SWR: Old radio 2.5:1, new radio 1:1

Discussion in 'CB Radio Forum' started by 5thgear, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. 5thgear

    5thgear Bobtail Member

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    Dec 7, 2013
    Missouri
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    Note: readings taken using both radios built in meters

    I've been using a Cobra 29 classic I bought last year with an SWR sitting around 2.5, I suspected a ground problem but its a company truck so not much I can do. On a whim, mainley because of the huge price drop (129.99), I bought a Uniden Bearcat 980 SSB. Its SWR reading is 1:1. Is it possible that this is real and my Cobra was just broken? Or is the 980 giving me a bad reading? I don't have a problem getting out for a radio check with either but I have only had the 980 a few hours and will experiment more tomorrow.

    Setup:
    2012 International Prostar
    Generic 4' fiberglass cophased antennas, have been slightly tuned with previous radio
    Non factory RG58, 18' cophased, looped 1' and tucked into head liner
     
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  3. poppapump1332

    poppapump1332 Road Train Member

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    birdsboro,pa
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    Ones obviously giving you a bad reading and yes that's possible best thing to do is get an external swr meter
     
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  4. Poneill.45

    Poneill.45 Bobtail Member

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    Jul 17, 2013
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    I've never had very good luck the swr meter in cobra radios. The one in my galaxy, I do trust, as it's been verified by a good stand alone meter. I'd get a meter, or have a cb shop check your swr.
     
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  5. Turbo-T

    Turbo-T Road Train Member

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    First off don't trust the radio's internal meter.

    Second yes you can have a 1:1 SWR.

    Third if you had the 980 on SSB, it might have read 1:1 because on SSB there's no carrier like there is on AM; your 29 is an AM radio. And typically when you an SWR check you're checking the SWR on the carrier.

    Fourth not having the built in SWR checker calibrated, will give you a false reading.

    Fifth it's possible there was something going on inside the 29 that was causing not all of the radio's power to get out, thus an increase in SWR.
     
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  6. 5thgear

    5thgear Bobtail Member

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    Dec 7, 2013
    Missouri
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    I say this sincerely, Thanks for all the info, you guys are a fantastic resource. This is my first SSB radio and I just started researching what it even means. I ended up with it because it was cheaper than the 880. I ended up buying a meter(a side note, TA has the Astatic pdc2 3in1 meter on sale for $20 until the end of February). Real swr is 1.5 one 1 and 2.0 on 40 so I have some antenna tuning to do. Does anyone have any experience with the accuracy of this particular meter?
    And are these CBs with software radios more sensitive? Coming up US 54 and across the I40 in New Mexico I was picking up a lot of weak garbage and what I think was skip that I've never managed to pull on my 29, on AM, not SSB.
     
  7. Turbo-T

    Turbo-T Road Train Member

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    It's possible the 980 you have, has a more sensitive receive, though I don't know if it really does or not. It could also mean that the front end on your 29 is/was blown out....when that happens, you'll hear people up close but not far away. Either way IMO the Uniden is a far superior radio. As for SSB, if you get to using it, you may find you like it. However most truckers don't know how to use it or what it even is, thus sticking to AM only.
     
  8. finnd1

    finnd1 Bobtail Member

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    May 29, 2014
    Norhtern Virginia
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    I was having the same problem with my brand new 980. I was sending loud and clear but couldn't receive from anyone more than about 100 yards away.

    It was getting 1:1 on install, suspected things never go this well for me, and even lengthened my firesitck 4' and still got 1:1. Contacted Uniden and they said sent it back. I didn't want to be without a CB (even crippled) so ordered a new one from Bell. Put it in, 1:1. Took the old one and hooked it directly to the battery, new cable to antenna, new connector to antenna, still got 1:1. Hooked up external SWR and got ~1.1 on one and 1.4 on 40. Borrowed a friends known good 4' Firestick and I still swr out to 1:1 but at least now I get replies on a radio check.

    Still need to do a radio check for distance and I do notice I pick up a lot more noise. Not a fan of the RF gain button rather than an adjustable knob. Or maybe I'm missing a way to fine tune the RF gain?
     
  9. 5thgear

    5thgear Bobtail Member

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    Dec 7, 2013
    Missouri
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    [SUP][/SUP]
    My swr is settled at about 1.4 on a real meter.

    Nope, no fine adjustment. I think that's the point though, cranked up by default and then you get to adjust it with squelch. Either way it works, just not ideal. I'm running mine with an astatic mic and get good reports, just never tested distance. I decided to wait for my new truck to tweak the antenna again. Its safe now and with my luck I'll get it perfect and then get a new truck the next day.
     
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