I posted this on a CB radio forum and am not getting any response, so I thought you guys should have some experience with these systems. I recently got a new '09 Freightliner and it has one of the RAMI multiband antenna systems in it. From what I can gather they combine CB/AM/FM/WB/Cellular into a single/dual antenna. This truck has the single fiberglass antenna. Anyway, I just threw my old Cobra 25 LTD Classic in it to get by for now and it's not working very well. I suspect the antenna system is the main culpirt. My Rx is only around a mile at best, probably a little worse than that. I'm not certain about the Tx, as I haven't really talked to anyone otherthan a scale house or 3 on it thus far. I also haven't checked the SWR yet, but plan to, although I'm not sure the antenna is adjustable.
Anyway, what I had in mind was to replace the stock antenna with a Everhardt SOTT and get a new Galaxy 979 (peaked and tuned) for it. Or prehaps an export like the Styker 440HP. At some point, I may also want to add a small amp, 250watts or less. My question is first will the Everhardt antenna work with the system, allowing the AM/FM radio to continue to work? I'm not sure if it's the antenna that is special, the multiband box, or both. Second, how much power can multiband box handle before it fries? Another post here suggests 250watts is the max (29680-volvo-stock-antennas-and-swr-adjustment.html), but I'm curious as to how I establish that.
I realize that the best option would be to just install a stand alone antenna for the CB and be done with it, but I really need to keep the stock look if I can. I thought about doing that and using 2 Everhardt SOTTs so it looks stock, but again, I'm not sure they'll work. Anyway, any info you guys have on these systems would be appreciated. Thanks.
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So I'll repeat what I posted here. If you try and run a amp with that antenna, it will simply fry. They are not made to handle much more than 10w's.
Not only that, those antenna's are more like those cell-phone look-a-like antenna's that stick on your window....Yes, they will work....but only for a couple of miles at best....Why would you want to spend all that money on a Stryker 440, and a small 2-pill box, only to hook it all up to some crappy multi band antenna?
But hay...It's your radio and truck, you do whatever you want........
Well, the system could careless what antennas you use with it. It works ok with lesser powered radios but the multiplexer system does not like much power over 60 watts.
But when I say OK that means OK. It is not a great setup by any means for optimum performance out of a CB.
If you have time and some change laying around then seperate the system out.
Get a regular radio antenna for the AM/FM and run seperate coax to the CB antennas to eliminate the multiplexer all together.
If you are running a condo or a high cab then I personally recomend running a cophased CB antenna setup (dual antennas). This will give you the best distance for running on the highways.
Single antenna setups work great but they have to be mounted on the center of the truck to get the best performance out of them. Running a single mirror mount antenna gives a directional pattern to the oposite side. Meaning that if you have an antenna on the drivers side mirror then all your transmit pattern will be to the passenger side due to the ground plane of the vehicle.
If you have a higher profile vehicle then you might want to consider bull horning the antenna/s a little bit. NO more then 10 Degrees though as it will hurt the transmit power.
Anyway, note that I said I "may" want to add an amp at some point in the distant future. Not putting an amp on it at this time and I'm still uncertain of which radio I'll end up with. All I want out of the radio currently is 6 or 8 miles. That's it. I seldom talk on it, mostly listen, so the Rx end is more important to me than the Tx end. My preference would be to just replace the current antenna with a better antenna, leave the multiband system in place, and get a better radio. My questions are more to the capabilities of the multiand system and whether or not I can swap out the antenna with something a little better.
Again, I know installing a separate system for the CB would be the best option. But I'm only interested in getting a minimal system up (6 or 8 miles). I just figured since almost all the new trucks have these systems now, that someone had played with them and found out what they're capable of.
No condo or high cab, but the antenna is on the driver's mirror. About the only thing I use the CB for is to talk to scale houses, other drivers close to me, bear reports, and such as that. The main thing for me is Rx and keeping a stock look. Beyond that, I'm not against installing a second antenna on the other mirror and using it for the CB, stand alone, if that's what it takes to get what I want out of it. But if I do that, then I'd prefer to have matching antennas on both sides. So that gets me back to wandering whether or not an antenna like the Everhardt SOTT will work with the AM/FM radio, or if the stock antenna is some special type of antenna. Beyond that, I could install an antenna for the AM/FM radio, like you say, but it would have to be something that looks original and I'm not sure what my options are there.
Ok....if all your looking to get is a couple of 2 or 3 miles out of it, then it will work for you...I thought by the way your post read, that you were looking to get a Stryker, and a small amp so you could reach out and touch someone!
Going by that, I said basically those multi-band antenna's are junk. Yes they do what they claim to do, just not very good...It's like those systems that use to be popular in the 70's, where you had a in-dash factory radio that had AM/FM/CB/ and cassette tape, or 8-Track tape players all built into one radio, and one antenna for everything...Yes they worked...Just not very good...
Dahammer, The AM/FM radio could careless what you have for an antenna.
Onething run a seperate 50 ohm coax from one of the stock antennas to the CB and leave the multiplexer system in place for the AM/FM.
But I have used regular CB antennas for AM/FM antennas many times and they seem to work fine.
But no there is nothing special about the supplied antennas. They are just regular fiberglass type antennas.
Right now I am running an 04 Peterbilt with the multiplexer system and using Wilson Fiberglass antennas because the factory antennas were bad (wire was broken in both of them). The AM/FM works just the way it is supposed to and I actually get some distance with my CB.
If we get a lull in the schedule here soon then I am going to fish new cophased coax through the mirror brackets for the CB and mount a aftermarket AM/FM antenna on the roof between the airhorns. Then my tweeked Palomar 450 is going to be installed.
If it were "my" truck, then I'd fix it right and be done with it. But the fact is it's not my truck, I only drive it, so I must be considerate of the owners' rules. They'd prefer me not to add an antenna and get by with the stock setup, using whatever radio I want. But I was told that if I couldn't get by with that, then I could add another antenna for the CB (or AM/FM radio) on my own dime, so long as it looked original. Hince why I was interested in the antennas on the systems being special.
Anyway, thanks for info and help, guys.
I would still be using it, but since I do allot of driving at night, the thing was just too bright for my taste. (even on dim)
Right out of the box the Stryker 440 does 60w's, and has one of the best echo boards and talk-back, that you will find in a radio in the same price range. And I seen on the Stryker's Web Site, that they now make a Noise Canceling Mic for it!
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