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Question on grounding my CB antenna with bed rail mount

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by jake slatnick, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Apr 30, 2017 at 6:07 PM
    #1
    jake slatnick

    jake slatnick [OP] Well-Known Member

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  2. Apr 30, 2017 at 7:45 PM
    #2
    Barcared

    Barcared Well-Known Member

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    front of the bed if possible, grounded to the frame.

    think of a rubber coat, so whipping doesn't scratch the paint.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/best-ground-for-cb-antenna.162900/

    I don't have a cb but friend has it rigged that way. he has it coated with the plastidip rubber coating (not the pray paint, but the rubber coating that's thick). Not sure why he didn't get the rubber coated one. they aren't that much more.

    I've been thinking about adding one and I don't want to drill through the roof, so I'm thinking of the same route. he seems to get good range.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  3. Apr 30, 2017 at 10:18 PM
    #3
    jake slatnick

    jake slatnick [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Where is the best place to ground to the frame from the front of the bed?

    Does your buddy have a spring and that's why it's hitting the paint? Or does it hit regardless?

    Thanks for the link!
     
  4. May 1, 2017 at 5:10 AM
    #4
    2016Tacoman

    2016Tacoman Well-Known Member

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    What's more important is the ground plane for proper desired pattern radiation desired rather than just grounding it on a rail.

    Google it for details.
     
  5. May 1, 2017 at 8:30 AM
    #5
    jake slatnick

    jake slatnick [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm not going to mount it on the roof because I don't want to do anything permanent or in front of the truck because I have lights mounted left and right of the windshield.

    Was reading on here a few years ago that a guy talked to the owner of firestik, showed him his truck, and he told him the best place is as close to the cab as possible.

    So I'm going to do that but need to figure out if I should ground it or run a no ground plane antenna.
     
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  6. May 1, 2017 at 10:54 AM
    #6
    ChrisK7UND

    ChrisK7UND Well-Known Member

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    As another user pointed out, simply grounding the bracket will most likely have little to no effect on the performance of the antenna. It is ALL about the Ground plane and NOT the DC ground. You MUST use an analyzer or SWR meter to see where the antenna is resonant and what the match is if you are worried about damaging the radio with excessive reflected power. An analyzer will measure the RF Ohms (NOT Typical OHMS resistance) for match for the feed point (Coax to ANT connection). That is the tech explanation. In other words, the way the RF sees it's environment as it compares to the coaxial cable that delivers the signal to the antenna. But I can assure you, an antenna with little to no ground plane will perform terrible for any long distance comms. IF your looking for close range with other people in a caravan on a trip or trail then the grounding will not be as big of a deal other than an SWR higher than 2:1 will ultimately damage the radio, but as cheap as they are these days maybe just replace it once it quits transmitting due to blown finals.
     
  7. May 1, 2017 at 1:04 PM
    #7
    Barcared

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    His antenna is 4 feet long, so it just whips around. I think because he got good reception, he didn't want to mess with anything, kept his metal antenna the same and just coated it. It's fine on tarmac, but on the trail, it's a PITA to listen to, hit up against the cab.

    the antenna wire runs right underneath from the front of the bed onto a crossmember because that was the shortest route to chassis he could find. But it's a Fronty, so the whole frame is boxed and the bed is metal too so I'm sure that helps with the ground plane to some degree. now, this is not the kind of guy that is going to check everything to make sure it works the way it should. He's the kind of guy to plug something in and hope it works (hence, plasti-dipped antenna). So, I'm guessing that it's been a lot of luck that has him operating the CB a good range.

    I do believe there is a difference between the ground plane, that reflects the signals UP and OUT versus the electrical ground.If I'm not confused, you still need an electrical ground even with a NGP antenna? The rail on his truck is bedlined so, instead of sanding it to expose for a ground, he ran the electrical ground onto his chassis using the ground wire.

    So, even with a NGP antenna, you will still need to run an electrical ground for the antenna, No?
     
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  8. May 1, 2017 at 2:22 PM
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    2016Tacoman

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    All good points.
    A field strength meter would be great. Walk around the truck while transmitting and you can determine your pattern of radiation. Using a ground plane such as a hood with the antenna mounted in quadrant iv would yield great transmission to oncoming traffic, however with a bed rail mount I am not so sure where you would radiate, lol. Radio shack sold cheap field strength vswr meters for about $20 and you can find them on fleabay. Use it also to tune your antenna to your channel of interest.
     
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  9. May 1, 2017 at 2:25 PM
    #9
    Large

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    Best thing to do is buy a ground braid and ground it to the frame under the bed. The bed frame rails are gimmicky unfortunately.
     
  10. May 1, 2017 at 2:33 PM
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    BarberRider

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    It's got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas.
  11. May 1, 2017 at 2:37 PM
    #11
    jake slatnick

    jake slatnick [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I talked to a guy at firestik and he told me you don't want to run a ground wire long distance. If I use a ground braid, will that make it ok to run a longer distance?

    I'm really only doing this for clear easy communication on the trail. Don't need the longest range and perfect ground plane etc. That's why if I'm going to do it, I want it to look really clean. Reason why I'm putting it as close to the cab as possible in the corner passenger side.

    But it's still important to me that it's done right under the circumstances. I'd rather do it right or nothing at all
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  12. May 1, 2017 at 3:34 PM
    #12
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Some of the bed rail bolts may provide good ground. Check with an ohm meter.
     
  13. May 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM
    #13
    ChrisK7UND

    ChrisK7UND Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree. IF you simply run a ground "wire" then you are creating an off wavelength dipole antenna that will perform horribly. RF ground travels on the outer skin of the wire vs DC ground. So the bigger the better. A braid is much more preferred. Either way the rail mount will suck for actual performance but the braid may help the stray RF have a place to go vs. back to the radio.
     
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  14. May 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM
    #14
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    The Tacoma does not need a ground plane antenna. Just ground it to anything connected to the frame and you'll be ok. I get 1.1 on my SWR meter with my 4' firestik.
     
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  15. May 1, 2017 at 3:58 PM
    #15
    BarberRider

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    It's got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas.
    how will this NMO mount work on hood with just 2 allen screws? should i strip paint off hood?
     
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  16. May 1, 2017 at 4:16 PM
    #16
    ChrisK7UND

    ChrisK7UND Well-Known Member

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    Your meter is broken. I'm a 2-way and commercial radio tech and there is no way a compromised antenna is a perfect match. My analyzer I use is about $1K. I have seen cheap meters and meters built into the radio be WAY off. There is no such thing as no ground needed UNLESS you buy a No-Ground antenna which will function but still not match properly.
     
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  17. May 1, 2017 at 5:02 PM
    #17
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    I meant to say it does not need a No Ground Plane Antenna. A regular ground to the frame works. And I did get 1.1 the last time I tried. don't need $1k gadget.

    OP, just try grounding it. You may be surprised.
     
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  18. May 1, 2017 at 5:59 PM
    #18
    jake slatnick

    jake slatnick [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What does 1.1 mean?
     
  19. May 1, 2017 at 6:05 PM
    #19
    swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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  20. May 1, 2017 at 6:08 PM
    #20
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    It's pretty much the degree of mismatch between a transmission line and its load (antenna) the closer to 1, the better tuned your setup is and the better the signal/energy is used. If you install your radio and antenna and the swr is too high (>3.0) then your transmission will suffer and your radio may go bad.

    Take a look at this link. Good info.
    https://www.rightchannelradios.com/...ides/18542155-interpreting-swr-meter-readings
     

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