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  1. #1
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    Advice on CB antenna for Pickup

    I got a Cobra 29LTD that I'm going to go have peaked and tuned, nothing special. I'm planning on mounting it in my 1994 Ford F-250 7.3 Power stroke Reg Cab Long Bed.

    The Truck is also lifted and on 33's so I wasn't sure about antenna hight and clearance

    What antenna do I need?

    Where do I mount It?

    As you probably have guessed this is my first CB! and it will be going OTR with me in September till then its going in my Pickup.

    Thanks in Advanced for any advice.

    Heres a Picture of the truck if that helps on mounting ideas:




    American Trucker


  2. #2
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    Before you start using that CB radio

    Once you install that CB radio, I strongly suggest that you check your SWR [standing wave ratio] with a separate SWR meter before you start using the radio.
    .
    If your SWR reading is 1.5 or less, you are good to go. The lower readings are better. An SWR reading of 1.1 is like a perfect score, 1.2 or less is like an A, 1.3 or less is like a B, 1.4 or less is like a C, 1.5 or less is like a D.
    .
    A SWR reading higher than 1.5, but less than 3.0, usually means that the antenna needs to be tuned.
    .
    NOTE: If the SWR reading is 3.0 or greater, you have a connection problem. DO NOT USE THE RADIO or you will damage the power transistors [commonly called "the finals"]. Tuning the antenna will not fix the problem. The most likely causes are either a faulty antenna ground or bad coaxial cable. Once your SWR reading is below 3.0, then tune your antenna if necessary.

  3. #3
    The Confuzeled lovesthedrive's Avatar
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    Xcis the cobra 29LTD has a swr function that you can tune. I dont remember the rest of the data your talking about, but in the manual it tells you to key the mike with radio preset and adjust a knob till meter reads correct on the scale. (thats only the jist of it, havent seen the manual in 2 years)

  4. #4
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    The built in SWR reader on the Cobra 29 is not accurate at all. An external meter is the best bet.

    If I had that F250 truck, what I'd do is buy a metal tool box for the bed that sits across the rails up against the bulkhead and mount you a 102 whip to the tool box, dead center of the box. You will be able to get out like no one's business plus the best place on any vehicle for a CB antenna is dead center of the vehicle.

    So...get you a 102 whip and a metal tool box....and be prepared to talk. Make sure the SWR is 1.5:1 or less....with the antenna like how I posted to mount it, you should be good to go.

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  6. #5
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    I do agree with what Turbo-T has to say and I would like to add some comments and suggestions regarding your "clearance" statement.

    If you have clearance problems and feel the antenna may be too high at some point in time, try a Wilson Trucker 2000 antenna and mag mount it to the roof of the cab and use a quick disconnect for the shaft to remove it with a 1/4 twist. It's quick and your signal and SWR readings will be much better in the end. Basically any antenna, which most of them are, a standard 3/8" X 24 thread, you can use a quick disconnect, and use any kind of antenna you want.

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  8. #6
    Road Train Member josh.c's Avatar
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    A-T, I have a similar truck, '95 F-350, but mine has the old-style metal mirrors, which is where I have my antenna mounted. So that does you no good. I think the easiest solution, and one of the best, would be to get a magnet-mount Wilson 1000, put it square in the middle of the roof and run the coax through the sliding back glass. I own one of these antennas, and it always seemed to work well for me. It's roughly 5' tall, but the whip is very flexible, it can take the occasional tree branch or drive through awning. They cost about $70, which sounds high if you're looking at the cheap fiberglass antennas, but by the time you buy a mount, stud, and coax, you'd be getting pretty close to that $70, and still have to mount it. Wilson also has a "Lil Wil" magnet-mount antenna that I have no experience with, but generally gets negative reviews.

    If you want to mount something more permanent, there are all kinds of mounts for regular antennas to be found on the internet. Stake pocket mounts, fender mounts, bumper mounts, etc. Wilson, among others, also makes permanent roof mount antennas that require drilling a hole in the roof. I haven't owned a newer Cobra, but lots of folks say that the built in SWR meter isn't very accurate. You can pick up an external SWR meter fairly inexpensively, and knowing how to use one is necessary skill. I don't have any experience with their antennas, but Firestik Antennas' website has a great technical help section that talks about different issues with mounting locations, grounds, SWR, and so forth.

    I'd hold off on getting that Cobra peaked and tuned until you know a little bit more about it. There is an incredible amount of bad information about this hobby out there, and a lot of folks selling snake oil. The more you understand, the more control you can have over what the person working on your radio does, and how you want your radio to sound.

    I think if you install the radio in your pickup now, you're probably going to want to keep it in there and get another one for your big truck by the time September rolls around. Even with all the garbage on CB anymore, I feel like I'm running around without my pants on if I have to drive without one.

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo-T View Post
    The built in SWR reader on the Cobra 29 is not accurate at all. An external meter is the best bet.

    If I had that F250 truck, what I'd do is buy a metal tool box for the bed that sits across the rails up against the bulkhead and mount you a 102 whip to the tool box, dead center of the box. You will be able to get out like no one's business plus the best place on any vehicle for a CB antenna is dead center of the vehicle.

    So...get you a 102 whip and a metal tool box....and be prepared to talk. Make sure the SWR is 1.5:1 or less....with the antenna like how I posted to mount it, you should be good to go.

    I've considered a tool box and mounting it on there, but I'm putting stacks and maybe a roll Bar on it.


    American Trucker

  11. #8
    Road Train Member josh.c's Avatar
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    Boy, I type too slow!

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh.c View Post
    A-T, I have a similar truck, '95 F-350, but mine has the old-style metal mirrors, which is where I have my antenna mounted. So that does you no good. I think the easiest solution, and one of the best, would be to get a magnet-mount Wilson 1000, put it square in the middle of the roof and run the coax through the sliding back glass. I own one of these antennas, and it always seemed to work well for me. It's roughly 5' tall, but the whip is very flexible, it can take the occasional tree branch or drive through awning. They cost about $70, which sounds high if you're looking at the cheap fiberglass antennas, but by the time you buy a mount, stud, and coax, you'd be getting pretty close to that $70, and still have to mount it. Wilson also has a "Lil Wil" magnet-mount antenna that I have no experience with, but generally gets negative reviews.

    If you want to mount something more permanent, there are all kinds of mounts for regular antennas to be found on the internet. Stake pocket mounts, fender mounts, bumper mounts, etc. Wilson, among others, also makes permanent roof mount antennas that require drilling a hole in the roof. I haven't owned a newer Cobra, but lots of folks say that the built in SWR meter isn't very accurate. You can pick up an external SWR meter fairly inexpensively, and knowing how to use one is necessary skill. I don't have any experience with their antennas, but Firestik Antennas' website has a great technical help section that talks about different issues with mounting locations, grounds, SWR, and so forth.

    I'd hold off on getting that Cobra peaked and tuned until you know a little bit more about it. There is an incredible amount of bad information about this hobby out there, and a lot of folks selling snake oil. The more you understand, the more control you can have over what the person working on your radio does, and how you want your radio to sound.

    I think if you install the radio in your pickup now, you're probably going to want to keep it in there and get another one for your big truck by the time September rolls around. Even with all the garbage on CB anymore, I feel like I'm running around without my pants on if I have to drive without one.

    thanks for the advice. I unfortunately don't have a sliding rear window "I wish I did" and the guy I'm gonna have work on my radio came highly recommended from this forum. I was thinking a small magnetic one on the roof or some kind of antenna mounted on the side of the bed. A 5 foot antenna on top of my truck would be like 12 feet off the ground lol



    American Trucker

  13. #10
    Road Train Member josh.c's Avatar
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    Statutory height is 13'6" in NC. What are you looking to clear?

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