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CB antenna mount?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by Alec, October 23, 2000.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Alec

    Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    I should probably put this in the CB forum, but I'll get more "facetime" here, so here it goes:

    I'm planning on getting a 3-4.5 foot fiberglass whip antenna for my new CB (thanks Gerald). Where have y'all mounted your antennas? The guy at Cobra told me to definately get a long whip antenna rather than a short roof-mounted one. So I figure I have two options:
    1) mount it in the rear bumper behind the taillight and have to move it when I have to open the liftgate, but I can attach it to the roof rack for stability, or
    2)mount it on the side of the rear bumper and not have to worry about the lift gate, but can't attach it to the rack as easily and it will whip around. I'd also have to paint the chrome mounting bracket black, just a nuisance.

    All opinions are welcome. I figure one is as easy as the other, so that's not a factor. The inbumper mount will look better, but might interfere with the rear hatch, and the outboard mount will be less stable and more inviting to theives. Ahhh!
     
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  3. leebo

    leebo Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I wouldn't do that if I were you. The passenger bumper is right next to the fuel pump. That is a big problem for the Explorers. The pump gives off a ton of "feedback" to the antenna. You'll hate it. On top of that the whip antenna's are very picky. You'll only get the signal from the front left side. Some of the signal from other directions will come through but not much. The best place to mount it is the roof in the dead center. You might not get a whip antenna to fit but a smaller one is sometimes better. I myself have one on the factory roof rack mounted with a mirror mount. One hole was drilled through the rack and the rest bolted right down. Ground it to something and you're off. If you're willing to drill into the body you could mount it right to the roof. That will be the best setup but not all are willing to drill into the body. Just stay away from the rear bumper.
     
  4. Alec

    Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    leebo, how long is your antenna? I don't want something sticking over 2 feet above my roof (not even that much). I haven't seen hard mount antennas shorter than 3 feet. The only shorter ones are magnetic mount. Those seem easy to rip off, either by thief or by tree. I don't mind drilling into my roof rack crossbars, but I don't want to drill into the roof. If the rear mounted antenna ends higher than the roof, won't I be able to get 360°? Also, can't I mount it opposite the fuel pump? Leebo, not to dismiss your input, but I would prefer the rear mount.
     
  5. leebo

    leebo Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    this is taken from the explorer tips sections
    "Radio Frequency Interference
    Anyone using a ham radio or C.B. in their Explorer has most likely heard the effects of RFI. The interference sounds like a high ambient noise level and the reciever possibly shows many S-units of signal strength even when there is no one transmitting. The in-tank mounted electric fuel pump is the source of this problem." I get some feedback with mine even though I put in a new pump and it's mounted to the roof...now put the antenna right there and your doomed

    As for my antenna....I've got one that is 48" tall mounted on the rack. I really like this set-up. It's not as good as mounting it to the roof, but I'm with you in not wanting to mount it to the roof itself. As for the antenna....any antenna is directional. This meaning that if it's on the right rear, it will pick up best from the front left, and vise versa. This is one reason you see truckers using dual antenna's. The whip antenna's are very bad with this. Check this link for more info on the antenna's
    http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=19630

    [Edited by leebo on 10-23-2000 at 08:00 PM]
     
  6. 2001ExpSport

    2001ExpSport Elite Explorer

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    I also have a 4" fiber ant mounted to my roof rack. Works great and I can just unscrew it when I don't want it.
     
  7. Alec

    Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Leebo, thanks for the link to that thread, guess I didn't do enough searching this time. So I guess my best bet is to get something like a 3' mag mount antenna and put it on the roof. That's also pretty easy. One thing I didn't see mentioned: how strong are the mag mounts against trees and ceilings.

    Thanks again Leebo
     
  8. 2001ExpSport

    2001ExpSport Elite Explorer

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    I had a mag mount and it tipped over every time. You best bet is a solid mount.
     
  9. Alec

    Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Ok, so I'm gonna do a "permanent" mount to my factory roof rack. I want something that isn't too noticeable: How about a 3.5' stainless RadioShack antenna (thin). Is it good enough, or do I need one made by Cobra, or a thick one? Also, can I sling the top of the antenna down to the rack when I don't need the range? That way my truck isn't essentially 10' high!
     
  10. Gone Jeepin

    Gone Jeepin New Member

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    I say go on the roof, I know I know, I'm just looking around your forum, but I've been there done that with CB's get a firestick antenna, they are tunable, really well made, and I think they have 2 and 3 foot antenna's! also, if you go to bills2way.com they have a quick snap type thing that lets you just reach up and pop the antenna up and fold it down if you put your rig in a garage or something!
    just trying to help!
    -Nate

    I made a hyperlink to bills-2way above. He also has the best deals on radios on the internet. Very good prices
    Ray


    [Edited by Ray Lobato on 10-23-2000 at 10:09 PM]
     
  11. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    I have a mag mount (Wilson 1000) and don't have any problems at all (see picture in signature). It has never come loose on me, and I 4wheel all the time.
     
  12. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Gone Jeepin,
    Welcome to the site,
    I took a look at your pictures and they look pretty good. [​IMG] Hey where did the pictures of slickrock come from. I would like to check that place out. [​IMG] I go to Hollister Hills too. Maybe I'll see you there someday. Hope you enjoy the site.
     
  13. Ray Hutchinson

    Ray Hutchinson Moderator Emeritus

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    Antennas

    Alec,

    Just to clarify a point or two:

    Antennas radiate rf (signal) along their entire length, not just from the top, and nearby grounded metal will absorb that signal, as well as detune your antenna making it difficult to get an acceptable SWR (Standing Wave Ratio). A good SWR would be 1:1. with 2:1 being the absolute max you want. Placing the antenna mount on or near the rear bumper causes the car body to absorb a great deal of your signal, and increases the SWR. Then there's that pesky fuel pump RFI problem mentioned above. The nearby metal problem can be quite significant: several folks showed up at COlors 2K with the "Confer" type of aftermarket roof rack with the antennas located inside the racks, and near the side rails. These antennas were 3'-4' high, and the rack sides are only 6-8" high, but their radios performed very poorly, and the antennas measured very high SWR. The solution was to move the antennas outside and about a foot from the racks, and presto!, good performance and good SWR!

    Another point, I had a antenna mount bracket on the side of the rear bumper (so the tailgate would clear) briefly. there were two major problems, besides having a devil of a time tuning for good SWR. They were the RFI problem, and the fact that the bracket and antenna kept getting tweaked on rocks etc. on those tight trails when youre creeping between boulders, trees, etc. Going to a Wilson 1000, mounted on the roof about above the domelight solved all the problems.

    It isn't necessary to have the same brand antenna as your (Cobra) radio. I'm partial to the Wilsons and Hustler antennas, although the K-40's and Firesticks have a good rep. I prefer a base coil loaded antenna with the 3-4' Thin stainless steel "stinger", because these are very flexible, and very forgiving with low headroom situations.

    [Edited by Ray Hutchinson on 10-24-2000 at 01:06 AM]
     
  14. roadkill

    roadkill Active Member

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    another antenna option!

    Alec,
    Here's another idea:
    I wanted to have the option of using my CB, w/o the hassle of putting the mag mount on top, or dealing with a whip in a garage. I went to Radio Trash (just kidding!) and found a combination antenna. It recieves AM, FM, and CB. On all the trails I've run with all the whip antenna and mag mount guys, I've never had and range problems, zip.

    It lools exactly like a radio antenna, same height, chrome base, has a Y connector for radio and CB to hook up to.
    I also thought of putting a whip mount on my rack for trips, but for now, this combo antenna works great.

    FYI
     
  15. Ray Hutchinson

    Ray Hutchinson Moderator Emeritus

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    Good Grief Roadkill, What are you doing up at this time of night ? ;-) BTW, I'm not going to wait around for an answer. I'm hitting the hay!
     
  16. kubben

    kubben Active Member

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    I'm going to get a Firestick after seeing what they can do. I have a Radio Shack magnetic mount and it never has fell over but the distance isn't too good. I was thinking of perhaps mounting it like Pete did on the front fender well.
     
  17. GJarrett

    GJarrett Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Alec, does the CB work after Rod "washed" it? I've been a little worried about that.

    Concerning a mag mount getting knocked off, Ray is right about his Wilson 1000. I have a Wilson Lil'Wil and have never had it come off. Wilsons use magnets that are MUCH stronger than other brands. Wilson mag mounts also seem to perform much better than other mag mounts. If you go mag, go Wilson. I have been very satisfied with the performance of mine.
     
  18. Sinjin

    Sinjin Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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    Hey! lol, it didnt get "washed", water didnt come in conrtact with it, just some moisture from the seats. Should'nt have any problem at all with it working. :)
     
  19. bluescat

    bluescat Active Member

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    A couple of things

    I faced the same problems in putting on an antenna. I had a couple of Firesticks (4' & 5') sitting around but I also had a 3' antenna that collapses from 90 to 45 or zero degrees. It was originally meant to attach to a rain gutter/ drip edge. You push in a button to raise or lower it. I drilled two holes into the plastic roof rail (on the hidden side of course) and used two sheet metal screws to attach the antenna to the roof rail; it is very solid. Next I removed one of the 6 screws that holds the drivers side roof rail on right by the door pillar and fished the coax down through it. I stripped the insulation from the coax once inside the vehicle and soldered a lead to the ground shield and attached it to the frame. No holes drilled through the roof and routed under the trim and carpet to the center console. It was a formidable job but the results are great. I used a small piece of velcro on the antenna tip and roof rail to keep the tip of the antenna still when in the lowered position. The antenna is mounted just about flush with the passenger side glass. The CB unit I got was the Midland 75-822, a handheld unit that doubles as a mobile unit with an attachment that clips on to the bottom, supplying the signal and power. I think the Radio Shack unit with the 'Y' leads would be a much easier install but you won't get as much height as with a roof mounted antenna. Hope this helps.
     
  20. Alec

    Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow, thanks for all the responses!

    I think I'm gonna get a 3 or 4 foot Firestik II and mount it to the factory rack crossbar. I'll probably run the wire in through the jump window at first, then I might run it in through a rack screw hole. I'll also get a quick disconnect and a spring to mount on the base. I might also rig the antenna into a half-circle so I can leave it on and fit under 8 feet.

    I already got a SWR meter and the PA speaker at RadioShack. Once I get the antenna, I'll throw it all together.

    Now the only thing I have to do is find an Austin place that carries Firestik.

    ***I've beaten this to death, haven't I? However, I was still looking around and saw that the 3' Firestik has a max load of 650 Watts, while the Cobra 3' is 2000 Watts. Is there something I'm missing, or should I get the 3' Cobra as opposed to a much longer Firestik?***

    [Edited by Alec on 10-24-2000 at 03:06 PM]
     
  21. leebo

    leebo Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You are only allowed so many watts by law anyways so the 2000 isn't needed. The cb can only put out so many watts and it's far less than that. As for where to buy the Firestic.....go to a truck stop. I know theres a ton in Texas so you won't have a problem finding one. You'll need an mirror antenna mount, about 10-15 feet of cable, and the antenna. I think I paid about 30 for my set-up. If you have any questions on how I did mine just give me a yell.
     

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