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Radio antenna options/ Hidden Antenna/ cb antenna for radio?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by NightProwler, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. Apr 18, 2015 at 12:25 AM
    #41
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Harlan
    Maricopa, Az
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    Well I've done a little searching on the net and from what I'm gathering, is that this little antenna isn't gonna get out very far. Could not find a damn thing on this specific roadpro antenna. Seems for the most part it'll only be good when trail running or whatev with buddies. Of which I have none atm. Don't really do any venturing except occasionally on my own. Anyways.. best guess is that I'm probly looking at no more than a few miles at best. Probly less than 5. Lame. I thought it might do better. Still not 100% on the range but I'll keep trying. But from where I live, the closest highway is about ~8 miles away. So I'm probly not getting out that far even. Idk.. I'm debating on a longer antenna, but I really like this one. And probly all I need for my limited use.
     
  2. Apr 18, 2015 at 6:50 AM
    #42
    Brake Weight

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

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    Deep South near the Third Coast
    Vehicle:
    Taco pulling 33s and a VW pushing 33psi
    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    Pulled up Maricopa on MapQuest and you should be able to find a decent shop somewhere near you. A junction of interstates and the two larger cities nearby should be able to produce something. It also looked like you have lots of desert to run on. On the same note, you're not too far from the border either. If you were to do any solo trailing into the desert would you want a radio system that could get out to alert someone if need be or just to communicate along the trail? I work down in the Tabasco state and have one interpreter from the Reynosa area and another from Tampico. I've been told and have seen videos of what happens out in no man's land.

    Buying 2-way radio gear online is a crap shoot for those that aren't experienced, even though it may be a better deal than buying local. But when you buy local, you get to ask questions and have someone look at your rig/setup all included in the purchase price usually.
     
  3. Apr 18, 2015 at 2:52 PM
    #43
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I'm also weighing those factors in as well. But one factor that is keeping me from getting a huge ass antenna is the fact I'd still like to go through the car wash. Without much hassle anyways of removing a bulkier antenna. Sounds not as important when you put it in those terms regarding border activity or being able to transmit far when in the boonies. Which I am. I actually live 15 miles southwest of Maricopa city. Middle of the desert and between some mountains. Called Hidden Valley for that reason. Ha. But yeah we've seen and actually interfered with lots of border activity such as being in contact with sheriffs out here about what we see/hear. Our road leads right to the trails that are used by border runners and traffickers. We've seen a multitude of supply vehicles out in the desert.. Traffickers driving through with no lights on.. Abandoned vehicles.. "Coyotes" camped out on he mountains around us.. Border Patrol driving through along with that Blackhawk chopper that patrols.. And yeah, heard stories of a few worse things. For the most part it's not that bad though. Not like we are afraid of it. They are more afraid than we are actually. We haven't seen much activity in quite a while though..

    Anyways.. that WAS another factor in what kind of setup I wanted. But for the most part I wasn't too worried about that. My brother is the one who gets more involved with that shit than me. But yeah, for the most part the factor I'd be weighing in is being able to get out far enough in case of an emergency. Because we do have hardly no cell signal out here.. So I'd like to get a longer antenna such as one of those Wilson's. What length of one do you think I would need to get out far enough in my situation? Probly looking at at least 10 miles. Preferably 20 miles. 20 would even reach town. Oh, and again, I'd like it to mount in place of where I have my current one setup. I really don't wanna deal with a 102" whip. I think it'd be funny and cool to have, and just might anyways if that's my only option. I just hate to redo all my setup just for that. I'd like to see if I can get some good range with perhaps a 4' or at most 5' in place of the one I have now. Even then that's gonna be freaking up there above the roof..
    Heh, on a side note, could you imagine, putting that 102" on the roof? That'd be insane!
     
  4. Apr 18, 2015 at 3:06 PM
    #44
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    '01 Prerunner, '03 cbr600rr, '09 R1, '03 cbr954rr
    Oh, and is it normal to get a shit ton of interference when I flip on my hid's?
     
  5. Apr 18, 2015 at 3:29 PM
    #45
    Brake Weight

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

    Joined:
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    Deep South near the Third Coast
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    Taco pulling 33s and a VW pushing 33psi
    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    Roof mounted won't require a long whip antenna, but it wouldn't hurt performance. Reason I suggested the Wilson is because I have one and it works. http://www.wilsonantenna.com/produc...mobile-cb-trucker-antenna-with-5-shaft-black/ There's a few variations and most all are good. There's a few different makers of similar antennas, too. But the Wilson is available at almost every truck stop. Have you considered reading up and getting a HAM card? A 2 meter radio would go a helluva lot further than the 11m CB will. Although you target audience would be the defining factor. Would a truck driver actually call the authorities if you called for help? Ask the next border patrol or LEO what a common band they use is and if you could get a license for that.
     
  6. Apr 18, 2015 at 3:43 PM
    #46
    Brake Weight

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

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    2,406
    Gender:
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    Deep South near the Third Coast
    Vehicle:
    Taco pulling 33s and a VW pushing 33psi
    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    Wilson Trucker
    a9858182aaf367935a30221d1065ac3b_ab2717a7c3394b01575991306f6a8444db8db761.jpg
     
  7. Apr 18, 2015 at 7:54 PM
    #47
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    '01 Prerunner, '03 cbr600rr, '09 R1, '03 cbr954rr
    Is that 5" shaft needed for that antenna?
     
  8. Apr 18, 2015 at 8:16 PM
    #48
    Brake Weight

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

    Joined:
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    Gender:
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    Deep South near the Third Coast
    Vehicle:
    Taco pulling 33s and a VW pushing 33psi
    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    I honestly don't know. There's a longer shaft version, too. They make a roof mount version as well. But I can't remember if it has the 5/8 fine thread on the bottom. It is made to screw into a 'puck'.
     
  9. Apr 19, 2015 at 1:38 PM
    #49
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Harlan
    Maricopa, Az
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    '01 Prerunner, '03 cbr600rr, '09 R1, '03 cbr954rr
    Acquired this old firestick. Put 'er up top just to test. Checked swr and no change on that. Receive seemed to be just a tad better. Hard to tell.. still can't get any response on a radio check. Tried yesterday in town with the 3'er I had on there and no luck. Think I'll be searching for a cb shop. Might go pick up a swr meter today if my local radio shack has one in stock. Will report back.

    IMAG1627_zpslepaq1ir_649890724595310915dd6ecd5f5b4f2a0b46bd62.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  10. Apr 19, 2015 at 3:10 PM
    #50
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I decided to check all my connections as well. annnnnd it seems that the negative wire to the cb has been disconnected all this time. I think I snipped the wrong wire a while back when I was disconnecting something else... But, I didn't think the radio would work let alone receive!?!?!? So confused right now.. I grounded it, and no change. I messed with the swr even trying to set it out of wack on the cb itself, and there's no change whatsoever in swr on the cb gauge. Still just 3 little bars suggesting its low, like 1.2 or so... Could I have damage the cb without the ground being connected?
     
  11. Apr 20, 2015 at 5:56 AM
    #51
    Brake Weight

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

    Joined:
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    Gender:
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    Deep South near the Third Coast
    Vehicle:
    Taco pulling 33s and a VW pushing 33psi
    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    As long as the SWR is low, I don't think you've harmed the radio. But there's no telling. Seems like it was going to ground through the radio's chassis to whatever you've got it mounted to.

    The radios with the internal tuner aren't really the greatest. They can give a few .10s reliably, but that's about it. Tuning a Firestik is a PITA to do it right. If you cut too much then it becomes a real hassle. It'll also need to be adjusted every time it's moved to a new location on the truck. I started with a 7', 3', and then a 5' with the little screw adjuster at the end. The 5' tuned the best, but still didn't work well due to my location and camper shell. Then I got a steel whip. It was ideal, but whacked the drive throughs and everything else low. So I got the Wilson because it was shorter than the whip by 3.5' and it works just as fine as far as I can tell.

    Try to run the CB antenna independent of the stereo antenna splitter, check all power and grounds, make sure the antenna is properly attached with the Teflon spacer in the right spot, and check the entire length of the coax for any bad spots if it's not new. Ideally, run a decent sized fused wire to the battery to supply the radio and ground it to something solid. I was getting a lot of engine noise so I ran my ground through a floor grommet near the passenger seat under the carpet and then to the frame. Ended up changing the plug wires out twice; a cheap set was better, but the more expensive ones were best. I finally ended up grounding the coil packs to engine block, too. So additional grounding may help to get rid of that HID noise.

    Is the radio new or was it acquired used?
     
  12. Apr 20, 2015 at 1:22 PM
    #52
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    it was new. Bout a year ago. Embarrassed to say it's been mounted in my truck that long before I got around to hooking it up. Lol. Anyways.. I eouldve assumed the swr would be off at some point while I put that old firestik up there. Maybe it's tuned just right already. Even changing the calibration on the cb does nothing to swr.. I'm gonna order up the meter today though. Radio shack wants $40. Amazon's got one for $18. I'm pretty sure all my cables and wires are good. I may swap the power and ground though. May be a little small. So after I do the wiring and get that meter, I'll report back. I'm also considering driving up to a cb shop I found. But it's an hour away:/
     
  13. Apr 21, 2015 at 6:06 PM
    #53
    Brake Weight

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

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    Taco pulling 33s and a VW pushing 33psi
    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    If you did any amount of keying up while it didn't have an antenna some damage may have happened. Get your meter in Nd see what you've got. A trip to the shop may be in order. My nearest one is about 45 minutes one way. Then he only works early AM hours because he's got an afternoon job, too. If I'm not there between 6-10am he's gone, so I've done a good bit of researching.
     
  14. Apr 21, 2015 at 7:10 PM
    #54
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No didn't use it really while it didn't have the antenna. Turned it on a couple times to see if I could receive anything. But no keying. I did notice a tad of a vasoline/grease type substance at the back that looked like it was leaking out a bit. Last summer. Idk if it was just the heat or what. Hasn't "leaked" since. I'm gonna take it to a shop eventually. Might as well have them take a look at the cb itself and peak/tune it while they're at it. And check the coax and mount and whatnot. I'm done messing with it. I'll try a radio check when I'm in town now and again, but yeah, I'm done with. Didn't think they'd be this finicky.. Ha. Thanks for all the input.

    Edit: I'll try the swr meter though when I get it in the mail. And hook up that Jensen marine amplified antenna (for the radio) under the windshield and report back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  15. Apr 22, 2015 at 1:18 PM
    #55
    Brake Weight

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

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    Taco pulling 33s and a VW pushing 33psi
    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    The greasy substance shouldn't have harmed anything. Just due to the heat down there. My mk4 VW oozes out of the bottoms of the doors every summer and it smells like crayons.
     
  16. Apr 25, 2015 at 4:26 PM
    #56
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok got the swr meter in. After messing with it a ton and adjusting the antenna I got it pretty much set. The scale on the cb really isn't reliable. It's a base to start with. But the meter is way more accurate.

    1st test without splitter:
    Ch40- 1.4
    Ch1- 1.5
    Ch20-1.2

    2nd test with splitter
    Ch40-1.6
    Ch1-1.6
    Ch20-1.4

    Power measurement read 2 watts. Does this sound right?
     
  17. Apr 25, 2015 at 4:52 PM
    #57
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Crap!!! Now I'm getting the rf power output failure again. Sigh.. fuck this shit. I'm taking it to cb shop.

    Edit. Could this be happening since I'm coiling the coax up under the dash? I had it out and unwound when I was testing. Although beforehand it was working when coiled up.maybe sitting in just the wrong spot coiled up maybe?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  18. Apr 25, 2015 at 6:47 PM
    #58
    Brake Weight

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

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    2w doesn't sound right. FCC requires all CB radios set at 4w from the factory. But that's at 12v and with your truck running you're above 14v. I'd guess it'd be more like 6w. A good radio tech can have that radio singing a little over 20w and sounding good in just a few minutes. Too much and it'd sound like crap, but loud on the other end. They can change your mosfets and make more power. But it's all in how much you want to pay. Get caught and you pay the Feds. Carry it to a shop and be ready to pay $30-50 easy and it'll finally work right.

    I've got a Galaxy 949 I put back in it's box that any redneck would be proud of. Goofy roger beep and swings a solid 25w and is 'loud and proud.' But it's too big for anything but an old big body truck or 18 wheeler. Then I got my Uniden 980. It's SMT(surface mount technology), basically digital and can't be readily tuned. It's rock solid on freq so I use it on SSB mainly to pass the time traveling to work. I picked up a Midland 79-290 off eBay a few years back. I shipped it off to a shop to open it up freq wise and realign all the new bands. It covers way more than I want but it's put away too, for hard times or when the 980 dies. It's my prepper radio.
     
  19. Apr 25, 2015 at 7:55 PM
    #59
    NightProwler

    NightProwler [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ha yeah at least I was able to listen and get the basics down for now. Think I will have them peak and tune it up. $50 ain't too bad. Hopefully I can still keep the little antenna. Think I might go to the shop on Wednesday. I'll be halfway there for another errand. See what happens. How long does it take them? Think I can wait to get it all done or do they require like a while day to work on the cb ?
     
  20. Apr 26, 2015 at 4:51 PM
    #60
    Brake Weight

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

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    Weld on sliders, fiberglass shell, 12k winch in an Elite Offroad bumper, front Aussie Lunchbox
    Depends on how busy he is. He peaked and tuned my 949 in about 10 minutes. Common radios and classics are nothing for them. Many radios may have the same or similar internals, just different options.
     

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