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CB Troubleshooting. Share your thoughts.

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by BradleyScottETC, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Jun 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM
    #1
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    I'm having a difficult time troubleshooting my CB set up.

    Currently, I am running a Uniden 538w CB and a 4' Firestik II antenna, here's the issues.

    First of all, when I first measured my SWRs I was reading infinity. The antenna was mounted to a homemade bracket, on the rail behind my drivers window. I traced the source of the problem to the grounding cable on the bracket shorting to the main antenna.

    I replaced the bracket with a store-bought bolt on bracket, and attached my ground (about 4' of 8awg ground cable) to the actual bracket, and bolted it behind the brake line hanger directly below the antenna, on the frame. Also tested all the points for continuity and ensured all the insulators and washers were installed in the correct order. No shorts and no change in SWR.

    I then realized I had the excess coax coiled under my drivers seat, so I unraveled it. No change in SWR.

    I then tried mounting my bracket to the rear drivers side corner of the bed. I got it down to 3.5-4 SWR, still too high.

    I tried moving it to the passenger side corner, still 3.4-4 SWR.

    I then tried to ground the actual rail bracket to the frame with the wire, and remount the bracket back to the original spot. My SWRs went back to 10.

    I then traded out the 12' coax with a 6' coax I had. No change.



    I want to hear from the guys running the firestik II setup on a bracket on the bedrail. What's you SWR? How did you get it down to an acceptable level? Did you even test it to make sure you're not running a ratio of 10 like I am?
     
  2. Jun 7, 2011 at 2:41 PM
    #2
    horwitzs

    horwitzs Well-Known Member

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    Try another antenna, could be defective.
    I've had 3 different firestik IIs and one of them was bad out of the 3.

    Have you tried adjusting the tip on the antenna? On my last setup, I used a quick disconnect which added about 2" to the overall length, and I had to screw the tip all the way in, even to the point I had to remove the little rubber washer under it to get it down to the right spot.
     
  3. Jun 7, 2011 at 2:46 PM
    #3
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    I did actually try the adjustment and saw no change. I also have tested the Coax as it was hooked to the antenna and had no shorts. I'll try testing the antenna end to tip though and make sure it's not open.

    Anyone else got anything?? I want to know how people ran their grounds.
     
  4. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM
    #4
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    Just interested in what SWR a guy with a similar ant setup is running...
     
  5. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM
    #5
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    run a ground from the bracket to the frame of the truck. and i'd go with some 12guage wire.
     
  6. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:07 PM
    #6
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    You think 8awg is too large?
     
  7. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM
    #7
    LUSETACO

    LUSETACO Here for the Taco Pron

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    Some of the firestiks are a no ground plane antenna. I had one for a while and was running a swr of about 3. Got myself a little wilson and worked great out of the box first time, no mounting or grounds to worry about.
     
  8. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:27 PM
    #8
    danteisme

    danteisme Well-Known Member

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    i'm having issues with my firestick as well. my swr is far worse though, its like 8:1 and i cant get it any lower at the moment. so for now, its disconnected...
     
  9. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM
    #9
    LUSETACO

    LUSETACO Here for the Taco Pron

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    I got so frustrated with my firestik I threw it in the trash.:mad:
     
  10. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:30 PM
    #10
    MT Madman

    MT Madman Senior Citizen

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    Move the antenna away from the cab and put it on the side panel rail, you might be getting reflected power being so close to the cab.

    Also running a ground wire from the bracket to the frame changes the antenna itself to a center fed dipole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipole_antenna shows a basic drawing of one, try mounting it to the rear bumper or receiver.
     
  11. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:31 PM
    #11
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    I used to have a 10' whip antenna on my truck and it worked perfectly, just annoying though. I think the firestik issue is probably due to the fiberglass bed- adding the ground wire frame-to-bracket doesn't change the fact that our beds aren't a reflective enough parallel surface. I might end up just having to run the firestik in the far rear corner of the bed, and living with the 3 SWR
     
  12. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:32 PM
    #12
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    You could have just said [​IMG], I would have understood.


    :D
     
  13. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:39 PM
    #13
    danteisme

    danteisme Well-Known Member

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    sorry to hijack this thread, but this may be part of my problem. i have my antenna mounted back by the tailgate, i wonder if i'm getting interference from my bestop frame.
     
  14. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:39 PM
    #14
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    nah......8 is fine.
     
  15. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:43 PM
    #15
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    when we ran power and everything for "canada"'s cb........he had it mounted on the pass side rail on the bed, and i ran a ground from the bracket to the frame, and his swr is perfect....and he has a 4ft firestik. ive been using a 3 foot wilson antenna with mine and have never had any probs, and mine is mounted on my tool box.
     
  16. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:43 PM
    #16
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    I really want us all to figure this out, because it seems like a fairly common problem and nobody really has perfect answer to it.
     
  17. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:45 PM
    #17
    BradleyScottETC

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

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    Interesting... Do you remember what his numbers where?

    I am going to try running it on the side rail closer to the cab rather than the back rail with the ground wire to the frame like you're saying... If that doesn't get me where I need to be, I'm going back to that rear corner mount and just running it at 3 swr.
     
  18. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:46 PM
    #18
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    i honestly cant remember, been a couple years ago. send him a pm...he may remember.
     
  19. Jun 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM
    #19
    MT Madman

    MT Madman Senior Citizen

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  20. Jun 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM
    #20
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey Well-Known Member

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    you could also try a non ground plane antenna. i have a 4 foot NGP firestik antenna mounted on the bed rail behind the cab and my SWR is about 1.7.

    [​IMG]
     
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