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HELP !!!

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by Tank, October 11, 2000.

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  1. Tank

    Tank Active Member

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    i am trying to get my order in today so i can get and install my cb over the weekend. i have one tech question i need answered :

    i am getting a midland 77-255esp cb, and the firestick II dual antenna system, ( its awesome all stainless brackets, antenna springs, the cable is fully shielded and the antenna has a tuneable tip.

    my question is : on the firestick site they said it is importand to get a good ground, also i read somewhere that you need a good rf ground. is this the same thing ?

    i will be mounting the antenna brackets to my roof rack and it is powder coated.... so there will be no metal-to-metal contact. is that ok ? .... im lost
     
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  3. Rick

    Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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    You need a good metal to metal contact. The body of the truck makes the best ground since it's the largest piece o metal and it's all tied together. Using the roof rack as a ground won't be as effective as using the roof as ground. So you have a choice, drill a hole in the roof, remove the paint from around the hole and bolt a round lug conector to the roof or do the same with the roof rack. I would use the roof myself and then cover the connection with some silicone sealer to prevent any leaks.

    While you're at it the best wire you can use for grounding the antenna would be the braided shield wire that you find in coax. You can cut the vinyl off a length of coax and then remove the braided wire.
     
  4. Locksmith

    Locksmith New Member

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    While a good ground both electrical and RF are very important, I don't know if I would go as far as drilling holes in my roof to get one!

    I would try powering the radio directly from the battery. Run both power wires (pos and neg) directly to the battery and be sure they are fused.

    The antenna will get a ground from the radio. While this is not always the best, it may be all that is practicle (how the hell do you spell that?). If possible I would run a wire between the antenna mount and the roof rack mounting bolts. Braided copper wire is great, but a nice black insulated wire will work just as well over a short distance (<12") and will hide better.

    Rick VA7RX
    91 XLT
     
  5. leebo

    leebo Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Locksmith....that will work but won't give you good results. The problem is that your antenna isn't going to be grounded as it should be. I myself didn't want to drill a hole into my roof. It would of been better for me to, but I'm lazy so get off my back. :) I went to a truck stop and bought a mirror mount kit. I drilled two holes through my roof rack and inserted the mount on there. I then screwed my antenna onto the mount. There will be a small piece of plastic...that MUST be between the mount and the antenna. This is part of the grounding process. The cables from the antenna to the cb is mounted below the roof-rack. I ran the ground to a small spot in the cab next to the coax cable. The cable is running through the door jab though....but it is hidden well. You can only see it from the outside. This setup still gives you a grounded antenna and no holes in the roof. I will say that Ricks way is more stable, gives you a better ground, and you won't cut the cable in a few years....but you won't need to drill a hole into your roof.

    btw...the roof rack won't ground to your truck AT ALL. It turns out there is a small piece of plastic or something between the roof rack and the roof itself to stop the area between the two from rusting. This breaks the ground from the rack to the roof/body. You more or less just grounded to a piece of harden plasic rack, which is worthless.

    [Edited by leebo on 10-11-2000 at 11:14 PM]
     
  6. Ray Hutchinson

    Ray Hutchinson Moderator Emeritus

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    Grounded roof rack

    Leebo, and all:

    Just a minor misstatement on the little round piece of plastic on the mirror antenna mount bracket. Actually, this piece is an insulator so the radiating element of the antenna is NOT grounded, because the mount bracket is -or should be.

    Locksmith: Yes, you can get a ground through the coax braid from the radio, but I'd run another one too. What were trying to achieve is a good ground plane here. Since I have 6 lights mounted on my rack, I ran a #10 wire from the rack, through the door (Behind the weather strip) and to the top of the "B" post, the connection hiddden behind the interior trim and just below the headliner. I have hot lines for the 6 lights running beside this ground wire, so I sealed around all the wires where they run behind the weatherstrip with silicone. I too, was a bit concerned with drilling a tap hole for a ground terminal through the roof ..... althought I don't know why. when I really think about... I've got a UHF and two NMO permanent antenna mounts drilled through the roof! I figure with all the mods I've done to the truck, If I ever do sell it, whoever buys it isn't going to be worried about a few holes!

    Tank: be sure the antenna is either centered in the roof rack, or is mounted high enough so that the bottom portion of the antenna radiating element isn't passing close by the metal sides of the rack. We found several antennas badly detuned and having very high SWR at COlors 2K this year, because they were too close to the side rails of the racks. We had to relocate the antennas to make the radios work properly.
     
  7. Locksmith

    Locksmith New Member

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    Re: Grounded roof rack

    I appreciate what you are saying about the holes in your explorer. I on the other hand try to keep my truck as stock as possible. I live in a townhouse complex and can only park one vehicle in front of the house. My work van wins the parking spot for obvious reasons, so the explorer has to park a block away on the street.

    The more stock it looks the less likely it is to get broken into. Close inspection will show only 1 antenna (Larsen dual band) and a cell phone mount. The Icom 207H dual bander is stashed under the seat.

    Still looking for a good place to put the control head. The unused ash tray just wasn't the right spot. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Rick VA7RX
    91XLT stock.
     
  8. Tank

    Tank Active Member

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    well ... after speaking with firestick for quite a while ... ( great guys ) we determined that there was no advantage to me using a dual antenna setup ( it would actually be bad ) because most of my use is on the trail. i decided to just go ahead and drill the hole in the roof and mount it right.. i have a stainless steel spring between the mount and the antenna so that wont be a problem i bought a 4' antenna and will probably get a 2' for the trail later.
     
  9. Scott B.

    Scott B. Well-Known Member

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    Tank,

    Through the roof is probably the best way to mount it. I put a K-40 in my roof almost 7 years ago, and it has never leaked. I put one in my ex's about 6 years ago - same thing. Last month, I just put one in my dad's '99 Ranger (OK, so he made ME drill the hole in his roof!)

    Just put a bead of silicon caulk around the opening, and you'll be fine.
     

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