 40 both around a reading of 1.7 and Channel 20 is right at 1, the needle doesn't even jump.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention, I used the sealant around the whole antenna mount to prevent any kind of water leaking in and sitting under it or rust forming where I drilled through the inside of the quarter pannel
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  17. Jan 29, 2015 at 5:06 AM
    #17
    Brake Weight

    Brake Weight But it hasn't rained in weeks...I'll make it.

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    I got a Uniden 980 and paired it with a Wilson Trucker. It does very well for what the 980 is. I did manage to get it dash mounted. I had a FireStik for a while and then a 106" whip, but the Trucker trumps the FS and is comparable to the whip. It's just that the whip is retardedly long and slaps everything.
    6523cb78987b60b1d6a39ddabebc3cb1_56e5c2b23fda4ca50d2b4cc8e778a3fdaa60c59a.jpg
     
  18. Mar 13, 2015 at 12:10 AM
    #18
    JJ04TACO

    JJ04TACO Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking at the 880. How hard was it to dash mount that? Looks pretty good. Looks like you trimmed some plastic, also will the unit go back further?
     
  19. Mar 13, 2015 at 4:19 AM
    #19
    Brake Weight

    Brake Weight But it hasn't rained in weeks...I'll make it.

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    I had to trim some dash back a little and no it won't fit in any further. I'd suggest you spend a little extra coin for the 980 if you're looking at a Bearcat. You won't regret it. The Galaxy 929 is the same size and uses mosfets. The BC series is SMTs and can't be readily 'tuned' by the average tech. Scour the web and find a Midland 79-290 if you want a flush dash mount and side bands.
     
  20. Mar 13, 2015 at 4:50 AM
    #20
    Brake Weight

    Brake Weight But it hasn't rained in weeks...I'll make it.

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    I picked this up on eBay for $80 or so. Sent it off to a reputable shop and had it 'tuned and aligned' across all bands. It'll do more than what I'm allowed to do but I'm trying to plan a date for a HAM Tech license currently. Sweet little rig when it's opened up.
    830f96c064163f5feab8677c0dab7e76_e887b7fbad441de10dd04be3bc1a61261be8e06d.jpg

    There's nothing wrong with the Uniden 5XX series. But do get a 520 if you get one. They work great out on the trails and will fit in the ashtray slot.
     

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