Cb radio question, older Cobra Nightwatch 29

Discussion in 'CB Radio Forum' started by WrongWay30, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. WrongWay30

    WrongWay30 Bobtail Member

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    Apr 21, 2011
    Minnesota
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    1. I can't seem to find any good info on you tube or the net. I have an older Cobra NightWatch 29. My antenna is a Tram(comparable to Wilson 2500). My cb is all stock.. I set the cb to the antenna(channel 20, mic keyed up and lined up with the arrow on meter). Next I checked swr. On channel 1 swr is below 1/2. On channel 40 swr is about 1 1/4. I used the gauge on the cb unit.. All set up in a 2021 Freightliner Cascadia. All grounds and other wires/connections are stock. Rf gain was all the way up. Dyna mic was turned All the way up then back off a small turn. The SoundTracker button was turned on.
      I was recently told my set up needed work by another driver while talking. No one I've talked to really knows about cb radios.
      I'm here cause I'm not exactly sure on what may be the right set up. Do I have a good set up or did I miss something? I want to sound clear when I talk
      Any reply is appreciated.

      12 minutes ago
     
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  3. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    Michigan
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    Ok reading the other thread in the one forum, here is a bit of advice, hopefully craig and/or others will chime in with other comments ….

    first the cascadia antenna system sucks, it is combined with the am/fm system.

    second you will need to pull a separate coax to the antenna, and get a new mount.

    third don’t peak and tune the radio until the antenna system is straight, 90% of the issue is an antenna. Then seek out someone who can actually ALIGN the radio RIGHT, peak and tune is garbage crap.

    fourth get an external meter for swr and a good jumper, the internal meter has a lot to be desired … and with that don’t get too hung up on the swr thing, if it is below 2:1, it is ok.
     
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  4. WrongWay30

    WrongWay30 Bobtail Member

    24
    5
    Apr 21, 2011
    Minnesota
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    Thanks for all the info. I appreciate it. I figured the stock coax was junk. I was thinking of buying an external swr meter, but now I will.
    I was gonna post another question, but I'll try it this way. The meter in the cb bounces around sometimes hovering around 2. Is that from fm and other electronics causing feedback?
     
  5. WrongWay30

    WrongWay30 Bobtail Member

    24
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    Apr 21, 2011
    Minnesota
    0
    Most people I run into don't know anything technical about a cb. Sorry for this but what does aligning entail? Isn't it good enough to pair the antenna and set the antenna height based on keyed mic on 1 and 40? I'm local and run Minnesota and Wisconsin. Pretty much same areas M-F. I don't know where to start for getting help.
    Again sorry for all the questions, but it's nice to talk with someone who can answer them. Not many people I run into actually know what their talking about.
     
  6. jessejamesdallas

    jessejamesdallas Road Train Member

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    Republic of Texas
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    Not real sure what your talking about with the meter jumping around and hovering around 2...

    But if your talking about checking SWR while the truck is moving, then...that is normal...Checking SWR while moving will cause the meters needle to jump all over the place...Just check SWR while parked, and away from buildings...(middle of a parking lot would be ideal)
     
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  7. Neverready

    Neverready Medium Load Member

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    If the meter is jumping around while checking SWR when parked you may have a loose connection somewhere. Factory coax systems are usually junk.
     
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  8. craig_sez

    craig_sez Road Train Member

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    Factory is junk.....
    Depending how much $ your willing to spend will decide the answers...
    There are cheap crap you can get to just squeek by or better quality you can buy if you feel like your gonna go deeper into this hobby.. Im not thinking $1000's either....
    Im not an expert by any stroke of the pen but run over to youtube and browse my channel,i got a few vids up that may help..
    Craig_sez on yt
     
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  9. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Road Train Member

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    Hello, in reference to your alignment question, the alignment is done in the radio, not the antenna system. Basically a good tech with the proper test equipment, checks the VCO frequency and verify proper dc voltages in the PLL section, etc.
    The 2 sections in the radio that an alignment is done on, is the transmit and receive circuitry. The not so good way per cobra is to tune for maximum voltages. The problem with that is you usually have a very noisy receiver, which isn't good for long range contacts. It much better to tune for maximum signal rather than maxed out voltages. Unfortunately the Chinese cobra radios have become throw away radios. At least to me. They have lots of cold solder joint problems, which can be very time consuming to track down. The sound tracker, Delta tune from the 70's, internal swr meter, all worthless features. Plus the nightwatch display burns out early and can't be replaced. I'm not criticizeing your radio, I have a few 29' s too. Im just trying to answer some of your questions as honest as I can. If i was to buy a new CB radio today, I would get the President Taylor or Walker II. Good quality looking modern CB radios, for about the same $$$$'s as a cobra.

    On a side note about your antenna system, you are basically matching the mobile antenna with the radios impeadance. I like to physically adjust my antenna on channel 20. Like Ridge said, under 2.1 is just fine. I've had good antenna performance with SWR around 1.4 - 1.5. The problem today is these newer trucks, due to lack of RF ground. I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
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  10. craig_sez

    craig_sez Road Train Member

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    Yeap rf ground is the biggest issje with newer trucks...
    Didnt realize how it was with newer trucks till i saw a vid(posted on tr somewhere to)of a cpl guys litterally tear apart a can panel by panel from the skeleton of the truck..All kinds of sealants,plastics,foams ect between each panel which is bolted to the skeleton..
    So yes they are bonded to each other by bolts n such but its jjst kt enough hence the grounding(bonding) requirements..
     
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  11. Night Stalker10

    Night Stalker10 Road Train Member

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    Those are excellent points. Especially since sealants make great insulators.
     
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