CB Issues

Discussion in 'CB Radio Forum' started by evan_nugget, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. evan_nugget

    evan_nugget Bobtail Member

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    Mar 18, 2020
    Northern VA
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    What's up guys. New here and figured I'd better come to the truckers for help with my CB. It's not on a big rig but I'm hoping you guys will help me anyway. I put a CB in my '96 F150, its a Cobra Classic LTD hooked up to a K40 mounted to my tool box. I'll attach pictures of my setup below.

    The problem I'm running into is that I can clearly hear and send transmissions when I'm around people with CBs, but I get no squelch and usually even channel 19 is dead quiet on my CB. It appears I'm not receiving much of anything. Should note: squelch is all the way open, in theory my CB should be chattering at all times. Sometimes when I transmit, the ANT light flashes briefly, though last time I tested my SWRs on both 1 and 40 were below 2, close to 1.5. I'll be sure to test again.

    I would like some input on how to get my CB working right so I can pick up many signals and listen to CB chatter - I run up and down 81 and my CB is always quiet, which it shouldn't be.

    IMG_5118.jpg IMG_5117.jpg IMG_5116.jpg
     
  2. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Heavy Load Member

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    How are you testing your swr? Are you using an external swr meter?
     
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  3. evan_nugget

    evan_nugget Bobtail Member

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    Mar 18, 2020
    Northern VA
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    I've checked SWR both with the little meter on the CB as well as an external in-line meter
     
  4. chriskc

    chriskc Light Load Member

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    Mar 31, 2013
    Kansas City mo
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    Where’s your RF gain set at?
     
  5. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    You need to create an rf ground, this means adding a few ground straps.
     
  6. HD_Renegade

    HD_Renegade Road Train Member

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    North Carolina
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    I will go out on a limb here and say the antenna is the problem. Change to a Top Loaded antenna. Something like a Firestick II with adjustable tip. It looks like your antenna is bottom loaded and has no clearance around it, Sony are getting deflection from the toolbox and the truck.
     
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  7. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Heavy Load Member

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    You are correct that its too close to the metal cab. The k40 is a great antenna (as far as base loaded goes), but no antenna is going to perform properly bolted to the side of an aluminum box. He may make it work somewhat okay by bonding the antenna to the vehicle, like Ridge suggested.
     
  8. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
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    Not true on the mounting, Use a center load or top loaded antenna and it should tune up ok,, 1.2 or 1.3 should be obtainable. A Francis antenna would probably work well, the k40 the driven element (whip above the coil) is to close to the sheet metal around it. Firestick Francis type antennas are actually designed for this type of installation.

    This is opinion from years of radio work starting back in the 70's so if you disagree, fine lot's of differing opinion on antennas. But this is how I would set it up.

    Make sure everything is grounded to the battery, run some ground straps from the box to the body, bed to the body, bed and body to the frame, battery to the engine, to the body and to the frame. Make sure all ground connections are to clean metal not paint.
     
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  9. CheeseCracker

    CheeseCracker Bobtail Member

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    Sep 9, 2019
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    I agree with Powder Joints. I use a 4.5 ft top loaded antenna on mounted to the back of my toolbox and it works pretty good. I can tal to base stations 40 to 60 miles away from me on sideband. I only have the toolbox bolted to the bed. No other bonding, which I really should do.
     
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  10. HD_Renegade

    HD_Renegade Road Train Member

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    I am no expert, but have read and learned a lot from others on here. Sounds like my judgement was pretty close.

    A lot of good CB folks on here for sure.
     
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