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CB SUCCESS!! How to achieve 2:1 SWR with a 4' Firestik II

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by BradleyScottETC, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Jun 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM
    #1
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC [OP] Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    Well, as some of you may already know, I've been fighting with my CB for the past few weeks.

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/audio-video/161015-cb-troubleshooting-share-your-thoughts.html

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/buy-sell-trade/162179-fs-complete-cb-setup-115-a.html

    I even went so far as to completely rip out the whole system and put it up for sale.


    Here's where I initially went wrong- first of all, I had a 3' Firestik II, not a 4', which made tuning impossible. I had the antenna mounted directly behind the drivers side of the cab, with a ground wire going to the frame.

    Well, a 4' ground wire is much too long for this system, so I tried to go to ground on one of the bolts holding the rear quarter on (between the cab and the bed). This got me down to about 4.5:1, still bad, but workable.

    I put on a 4" firestik spring, which brought my antenna up to 4:1 SWR, still not working.

    So, I purchased a 4' antenna. Inexplicably, my SWR went back up to infinity. I couldn't figure it out- I had just put another $30 into the system and made it worse.

    After realizing I was never going to recoup my money, I figured that at least the antenna looked cooler mounted on my truck than it did collection dust in my garage, so I decided to put it back on, but this time, in a different location.

    [​IMG]

    With this setup, I got a 2:1 SWR on ch.1, and 1.5:1 on ch.20 and ch.40. It just needs a little tuning.

    Because this bracket is mounted directly to metal, it has a far better ground without needing an extra wire. The bed rails make an excellent track to run the Coaxial (there are small holes to wrap a zip-tie around to hang the wire neatly underneath)

    Also, because it's farther back from the cab, you don't have to worry about the cab interfering with the antenna (you're supposed to be at least 12" away from the cab, anyway), also you have more of the coaxial running straight rather than being wound in the cab (17' coax is recommended for most applications.)

    I think all of these things factored into making the setup work nearly perfectly.

    Also, I did try this position with the 3' antenna, and it didn't work AT ALL.

    Here's so more pictures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    and a few glamour shots...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Wat3rdog likes this.
  2. Jun 18, 2011 at 8:21 PM
    #2
    danteisme

    danteisme Well-Known Member

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    glad you got it to work! so is this setup the 4' firestik with the spring? i have my antenna almost in that same spot, and like you with a 3' its impossible to tune.
     
  3. Jun 18, 2011 at 8:30 PM
    #3
    907taco

    907taco Alaskan Assassin

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    so does getting a cab mount (center of roof) work the best then? I know i can search but general question, also what is the best Numbers for tune?
     
  4. Jun 18, 2011 at 8:36 PM
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    Stupid hurts.

    Stupid hurts. Hoogie boogie!

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    Congrats! I'm still figuring out mine, but I guess I'm going this route. So you're not running a ground wire at all? Also, do you have to drill? It looks as if you used the stock holes to mount the bracket, but I'm not 100% positive.
     
  5. Jun 19, 2011 at 5:17 PM
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    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC [OP] Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    I needed to widen the holes in the bracket a little because the stock bolts I used were a little two close together- I went in 1 or 2 steps with a uni-bit.

    No, I don't need a ground wire at all- it's grounded to that metal portion of the bed, which is grounded to the frame.

    And yes, it's a 4' firestik II with a spring. The 3' is just too short.
     
  6. Jun 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM
    #6
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC [OP] Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    The best number for SWR is 1:1. Most people get between 1.5:1 to 2.5:1. Anything higher than 4:1 and your range is basically non-existant.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2011 at 5:37 PM
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    snoope

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    Nice to see you defeated the swr gremlins..;).....My questions
    1) did you end up using 18' of coax ???

    2) with just 2 bolts holding the base,how much does the 4' move with the spring ??? if at all ??

    3) dam avatar picture makes me miss Clermont,Juniata street and Greater Hills .....Orange groves and Jahna's Mines can be fun....:cool:
     
  8. Jun 19, 2011 at 6:14 PM
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    danteisme

    danteisme Well-Known Member

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    this is fantastic, i'm gettin a 4' and trying it with mine.
     
  9. Jun 19, 2011 at 6:27 PM
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    Sapper26

    Sapper26 Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly the dame setup I have and I have it mounted in the same location too. The only difference is I have a quick connect and usually keep my antenna behind the back seat unless I need it. It's a really great setup. Glad you got it figured out.
     
  10. Jun 19, 2011 at 6:42 PM
    #10
    tacopromatt

    tacopromatt Well-Known Member

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    Odd. I just finished mounting my 4' Firestik to the rail behind the cab (with spring and 90 degree fold-away connector) and with a good ground to the frame I'm getting under 2:1 on all channels.

    I did have to try a few grounds and combinations of spring/no spring, etc.
     
  11. Jun 19, 2011 at 7:01 PM
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    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC [OP] Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    1) Yes, I kept the full-length coax. The Firestik people recommend running that length, and winding the extra into a big figure-8 pattern.

    2) The bolts are tight- the bracket itself being 90' plays a little, but the spring does most of the movement. When I drive over 45mph it drags about 15-30 degrees.

    3) We were neighbors!?!

    I might put an L bracket on the bed rail down aways to catch the antenna under for pulling into parking garages. I dont know yet.
     
  12. Jun 19, 2011 at 7:04 PM
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    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC [OP] Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    There is so much that factors into it- it probably boils down to how each of us ran our CB power, what CB radio we have, coax length, bracket type, etc.

    Long story short- if you want a good CB setup, you've got to be willing to troubleshoot.
     
  13. Jun 20, 2011 at 1:19 AM
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    Stupid hurts.

    Stupid hurts. Hoogie boogie!

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    Just fixed mine today using this method. My buddy and I were able to talk to each other about 2 miles away and it was loud and clear. Thanks!
     
  14. Jun 20, 2011 at 3:10 PM
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    snoope

    snoope Well-Known Member

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    1) Yes, I kept the full-length coax. The Firestik people recommend running that length, and winding the extra into a big figure-8 pattern.

    2) The bolts are tight- the bracket itself being 90' plays a little, but the spring does most of the movement. When I drive over 45mph it drags about 15-30 degrees.

    3) We were neighbors!?!

    I might put an L bracket on the bed rail down aways to catch the antenna under for pulling into parking garages. I dont know yet.

    1 & 2 ..Thank you....

    3) You might have been in school with my kids,one at Clermont and the other in Minneola BUT we have been back here since '98.....Publix was on the west side of 27....not where it is now and 27 had no traffic lights :eek:...
     
  15. Oct 18, 2011 at 3:30 PM
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    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter on idiot patrol ;)

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    I'm going to attempt the same setup, but alas I have to use a 3' antenna or else I can't get it in my garage.
    Also, is there a point to this special firestik coax cable that comes with a ring attachment?
     
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