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Installing my CB today, wanna earn a six pack?

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by RattleSnake44, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Aug 11, 2012 at 10:01 AM
    #1
    RattleSnake44

    RattleSnake44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Installing my CB today. Anyone near the SouthBay have a SWR meter and the knowledge to use it? There's a sixer of your choice in it for you.
    Thanks,
     
  2. Aug 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM
    #2
    RattleSnake44

    RattleSnake44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    How about a few pointers/tips at least?
     
  3. Aug 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM
    #3
    magikbean562

    magikbean562 once flirted with danger, danger got clingy

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    this man knows what kind of payment twers take! come on guys i know a few dudes here can do the work
     
  4. Aug 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM
    #4
    RevAdam

    RevAdam Impressive Member

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  5. Aug 11, 2012 at 2:51 PM
    #5
    RattleSnake44

    RattleSnake44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link. Pretty sure I know how I want to run the install. Only real questions are:
    1. Hard wire it to the battery or run it through the fuse box. My choice would be fuse box. I don't know if there's an empty/extra fuse or do I need to add one.
    2. I don't have an SWR meter to tune it. And I don't know how even if I did :)
     
  6. Aug 11, 2012 at 11:16 PM
    #6
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    First, what CB? What antenna? what Coax cable are you using? Where are you mounting the antenna?
     
  7. Aug 12, 2012 at 12:13 AM
    #7
    stewartx

    stewartx Well-Known Member

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    Okay, tuning the antenna with an SWR meter is very simple. You'll need an SWR meter and a short (one ~ two foot) PL-259 jumper (coax with a PL-259 connector on each end). Once you have the radio and antenna installed, hook the jumper into the back of the radio and into the meter. The antenna will plug into the other connector on the meter. Make sure to get the connections on the back of the meter right. They are not interchangeable. One is for the radio (usually marked "TX" or "Radio") and one is for the antenna (usually marked "ANT" or "Antenna").

    Once the meter is hooked up, it needs to be calibrated. This involves a switch, a knob, and a mark on the meter's dial. Look for a switch with either "CAL," "Calibrate," "Set," or "Adjust." Set the meter to that position. Now look for a knob marked the same (CAL, Set, etc). Finally, look on the meter dial for a mark with that same indication. Now turn the radio to channel 1, key the microphone, and turn the knob until the needle aligns with the mark on the dial. Once that's accomplished, unkey the microphone.

    Next, look for a switch on the meter which says "REF," "Reflected," or "SWR." Set the meter to that position. Key the microphone and look at the reading. That is your SWR on channel 1 (write it down). Repeat the same steps for channel 40 (write the SWR down).

    You want the lowest reading (least needle movement) possible across the entire CB band. If the reading for channel 1 is greater than channel 40, you'll need to lengthen the antenna (read how to do so in the antenna's instructions). Make small adjustments in the length and take additional readings. If the reading for channel 40 is greater than channel 1, you'll need to shorten the antenna. Keep making readings and adjustments until the meter reads roughly the same on channels 1 & 40. At that point, your antenna is tuned.

    Problems: If the meter reading is very high (above 2.0), check the ground plane of the antenna. To work well, an antenna needs to be installed on a fairly large metal surface (a large bed toolbox, the roof of the truck, a bumper attached to the frame, etc). If the reading is extermely high (pegs the needle), check for connections (the wires of the coax not connected to the connectors at some point), shorts (the inner and outter wires of the coax touching) at those connections, and similar.

    That's about it. Good luck.
     
  8. Aug 12, 2012 at 12:15 AM
    #8
    CayucosTacoma

    CayucosTacoma Just think outside the Yota

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    Mail this man a six pack! haha he nailed it
    Edit: and here is a thread if the SWR is really high
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/212593-cb-swr-reading-high.html
     
  9. Aug 12, 2012 at 12:57 AM
    #9
    BAMFTACO

    BAMFTACO Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice

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  10. Aug 12, 2012 at 8:01 AM
    #10
    RattleSnake44

    RattleSnake44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thanks Stewart.
    I'm using a Uniden520Pro, Firestik 18' coax, Firestik Firefly tuneable 4' antennae. I'll be mounting the antennae to the bed rail right behind the driver's side of the cab.
    I didnt get to it yesterday, a long list of home improvement chores got in the way. I'll be tackiling this project Wednesday instead.
    Thanks again for the info.
     
  11. Aug 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM
    #11
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    id mount the antenna back by the tailgate, I chose the bed pillar, easier for grounding purposes and SWR is a tad better/easier to adjust as the cab is not so close to the antenna. Whichever route you go, just dont coil the left over coax, snake around.
     
  12. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:03 PM
    #12
    RevAdam

    RevAdam Impressive Member

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    it doesn't matter if you coil the coax.. Actually, if you want, you can make a air wound balun choke out of the excess.

    But yes, keep the antenna away from the cab, it will drive your SWR up. The best place is to mount it to the top of the cab if you can...
     
  13. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM
    #13
    RattleSnake44

    RattleSnake44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I did know about not coiling the leftover, thanks. I'm gonna fab up a quick attachment using some stainless Uni Strut bits so I can attach the antenna to the bed rail. That should ground it nicely, shouldn't it?ImageUploadedByTapatalk1344805418.637221.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1344805453.584384.jpg
    Like these, using the already existing hole in the bracket and a Firestik studmount. Fits perfect. I will think about movin it down near the tailgate though.
     
  14. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM
    #14
    RevAdam

    RevAdam Impressive Member

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    It doesn't matter about coiling the excess. CBers think that a choke cuts the inside of the coax, but it only affects the shield. Just don't kink it. Coiling is fine.

    (Coiling can actually help with static noise too.)

    It's not a mechanical/electrical ground you're looking for. Another misconception. You're looking for a "ground plane". I prefer the term "Image plane" or "Signal reflector" instead. A large flat metal surface perpendicular to the antenna is what makes the other side of the antenna for you.
     
  15. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:24 PM
    #15
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    I dont think he's operating outside of the CB frequencies, nor is he using a Di-pole in which that is truely intended, likewise to wrap one correctly takes time and space, typically a 5 inch piece of pvc tubing is required to wrap it.
     
  16. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM
    #16
    RevAdam

    RevAdam Impressive Member

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    All antennas are dipole antennas.

    And the coil gets smaller as frequency goes up, eg. 10 meters.
     
  17. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM
    #17
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    The Balun you suggest is also called an "ugly" balun and its size 3-5 Inches in diameter and is widely used for 3.5MHz-30MHz, how its wrapped and how the beginning and end turns are fixed does play a part in the distributed-capacitance of the balun as it can be increased, thus randomly coiling the coax can make a problem when trying to tune.
     
  18. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:50 PM
    #18
    RevAdam

    RevAdam Impressive Member

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    Remind me again what 11 meter frequencies are?

    I've been doing DC-Daylight radio for quite a while.

    The emphasis CBers put on not coiling coax, cutting the coax a certain length to fool the radio into catching a null in the wave, and the piss poor antenna theory that builds antennas that look like they belong in a barkeepers drawer.... just baffles me. Why not just do things right and actually get performance out of the antenna system?
     
  19. Aug 12, 2012 at 2:59 PM
    #19
    RattleSnake44

    RattleSnake44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I understood "antennae"... I appreciate the help, but this is going way into detail that as a simple CB user I don't really need... I want to be able to chat with friends on the trail, not to ask some kid in Tokyo what the weather is like there. Thanks for all the help but please keep it in simple terms (I've been hit in the head a few times).
     
  20. Aug 12, 2012 at 3:18 PM
    #20
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    :popcorn:
     
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