102" whip vs top load for cascadia

Discussion in 'CB Radio Forum' started by JerseyBarrierRacer, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. craig_sez

    craig_sez Road Train Member

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    Re the ground to frame...Do that bit later but yes you can if you like..Just find places that you can undo a bolt and same with frame..I cant say fkr sure if there is enough metal flake in the frame paint or not but if your not sure,scuff all the paint away,attach straps and do a lil water proofing with coax seal and maybe a splash of paint..
     
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  3. handlebar

    handlebar Heavy Load Member

    Kudos to Night Stalker for referencing two of the best resources available on your problem, Jersey BR.
    As a 60-year ham, I can attest to the noise abatement measures on K0BG's site. It's worth reading through the whole site, but plan on packing a lunch :) It's nearly encyclopedic in scope (and volume).
    And Night Stalker is worth paying attention, as he has already fought (and beaten) some of the same bugaboos as Jersey reports.
    After 60 years as a ham (20 wpm Extra now) and a commercial tech (1st Phone/2nd Telegraph) I've seen and had to figure out many of the same problems Jersey BR reports.
    In my estimation, rather than blindly ordering lots of stuff that may not actually contribute to a solution for you, your time would be best spent taking a day off without tools in your hands and spend them reading K0BG's site for the practical science, then go through Night Stalker's info for real-world solutions he's found for problem similar to yours.
    Hope this helps.
    == Handlebar ==
     
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  4. JerseyBarrierRacer

    JerseyBarrierRacer Bobtail Member

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    So out of curiosity I bought a 4' firestik and much like the k40, it simply started out with a ridiculously high swr and the 1 and 40 were #### near indentical readings so there was no real way to tell if I should lengthen or shorten them.

    Unexpectedly, that Truck Spec 4' top load ant I got from TA is performing really really well in terms of clarity. Much better than the Sirio Bull Trucker 5000 I had on before, and better yet people don't know its me when I'm talking smack now. (BT5k emits a green light around the coil when keying)

    My radio is still giving the ANT warning light. I seem to be getting out there and from the responses people give me I sound clear. The ANT light is worsened dramatically while driving. channels 1-20 give the ANT warning light when just keying down dead air, but only while the truck is in motion so I wonder if my mic is picking up a lot of road noise or something. (its an astatic 636L noise canceling mic, so not sure how that could be, and again, people say I sound clear). Another thing I've noticed after switching to a top load is that there have been many times where I'm driving and all of a sudden I get a lot of muddled signals together at once... sometimes I'll hear music in the background, several people talking randomly at once, some guys will stand out really loud and clear, others with a bunch of static in the background. It happened again today when I was going through a construction zone and was rather annoying as I couldn't quite make out the responses of people when asking how things were on the NB side. I don't know if its skip, but if it is, I gotta say I'm impressed so far.

    I've been browsing through K0BG and like handlebar said, there is a lot there. I feel a bit more educated on the subject in general, but find that a lot of it is pretty impractical for the trucking CB'er to impliment, especially in a company truck such as mine.

    I have also disconnected my first ground strap from the mount being that craig_sez said it was pointless because the mount itself makes contact. I also did what he recommended and connected bolts from the door side of the hinge to the cab side. Can't tell that it makes any real difference, but I did it rather quickly and didn't sand down any paint. Luckily, I could see exposed metal underneath the washers, and the bolts themselves I imagine are enough to make contact, but I dunno. It makes me feel better that I'm getting closer to a "proper" setup though.

    Before, I had a spring in between a 5" extension rod and the mount. This gave me a good SWR without having to tune the antenna. But, I didn't quite like the fact that it was wobbling all over the place and would rather it be more stable for more consistent performance, so I ended up removing the spring and replacing the whole bottom portion with a straight 10" extension bar. After doing this I had to tune the antenna and snip about an inch or so to get back to a reading of 1.3 SWR on 19, but I feel like its a lot more stable now and doesn't look as ridiculous floppin around in the wind, though I'm sure the antenna itself is going to be absorbing more shock and flexing more rather than the now absent spring.

    The SSB radio should be in tomorrow, but I'm gonna have to wait a few days for the skip shooter. I'm considering buying a small amplifier to see if I can skip more and to just plain get out further, but I don't want to sound "dirty" and I'm not sure how to keep the signal clean... from what I've read, you can get a high powered export radio and ditch the amp, or run a little 4w radio through an amp. I'm not sure which is better, but eventually I want to try both. That Galaxy DX98VHP would be my choice for the former option and I hear that davemade amps are of good quality for the latter.

    I def feel like I'm "in it" now, and already the kind of radio nerd I used to make fun of. One thing I gotta figure out is how to test power and signal strength and perhaps how to use an oscilloscope to make sure the wave shape is optimum. Maybe thats what an "alignment" is? I dunno.
     
  5. craig_sez

    craig_sez Road Train Member

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    Forget the amp....Get your *UNTOUCHED* radio and antenna situation squared away first....Pick up a multi meter and start goin through issues such as testing coax for shorts and resistance,testing your antenna mount for the same...
    Before an amp i would pick up a good analyzer such as the rig expert aa35 zoom or the 55 zoom and learn your system through that....
    Many automatically try to over ride ant issjes with more power but 99% of the time when antenna is right then skys the limit..
    Also keep in mind the truck its goin on,its flat out limiting the possibilitys of how far and what can be done....If you have a darn near perfect system on your truck and can reach say 30 mi from truck to truck,with same system on a mini van,mid size car or even a pick up you will do much better...More metal mass under the antenna...
    If and when you decide on an amp,just like antenna,go big or go home....No point in haven a 10 watt radio and buying a 25 watt amp....
    There is even more head aches about rf grounding with an amp,powering an amp,amp being matched to radio...With the issues you battle now an amp is NOT what you need..
    I dont leave home without my basic tools..
     

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  6. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Road Train Member

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    JBR, I guess you could say that technically the amp is built into the Galaxy dx98vhp radio, since it's rated at 200 watts. If you need more power, that would be the best way to go. It eliminates future problems by having less coax connections and no coax jumpers involved. But like Craig said, it's best to get your antenna system working properly first, especially before you use a lot power. Actually this is the best way to learn about radios and mobile antennas. The school of hard knocks seem to be the best teacher. Just don't let it discourage you. You've already taken the important step by asking questions. The antenna analyser is your best friend, even better than an swr meter. It is money well spent, even better than an amp in my opinion.
     
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  7. craig_sez

    craig_sez Road Train Member

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  8. JerseyBarrierRacer

    JerseyBarrierRacer Bobtail Member

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    Swapped out the old 29 with the new TRE-797. I picked up an unusual amount of traffic on 19 this last shift. Not sure if its a coincidence or if I'm receiving better, but the rx clarity is really good (for some, not all). I assume there are many people with bad setups, but the ones that know what they are doing sound like they are in the cab with me. I was picking up a guy who was 5 miles out and he was clear as a bell, and that was in the hills so I'm thinking I can probably pick up from 10 miles or so which is my goal. Might give the 29 to my coworker who wants a cb so I can use him as a guinea pig and test my tx range.

    I'm not sure about what sideband to use, so I just keep it on AM. According to the manual you should be able to pick up AM signals even if you're on USB or LSB being that either one can use their respective to interpret one or the other part of the AM signal which uses both. I'm not too sure about this though, because whenever I use SSB modes, I don't seem to ever hear anything, but AM mode is pretty busy. I'll toy with it more. My current antenna is tuned for the 29, but my swr readings are still okay, 40 is under 2, 19 is 1.4, and 1 is 1.3.

    I'm hoping the skip shooter doesn't work out like the k40 and firestik, but I have my reservations
     
  9. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Road Train Member

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    AM and SSB are different modes. SSB utilizes only one of the double sidebands of AM and also omits the carrier frequency transmission. SSB legally puts out 12 watts verses 4 watts on AM. So when someone is on SSB and you are on AM, their voice sounds like Donald Duck. It's the same if you are on SSB and you can hear someone talking on AM, but it's tough to understand what they are saying. On SSB you have to tune in on the person talking by using the clarifier knob. Channel 38 USB is popular channel when the skips rolling.
    Also your antenna isn't tuned to the cobra radio. If the swr is 1.4 on channel 19 (that's just fine), your antennas swr will be 1.4 using the Galaxy radio too. Unfortunately it sounds to me like the cobra 29 alignment (tune) job wasn't done properly, since the stock Galaxy radio is receiving better with the same coax and antenna.
     
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