Cb setup tips. All help/info welcome

Discussion in 'CB Radio Forum' started by PotholeMcBounce, May 11, 2021.

  1. craig_sez

    craig_sez Road Train Member

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    Dont think you can adjust tone with the rd though can ya..A well tuned radio dont need the power mic portion of it..
     
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  3. Patrick615

    Patrick615 Bobtail Member

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    Jun 10, 2018
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    Only one way to do it though, low swr, power and loud modulation. I personally need to be the loudest out there.
     
  4. jdchet

    jdchet Light Load Member

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    Low SWR is not the full story regarding your antenna system! It's just a ballpark measurement that means you won't hurt your radio! BS you say?
    Readings from a stock hidden antenna on a Freightliner Evo.......
    aa 1.jpg aa 2.jpg
    Would any self respecting radio owner hook up a "big radio" like a Connex, etc. to a stock antenna? I hope not!
    The OP needs to get his antenna right first! A properly tuned Cobra 29 can sound plenty loud without a power mic! And a noise cancelling mic is almost a must in a big truck. The Road Devil is a decent idea, but they seem to have a switch problem lately.
    JMHO.

    JD
     
  5. Timin770

    Timin770 Road Train Member

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    I'd rather be understood than loud. I hear a LOT of loud radios that sound like dog squeeze
     
    Snailexpress and jdchet Thank this.
  6. Naptown Muduck

    Naptown Muduck Light Load Member

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    My application is a little different, but I'll share my experience. I drilled a hole in the roof of my pickup and mounted the antenna in the middle of the roof. I trimmed the mast so the antenna was resonant around 28.000. Then I made a shunt coil to bring the SWR down as low as possible at 27.185. I had a Rig Expert antenna analyzer I used to do this. I don't have a picture of the final readings available right now, but I'll share the results. My antenna now seems quieter, admittedly a subjective impression. But I can now run the rf gain up higher which lets me heard farther. The other day, I could hear a cobra 29 that was 20 miles away and it was as loud as the trucks near me.. I never could do that before. It's hard to say how far I can get out. I've learned most people turn there squelch up and/or their rf gain down, which limits their abilty to hear me. Hopefully I can get a friend to help me do a more accurate range test soon.
     
  7. Jimi Page

    Jimi Page Bobtail Member

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    Check your SWR reading.
    If it’s high, in the red that’s bad.
    You could burn it up transmitting or keying up to much.
    Listening won’t matter.
    So then Don’t talk, just listen, till you can get to a CB shop to test and fix your setup.
    They usually test it for free.
     
  8. Lowboy456

    Lowboy456 Light Load Member

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    An antenna analyzer is the best thing I've bought so far.
    You don't need one much for your own personal use but when you do need it an antenna analyzer is so much easier than the traditional SWR meter .

    When you've just bought a brand new antenna and you've adjusted it far down as it will go and the SWR is still high, then you adjust the antenna little by little all the way out and the SWR is still high but doesn't change any, its very hard to know what to do.

    I started cutting my antenna off and 1/8 inch at the time until I got a usable SWR across the band.

    Later I bought a Nano VNA and I could finally really see where my SWR was.
    Watch how this guy slides his little antenna up and down and how you can see the SWR move around.


    I have mine set to something like 25,900 on the low and 28,500 on the high or towards channel 40. You can also set it to cover 10, 11 and 12 meter if you wanted if you happened to have a very broad banded antenna. Like the Sirio Gainmaster 5/8 base antenna has a very very low SWR across 10, 11 and 12 meters.

    I bet you money if you set your SWR as good as you can get it with a traditional meter and then get an antenna analyzer it will still need a lot of adjusting. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  9. Timin770

    Timin770 Road Train Member

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    May 27, 2011
    Canton, GA
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    How do you know the analyzer is correct? Maybe the cheap SWR is correct

    ;-)
     
  10. jdchet

    jdchet Light Load Member

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    Nobody said the SWR meter was wrong. There's more to setting up a good antenna system than SWR!
    On the antenna readings I posted above on an OEM Freightliner Evo built into the roof antenna, it looks plenty good! Everyone that has used one can probably say it's a if you can see them you can talk to them antenna!

    JD
     
  11. Ozzy66

    Ozzy66 Bobtail Member

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    Jun 13, 2021
    Lafayette, Indiana
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    Here is my humble opinion.. First thing is you need either find a CB shop to do a SWR check or buy an external SWR meter. There are plenty of YouTube videos to help. When your SWR is good, assess your situation and needs.

    Do you have a lot of static that comes from the electrical system when the truck is on or having your phone/tablet plugged in? If so, then it is recommended to run your CB power straight from the battery. Having a "big radio" is a waste of money if you have to squelch out so much static all the time. You will hear the same as the cheap cobra. So if you can't do this. Stick with a radio like the Cobra 29. I wouldn't have the cobra "peaked and tuned". It is a waste of money for that radio and the CB shop will push for that. Power mics are cool, but if you like having your windows down or a lot of background noise like your radio or whatever. It will pick all that up on transmit. Stick with a normal noise canceling microphone. Ranger has the best noise cancelation in my opinoin, so if you like having the window down while on the highway. Get that microphone. Its what I use with my Jeep and it doesn't pick up any wind noise at 70mph with the doors and tops off.

    Before you start spending any money on your CB setup. Get the SWR right. Learn how to use the controls on the Cobra and what purpose they have. If you can't set up a radio to talk or hear well. Its pointless to buy a "big radio" or fancy antennas and coax. Once you get this all figured out and you want to start throwing money in the CB setup. Start with upgraded coax and an upgraded antenna. Don't run dual antennas. You just need one OR have coax ran to both but only use one. Then you can have a backup antenna if needed. I'm warning you though.. it can be a lot of fun and you will be spending all your money at the CB shop. It is a lot of fun and I love it! Good luck!
     
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