After reading and delaying enough, I finally ordered a General Lee from DTB Radio. Added his "Big Talk" and "Big Receive" packages.
I recently bought a 2005 International 4300 (straight truck), with a nice new steel flatbed on the back, with a steel headboard.
I only drive local, and my truck is currently governed at 65 mph, and will probably leave it like that.
For simplicity, I ordered the magnetic mount Wilson 5000 that I thought I'd just pop on that nice metal roof. The more I read... maybe I should've gotten a permanent mount and maybe mount it to the top of the headboard. A little concerned about it getting knocked down every now and again, but that seems better than getting broken? What about performance? Do you lose much with the magnetic mount versus a bolt-on mount? I also ordered an 18' coax. Couldn't tell how the Wilson 5000 accepted a coax.
Also, I see in the "radio hole", there's a red, white, and a blue wire. Also a wire with a round 4 pin connector. Looks like they had some kinda fleet monitoring system in it. Wondering if I should just run new wires...?
The main thing I don't wanta do is smoke this radio. I do have an SWR meter, and watched a few videos on youtube on how to tune the antanea... who knows if they're correct tho!
Rookie CB'er Questions before my new radio arrives
A Wilson 5k mag mount already has factory coax. Dont know why you would want to replace it. With a mag mount you're using your roof as a ground plane.
As far wiring, I'd run new wires from the radio directly to the battery to be on the safe side.
I agree. The Wilson 5K mag mount has in fact, better coax than the other Wilsons, though unless you're running enough watts to light up New York City, you probably don't even need it. The 5k all you do is stick on top of the roof and plug it up, then check SWR. The 5k on the roof is the best spot for it, and with it dead center of the roof, your transmit and reception will be at it's best. The magnet is pretty strong so it would have to really take some force to take the magnet off.
Your best bet for reduced noise would be to run your new radio directly off the battery and not even use any of the factory wiring, if there is any.
Got my radio from DTB, looks good... Have no idea of its performance yet.
The Wilson 5000 that I ordered that I thought was magnetic mount... wasn't. Which if fine, there's 2 places I can relatively easily mount it. 1. There's a plate on the roof that it looks like the previous owner had some type of fleet monitoring device up there, or 2. I can mount it to the steel headboard right behind the roof. The headboard is about 4" taller than the roof. Which do you think would be better?
Bigger problem for me is running my antanea coax. The Wilson came with about 17' of coax. I had also ordered an 18' coax. Well, running the coax down the back of the cab, into the floor and to the radio is going to take about 20-21'. Local truck stop only had 18' (and less) coax. So, to do this, I'm going to have to order something longer than 18' and re-solder the antenna connection.
One other option is to drill through the roof and have about a 4' run. My other truck has a roof leak, and I reallllly don't want one in this truck.
Which would you do?
Also thinking that I'll run a separate ground wire to the antenna, especially if I use the existing mounting plate.
Thoughts, suggestions, tips?
If the steel headboard is taller, then mount it there, you want the antenna as high as you can get it for best results.
Sounds like you ordered a roof mount instead of a mag mount or they sent you the wrong one. If I were you I'd drill a hole in the roof and run it that way. They give you a seal to put in that should not allow any water to leak in.
If you were any closer to me in MO I'd trade you. I have a Wilson 1k base sitting in my garage I seldom use, with a 5k coil base. I actually kind of want a roof mount Wilson.
Also just so you know, on your Wilson, the big base coil unscrews off, all you really need to do is get a mag base with an SO-239 (female CB coax connector like what's on the backs of all CB's) and screw the whip/base to that.